Making sense out of all these credit card point programs

As an e-commerce business owner, I put a lot of stuff on credit cards. Inventory, ppc ads, business-ish travel, and business-ish meals. So I finally gave in to this credit card hacking craze. I was a little skeptical about how long a credit card company could give away all these points/dollars/miles, but I finally just decided to get in the game. I still think the credit card industry is ripe for a disruption (businesses pay a lot to take credit cards), but meanwhile I’ll take what I can. read more

8 Year Anniversary

Eight years ago today, on Lunar New Year Day, I left the corporate mother ship to begin an unknown venture towards entrepreneurship. I saw the Lunar New Year theme as a sign of new beginnings and fortune, and it’s fitting that it’s 8 years to the day, as the number 8 symbolizes prosperity. read more

2017: The Year of Scale Up

I worked in process development back in my corporate days. What is process development? Basically, I figure out how to make a million of something. In other words, it’s about taking something someone has developed in a lab and putting in a process to make a lot of it. The buzzword is “scale-up.” For example, there’s a new formula for Downy that was developed in the lab with beakers and test tubes. We want to figure out how to make it at the plant, which may mean new tanks, new pumps, and mixers.

2017 was a year of scale-up for me. Before, it was throwing stuff against the wall to see if it sticks. This year, it was cleaning up all the stuff that fell to the floor and putting frames around the stuff that stuck. 2018 will be picking out stuff that’s more sticky, pre-treating the wall with glue, and adding more glue to the stuff before throwing it against the wall.

With that vivid imagery in your head, here are my top happenings and accomplishments over the 2017.

In the business category:

  • Revenue was up 55.7% compared to 2016, on growth of the flagship The Bucko Soap Scum and Grime Cleaner and launching the Flairosol lineup of sprayers.

  • I updated The Bucko Store (, in the hopes of selling directly to customers in addition to selling on the Amazon platform. It’s now on Shopify and I’ve set up email marketing for my customers and newsletter subscribers. That’s still a work in progress.
  • I hired a great virtual assistant. It’s not easy finding a great one, but having her has really helped the business grow. It also is hard to make sure I do my job in making her successful, but I think I’m getting there.
  • Investments were up 19%. And exactly 0% of that is in Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies (the subject of another blog post I’m sure). The S&P 500 was up 20%, so I trailed that a bit, but I think the S&P was one of the top performing indexes this year I guess I did OK. I also contributed to my Roth and SEP IRAs again because I have earned income!
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