December 22, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 9 Comments

Readers’ Contest Winners & a Round-Up of 2014!

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merry-christmasWelcome Back!

As many of you know, last week I launched our yearly readers’ contest to let YOU decide what kind of topics I will be covering on my blog in 2015. I received more than 50 entries (AMAZING!!!), so thanks very much for being active and letting me know what you want to see covered in this blog. I will make sure to get started on them as soon as I return from holiday in January.

Now it’s time to announce the five lucky people who each won a £20 Amazon gift card.

To make this draw as objective as possible, I simply took all your names and put them into to mix them up:

contest-listThe first five from the list created are the winners:

contest-winnersSo my congratulations go to:

  • Nici
  • Elaine Ingram (first one to leave a comment! 🙂
  • Tom Hartshorn
  • Ryan Thompson
  • Francis Neal

I will be in touch with each winner personally, via the email provided in the comments box.

If you see your name in the list, go and check your email right now so there are no delays and you can receive your Amazon gift card today! 🙂

Thanks again to everyone for taking part in this contest!

You really do help me a lot with these suggestions, as after posting more than 150 articles it really does become harder and harder to come up with worthwhile topics to cover. If you would like to take a look over all the posts in this history of this blog, you can simply head over to the blog archive at the Start Here page (the link in the main menu will also work fine).

Year 2014 Round-Up

Ok, it’s time to sum up this year before we can make a fresh start in a few weeks’ time and make the best out of 2015!

As always, at this time of the year, I take out my yearly plans sheet that I wrote last December to compare what’s been done and what hasn’t. If you followed my strategy last year, you can now do the same.

It’s a really great feeling to see that I have accomplished most of my goals, with some even being way exceeded! I won’t bore you with all the details but I have reached my financial goals by 120%, have completed all the projects I wanted and even more!

The office move for example wasn’t even in my plans but it’s done now! If you think about it, it’s amazing how much you can achieve in one year if you’re really productive and take all the chances life throws at you!

Yes, the downside is that I didn’t quite have the summer I had hoped. Instead of finally having a good rest like I’d planned I spent it renovating and moving into a new office. So that’s one goal that I didn’t accomplish this year (I hope my wife and kids will forgive me on this one).

The only other goal I didn’t accomplish is my weight target. I’m off by… ah well… a few pounds? Let’s just call it a few pounds!

The last 6 months of this year really were just too busy and too stressful for me and as a result I didn’t manage to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Too much junk food and not enough exercise, I’m sure you all know the story!

But as always, I’m not giving up, not at all! It’s 1st January in 10 days – perfect timing for a fresh start, right, with all the new year resolutions! Yeah I know, it’s bull***t really but hey, sometimes it’s good to get into the spirit of things!

On a more serious note – I know that I will be able to get back on track with this, I always do. I just hope I don’t get hit by another hacker attack and I don’t out-grow our new office next year! As stress really doesn’t go hand in hand with the healthy lifestyle I am trying to lead. As when there’s stress; there’s junk food, a few drinks too many etc. … you know how it goes!

But yes – apart from a missing summer vacation and personal weight issues, I have accomplished all the tasks I put down for 2014 and that really makes me happy. The perfect felling to lead up to 2 weeks of non-stop partying! takes off!

andrew-minalto-trafficWhat makes me even happier is THIS BLOG! A blog I only really started working on properly a year ago has become a true resource and hub for many, many people – those just starting out, established eBay sellers, first time importers, people who run their own ecommerce store and countless others!

Currently more than 100 000 people are visiting this blog every month! That’s 1.2 MILLION unique visitors per year! I think that’s a very solid figure for such a new blog and something that makes me very proud.

And you, my dear reader, play a huge part in this success! Just take a look at the number of comments we have on the most popular posts:

Half of them are mine of course! 🙂 As I still continue personally answering all questions you leave in the comments. I don’t think there are many blogs of this size out there that can genuinely say that. And yes, it does take a lot of time, especially on Monday mornings when there are 20+ comments awaiting moderation.

But still, I love helping you out and the best way I can do this is by sharing my knowledge with you.

To sum it up, this year has been spectacular for and I hope we’ll keep growing throughout the next year.

Looking forward to 2015

So what now? What’s next?

You know, we have a long-running family joke – each year in December, we look back on the last twelve months and say – “Wow, that was crazy! So much happened, I hope next year will be calmer!”

But no, that won’t be the case.

I think I have now realised that with an ambitious personality, and a lot of ideas, you can never really have that ‘easy year’! At least probably not for the next decade or so…

There’s ALWAYS something going on, like:

  • baby
  • second baby
  • new house
  • 30th b-day party
  • start a new company
  • start another new company
  • create a new video course
  • travel here and travel there
  • move into a office
  • renovate the back-yard
  • attend a wedding
  • another one
  • etc.

And the list goes on and on….

You get the idea here so I won’t bore you any more… I’m just trying to say that I’ve come to accept that’s just how it is and next year will be no different, so bring on another action packed twelve months!

Foe me this is the time when you take out a sheet of paper and write down all your personal, business and financial goals as well as any other tasks you want to accomplish next year. I have covered this strategy in high detail in my Time Management article here.

Personally for me, there are three major goals to accomplish next year:

  • Reach my financial goals (growth);
  • Reach my target weight (I can make it by next year, right?)
  • Finally bring to market my hand-made greeting cards brand (we have been working on it for almost a year and only now are all the bits and pieces finally in place).

These are my top 3 priorities for the next year.

There will also be many smaller goals of course which I will also write down on my yearly sheet.

I also like to use a calendar view where I can plan out the most important tasks across specific months. You can download a sample of such a calendar in PDF by clicking the image below:

calendars-that-workPlanning is easy, fun and exciting! Please don’t skip this and do it today, right now! Set your goals for the year 2015 and we’ll review them after 12 months’ time, right here, on this blog.

Ok, that’s it for today; I won’t bore you any longer as we all know that there are better things to do right now than sit in front of a computer.

Take this holiday time to refresh your mind, gather your thoughts and plans for next year and make sure you start with lots of positive energy.

Have a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year!

Keep rollin’!


P.S. If you have any stories about your goals/tasks that you did or didn’t accomplish this year, I would really like to hear about them! As always – leave your thoughts in the comments block below.

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  1. […] like the last year, I’m giving away a total of £100 in gift cards to 5 people, so £20 each, and the rules are […]

  2. wohoo i made it on the list … wait .. didnt we all ? lol.

    Ok jokes aside just want to say Im looking forward to 2015 and hope to focus more on a . com business rather then get caught up in a ebay amazon thiing , i believe success comes from your own hard work there fore i have researched , failed climbed bla di bla alot in last few years and feel this will be the best time to move forward and give it my all. God Willing.

    Anyway you been good help andrew with some of the posts i read from your site on a now n again basis and i am looking to buy ecommerce magnates will it be updated version for 2015 hopefully ill buy it early next year.

    Your a excellent mentor andrew and hope you stay successful in your goals.

    Have a blessed 2015.

    Your Reader


    ps: does ecommerce magnates cover which ssl cert to go for and benefits for a site.


    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks Sharaaz!

      I haven’t planned updating EM course in 2015 as it’s still very new and totally up to date for 2015.

      I cover SSL certificates in the course, yes.

      Thanks again & Good Luck in 2015!


  3. Wow Thank you Andrew for the notification of the one of the winning vouchers – I did reply to you but not sure if you got it but this address would be great for the voucher. Many thanks and have a great Christmas

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Nici! 🙂

      Thanks for taking part in this contest & Merry Christmas!


  4. Ryan Thompson

    Thanks again Andrew it’s most appreciated, all your hard work and help has been invaluable, so happy I purchased the EAB course, it’s answered a lot of questions and helped me set my dream into a plan that I can work through.

    Heres to this time next year where I will hopefully be well on my way to having my own business!

    Merry Christmas everyone and have a great New Year!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Ryan! 🙂

      Good luck in 2015 & I hope to see you here in 12 months time with a successful business set-up!

      Merry Christmas.


  5. Tom Hartshorn

    Fantastic, thanks Andrew 🙂

    I have only been a member of your courses for a few months but the last month i have really put things into action, i have just been informed the other day that next month i will be a eBay top rated seller, am well on my way to getting all listings completed and am also spending the evenings (and nights) building my new website on Bigcommerce.

    I would just like to personally thank you for your hard work and easy to follow videos (each of which i have watched more than twice)

    So here’s to a prosperous 2015, have a lovely Christmas and a fantastic new year.

    Tom & Family

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks very much Tom, I’m very happy for you!

      All the best for you & your family in 2015!

      Merry Christmas! 🙂

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