Category Archives: Inspiring & Positive Posts

Is Your Future Based Online?

future-online

Is the future of all entertainment online? If this is is the case, and I think that it is – mostly – then the future of making money is most definately online. This should be good news for you if you have been looking for ways to make money from home.

This is a changing world and it is changing more and more each day. Over the last 10 years retail has been growing online. We now can order our weekly grocery shopping online and have it delivered right to our front door.

home-delivery

When I Was A Lad!

Way back in the day when I used to go clubbing many ravers would drive hundreds of miles each weekend to see and hear their favourite DJs play the music we wanted to hear. We would buy tape packs which were recorded live at the raves so that we could listen to the music in our cars, in our homes or in our Walkmans.

rave-pack
If you lived in a city then you were lucky, you might have had access to the odd pirate radio station or even a real legal radio show with your favourite local DJs playing the music you liked but on the whole, as a nation you could only get to see the DJs and hear the music you loved at one of the many raves across the country. The DJs would travel to several events each night covering hundreds of miles.

Closing Clubs & The Increasing Access To Music

Times are changing, clubs all across Europe are now closing down due to the footfall dropping. Youngsters are no longer going to clubs like they once used to. The reason for this demise in the club scene is said to be the ease at which people can access music today via online streaming. As I write this article I am listening to KoolLondon online. KoolLondon was a pirate radio station set up 25 years ago during the rave scene which was popular at the time, the scene I loved.

KoolLondon is now legal and broadcasts to London as a radio and the rest of the world online. If I miss a show then they usually have a download available for me to listen to as a podcast. Many of my favourite DJs now record podcasts and put them on sites like Mixcloud or Soundcloud and then share them via social media and email. There is no longer a shortage of quality dance music. I can listen to many sources at any time of the day.

Many DJs are also now doing live video streaming performances thanks to the new Live feature on Facebook. I watched the final ever Carl Cox DJ set last week live from the legendary (but now sadly closed) Space club in Ibiza.

carl-cox-at-space
So why would you want to spend money to travel halfway across town or the country – or even the world – often standing in queues in the cold to go to a club costing a lot of money to get in when you can hear the music you love live from the comfort of your own home?

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be people who enjoy live gigs and shows that love to meet up with people and have a real night of it but they cannot afford to do every gig. Numbers are dropping and venues are closing.

Music is available to everyone these days at anytime of the day thanks to iTunes, YouTube, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Spotify, Pandora and many more. The downside to this is not just the fact clubs are closing but musicians are not making a lot out of the sales.

pandora-money

But the site owners are and that is where the money is. They are middlemen businesses and you too can become one.

Starting A Middleman Business & Profiting From Other People’s Work.

Starting A Middleman Business & Profiting From Other People’s Work.

NetFlix And Chill

It is not just music though, we now watch TV and films online, we can stream the latest releases from the comfort of our own homes via companies like Amazon, NetFlix, Sky amongst others. With the cost of a cinema ticket being pretty expensive I can see that one day new films may bypass cinemas altogether and broadcast online for a fee.

This might happen not because the film industry wants it to but because the public are fed up of the expense of going to watch a film. At least from home they can be comfortable, not have to put up with others talking or throwing sweets around and they can pre buy their snacks from the supermarket for a lot less money.

cinema-price-rantDistant Learning And The Next Level

But it doesn’t stop there, it is not just music and TV that is being streamed, there are live educational programmes. People like Bob Proctor and Todd McFarlane are giving live training on Facebook and other dedicated websites. Bob is a life coach and self help guru whereas Todd is a professional comic book artist.

live-streaming

Let’s not forget that there are loads of people getting their (other) voyeuristic kicks online using webcams and online services as this article will show you.

webcam busines fi

Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income.

Self-Publishing Your Own Online Wealth

I have written several times about how the online world has changed the publishing industry. People are now becoming famous and wealthy self-publishing authors without the need of the backing from a large publishing house. A lot of these books are bought, downloaded and even read online.

Kindle readers and other ebook reading apps have turned tablets and smartphones into libraries. The new Hollywood film The Martian starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott came to life originally as an online story written by Andy Weir which he shared one chapter at a time via his website.

the-martian

It was read by fans who requested that he put it on the Amazon Kindle store. After selling 35,000 copies in three months it garnered the attention of audiobook and printed book publishing companies.

The rest they say is history. His-story is not only a fascinating and inspiring one but this also shows that people have and are buying books, reading books and creating careers and fortunes by going online instead of going down the old traditional routes.

steve scott kindle

How One Marketer Makes $25,000-$30,000 A Month After Swapping Affiliate Marketing For Writing Kindle Ebooks.

Eyes Down!

Think about other hobbies which required people having to visit a specific building. Apart from competitive and team sports such as football and athletics a lot of other hobbies are now played online from home. Before I started to write this article I watched yet another celebrity endorsed advert for online bingo.

mecca-bingo-louise

Bingo was once the chosen hobby for the blue rinse brigade. Old ladies would meet up and play a few games while having a natter. It became a social event for many of them. A chance to get out of the house for a few hours and meet up with close friends.  For some bingo provided an important community service.

blue-rinse-bingo-brigade

Now the story is different. The age range has changed with people of any age and sex playing bingo. But that is not the only difference, the big difference is that people play online using laptops, tablets and smartphones. Bingo halls have closed by over 200 over the past decade with around 6,500 jobs lost.

The crazy bingo tax and the smoking ban have played a big part in the demise but the rise in the popularity of online bingo websites certainly wouldn’t have helped. They are kicking the offline bingo industry while it is down!

foxy-bingoI Bet You Don’t Know What Is Next?

Times have changed for the old high street bookies, the old vision of smokey bookies crammed full with men having a flutter on the horses or football games is no longer correct. With many of the big bookkeepers now online along with betting exchanges like BetFair people are placing bets and trades online.

betfair

They are placing these bets from home, from the bars and even the sporting events themselves.

If you are not sure about what I mean by ‘trades’ take a look at this incredibly simple way to make money by trading horse racing – take a profit before any horse has had a chance to run!

2 Minute Trader Plus

As well as bingo and betting on sports, casino games like poker can now be played at home online against players from all around the world. No longer do you need to pop to the nearest city to go to the big casino. You simply play online using a laptop, tablet or a smartphone.

Its A Brand New World Out There.

Mark my words, the world is changing and will continue to do so. More of the things that we did years ago which meant having to go somewhere and deal with people in person will move to the online world.

Of course there will always be offline work, buildings need to be built. Farms need to be farmed, trains need to be driven and physical products need to be made, sold and delivered but there are a lot of things that we do now will change.

People are now learning and participating in online yoga courses, consultations are given over Skype and people are watching live club nights from the other side of the world. If you had told me that would happen when I went clubbing 20 years ago I would not have believed you.

So I shall leave you to sit and think for a while, is there a hobby, service or product that you can offer to people online? If you can then you could be soon building yourself a very profitable online business.

Success Is Achieved By Getting Your Priorities In Check. What Are Your Priorities?

success-is-achieved-by-priorites

It might appear to be a very strange question, especially from a blog about making money online but I have my reasons for asking.

You see, I don’t think failure is always down to people NOT doing certain things but can also be because many people do OTHER things which prevent them succeeding in the very thing that they really want. For many of us – maybe most of us –  spare time and money is in short supply.

This doing of OTHER things can be the result of many habits or circumstances, such as not having a lot of funds but spending whatever spare cash they do have on doing everyday pleasures like eating takeaways or popping out for a few beers.

These things do give us pleasure but only for a few hours and we humans crave instant gratification often opting to have a quick pleasure now instead of the long term pleasure brought about from accomplishing a goal.

Sometimes we spend our spare time and money on things not because we want to but out of a habit, a craving for instant pleasure or even for other people’s pleasure such as a loved one.

As the old saying goes ‘time is money’’– and it is. Time is our most valuable asset and money is our most powerful tool, but if you are unable to spare much of either then your chances of success can be pretty low.

So to succeed you need to invest either your time or money or both but when you are an average person with a day job and a partner with short supply of time and money you can often find yourself stuck in what feels like a vacuum watching your spare time and money being sucked away from you.

Relationships are great, to spend your life with someone who cares about you and someone you care about can be very rewarding but it can also rob you off a lot of valuable time. Your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend obviously wants to spend time with you, this is understandable but they also want to spend time with their friends – with you, and they want to do things – often with you.

The things they want to do such as going out for meals, going on holidays, going out drinking and dancing, having days out to the seaside or shopping trips in big cities, going to the cinema or seeing shows or even just having a quiet night in with a film, a bottle of wine and a takeaway costs money. They also add up in hours.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you should suddenly become single and get rid of your loved one or your family nor am I saying that you cannot or should not enjoy time with them or enjoy doing things.

What I am saying is, and I speak from a lot of personal experiences, is to be aware of what you are doing, what you are spending your time and money on and what that could be doing to your chances of success.

I have noticed that over the years I have been to more ‘friends’ gatherings thanks to the better half than going to gigs or music events. I for one prefer the latter. I have had some great nights with friends but often I would find that I had spent money which – at that time – I could ill afford on food and drink at these gatherings.

Then when I saw a poster or promotion for a gig that I really would have loved to have gone to I didn’t because I chose to save what little money I had left for more important things. Which really sucked when you consider what I had managed to waste money on. Had I been single I would have chosen more of the latter.

The same thing is said for time, time is very precious and I am also guilty of wasting time watching pointless soaps and TV shows which have done nothing more for me than pass time. Much of it wasn’t even that enjoyable either! When I was single I very rarely watched the TV until I crawled into bed, I would wind down with a film or some comedy. Now I end up sitting and watching the TV while I chat to the family.

Now here is the thing, we often do things without thinking. I too have called at Starbucks or Costa Coffee for a quick drink now and then but I certainly won’t make a habit of it though. I know people who call in regularly, spend up to £30 a week on coffee and the odd cake or panini then complain that they have no money left for that gig or party that they fancy.

Correct me if I am wrong but spending money each week on things that you can get from home is wasting valuable money that you could be using for ‘other’ fun things. Especially if money and time is in short supply, why would you waste it on things that are just short temporary pleasures?

I use gigs and other fun things as the example to what we miss out on by being sucked into doing things we would rather not do but the time and money could be spent on doing things which could change your life for the better. You could be working on a business or a book, something that could drastically improve your lifestyle.

Not everyone has the same amount of resources and with all of us living different lifestyles no two lives are the same. I agree that we all have 24 hours in a day but I don’t buy into that ‘we all have the same amount of time’ line. We do all have 24 hours a day but circumstances and choices often dictate what time we are left with spare.

Even choices we have made in the past dictate our amount of spare time, and they cannot just be stopped or changed at the drop of a hat. If you chose to have children then you cannot just get rid of them to free up time.

So the next time someone tries to make you feel bad for not having much time and use the words ‘You chose to have children’ just ignore them for being a prat no matter if it is technically true. What you need to do is realise what time you are wasting on doing the things that you do not want to do – ignoring those that you have to do as part of your life or family responsibilities.

Earning money to put food on the table and the roof over your family’s heads is very important. Running your partner or children around to friends houses or doing stuff with them is very important.

But going to the pub to drink several glasses of beer or wine while you gossip or sit and watch families fall out in soap operas is not important. They are the things that you chose to do in the here and now and they are also things that can change now. If time and money is in short supply then you need to prioritise and become more selfish and ruthless with your time.

If you want to change your life, your job or your lifestyle and you need to build or grow a business, make more money or even write that bestselling novel you will need to spend the time and money on making it happen.
And if that means saying no to less nights out and less meals with your friends or your partner’s friends then so be it. What you are losing out on in the long run is probably far more than what you are gaining in the short term.

Can You Outsource Your Way To Wealth?

Starting a new online business can be hard, it can require a lot of time and often a lot of money. Strange as it may sound, especially if you are short of spare cash, but paying people to do a lot of the work can – in the long run – be more economic for you.

If you are already working in a job and earning money then why not put some of those earnings aside to help build your online business? Especially if there is a chance of overtime, the extra money from doing a job you know inside out can really fund a business forward. I have a great example of how doing it yourself can cost you dearly.

A close friend of mine was once owner of a large building which he was converting it into apartments and shops. He was a very in demand electrician and had a lot of work that he could have done in the evenings and weekends. But instead he decided to spend his weekends and evenings working on his property. He would do all of the plumbing, a lot of the woodwork and decorating.

Partly to save money and partly because he wanted to do it. Maybe for the accomplishment or simply for the ego but he wanted to basically self build the whole project. Which is great but… even after fifteen years it never got finished! Eventually he had to sell the property to pay off debts the project had accrued. It sold for a loss and not all debts were paid off. So why am I telling you this?

As an in demand electrician, working for big factories and the farms in the area, he was charging more per hour than what the other trades were charging. He had a lot of work to catch up on with a lot of potential extra overtime work in the evenings and weekends.

Had he decided to really throw himself into the electrical work in the evenings and weekends as well as during the week instead of working on his project, he would have earned a lot more than what was needed to pay joiners, plumbers and decorators to do the work. Plus the work would have been done and finished a lot quicker. The whole project would have been finished in less than five years in my opinion.

As a joiner I did some of the work and watched as the project changed from one badly planned idea to another and then not getting finished. Not one of the tasks were fully finished, two flats in one part of the complex were finished but the stairway to them hadn’t been decorated or had the skirting boards and flooring finished. This was repeated across the whole building.

If you want to develop an old building or build a family home would you do all of the trades yourself such as the electrics, joinery, roofing, bricklaying, plastering and plumbing? Most people can just about manage the decorating but would you try and do everything yourself? If you were doing a day job and had very little building skills how long do you think it would take you to finish your project?

Property developers do the same thing, their business is to convert old buildings or build new ones but they generally use the skilled trades people to the work while they focused on the marketing and selling of the business.
doc-savageAnother story I want to share is the one about the pulp fiction writer Leslie Dent. If you have been reading our posts on this blog you will know that I have talked about pulp fiction writing before.

How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model

For the self published author or publishing company it has become very profitable. Lester Dent was the creator and main author of the series of novels about the superhuman scientist and adventurer, Doc Savage. The 159 novels written over 16 years were credited to the house name Kenneth Robeson.

The publishing company Street and Smith  published 181 Doc Savage novels before it ceased publication in 1949. Dent wrote around 160 of the Doc Savage books and was paid around $500 per novel which is a huge amount of money back in the 1930s and 1940s. Today it has an equivalent spending power of over $6,800.

But here is the thing, Street and Smith banked on earning far more back because they would print the stories on cheap paper and then sell them for 10c originally to a mass market. Pulp fiction magazines and novels were huge back in the mid twentieth century. They would sell tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of the magazines. Of course this would add up to a substantial profit.

Smith and Street were the publishers, their business was publishing adventure stories for the masses but they themselves – Mr Street and Mr Smith – did not write the stories themselves nor did they design the cover art. They outsourced the whole thing and it was a very profitable business.

The internet is now a global concern, you have access to people all over the world with the skills that you need. There are web designers, article/ebook/ghost writers, video producers, content creators, WordPress developers, software developers, artists, ebook designers and social media managers to name a few available to use – and often at a great price.

For $10-15 dollars you could have a fairly good short article written while you get paid by work. Do this daily or weekly and you could be growing an online business fast.

So if you are thinking of building an online business, maybe a simple Cash Curator style website or maybe a bigger authority niche website I would recommend that you have a good think about whether you should outsource much of the main work like writing website content and social media management otherwise you may end up like my good friend… with an unfinished project that has cost you a lot of time and money and is worth less than when you started.

Have You Missed An Opportunity Due To Not Taking Action? Sorry To Drone On.

Have you ever had what you thought was a good idea but didn’t do anything about it?

Have you seen something similar years later and kicked yourself for not starting on that great idea?

The reason I ask is because this week I got talking about an old friend who is currently living in France bit-ing and bobbing for work. He is living in a small bedsit in the south of France. Apparently rental property is not cheap there and he can not afford anything bigger and more comfortable.

He is probably enjoying his life out in the sun but it could have been a lot different. He could have been running a very successful business or maybe even a YouTube channel. Several years ago we both lived in the same building. It was a block of apartments owned by a mutual friend of ours. We would regularly bump into each other in the car park and have a chat.

One day he asked me if I was interested in investing into a business idea he had and becoming part of the business. I already had too many commitments at that time and really could not spare any more time or funds on something else so I declined his kind offer.

The business idea he had involved drones, at the time I knew nothing about them, but he flew remote control planes and helicopters and drove remote control cars as a hobby so he was really clued up about them.

He told me how much they were to buy or build and how useful they would be for specific industries. His idea was to use drones fitted with high quality cameras like the Go Pro which transmitted live video to a laptop allowing him to study hard to reach areas of buildings and roofs without the need of ladders, scaffolding and safety equipment.

drone with gopro

He could then do surveys for property owners and building companies for a fee while reducing their workload, cost and responsibility. It sounded quite viable as a business but I was not sure about drones and how popular they would be. Several years later and drones are all over the place.

hidden britain by drone

They are very popular, there are drones being used on TV shows, drones are used to make popular and funny YouTube channels, drones are being used to deliver ice creams on the beach of Mablethorpe, Domino Pizzas and Amazon have tested drones for delivery services and there are now people racing drones in sporting competitions.

Drones are big business.

And guess what? I recently saw on TV a company using a drone to check out hard to reach areas of a building! It was a good business idea after all, it might have been a very profitable business.

Now before you ask; this is not about me, I have no regrets for turning down the offer. What I do want to talk about is my friend who had the idea in the first place. When he had the idea he was again bit-ing and bobbing for work. He was always skint and didn’t have any full time work. He could have really thrown himself into the new business venture… but he didn’t.

So why is he not doing this as a business?

Because I didn’t invest in the business!

One of the reasons I didn’t want to get involved is that I knew him well and he likes other people to bring the money to the table and do the work.

But he himself could have easily financed the business venture, he knew the cost of the drone, the camera and how to link it all together with the laptop. It might have been no more than £1000 to set up, especially with him being a dab hand with remote control airplanes, he could have hand built the ideal drone for a fraction of the price.

If he was short of the money he knew how much he needed and could have planned a way to start saving up for it. He could have saved the money over the period of a year and then started. It has now been several years and he has done nothing with that idea. He had the idea before drones became popular and commonplace.

Even if the business idea failed he could have done a photography business with the drone capturing great aerial shots or after spending time getting used to the drone he could have mastered it to a point that he could have been uploading great videos to YouTube making money via Google AdSense.

What is important to remember is that he had a great business idea, he had seen an opportunity before others and wanted to try it but, he didn’t because he personally failed to take action. Nothing was stopping him but himself. Even when I said no to joining him in his venture, it wasn’t the reason that he failed. He could have done it alone but he decided not to.

I cannot say where he would be now and how successful the business idea would have been but what I do know is that:

  1. Drones are being fitted with cameras and used a lot today to reach those hard to see places.
  2. Because he didn’t even make a start with the business we will just never know.

I wouldn’t be surprised though had he started the business that he would be living in a better apartment in the south of France and he wouldn’t be bit-ing and bobbing for a few Euros either.

The next time you have a big idea; maybe you should really consider taking action and turning that idea from a thought that is in your head into a real physical business or product. At least then you would know for definate whether it will be successful or not.

the digital academy

The Creative Process Is The REAL Way to Wealth

One of the most fundamental things to success which is generally overlooked is the creative process. Or creativity in general really. The Independent recently reported that new government figures showed that the creative industries such as film, music, art and other creatives generate around £84 billion a year. That is a staggering £10 million an hour!

When you consider the success of JK Rowling with her Harry Potter stories you can see how this works. A lot of people are employed in the creative industries and that number is growing. Entertainment is big business, people love to be entertained. Whether it is reading books or ebooks including comics, watching films or TV shows, listening to music and going to gigs or going to events like the theatre or art exhibitions –– people love to do fun stuff.

I want to talk to about being creative and the creative process. I am not going to focus on the actual creative industries such as writing or making music as I have covered those before in great detail, today I am going to talk about the creative process for business and success.

The creative process is by far the most powerful and important part of any business. It it that process where all of the best ideas and solutions come from. It is also one of the things that is most overlooked.

What do I mean by that?

If I was to give advice to youngsters at a school I would use gang violence as the main example.

Gangsta Rappers & Knife Crime London

I grew up listening to a lot of early Hip Hop and Rap and so I would always be frustrated when I would see the news reporting another senseless death on the streets of our cities. London was having an epidemic of knife killings as the number of local gangs grew. Youngsters with so much potential and unused talents were killed because of stupidity and misunderstanding of basic principles – and rap music often got the blame.

knife crime

Youngsters were idolising Gangsta rappers from the US like 50 Cent and Dr Dre while watching violent gangster films made by Hollywood. Youngsters would ‘copy’ their lifestyles and what they saw in the films. (I know the gang issues are a lot more complicated than just copying rappers and also things like poverty and unemployment play a big part but stick with me here.)

dr dre and 50 cent

One sad story was a young lad was murdered in or near a chip shop for disrespecting a gang member, that disrespect was actually a snap response to constant bullying and disrespect from the gangs themselves. It was and probably still is getting out of hand.

Many youngsters are now locked away for years for killing people for one reason or another. Many of them will now spend most of their adult lives behind bars and when they are eventually released they will struggle in the new outside world because they missed so much of it. All because they didn’t think things through properly.

Some of these gang members responsible for serious violent crimes posted videos to YouTube showing themselves rapping in the style of their American Gansta rapping heroes. They were imitating and trying to act and behave like these rappers, they wanted the money, fame and the success that they had –– but here is where they got it so wrong.

Misunderstanding The Gangsta Rappers Success

The Gansta rappers of the US mainly spoke about how life used to be, the life they were trying to get away from. Occasionally they may have a beef with other rappers and say things like ‘what they may do’ but that was only as lyrics. What the youngsters were missing was that these rappers and DJs were spending their spare time avoiding trouble and practicing their craft.

They were engaging the creative process thinking up new lyrics, they were practicing their rapping skills, they were in the studio making music and creating beats, they were going to freestyle rap battles at clubs. They were not going out looking for trouble, they were trying to escaping that lifestyle. They were focused on the creative process. The process which took them to fame and fortune.

Dr Dre lost a brother to gang violence back in the early 80s and his mother tried her hardest to keep him away from the gangs. He turned to music; first being the DJ in the World Class Wreckin Cru then moving on to the legendary N.W.A. He is now one of the world’s wealthiest paid music producers with his name behind a range of speakers and headphones which was recently purchased by Apple for $3billion in cash and stocks.

World Class Wreckin Cru ft. Dr. Dre – Surgery

Dr Dre went from gangland Compton to becoming a billionaire rapper.

The reason many Gangsta rappers become successful is because of the music they make, the songs they record and the performances they do. The very same reason JK Rowling is a very wealthy author, they decided to use their creativity and focus on that alone.

It was never the gang lifestyle that made them successful. The time spent in gangs may have toughened them up and made them more determined to succeed but the actual gang banging would not have done them anygood. If they had continued in that lifestyle they would probably have ended up in prison or worse – dead.

That is why so many youngsters are in jail here in the UK for knife crimes because they focused on the gang lifestyle itself and not actually used their creativity. They simply did not think clearly or properly.

To idolise and copy your heroes is one thing but to do it wrongly is dangerous and for many youngsters they were so far off the mark it has ruined their lives.

The creative process is so important to business as this is where the good ideas come from. All businesses, films, books and pieces of music came from an idea generated by the creative process.

People Simply Don’t Think.

albert schwitzer

The late Nobel Prize winning Dr Albert Schweitzer was asked in an interview many many years ago, “Dr, what is wrong with men today?” After pausing for a while his answer was “men simply don’t think.” Now he wasn’t just being flippant, he was referring to proper creative thinking.

Mankind bumbles from one thing to another, preoccupied with daily dramas and gossips, their minds and mouths filled with complaints but they do not actually give themselves time to think. When people do stop and think they come up with ideas, ideas which lead to solutions or become solutions themselves.

Earl Nightingale suggests that people should spend sometime alone with a notepad and pen everyday for 30 days. It could be an hour or just half hour but during that time they should try and think up 5 new ideas. After 30 days of coming up with ideas a person would have 150 new ideas to work on. (Listen to what Earl Nightingale says in the video below. Highly Recommended!)

The Strangest Secret Earl Nightingale Conant

One of those ideas could be the way out of your debt, it could be the end to the rut you find yourself in, it could be the change to your life that you have wanted for many years. Ideas alone will not change your life without action but they are the ancestor to action. A single idea has the potential to change a person’s life forever.

jk rowling harry potter the elephant house coffee shop

When JK Rowling had her idea for Harry Potter she was a single mother on benefits. She used whatever spare time she had to write her first draft of the book, often she was seen sat writing in coffee shops across Edinburgh. Her life is now a lot different to what it was back then.

We all have ideas come to us, you can be sat on the sofa when a flash of inspiration hits you but how many of us write it down then explore the idea more with creative and analytic thinking? I have been sat in pubs with my friends who have spoken of their latest great idea but they have never given it anymore viable thought other than to tell us of their great idea!

The great thing about really thinking is that not only do you get great ideas, you often figure out a plan and how to go about things which makes the whole process of turning that idea into a reality a lot easier.

Having A Good Idea & Creating A Plan

Recently I have been writing a couple of fiction stories: I needed an idea so I sat and brainstormed a few. I soon had an idea for the story and the main character but I needed more. So I sat and started to think up the other characters, what happened in the story, how things happened and in what order (mostly).

Having this background prepared I was able to sit and start writing. I knew what to write and that made it flow a lot easier. Without that plan I would not have two connected short stories totalling 28000 words written which have been read and loved by several members of my family. (Family make the best proofreaders and critics 🙂 )

 

With our busy lives and constant distractions from TV, radio and social media it is no surprise that people do not think much these days. It has been said that we are now more reactional than proactive. People react to dramas and situations in a stressed and panicked way regularly –– as seen on TV soaps –– but never prepare for or plan their way out of possible future issues.

The life we live today is the result of our past performances.

If we are poor today that is because we have not earned enough money last month or worse, cultivated the skills and discipline to do the work that is necessary to bring in the money that we need.

If we are struggling to afford the bills this week then maybe we should have not spend so much last month or if spending money wasn’t the issue then we need to make more money and that will not happen if we spend the time burying our heads in the sand and allowing ourselves to become distracted.

Our minds are the best source of riches on the planet. As the writer Russell Conwell said, there is more wealth buried in our minds than in an acre of diamonds. (Or words to that effect!)

Maybe it is time for you to turn off the TV or the radio, put down the tablet and smartphone, close the laptop and pick up a notepad and pen. Maybe it is time to do some real creative thinking. Maybe it is time to come up with ideas, create plans and focus on them until they become your reality.

Remember; the two most powerful ingredients to success are thinking and action.

Thinking + Action = Success

The Changing Face Of Business

I am sure you are aware of the global economic crisis that has been happening over the last few years. We have heard of the horror stories where the economic and social foundations of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus have nearly collapsed. These have all added fuel to the fire which resulted in the British public leaving the European Union in last week’s referendum.

brexit

Unemployment is high in these countries now. As I write this Spain is having a second general election because the last one in December did not result in a decisive outcome and so Spain has been run by a caretaker Government.  It is said that unemployment is at a staggering 50% with more and more people in Spain forced to get food from food banks because they cannot afford a full weekly shop.

Greece is slowly recovering after seeing regular street protests and rioting resulting in shops and businesses being attacked. Times have been so desperate lately that people are turning on themselves.

greece

Many of the issues in places like Spain and Cyprus were made worse by people in places like the UK not being able to afford overseas holidays so they chose to stay in their own countries which meant a lot of tourist places that relied heavily on income from tourism and tourist based work were seriously affected.

Many people believe that the bankers with greedy intentions and dodgy dealings have caused many of the issues, and they might be right. Governments bailing out banks have had to force cuts within the public sector which simply amplifies the misery that people are living with. But bankers and capitalism isn’t the cause of all of the issues that protesters will have you believe.

We are living in a different world these days and what worked 10 – 20 years ago is slowly changing.

Do you remember Woolworths, Blockbuster video and HMV? Over the last few years they have been in the headlines because they were forced to close making a lot of people unemployed. And of course the  BHS collapse has been in the news recently. But when we look closely at these stores what do we see? We see companies that have been around for years offering the public products that were once expensive to buy, expensive to manufacture and that you could only get from the big stores that could afford to stock them.

hmv blockbuster woolworths

Products like video and DVD’s, music CDs, books, stationery and even household goods. What is the first thing most people think when they look at those items?

‘Videos? DVD’s? They are so last decade!’

Many of today’s big stores are not suffering because of the economic crisis that has been caused by the bankers, many jobs are not being lost because of the banking system, they are being lost because the way our society is changing, they are being lost down to the advancement and development in modern technology and working systems.

We are at a similar stage to the industrial revolution of the early 19th century. Advancements in technology is making life easier and better for all, unfortunately with those changes some things and some people may suffer.

We are now living in the digital age; music is now in MP3 format and can be downloaded to mobile phones, MP3 players, computers, tablets and even eBook readers like the Kindle. Books are in PDF or Kindle form and can also be downloaded directly from the online store to Kindles, mobile phones, computers and tablets.

Movies and TV shows are the same; they come in digital format that can be downloaded and streamed live via your computer and mobile phone. I mean think about it, mobile phone? We can sit and watch TV on a phone while travelling on a bus or train!

Tesco now have their own Film and TV streaming service called BlinkBox to rival Netflix and Amazon. All are growing and changing the way we receive our entertainment. What was just an online thing routed to a TV by HDMI leads from a laptop is now becoming a defunct technology with modern TVs now coming connected to the internet via wifi or with USB sticks like Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire. Internet TV is now being watched on large TVs!

blinkbox love film netflix

Imagine trying to tell someone one back in 1988 who owned one of those huge car phones that within 20 years we would be watching TV or listening to radio broadcast live from the other side of the world on hand held mobile phones! Then tell them that these phones are capable of storing more books and music albums than what most people have on their shelves.

scooby doo mobile

We live in a new age, we cannot overlook that, Woolworths might have closed down their stores but their online business was thriving until they recently joined the huge online store Very.co.uk. An online store has far less overheads and running costs compared to the traditional retail business model which requires having loads of stores in each major town across the UK.

There are rents and rates to consider, the utility costs such as electricity needed for lighting and running tills, water and possibly gas for toilets and heating. There are the costs of fitting out the stores with shelving, stands and equipment, there are the big costs of insurances, the cost of replacing products that have disappeared thanks to light fingered shoplifters, the cost of repairs after ’10 Stella’s Steve’ decided to put a road sign through the window on a Saturday night when he realised he was too late to buy a kebab and finally there are the wages that come with having so many staff. Offline businesses are very costly to run.

Change Is Inevitable!

coal not doleIt is a sad fact that when change comes people will lose their jobs. When the Miners were shouting ‘Coal not dole’ during the strikes of 1984 it was a desperate attempt to keep Britain in the past, what worked 20 years ago might not work now. No one likes to be out of work, (apart from those on Channel 5 documentaries!) but when one door closes others open.

Woolworths sold items that were becoming available to smaller shops like stationery and even household items, now they can be bought online and even personalized from the comfort of your own home by using sites like CafePress.com. How can these big shops still compete?

An ex Woolworths employee might have lost their job but today they now have the opportunity of creating an online store selling mugs, T-Shirts, notepads and bags with their designs and photographs using sites like CafePress or Zazzle for very little outlay. This was not possible 20 years ago, where a Woolworths store once sold to the local populace, a CafePress store owner can sell to people worldwide.

cafepress

As the popular saying goes ‘when one door closes another opens’; the doors to the world have been thrown open wide. When I was printing T-Shirts and selling them on my eBay shop I was sending T-Shirts to place like Russia, Singapore, the USA and Australia. I was sending items abroad every week, many of the places I had never visited.

Musicians are now able to take control of their own music. Typically I cannot remember the name of the band I wanted to use as my example but I remember the story well.  Several years ago there was a new young indie band that had been signed to a record label, they were quite good, they were fairly popular and even had records in the UK charts and an album out.

Surprisingly the record label decided to let them go, maybe they were not generating enough sales for the label – I am not sure. Record labels do spend a lot of money producing albums and promoting bands but with shows like the X-Factor coming along which creates the market for the winner and generates money from the voting system, the music industry has changed a lot. It has moved away from the old days where record labels risked their money on new bands so it is possible this band was a victim of the current state of the industry.

Does the band regret being left high and dry by their label? Not at all, in fact it is quite the opposite; to start with they might have been a bit deflated and miffed but now? They are in complete control of their own future. With social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and with music stores like iTunes, the band were able to keep growing their following and producing music that they wanted to produce, music which they were able to sell and promote themselves while keeping all of the rewards.

They can dictate where they go and what they do, they are completely free to go in the direction they and their fans want without the interference of the record label who were focusing primarily on getting back as much profit from their investment as possible.

How many people have we seen that have become stars worldwide because they took the time to use the tools we all now have at our disposal? Tools we take for granted?

The Scottish singer Sandi Thom, who was signed to a small record label, released a single “I sandi thomWish I Was A Punk Rocker” which flopped big time. Travelling from a gig her car broke down and as she sat waiting an idea popped into her head, Sandi created the “21 Nights from Tooting Tour” which were 21 live performances from her basement flat in Tooting.

Tickets were sold but the basement could only hold 10 people with most of them being the band. These performances were recorded and put out onto the web, using the then popular social media network MySpace to promote her webcast she gained a following; she went on to do a series of live webcasts.

With the help of several national newspapers who ran the story, one of Sandi Thom’s live webcasts was watched by a reported 70,000 people. Record label A&R men flocked to her shows to see what was going on. Sandi was eventually signed to Sony and her single was re released and became a huge hit worldwide making it to the No 1 spot.

She has since gone on to released 5 studio albums and 1 Best Of album. There is more to the story, some say it was a well-planned marketing campaign where she had help with promotion by her tech savvy friends but what is great is how they took a flop, created an online buzz using tools and networks we have available and created a career for herself.

After releasing 6 albums and playing across the world at many great festivals, it is fair to say that she hasn’t looked back.

the digital academyIt’s A Changing World

This is a changing world and that is good, people may lose jobs which is always a shame but when change happens new jobs are created. What people generally do is find something they enjoy (or at least are comfortable with) and want life to stay that way. When they are doing a job they love, working with people they like, it hurts when it is suddenly taken away from you. It is like being in a long term relationship which suddenly ends and you can do nothing about it.

You spend most of your day at work with your working friends so when it goes there is a big loss and a period of grief with a lot of fear, not only do you lose your daily life and work friends you now have no money coming in which can be very scary so losing a job is not a nice thing at all and not something to be taken lightly.

But when you look back at the days of the Miners strikes, there were no mobile phones, no laptops, no tablets, no websites and no internet. When you think how bleak it was at that time with many miners being made unemployed it was scary and you see the world getting worse.

But it doesn’t get worse, it changes, there are new advancements in technology and those advancements require people to make and sell these new fang dangled machines.

The internet meant people were now creating websites which opened up new doors for the young to become designers and coders, mobile phones have developed to a point where more people are employed to create apps and mobile technology. Do you think the BBC can suddenly appear on your phone without employing or hiring people who know how to do it? No of course not.

Social media has opened the doors for social media managers and people who now specialise in online marketing campaigns. Even your electricity company and your favourite supermarket now have dedicated teams monitoring social media for complaints, questions and enquiries. I recently contact Morrisons on Facebook regarding a missing quorn sausage when we had our shopping delivered.

morrisons fb chat

The Amazon Kindle has allowed people who didn’t think they could become authors to write and sell their own books. Read the fascinating story about Nick Spalding here: Building A Profitable Self Publishing Business Using Amazon & Google

These ebook readers like the Kindle also need making and selling, yes many of the technical items are manufactured overseas but the world is shrinking around us, we in the UK can benefit from overseas workers too, especially if the work we want done is in the digital domain. Many people have become very successful by outsourcing work to people overseas and being nothing more than the project overseer.

elance upwork

Stay at home mothers and fathers can be paid to write website content, do research or even answer emails for people. A cheap computer desk from Argos, a relatively cheap laptop, an external hard drive for backup and a small quiet room is enough for many people to start making money from home.  Joining outsourcing sites like Elance and Upwork can be a great start to finding work online.

There Is No Looking Back

This is a changing world, we cannot rely on others to give us job security, we have to rely on ourselves instead and that is the hardest part but there are so many new opportunities and ideas that we can get involved with.

Take Forex Trading as an example, 20 years ago a person working on a building site or in a shop would not be able to make money trading the markets very easily, you could I guess play the long game and buy a currency and hold it until it was ready to sell to make a profit. My dad’s cousin in Australia used to do that; he would get up early to catch the UK markets and brokers; he was probably one of the first to trade using computers, I don’t think I had even heard of eBay at that time.

That was 16 years ago, now it has become far easier for people to get involved in the Forex Markets and generate money using a combination of software. Some software is free and given to you by brokers and some tools that make the whole process easier and faster costs less than a pound a day to run.

advantedge

We Minions work with a guy called Charlie who makes several thousand pounds in tax free profits each month from his home based office using just a computer, a good quality broadband connection and software that is available to anyone. He even appeared on a BBC documentary about successful traders, you can learn more about Charlie and watch parts of that documentary here: AdvantEdge The Simple One Click System.

Even gambling has changed; no more visits to the bookies on the high street having to take the odds you were given. People now regularly make money by trading bets at online betting exchanges like BetFair. Yes you read that right, trading bets, not placing them.

You buy a bet at one price and then sell it off later at a profit. An online betting exchange is different to a high street bookmakers, the exchange is an online middleman business, they make their money from putting two set of people together. The internet has made it possible for many ‘Joe Public’ people to open up a middleman business and become successful. Read Starting A Middleman Business & Profiting From Other People’s Work.

the greater good

The days of having to be part of the ‘in crowd’ or move in the ‘right circles’ are over. The creation of the internet and the big worldwide online family has opened up so many ‘circles’ and ‘crowds’ to all of us. The doors and walls have be blown wide open.

We no longer need to be signed by a publishing house to sell books; we no longer need to even have paper books made from trees – which is great for the planet. We no longer need to be signed to record labels, we no longer need to press records or make CD’s which again is also great for the planet. We no longer have to buy printing equipment, inks or T-shirts to sell our own designed T-shirts worldwide.

I will say it again… This is a changing world.

What was not possible many years ago are now possible and in ways we never imagined, jobs have been developed as others have gone. Many shops and industries may be closing but that isn’t always down to the economic crisis, it is simply down to the evolution of society and change.

Is it time you invested in yourself to learn new skills and take control of your life to reduce the risk of this changing society causing you grief and harm? I will leave you with that thought.

Do You Fail Enough? Failing 49 Percent Of The Time Will Lead To Success

“If you do it right 51 percent of the time you will end up a hero.” – Alfred P. Sloan  long-time President, chairman and CEO of General Motors Corporation, Born May 23, 1875.

alfred p sloan

The idea behind this article is to show you how low the bar is really set for success, and many people say that with the popularity and ease of social media the bar is getting even lower.

It is pretty easy for people to be a success because it is agreed by many that success comes from persistence. If some of the world’s biggest names had not persisted when they failed the world would be a different place. Imagine a world without the Beatles, Harry Potter or the author James Patterson.

49 percent failure rate

These people were rejected and failed many times:

James Patterson: Who has sold over 300 million books had all of his short stories rejected, his first novel was turned down by 31 publishing houses but when it was eventually published it went on to win an award for the best new novel of that year. He is now a multimillionaire author who publishes dozens of new books each year.

JK Rowling: Was turned down by 8 publishing houses when she sent them the manuscript for Harry Potter, eventually one accepted it and published the book. Now look at her and the popularity of the Harry Potter franchise. She too is a multimillionaire and publishes other popular stories under a different pen name.

The Beatles: Were turned down by Decca Records executive Dick Rowe believing ‘guitar groups are on the way out’ saying that they were an ‘old sound’ and basically would not amount to anything… Who has not heard of the Beatles or a Beatles song?

I am sure that there is a remote tribe somewhere in the Amazon who might not know anything about the Beatles but for the rest of the Western world you would have had to been living under a rock to have not heard of them!

amazon tribe

The rest is history as they say but had they all given up early history would have a very different story.

What the above shows us is that they didn’t give up, they pushed on regardless where others would have quit and it paid off… big time.

When others told them that they or their product was no good they didn’t stop, they had to carry on regardless. Whether they were able to carry on because of discipline, or by desire, or by willpower, or by mental illness, or by being driven, or by being compelled – it doesn’t matter what it was, what matters is that they carried on regardless and became a success.

Taking James Patterson’s story of being rejected by 31 publishing houses; at what number would you have thrown the towel in and accepted that the literary world had spoken and declared that you were not good enough to be a writer?

Rejected 31 times and yet James Patterson is the most prolific writer today who is banking serious money from his failings as a writer. If he intended to send his book to 100 different publishing house – with 31 rejections he still had a further 18 rejections to go before success appeared, but it didn’t, it actually came sooner.

That figure of 31 which seems high to most people is actually well under the 49% fail rate.

Just keep doing what you are doing over and over again, and you cannot help but succeed.

EVEN IF YOU FAIL ALMOST HALF THE TIME YOU TRY YOU WILL EVENTUALLY SUCCEED

Richard Branson is a successful entrepreneur and I bet you can name several of the successful businesses that he started, but can you name any of those business ideas or decisions he made which failed? No of course you can’t because the nature of failing means that they are not usually seen or heard of.

richard branson

Success on the other hand means that by nature you or your business becomes popular and known. Richard Branson has himself failed many times and yet here he is today, a very wealthy and successful businessman and a huge inspiration.

Success Is A Law Of Nature

By nature we humans can only get better at doing something the more we do it, so when you fail 49% of the time eventually that fail rate will drop significantly… until you try something completely new and different, then you will be back at square one.

Martial Artists, sports people, and musicians will spend years practicing the same moves day in day out until they master it and become a success. Their daily practice routines can make weak and feeble minded people shudder in fear. They go ‘that extra mile,’ they go ‘over the razors edge,’ they fail ‘49% of the time’ until success appears.

To determine if you’re doing anything right at least 51% of the time, you should do it at least 100 times. You can happily fail 49 times and it will not affect you in a big way.

After you have done something 100 times evaluate how well you did. Chances are you will find that you did even better than 51%. As mentioned earlier, if you do something again and again, you cannot help but get better at it. It is basic human nature, our minds and bodies have evolved to do this. It’s pure biological adaptability.

The first article that you write will be awful when compared to your 100th article which was written 100 days after the first… there is no way that you can actually get worse. (Unless old age or a terrible natural condition has struck you down)

So let’s assume that you have a website and that it requires content: write 100 articles and share them on social media. Spread them as far and wide as you can. Let as many people know about your articles as possible, chances are some people will love some of your articles and love you. You will become, in the words of Alfred P. Sloan, ‘a hero’ to them.

Working on the idea that it takes 100 tries to have a big win, you have three chances for big wins each year if you do a little work each day. Plus a little extra success from the other 65 days.

Being the hero is the ultimate win and not only do you get three chances per year you can basically fail almost half of the time. Looking at it on paper, it really isn’t that hard but it does take something that most people do not have, or unwilling to cultivate if they do not naturally have it, and that is the ability to turn up at work each day, every day, over and over again when you are not getting results and constantly failing.

It can be very discouraging when things seem to constantly be failing with very little or no results but when you apply a magic number to success as we have here you can be more positive in your approach and accept the failures with a zen buddhist like calmness.

You can fail more than 10 times and still succeed if you keep at it, most people would have given up after 10 attempts but in reality you can fail 49 times and still become a success, you should not give up until you have tried enough times.

So the questions to ask yourself are these:

Are you failing enough?

Are you trying enough?

How many days in a row have you given your time to work towards your goals?

If it’s not at least 100 times before quitting then your chances of becoming successful is slim.

Is Waiting For Your Mentor To Show You The Way Wasting Your Time And Money?

Today’s article was inspired by an article I read last week. The author showed us a few stats by marketers who had sold information products online, these stats were the numbers of people who had bought products but had not started to do anything online even though they had been interested in the internet marketing scene for more than 6 months..

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In a nutshell, people were buying products but not doing anything with them, they were just not taking action. The cause for this they believed was that these people were still waiting for that ‘better’ product to come out, the one where they need do nothing and the mentor/product creator would show them how to make a lot of money fast without doing much at all.

We Minions know this well, we see a lot of people who buy products but expect that they will be shown a super fast magic formula where they set it running before going to bed with one click of a button and then wake up the next day with a bank account full of cash.

It doesn’t happen like that, you need to do something!

What is amazing is how long some people will wait to find that magic formula and how much they spend trying to find it. Some people spend so long that had they actually done some work and focused on building a business they would have probably built a very successful online business by now…. one that they would be very proud of and possibly exceed what they really thought was possible.

Head Minion once said to me  …“Some people spend 7 or 8 years trying to make “20K Overnight” … and end up with nothing. Ironically, if they had instead started by making an unspectacular £5 or £10 a day and building up over those same 7 or 8 years … guess how much they’d probably be making by now ?”

This is true, people are so hell bent on wanting to suddenly earn £20,000 that they will wait many years for that system to come out or their chosen mentor to show them when they could have started and built up a very profitable business in that time.

Scott DeLong is the guy who started ViralNova, working from his bedroom he grew the site from nothing to a site generating hundreds of thousands of dollars per month within 8 months.

viralnova scott delong

He started by working 16 hours a day and when it really took off he paid 2 freelance writers to help create the content. This home based business with a team of only 3 people not only generated millions it was sold for a staggering $100 million to media company Zealot Networks 2 years later… within 2 years he went from zero to $100 million!

Scott had this to say about people following specific mentors.

“I didn’t have any direct mentors holding my hand along the way. I don’t think that’s as important as just always keeping an open mind, talking to as many people in the industry as possible, and striving to be the best. You definitely need to learn from others to succeed but an actual mentor? No, not really. Some of the best ideas you’ll ever have, however, will be sparked by a random conversation. So always keep your mind open and talk to other successful people every chance you get.” – Source NicheHacks.com

Whatever it is that you want to do in life, you cannot beat good old fashioned ‘taking action’, you really cannot change things unless you do something. For example If you want to sell your home and move abroad then you need to finish off those jobs in the house and put it up on the market otherwise you will still be in the house many years later wondering where the time went and why you were not enjoying a foreign lifestyle.

If you want to learn how to speak a foreign language or learn how to do computer coding then you will need to either go to a specialise class or sit down and learn at home away from all distractions.

You have to work at things and everyday that you wait for that super fast system to be shown to you is a day missed building up a profitable business. At least make a start. I know you need to learn new things and implement them but learn and do as you go along.

Experience of doing something is a great educator, you learn by doing so if you want to build a business online start doing instead of waiting.

I now get paid to write but before I started to earn from this business way back in 2009 I began writing on a blog, I started to write down all kinds of stuff related to this industry and learn how to write long interesting articles.

While blogging I learned how to use WordPress including changing themes, adding plugins etc and I learned how to share my stuff over social media which meant learning how to build profiles and pages.

I also learned how to create video tutorials and podcasts and this was all before I began to make money from these skills. I even paid for a few courses and information products (I still do today… knowledge is power!) but I didn’t just read them and wait for the next ‘better’ thing to come out, no I took action and implemented what I had just read.

the digital academyI wasn’t expecting to make a lot of money, I just wanted to learn and test the ideas that I had been studying. It was this testing, learning and doing which actually started to make the money. I could have read articles, eBooks and watched videos and done nothing while I wait for a better system to come out but I didn’t… otherwise seven years on I would still be doing what I wanted to escape from which was working in a noisy dusty joiners workshop.

If you want to make money online, build a second or main business online then the first course of action might be to think about what it is that you want and maybe realign your expectations to a more realistic way of thinking.

Instead of hoping to be making £20,000 by this time next week, try and focus on making £10 online by this time next week and then aim to reproduce that the following week and then double it. Keep focusing on keeping the income flow doubling but don’t put pressure on yourself… if you struggle to keep doubling the earnings keep trying to make a consistent weekly/monthly amount.

You are building a business here and not trying to win the lottery, if that is what you want then pop off to the local newsagents and buy new lottery tickets each week but if you are serious about building an online business… get started and work at it.

Otherwise the only thing that is stopping you from succeeding is yourself, waiting for your chosen ‘Mentor’ to bring out a better system and show you how to make a lot of money fast without doing much at all is just wasting your time and money.

Follow Scott DeLong’s example, get started… I doubt you will make and sell a website for $100 million within 2 years like he did but you could be well on your way to a successful, profitable business giving you the freedom that you dream of.

Why You Should Know A Lot About A Little And Not A Little About A Lot

Basically it is profitable to know a lot about one or two things whereas knowing a little about a lot of things simply is not enough to warrant people paying you for your knowledge.

‘Jack Of All Trades…’ Never Earn A Lot

In the physical trades IE building trades for example a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ is the saying used to call someone who knows a little about a lot but who does not actually know enough to do a proper job.

master of one

I know a lot about joinery and woodworking because I spent twenty years working in the industry, I have also learned a bit about other trades like bricklaying and plastering but I do not know enough to offer those trades as services.

It would be wrong of me to even try and I could end up making a mess of the work and costing the paying customers even more money if they have to have put right any shoddy work that I was responsible for… in fact it could cost me money to have it put right.

The same can be said about working from home running an online business. There are many profitable websites and online businesses making many people a great living but I am more than certain the people who make a lot of money do because they are selling services or knowledge around one thing…  that one thing is something they know a lot about, something they know inside out.

If you were thinking of building a website and offering NLP coaching then you would need to know everything about NLP to be successful. It wouldn’t make sense to try when you know just a little about NLP.

It certainly wouldn’t make any sense to offer NLP coaching via a website that also offered weight loss help, anxiety help and relationship help if you didn’t really know much about those topics either.

I suppose if you know a little about a lot you could throw those other topics onto the website so a website where you offer very basic NLP coaching along with anxiety help and weight loss help could also have tips and tutorials on how to repair a tap and how to fit architrave… but would you want to read it?

It doesn’t sound very professional does it? It reminds me of those cheap £1 stores that you see that sell anything and everything they can get their hands on. And as you know those stores never have anything of value, nothing which commands a good high price and if they did the store visitors would not buy it or even belive that the price was correct.

I know what Forex trading is but I do not know how to do it successfully, I also know the basics behind sports trading but I certainly do not know enough to teach or coach people on either of them.

A website dedicated to opera and opera singers might be very profitable but I know nothing at all about that niche and would find it hard to create any worthy content around that niche. I don’t like it either so it would be very hard to make any money from that niche let alone be successful.

Not only do you have to know everything about a specific niche you also need to enjoy it. Again this is obvious and I apologise for writing obvious stuff again but this is important.

Being An Expert With Authority Leads To Success

We all know a little bit about a lot of things but do we know a lot of information about one or two specific things? Knowing something inside out gives us the authority which can command good money.

Think about it for a second, if you wanted to be a successful author writing horror and thriller books but felt that you needed some help, guidance and inspiration then happened to see that Stephen King was doing a coaching program for new horror writers wouldn’t it make sense to get your information from him rather than the website with a couple of articles offering ‘writing tips’ alongside ‘rice cooking tips’?

stephen king

If anyone could command a hefty coaching fee for showing you how to be a successful author it would be Stephen King, not only does he ‘know his stuff’ he has a traceable history of success and knows the whole industry ‘inside out’.

It is important that you know ‘your chosen topic’ inside out so that when you are asked any questions the answers flow out of you naturally as if you were informing someone of your name and birthdate.

Whether it is building websites, teaching marketing or how to use social media, sports trading, forex trading, or offering services like running Pay Per Click advertising campaigns or social media accounts for companies you really need to know you stuff.

Blagging & Chancing Your Way To Failure

If you don’t know your stuff then in reality you are nothing more than a ‘chancer’ and a ‘blagger’. We may idolise blaggers and love to hear stories how someone has managed to ‘blag’ their way to success or took a ‘chance’ and landed on their feet but more often than not chancers and blaggers become unstuck and are discovered and it all goes wrong for them.

To avoid that from happening to you, understanding and knowing something inside out is the best protection you can have. So this means that whatever you want to build your online business around might require you to learn more than you you know already.

If you do not know much about something and want to start an online business so that you can work from home or anywhere in the world then it might pay you to think of what field of expertise you would like to work in and then spend some time studying it so that you know it before you start sharing it as an ‘expert’.

Learn And Build Your Online Business

You could start to build the website and write articles and information as you learn, this is a great way of learning yourself. It is proven that you learn quicker when you write down in your own words the things you are studying.

This way you learn by creating notes in the way of articles and you are building up a website full of content ready for when the time is right to fully start your online business.

The very popular and successful online marketer and writer Pat Flynn did just that… by accident. When he was studying architecture he set up a website and would write down his notes as posts as a way to learn and have an archive of his own information.

Other students doing the same qualification would search Google for information and Google would list his site in their search listings, these people would then visit his blog growing the traffic numbers which he noticed. He soon became the ‘expert’ in this field and began to monetise his website with an eBook and Google AdSense.

He then began to learn about monetising websites and writing as well as learning more about using WordPress.

Eventually he was laid off from the company he worked for and with all the information he had learned about creating profitable websites using WordPress he decided to focus on that instead of looking for another architect job and soon became the ‘go to expert’ for WordPress, online marketing, writing and money making websites. He is an expert in many fields now.

To end this week’s article I just want to reiterate that to be really successful you will need to know a lot about the niche or subject that you want to profit from.

Not only does it mean that people will think of you as an expert because you are full of useful information but it means that you have a huge resource of information that you can turn into articles, videos and podcast…. unless you pay someone to create the content for you in a niche which you know is profitable but know nothing about personally… but that is for another article another day 🙂

How Working Online From Home Can Save You Money

Today’s article is going to be a little different as it will focus not on how to make money or how to use some wonderful software but we are going to focus on how you can free yourself from wage slavery… or at least a little less dependant on having to earn more.

The motivation for this article are two sayings that constantly float around my head and they are ‘There is a cost to going to work’ and ‘for every dollar saved is a dollar less taxed’. The first saying is pretty clear, it means that going to work actually costs you money which often means you need to earn more just to keep go to work.

The second saying basically means the same but is less clear, what it means is that if you save money instead of spending it you need to earn less which in turn means you pay less tax. Now this is pretty easy to understand and you might be thinking that it is a lot easier said than done and that you actually like earning money but not every job is actually ideal.

One of the reasons that we spend money on rubbish processed foods and drinks is because of going to work, we often do long hours, do long commutes and we have very little spare time to do a decent shop as well as make ourselves a tasty and nutritious lunch.

The Cost Of Going To Work

tea and coffee

Many workers will buy a coffee from places like McDonalds, Starbucks or Costa Coffee each day maybe more than once and buy a sandwich from there or from a different deli for their lunch which will all add up.

If you need to drive to work everyday then there will be fuel costs and if you need to have a dedicated second car so that you can get to work and your family have another to get around then you will have the insurance, road tax and running costs of both vehicles.

For example if you earned £1500 a month from you job, you would have a tax free personal allowance of £10,600 per year and then say you were taxed at basic rate of 20% that would leave you with £1376.66 a month in wages. You have already lost £123.34 of your wages in income tax..

£1500 x 12 = £18000 – £10600 = £7400 – 20% = £5920 + £10600 = £16520 / 12 = £1376.66

(I have not included National Insurance Contributions)

So now let’s assume that you travel 30 minutes each way to work with a car that you bought specifically for the job. That is roughly how long it takes to drive the 18 miles from my home town to Lincoln which I know several people do each day for work.

The monthly cost of that could be between £100 and £150 per month when you take into consideration all of the costs such as insurances, road tax, MOT & works and fuel costs.

So for this lets assume that the running costs for the car for the month is a nice round £150, I calculate that the fuel cost is £116.40 a month alone for the drive to Lincoln from here which is a 34-36 minute drive.

If you left the house in the morning pretty early to get to work to either beat the traffic or because you are expected to start early then you may choose to buy food and drink from the shops close to your workplace instead of taking the time to make a pack up.

Let’s say that after parking up you buy one drink from a popular coffee shop for breakfast while walking to work and that drink is a Grande Caffe Latte at £2.60. Over 5 days that adds up to £13 which over the month is £52.

For food let’s say that you get a sandwich deal from another popular food establishment at £5 for a Footlong sub with a cup of tea/coffee and a bottle of water. That would be a weekly cost of £25 and a monthly cost of £100.

So for one month the basic costs of going to work would be:

Food: £100

Coffee: £52

Travel: £150

Total: £302

That means that you are spending £302 of the money that you earn through working by actually going to work. Adding into the mix the £123.34 income tax that you have already lost that makes a whopping £425.34 a month of your wage already lost just going to work.

How Working From Home Can Save You Money

What that says to me is that if you could find a job that you can do online from home then you actually need to earn £425.34 less each month. Most people will automatically think that they will need to generate the same amount of money that they were getting paid via their job once they start working online from home.

This is really only true if you have the same spending habits which would not be the case when working from home.

Of course you would like to have the same money coming in without the £425 going out but if you are considering working from home then knowing that you need to earn £425 less each month makes the task less daunting.

Working from home can mean:

  • Working less hours.
  • Not having to commute and sit in traffic.
  • Not needing a dedicated work car, travel pass or parking pass.
  • You can do the hours that suit you.
  • You can eat and drink all of the good food that you have at home as and when you want.

People have asked me why I liked to work from home, my answer to them always was ‘I am close to the kettle’ As an Englishman I drink a lot of tea and working from home means I can get a brew whenever I fancy it.

I also hate the ‘going to work’, being stuck in traffic and then getting to the job only to have to unload all of my tools out of the car and carrying them to where I was working. (I previously worked as a joiner/carpenter for many years)

tools

When I was workshop based it wasn’t an issue as I could leave my tools locked up under the bench, similar to those who work in an office but site work can require a lot of tools and if I happened to be working upstairs then I would have to carry several boxes of tools and fixings up many flights of stairs which is what I had done when the above photo was taken.

All of that loading and unloading would eat into the working day and so to compensate in order to get the work done we would do do another hour or two each day.

Long Hard Days Can Mean Calling For Fast Food Options

Takeaway & fast food is responsible for people putting on a lot of unwanted weight and becoming unhealthy.

pizza and chips

Many workers who are forced to work overtime and long hours because of work deadlines and responsibilities will stop off and pick up food on the way home or call to have some delivered because when they get home they cannot be bothered to take the time to make some food especially if they still need to get showered and do other ‘get home from work’ tasks.

These food ‘stop offs’ on the way home will also add to your monthly working costs. The above pizza and chips combo with delivery would cost around £8-£10. You do not need many of them to suddenly increase your monthly ‘going to work’ costs.

If you stopped and calculated all of the monthly costs that are incurred because of having your day job you might be amazed.

Not Every Wage Slave Job Is The Same

I know not everyone gets a basic wage, some earn a lot and can happily spend a lot going to work and it wouldn’t affect them much, others believe that they work hard and that they deserve a few treats otherwise why work so hard? This is very true and occasionally I think like that.

There are others who go to work and hardly spend any money, some will cycle to work and take a pack up with them including a flask. For them their monthly costs are low.

What this week’s article was designed to do was to make you think, if you really want to work from home then you can rethink the amount that you actually need to earn making the whole idea a lot more achievable.

Downsizing & Prioritising

If you do not like your job or you are wanting to start working from home but fear that you will not earn the amount that you need then you can always downsize and prioritise what you spend your money on meaning that you need to earn even less to live.

It is well known that the UK is expensive, it can be a lot cheaper living abroad. If you don’t believe me then read this article from the Daily Guardian about the man who works in London but commutes by flying from Barcelona because it is cheaper!

Commuting from Barcelona: a London worker who makes it pay

(Well.. he works in London and Barcelona but that is because he can work from home)

I am not saying that you should or could move abroad to work from home as there are so many things to consider with family being the biggest consideration of them all but it is something worth thinking about.

Here in the UK we pay a council tax that can cost us more in one or two months than what other people pay for the equivalent tax for the whole year in some countries like Spain. Rent for a 1 bedroom flat in parts of the country here can cost more than a 3 bedroom house in parts of Spain.

A few years ago I rented a 1 bedroom flat in Surrey for £699 a month with council tax of around £100 per month, compare that to this property in Spain that I found today looking on the Kyero website.

spain property

This is a 2 bed villa with access to a communal pool 20 minute drive away from the coast for €275 per month which is roughly £216. That is a saving of £483 each month on the rent, the Spanish equivalent for council tax might be as little as £10- 20 per month. Incredible monthly savings with the bonus of more sunshine, access to a swimming pool and another bedroom which could be your office.

So if you wanted to work from home working online and decided that you would make the jump to a cheaper property in Spain using the above pricing examples ie reducing the accommodation rent by £483, getting rid of the ‘going to work costs’ by £425 then you have reduced your ‘need to earn’ number by an incredible £908! And I haven’t even factored in the difference in utility costs or council tax.

“…then you have reduced your ‘need to earn’ number by an incredible £908!”

Now I appreciate that this is extreme and not plausible for many of you reading this but I wanted to plant this thinking in your mind and open you up to the possibility that you can change your way of life in more ways than one.

By downsizing, reducing your outgoings each month and maybe moving to a smaller property (or in this case a bigger property) you can make that transition to working online from home a lot easier and a lot less stressful… and maybe remove or at least reduce any fear that you may have.

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