Category Archives: Home

Poker, life and everything else.

Starting my own side hustle: month two (with stats)

July was kinda a funky month!

Things started off slow then BAMB…
I made a few sales….

Then BAMB again….
My Glowforge Pro broke 💀💀💀

Pro tip: If you are running a laser engraving business, ya gonna need to have a working laser engraver.

Side note: I am upset that my Glowforge broke so quickly but they are sending me a brand new one and support has been helpful. It does show the need to put money aside for a backup laser if I am to continue to grow this business.

Let’s take a look what happened in my Etsy store for July 2021:

  • On July 24th I turned off all ads
  • On July 27th I put my store on “Holiday Mode” as my Glowforge stopped working. It isn’t fun just stopping a business you are excited about. This does show me the urgent need for a backup machine if I am to grow this business.

My Etsy Stats:

If it wasn’t for the Mountain Wall art sale it would have been a pretty sad month.

My life time Etsy stats:

What Created With Us did different last month

  • Raised our prices to be part of Etsy’s Free shipping guarantee to the US. (It is suppose to give you priority spots in the marketplace)
  • Promoted a few ads on Pinterest
  • Added 8 products to the store
  • Started a pattern site
  • Shut down completely for the last week of the month

What steps are we taking in August to grow CreatedwithUs.com

I’m kinda on hold until my new Glowforge arrives. Hopefully it is here soon and I can continue to hustle.

Hope your side hustles are doing well

Sincerely,
Lesley – Sad cause she can not any fish right now. 😦


Starting an Etsy store. The first month.


Last month I started a little side hustle for myself. Createdwithus.com I always wanted to start something that was mine but kept making excuses as to why I couldn’t.

I pulled the trigger a few months back I invested in a Glowforge.

When it came I was super excited. My plan was to start both a Shopify store and an Etsy store and run them at the same time.

Starting with Shopify:

  • I started building a website on Shopify.
  • Researched some designs that I could sell.
  • Then made some products and started to upload them.

It was so confusing, I got really annoyed and the cost per month from all the plugins I needed was going to start adding up.

Then building my Etsy store:

I had watched videos on YouTube that originally kept me away from Etsy because they talked a lot about the high fees on your sales. How Etsy closed their store and other horrifying stories.

BUT….

Now that I’ve started my own store the platform is so good that the fees make sense.

http://createdwithus.com
  • Adding a listing is crazy easy
  • The ability to add different prices for variations easily
  • No extra plugin pricing
  • They promote your store
  • I didn’t need to pay for a plugin to do personalization

So I closed my Shopify store and moved everything to Etsy on May 26th.

Time to make some sales…or not

On June 2nd I made my first sale Etsy sale. It was a logo sign for someone I had never met.

Then nothing…

I started to get nervous so I googled “How long to get sales on Etsy.” and came across this thread in the community.

So I told myself “I would give it three months before I started to freak out.”

To be honest the one thing I hate about Etsy is that it shows how many sales you have. Even though I had just opened my store I became self-conscience that no one had bought anything.

What I did this month:

  • I worked on my store listings.
  • I added products to createdwithus.com.
  • I dropped the quantity available of my higher-priced items in my listing.
  • Posted a few photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • I gave a 30% discount to friends that asked if I was selling something I had posted.
  • I did max $1 a day in Etsy Ads
  • I ran a $15 Instagram Ad for 3 days of earrings.

How it turned out:

I ended up making 5 sales this month with a total revenue of $299.44

  • 3 sales were from traffic I sent to Etsy
  • 2 sales were from Etsy
  • I didn’t sell any earrings
  • I only sold one custom product

My top seller this month:

Large Mouth Bass Layered Wall Art with 4 sales.

I royally messed up on this one. I should have had this up for sale before Father’s day. At least it is ready for next year. 🙂

Here is a screenshot of my stats.

Next Month Goals:

  • Add 4 products.
  • Design at least one of the products myself.
  • Run Instagram ads for the this month’s top seller.
  • Start on Halloween products.
  • Build my Instagram Account.
  • Make at least 1k in revenue.

P.S. I know there is still a few days left in the Month…but next week is going to be a busy week.

I’ve worked from home since 2014 and hope to never step foot inside an office again.

I’ve only been on social media sporadically the last few years. I’m not sure if it is “this whole lockdown thing” but I recently have had an overwhelming urge to post. My mind has been racing so much. Mostly about what is next once this whole thing is over, but also I started wondering how everyone else was coping with working from home.

I’ve worked from home since 2014 and hope to never step foot inside an office again. Working from home comes easy to me but I know a lot of people have struggled with it.

If I could give those people any advice my top four would be to:

  • Batch your work.
  • Take a mid-day walk.
  • Don’t eat at your computer.
  • If possible, pick your schedule.

One of my favorite things about working from home is having a schedule that works for me.

I know that my busy days are Monday and Thursday. They are the only days I have work calls. That also means those days are my deadlines for getting my tasks ready to handoff. It makes scheduling easy because I’m in control of my time.

Often when I worked in an office my workload was piled up, deadlines were all over the place and everything was followed with “This is a RUSH job.”

Working in an office setting I often felt pigeon-holed. My job was to organize the work for someone else to do it. That became booooooooooring, stressful, and unfulfilling. I had no control in anything that was passing through my desk.

I thought that was the way it had to be. I had to focus on one thing. I needed to become an expert at that and the job would be passed to a different expert to do their part.

This was what my day use to be like:

That looks as boring as it was. I should have been focused on learning as many different skills as I could, instead of being the person that just passes the job to someone else and I was so busy I didn’t have time to learn other skills.

Once I started working from home I’ve been able to make my job what I want it to be. I can work on any skill I want to learn. Here are just some of the skills I’ve worked on over the last few years.

  • Video editing
  • Website admin
  • Design
  • SEO
  • Copywriting
  • Animation
  • HTML
  • Photography
  • Marketing

And because I’ve learned so many different skills, I can pretty much jump into any project and be an asset.

That feeling is motivating and energizing.

Before working from home I was afraid of losing my job, even if I didn’t enjoy my job. I needed that job because without it I didn’t know what I would do.

I was working out of fear.

Working out of fear is horrible for your mindset. It puts you in a fight or flight state all the time. Every time you make a mistake, every time someone isn’t happy with your work, and even if you are perfect your company still might need to lay you off.

That changed for me once I started working from home because it opened up the whole world for employment, not just the places in driving distance.

Is working from home is easy?

No.

There seems to be a huge misconception that working from home is easy. I have to be able to prioritize work and home life. I need to continue to learn and I have to be good with computers. I am my own IT guy/girl and I need to constantly be up-to-date on my skills.

Yet, friends have always been intrigued by the freedom of working remotely. I am constantly asked:

“How can I get a job like yours?”

I’d tell them, “go to upWork.com and create a profile.”

A few months will go by and they will come back.

“I wish I had a job like yours.”

“Did you upload your profile?”

They NEVER do. Most people won’t even take the first step.

People think I don’t have a job.

“Why don’t you meet me at my work for lunch?”
“I have to work, can you do me a favor?”

The truth is they aren’t being disrespectful, they just can’t relate to my situation. I go grocery shopping when most people are working, so it is easy for someone to think I can slip by and do them a favor mid-day. What they don’t get is I put in an hour of work before 8 am or last night after 10pm. Or my creativity peaked on Friday night and was excited to work on a project over the weekend.

“We’re hiring, you should apply.”

Sometimes people think I don’t get paid a lot and are trying to be nice. Some go as far as asking what I make. The answer is enough. I live comfortably, I own my house and car.

Most online workers are highly skilled and self-starters. They need little handholding and are excellent employees. If we wanted to work in an office we would but:

  • I have a better work/life balance.
  • I work when my creativity peaks.
  • I only do meetings twice a week.
  • Can have multiple clients.

If you want to test out working from home or change professions now is the perfect time to learn some new skills and test them out.

-Lesley

Time to play. Starting small in 2018.

Last year I kept wanting to start a poker bankroll challenge and but LIFE kept getting in the way. Sometimes it feels like everytime my life looks like it is falling into place, a curveball hits me and my path completely changes. There are things that I wish I would have done differently but on the whole but last year was a great year of self-discovery for me.

This summer I bought a house in Windsor. I really like it here, it is quiet, people are kind and the cheap cost of living takes away the “money” stress that I was used to when living in Toronto. I plan on staying here for a long time.

This year I want to:

  • Help kids in my community
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy
  • Make small monthly goals

This month’s small goals:

  1. Restart this blog. [X]
  2. Go to trampoline fitness class ( Jan 9,16, 18, 23, 25, 30)
  3. Focus eating a healthy breakfast every day.
  4. Eye test. (I keep putting this off) I’m outta contacts and I’m not letting myself order any until I get this done.
  5. Start Pokerstars Spin and Go bankroll buildup

The last couple year’s I’ve barely played any poker. I kept saying I was going to start playing but it just kept becoming not as important as the other stuff in my life that was going on. This year I’m going to work towards being a good “rec” player with a goal of 1000 spin and goes a month. Starting with $119.83 US playing $3 spin and goes, let’s see how fast I can move up stakes.

Good luck to everyone in 2018. ❤

 

Goodbye March, hello April

Last months positives: 

My weight loss has been my priority goal this year and I’m really happy with my progress. Last month I lost 7lbs.  I did have one cheat meal and learned that it really wasn’t worth it. I actually felt a bit guilty eating it. I want to lose 3 more pounds before I invest in a trainer or classes to get me to the finish line.

Last months negatives: 

I wanted to start my poker bankroll challenge last month but had a lot on my plate. With friends and family visits on weekends and work it became low on my priority list. So I pushed it to start in April. The last thing I think any poker player should do is play sporadically. Unless you are a genius (which I’m not) or playing just for fun. When your goal while playing poker is to make money you need to put in volume. You need to train your mind and you won’t be able to do that with only an hour or two a week because someone at the table has played and studied 40. Maybe not at the level that I’m going to start at, but my goal is to move up the stakes quickly.

Mental wellness:

I talk a lot about this because I think it is important. I haven’t seen my therapist for two months and am really looking forward to seeing him in April. This week I could feel my emotions turning negative! I’m normally a super patient person and all of the sudden this irritation against everyone for no real reason. No one said anything about it, but I know I was short with people, I could feel it. I normally don’t experience these type of feelings and I definitely didn’t  like being annoyed at people, especially when it isn’t their fault. Luckily it only lasted a few days and I’m back to my kind self.
It is important to have someone that is non-judgemental that you can talk to. An outsider that has nothing invested in how you act or what you do. We often rely on the people closest to us for advice, the problem with that is that they are invested in your actions. Talking to someone outside your circle can really help give you clarity on your life.

April’s goals:

  • 0 Cheat Meals
  • Hire a trainer or CrossFit classes
  • Lose 7-10 pounds
  • Start my poker challenge/Post weekly V-blogs of it
  • Call my parents once a week just to chat

What are your goals for April?

I miss the poker world – My build-up to Vegas/weight loss challenge

So I’ve kept my head down, got my life together and dealt with some depression and anxiety issues and now I feel better than I ever have. Well almost better. Dealing with mental health issues like depression is draining. For me it meant, getting on the right medicine and cognitive-behavioral therapy and disappearing. Whenever I fall into depression I gain a lot of weight. Last year I gained a whopping 42lbs. Crazy I know. My first reaction was to hate myself for doing that to my body, but I don’t. Not even a little bit. I did what was best for my mind and at the time it came with some weight gain. It has given me a goal.

I started my weight loss journey January 1st and I’ve already lost 22 lbs. I’m doing a form of a keto diet + some additional restrictions. Now that I’m in a routine with 0 cheating. I’m adding in my next goal.

A bankroll challenge for myself. Well not really a bankroll challenge, more like a get my ass to Vegas this summer challenge. I’m going to start this with $100 US and play the hero games on partypoker.com .  Why those games? Because they are crazy soft. Throughout my challenge, I am going to be giving myself some tier goals to keep it fun. However, if I don’t lose the rest of the weight I gained (20lbs) by June then I won’t be going to Vegas and that would be a shame.

My first tier goal (I’m calling it the bottom of the barrel tier) is $885 US that would be 7 days/airfare and hotel staying in old Vegas.I’ll be starting this March 1st.

I’ll be starting this March 1st.

My bankroll guidelines will be:

I really just want to bring the reason that I started playing poker back into my life and that is because I loved the game.

I have a lot of other goals that I want to get done this year. I’m adding them in slowly to build up routines but I am pretty sure it is going to be a crazy productive year for me.

The cloud of depression.

If there was one thing in this world, I was afraid of, it was falling back into depression. That fear consumed me, the paranoia of everything that I would lose again. The career that you worked so hard on lost overnight. The people that you shutout vanished. Each time it happened you pulled yourself up and re-invented yourself. A new you, a new place, a new job, new friends, new hair but always something missing.

It took me a long time to understand what was missing. I was so consumed with the fear of losing everything again that it controlled me. What was the point in wanting when if you got it, it could be gone overnight? Then it happened, I fell back into a deep depression, but this story isn’t about that, it is about what happened next.

It was eye opening. I was able to feel excited.

The gray skies in my head started to clear the clouds parted and that cloud of depression changed into a rainbow of hope. Trust in friends and family, excitement for what is to come next, but most importantly, that I’m allowed to want, and that I deserve to want more.

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day #BellLetsTalk get in the conversation.

For those of you that know someone that deals with depression. It is something that takes a lot of energy to get through, but it can also be a blessing. Surrounded by the right people and by getting the correct help, depression has helped me remove the things that were useless. I said goodbye clutter in my life, like the career I never really wanted or the people that drained me. What I’m left with is a bubble of people that are motivating, they make me a better person and that gives me the worth to want more.

 

Mixing tennis and poker

This guy is putting in some hard work and it is paying off.

spin4living

Well, for few weeks I have been on the “tour” as they call it. This will probably be one of my last tennis trips as a professional tennis player. Feeling kinda sad, but at the same time pretty happy when I am seeing all the players practicing and giving everything they got just to make a living from tennis (which is one of the hardest job to make it, imo).. I just know at this moment I cant do that anymore when I know that the % of people who makes it are slim to none and the work you have to do to get there is HARD and when you just dont have the same passion as you had few years ago. So far I haven’t got any big success in these few tournaments, right now I am playing in Estonia. Got atleast 1 atp point in Estonia, and I will…

View original post 200 more words