Scandinavian cruise 2015

We have been so busy with everything in our business that this trip has kind of snuck up on me. It’s hard to believe that we are leaving for Europe in just under two weeks. This is a trip that we have been planning on since January. It all started over dinner with some friends, when we said “We really should go on another vacation together some time.” These are really good friends of ours who we’ve traveled with in the past to places like Costa Rica, Death Valley, Las Vegas, and more. They are really easy going, have similar interests, and are just really fun to hang out with. In our initial planning stages, we talked about all kinds of things such as China, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and Scandinavia. The trip ended up coming down to China in Scandinavia. We ended up ruling China out, because my wife and I are going there for a business trip in October. So, Scandinavia took the lead. The problem is there are so many countries in Scandinavia that we wanted to visit and I’m not big fan of packing and unpacking. So, we started looking at cruises. In the end we found the cruise that worked out perfectly for us. We get to visit places like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Russia, and Germany. The cruise itself is 11 days and is round-trip from Copenhagen. So, we are going to arrive in Copenhagen a couple of days early in order to acclimate to the time change. It will also give us the opportunity to see more of Copenhagen. On the way...

Time To Cut The Cord?

Over the past couple of years I’ve been reading a lot about people who have been “cutting the cord” and I think it’s time I become one of those people. Back in October 2013, we moved into a new house in Escondido, California. When we first moved in the only Internet service available was from Cox Cable. Within a few weeks I was seriously wondering if we a mistake buying this house, because the Internet service was just that awful. I was getting so desperate I was considering using a hot spot for Internet service in my own home. Streaming was out of the question irregardless. A hot spot was looking like the only alternative, so I could at least get some work done. Just as I was reaching my tipping point with the horrible Internet service, we got a letter in the mail notifying us the AT&T Universe was finally in our neighborhood. I couldn’t sign up quick enough; our Internet troubles became distant memories. We signed up for a package getting us top tier Internet speeds and just about every channel they offer for right around $130 a month. I think that’s pretty reasonable. That was about one year ago, and evidently this was only introductory pricing. This month our bill skyrocketed to $242.59! I’m not sure who can justify almost $250 for Internet and television service each month, but it sure is NOT us. To prepare for cutting the cord, I ordered a Roku 3 set top box and an amplified HDTV antenna. My plan is to use the antenna to watch live TV and use...

31 Fruit Trees

We moved into our new home in Escondido, CA just a little bit over a year ago. One of the first things we wanted to do was plant several fruit trees knowing that they take several years to mature. So, once we got settled in we went to the local nursery and talked with someone about coming out to survey our property. He finally came out for an initial consultation and then came back again to map out our property and come up with a list of trees they could source. Then, he basically disappeared. We emailed and called him for several weeks and he just never got back with us. Frustrated, we just moved on to other projects such as chickens, clearing the land, and other gardening tasks. After a few months, the desire to get some fruit trees sprang back up again. This time we just went to the biggest nursery in all of Southern California, not wanting to screw around. They have 3 locations in San Diego along and something like 30 locations between Southern California and Arizona. I’m not sure what it is with this industry, but we went though the same issues with this nursery. It literally took 4 months from when we first walked in until we were able to get some trees planted. If we didn’t call and pester them on a weekly basis, I’m convinced it never would have happened. I would have been more annoyed, but it gave me more time to clear additional room in our yard… The property we purchased is a 1.2 acre lot shaped like a...

Bye bye Treadmill.com – SOLD!

We have been in talks with a potential buyer of treadmill.com for several weeks, but I didn’t want to post anything here until the transaction was final. We went into escrow early last week and the transaction officially closed last night. As of today, February 1st, treadmill.com is in the new owner’s hands. I have to admit, as I write this post I’m conflicted with emotion. On one side, I know we made the right business decision by selling: We got a great price and even though I think treadmill.com is a great business, I know we can make more money in other businesses. On the other side, treadmill.com was the first eCommerce store we built and I get pretty emotionally invested in any project I work on. I personally put a lot of heart and soul into treadmill.com and on some level I feel like I’m losing my baby. However, the only thing constant is change and I hope bigger and better things are to come. What I learned by running treadmill.com eCommerce In General The biggest thing I learned was how to operate an eCommerce site. It’s something I take for granted now, but before launching treadmill.com I had no idea what platforms were out there, how to deal with sales tax, how to take credit card payments, how to do live chat, and countless other things I’ve picked up over the past 2 years. It’s left me in a position where I can rapidly launch other stores and can instantly focus on business issues rather than tech issues. What products to sell and not to sell...

IceWraps After One Week

Last week I talked about Terran’s newest eCommerce project, which is IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net. This was the first full week back in the office running IceWraps after getting back from MI last week. It was a week of trying to get organized and map out the game plan for the business over the next three months. I had been teetering on the fence on if I should turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in its current state. There are a lot of pros and cons for each, which I’m going to list below. There are two basic trains of thought here. 1) Turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in their current state and work on the new IceWraps.com in the background. Once the new site is ready, replace the .com site with the new one and then 301 redirect the .net site over a few days later. 2) Work as quickly as possible to get the new site up and running and just leave everything out of stock on the old sites until ready. Here are the pros and cons for each: Plan 1 – Put everything back in stock and work on the new site in the background Pros Gets orders / money in the door right now. Upsets current customers the least amount. Doesn’t upset Google by having a store with no products in stock. Cons Current backend is a mess. Every order would have to be manually reentered in 2-3 places. I need to learn how to operate a very legacy backend and it will take take away from building the new site. Any minute spent...