May 31, 2011, 5:00 am

Why I Will Not Quit My Day Job

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career


I have considered the idea of quitting my day job several times over the past 2 years. The more I see my blogs grow, the more I thought how awesome it would be to quit my job and work online full time. I still believe it would be cool, but I don’t see this happening any time soon. I also mentioned that I would eventually quit my day job in 5 to 10 years in my long term blogging plan. If I had written this post recently, I would probably tell you that I would quit my job within the next 2 years. Why has all of this changed? I’m actually making more money than expected in 2011 and I was just told that I didn’t get the job I was looking for. Doesn’t it sound like 2 reasons to aim for a full time online career? Well, there is more to think about before quitting your job:

Income Diversification

As a financial planner, I create asset allocation and investment diversification plans on a daily basis. If you consider that your biggest asset is yourself and that your biggest income earner is from your biggest asset, why wouldn’t you invest yourself in several fields? This is what my blog helps me do at the moment. Last year, I made 135K and about 25% of my income was from my online company. Therefore, I know that even if I lose my job, I will still have a source of income. On top of that, I know I can withdraw much more from my company to compensate for a job loss.

Connections with People

While I really enjoy blogging and I can see myself doing this full time, there is one aspect I’m not sure how to deal with; being alone all day long. While I do have blogging friends and I know I could run a few chats while I am working on the computer, the feel is not the same as meeting in person. One thing I really like about my job is that I get to speak to many different (and very interesting!) people throughout my day. I get to know a lot of people and connect with them. This is something I might find difficult if I have to work in my basement day after day. So quitting my job would mean quitting a part of my social life.

I Really Like my Day Job

I think the key to succeed at work is to love what you do. No matter which field you are working in, if you hate your job, you will definitely not be successful. Just about every morning, I am eager to go to work and do my job. I really like being a financial planner because I think my job is very interesting and gives me a lot of latitude (I make my own schedule, I manage my time at work, I meet whoever I want to meet, etc). So I guess that as long as I really like what I am doing during the day, I won’t be  in a hurry to quit my job!

Less stressful

As you have seen over my latest net worth updates, I am currently spending a lot of money and having a hard time saving. Having 2 sources of income is a good way to keep money stress out of my mind. When it doesn’t go as I wish at work, I think about my online company compensating. And when I get hit by a Panda update, I turn around and look how good my numbers at my day job ;-). This is why I don’t stress too much about money.

Finding the Right Balance

In the end, I think that I have found a perfect balance between growing my business and pursuing my career dreams all at the same time. This will have to change one day if I am looking for financial independence.  For the moment, I think it is the perfect compromise. Plus, I am definitely at a stage of my life where I am looking to chill out and enjoy life. I’m telling you, life is too short to stress and hate your job! Find the right balance for yourself and your family; this is where lies one of the secrets to happiness!

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May 30, 2011, 5:00 am

Not Getting The Job – How To Deal With It

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career


not getting the jobAbout 2 months ago, I wrote that I was applying for a higher position at the bank. In fact, I was eyeing the Private Banking Wealth Management department at the firm. They take care of clients with over $1M to invest. I really wanted to be part of this group since it is probably the best position that a financial planner can have in a bank; you face highly challenging situations while meeting many interesting clients.

There was an opening to take care of entrepreneurs (which are usually millionaires to be) for downtown Montreal and I applied for the job. The interview went very well and I knew that I was a good candidate. But… because there is always a but…

I didn’t get the job!

I got a call the other week telling me that I was not the one picked for the job downtown. At first, I wasn’t super happy. Then, they told me that they wanted someone to stay there for many years (and make a career out of it). Since we all know that I live 1 hour away from Montreal, it is obvious that I would jump on a similar opening closer to my house if it ever happens in the upcoming years. Therefore, they preferred keeping me for the next opening in my area instead of having me downtown for a limited time.

I must say that I pushed myself into the corner with this one since I told them that it would be a no brainer for me if I had the choice between downtown and my area. I actually really like working downtown but I also know too well that I won’t be traveling forever either…

I’m still a bit bitter about this situation (since I’ve almost always got the job after an interview!) but I have learned a few tricks from not getting this job:

Ask for interview feedback

If you get declined for a position; don’t just answer back “thank you, goodbye”. Keep the hiring person on the phone and ask him more questions. While it’s never easy to cope with refusal, I have taken grasp over my feelings and continued the discussion. I wanted to know what went well and what needs to be improved (managers never want to say what went bad, they rather use words like “to be improved” 😉 ). This is how I got some “free coaching” and they also told me that I would meet with the manager of the south shore to make sure it goes smoothly and that I have a better chance of getting the job.

Ask about the next step

All right, so you now know that you are not getting the job, now what? What is the next step after you swallow the pill? Do you get angry and become a disgruntled employee? Do you go after another job with a competitor and show them that they were wrong for not giving you the job? These are understandable reactions but they are not part of a solution.

I asked the person who declined me what was the next step in my situation. This is when he offered to help me meet with the person in charge of the south shore. This showed goodwill from the organization and the fact that I wasn’t getting BS from HR (‘cause we all know that HR are EVIL). I am now looking forward to this meeting!

Behave and get a hold of yourself

You didn’t get the job. You are frustrated. I understand, I was too! However, frustration leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the Dark Side (oops, I digress ;-)) or at least nothing positive and will certainly not lead to your next promotion. This is why I came back the next morning, smiling and working hard… as usual. In fact, I am now working harder since I know I didn’t get the job. Even though you didn’t get the job, it doesn’t mean that you have made a bad impression. This is why you need to surf on the “good impression” you have left. There are tons of candidates for each position and only one winner. This time, it wasn’t you. But you have to be sure that next time, it WILL BE YOUR TURN to get the job ;-).

In the meantime…

In the meantime, I am working on a few files at my desk in order to continue my job. I am now a little bit behind my 2011 financial goal of making 150K. While the beginning of the year was awesome, I ran into few speed bumps over the past 2 months. I didn’t lose any accounts but my growth has slowed down. On the other hand, I have grown my book big enough to get another great salary raise this year ;-). I will certainly not spit on 7%!

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May 29, 2011, 12:41 pm

Financial Ramblings

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

Do you know what happens when your server explodes? Well you site is down and you don’t do your Ramblings 😉

site is now back up, sorry for this problem but nobody can prevent server from bursting, right?

Time for the links once again:

1. The Pension Advice Series: Employer’s Pension Plan – What You Need to Know @ DNW.

2. Family Businesses: Pros and Cons Of Hiring Relatives @ Financial Samurai.

3. My Current Reading List – May 2011 @ BITFS.

4. How To Evaluate An Offer To Buy Your Home @ The Wisdom Journal.

5. Instead Of A Vacation, Plan A Staycation @ Boomer and Echo.

6. How to Set-Up Financial Goals @ GPT.

7. Why I’m Buying Wal-Mart @ Dividend Mantra.

8. The Top 25 Books for Entrepreneurs That Kick Serious Butt @ Good Financial Cents.

9. Asset Allocation Comes First. Then Fund Selection @ Oblivious Investor.

10. Tips and Ideas to Get Ready for Your Summer Road Trip @ Couple Money.

11. Should You Cancel That Credit Card? @ Free From Broke.

12. Would You Still Work if You Won The Lottery? @ PIN.

13. Car Insurance Tips for Teenage Drivers @ Canadian Finance Blog.

14. Do I Have to Save Money in My 20s? @ Studenomics.

15. RV vs. apartment @ ERE.

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May 26, 2011, 6:00 am

To Grow or Not to Grow?

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income

To Grow or Not?The other day Mike really inspired me with his post on why his business model is safer than the stock market. I’ve always been a huge supporter of paying for value and improving myself at the same time. I took the Earn1k course last year with Ramit Sethi. Yesterday I signed up for the Hustle Project with Adam Baker and Corbett Barr. I’ve often applied the motto, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying,” to all areas of my life.

My problem is that I don’t take enough risks. I feel that with my young age and overall situation I need to take more chances in an attempt to grow and take things to the next level. This is why I wanted to look at the notion of deciding to grow a business today.

If you’re thinking about investing some serious money you need to assess the situation first I feel. A few questions to ask yourself before you decide to invest money in yourself or your business:

Am I serious about this?

How serious are you about growth? Do you want to talk about it, do nothing, then complain? If that’s the case then you’ll be better off with keeping your money in an online savings account. If you’re serious about your plans to change things up then you need to strongly consider investing some time and money into yourself.

What are my goals?

Do you have any concrete plans? I know for a fact that I want to work with helping other young people reach their financial goals. Making money isn’t a big motivation. However, I’m very realistic and I do want to make some money in life. Do you have any goals? What do you want to accomplish? If you don’t have any goals then you might want to put your growth plans on hold for the time being. If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll never get there.

If you’re not 100% convinced that you want to include growth in your future plans, allow me to present the case for growing your business/personal life:

You don’t want to live a life with regrets.

I really do believe that we will regret what we didn’t do as opposed to what we did. You owe it to yourself to take some chances and to see what you’re made of. If  you don’t have the money or want to risk money, you can always attempt to grow by using time. Time is the greatest commodity around. We all have the same amount of time allotted to us. We just all choose to use our time differently. Freeing up your schedule to work on more meaningful projects can really send you in the right direction. You’ll be amazed by what you can pull off when you push your own personal boundaries to see what you’re made of. Do you know what you can accomplish when you put your mind to something?

Build something amazing.

I love the idea of building something powerful. I love the thought of building a community of like-minded people. I respond to every comment on my blog and I love the idea of building towards something special. By taking the leap and investing either time or money into growth plans, you can really build something unforgettable. Something as simple as starting a blog with a highly active readership can really make you feel like you’re doing something right.

Now to be fair we must understand that not everyone will be successful like Mike with the risks that they take. This is why I need to show the case against attempting to grow:

Risk of money.

There’s always that thought looming regarding the money involved. Any time you spend money on something that you’re uncertain of it’s really easy to get all nervous and let anxiety bring you down. Can you handle the risk of losing money? What would yo do if your growth plans fail and you have to find a way to pay the money back? Do you have a backup plan?

Failure.

Nobody wants to fail. The fear of failure is likely what’s holding most of us back from attempting to grow a side business or from taking huge risks. We don’t want to be mocked by our peers and be deemed a failure.

How does one deal with failure? Pamela Slim in Escape From Cubical Nation shared three strong points on learning to deal with failure:

  1. Exam in the truth in fear.
  2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  3. Develop a strong safety net.

At the end of the day, failure is a harsh reality of attempting to grow a business. I believe that if you go by those three key points, you’ll be able to alleviate much of the fear of failure.

Time to turn it over to the readers: Do you have any plans for attempting to grow your business? Please share with us.

(photo credit: derek e-jay)

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May 25, 2011, 5:00 am

Why Our Online Business Model Is Safer Than The Stock Market

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Make Money Online

stable incomeAfter disclosing my online cost structure and my blog revenues, I have received many questions regarding the “profitability” of my online venture. At first, I started disclosing how I was now earning close to $10,000 per month through my blogs. Most people were very impressed and also very intrigued about my cost structure. When I disclosed that it costs me about $6,000 per month to operate my business, there were several individuals thinking that my company wasn’t that impressive. On top of that, I do have a business partner. This means that I have to split my profits (roughly $4,000 per month) in 2. So we are now down to $2,000 per month… one of my VAs is almost making more than us! Lol!

In the past, I’ve explained the overview of how M-35 is shaped. As you can see, most of our income is generated from our blogs. This year, we are starting new projects in order to diversify our income. Among them, we are creating niche websites and we are about to launch a series of E-Books (the first one will be launched within the next 2 weeks!). But today I want to go a little bit deeper on how our business is built from the inside and explain to you why this business model is safer and more profitable than you think.

A Closer Look at my cost structure

6K per month is clearly a lot of money. However, when you take a closer look at how it is spent, you will notice that more than 50% of my expenses serve to grow my business. I guess this is the most important statement of this article. If I wanted to stay with the same level of income (e.g. 8K to 10K per month), I could drop the following expenses:

– Reduce my VA budget to $2,400 per year

– Reduce my writer budget to $6,000 per year

– Cut on software investment (0$ per year!)

So in about a month, I would be able to drop my expenses by $37,400 without affecting my current business activities. Then, I would be generating a net income of 6K to 7K/month. So 3K to 3.5K in my pocket per month for 10 to 20 hours per week, not bad huh?

A Closer Look at my Online Income

Last year, we made 125k and our operating costs were below 30K. However, we did sell website properties and had the chance to participate in a one shot deal in a separate online venture with other friends. This year, I expect our income to “drop” to roughly 80 to 90K as we won’t sell any of our sites. Therefore, it is a “real” jump in income as we made about 60K of steady income last year.

The major increase of income came after hiring 2 VAs and going full speed with our expansion. We bought another site and spent significant resources on developing our business.

This year, we can count on a solid network producing income from various sources. Our biggest income earner is Adsense for roughly 30% of our income. This is why our income should be pretty stable over time; because it’s diversified and it’s constantly growing.

With the growth of our niche websites and the arrival of our first E-book, I expect revenues to be even more diversified and stable over time. Chances are that we will reach higher levels of income later on this fall when we start selling our second E-book.

Spend in the name of growth

About a year ago, during our annual meeting, we took a big decision; it was time to grow! This is when we decided to reinvest all our profits and not take any cash out of our company. As I just explained, we both know that we can cut our expenses at any time and keep generating the same level of business. However, if we want to launch more sites and create E-books, we have no other choice but to pay people to perform the routine stuff while we work on value creation for us and the company.

So far, it has been the best investment of my life. When I look at the dividends it could pay me while I would not be doing much; my company shares definitely beats the yield any dividend stocks on the market! On top of that, because I know what I am doing and I master our online business model, I know that it’s a safe investment.

Since I was 22, I have leveraged my life to the maximum in the name of growth. So far, it is a great success on all counts. I hope to be able to leverage my company for the next 5 years and then, I can enjoy life as it should be!
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