No Such Thing as Easy Money

Welcome to another Invest Like Dad! This past weekend was one of the worst weekends in our side hustle history. These moments prove there is no such thing as easy money! I came close to wanting to quit because of issue after issue.

The work and the constant issues to make extra money is backbreaking, but this is what it takes to be successful! Do not ever give up!

No Such Thing as Easy Money

Many sites & people promote the promise of getting rich quickly, which is partially what is driving the Game Stop Stock rally! If you want to build wealth it is hard work and skill. Getting rich overnight is luck, which is not investing nor hustling!

Bitcoin Update

In case your new and do not know, I have a Bitcoin side hustle managing a mining operation. I have been frustrated lately at the lack of parts required to fix the miners. Additionally, there have had electrical issues with the miners, which takes about 1/3 of the miners offline. To give you an idea, three commercial electrical panels are required to power the miners.

I offered to quit as I got very frustrated, but the guy I work for is super happy and wants me to stay, which I agreed to continue. My motivation is that I make a few hundred dollars a month, which allows me to fund business ideas without risking my current money.

As such, my bitcoin side hustle is funding this site and will help support a dropshipping site.

Dropshipping site

Laura and I have been talking, and we both have enjoyed our furniture flipping business, which has lead to us questioning how we can expand online. Unfortunately, shipping kills the margins on used furniture, but we have discussed the idea of kicking off a dropshipping site to explore if it is profitable and worth the time.

If you do not know what a drop shipping business is, well, neither do I! Just Kidding! The simple way to think of it is as a customer acquisition business. You find customers for a product and work with a supplier who provides the product. This allows you to run a business without doing the shipping or inventory.

The problem with this business style is that it has small margins and is 100% a marketing business. Since it does not have substantial upfront costs and anyone can sell the products, the competition is intense! We shall see how it goes, and I will let you all know my thoughts!

**Side note** Blogs/websites are frustrating as everyone will recommend products and provide links because they make an affiliated commission off the link and purchase. It is a great online business. There is no way to tell if they do it for the money or believe in the products. The same thing happens with Amazon reviews as they pay for 5-star reviews, thus what you can believe.

Furniture side hustle

Last I left you in my weekends are for selling post we had picked up two excellent items in an auction. We just sold one of them on Sunday! The sideboard below is still for sale, but it is a nice piece of furniture. Overall that lot was a great buy!!!

So why doesn’t everyone buy things at auctions to resell? The main reason is that there is no such thing as easy money. Last week we bought two rugs, MCM chairs, a table and chair set, mission oak sideboard, sofa, antique oak dresser with mirror, wicker chest, and a wing chair. We were thrilled with the items and excited to stock up our new Facebook page, Thrift Unearthed, with things!

What could go wrong, right? With snow coming up the east coast, the auction pick up time was moved, and we were forced to change our enclosed trailer to an open one from U-haul. No big deal, right?

Gramma volunteered to watch our kids while we went to get the furniture, which ensured no cops would be called for screaming kids in a truck outside of the auction house. This should have made it an easy job. We had a lot of stuff to load up, but it turns out the sideboard & antique dresser were not going to go easy.

Upon arrival, we hit our first issue, the sideboard; while it looked great in the front, it fell apart. It had a few cables installed (not well) holding it barely together. I was stressing that it might not even survive the trip!

The large oak round table, which is also really old, has wooden wheels that broke off. Next, the antique dresser with a mirror didn’t have the mirror attached since there was only hardware on one side of it. It was hanging from the wall to make it look like it was attached!

I will digress for a moment to mention that all the time, I was not in the best mood as my knee was hurting from a torn meniscus. Earlier in the day, I moved around more with the kids than I should have. The medical team recommended resting, but the furniture doesn’t move itself!

On the road, finally! We were rushing home a little as we had an unhappy mother in law with crazy kids and someone else coming to our house to buy a table and chair. About a mile from our home, Laura tells me she thinks something fell off the trailer.

Once we get home, we check the kids, make a sale, and put them to bed! While unloading the trailer, we notice that the wicker dresser is missing a drawer….guess we know what fell off now! Since it has been an hour since we got home, we decide to find the drawer once we are done unloading.

On my way back to drop off the trailer, I found the drawer, and right before I could get it, I watched a Toyota Tundra run it over. No one hit it for over an hour, and someone runs it over next to me as I was about to get out of my truck!

So, upon returning from dropping off the trailer, we discovered the oak table got damaged during the trip too. The best we can figure is that the wind got under some of the finish and started to pull it up. That was a quick thanks for using an open trailer! While the damage is not horrible, we will now have to fix it with some sanding and a new finish. It will look great, but we were not trying to have project pieces!

While talking about project pieces, I should mention another piece of furniture! That sideboard we bought is impressive, but it is probably over 100 years old; it needs some TLC. Someone tried to fix it, but all they did was add some eye hooks with cables to hold it together, which didn’t work well or look right. This resulted in another project.

Usually, when we purchase a piece of furniture for over $100, I do not picture myself taking it entirely apart. This was not sellable in the current condition, and without repairs, we would have lost money.

I can happily update that I have rebuilt some of the insides and removed all the eye hooks and cables. This thing is rock solid now and looking good. I need to resecure the top of it again, shine up the finish, and hand it over to Laura for some beautiful pictures!

We work hard to ensure what we sell is in good condition and that someone would be thrilled to own the piece. Once the sideboard is fixed, the oak table is next!

Side Hustle Advice

Laura and I have about $1,800 tied up in furniture around the house. There are 23 lots in all. The issues and stress of doing this with kids are overwhelming at times! There is nothing like trying to take a picture of something and having your two-year-old bang a hammer on it while you’re not looking…..

Our success is from two things. First and foremost, HARDWORK! Second, Laura and I found something we are both passionate about, and we enjoy it 90% of the time! Even though I was having a terrible day over the weekend and stressing, Laura kept positive and laughed at me.

Investment Updates

Last week I sold Rocket Companies as I don’t see the stock being successful in 2021. I believe the company is impressive, but that doesn’t make the stock a winner. I have moved on for now but look forward to a time to get back into it.

With the funds from Rocket, I opened a small MGIC investment Corp position, a mortgage insurance company that I think is undervalued. I also have some cash on hand, looking for other opportunities to jump on something. Overall I am delighted with my portfolio, and if you want to learn more about it, check out my January 2021 Portfolio Update.

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