How to Beat Procrastination and Finally Start Your Online Business

8 min. read
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Hey you! Yes, you, lurking around our site, reading all these fabulous blogs, and picking through the supplier directory, but never actually doing anything useful like, oh, I don't know, selling something on eBay!

We have set up this amazing and easy-to-use site so that absolutely anyone can learn how to make money online, and that includes you! So, tell me, or at least think about it; why did you join SaleHoo? Were you tired of your boring job, your nagging boss, your early starts, being away from your kids all day, or were you simply looking to make some cash to buy yourself a new car, or go on vacation? Perhaps you have forgotten why you joined SaleHoo altogether?

The truth is, we can spoon feed you all the information you need, we can tell you the hottest tips on selling on eBay, and we can give you access to the best suppliers available online (and we do!), but only you can take those crucial steps to email a supplier and enquire about prices, and take the time to list a few auctions or set up a website to sell on.

As 7 figure Amazon FBA seller, Ben Barakauskas says, "Motivation is only 1% of the success formula. 99% of it is discipline. We don't do things when we feel like doing them, we do it, because it needes to get done!" 

Why so many struggle to get started

Working for yourself and from home can be a challenge. There are no colleagues or bosses around to help keep you on track, and it's so easy to get distracted by the dishes that didn't get done last night, or the piles of laundry that need attention. Often getting started is the hardest part, which is why I put together this helpful little how-to guide to get you back onto the money-making highway!

Many online retailers don't succeed because they let too many easily-solvable problems get in the way. Here is my answer to some of the most common (and pathetic) excuses made by would-be PowerSellers:

I don't have any spare time.

Oh how this one makes me laugh! In fact, I'm pretty sure I hear this one more often than personal trainers.

Ok, so I'm not denying that you aren't busy, I'm sure you are. But, I'm certain you do have time to sit down and list and manage a few eBay listings, you just have to look for it.

Consider this, for example: How many hours do you spend watching TV each week? It's more than you think. In fact, if you double that number that just popped into your head, you are probably right. I'm positive that you can eliminate many hours of TV watching in order to get your online business growing, or even just make a few listings. Sure there are some great shows airing right now, but too many people get caught up in watching mindless TV when they could be doing something more productive, and you could be using this time more wisely. Unless of course, you can look at me in the eye and say "I would rather watch CSI Miami than make money".

My computer is broken

Fix it. You won't get anywhere without it. If it's going to be a costly repair, talk with your insurance company about whether the damaged caused is covered in your policy, or make a plan to save for the repairs.

I can't find a supplier for the products I want to sell

Email our friendly support team at, and if there is a legitimate supplier out there selling what you are looking for, they will find them. Simple!

The prices quoted on supplier's sites aren't competitive enough for eBay. Why bother?

On, now come on! We talked about this when you first signed up, and it's even on our FAQ's! For those of you who missed the boat on this topic, here is the run down.

First of all, you can make a profit using these suppliers, even when their advertised prices don't add up with what you have seen on eBay. How? Let me tell you all about it...

  1. Advertised prices often represent the price you will pay if you buy only 1 item. But because you will be selling many items, you will be buying in bulk, which means you will get a bulk discount.
  2. Quoted or advertised prices on supplier's sites may be out of date, and it's often the case that their actual prices are lower, they simply haven't changed them yet, so make sure you get in contact and find out if this is the case.
  3. It's no new idea, but you need to spend money to make money. The more you buy from a supplier, the greater the price will be for you. Wholesalers work on very low profit margins, and when you buy in big bulk from them, you can expect to get items very cheaply.

Also check: What is a Factory Authorized Wholesaler?

I can't afford it!

Wrong again! You just think you can't afford it. You might be right in that you can't yet  afford to make a big bulk order for 1,000 items, but you can start out slow and work your way up. Heard of dropshipping? It's the way to sell when you have very little money to invest, and it just became your new best friend, and your key to making money, so it's best you find out more about it. Start here.

Motivation techniques to get you going

Use a vision board! A vision board (also referred to as a treasure map, a visual explorer, or a creativity collage) is simply a collage you make yourself either on your computer or on a poster board which you can fill with clippings from magazines and newspapers.

The idea of a vision board is to help remind yourself why you are doing what you do everyday, and of what you want out of life. For example, someone training for a marathon might put pictures of someone crossing a finish line, pictures of their children who they want to inspire, and a medal or certificate which they may earn.

As an online retailer, you might want to use a picture of a bank balance which is in credit, or an airplane or cruise ship, indicating a vacation you are saving for, or maybe a house with a white picket fence and swing hanging from a tree which you want to buy for you and your family.

Not forgetting the journey, you as an online retailer might want to show not just the end result of earning more money, but also some of the perks of being able to earn more money from home, such a picture of your home office, or of you packaging up boxes for buyers in your pyjamas, or whatever you love most about what you do (or will be doing once you're done reading this blog post!).

If you want some good looking pictures to use on your vision board, check out canva and shutterstock for stock images that will help keep you focused.

Create a routine

I know, I know! Some of you are getting into online retail because you don't like the routine-feel on your current life, but I'm afraid that until you can work solidly and consistently without a routine (and it will happen for you in time), you are going to have to stick with some kind of schedule, just to help keep you on track.

If you are starting out big and will be working at this full time, get up early, get showered and dressed, then start work at a certain time (yes, you can make it 11am if you like) and stick to taking a short break in the morning, and in the afternoon, and take a proper lunch break and get away from your computer.

If you plan to work on your business part time, get prepared for this. If you have children, make sure your partner understands that you need time and no distractions to get the work done. If you are a single parent, getting the kids off to bed 30 minutes early will make a big difference to giving you time to work while they sleep.

If you aren't so great at staying up late, spend a few hours between getting home from work, and making dinner on working on your business. This way, you can relax later in the evening.

Control your online procrastinating  

It's OK when you are at work, and you have your boss hovering over your shoulder, and where all the good websites like Facebook and MySpace are blocked, but when you are at home, there is very little keeping you from getting settled in for a few hours work, then wasting it away by religiously checking and rechecking for updates on Facebook.

Fortunately, there are some great software options and FireFox add-ons which can help you.


FireFox's BlockSite 0.7.1 is an add-on which blocks web sites of your choice. It's easily removed, meaning it's not 100% procrastination-proof, but as it is password controlled, you could have someone removed the function when you have completed your work for the day (just don't let your kids be the password holders, the power might go to their head, and you might end up having to take them out for ice cream before they will enable the sites for you!).

Internet Explorer

If you're still living in the Dark Ages and using Internet Explorer, there is a way for your to block individual sites. For Internet Explorer 7, in the Menubar click Tools>Internet Options>Content. In the Content Advisor box, click Enable.

Click the Approved Sites tab. Enter the address of the website. If you want to block the entire website put * in front of the URL. For example to block, type * Click Never and then OK.

Click on the General tab and make sure to select Users can see websites that have no ratings. Have someone enter a password for you. Click OK.

For all browsers

Alternatively, consider downloading GFI WebMoniter, an award winning site application which allows you to block non-work related sites during your chosen hours of work. Better still, you can schedule GFI to allow you to view these sites during your breaks. Perfect! You can start with a free-trial and then choose from a number of packages. Visit here for more information and to start your 30 day free trial. 

Baby steps you can take today!

As we all know, getting started is the hardest part, it's a little bit like going to the gym, the thought of it exhausts you, but once you get there, you find it's quite enjoyable. Once you get started on your online business, you will find it enjoyable.  So, with that in mind, here are a few (very) simple steps you can take today, to get you on your way:

  1. Sign up to eBay, or another site to sell on
  2. Set up a PayPal account
  3. List maybe 5 items (hey it's better than what you are doing now, right?!)
  4. Email a supplier and enquire about bulk-buying discounts
  5. Write an eBay About Me page (a great marketing tool for eBay sellers)
  6. Photograph all your stock
  7. Research the best way to ship your items. You could save yourself time and money!

Above all, the very best advice I can give you (and some of the best advice I have received) is to commit to spend 20 minutes per day on achieving your business goals. Everyone can spare 20 minutes, and you will be surprised at what you can get done during this time... you might even find that a whole hour flies by without you even noticing!

Crunch time

It's crunch time for all you procrastinators out there! It's time to get started on your journey to becoming a successful business owner. If you are ready to stop procrastinating, and start setting some goals, I want to hear from you.  

Make a pledge by leaving a comment below and tell me exactly what you are going to do, and when you are going to do it by. If you plan to list some items on eBay, tell me your ID number, and I'll check up on you. If you plan to update or build your website, tell me the URL and I'll take a look.

Good luck, talk soon!


About the author
Simon Slade
CEO of SaleHoo Group Limited

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs that offers 8,000+ dropship and wholesale suppliers, 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices, an industry-leading market research tool and 24-hour support.

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  • Jeffrey 19th of November
    Great article ..
  • 20th of November
    What is the hottest things to sell right now...
  • 20th of November
    Hey, Great notes...and probably very helpful to anyone willing to just give it a try. My hold up? I cannot find wholesale suppliers who will drop ship the product I am wanting to sell through my internet business. Yes, SaleHoo staff have tried to help and come up with minor leads - but they do not offer the product I am seeking to sell. At this point, I am fighting discouragement. I probably need to use some other online supplier databases. But I feel like I'm running out of time. I'm working to get my husband home from being a contractor in a war zone...something has to change and soon! I appreciate the staff's efforts but they did not find the item I back to square one. Not everyone is unmotivated...just not finding what they need.
  • Robb 20th of November
    Good article, I hate to say it but I am nervous about the unknown in this field. I want to work with drop shipping, but I am afraid of ruining my reputation on eBay if drop shipper makes mistakes and sends poor quality merchandise. How do we find good, legal terminology to protect us from the drop shippers errors. Instructions on how to direct customers warranty claims back to drop shipper? These areas are intimidating and that is what keeps me a lurker and not procrastination so much
  • 20th of November
    I think you might have just got me off my procrastinating backside! Great push for me & thanks. I forgot what Salehoo was all's been so long.
  • Alton Hargrave 20th of November
    Great writeup. Like you say, if a person would go through all the steps you mention and just get a single listing on Ebay as a last step, they will have really progressed. Don't worry if the item is going to be a really hot seller. Just finish all the steps to get it there. Then, repeat the steps while working a little harder to refine your work and find a second product that will perform. After this, things will start to make more sense and fall into place.
  • 20th of November
    every item that i think might sell(from the sites you gave me)i see them on ebay for half the price.pat nestor
  • 20th of November
    My ebay ID no. is srinivas7900.I have listed quite a few items since last 3 months,but except for 3 items I have not been able to sell anything more and in the process lost about $20 on differences in the listing price and selling price,and I have already paid more than $65 as ebay fees.I do not know if I should continue or stop at this.If you can help me overcome this problem and guide me through,I am open to suggestions.
  • Jonny 20th of November
    My problem is marketing, getting people to buy my products because they don't know about them. PPC and such cost almost more than I sell. I'm not very good at marketing. And I don't like spending all day on facebook, twitter, random blogs that people will hate me for, which seems to be the popular way of doing things these days. Many of the dropshipping products are already being sold a lot as well. Using auction sites only works for products in demand, and not a super-flood of supply which I'm running into all the time. I'd love to find something useful and not flooded to sell, something I can sell competively. Or else I'll need super marketing.
  • KELVIN BAINES 20th of November
    have started on ebay selling my ownLithograph prints both in sepia and colour.Also some items i have collected over the years and moved on.Up to about 50 + comments. have just bought an item that was posted with incorrect spelling(i have the search string which finds them)selling at profit already with several days to go and 14 watchers. Not sure what to do next and what kind of product to sell,where to find it cheap enough to make a profit,best method to post and correct auction method to chose to make most sales....have bought into 2 USA on-line courses and am trying to make the most of these.....what to do nest.. so many products now being sold as cheap as possible makes you wonder if ebay is sustainable...could i buy cheap using search for incorrect spelling and when bought cheap enough sell at antique/collectibles auction to maximise profit? help kelvin
  • 20th of November
    Thank you for your thoughts, absolutely true, always to busy to get on with the important stuff. Also always looking at the next email promising to tell us the great secret. You think that we would have learnt by now.
  • Andrey 20th of November
    Hello to you. Nice article i have to say. I took an ebay video course and i want to start selling.For the beginning i need to start small and sell single items in order to get some experience.Do you have some sugestions?I`m looking for suppliers that sell items but not in big quantity and get payed after i sell also. I hope you can help me.
  • 20th of November
    Not a lurker, when I signed up family issues were not that serious, since I signed up we have had 3 major family health issues (Mother, sister and brother-inlaw) with one resulting "passing away" recovery process take some time. I have been able to hardly spend anytime on research or addressing suppliers. Please understand. I have been able to read a small amount of info and thanks for the updates and support help.
  • Mike 20th of November
    Thanks for the note. I am currently setting up an AdWords affiliate account to get myself going, but longer range I am definitely interested in selling product. It may be a while before I add this activity, but not for lack of interest! All the best, Mike
  • Peter 20th of November
    I am weary about joining any online business because I had a bad experience and got scammed by chinese people. I have plenty of experience when it comes to selling (I have been in sale all my life) when that incident happened I sold for $30000.0 in 3 days on Ebay and when the product was supposed to be dropshipped, it never happened. So excuse me if I don't trust anybody anymore. Peter
  • 20th of November
    I'm going to commit to putting 5 things up this weekend. You've motivated me. Thanks
  • Jo 20th of November've been watching me! LOL. Thank you. I will start to build a website today...I guess it frightens me because I know I will get frustrated... again! So I will take your advice and JUST DO IT. Jo
  • 20th of November
    The biggest problem with all this is the shipping costs. Its a huge pain to have to pack items up and find out what shipping costs are going to be. This is my biggest hurdle.
  • 20th of November
    I have been working on my website and auctions for awhile now, but finding a niche is the hardest thing to do. It seems like no matter what niche you pick TONS of people are already there. I guess you just keep on "KEEPIN ON" Thanks for the PEP TALK.
  • 20th of November
    I found this article to be exactly what I need,a big kick up the pants,I do live and breathe eBay everyday,but I have lost sight of the big picture!Building my dream home with a huge swimming pool,and a spar on the deck and in my en-suite!So thank you salehoo. I would love some feedback,as I am sure anything helps. Kindest regards,Stacey.
  • 20th of November
    Great article,now all i must do is quit procastrinating and just do it.
  • Michelle 20th of November
    Very good article and unfortunately for me it is true. For years all I ever say is "I want to sell clothing and merchandise (perfumes/accessories) online and I always research different methods to get me started, but then I hold back and don't follow thru.
  • Wm. R. 20th of November
    Good article.Not easy to get rich using E Bay.
  • Laurie 20th of November
    Thanks! Great article!! I need the encouragement...sometimes feel like all that I make on Ebay goes towrds fees so lately haven't vested much time...really just not motivated. Thanks for the encouragement to spend at least 20 mins per day on my business!!
  • Virginia 20th of November
    Wow! you guys are tough, aren't you? I liked though that "can do" attitude. And To Do list for today...
  • 20th of November
    How do others make it on ebay? If I can share a personal experience. Three months ago I began selling on ebay with the intention of making it a full time business. And that's all I was doing, no other job. Presently, that intention has not been realised. Not sure how others are doing it, but I have not been able to make a business out of ebay and the main reason is the cost versus the sell price. Due to it's format buyers prefer to buy on auctions, which is great, but how do I protect myself against a loss or ensure that there is enough profit for each item that is sold? Buyers got a bargain for my listings, and I made nothing. I bought some wholesale items, which seemed popular and with enough potential profit, based on previous sales and good research. I was lucky to break even. I've also been looking for suppliers of items to sell (based on research), but have not found any that are legit and that can supply at a price that provides enough profit. When I first started this I thought finding niche markets, would be the biggest hurdle. No, finding suppliers (for the reasons mentioned) has been the biggest challenge. Does anyone have any suggestions? I would certainly like to hear them.
  • 20th of November
    It's give motivation to get up and do something. I hope I can do it!
  • 20th of November
    Articles good and none of the above is stopping me from getting what I want. I have a particular site on mind but the distributor do not ship the items in Australia due to the strict Australian custom regulations. I want to set up my own business here but it takes time as I need to do some ground research . Rome was not built in a day. The tips on Salehoo are excellent and I use the information for my own good.Keep up the good work on tips and information as it is very educational.
  • 20th of November
    Great article.I want to sell apple products, such as Itouch or shuffle, but I noticed a lot of Chinese products like Apple are generic,and I checked on eBay and they are not selling for a profit.What is a newbie to do?
  • 20th of November
    Thank you for the advise on getting started because i been playing around with other get rich sites and losing money by the hundreds and going no where. I signed up with salehoo two years ago and still have not made a dime.
  • tony joseph 20th of November
    thank you so much.
  • 20th of November
    I joined Salehoo because it was a "requirement" of "Rich Jerk" when I had one of his sites up all last year to no avail. In other words, didn't make a dime. This site is doing as well. I have a few more up too, but without traffic, they make just as much. All this "sounds" good, but it's always good to have someone (supposedly) making money tell you your full of excuses. With all the things I've bought and tried to get started over the last 4 years, I get about 250+ emails a day and don't have time to read all of them...(I'm not a "fast" reader and have about 13000 emails on my system right now) I get about 5 or 6 people it seems every day trying to sell me the same crap as the originator and it takes forever to try to get through all that each day too just to try to "weed" messages. I'm about to just count it all as duds and delete/unsubscribe from all of them just so I can get some time to try to get more done myself. 99% of everything I get to make money with; not a one of them actually shows me HOW to make any money with their stuff. Most just brag about how much money they've made with it and still don't tell you HOW?!?!?!?!? Problem is, who should I just delete and who should I try to take time to read? I'm so tired of reading all the boasting and no "meat" in any of the stuff I get, I don't have any money for "inventory" or advertising and obviously haven't figured out on my own how to correct that. Which REALLY turns me off; to even think about reading a "blog" or joining any of these social sites...I don't CARE who's doing what, that won't make me any money. I've designed and built computers for years, I just don't know how to TALK to them, so I obviously can't build a website either. If you can help straighten that out, I'm more than willing to listen...if you just want to jump on the bandwagon telling me all the stuff you're doing right and I don't know how...don't bother. Thanx, Dan
  • 20th of November
    Liked this article, but would just like to share something that happened to me. After joining Salehoo some time ago now, I started out full of enthusiasm. This was around the time Michael Jackson died. I was looking on a wholesale site called "DH Gate". Found some Michael Jackson 8 DVD Box Sets at $16 each for a bulk of 10 (Including free shipping to Australia). I figured that these would likely sell pretty well in view of the recent death of the Jackson. I received them very quickly and tested the water by putting one on ebay an one on another Australian auction site. They sold very quickly at between 110 and 120 percent profit. "Fantastic" I thought and quickly wacked the others 8 sets on ebay. The very next day I was informed by ebay that The items had been removed from sale due to a request from the Music Industry Piracy Investigation body. To cut a long story shorter, these were pirate copies and I was very lucky not to have been prosecuted. I also had to apologise to the previous two purchasers that I could not honour the sale due to them being pirate copies. I got no joy whatsoever from the China based seller of the DVD's. This experience Knocked the enthusiasm right out of me and since then I have become I think a "Salehoo Lurker", afraid of getting burnt again.
  • 20th of November
    All your statements are very true. I talked to my son in Texas the other day and he is discontinuing his account with E-bay because of the fees deducted from his sales has made it non-profitable. I am also Affiloiate marketing that is consuming a lot of my time, it also looks very profitable. Just having problems managing my time.
  • Suzy 20th of November
    Just what I needed to hear!
  • 21st of November
    Thanks for the little nudge! After 17yrs in a very abusive relationship, I am embarking on a new chapter of my life which involves being a single parent along with all the financial responsibility for my 3 gorgeous children. They are depending on me as there is no other financial support which is the reason I joined SaleHoo. What better motivation you may ask?! Absolutely...however I have been so overwhelmed with all the changes happening as we speak, that I have often been distracted. I am unable to completely break away from my husband until I can financially support myself. I am living under very difficult circumstances and your article has once again brought my goal into focus and get inspired to act faster. Although I haven't quite figured out the correct products, I am firmly fixed on the vision. Thank you for providing the vehicle for me and so many others. All the very best...
  • Todd 21st of November
    Great article! I really enjoyed it! It speaks a lot of truths!
  • 21st of November
    I had two web store up and runing for over year one mp3&4 players at a discount and personal touch we used over 2othousand plus my no. is 410 991 8438 there a lot more
  • 21st of November
    Hi there,This is a great articile and describes what i am doing and not wat i should be doing.....
  • 21st of November
    Really good article and the advice is good for anyone who wants to make money. Once you put in 20 minutes a day , try an hour , then 2 hours and you will see your results move right along with you. I joined Salehoo over a year ago and used it for awhile , then I kind of forgot about it , maybe it is time to look at it again. Ron
  • Muhalith 21st of November
    This article is very useful. But i still not very sure how am i going to start. How to do the promotion, how to select the product. Actually i'm not very sure what it's all about. Do i have to select a product, then promote through my web site which i don't have my own web site right now. I'm very interested in doing online business but my knowledge about online business is very limited. So i'm not very sure i can do this kind of business or not. Plz advice
  • 21st of November
    I am a lurker to ebaying, but just opened a website and a blog.I learn from your articles. Thank you.
  • Jav 21st of November
    I'm just about to sign up with Salehoo but I'm still looking for some answers to a few quenstions I have. I am a total stranger to online selling but have been an eBay user as a buyer for many years. I'm now thinking of selling some items on eBay to make some extra cash. If it works, it could become my primary source of income. Now I'm wondering if I need to create a new eBay seller ID that would reflect more about my business or can I just use mu current one and change that ID later. I'm thinking of trying out drop shipments. Would I have to create a company right away for tax purposes now or later? Where do I start? Thanks for the article.
  • Carolann Johnson 21st of November
    I will order when I am in need of your product. I think this e-mail was condesening, and sarcstic.
  • 22nd of November
    Thank you for the motivational article. It has the pleasantness for me similar to having a bad tooth removed. Something which MUST get DONE!!! I intend to read more articles, watchsome a TOM HOPKINS video and get thequalifications for my reseller cert before bed today. Again your efforts are gratly appreciated, I THINK!!!
  • 22nd of November
    Hi guys, Thank you all for your comments. It's truly heart-warming for me to hear your stories and read that you are feeling more motivated and excited about selling again! @Panagiota, your story is very touching, and it's great to hear that you can be empowered by online retail, and take control of your life as well as your children
  • Peter 22nd of November
    Welldone! Thank you very much for these usefull advices!
  • Donna Dye 23rd of November
    I love your articles! They have helped me a great deal. I would appreciate any information you could supply me about improving my websites. My sites are: and I appreciate your helping us this way. You have inspired me to work harder. I am just confused on how to get my site to more people that might be interested in my products. I created my business 3 years ago and it has continued to grow but I know there is more that I can do. Thank you for any help! Donna Donna
  • 23rd of November
    A very interesting and pushy article needed by the likes of me. The one thing I think would be the most help (especially for the likes of me) would be for someone to show a "step by step" detailed account of an ACTUAL sale. So many "How To ..." manuals etc. are so vague as to where the product was sourced, valued, why the price was fixed at "
  • 23rd of November
    I want to learn how to sale by e-bay or online , but i don't have any experience and i don't have website. I don't know hwat to do please help. thanks from mexico.
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