How NOT To Make Money With Cafepress Part .5

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make money cafepressIf you have been following me from the start you know that I discovered the possibility of making money online from Cafepress back in 2007.  Even though I didn’t believe you could make money with Cafepress and quit your day job.  It did prove as a good source for a small passive income once you set up your shop.  Having some extra beer money if you will, or some money to pay for extra bills.

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of my Make Money With Cafepress series.  However I will be editing those post with updates and I am no longer recommending you subject yourself to this torture.

It is kind of funny that this post comes one day after I discussed how a greedy entrepreneur is set up for failure.  Because that is where I think Cafepress is headed.

Why You Should NOT Try To Make Money With Cafepress Part 1/2

I am kind of taking a Star Wars approach here and doing the beginning at the end.  I had to show you how you could make money with Cafepress before I show you why you shouldn’t, right?  Actually that is not completely accurate.  I apologize to anyone if you were reading through my articles and taking action.  I do commend you for taking action though.  Very few people have that drive and you will be just fine and adapt to the situation.

As promised when this blog was created though.  I am staying true to my words and reporting all realities that I promised to report.  Even if it makes me go back on previous recommendations.

So after discussing how you CAN make money with Cafepress.  Why am I now saying you should NOT try to make money with Cafepress?  The answer is really actually pretty simple!  Back in the day Cafepress use to be a great source of passive income.  Even to the amount that you could possible quit your day job.  I hope no store owners actually put all their eggs in one basket and hoped Cafepress would support them for years to come.

Actually you should never put all your bets on any one online income strategy.  Not even if it is your blog, mobile app you created, a new web application, etc.  Technology and trends change to rapidly in today’s society.  New trends and new technologies come along everyday.  Remember MySpace?

Back to the subject on hand though.  Cafepress became greedy and it is ruining their business.

Why did I come to this conclusion though?

The last 2 months have been the first 2 months since I started my Cafepress store in 2007 that I have made NO sales.  At first I didn’t think anything of this because after the end of the year sales tend to dive down.  Never have I had 2 months with completely no sales at all.  I’ve never even had 1 month with no sales before.  On top of that I have been actively optimizing my store and product keywords.

So I decided to do some research and see what other people were saying.  I ended up getting into the financials of Cafepress and seeing their stocks are not looking to promising either.

You can read this article over at Daily Finance and see what I mean.

The Results Of Greed

See back in the day you use to be able to choose your own mark ups and it was easier to promote your shop via Google.  Now you are very lucky if you are able to drive traffic to your actual shop.  Most of your designs will be found in the Cafepress Marketplace where you are only able to make a 10% commission on anything you sell regardless of your mark up.  Cafepress also sells these products for what they see fit.  Which in my opinion is overpriced and results in less sales.

Cafepress got greedy and it is destroying their business.  Originally when they made this change I knew it made a lot of shop owners angry and it most defiantly did.  I was not horribly concerned about it though because all my sales come from the Cafepress Marketplace.  I never spent the time promoting my shop and just relied on making sure I was hitting on the keywords for my designs.  Remember I am trying to make money as a passive stream.

It appears that from a greed driven business model and competition coming around in the recent years that Cafepress is falling apart.  I don’t expect them to be able to keep investors happy since going public and Cafepress becoming the next MySpace.

Another Option

Due to the lack of sales and a failing business I am going to pull my Cafepress accounts.

1. Because when they see what I have written about them they will probably do it for me.  I know they will cancel my affiliate account at the very least.

2. The greedy business model that Cafepress has become is the very thing that I am against.

I have started looking into Zazzle.com to move my designs too.  I have not used this site though and will not make any recommendations or links to this site until I decide if it is a suitable replacement.

Remember if you want to be updated on post like this please check me out on Twitter or Facebook where I am very interactive with everyone.  You can also use the social icons below to find me on Google+ or subscribe to my RSS feed.

If you have a Cafepress story you would like to share, please leave a comment below.

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  • Pekka Markku

    After nine plus years, I closed my CP shop. I used to brag about CP. The shop was a labor of love. The extra income was nice. Pulling the plug didn’t bother me as expected.

    My CP based business grew the first couple of years then prospered until recently. My web-site drove about 1/3 or the traffic and transactions. Worked great. Then CP tinkered with the commissions and pricing. Commissions went down but it still worked. But starting in the fall of 2013, sales plummeted. Why? IMO because CP trashed its brand through spamming. Its awful. The CP spam emails never stopped…always some last minute 1/2 price special. About the same time, the CP marketplace search quit working for my designs. Before, my stuff was easy to find in the CP marketplace and the search engines. My content was military in nature, with unique names like MG42, MP40, etc.

    The relationship was great up to 2013. Since a quick demise. Glad I never took the quit the day job and drive an CP income plunge.

  • HiyaHowyaDoin

    Hi Cody,

    This is a little bit old but I thought I’d chime in. I’ve had a CafePress account since at least 2007, but I used it to upload my own personalized designs for my own iPhone cases and such. A couple of years ago I started getting checks from them and had no idea why… it was because a design that my husband had made for his own iPhone case (that incorporated an internationally known corporate logo) had hit the marketplace and was selling several units every month. Of course the commission was pennies on each sale, but it was nice to get a $25-$30 check every couple of months off of a single design that wasn’t even meant for public consumption.

    Over the years I had tried to come up with really clever, well designed offerings but they were all largely ignored, and to be honest the money wasn’t worth the effort so I just didn’t worry about it… until about a year and a half ago I made acquaintance with an actor and custom designed a cute little cartoon caricature based on the character he plays on tv, so I could send him sometihng with it on it- he even picked out the colors for it so I was really excited to get to give a celebrity something with my work on it. Despite the fact that it had no direct reference to the show at all (you really would have to be a fan of the show already to even know who it was supposed to be), they banned the image. I sent them the original sketches and concept art I did for it to prove it was original, but they refused to release the image for purchase even though it did not mention the show, the network, or even the character’s name, just because it vaguely referenced it. Yet there I was all that time making money off of a CORPORATE LOGO. Their policies are crap and aren’t universal.

    Add to that the recent point system they’ve put in place for marketplace commissions and they’re just about useless. Granted, I only spent about an hour the other day to get my rating up high enough to earn 10% again, but in the meantime I’ve been earning a measly 5% since I wasn’t sure how to go about that until I researched it. What a total slap in the face. Yet, I keep going back because even though I put these designs in other places, CafePress is the only place I actually DO get passive sales, even though the commission is crap. I’ve recently revived my efforts to make money with them, if only because of divorce I need it now, so I’ve been uploading tons of crap designs of simple one word or logo based designs that are simple but specific to groups of fans of various popular things. That seems to have done the trick… I was being too specific to too small of an audience before so no one was searching for what I was offering, but now I have to say I am starting to see sales off my newer designs that I didn’t expect so soon… and none of it’s coming from the Marketplace (although it doesn’t matter, I set my commission to 10% universally anyway just to price match). So my items are getting indexed, I’m just figuring out what’s popular enough to garner sales… although so far it’s still not enough to pay any of my bills.

    Maybe it’s because I tried CafePress first and it’s what I’m used to, but it seems like it gets a lot more foot traffic and I prefer it (particularly with their range of products). I never thought I’d sell yoga pants with my design on the butt, but I did. It’s a total catch 22 because every time you turn around, they’re kicking the designers in the teeth again. I hate to patronize them, but I actually prefer them, even with their clunky interface.

    By the way I heard that Redbubble was by far more artist-friendly than CafePress, although their product selection sucks by comparison. I put my celebrity’s design on there so I could order his product and he had me send it to set last year (it has been on there ever since but has only made about $50 total in sales since). He actually tweeted a picture of it saying he thought it was “rad” (he never tweets pics of gifts like that so I felt special) so untold thousands of people finally saw my art for once, so you’d think it’d sell a lot based on that but nope… I guess you really just have to sell your soul to make money this way.

    • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

      I completely understand what you are saying. I went through that for a long time, it is a double edge sword and you are right, it really is one of the best options in that niche.

      CafePress is a business that chases the money though. They just became too big and churned into another piece in the machine cranking out profit (for them).

      Thats why I started looking at options outside of CafePress a long time ago. I wanted to work for myself and not have to deal with corporate bullshit. Seemed like every time they had a policy change I was just reading how they were preparing to give it to me, sans lube. I was trying to get away from that environment.

      Thank you very much for sharing your story. I really enjoy the honesty.

      Your very last sentence really hit the nail on the head.

      • HiyaHowyaDoin

        Hey again Cody. I thought I’d come back to give you an update. The very day after I posted this, several designs of mine that had been online a while (and some that had been selling) got suspended out of the blue. I hope it’s just coincidence, but shortly after that I decided to “play strictly by the rules” and go on an “adding” blitz trying to see if more designs really would equate to more sales, adding about 200 designs in about 3 days. Nothing so far, and now a week later the products aren’t showing up in the searches even though I know they’re all appropriately tagged. On the flipside of that I added several of the same ones to Zazzle and I have yet to get a single sale even with my ace-design that always sells on CP, even though they all show up in the Zazzle search results. I’ve just about given up trying to figure out how to play this particular game, even though it’s such a shame, it used to be a great way to make extra money.

        I can report that my designs on Redbubble were selling more than I realized. I’m selling less units by far than I am on CP, but because it’s those custom pop-culture caricatures I drew (better than the generic crap that CP and Zazzle restrict you to), I’m able to sell at twice the commission rate so I’m making almost as much on Redbubble as I have with CP. I’m going to try not to fixate so much on how much money I COULD have made, and go back to just trying to have fun using it as an artistic outlet, and just make up a few more caricatures to sell. At least I know no one can rip them off and sell them on CP!

        • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

          Have you ever considered just opening your own store with your designs? Then you are in control of your marketing, SEO, etc.

          I have spoke to others that have also went the ETSY route with their artist abilities.

          I have completely written CafePress off. The time and effort just isn’t worth the reward to me. I could throw up a bunch of micro blogs on various subjects more efficiently and make more than I would on CafePress putting in more hours.

  • ASG11

    Hi Cody, Nice informative article, which echoes my point of view exactly, and more.

    The thing is I am new to online t-shirt selling business. About 3 months into it. My initial designs are on Skreened, where I was getting decent traffic to the designs, and approx $400 in weekly commission for last couple of months. My own margins on skreened are $10-$15/shirt. I would say the designs are good, hence I’ve been able to sell from Day 1.

    When I decided to scale up and move my designs to other places as well, I tried Cafepress before others.

    First, the entire cafepress system of designs, shops, markups is complicated. I am a designer, not a accountant or a statistician. On a scale of 1-10 on simplicity of setting up your store, I would rate Cafepress at 2, while skreened is up there at 9.

    After 2 days of getting my head around how things work at Cafepress, I uploaded a design, set $10 as markup for one of my most famous design at skreened, and it was a go.

    So 3 days later, on a Sunday morning, I got up, checked my email on phone and a Cafepress weekly alert says I’ve made approx.$250 in sales in last week. That’s $250 worth in Sales. Voila! Then I scrolled down, and it said that total earnings, of guess what, $11. Yes, on a $10 markup, Cafepress sold about 9 shirts, whilst my earnings were only $11. Why? Because Cafepress chose it to be so. So instead of simple math, which says $10×9 = $90, I ended up earning only $11 – and that is on my OWN designs.

    And here is the worst part, I noticed, that somehow, the traffic to that particular design had dried up on my Skreened shop. 90% of my traffic on skreened is organic search[mind you, skreened rocks as far as organic search is concerned]. So the buyers went to the same design on Cafepress and simply bought the same design at probably $8-9 less per shirt.

    I took me about an hour to figure all this out. I realised, that Cafepress’ volume of traffic was pretty good, but when it translated into less earning per sale for me overall, it was a loss of about $90 in one day. I decided to shut down my Cafepress shop there and then.

    That was about 2 weeks back. I till now have no idea, why I earned so low on Cafepress. The entire system they have is more of a headache for a designer who’d be rather designing stuff than figuring out the complex system they have. And I have no intent of spending anymore time on finding that out.

  • Mary Springfield

    Hi, Cody. I started using cafepress in 2004 but didn’t have any sales. I didn’t actively use it and forgot about it for years. I had my first sale in December 2007. They had an agreement for twilight designs so I decided to try making images reflecting that series. I made about five thousand on those images during the next two years. I don’t make the big checks anymore, just enough to pay my car insurance and do a grocery run most months. I always keep tabs on the new movies if they hAve an agreement for designs because teen girls will spend a lot of money.

    • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

      Hey Mary! Sorry, for some reason I missed this comment and just saw it.

      You bring up a great point with CafePress though. I good strategy is to jump on the current trends. However, I find this to be a pain and really not worth the payout. That is just my opinion though and some people do very well using this strategy.

      • Mary Springfield

        Since I posted this several months ago, they’ve changed the commission payout. I now make about 30% less than I did before.

        This past holiday was the worst that I’ve seen, being a quarter of what I normally make during November and December.

        It may be several years before we see another twilight-like phenomenon, but I know I will jump on that once I hear about it.

  • Jonathan Baran

    I made my first sale with cafepress in 2010 and I have worked very hard for the past few years to make money with cafepress but I have made very little. The thing that is really making me angry and frustrated now is that I am trying to get information on how to tag my images properly, but I can’t seem to find it. Cafepress tells you not to put product names in your tags and that makes no sense to me. I have 72 designs on cafepress now, but I’ve lost my motivation because why should I spend a LOT of time perfecting my designs if nobody ever sees them??? The marketplace algorithm is hidden from us, and so is google’s algorithm. I’m disgusted and frustrated at this point, because my designs have been invisible in the cafepress marketplace and organic search. Now what???

    • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

      Hey Johnathan! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

      You, me, and so many others are at the same point as you. Unfortunately, poor business models, greediness, and a flooded market place have made CafePress a very undesirable time investment.

      I think the good thing to take out of this is that you have drive and an interest in entrepreneurship. That is what you were doing building your own CafePress store anyway. If it were me I would take that drive and the time you invest in trying to figure out CafePress tags and channel towards a real product you can sell on your own. It could be a blog around a subject you are good at or have a lot of passion in or something you have wanted to develop for a long time.

      Let me know if you have any questions on how to move forward on any ideas you might have.

      -Cody

      • Jonathan Baran

        Thanks for the reply Cody, I guess I started using cafepress to begin with because it’s an easy way to get started on your own business and I really didn’t have a better idea. I’m searching for better ideas now and I am a big fan of The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I’ll still use cafepress because I’m a Visual Artist, but I know I need to add something more to the mix.

        • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

          Send me an email if you get a chance with some of your work and past experience. I will be looking for graphic artist to work with soon on some of my projects i want to get off the ground.

          I know how to use the Adobe suite in and out, but no matter what I do I am just not a “artist” so I am looking for graphic artist that are self starters, motivated, and can think outside of the box.

          Who knows, maybe we can work on a project together in the future.

          Thanks,
          Cody

          • Edgardo F. Salgado Bonilla

            Hey Cody, I gotta say your info on Cafepress helped a lot bu then I couldnt help but continue reading because I tend to get trapped in the thread of conversation ( as i usually do on any comment section) This time, the topic and the things you’ve said to others really hit base, I’ ve been going through a lot of these issues with myself and my talents and youve covered some great stuff. It great that you take the time to reply to people and i can see your intentions of actually , possibly, opening up people’s views in the way it happened to you. :). keep it up. also are you still looking for some one to design things? I basically draw it’s what I ve done all my life and what i’m best at. Let me Know!.

          • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

            Hey Edgardo! Thank you so much for stopping by and giving me the great feedback! I hope you stick around and find some more useful information here.

            Please send me an email via the contact page and we can talk about your artistic abilities.

            Cody

    • http://www.beachshowercurtainsstore.com/ Terri Taylor

      Hey Jonathan, if you’re still using Cafepress, I can give you some help in the proper ways to tag your designs and products if you’d like. For me, I’m ready to bail on Cafepress.

  • http://simplifytechnologyblog.com/ Barb Brady

    Hi Cody,
    This was a really good article. I was thinking of trying CafePress, but checked out their site and was concerned with how they price. I am glad I found your take on it. I am now NOT going with them.

    I have also started a new blog and have been working like crazy on it — writing the content. I am now, finally, stepping outside the isolated blogging side to connect with others. I like you philosophy of being a straight shooter. I read other website and I just think they are trying too hard to prove they are making money and doing a good job, I just don’t trust them to blog the truth.

    I will connect with you also on Twitter and hopefully I can share my successes and lessons as well as learn from you! P.S., I am an accountant , , , as I say on my website, don’t use that against me . . . so maybe I can help if you have questions:)

    • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

      Hey Barb! Thanks for stopping by and I am glad you enjoy the content :)

      I am traveling around right now, but I will check out your site and see if you can give me any accounting advise haha. Likewise, if you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to ask me any questions.

      I think you’re completely right, it can be very difficult to find the “truth” on a lot of these blogs, more like hype hype hype… buy this.

      • http://simplifytechnologyblog.com/ Barb Brady

        Cody,
        I know what you mean . . . this job stuff takes time :)

        Funny about accounting . . . I have worked with different accounting packages, but I am just learning a new accounting package . . . even for us accountant’s there is a learning curve :) I hope you find the accounting system that is straightforward and a quick learning curve.

        I followed you back on Google+. I like knowing that someone else is out there working on building a blog and wanting to do it the “right way”.

  • Bob Johnson

    Hi Cody–Love the info you put out here!

    I wanted to follow up with you and see if you had found a replacement for CafePress and to see if anybody out there knew of some similar sites and perhaps some hidden jewels.

    I’m looking specifically for a service that allows me to design and sell iPad/iPhone cases.

    Semper Fi!

    • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

      Hey Bob! Thank you for reading and I am sorry for the delayed response. I am currently a little disconnected from technology with a busy schedule.

      To answer your question, no I have not found a suitable replacement for Cafepress. I did start to look at Zazzle, but then I realized that the time and effort put into sites like this just wasn’t worth it to me for the return that you get on your own hard work.

      There are way better options for making money online and the reward is much higher. However, if I was set on designing iPhone/iPad cases to sell I would honestly look into wholesale options and do my own company or just find a manufacture and go that route. If you had a good enough brand in mind and something unique to offer I would even look into Kickstarter.com. It is a great way to prove your concept and get funding at the same time.

      Let me know if you have anymore questions and currently email is the best way to reach me.

      Thanks again, Bob!

      • Bob Johnson

        Thanks for taking the time to reply Cody.

        I’m not set on just those, but thought it would be a good way to get some side income flowing and to use my passion for cars and military vehicles.

        If you have the time can you please expound on some of the better options of making money online?

        Any help you can offer is much appreciated!

        • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

          Hey Bob! I apologize again for the late response. I am just slammed with my day job (traveling) and don’t have a lot of access to internet.

          Anyway, I will be going over a lot of ways on here to make extra income just online. I see you are into cars and military vehicles. I am as well! That could also be a good way for you to start. Have you every thought about starting a website or blog going over these topics?

          What kind of technology interest you? What are some of your other hobbies? I always like to look into ways I can monetize my hobbies. This keeps me interested in what I am doing.

          What kind of cars are you into the most? I pretty much enjoy anything with a motor and wheels :)

          Semper Fi!

          • Bob Johnson

            Now it’s my turn to apologize… Moved our home and then three days later moved our daughter to college so just getting back online.

            I love cars in general, but have a real passion for Corvettes. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of making office chairs out of car seats so that if you were say a VW GTI fan you could have an office chair that matches your car to show your love of them.

            I still think the idea of having car and military themed iPad/iPhone covers has potential, but I have no idea where to start. The Cafe Press idea appeals as I can focus on the design, but I personally think they are overpriced and that the margin would be pretty thin.

            Cheers!

          • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

            Agreed on the comments with CafePress.

            Bob, please feel free to email if you would like to discuss your iPad/iPhone cases more in depth. I will help where I can for free, esp. for a fellow Marine.

            The office chairs idea is really good and I personally love it. However I think this would take a good amount of capital to actually make into a profitable business. You have to be able to mass produce and get your margins down. I’ve seen it tried before and failed because they lacked the ability to turn out a lot of product at once.

          • Bob Johnson

            I agree—think it’s definitely a great (and potentially lucrative) niche, but it’s not something that I could get up and running on the side.

            I tend to look into 500 different things at once, so I need to have the discipline to focus just on ideas that provide passive income and have the ability to blossom into something large enough to augment, and eventually replace, my full time job.

            It seems most conversations focused around that idea deal with eBooks and blogs. Both areas seem like a non starter to me as I don’t think I have enough meat to put on that bone to make it worthwhile.

            Any other areas that I might be overlooking?

            Eagle, Globe and Anchor!

          • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

            Hey Bob,

            I think you’re not giving yourself enough credit.

            1. You are a Marine, you can do anything you set your mind to.
            2. Look at me, this blog is less than 6 months old and I thought the same thing that you did, why would anyone listen to me? I don’t have anything to talk about. Now I can’t keep up with the feed back I am getting and it is growing faster than I ever anticipated.

            If you are really interested in this passive income strategy you should really consider starting a blog regardless of your knowledge in a certain area.

            1. You are going to learn a lot from it and figure out how to navigate the areas you need to in order to have any successful online business.
            2. You can start building your customer base. I am a firm believer it is way easier to sell a product when you already have a following than trying to sell a product when nobody knows who the hell you are.
            3. You can start a blog in any niche, it doesn’t have to be around internet marketing. In fact, I encourage that its not! Start a blog around something you like, are interested in, or a product that you would like to sell yourself one day. Just make sure it is something you enjoy.

            I’ll be blunt with you, Bob. Another trait I learned from the Marines. Police your own and tell them how it is or they will never fix their shit.

            You can accomplish what you want to do, however you have to stop making excuses or finding reasons you can not do something. You are your own worst enemy when it comes to this. You and anyone reading this can accomplish any goal they want to, you just have to be willing to put fourth the effort.

            Having a job, not enough time, to many other activities going on are excuses we all make. Excuses I made myself for a long time.

            Successful people are the ones that decide they are going to overcome those excuses and put in the work to achieve their goals. Non-successful people are the ones that continue to make excuses and never take action. Then many years down the road they wonder why they never achieved their goals.

            Its all about priorities and deciding what yours are.

          • Bob Johnson

            Thanks for the feedback brother as it’s truly appreciated. It’s not a question of if or lack of desire, it’s really about where to start in terms of product.

            I’ve been working a “traditional” job for the last 15 years and it has numbed me so much that I’m really struggling to find any kind of passion in anything.

            I think my biggest obstacle at this point is that of distraction as I’m determined to change, but seem to be trying to read multiple ways of doing it and muddling my thoughts.

            Was there one philosophy, system or book that gave you your inspiration?

            Thanks again!

          • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

            I understand man, I can relate to you a lot on several levels.

            I wouldn’t say that there is a person, a website, or a book that I have read that really gave me my inspiration. A lot of my inspiration comes from my travels and seeing different cultures. The other part is I have been in the Marines, after the Marines I ran my own business for 3 years, then I went the corporate route.

            What I have realized now is discussed a lot on my about page, but I just don’t buy into this whole “system” we have been taught.

            So in short, my inspiration comes from realizing that life is not this long drawn out journey and it can be taken away from us at any moment, that money does not buy happiness even once you obtain that big salary and fancy house, that if we just keep acting like robots and slaving away to pay for all these objects that we think we need we will never really accomplish our dreams and the reality is you have no legacy and the life you lived meant nothing. Congratulations, you gave a company that you were a number to 40 years of your life and that is considering an accomplishment?! Ha, give me a break! We are so blinded most people don’t even know what happiness is anymore.

            People aren’t their own personalities, nobody questions anything, nobody dares to take a risk. They just rather keep working a job they hate to buy things they cant afford so they can impress people they don’t even like. That is the cycle of our culture and it is sad.

            If I had to recommend a book for you to read I would say take a look at “Now, Discover Your Strengths.” At the bottom of the resources page here: http://adaptdnation.com/resources/

            This book helped me a lot at getting more focused and using talents I thought were holding me down to my advantage. I am a lot more productive now and don’t waste my time trying to use a talent I don’t even posses. I focus on what I am good at and live the rest to others.

            Let me know if you are still having trouble finding that path, Bob. My main goal is to get others to realize what I have and its hard to do that if I can’t get them headed on the right path from the start.

            Talk to you soon

            - Cody

          • Bob Johnson

            Thanks brother.

            I plan on picking that book up soon so I can identify my base skills and build off of those.

            I’m 45 and I think my generation is caught in between a bit in the fact that we witnessed our folks work for the same company and follow a very traditional path while we were young. As a result we patterned our thinking and behavior after them thinking this was the “right” way to do it.

            I’ve always had a “why do we do it this way?” gene in me which I love to use to improve processes and make things easier for people around me so my guess is that is the beginning of identifying a passion for me to build off of.

            I truly appreciate you taking the time to offer encouragement, advice and direction!

            I will keep you in the loop going forward as I break out of the rut.

            Bob

          • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

            No problem, Bob! Thank you for actually engaging here, thats what keeps me going. If it wasn’t for people like you willing to take action there isn’t much reason for me to show all this.

            I also understand growing up traditional, my father is the same way and it was what I learned. I was fortunate enough to take the work ethic I learned from my dad and the Marines and apply it making me fairly successful at a young age where I could achieve “The American dream”.

            Like you, I have always had the trait to question and improve processes. It wasn’t until I achieved this “dream” of the job, the house, the wife, the cars, etc etc that I stopped and looked around. The conclusion I came to was this can’t possibly be what the rest of my life is going to be.

            After much discussion and explaining to my wife, she finally understood where I was coming from and we have agreed to change our life goals and take a different route.

            BTW, I forgot to add this for inspiration. I was having a hard time breaking through to my wife for awhile and she didn’t understand what I was so unhappy about. Most people wouldn’t either, they think I am just complaining. I have a gorgeous wife, a beautiful house with some land, a really good corporate job, and I have the cars I always wanted. Yet I was unhappy with the road I was taking. So I found a documentary that explained the same thoughts I had and after watching it my wife completely understood.

            You can find my article and the documentary here: http://adaptdnation.com/im-fine-thanks/

            (No I do not get compensated to promote this, plus its only $5 if you download it)

            Take some time to look through all this information and let me know where you end up, Bob.

            Talk to you soon!

            - Cody

          • Bob

            Good stuff there! I’m at the stage you were at when you started your adventure w/ the exception of a wife who has been urging me for years to set goals and pursue them.

            I feel the same way you do in that there has to be more to life than to chase after things and just sit through life w/o any purpose.

            I’m energized when I’m actually working and contributing, but in my job (scheduling natural gas) it is frowned upon to show initiative and color anywhere outside the lines. Most days are spent sitting in front of the computer w/ absolutely nothing to do.

            Does it pay the bills and provide “security”. Yes. At the cost of apathy and the loss of doing anything beyond the bare minimum lest you be seen as stepping out of line.

            Think back to the Marines. When did you feel fired up? I was in armor so for me it was live fire exercises and actual training. It certainly wasn’t during field day in the barracks or waiting around in the desert for another unit to show up.

            I’ll definitely check out the video and thanks for the link to Adam’s blog!

    • Michael

      Hey Bob, I dont know if you have found it by now, but there is a place you can. It is http://www.redbubble.com and they do iPhone and iPad cases. Very cheap compared with Zazzle and Cafepress.

      • Bob Johnson

        I hadn’t so thanks much for the heads up! I’ll check it out ASAP as that’s the sort of thing I can do w/ my 16 y/o son so he can learn to be his own boss!

        • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

          Bob, yet another good point! As I don’t find sites like Cafepress, Zazzle, or even Red bubble able to replace a real income. That is a very good point! It would be good for someone just starting out in the online market or the younger generation that we would like to teach the basic of business to!

  • Natalie
    • http://www.adaptdnation.com/ Cody Stevenson

      Thanks for sharing, Natalie.

  • Natalie

    I opened stores on zazzle , but no success. I prefer spreadshirt.com

  • http://tropicalnomad.com Adam

    Hey Cody,
    I had a similar situation with Hubpages. I was doing well and then BOOM – No traffic, no more sales and it feels like a waste of time now.

    I have looked at Cafepress but never went further than ordering a mug and a t-shirt. Appreciate the honesty. Things change in the online world. I have been rambling for four months now and feel the same.

    • http://www.adaptdnation.com Cody

      Yep, the online world is always changing! Sucks Cafepress had to take the greed route, but whatever. I use to do pretty decent with them, but now they are so money hungry it just isn’t worth the work:return ratio for me. Good stuff coming up in the future though so all is well.

  • http://www.spindriff.com Matt Helbig

    Another great article Cody. I really enjoyed it. I’m always skeptical about the promise of money in the absence of value. It’s not sustainable at best and morally wrong at worst. Thanks for adding value to the internet.

    • http://www.adaptdnation.com Cody

      I appreciate the feedback Matt! Thats what keeps me going and writing more. Sometimes I just think I am rambling about stuff nobody cares about haha.

      • Katie Stevenson

        You are rambling, but it’s good rambling :)

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