Third Week of September

Aaaand it's time to begin the weekly posts! These will be released every Monday,* and will encapsulate the major events of the past week. They won’t be as detailed, focusing on the broad strokes of what I’ve been up to and thinking about.

The third week of September involved hanging out with 2 people: Primarily Steve, one of my best friends, and once with Emily, one of the few friends I still have in Chatham. Contrasting this with how things were in Australia, it’s a lot more solitary. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, as it’s giving me plenty of time to work on the projects I had been cooking up while in Australia.

Suit Fitting Day.
We were there for 4 hours.
I think I’ve mentioned these projects are a few times, though I’ve never fully explained what they are. I’ll be brief: selling things online in a way that could support a lifestyle of traveling while working. I don’t expect it to be very quick or very much money for the first bit, but the timeline is to have something up, running, and relatively stable by the time I finish my teaching in China. Afterward, I’ll likely continue trying to grow it and see a few countries. I’d like to plan past that, but the further out I look, the more variables seem contingent on how these things go. Time will tell.

This particular week, I was looking at importing Android boxes, programming them, and distributing them. I don’t really see a way to make this a viable thing to do while traveling because I would have to handle the boxes myself, spending time programming, then shipping them. The legalities around them are also hazy, with the programming part being a little sketchy. Potentially illegal. Rather avoid that altogether, but I do need some starting funds.

A View on one of the days working with my Dad
Sunset over the Field behind my Parents Place
How do I plan to sell things without handling them myself, you may ask. Well that’s where the beauty of the internet has come into bloom. There’s a technique that some manufacturers will do for you called “Dropshipping,” which means you send them customer orders, your labels, they package the stuff for you, and ship them to the customer - with your label. As far as the customer is concerned, it came directly from you. This already sounds like a pretty convenient setup, yeah? Well it gets a little better: You don’t actually have to own the products before sending the order. That’s right, they make it, hold onto it, label it, and ship it out. Of course, they don’t do this for free, which means it’ll affect your bottom line, cutting your margins down to slivers. Varies from product to product, but it's still a wonderful idea.

A Flower in my Mom's Garden
Another alternative is to contact “fulfillment businesses” which essentially do the same thing, but you’ll have to buy the product up front, which ships to them, and pay the place to hold onto it for you, shipping it out on demand. I’m approaching this like I did getting to Australia: handle each problem as they come, and don’t see it as a giant feat. It’s simply a succession of small feats that build upon each other.

I started looking at protective battery cases for phones, as I think I mentioned in a previous post, and how I might get them to Canada. I’m not overly enthused about them, and there are so many different models and makes of the phones.

I also bought tools to open up and fix phone screens, which only cost about $15 and can be learned via youtube. I successfully took apart an iPhone 4S, cleaned a button to see if it would work better, then put it back together. Still works! Button still doesn’t… But hey, new skill acquired. The plan was to buy phones with cracked screens, fix the screens, and sell them. Phone flipping. Again, living/startup money. Problem: Small towns don't have a massive phone market on kijiji/ebay/craigslist.

Potential Backup plans: Selling oversized shoes. I started thinking about what sort of things I would like and what could be improved upon. Who wouldn’t like to sell the thing that they would love to have lots of? Who better to get a good deal from than yourself?

"Paint me like one of your french girls"
By the way, I'm totally lost with all this stuff. I'm groping around in the dark, underwater, and not knowing which way is up. It's quite frustrating, as you can imagine. Where do you even begin?

I've also been going around helping my dad with his work. He's retired, but also working for himself as a sort of Handiman. Learning a lot, making a little bit of cash. Not bad work, pretty good hours.

Editing Music: Say Something by Postmodern Jukebox

*This one just so happened to work out
I'm throwing this picture here just in case you didn't click on the title link: 

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