Grabbing Opportunity Where It’s Least Expected

When I slow down enough to absorb the things I experience in a day, the opportunities are obvious and I start to act on them. Looking back now, I can see that most of the really good things in my life weren’t planned years in advance. They were little glimmers that flashed through the noise that I happened to grab.

My most recent glimmer was actually more like a flash of lightning. I decided that I would finally to take a weekend trip to New York City to explore. I contacted my brother, booked flights and hotel rooms, and we were on our way. We flew separately from different cities and on my first flight I scooted past a man on my way to the window seat that I’d carefully selected because it was close to an exit, in a two-seat row and toward the back of the plane, which always seemed safer to me.

My point to this is: I put a lot of thought into choosing that exact seat and when I made my selection I thought, this could be a matter of life or death.

I sat down, heart pounding a bit from general travel stress, and said, “Hi, how ya doing?” That was the start of a three-hour-long conversation that was relaxed, interesting, funny, reassuring and inspirational. Both of us marveling that we were talking so much because we were not the talkative types and more apt to plug into earbuds than start up a lifelong…

A lifelong what exactly?

When we left I gave him my card, saying if you ever need a writer, look me up. A week later he gave me a call.

The feeling that something shifted in the universe bringing two people, two ideas, two lives together, is a wonderful one. It’s magic. And if you believe in it, it’s a feeling that can spread to everything you do, turning your work into fantastic success because you have faith. Sound a little new-agey? It isn’t. It has to do with the confidence the right person or right job gives you to trust your instincts. It also has to do with a heightened awareness that allows you to see the details that are going to give you the edge when attempting a new endeavor.

Dana Barfield

Finding Your Reason For Success

Before the success of my business importing and selling products on Amazon, I had a low point when I lived in a trailer—yes, a trailer. Now, I was very thankful for that trailer because at least I had a roof over our heads. The problem wasn’t the actual trailer but the fact that I couldn’t afford to have the tank filled with gas to heat the trailer. Even in southern Alabama, it can get pretty cold in the winter months, and I vividly remember during one of the colder nights having to sleep next to my daughter to keep her warm. I can’t think of a better motivator for success than that.

So I had the reason why. Now I just needed an opportunity that I could stick with until I met success. When a new form of entrepreneurship crossed my path, I was skeptical. I had tried out so many “get rich” ideas already. Failure makes it hard to keep an open mind, but for some reason I decided to take a look at this last opportunity, and I’m very glad I did.

Practically overnight my mind was opened to a business type I hadn’t yet considered—selling physical products via e-commerce through a program such as Amazon FBA. At that time, I didn’t know that Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or any other third-party logistics programs even existed. This was a completely foreign concept to me, and, like I said, I was skeptical. But as soon as someone showed me that it was possible to have someone else fulfill your orders and handle customer returns, I realized this could be a gold mine.

I was starting from square one with this concept. I had never considered the idea of importing goods from overseas. I had no idea whatsoever how someone could manage to get their hands on any kind of inventory outside of opening their own factory.

So what did I do? I studied like hell everything I could get my hands on because I had the idea that this was the lucrative business I’d been waiting for.

Fast-forward several months and I’m running an extremely successful business, consulting and helping others run businesses, and lending my expertise to services that assist e-commerce entrepreneurs as well. What? Did I say several months? Yep, I am the quintessential overnight success. However, we’re going to need to talk more about what success in this business actually means. More about that later. Right now I’ll just say that in less than a year I managed to turn my life from the stagnant path it was on to one that was definitely pointed upward. I now set my own hours from home, and the thermostat stays at a very comfortable 73° F, and, most importantly, my children want for nothing.

— Anthony Lee