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Success & Career

A Beginners Guide to Making Money Through eCommerce Stores



Make Money Online

The Internet has changed the way businesses operate and the way people shop. This drastic change is enticing to people with an entrepreneurial edge. Global reach means global opportunities for profit [insert rubbing hands together and maniacal laughter].

If you have the ability to plan ahead and see opportunities on the horizon, you can develop fantastic ideas that will turn killer profits. You just need the wherewithal to set up an eCommerce solution.

A Beginners Guide to Making Money Through eCommerce Stores

Yes, there’s a lot to learn about eCommerce, but if you’re willing to put in the time and elbow grease, you can soon be on the golden path of profit. But before you can start heating your house by burning hundred dollar bills, there are some technical topics and terms you need to learn, as well as some basic business principles.

1. You Need a Product


The first thing you need to consider when entering the eCommerce business is a product.  Unlike that shady Dominican investment opportunity offered to you by your uncle Leo, ecommerce actually requires doing some work. Decide what you have to sell, and then do the legwork to get your product ready for market.

For some, working with a local supplier may be easier, while for others, online suppliers will be your best source. If your product is super unique (unicorn droppings, left-handed sandals, etc.) and can only be purchased from the weird old man down the road, or is something you personally make, you’ll have to develop a plan for storing your product.

If your product can be purchased online, it’s probably easiest to use online suppliers to simplify the process.

If your product is digital, like music, software, DVDs, or photos of you riding bareback on a dolphin, you’ll need to find an electronic delivery method. Many housed eCommerce solutions like Shopify make electronic product delivery easy and manageable.

2.  You Need a Domain

Here begins the techno jargon. After you determine what you’re going to sell, you need to find a domain name. A domain name is simply your website address. You know what I mean.,, and are all domain names.

You should look for a domain to compliment your product so that it’s easier to market. Long domains are hard to remember, so might not be your best choice. Get creative and have fun with this step.

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The latest domain name extensions make it even easier to be creative with your domain name. anyone?

3.  You Need Hosting

The next techno topic on the agenda is hosting. Just like your brick and mortar store needs a parcel of land to sit on, your eCommerce store needs a slice of cyberspace. You can get this with a hosting company.

A hosting company gives your domain a spot on its servers, which connects you to the Internet so people can find you. A hosting company also gives you space to store all the files associated with your website, like photos, music, text, and video.


There are thousands of hosting companies to choose from, with many offering plans that start at a couple bucks a month. Just make sure to pick a company with a solid reputation, like Bluehost, DreamHost, or GoDaddy.

4.  You Need a Website

This will probably seem like the most intimidating part of starting your eCommerce adventure. You’ll probably hear terms and acronyms that don’t make sense. Don’t let the techno jargon scare you. In order to keep you from soiling your pants out of fear, I’ve broken things down for you, step by step.

Your website will be your “storefront”. Just like a brick and mortar store, you need a façade that invites customers in to buy your product. If your store looks inviting, people stop by to check it out. If it looks like the vacation home of Jeffrey Dahmer, you can kiss your customers goodbye.

Same deal with eCommerce. Your website is your facade. It should look really good. Clean. Appealing. Not like something designed by AOL in the early 90’s. Your site should feel professional. You want your contact information clearly visible, and you want to make potential clients feel welcome by making things easy to navigate.

5.  You Need a Content Management System (CMS) and a Shopping Cart

Here’s where the techno talk starts to get a little bit more intense. A CMS (content management system) is when a website’s framework is pre-built for you, and you simply install it onto your host. You can then install additional plugins to bring specific functions to your website.

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Most CMS also allow different templates to be installed. Templates allow you to customize the layout of your website to make it unique to your store or brand, with colors, font types, logos, and a host of other layout options.


Shopping cart plugins bring ecommerce functions to your website, making it really simple to sell online. You don’t have to be a pale-skinned computer jockey who spends his days writing complex computer programs. You don’t even have to know how to code or program. Simply add your products through your CMS.

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Some popular CMS’ to choose from are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.  There are even some CMS that are designed specifically for acting as eCommerce solutions.  

6.  You Need a Payment Gateway

After you have your online store set up and your products and descriptions added, you need a way to collect money. I mean, that’s the whole point. You’re not running a charity. To quote on Gerald MacGuire, “Show me the money.”


In other words, you need a payment gateway.

Payment gateways have to guarantee credit card security. This is called PCI compliance. If you host your own payment gateway, you are responsible, and you can install an SSL certificate to encrypt the information.

If you use a website that acts as a payment gateway, like PayPal, it is responsible for securing the information.

If you choose a hosted eCommerce CMS solution, your payment gateway is included and configured, and comes as part of your monthly fee. These solutions also cover PCI compliance.

All of the payment gateways require fees, and the fees are based on a percentage of your sales. It’s a matter of personal preference and how much control you want to have when deciding on a payment gateway.

7.  You Need a Shipping Plan

People are more impatient now than ever. Amazon offers free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, and their “Dash” buttons allow you to reorder certain products with the press of a button. If you want customers to keep coming back, you need a shipping solution that will get your products to your customers in a timely fashion.

Drop shipping is a great way to keep your products moving and to keep you from going insane. In this method, your supplier simply packages and ships your product to your customer, which eliminates you having to basically live at the post office.

8.  You Need a Marketing Plan

After your store is set up and ready to go, you need a plan to market it to people. Consider using social media, Google, email marketing, SEO, and the thousands of other online tools available.

One very important marketing strategy is creating consistent content that will drive traffic to your site. Don’t assume that because you’ve built it, customers will come. eCommerce is not Field of Dreams. In this business you have to chase your dreams if you want them to come to fruition.

Go For It


eCommerce solutions come in many different boxes, just like the products that they offer.  There is no doubt that this process can seem scary and overwhelming, but there are so many choices that you can use to get started. Find the one that suits you best and take the risk.

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Success & Career

5 tiny habits that can change your life and career



Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

When it comes to the daily grind, time seems to keep passing by – yet many things remain the same. We are so busy trying to get things done, keeping our heads above water, that we don’t take real time to think about things like balance, self-care, or making necessary changes.

Little do we realize that small tweaks at home and at work might create opportunities for us to have true balance, and even achieve that elusive success.

Let’s look at five tiny habits you can implement today to control the chaos – and start changing your life and career.


Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life and Career

1.) Embrace the concept of a “clean slate” at work.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

This involves implementing a few simple routines and organizational tools upfront. This will save you time in the long run, and will leave you feeling satisfied at the start – and end – of your day.

For example:

  • Create folders in your e-mail inbox by person and topic. Be sure to move applicable items there. The feeling of a clean inbox can reduce anxiety and enables you to find important material faster!
  • Write phone messages on a notepad next to you each day.
  • Return each call.
  • Note the status of what you were able to do, what needs to be done, and cross out which ones have been taken care of.
  • Complete your list before you leave work.

Nothing feels better than looking at the list and knowing that you have attended to every person, every item, and every task you started with. Yes, more may come in later. But these were your starting tasks.

You are leaving with everything crossed off, a clean slate for the day. You can start tomorrow with a clean slate as well. You’re more organized: able to look at a detailed history of each item you did, each person you spoke to, each item you completed.

A well-structured system and way of doing things is mentally good for you. It’s also a nice feeling to walk away with a complete sense of accomplishment for the day.


2.) Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul, NOT people who infect it.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Think about the people you chose to be with. Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries, no matter who they are. Be honest if someone is a “toxic” person in your life. Surround yourself with folks who build you up, support you, are honest but fair with you, and those who have your best interests at heart.

We of course need people who are going to tell us the truth. But remember that truth can be told with kindness. We can give ourselves permission to distance ourselves from, or let people go. These are individuals who make us feel bad about ourselves, or take every chance they can get to criticize our every choice.

There is enough negativity in the world. We don’t need to have it in those closest to us. You will be amazed at the difference when you give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries. So surround yourself with healthy relationships. Stop feeling like you must endure unhealthy ones.


3.) Clutter creates anxiety more than you realize.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Whether it’s your home or your workspace, getting organized makes a huge difference in your state of mind. So start practicing tiny habits that create structure.

At work:

Get those piles into drawers and desktop storage. File folders are your friends! Label by topic, date, etc. Having things organized and at your fingertips will save you time and a great deal of anxiety.

Have trays for things that are needed on a daily or weekly basis. Organize your office supplies neatly. Remember that your desk is also a presentation of who you are.

You may think that those piles make you look busy – but they really make you look disorganized. Create your own system so that you can locate anything instantly. That, is more impressive than a pile.

At home:

Think more in terms of scaling down to get organized. Make it a goal to make you space your solace. Organize, donate, and find a place for everything. If you have not used it in a year, consider donating. If things belong together, group them. Get the right storage to hold things.

Group things where they make the most sense. Move things where they work and function best. Get rid of things that no longer work, are expired, are outdated, or that could benefit someone else more than sitting in a pile at your home.

You will not miss them. You will probably feel pretty good for sharing the love. Nothing feels better as having a fully functional home where you can live and breathe; where there is no clutter, and where everything has a place.


4.) Practice good, daily self-care.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

It may seem so simple, yet we all seem to fall short when it comes to this vital area that impacts our lives and our careers. If we practice tiny habits of self-care, we function better, perform better, and surely, improve our opportunities for success.

Good self-care includes things, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep each night. This includes going to bed and getting up at the same time, seven days a week. When going to bed, there should be NO electronics, including screens or cell phones, as they stimulate the mind and keep you awake.
  • Eating food that nourishes you – such as whole foods, not processed foods.
  • Drinking eight glasses of water each day.
  • Enjoying treats in moderation, no need to crash diet!
  • Be sure to wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to ease into your day, and allow yourself to practice your morning routine.

Whether it be reading the paper, listening to a podcast, watching a TV show, yoga, or morning meditation, how you begin sets the tone for the day. So set aside time in the morning so you are not rushed. This is an essential part of your day.

If you start rushed, you are going to feel that way the whole day. Starting with balance, leads to a balanced day.


5.) Self-talk is one of the most powerful habits we can change.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

If we think about how often we thought something negative about ourselves, someone else, or about a situation, we would see how powerful negative self-talk can be. Now think about how better our lives could be if we stopped ourselves before doing it. It’s possible – but it takes effort and conscious work.

You simply need to pay attention and catch yourself. But as you do, the difference can be profound. You start to see how by removing negativity and replacing it with realistic thinking, you feel more balanced. Imagine the impact it can have on your work and relationships, to not see things in the worst possible light?

By implementing these tiny habits, you can bring about tremendous changes to your work and personal life. A few would only be one-time tasks. While others require minimal, but – hopefully welcome – effort.

If things are not working well in these areas of your life, why not give these tiny habits a chance? You will at least be a little more organized. And hopefully, be well-rested at the end.



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Success & Career

7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success



Organize Your Day for Success

Nope, don’t panic. I’m not going to start by telling you to get up earlier! As an Integrative Nutrition® Health Coach, I firmly believe in bio-individuality. This is the idea that we are all unique: just as some people can’t tolerate gluten and some can, there are early birds and others are night owls. Neither is wrong – they’re just different.

So yes, just as our definitions of success look different, how we structure our days for success will vary as well. However, I believe that there are some things in common.

For the sake of having a starting point, let’s agree that success is showing up in your life (career, relationships, physical activity, etc.) in the most biologically effective way possible (i.e., you are healthy in every sense of the word).

So how would you organize your day for success? Here are seven ways to try:


7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success

1.) Wake up without an alarm if possible (see also #7).

Organize Your Day for Success

Jolting awake to an alarm is a sure-fire way to feel like you’re off to the races first thing in the morning. Instead, learn how many hours of sleep you are naturally inclined to. Then try to get that every night.

Waking up naturally prevents that influx of fight-or-flight chemicals coursing through your veins: nobody needs that kind of stress at the start of the day! Chronic stress can wreak all kinds of havoc with your body, starting a cascade of poor health outcomes.


2.) Start the day with screen-free “me time”.

The moment you check your email or social media, you are giving others power over how you spend your time. There will almost always be an email that just can’t wait or a post that brings on a severe case of #FOMO. Before you know it, you’re sucked in.

Instead of reaching immediately for a device, consider starting a new practice that can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes (or less) or as much time as you create for it: breathing, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, journaling.

The Web is full of resources for these – just don’t go looking for them first thing in the morning! Are you an early bird? Use this gift of time to work out, meal prep, read, etc.


3.) Create time blocks (see also #5).

Organize Your Day for Success

As much as we think we can multitask, research shows we really can’t. “Task-switching” – what we’re really doing when we think we’re multitasking – can cost us as much as 40 percent of our productivity.

The solution: block out specific times on your schedule for tasks that require your full attention. During those times, close all other tabs and turn off all your notifications – and I mean all of them!

In between these blocks and not before, take a break to check email, make some calls – take care of some smaller tasks. Set a timer that indicates your next productive block is starting.


4.) Schedule your workouts and meals.

We seem to have time for everything but what really nourishes us: fuelling our bodies well and moving them regularly. As a health coach, when you tell me, “I don’t have time to…” what I hear is, “I don’t prioritize…”

I see you rolling your eyes. Let me tell you: if you do that enough, they’ll stick back there. But seriously – it comes down to this: if you wouldn’t cancel on your work, your client’s needs, your spouse’s needs, your kids’ needs, why would you cancel on yourself?

Meaningful self-care is putting on your oxygen mask first so you can help those who depend on you. Organize your day and put those blocks on your schedule. Treat them as unbreakable appointments with yourself.


5.) Multitask…intentionally (see also #3).

Organize Your Day for Success

Yes, I know I told you not to multitask. Now I’m telling you it’s okay if you do it intentionally. What does that mean?

In my work, I talk a lot about primary foods – all the other things in our lives that nourish us (or don’t!) besides what we put in our mouths. Think: sleep, career, spiritual practice, physical activity, time in nature, etc.

The multitasking I encourage is the kind that helps us nurture ourselves on the primary level, NOT the type that tries to manage a staggering number of little tasks that make our schedules so overwhelming.

What this looks like:

  • Need to spend quality time with family members? Instead of adding an outing (with all the planning, preparation, and consensus-building it requires), combine it with another area that needs some attention: take suggestions on the week’s meals, shop together, do some meal prep, etc.
  • Missing time with your girlfriends? Combine it with a workout or better yet, a walk in nature.
  • Desperate to do a little meal prep for the week? Invite a few friends over to cook so that you all get to stock up for the week. (There might be wine involved?)
  • House feeling like a hardhat zone, but you’d rather read? Clean while you listen to an audio book.
  • Time constraints making you choose between a workout and your spiritual practice? Take a walk in nature or practice a walking meditation.


6.) Make a plan for tomorrow.

You don’t have to organize your day down to the minute (although that works for some people). Instead, write down 1-3 large tasks to be done tomorrow and prioritize those once you’re done with your “me time.”

Are the tasks unpalatable? Brian Tracy has written about this concept in his book ‘Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’. He calls the tasks we are most intimidated by (and therefore put off doing) as “frogs”.

His recommendation: start your work – not just the day – by “eating a frog”. If all the frogs look big and ugly, eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.


7.) Get to bed on time to get the sleep you need (see #1).

Organize Your Day for Success

Once you know how many hours of sleep you need, organize your day and figure out when you need to get to bed. Make sure to end the day as you began it: NO screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime!

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