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It’s 3:28 A.M and I’m still awake. If I had a real clock, I would at least have the tick-tock to distract me from my mind. I don’t. My iPhone clock glows as I pick it up: 3:29.
I’ve been a day late and a dollar short before, but this is different. Not only are our accounts behind and overdrawn, but we also have a baby on the way and can barely buy gas for me to get to work. I wish I had someone I could talk to about my stress. I look at my wife sleeping in the bed next to me.
Even in her sleep she is a shell of what she was just months before. This pregnancy has taken the best of both of us but, in Kirstie’s case, it has taken her health as well. She has already lost over 20 pounds, hasn’t eaten in days, and yesterday’s attempt to put in a feeding tube failed because her body would convulse until the heaving forced the tube out. I let her sleep. I know she’ll need it. I have to be up in just over three hours for work. I’ll wake Kirstie up just to kiss her goodbye and ask if there’s anything I can get her before I leave. I’ll see her again in 17 hours when I get home.
If you have never been in a position where you literally can’t do anything to improve your situation, you may not understand how I felt and why I was still awake that night. I couldn’t quit my job, I had to work all the overtime I could just to make ends meet. I couldn’t get a better job, I was still in school and was making as much as I could in the field I was in without a license. But I certainly couldn’t go on, day after day, like this.
Before I leave for work, I lay out some blankets and a pillow on the tile floor in our one tiny bathroom. I know that Kirstie will be spending the day on the floor there since she can’t get out of bed fast enough to get to the toilet when she needs to vomit. At this rate, there won’t be much left of Kirstie or myself when the baby is here. She’ll be born into a world of stress and illness and we’ll bring her back to our tiny trailer. Neither of us has much left to give.
We could kick this world’s butt and give our daughter the life we dream of for her and give her every opportunity there is. We could be patient, loving, and helpful. We could be the perfect Instagram family. If only we could get on our feet. As it is, I just hope I can get someone to cover my shift so I can be at the hospital when she is born.
As it turned out, my job was totally shut down for a week and I didn’t need to get my shift covered at all. Now, looking back, it’s completely obvious what we needed at the time. I needed a job that I could do at home so I could look after Kirstie and get things in order. I needed to start a business that required some time and dedication, but absolutely zero capital. I needed an answer that would allow me to support my family, but be with them in their hours of need. As anti-climactic as it sounds, I found that answer in eBay.
Today, we’re not driving a Ferrari, but we do drive a Toyota which starts every time I turn the key. I no longer have to punch a time card, but I do get up at 6:00 every day and work for at least 14 hours. I do go upstairs and close the door of my office to get work done, but I also can leave at the drop of a hat to change a particularly bad diaper, help Kirstie with one or both of our two beautiful girls, or simply eat lunch with my family.
If you’ve been interested in selling on eBay, you’ve probably seen eBooks or Instagram posts of resellers posing next to their fancy car, or maybe laying ultra-posed on the mounds of packages they’re sending out that day. While we do love posting our progress on Instagram, and it is possible to make huge amounts of money on eBay, just the peace of mind that I have knowing that I can both provide for my family and be there for them is worth more than anything else. I just can’t really post a picture of that on Instagram.
While we haven’t made millions on eBay (yet), we do well over 6 figures in sales per year and continue to grow. Even now, 3 years after my late night I just told you about (it was one of many), I have yet to hear of another business that you can start without a single penny. I started selling on eBay late one night when I got home from work, listing everything in our house that we didn’t need (and a few things we did, times were hard). Before long, we had enough money to invest in more product, then to regularly leave the house and source for product. Then to start buying pallets of product online so I could spend more time at home.
Now that I have told you about one of the hardest times in my life, I guess you could also know my name. I’m Seth. You’ve met my wife, Kirstie, and heard of our two daughters, Hazel and Beatrix. We enjoy doing all the things that a family with a 2.5-year-old do: smimming, eating peeza, and watching Beauty an da Beas. Times are not as lean as they once were, and we’re actually saving for a house rather than hoping to be able to buy groceries this week. Instead of spending my nights awake and stressed, I spend them awake and singing my daughters back to sleep. I’m still in school, now majoring in Public Health, and Kirstie is a full-time stay-at-home mom. We may have upgraded to living in a basement rather than a trailer – but we finally are able to relax and be happy like we were when we were dating, before life kicked us in the teeth. We still like adventuring, cats, bad puns, and we’re still crazy in love. If you like any of those things (or maybe are just interested in making money selling on eBay) you’ll be right at home here.