I have discussed the topic of having a Plan B on this blog a few times. Recently, I explained how much I would need in 30 days to pay off my bills if I was going to lose my job today. What I barely discussed yet is what would I do with my time?
Working on my online company
Yeah… that’s the easy answer and you are probably thinking about something similar to these options:
Find another job
Grow my side gig
Become a freelancer
These all sound like great ideas, but that’s BS…. Why? Simply because there is no plan attached to it! If I do some stupid math, I would resume my situation with the following equation:
10 hours / week of work = $9,000 of gross revenues per month
50 hours / week of work = X
X = $45,000 of gross revenues per month
This is the most unrealistic number I’ve ever heard out loud… oh wait! I know people making this much online… Mike… listen to me… just quit your darn job!
I won’t quit my job right now because I’m a cozy coward. A cozy coward is someone who doesn’t have the guts to leave his comfort zone to get his hands dirty again to work on another project. I would rather enjoy my wine on the terrace than type like a crazy maniac on my computer in my basement.
Nonetheless, if I had a choice between keeping my day job and leaving my company or leaving my day job and keeping my company, I would chose the latter. Maybe this is what I’m waiting for to make the big move. This thought crossed my mind recently and I thought “Darn! I’m so not prepared to work 50 hours/week on my company… what would I do???”
Ah! This is what I need to do! Plan my 50 hour weekly workload to make sure it will result in something that makes so much money that I could live a crazy life. The key here is not to increase the amount of time required to manage my online business but to use the extra 40 hours in a manner where I could make a lot more money. You read that on this blog many times: focus on value-added tasks. If I can’t make more money with these hours, I’m just as good as dead.
The key here is to work 10 hours per day from Monday to Friday. If I start at 7am, this means I finish at 6pm (with an hour of lunch). It’s darn hard but it’s feasible. We don’t call being an entrepreneur a sacrifice for nothing, right?
I know myself very well and know that when I’m creating something, I work all-in. Therefore, I could focus on just one specific task each day. For example, my schedule could look like this:
Monday: write all my blog posts
Tuesday: work on niche sites
Wednesday: produce comments, emails and promotions
Thursday: work on an eBook
Friday: tweak my sites (SEO, design, conversion rate, etc).
This sounds like a good plan for someone who can jump from one thing to another. But it doesn’t sound like a real plan for me. I would rather focus on a narrow set of things…
Here’s what my weekly routine would look like:
Take the 10 hours to generate content for my blogs for the week. Ideally, write 8 blog posts during that day.
Focus on improving conversion rate on existing products,
Study website traffic,
Plan for new ideas,
Do SEO, link building,
Improve design, try new software,
Outsource irrelevant tasks,
Plan topics for the following week, etc.
Okay… so I have 2 days planned; the beginning and the end of the week. They make up the daily stuff concentrated into 2 days per week. There is not much I can do to vary this kind of work. However, this leaves me 3 days… or 30 hours to focus on specific projects.
I would take this 3 days block to focus on 1 project at a time. My guess is that I would probably be able complete at least one project per month since it equals 120 hours on a project. I don’t think I ever put 120 hours on any of my projects so far, therefore I can only imagine how great it could be to so!
I think I would need to list at least 12 projects to make sure that I make more money each month. Technically, it’s not really stupid math to think that if I can work 120 hours on a site it would generate an additional $500/month. This means that I could *technically* improve my revenues by $6,000 per month within a year. After 12 months of working for myself, the company would be making roughly $15,000/month. I could then draw a salary of $8,000 per month easily… wow…
All right, enough with day dreaming… now it’s time to generate these dollars with real projects. It’s one thing to think about making money, it’s another one to make the site generate it!
Here’s a list of 12 ideas that could generate $500/month:
#1 Optimize all my niche sites to grow by $500/month
#2 Create a membership website
#3 Create an authority site to become a successful financial planner
#4 Create another set of 5 small niches sites generating $100/month each
#5 Create additional products to sell for my existing websites
#6 Take my 5 main sites and improve them so they make more money
#7 Create an authority website about insurance
#8 Create an authority website about finding a job (how ironic! Hahaha!)
#9 Create a series of product review niche sites
#10 Write eBooks (would require more than 1 to generate $500/month though)
#11 Take a month to learn how to use different technique and products to improve my site (and make money with affiliate programs on top of my improvements)
#12 Work on special promotions for affiliate programs and sell them through my newsletter
I often do that when I write on TFB: I start a blog post with an idea but I have no clue where it will lead me. So as you read this article, you have a resume of my high speed level of thinking about my future. Within a few hours, I just found out that if I quit my job, I could probably generate another $6,000 per month within 12 months. This plan is obviously not detailed enough as published but there is definitely enough room in this brainstorming session to generate the money I’m looking for. Plus, it is line with a highly sustainable plan…
I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect that it would be realistic to think this way. After writing the post, it doesn’t seem completely ridiculous. In fact, I’m not even sure it sounds risky…
What do you think? Would you drop the ball and go all-in?Google+ Comments: 3 Read More
I probably knew this a while ago but it just punched me in the face last night
Every Monday night, I meet-up with three other guys producing websites for my Master Mind Group Meeting. Each week, a different member is in the “hot seat” where he shares a problem or project he is currently working on. It was my turn last Monday. From time to time, I have a spark in my mind and the urge for creation haunts me down until I build a new site.
These urges have created sites such as my EMT resource. They are relatively small niche sites generating roughly $30 to $50 per month. I put about 25 hours of work on it and I’m getting 1 hour per month worth of my time back since then. It’s been a year, so I’m still short on this project. Not sure it’s the right way to do business though… Anyways, back to my Monday Master Mind Story:
My project of the week was one of those sparks resulting in another small niche site project. I had researched keywords using Market Samurai, built the site structures (topics, categories, etc) along with traffic and monetization strategies. The discussion went well until we hit the nail; my traffic and monetization strategies were obsolete.
I’ve been in this industry for too long I guess. Long enough to have experience, but so long as to get cozy in a single business model without looking outside of it. I have been using pretty much the same strategy for the past 6 years on most of my websites and this is probably killing my business.
I’m well diversified and the business model has been proven to be stable. However, I have lost the connection to the “new waves” and am realizing that I’m falling behind. Most people talk about link building, keyword research, web 2.0 properties and other SEO strategies. The trick is that everybody uses the same strategy and Google knows it.
So if you are starting your site today, all the reading you do and the courses you take won’t lead you to anything. It will definitely work over a short period of time but your site will crash and burn upon a Google update. Therefore, most link building strategy is probably useless over the long haul. It is useless because Google will sooner or later find your pattern and then, your site will be penalized. Their latest techniques were based on looking at an abnormal amount of exact keyword match use for anchor text. When you think about it, what are the odds that 200 links to your site all use the same 5 keywords? So much for link building, huh?
The traffic building techniques are changing and the monetization strategies have evolved as well. The no brainer ways were to optimize your adsense blocks, write a few affiliate reviews hope to make conversions. It is still working (I’m still making a lot of money with these techniques), but this is not where the money is.
Ahhh…. That’s a great question… which I don’t have a direct answer for yet! But this is what I’ll be working on in the next few weeks! I’m not out of resources for the moment and I’m already working on other ways to make money so far…
I’ve been repeating this for at least a year now: the money is in the list. The main reason why I focus so much on my newsletter strategy is because I can attach my reader to my site without the help of Google. My subscribers follow my blogs and will come back to read an article each time I send them an email. The key here is to catch as many readers as possible that come to my site through Google the first time.
This is another of my projects that will look like a “real business model” and a more classical way of making money. I still have the target to launch my membership website by the end of the year. It will be coupled with another investing book which I should finish in the next six weeks. Using Amazon has been a great strategy to boost our income in 2012 and we will continue on this route.
Instead of focusing on keyword research and link building strategies, I’ll try something completely different for my future sites: create an awesome user experience. This is how I can make sure my readers will come to my site, bookmark it, subscribe to my newsletter and follow my suggestions for affiliate programs. Instead of trying to make a quick buck from Adsense and have visitors leave as soon as they come in, I will try to make them stick around and read 3, 4, 5 pages of my sites and have them take an action. I’m not reinventing the wheel here but I think the future of making money online will go there.
Another important point is to use search engines other than Google. Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Podcasts are all ways to generate traffic towards a site that are independent of your keyword ranking abilities. We got our mic and software to do screen captures so we should be entering into the production phase shortly.
I’ll probably start with a 5 minute market review podcast for my investing sites. Since I follow the markets with passion, it won’t be hard to produced a 5 minute show weekly! I hope to build my brand and gather more loyal readers that way.
So this is where I’m standing at right now. I don’t have a clear answer nor a clear strategy but I’ll be working on my structure first and then, implement different things. What are you doing different now for your sites? Have you used any of these strategies yet?
Google+ Comments: 9 Read More
Are you guys ready for the long weekend here in Canada? Any plans?
What are some articles worth checking out?
What advice I would give my 23 year old self @ Retire by 40.
I always love articles like this. There’s so much to be learned out there from those older than us! I’m only 25, but I sure do wish I could speak to my 23 year old self!
The Quitting Lawyer and the Despondent Millionaire @ Mr. Money Mustache.
Some great reader stories and responses in here.
Time for the carnivals…
The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup (thanks for the link!).
Sunday Morning Dump (thanks for the link also!).Google+ Comments: 0 Read More
I don’t how anyone can live where it’s warm out all year round. I’m totally jealous. I live in Ontario, Canada, where it’s cold for a good 6-8 months of the year. I have no idea why my parents chose to migrate here from Europe. But hey, you can’t control Mother Nature.
Today I wanted to have some fun and discuss the idea of getting work done in the summer when it’s warm out.
You feel better in the summer. There’s so much to do. Everyone is out. You can spend an evening at the park. Most of you reading this have kids and believe me I know how bad kids can be in the summer. When I was a kid I just wanted to be at the park all evening playing soccer or hanging out with friends. I couldn’t stay in.
How are you supposed to stay productive or stick to your laptop when you just want to be outside? It’s pretty tough at times.
The winter can be a killer on your moods. I’ve seen many friends experience season affective disorder. You don’t feel like doing anything. You just want to sit around. Your mood sucks too.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.”
That sucks. I personally can get pretty damn lazy in the winter months. There are days where I don’t feel like doing anything. It can be difficult to snap out of.
With that being said, we all want to get the most out of the summer because it’s only here for such a short period of time.
The following tips have worked best for me when I know that I have to be glued to my laptop when it’s gorgeous out.
Avoid the temptation to drink early.
When it’s warm out, it’s tempting to start hanging out on the patio earlier in the day. This usually leads to booze. This could lead to a few beers. You’re feeling social. You don’t want to go home. Next thing you know, you’re 6 beers in and feeling wasted by 5pm. While there’s nothing wrong with that if you planned for it, it sucks if you have things to do that day.
As tempting as it can be, you got to hold off on the early drinking.
Get your work done first.
My goal is to get as much done as possible in the morning. This frees up the rest of the day. You also don’t have to stress during the afternoon about that email that you forgot to reply to or that project that isn’t complete yet.
I say that we try to get as much done as possible in the morning or before we go out. The rest of the day is ours.
Wake up early.
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin
It’s tough to wake up earlier than you need to in the winter because it’s freezing out and your bed is so nice and warm. Now that it’s warm out, you have less excuses. What are some of the benefits of waking up earlier?
[Quick note: Leo wrote about the beenfits of waking up early at Zen Habits.]
As for me, I have windows open with a nice breeze coming in as I type this article. This is the warmest day of the year. As soon as I finish my work I’m heading outside to enjoy the sun. We have a nice little park in our backyard and there’s always someone around to hang out.
Do you struggle with getting work done in the summer?Google+ Comments: 7 Read More
I have so many projects, I don’t know where to start….
At work, with your sideline business or for life in general, I’ve observed that many people can’t manage their time well. They all have tons of things to do and work super hard over long hours. But the result is always the same; they can’t make it.
If you feel overloaded, under pressure, crumbling under your pile of work, this post is for you.
Honestly, it’s difficult because you want it to be that way. My boss once said:
You can keep shuffling paper all day. At the end of the day, you will have worked 10 hours in a row like donkey, but nothing will be done.
The problem is not if you are working hard or not, the problem is that you are not working on the right things. I’m known for my sense of productivity. I’m actually obsessed by efficiency. If there would be a religion based on effectiveness, I would be one of their greater preachers . I have never believed that working long hours was the solution to achieve any task. Get smart instead. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to make sure I keep my focus on the right thing.
One of the biggest time consuming items in your life (after traffic, lol!) is probably email managing. In order to become efficient, you need to have a clear view of what has to get done. You need to look at the entire forest, not just the tree in front of you. If you attack one task after another, you’ll be a good soldier, but you will never lead the army.
What bugs me the most is my mailbox. I can’t start my day with an inbox full of email. This is why I always start my day by cleaning it out. In reality, there are only a few emails requiring immediate attention. Chances are that it’s not even 1 a day! This is why I scan through all my emails, delete the ones that are useless, forward a good part of them to other people who can work on them and answer 1 or 2 crucial emails in the morning. This way, I know that my mailbox is almost empty and the rest could be cleared towards the end of the day.
Each morning, after cleaning my inbox, I look at my week and at my day. I make a list of things I absolutely need to finish. Those are added value task that nobody could do. I’m not here to shuffle paper, I’m here to add value to my company; regardless if it’s my employer or my own company. The point is to add value when you work on something.
The short list will lead to the rest of my day and help me prioritize tasks. Every time a new thing to do hits my desk, I look at my quick list and determine if it should be part of it or not. Most of the time, it shouldn’t. So I put this task aside and continue my focus. I do exactly the same thing with my online company: focus on my quick list and put the rest aside.
Towards the end of the day, I have less “brain energy” so I can handle the rest of my emails, shuffle paper around and clean up other small tasks. The important things have been done, so I can spend time on things that don’t matter as much.
People say you need to take a step back to have a clear view. I don’t think it’s appropriate. I think you need to run a mile, go to the top of a mountain and then turn back and look at the big picture. At each beginning of the year, I take an hour or two to make my plan for the year. This plan is good for my day job, my online company and my personal life.
I listed my goals for 2013 for my personal and online business aspects on this blog. I do the same thing at work to make sure I’ll be on target with my objectives. You know what? This is why I never fail at doing a good job at work .
It all starts from setting your priorities. Most people don’t know which priority to set as first. I find it easy: take the one that adds the most value. I have seen people working on 10 sites at a time and my questions was: why don’t you focus on your top 2 earners and see if you have time left for the rest?
We have been putting a lot of projects on the shelf throughout the years for this reason. I don’t have the time to work on a super project? That’s not a problem, let’s put it on the shelf and work on a super project that is already working and generating money. In 2012, we had an insurance website project. We clearly don’t have the time to build it right now. So we just forgot about it and have focused on other money earners. This year, my main project is a membership website. Last year it was my book. You know what? I’m still selling 40 books per month after almost 9 months since we launched it.
So keep this in mind: choose what bring the most value as your priority. It’s not that complicated once you use this single rule, is it?Google+ Comments: 4 Read More
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