Tag Archives: Positive Posts

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.

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.

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 🙂

Multiple Income Streams – How The Rich Get Richer

When I first started to study online marketing and wealthy business people, one of the first things that I learned from them was that their wealth was very often grown by having multiple income streams.

This is one of the biggest differences between a wealthy successful person and the average Joe & Jo Bloggs on the street. When a person has a job which pays them for their time in the form of a wage they have only one income stream.

If that person has a second job or creates something which earns them some more money then they have a second income stream. What wealthy people generally try and do is to create as many income streams as possible and there are good reasons for this.

Not only does it increase your monthly income but it is also actsas a safety valve in case anything should go wrong with one or two of their other income streams. If a person working one job for an employer was told that they were to lose their job because work had slowed down or the company could no longer afford to keep them on then they would be up the proverbial ‘shit creek without a paddle’.

Their income would come to a crashing halt meaning that they would probably not be able to pay their rent or their mortgage and many if not all of their utility bills.This is a very scary position to be in, I have been in that position myself and it is no fun I can tell you.

There are many different styles of multiple income streams, some people own different business in different fields such as a cleaning company, a building contractors company and a haulage company. (This is an example)

Take Richard Branson for example, at one point he had Virgin Records and Virgin Airways, two completely different businesses in completely different industries. He sold Virgin Records but he now runs Virgin Airways, Virgin Trains, Virgin TV and Broadband, as well as many others.

richard branson

He even once had a ‘pop’ at the soft drinks market selling Virgin Cola trying to take on rivals Coke and Pepsi. I don’t think that one was that successful, but it didn’t matter as he was still earning from his other businesses and so he did not hit rock bottom.

There are those who have multiple income streams in the same industry coming from different products such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other technology. Some may not think of them as multiple income streams but they are, if a tablet sells brilliantly one day but then suddenly stops selling, the company will lose profits but it will still keep earning thanks to the other products they sell.

You and I may not be able to join such big and expensive markets like aviation and computer technology and we may not have the funds or interest to start up several ‘real world’ businesses like cleaning companies and building contractors but there are other styles of multiple income streams we can build.

I love the ‘creative’ world, the creative world can create many multiple income streams especially now that we live in the digital age. But even before the internet became part of everyone’s daily life the creative world has created millions for people who have been creative.

authors and artists

I will use Stephen King, J.K Rowling, The Beatles and one of my favourite bands of all time Orbital as examples.

stephen king

Stephen King has written many great books, many of which have been turned into films and TV shows. Each one of his books is a separate income stream. They can generate money for years to come.

Yes they will have a peak when they are first released and end up in the bestsellers charts as will the songs by pop artists like the Beatles and Orbital but books were often reprinted and re-released meaning that they could be bought by new readers years later.

jk rowling

J.K. Rowling is another author who has written several books as part of the Harry Potter series which have also been turned into big box office films. There is also a lot of merchandise with the Harry Potter franchise.

I cannot say whether she gets a percentage of sales from the DVD sales, merchandise sales or box office ticket sales for the films or if she gets an annual license fee for the rights to use the names and brands but what I do know is that she has earned a lot of money from those different products.

Each book is an income stream, each DVD is an income stream as are the merchandise products which are sold. She also writes other books in other genres under a pen name which yet again is another income stream.

the-beatles

The Beatles are a band that have not performed together since the early seventies and will never perform again due to two of them sadly not being with us anymore yet they still generate sales from their songs and albums.

I am not sure who gets the money though as Michael Jackson bought the rights to the Beatles back catalogue but Paul McCartney still has numerous albums and songs that still sell today.

Orbital

Orbital are a UK based techno band that were performing and recording before the internet was readily available as it is today. They generated sales from singles and albums as well as doing gigs just like the Beatles did.

They also generated money from merchandise like T-shirt sales and DVDs (I have had both over the years). They even did live recordings of their Twentieth Anniversary gigs which they sold on a memory stick at the end of those gigs creating a unique income stream.

orbital live in sheffield 2009 wristband

I bought the recording of the Sheffield gig which I was fortunate to have gone to.

What I want you to think about is that before the digital age, books, singles, albums and films needed to be republished and made for them to be restocked in shops and sold. Today however, it is a different game altogether. With the invention of digital music files and digital eBooks we can buy these products anytime we want from a multitude of stores online.

This has given birth to many online entrepreneurs that you won’t know about who generate a fantastic living by creating many income streams such as books, music and clothing that they can sell online from various stores. Each track, book or T-Shirt is an individual income stream.

Let’s think about T-Shirts, if you are good at design or can pay someone to create unique and individual designs then you could sell T-Shirts online using all of the social media platforms and you own website via companies like SunFrogShirts.com without ever having to do any of the printing, packing and posting.

tshirts

Every T-shirt that you design is essentially a new income stream. Now I am not going to say that everyone is going to be able to design 20 unique T-shirts and then sell 3 or 4 of each design each day but some people do.

As for Stephen King and J.K Rowling, they were introduced to the public by passionate and well funded book publishing companies, you may decide to be a writer and you may not become as popular as those two but you could still make a great living just as Nick Spalding has. Read more about Nick’s story click on his name or the image below.

building a profitable business using amazon and google

And let’s not forget, J.K. Rowling was turned down by 8-9 publishing houses who didn’t think Harry Potter was any good and didn’t think it would sell. How wrong were they? Incidentally, the Beatles were also famously turned down by a record company saying that they would not amount to anything… yes that is right, the Beatles… the biggest band known to man!

Multiple income streams are the best way to grow your wealth, there are many different ways to create different income streams, some require a lot of money, equipment, contacts and staff whereas others require a laptop, a desk, some spare time and a good idea. Is it time that you considered creating another income stream or two before it’s too late?

the digital academy

How The Technology We Take For Granted Today Could Make You Rich And Famous

In case you were not sure whether you were in a position to change your life with the technology we have available at our fingertips then I wanted to give you two comparisons to think about.

These two comparisons are in the music industry and involve two popular British acts, one is established and old and one is new. This article was inspired after watching two different shows on television last weekend.

I watched one show that was all about the 1980s and was called something along the lines Ten Years That Changed Britain, it discussed all the things that happened in those years which were groundbreaking and society changing like Margaret Thatcher’s Government, the Falklands War, The Acid House explosion and the British New Romantics music scene.

As part of the music scene it went on to discuss how the American TV channel MTV was changing the way we listened to music in our homes. MTV had given birth to the popular music video and UK bands like Duran Duran embraced this with their groundbreaking and expensive videos like the one for ‘Rio’.

duran duran rio

Martin Kemp and Tony Hadley from the popular British 80s band Spandau Ballet were interviewed for the show, Tony said that he had seen Duran Duran’s Rio video and wanted to do the same and so the record company sent the band around the world to exotic locations to film videos for their songs.

Martin said that in the early 1980s the band had made around four videos which had cost nearly £1 million each to make. These music videos were then sent to stations like MTV and other music shows so that they could be shown to millions of fans and help increase the sales of the band’s music, merchandise and gigs.

spandau ballet now

Spandau Ballet today, reformed and touring.

In those days, bands had to do a lot of television, radio and magazine appearances for exposure and that was all they could do, it was out of their hands. They had to rely on their fans tuning in to see those interviews at that scheduled time or buy those magazines.

Thirty Years Later: The Game Has Changed… A Lot!

So now we come to today, things are a little bit different, we live in an age of social media and smartphones which come with high resolution cameras and leads that can hook up to tablets and laptops easily. These are taken for granted today but they really are game changing tools, not just for the music industry but for many businesses.

technology

Let me explain:

On Sunday I watched a show called Sunday Brunch which always shows a clip of a music video of some new band, singer or song with a couple of lines of information just before the ad break. They showcased the talents of the relatively new singer Shannon Saunders.

shannon saunders video

The information that they gave about her was that her first music video was made for the cost of £9 and that it had been seen just under 1 million times on YouTube. I believe this is the video that they were talking about.

Heart of Blue – Shannon Saunders (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

How different is this to the Spandau Ballet and MTV days?

Ok so there are some big differences, Spandau Ballet was sent to foreign countries to film the videos and the record company footed the bill (which would be deducted later out of record sales though) whereas Shannon is filmed wandering around London.

However there is nothing stopping her from creating a similar video using the same methods while on holiday in several places, what is important here is that she has created a video for the cost of £9 probably using a mobile phone or tablet and then uploaded it to a free social media platform like YouTube which has been watched by nearly 1 million people!

If she is a YouTube Partner and generating money from Google AdSense (adverts shown on and around her video) then she would have easily made back a lot more than the £9 she spent thanks to the nine hundred thousand plus views the video has had.

simple youtube profitsAnd now she is getting exposure on popular TV shows because of her ‘own’ work.

We have technology now that we can use to do things that people in the 1980s could only dream of, the show that I watched about the 1980s showed people using the new ‘mobile phones’ from Vodafone, you remember the ones… the size of a brick and had to be carried with a battery pack that was the size of a smart car.

Today we have smart phones that allow us to record videos as we have seen above and to create and record music using incredible software and apps. Tor Miller is a musician who was given a lot of airtime on Radio 1 by the DJ Zane Lowe after he heard his debut song which was recorded entirely using his mobile phone.

Ok so these people are singer songwriters and musicians and have created music for which the videos were made but the technology we have access to can be used for doing so much more such as artwork, writing books and running online businesses… I am just using the music industry as an example and a comparison on how the world has changed.

webcam busines fi

In a recent article I mentioned how musicians were using the internet to broadcast gigs using webcams and how one DJ was running an online music school where he would use tools like Skype or Google Hangout to conduct interactive live lessons… you can read that article here… Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income

I want to show you some more examples of DJs and musicians using technology that we have available to us which was not affordable or readily available to the people in the 1980s.

Many DJs do live sets which are added to sites like YouTube and Facebook which are recorded using webcams and laptops. After the sad news that David Bowie had died the Canadian DJ Skratch Bastid did a short tribute to one of his heroes by cutting up two copies of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ song which you can see here.

Skratch Bastid – David Bowie Tribute “Let’s Dance” routine

Here is a snap of the same video which he uploaded to Facebook and take a look at the number of shares and likes it has had!

skratch bastid

Kutski is another DJ who does regular short scratch videos in his studio as the image below shows.

kutski scratch video

What I like about Kutski is that he puts some time and thought into creating his videos. They only take a minute or two to set up and probably an hour to edit but they are still relatively cheap and quick to do and they look very professional and can be powerful tools in his business.

He uses multiple camera angles and he has also spent a couple of hundred pounds buying a GoPro camera to create these fantastic short but exciting memories of events and weekends.

Kutski @ Paradox, Baltimore NYE 2015

I apologise if the music is a little too hard for you but I love it 🙂 But the point I want to get across is how they are utilising this incredible and cheap technology we all have access to and using it to keep fans interested and generate new sales and business.

Notice how many of the free to use social media platforms these people use… Kutski is a very busy DJ, he travels the world performing at big events and is pushing his ‘Keeping The Rave Alive’ brand as he goes and to help he is using all the free social media networks that are available as you will see in the screenshot below.

kutski keeping the rave alive

Kutski also produces a radio show/podcast which he uploads to music sites like Soundcloud & iTunes then shares the link across social media. It is all about getting the name and brand out there.

In many ways for DJs and musicians it is easy, they can do so much to share their own music and sets across the networks using videos but so can many other industries like chefs, artists, authors and even philosophers.

We have such great pieces of technology to hand that we can use, much of it is usually sat in our coat or trouser pockets most days. We can record audio, video, write articles, take pictures which we can upload to many different websites and networks within seconds from most places in the western world and we can connect with millions of people around the world quicker than it takes to order a coffee.

Currently we are living in the greatest time for personal technology, mankind has never had a period in history where we could do so much with so much ease and share it with so many people at the same time… with speed. If that is not impressive and has not made you realise that anything is possible for you then nothing will. 🙂

Are You Overindulging In The Wrong Things & Under Indulging In The Right Things?

It is that time again, where many people overindulge in things like food and drink and spend a lot of their time visiting friends and partying. There is nothing wrong with this in general but you do have to ask ‘why do we overindulge in the things that makes us feel bad and guilty?’ which is generally what happens.

My better half avoids foods with a lot of sugar and gluten because they make her ill, and I do mean ill, she is not following some diet fad or avoiding them because she thinks she will get fat or may feel a little icky, she does genuinely get ill and feel very bad with it.

Christmas time is a time where people tend to eat a lot of rich foods which have a lot of gluten and sugar in them and there is also a lot of alcohol drank at this time which is also sugar rich so as you can understand she cannot overindulge in that kind of food at this time of the year or any time of the year.

I myself avoid a lot of cheese, alcohol and sugar because it too makes me feel rough but fortunately I am not intolerant like my better half nor do I suffer anywhere as bad as she does but I personally do not enjoy feeling rough or sickly so why would I want to eat a lot of the foods which in truth gives me only a small moment in pleasure compared to the length of time I feel rough?

What is strange is that a lot of people do this over and over again, they use Christmas time as an excuse to do the bad things instead of the good things even though they will spend most of January talking about how ‘rough they feel’ and how much they ‘wish they hadn’t’.

When it comes to learning and developing new skills or building a business we often do the same especially at times like Christmas. Now I am not saying that you should not take time off or have a holiday but if you are looking to change your life which is dependant on you doing specific tasks to help you move forward or develop new skills then it is illogical to ruin your chances of success for nothing more than the fleeting pleasure gained from doing other things. Isn’t it?

I have seen businesses collapse due to the owners preferring to go for a beer or two with their friends and then complain about how they missed their business and how they wished they could give it a second go. I am not talking about people who are battling an addiction like alcoholism but people just choosing to go drinking and socialising over getting jobs done.

Again I am not saying that you cannot have fun and spend an evening socialising with friends now and then if that is what you want but I am saying why would you do it regularly when it is going to cause more harm than good in the long run?

Before I became a writer and content creator I used to work as a joiner working in joinery workshops and on site doing private work. When I was younger before I started to work for myself I was employed for a company and being young I wanted to go out drinking with my friends which I often did. Those boozy evenings would finish with a pizza for the walk home.

beer and pizza

I soon learned that if I drank too much I would have a terrible hangover and would find it hard to work, I also realised that I was mildly lactose intolerant and that the combination of beer and cheese would have a devastating affect on my stomach the following morning and so it was important that I was in the workshop or a building where I was very close to a toilet. Not an enjoyable situation I know.

I soon learned that I couldn’t work like that, I was running the risk of losing my job if I did not put in a proper day’s work and I couldn’t risk working with a dodgy belly if I was out on site and I certainly couldn’t work like that when I became self employed so I consciously chose not to drink a lot when it was a ‘school night’ as we call it or eat food that was good for me if I wasn’t sure where I was working the next day.

It has been years since I have worked with a hangover and I am happy to admit that, I know many people think it is funny and cool and wear such stories as a ‘badge of honour’ but I don’t or cannot. Only the other day there were a couple of friends reminiscing about past drunken adventures on Christmas eve when I popped out for a quick beer.

I will only allow myself to lose a day when I have a day spare with no plans, I cannot afford to lose a day through self indulgent eating, drinking or whatever it is. I am not talking about ‘afford to lose a day’ in a financial sense, I am referring to time.

Time is also another indulgence that can be destructive, iIf you wanted to become a successful copywriter and knew that being one could change your life and improve your financial situation then you would spend every spare moment you had learning and crafting your skills wouldn’t you?

So why is it then that most people who want to change their lives actually do the opposite? When they should be working, practicing or studying they end up going to friends houses, out for meals or to bars when they receive an invite.

The reason I wrote this article is that this time of the year is well known for over indulging and it inspired me to bring to attention some of the things people do that are harmful and damaging which oddly they never realise they are doing.

It isn’t until they take a step back and look at what they are doing, or if someone looking in from the outside tells them what they see, that they realise what they are doing that could be detrimental to their success and preventing them from improving their lifestyle.

It reminds me of the time I decided to give up sugar in my tea, I wanted to give it up but at the same time I would justify having sugar by thinking it was ‘only one spoonful, it’s not a lot really’. I spent a long time ‘wanting’ to give up sugar but never actually stopped then one day I decided to count up how many cups of tea I would have each day, I multiplied it by seven days and then I took a cup and a spoon and began to add sugar to the cup for each cup of tea I had that week until I was left with a cup completely full and overspilling with sugar.

I could then see how much extra sugar I was really having each week and it was a lot, my mind was blown and from that day I have not had a cup of tea with sugar since. I took a step back and looked at what I was doing with fresh eyes, I was able to see where I was going wrong, the damage I was causing and was motivated to make the changes I needed and wanted to make in order to stop having sugar in my tea.

So to bring this newsletter to a close just as the New Year begins I want to ask, are there things that you are overindulging in that could be damaging your success and are there any good things that you need to indulge in more to increase your chances of changing and improving your life?

Have a Happy New Year from us all at Tims Minions Blog and the Digital Academy 🙂

the digital academy

The Destructive Habit Of Taking Too Much On And Spreading Yourself Too Thinly

In this modern age we are led to believe that we should be constantly busy and that we should be doing several things at once. The old saying ‘you are a long time dead’ is often said by people trying to cram a lot of things into their lives but doing too much is actually very damaging to your potential success, your life and often your health.

This is something that I have done many times in the past and have been close to doing it again recently but I am trying to manage it by delaying some things that I need and want to get done until the New Year.

If I didn’t then the chances are that all of the things that I need or want to do will not be finished or at least finished in the best way possible. When you are doing too much you simply cannot give the proper focus and attention that each task/job requires and that just leads to them not being finished or as I mentioned earlier, they will be finished but they will not be to the standard that you hoped for or even planned.

(There is a true story towards the bottom of this post that highlights the dangers perfectly of taking on too much and spreading yourself thinly.)

Currently I am doing my Minions work, trying to learn hypnotherapy, doing several major DIY projects to my home, writing a couple of books and much more. As I am a qualified joiner have been asked by my parents to do some work at their home which would also involve some plastering and as my plasterer friends are so swamped with work lately I considered doing the plastering myself which would mean me having to learn how to plaster like a professional.

I checked out a few crash courses online and found that the nearest intensive plastering course is a four day course about an hours drive away. I even asked a friend if he would teach me and he agreed but I realised that I just could not do it right not, especially as Christmas is approaching fast.

I have had to shelve that idea for now and plan it for the New Year along with writing my books and learning the hypnotherapy which fortunately is an ongoing online course already paid for and I can come back to when I am ready.

If I carried on trying to do all the things now that I want to do then nothing would be completed, there would be unfinished jobs around the house (as I write this there are but I am working on them when I get the time… honest!) and my writing would suffer greatly because everytime I try and do half hour here or an hour there I get lost and cannot get into a real creative flow.

In fact I spend most of my precious ‘book writing’ time trying to remember what has happened and who did what and when as well as figuring out where I had last been editing.

I have a plan of how the story goes and pre wrote a basic backbone to the story and the main chapters and now I am going through the different sections ‘fattening’ them out with new dialogue and better structure so you can see it gets confusing when I haven’t written anything for a fortnight.

my writing

I have now moved the deadline for the book to the middle of next year and no longer work on it to free up time for other more important and pressing tasks.

Once those tasks are completed and have been ticked off then I shall start writing again, it has taken a lot of effort and conscious decision making to get myself to prioritise certain jobs and tasks over others and to then postpone those lesser priority tasks.

Why? Because I want and need to do them all and I want to accomplish them all now. Which is dangerous thinking.

The truth is though that I cannot do them all now, I was failing miserably and I only have myself to blame. As a writer I know full well that writers generally finish one book before they start another and very often lock themselves away from the world to really focus on that one job avoiding much of the everyday demands of life.

And so here I am trying to do many separate jobs along with all of the everyday demands of life and getting nowhere.This might sound pretty obvious to you, it is to me and yet I catch myself doing it every now and then and what is incredible is that loads of people do it and simply do not realise.

I come from a family where it was considered wrong to be single minded and obsessive about certain things but the truth is that kind of thinking is wrong… it is being single minded and obsessive about one or a few things that lead to them being finished quicker and at a higher quality too.

I am not talking about the manic obsessiveness that some people have which drives them to do dangerous and foolish things but a healthy obsession which drives you to finish something to the best of your ability and then, when it has been completed, you start another task and obsess about it until it is done.

Obviously life gets in the way and it is not always easy to focus on just the one task especially when you need to earn money, spend time with the family or doing things to improve the home and family life like the DIY projects that I have going on at the moment which are numerous but you can limit yourself to a smaller number of jobs and focus on them until they are done.

If you don’t then you have taken on too much and you are spreading yourself and your efforts out too thinly. The chances are that you will not get things finished, or if you do they will likely be substandard..

I want to finish off with a true story of someone I know who had the courage at an early age to buy an ex council depot, it was a huge property and he had a vision of turning it into his home, several flats and a couple of commercial properties. It was a big development that required a lot of borrowed money and it was a huge undertaking for someone in his early twenties.

After owning the property for nearly 18 years he was forced to sell it after he and his wife divorced. They were divorced because the development was not finished, living in it for nearly 16 years with a young child had put a big strain on the relationship. The property was still not finished when it was finally sold this year leaving him with a lot of large debts still.

For 18 years the developer jumped from one task to another, he would start a big job like adding a second floor to the first flat which originally was a single story building but once the windows and roof were fitted to the new storey he started another project such as knocking down the old workshop and building three new flats which needed further funding from the bank.

When the brickwork shell of those three new flats were built and the roof and windows were fitted he then started something else ‘big’ requiring more money . Occasionally he would drop onto those ‘previous’ jobs that he had started but as each week passed his list of jobs and tasks that he was working on grew.

The list of things to finish off was also growing and the list of things that were ‘not finished’ was not only growing it had not changed much over several years. Windows were made and fitted but were never painted for many years. Stairwells to flats were built but also never finished, the old dilapidated roof was replaced with a new one but the fascia boards and guttering were never fitted and had stayed like that for almost 18 years.

The time came when the property values dropped, the bank wanted its money back and the wife had had enough and decided to leave taking the daughter with him. His world crashed big time and he was left with no option but to put the property up for sale,

Sadly the development was bought by the ex wife’s brother, for a price that was half of what it could be worth finished, and within a few short months many of those ‘unfinished’ tasks were completed and the development was starting to look finished.

That is because they created a simple to do list, they prioritised what needed doing first, what they needed to spend money on and when and they needed to do it.

They only focused on those prioritised jobs until they were completed before moving onto other work. Unfortunately if my friend had done that from the beginning the development would have been finished 15 or so years ago and he would probably still would have been the owner and still married.

So it is with that sad but true story that I reiterate the dangers of taking on too much and spreading yourself too thinly because if you do, you are setting yourself up to not accomplish your goals and quite possibly lose a lot more than you expect.

Oh and by the way, the sad but true story does have a happy ending, he is now in a new relationship and they have had a child together and he is living a less stressful life and pretty happy. 🙂