By in Business

What You May or May Not Know About Me

Tonight I'm too tired to be clever or profound. Part of the reason is because of these things about me.

1. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew.

2. I tend to jump into things before thinking them through enough because I'm trying to make lemonade with some lemons life gave me.

3. I am a hands' on learner when it comes to working online. That is part of what got me in trouble today.

4. I work hard, but not always smart.

5. When I'm overwhelmed by all the things I've gotten myself into, I tend to bury my head in the sand and ignore everything that causes stress except things with severe consequences if I don't do them. (Things like filing tax returns, figuring and paying sales tax every January, paying bills, you get the picture.)

Here's how these traits are affecting my life today.

1. I have five blogs, most of which aren't very active and that doesn't count the seven Tumblr blogs I rarely visit. I belong to more networks than I have fingers, on which I'm supposed to have a presence. I have two Zazzle stores, an educational resources online bookstore with a 600-page plus website I'm am in charge of, a Weebly website or two, and a website about my local area. I have four Twitter accounts I manage (but only two very actively). Besides Persona Paper I belong to Hubpages, Zujava, Wizzley, and technically still the B site. The photo, which you can enlarge by opening it in a new tab, is a screen shoot of my XeeMe profile that shows the networks and sites I am active on (or at least am supposed to be.) XeeMe is the ultimate social network that gives you a link to a profile that lists all your networks in one place. This screen shot only shows a part of one tab.

I can't possibly keep up with all this, so today I am trying to play catch-up on a couple of blogs, write this post, and keep up minumum activity on tsu and Twitter. I also have a load of clothes in the washer and am updating the Windows laptop I haven't used in two months. One of my computers isn't being backed up right now because I can't find the backup drive I bought. I was sure I'd brought it over here. I also haven't called Carbonite to finalize starting my backup through them since the computer crash.

2. I would not have a book business, or my large website, business blog, business Facebook page or a sales tax form to fill out, two houses and a shed full of books and catalogs, had I not lost my son in 1991. That was a lemon in my life.

Starting the business was an emotional reaction, an attempt to make lemonade. It made sense at the time. I had ten years of retail experience, most of it in a bookstore. I had been manager of one store and had acted as manager in the absense of the manager in the bookstore. I knew the business, more or less. But I had no business plan and was much better at buying books people liked and interacting with people than with planning and cash flow issues. I thought the business would distract me from my pain. I never intended it to dominate my life the way it does now.

I did fine selling at homeschool conventions until my husband's hips fell apart and needed replacing. That kept me home with more inventory than I knew what to do with and so I took the business online in 1996. A few months later, along came Amazon and it was extremely hard to keep the pricing competitive and sell the inventory I already had. I still did pretty well with schools until they started to use less and less books and more and more software. That's when the bottom dropped out and I realized I will would need to find another way to dispose of inventory that has lost most of its value to schools. Common Core was the final nail in the coffin.

My business has been as closed as an online business can be since my surgery, but I still have most of the reoccuring selling expenses that I get charged for whether I'm selling or not. I'm supposed to open for business again in a couple of weeks once the doctor lets me resume normal activities. I'm going to have to try to sell books again or make enough writing so that I don't have to, but I make more selling a book generally (after overhead is met) than writing an article.

The long and short of number 2 is that in my effort to take the lemons and make lemonade, I'm drowning in lemonade. I need to find a solution to this. See number 5.

3. Today I was trying to post another blog post on a relatively new blog that is part of my newest website. I was loving making it. I got the same high as I did when I finished a good Squidoo lens in the past. It looked great to me except for one annoying thing. Even after it was published (Wordpress.org, Tidy Theme) the title of the blog had an edit pencil icon in front of it. I thought maybe it was because I was logged in, so I got the page up in IE without signing in. Not only was the pencil still there, but the formatting was crazy.

I wrote it and viewed it in Chrome with a large screen and it was mostly beautiful, except for a few coding errors I can probably learn to fix. But in IE some of the text, including the headers for it, were scrunched together in a narrow column to the right of the photos and it looked horrible. I wasn't sure how to fix that. I played with the browser and figured out it was because the screen was medium width. Wider worked. Narrower worked. But how many readers will keep playing with it until it works? I've no idea how it will appear to someone using a handheld device. I don't use or have any handheld devices to test with.

I've always done my online work with WYSIWYG software. I've never learned to code or make style sheets. On Squidoo I learned a bit that is still helpful. But I have been learning by trial and error with a book next to me that isn't always too helpful when I need to fix something. If I had been more patient about learning in a systematic way how to make good websites, I wouldn't be in the trouble I'm in now with a huge website that needs a redo and not enough knowledge to do it right and not enough money to have someone else do it. I should be retiring, not starting over.

4. I am usually busy every minute of the day until I have to take a change of pace break every now and then to read a book. All that work though, does not accomplish what I want and need to do. That is mostly because of

5. I procrastinate on the huge overwhelming projects that take more than a few days to accomplish if I have interruptions, such as having to ship out orders, or if I choose to write or engage in other online activities. The biggest of those projects is the decluttering of the houses which would have room enough if I didn't have all the books and book catalogs from publishers. I think I will eventually get to all the paper sorting and finish disposing of stuff I know longer need or use, but I honestly don't know the best way to get rid of the books that are in inventory but have lost their value because of Amazon.

I loaded up five boxes of used books in good condition that should sell in a bookstore. I took them to the only used bookstore in my area. I was hoping the buyer would take them as a lot and I would have taken whatever he offered. But no. He paid me $10 total for five of the books and sent the rest back with me. He stood there with his scanner and decided the rest could be had on Amazon for a penny each.

Of course, I know that people shopping in his store would pay at least a dollar for those books in a store and that Amazon charges $3.99 shipping for each of those books, so their true Amazon price would be $4.00 each for even those penny books. Most of the books I brought him were in very good condition and would not have gone for a penny even on Amazon. They weren't mass market paperbacks or really common books. I've done the research. But I've pretty well decided trying to sell books wholesale to stores isn't worth my time and energy. I have donated some books and can donate more, but I have too much inventory to donate all of it. It would take years just to haul it to various places. I realize I will not have time to read all of my books I'd like to read before I die, so there's no sense in keeping them for me.

So there you have it – all the stuff about me you won't find in my profile information. The other stuff is still true. I love God, love my husband and what's left of my family, and miss our two children who have died. I like nature, being with friends, walking, reading, taking photos, , and social networking. I enjoy puttering in my garden and growing food when I can. I'm not so fond of housework and accounting but do what I must. The rest you can find in my writing here and on HubPages. That's me. The good , the bad, and the ugly.

Text is original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved


Image Credit » I took the screen shot of my parital XeeMe Profile

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Comments

bestwriter wrote on January 20, 2015, 1:57 AM

I must admit. I patiently read through your post and see you have taken much more than you can chew. What is important however is that you have become aware of it and will trim it down to something that you can handle with ease and when you do that I am sure you will have enough time to post here that will fetch you 33333.333333333333 coins to earn your 50 dollars. emoticon :smile:

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:07 AM

I'm 82% of the way there now. Thank you for reading patiently all the way to the end of my post.

mustchoice wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:11 AM

I hope whatever you have posted is not pretending. there so many this about you I don't know . have a good time as you post more and nore

WordChazer wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:45 AM

Amazon is a good way to sell books of substance (textbooks and novels of the moment) if you have patience. Do NOT try eBay. SUCKS. Big time. Most of my second hand novels went to my employer (large hospital) because like you, I couldn't be bothered already. Our patients apparently love them when they're undergoing dialysis or chemo.

mustchoice wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:53 AM

I am extremely happy (mustchoise) for your concern i have seen your comment and I am promising you that a will apply everything I have learnt from you for better result.

soon will write another another article practicing what I have learnt continue teaching more and more i will appreciate .

To me English is my second language and hopefully one of this days will will be perfect in it.
otherwise how is USA I have never been there.

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 3:53 AM

With me, what you see is what you get. I don't pretend online.

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 3:56 AM

I do not sell on eBay anymore. But neither do I want to work for Amazon. They use to pay good money when they bought directly from us ages ago, but they have destroyed used book dealers when they bought out their chief competition.

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 3:58 AM

I can see you are already applying some of it here on your comment. I used to teach English, and I help where I can if people want to learn. Some things are easier than others. But if you keep studying and practicing, you will keep improving. God bless you.

Gina145 wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:00 AM

Wow, I don't think I'd be able to get out of bed in the morning if I knew I had all that to take care of. I'm a terrible procrastinator too, and I don't have anywhere near that much to do.

Madcanman wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:21 AM

Wow, Barb! I just finished this post and now I'm too tired to even think about getting ready for work. I think I'll call in exhausted. You are spread waaaay too thin, it seems. I post on here and keep up my cat's blog, and between those, my reading, emails and work stuff I do in my early morning hours that I should actually be doing at work and getting paid for it I couldn't possibly fit anything else in. Try to trim down some, really. I do, just so you know, completely understand the lemonade thing.

CalmGemini wrote on January 20, 2015, 6:06 AM

Yes,now I understand what you mean what you say about 'Biting more than you could chew, .Now that you have put every thing in a sort of order,I think you can deal with the things one by one.Very apt title for the post I felt.But I am a little new here and as bestwriter says you will earn Your 50 dollars.

VinceSummers wrote on January 20, 2015, 7:36 AM

This reminds me of the people who are paid top dollar who have run this committee, visit that company, head this research group, are part of that initiative, etc.

LilyDay wrote on January 20, 2015, 10:58 AM

Perhaps, you can simply advertise the books locally and sell them in lots.

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 1:26 PM

Obviously, it doesn't all get done. I'll have to spend less time doing the writing and social networking I like once I'm cleared to start hoisting boxes around again and drive up my driveway and carry my computer upstairs again. Right now all my computers are here.

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:21 PM

I will have to trim some online activity and get the sales tax form filed. I started yesterday by letting my laptop with the business records go through its two-hours updating process after having been unopened for two months. It should be ready to use now. I need to revise an article on writing sites I wrote there before Bubblews blew up, and I can only do that on that computer. All my website software is on that one. I've also got to finish moving my photos to my Windows computer so I have them either place. It's easier when I have the two computers together.

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:23 PM

I've no doubt I'll get to my $50, but I only have to get to $20 to cash out, and I will do that soon. I need that $20 sooner rather than later.

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:24 PM

I must be dense today. Why does this remind you of that?

BarbRad wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:29 PM

I think I'll have to do something of the sort. I imagine books won't do very well at auction houses here, since few people read. i have seen boxes of books being auctioned in the basement at an auction house in Monterey where people just come by and write their bids and the highest one at the end gets the box. I'd have no problem doing it that way if I could find out where auction houses are here. I could categorize them by interest. The nice thing about doing that as opposed to an online auction is that you don't have to list everything, photograph and describe the defects of each book, and then ship them if someone buys them. I would have to record the total value of the books in each box for IRS records of value of inventory removed.

LilyDay wrote on January 20, 2015, 2:35 PM

There is always tax-related paperwork to be done. I'm not looking forward to doing my taxes, but I have already told the boyfriend that we're getting a much earlier start this year.

Gina145 wrote on January 20, 2015, 4:36 PM

At least you know what your priorities are. I tend to forget mine and spend too much time online. It's a habit I badly need to break.

shaggin83 wrote on January 23, 2015, 3:54 PM

Wow you are a busy woman with online earnings. I tend to get real active then slack off. Its a pattern with me depending on what kind of mood I am in. I am really liking this site so I hope to be more active on here like I was on mylot. Lately I've also been trying to get caught up a bit on the paid survey sites by doing one site each night. I have too many that I am active on.

BarbRad wrote on January 23, 2015, 8:31 PM

I still need to be more disciplined and not just do what I enjoy most.

PegCole17 wrote on January 27, 2015, 2:38 PM

You are a truly ambitious and busy lady. That schedule and list of commitments is exhausting. I'm so glad to learn of your stamina and fortitude despite your deep losses of family. So very sorry for your losses. Sending you my condolences along with my admiration for your ability to carry on with such a great attitude.

BarbRad wrote on January 27, 2015, 4:44 PM

Thank you for those kind words.