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June Month-End “Business” Update

June 26, 2011

Come Friday, we will already be in to the back half of 2011.  For me, this year has absolutely flown by, although things have certainly seemed to slow to a more manageable pace in the second quarter of the year when compared to the first.

In spite of the fact I still have a ton of organizing and unpacking left with my cards and memorabilia, we are pretty well settled in to our house.  I feel like I am in much more of a groove when it comes to maximizing my time not related to my job, which of course includes my hobby.

While that is how I feel going in to writing this article, the true measure of whether or not I have actually been successful in pursuit of the ten hobby-specific goals, objectives, and resolutions I set for myself for 2011 is about to be seen.

With another quarter of the year under my belt, it’s time to review my progress:


Have my listings account for 1% of all hockey card listings on

This is one goal I have made literally no progress on.  In fact, through the first six months of the year I have actually moved backwards.  I am also not concerned at all though.

A while back, following some feedback from fellow bloggers, readers, and Twitter contacts, I made the decision to focus nearly all of the attention I pay to my eBay Store to adding images to my existing listings and that’s exactly what I have done.  The pile waiting to be scanned and uploaded gets smaller by the day and my sales continue to be strong enough to pay the bills, all while not adding new inventory.

As soon as the updates are done, it will be on to adding the more than 1,300 listings I need to accomplish this goal based on current numbers in the category.  I really do not know if this goal will be able to be accomplished, but I definitely plan on getting myself as close as possible to achieving it by year’s end.

Increase my eBay store sales by 10%

This comment is based on only 5 months of data since June’s sales figures won’t be available from eBay until well in to July and my own record keeping has been pathetic at best (I’ve got scanning to do!), but through those 5 months I am well ahead of the 10% growth pace I have been looking for.  Add in an exceptionally strong June prior to the postal strike/lockout and I feel confident about my chances of achieving this goal.

Have 10 articles worth of blog posts completed in advance and ready to post.

While I do not have 10 articles completed just yet, I am definitely moving in the right directions.  Drafts and notes are ready to go for a number of future posts, and 23 of the 52 topics that I will cover in the back half of the year have already been determined.  The next step is just to get down to writing them and this will be another goal I can say I achieved.

Ensure that 100% of my items have a picture included in the listing.

As I mentioned in the first goal I addressed, this has been the primary focus of my hobby-related activities since roughly mid-April.  At the outset of dedicating myself to this project I massively underestimated the amount of time it was going to take.  Now that I have a better understanding of the time involved and have established a bit more of a streamlined process to tackle the work, I can more realistically predict that (barring any unforeseen calamity) this goal project will be complete before the end of the summer.

Do all of this in an absolute maximum of 17 hours, or 10% of my time per week.  

This is another goal that I am on my way to successfully achieving.  As far as the big picture goes, I feel like I am making much better use of my time across the board.

Specifically related to my hobby, on an average weekday I spend 60-90 minutes working on various aspects first thing in the morning and nothing more than that.  Weekday lunches have been refocused on other personal priorities lately, such as reading and doing my best to develop an actual plan for the future.  Weekends tend to go up to a couple of hours each morning, but that time commitment only happens when I am actually home for a weekend, which is frequently not the case.  All told, even on my most dedicated weeks I am only putting in an average of about 10-12 hours, well below my target.

This has allowed me to do a number of other things that I enjoy, but had been neglecting, as well as take care of all the things that come along with being a homeowner, all while rarely feeling pressed for time.


Buy only what I need for my specific projects or what will benefit me financially by flipping items through my eBay Store.

Through the first half of 2011 this resolution has been entirely adhered to.  Since the end of March I can count on one hand the number of days that I have actually purchased anything card-related at all, which has certainly helped me stick to this resolution.  Not a great way to add to the collection, but very helpful in keeping up with my goal of a financially self-sufficient hobby.  I can honestly say that the intent of every purchase this year follows this resolution, although the outcome of some of them may not end up qualifying (i.e. my 07-08 Hot Prospects box purchases).

List new items in the store every week of the year.

As has already been indicated in the review of a couple of my goals and objectives discussed above, this goal is now officially unachievable.  And I am entirely ok with that.

These resolutions, along with my goals and objectives (which clearly overlap at times, so my apologies for that) were written before I actually got down to doing the work necessary to achieve them.  As time went on I realized that my priorities needed to change if I was going to realize the greatest benefit possible from the work that was needed, so I changed them.

There was no point in chasing the achievement of a resolution simply for the sake saying that I stuck to a plan that seemed to make sense months ago when adapting the plan provides me with a greater opportunity for long-term success.

Get pictures posted in as many of my listings as possible.

The “as many…as possible” should really just be the 100% that is referred to in the fourth goal/objective shown above, so I am not quite there yet, but have made significant progress.  Again, all apologies for the repetition between the goals/objectives and the resolutions, but the pair of articles that spawned these quarterly reviews were written at different times and I clearly had different levels of focus and commitment to my hobby when I wrote them.

Do not miss a single post on this blog.

So far so good!  As of today I am 51 for 51 in 2011, and 65 for 65 since starting this blog in November of 2010, posting a new article every single Wednesday and Sunday.

Do not let my hobby, or the pursuit of my goals related to my hobby, interfere with my personal and professional responsibilities.

As I discussed in my fifth goal/objective above, I have actually cut things back when it comes to my hobby, yet I have managed to be remarkably more productive in the reduced amount of time that I dedicate to my hobby.

As I alluded to above, I rarely feel pressed for time anymore.  I attribute this to the fact that such time-consuming activities as a lengthy commute, wedding planning, and home-buying are no longer a regular occurrence for me, freeing up significant chunks of time that I simply did not have for a more than four-year length of time.

Add in the fact that I have made a conscious effort to better plan and better use my time in general, and any interference that caused me to establish this resolution in the first place seems to have subsided.

It has now reached the point that I do not even need to keep this resolution front of mind, since there is ample time to work on my hobby without ever getting in the way of things that, quite frankly, are much more important.


So there it is, six months have come and gone, and what you see above is where I stand as I continue to pursue a financially self-sufficient hobby.

If you’d like to read more about the framework I am using in pursuit of that goal, check out my previously posted Toward Self-Sufficiency Series articles.

Also, I always love to hear what other collectors, bloggers, and those who read out of general interest have to say.  Leave a comment below, send me an e-mail at or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

Until Wednesday’s Project Progress Report, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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