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retail arbitrage

Escaping the 9 to 5 Through Online and Retail Arbitrage: How Selling on Amazon Can Buy Your Freedom with Tyler Philbrook (AoL 099)

In this session, I wanted to take it back to where my idea of starting a podcast originated from. I’ve been a big fan of the SPI podcast ever since Pat Flynn started it. From that show, I’ve been turned onto several of other business and lifestyle podcasts and influencers.

Pat motivated and inspired me to do more and he continues to do so.

Today’s guest was also motivated by Pat but at a much deeper level.

Unlike me, Tyler Philbrook has experimented with multiple ways of making passive income that Pat has talked about on his show. If Pat is the crash dummy of online business, then Tyler is kinda like the dummy that didn’t turn out so hot after the wreck.

Nothing seemed to work for him. But he kept listening to Pat and eventually stumbled on session 99 with Jessica and Cliff Larrew.

For two years, Tyler has been slowly building his Amazon based business to a point where he could step away from his day job of being a pharmacist.

And now, he’s in a place where he can start helping others do the same. I’m glad to hear I have another TA friend!

In our chat today, we discuss what he learned along the way of working on Amazon, what beginners should know, and what he’s looking forward to working on now that he has more freedom with his time.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy the show!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What was life like growing up in Maine for Tyler? 15:56
  • When did he figure it was time to do his own business? 18:09
  • How’d he start with the SPI Podcast and applying what he learned? 21:05
  • Did growing up working with his parents’ restaurant impact his ability to start his own business? 23:31
  • What were Tyler’s first items that he tried to do retail arbitrage with on Amazon? 25:15
  • Is he only doing Amazon sales? 28:13
  • How does he determine which products to source? 30:05
  • If someone is starting from scratch, what are some definite things need to know about retail arbitrage? 34:25
  • What’s it like to be out of his 9 to 5 job? 38:02
  • What is Tyler looking forward to do with his extra time? 40:46
  • Top 3 favorite books he tells others about? 47:04
  • What’s a tool that he uses all the time that a beginner should know about? 49:04
  • Hardest thing he’s ever had to say no to. 50:52
  • What’s a few things that all high school students must know? 52:15
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 56:47
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

March 3rd, 2017 of Ask Pat LIVE:

Jessica and Cliff Larrew Interview via Rob Anderson over at Dollar Moves: 

Chase on “How to Be a Newbie and Succeed”:

What the GaryVee School Would Look Like:

retail arbitrage retail arbitrage retail arbitrage


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

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And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

microphone logo

How to Get a Microphone Logo: My Mic Flag Design Writeup

In observance of the 4th of July, I wanted to keep today’s post relatively short. I know a lot of you are busy and doing fun things today. Hanging out with friends and loved ones.

You might call this an ironic post as well, because on a day where it’s the “in” day to be patriotic here in the states, I’m talking about a flag.

But – it’s not that kind of flag. It’s a mic flag.

What is a mic flag?

Keep reading.

 

The Story of the Mic Flag

As you guys know, I wrote up a full writeup of all the software and hardware that I use to make my podcast back in three separate posts. My goal with those posts was to give you an “inexpensive” way of starting your own show.

I only spent money where I knew it was important to do so. The biggest purchases I made was the software (Logic Pro X) and my mic – an Audio Technica at875r. For the most part, everything else was done with price in mind.

I also tried to use Pat’s tutorial as supplemental info in my tutorial so that I didn’t have to create the wheel. I figure his is such a great tutorial – and it’s what I started with – why change it?

Here are those posts:

There was one thing that I was missing, however.

And that was a mic flag.

 

What is a Mic Flag?

If the term mic flag is unfamiliar to you, you’re not the only one. I didn’t know what it was called either.

It’s the little thing that sits either on a mic itself. By itself, it looks like this:

However, you might be more used to it the way that Pat and John Lee Dumas use it:

pat flynn mic flag

Smart Passive Income Podcast Mic Flag

JLD Mic Flag

Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast Mic Flag

 

Well, considering I don’t have a handheld mic, I figured I’d opt for the “above the mic” location.

But where to get it?

 

Getting a Mic Flag

So, 80+ episodes into the AoL Podcast, I finally decided to get one. Why? Because I’m tired of not doing Facebook LIVE events because I don’t feel ready. This was just one more thing on that list to do before I felt ready.

So where was I going to secure one similar to what Pat and JLD used?

Well, let’s Ask Pat!.

So on one of his recent Ask Pat! LIVE shows, I asked him who the maker of his mic flag was.

His answer: Impact PBS.

 

Choosing the Right Size:

Getting a mic flag through Impact PBS is pretty amazing. Their customer service “liaison” (at least that’s what I’d call her), Ellen, is probably one of the main reasons why people recommend them. She was very careful and precise in making sure I got exactly what I wanted.

We emailed a few times back and forth about the sizes of flag I might need. In fact, she even dug into their archive to find out what size Pat had – who he’s had his flag since 2012 – if not earlier!

We ended up opting for the 2.5” x 2.5” after I emailed Pat about how much clearance he has on his “mic mount bolt” and the bottom. Which he ended up sending me this image to actually show me:

pat flynn mic flag

The great thing about asking Pat something is that you don’t have to ask him through his podcast. You can simply just email him. He seems to almost always respond. Maybe because I’ve emailed him off and on throughout the years. Maybe I have my own inbox?? Haha – one can believe, right?

 

Designing the Flag:

Anyway, once I chose the size of the mic flag, I had to create the design for it. If you’ve ever designed business cards, this is a very similar process. You get a template, work on it in your preferred image editor (mine’s Photoshop) and upload it to the site.

In this case, Ellen emailed me the template which I used to make three different sides. 1 of which would be used twice.

Impact PBS Mic Flag Template

2.5″ x 2.5″ Mic Flag Template

Mic Flag Side 1Mic Flag Side 2 and 4Mic Flag Side 3

Once I was done, I resubmitted the Photoshop file back to Ellen through Dropbox. She removed the black lines and sent me a proof of what it was going to look like.

Impact PBS Mic Flag Proof

Impact PBS Mic Flag Proof

 

After a few consent forms and paying just under $70 (with shipping), my flag was being made!

 

Receiving the Mic Flag:

It wasn’t even a week later by the time they were made and I got my package in the mail. I think I ordered on Monday the 26th and got them on the 29th? Pretty amazing turnaround, I have to say!

Anyhow – here’s the final result:

NI Impact PBS Mic Flag Side 1 and 2

 

Oh, and I also received a thank you letter and some chocolates! How awesome!

 

Considering it was the last of June, they turned out pretty good! 😉

It all tastes the same, right?

 

Action Step – Getting a Mic Flag?:

If you want a great product to add brand recognition to your videos (live or otherwise) without you having to mention who you are, mic flags are the way to do it. They just give a more professional effect!

I can’t be any happier than I am with the final product.

Check out Impact PBS if you want a great mic flag (high quality plastic!) that you’ll have for years to come!

P.S. In case you noticed, I have opted to get a Heil PL-2T mic boom since my original podcast posts. I was able to score it for essentially half the price from eBay. If you can find it – go for it. I love mine.

andre kane

Andre Kane: Good Times, Radio, and Passion: The Making of the Electric Radio Show (AoL 081)

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podcasting trends

CJ Ripka on the History, Future, and Trends of Podcasting – It’s Raw and Real! (AoL 077)

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start a podcast

How to Inexpensively Start a Podcast: Equipment and Software

When people think about starting a podcast, they believe that they need something that’s super duper professional and expensive. That’s truly not the case.

Back in 2012, Pat Flynn was one of the first to share his setup for his award winning podcast.

That post was just over 4 years ago.

In this first of three posts, I’ll be sharing with you my setup for starting a podcast. It includes reviews from two other sources, Pat’s tutorial, and Chase Reeves of Fizzle.co, as well as what I’ve found on my own after 50+ episodes of doing the AoL Podcast.

Please note that there are Amazon affiliate links in this post!

If you want to get better deals or aren’t an Amazon Prime member, you can always check and see what you can find on eBay. However, if you’re on a schedule and you need to start as soon as possible, you might want to buy new from Amazon. I had to send several items back in the process of setting up my show. Took me a few weeks longer than I would have liked.

Most people who want to start a podcast these days will more than likely stumble onto Pat Flynn’s podcast tutorial.

It’s a great tutorial. In fact, I used it to get started on the first podcast I produced. But as with anything on the web, time passes and things needs to be added to or altered in some way.

Pat’s done a great job in changing it up since he created it in 2012, too. There’s tons of great information there that I think will prove beneficial to you!

However, one thing that many podcasters who are just starting out might not have is an abundance of money to pay for everything that Pat recommends in his tutorial.

Let’s Start with the Mic2016-01-14 16.07.49

Take for example, his recommended microphone, the Heil PR-40. It sounds great! But, it costs $300 or more depending on where you get it. Whereas the mic that I found via Fizzle’s Chase Reeves Microphone Shootout, the Audio-Technica AT875R, was $169.

When you factor all the additional hardware pieces that you have to get for each setup to get to the point where you’re ready to hit the record button, Chase’s “Best Buy” solution comes out to about half the price.

And, in my opinion, if you listen to the Fizzle Show, you can hear that it produces great quality.

Here are the two videos for you to compare even more. Pat’s is very too the point, where Chase’s Shootout is very technical – almost MythBuster like!

Check it:

Pat’s Podcast Tutorial Video 1: Equipment and Software

Podcaster’s High Quality Microphone Shootout:

Beginner’s Best Buy:

By the way, if neither of these mics are in your price range, a really great option that sounds pretty decent (if you tune it correctly), is the Audio-Technica atr2100 for $79. It’s a USB AND XLR compatible mic that I have many folks grab as their first mic. The great thing about it is that you don’t need a mixer for it to work. You can just plug it in via USB like many mics you might be already used to.

Other Hardware

Mixers:

The mic isn’t the only piece that you’re going to need to get started. In fact, both of the ones that Chase and Pat recommend need what’s called a mixer.

You heard me also mention XLR – this is where that comes into play. It’s the three pronged connection type you see most professional mics have. It’s an old analog connection. Meaning if you go with a professional mic, you’ll need a mixer.

Pat’s mixer for his tutorials was the Behringer Xenyx 1002FX, priced at $90. What Chase recommended for Fizzle members was the Mackie Onyx Blackjack, priced at $99. (I got mine used from eBay at $80.)

Arm Thingy / Stands / Booms:

Along the mixer and the mic, you’ll also need that arm thingy. These are called boom stands, and you’ll need to order one for where you intend to use it. As you saw in Pat’s video, there are booms that are specific for certain mics, but there’s also generic ones.

The generic one I got was this one at a whopping $13. It gets the job done.

In contrast, Pat’s Heil boom is $120. Go for it if you “want to be like Pat”.

Oh and there are taller ones if you want to stand up or while doing some video work (you can use the same mic over your head). I got this one by Griffin for my course videos sometime down the line.

Headphones:

Now, this is something that Pat didn’t talk about in his hardware piece. It looks like he had some sort of Beats headphones, but not being super familiar with that brand before it was bought by Apple, I went with what Chase recommended in one of the videos inside of Fizzle:

Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones

If you see a better deal on eBay and they’re from China, don’t be afraid to get them. Just remember that it might take up to three weeks for them to come in vs 3-5 days with Amazon.

Computer:

Now, this is something that neither Chase nor Pat talked about in their review because they probably think you already have one of these.

However, the truth is that they both use Macs to do their work. You can tell in Pat’s tutorial he uses Garageband (I’m not sure what he has his editor use now these days) and Chase uses Logic Pro X. We’ll get to those in a minute.

If you’re in the market to get whatever’s easiest to do the job, I recommend getting a Mac. The software is just that much easier to work with.

Where do you get an Inexpensive Mac?

Not at the Apple Store!

First, let’s just get one thing straight. I don’t ever by brand new technology unless I’m forced to.

That means computers just as much as it means cars.

The only way I’d pay for an expensive new piece of tech is if it was a custom piece. A custom computer… or a custom car. Like a Tesla.

If you listen to Dave Ramsey or Robert Kiyosaki, you know that technology and cars are not assets, they are liabilities. So buy them as low price as possible.

That said, a great site to buy used Macs from is GainSaver. They generally get their older macs from offices or colleges that always have the newest and best gear.

Personally, I have a 2010 Mac Pro (Model: MC561LL/A) that I do most of my work on and it runs like a champ. Also, I don’t have to worry about it overheating with intense use. Many people primarily use Macbook Pro’s for all their work, but I had two of them burn-up in the same year.

So, I primarily use my laptop for small projects and browsing the web.

Also, you might be wondering why I don’t have a newer Mac Pro? Here’s an image to show you why:

 

keep-it-simple

 

I’m not sure about you, I don’t need all that junk cluttering up my desk.

Speaking of Upgrades

If you want to upgrade one of the computers on Gainsaver (or Apple’s site for that matter), you can do that. But just like at popcorn at a movie theatre, they’re going to charge you even more than you’d expect

Recommendation? If you’re somewhat technically gifted (meaning that you’re the go-to person in your family that everyone comes to tech help), or have access to someone who is, go to a site like Other World Computing, find out what you need for your specific model, go over to eBay, and find it for a great deal.

RAM and hard drives are CHEAP compared to just a few years ago!

Best names in memory as of this writing is Kingston and Crucial. In hard drives, they’re HGST and Western Digital.

And they’re really easy to install in a Mac Pro. I promise.

Editing and Recording Software:

Mac Options:

Ok, so moving back to software.

If you go with a Mac, you get Garageband for free. It’s a great little app and frankly, really all you need for conversations. Your show’s quality won’t sound like The Fizzle Show, but it might sound like the early shows of SPI.

Nothing wrong with that!

garageband

Garageband

Let me tell you, as a beginner, Garageband (which is free with a Mac) is much easier to use than Logic Pro X is. The reason I use Logic now is because I see it as a personal challenge. I see it as a skill and artI want to develop. And, as of this writing (at almost 60 episodes), I’m still learning what I need to know to produce a show that sounds great.

If you don’t want to go through that process, go with Garageband.

PC Options:

If you go with a PC, there’s a couple of options I know of. One is a free app called Audacity (which I use for different things time to time) and a more professional option is Adobe Audition.

Audacity

While Audacity isn’t my go to application, you can get the job done with it.

As far as Audition goes, I personally don’t know too much about it. But with everything else, you can always find out how to use it via YouTube.

Recording with Guests and/or remote co-hosts

Now, if you find yourself hosting an interview based show, then you’re going to want to consider a few more pieces of software because you can’t do everything you want to do with what I’ve already discussed.

In fact, before you go editing with the other programs, you’ll need to record with what I’m about to tell you.

To record online for free, you’ll want to use Skype.

You can have multiple people on and the sound quality is pretty decent compared to other options – like YouTube Live, Hangouts, or Facebook Live (I’m not even entirely sure if that’s possible – but it might be!)

Skype has been around for years. That means that there’s plenty of other apps that you can plug and play with it – which, in this case, you’ll need to do to actually record.

Mac Skype Recorders:

Quicktime audio recorder

You have two options here. And honestly, I use them both when I’m recording. The first is another free app that comes on Macs only – Quicktime.

Most people know that this can play video files that are on their computer. But what they might not know is that it can actually record screen recordings (webinars anyone?) and whatever is spoken into the mic.

Great little tool to have.

ecamm-call-recorder

Ecamm Call Recorder

The only problem is that it doesn’t record what’s coming from the other side of the conversation. So for that, you’ll need another application called Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype.

It’s pretty straightforward, once you have it installed. Just hit record when you’re about to start and then hit stop when you’re done. Same with Quicktime’s audio recording.

PC Skype Recorders:

Ok, so I’m going to admit that the reason that I’ve never had a PC is just the complexity that many apps have to do something that it’s fairly simple to do on a Mac.

In this case, you’re going to need to get a program called Pamela. Like the Ecamm Call Recorder, you install it and it’s pretty close to being ready to go. However, the default settings are not set up in a way that would benefit you as a podcaster. To do that, you’ll need to set the recordings to stereo as well as change the format it records in. Here’s a video to do just that. Pamela currently retails at just under $28.

Pamela for Skype

Pamela for Skype

Also, something else to note is that from what I understand, PC’s can only record in one application/program (sorry, I use those words interchangeably!) at a time. So make sure that Pamela is working before you start your show!

Action Steps

If you’ve decided that you actually are starting a podcast, here is my call to action for you this week:

  1. Get a feel for how much you’re going to want to spend on this project. With a new Mac Pro (or Macbook Pro), that budget might be upwards of $1800 – $2000. But that Mac Pro will be useful for everything else in your business AND you can list all of this as tax write offs for the year. (Be sure to get at least 2 monitors if you don’t have them already.)
  2. Make a list of the parts that you need yet to get your podcasting show started on the hardware and software side of things. Think of it as a grocery list.
  3. Get stuff ordered.
  4. Start putting it together and experimenting with it

It’ll end up looking something like this… (depending on how many monitors you get):

home-office-2016

To be Continued…

Ok, so that’s it for part 1 of this 3 part series.
Next week, in part 2, I’ll continue with a few recording tips that have either changed or weren’t covered in Pat’s 2012 tutorial. I’ll be sure to include some of the more detail stuff that I have to do to get a podcast produced and ready to go out the door.

AoL 021: Behind the Scenes in Making a Now Trending Show with Josh Featherstone

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