One of our biggest mistakes in the early years (and one that we see many people making), is that when you first decide you want to start selling online, you envision that your success will come from choosing the right products. This is fairly natural, particularly when you believe that you are going to have to invest a lot of money in that initial stock, you want to make sure it’s right. We didn’t know anything about keyword research back then, so when we chose to enter the jewellery niche, it was based on researching completed listings on eBay. Once we came off eBay and into the much wider world of having our own website, we naturally wanted to make a successful business around the niche we had already spent a lot of money in, and had lots of product for. The idea of ditching that business are starting another one just didn’t enter our heads. We were so focused on moving that product, that we tried everything we could – markets, other auction sites, wholesale, party planning… you name it, we tried it! We actually had a little success in all of those areas, but the effort vs reward was not very good at all, and many of those options were not getting us any closer to being passive, but actually took a lot more work than before.

The problem here is that we had tunnel vision. We stopped focusing on what our original dream and vision was, and focused on selling products we already had in stock, regardless of whether or not doing so was getting us closer to our vision, or taking us in the opposite direction. Once we refocused on that vision, and started figuring out what we had done right, we realised pretty quickly that trying to be modern mens jewellery experts was not going to get us where we wanted to be, but becoming low competition, high traffic niche e-commerce experts would.

Restarting with this new vision meant that what we were selling was not as important as whether or not we could actually sell it in a way that would help us achieve the lifestyle we wanted. Now we sell a wide array of different products across many different sites, and this year we’ve really expanded upon this theme as we take our business as a whole to the next level.

So what is your focus? Have you gone off track to what your original vision was? Once every couple of weeks, take a good hard look at what you are doing, and make sure that you haven’t succumbed to tunnel vision. It’s something that will creep up on you slowly, and can ultimately suck years from your life if you’re not careful.