December 30, 2011, 6:00 am

Epic Shiz of the Week

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

The top article from the last little while has been 10 Things I No Longer Need for Freelance Success @ Freelance Switch. The article looks at tools that freelancers no longer need to be successful. Some of the items on this list will surprise you or at very least make you laugh. This also happens to be one of the best online resources for all freelancers reading this.

What’s so epic about this piece?

It’s funny to think that desks, huge machines, and business cards are a thing of the past. This article really reminds me of how the freelance industry has changed and how many individuals are earning an income through new means. Think back to how many were earning a full-time income from the Internet just a few short years ago? This number has dramatically increased.

What’s the best part of this article?

“Thank goodness times have changed and now literally anyone with enough drive and ambition can be successful, often in a very compressed period of time.”

That’s the truth about the freelancing landscape moving forward into 2012. You don’t need the best education in the world to make it.

Are you a freelancer? What tools have you dropped in the last year or so?

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December 29, 2011, 6:00 am

Did 2011 Suck? Let’s Kill it in 2012

by: MD    Category: Other Financial Articles

I’m not a fan of resolutions or any of that crap. I think I hate resolutions because my gym gets rammed every January and there’s a plethora of scrawny guys in Affliction shirts leaving their 5lb weights on the bench press. Perhaps it’s because I’m totally annoyed by friends that throw out insane goals, never reach them, and then complain about their failure. How are you supposed to look like a bodybuilder if you never did a pushup in the last 6 months? How are you supposed to reach your goals if you’re too busy complaining?

Alright, before I get too carried away, back to the original topic…

Did 2011 suck for you? If it did then we need to work on getting everything under control in 2012.

What can you do to kill it in 2012 and have a much better year?

Produce something.

You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t start working on anything. You need to produce something if you want to see real results. You need to actually sit down, focus and start getting real work done. You can consume all of the theory in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything until you finally start to apply it. I used to read about blogging, eBooks, and all of that stuff. I didn’t truly learn anything until I actually launched my own blog and then launched my own eBook a few years later. Doing is the best form of learning in my opinion.

There are no secrets or shortcuts here. Just remember that you’re not going to drown in sweat. If you have no motivation to get any work done, then you’re just in the wrong field. Time to cut your losses and move on to something else. If you have zero energy, then consider improving your diet or exercising more often.

Get more organized.

If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. It really is that simple. You need to get your act together. If you’re not organized then you won’t know if you’re coming or going.

How can you get more organized?

  1. Clear your workspace.
  2. Make your workspace more inspiring.
  3. Use stick-it notes to track everything.
  4. Throw out everything you don’t need.
  5. Close random windows.

I’m slowly working on this one. I gut my room out at least once a month. I want to have the most organized workspace possible. I try to keep all of my notes beside me. I also try to keep track of what I want to do, what I plan on doing, and what needs to be done. This why I’m not just idly sitting away on the compute.

Watch out for information overload.

I get caught up with this all of the time. I start reading and reading. I read so much and know so much, yet I do very little. It’s lame. You get nothing done when you’re consuming information and doing nothing about it. It’s cool to know a lot. It’s useless when you don’t do anything with this information. Stop consuming at a certain point. I recommend a steady ratio between consuming and producing.

Reward yourself.

If you meed the deadline of your new eBook or if you lose those 10lbs by January then you should reward yourself. When you have something to look forward you’re going to want to work harder naturally.

How can you reward yourself more often?

  • Plan a huge trip if you meet a huge goal.
  • Go out for a fancy dinner if you hit a small goal.

I could go on but only you know how to reward yourself for a job well done.

Punish yourself.

Negative reinforcement is the kick in the ass that we all need once in a while. I do this to myself all of the time. As I’m typing this it’s a Saturday night and I’m clearly not out. I didn’t hit a few goals and I thought it would make no sense for me to go out. Instead I stayed in to work on my goals and get some work done at the same time. I could’ve easily gone out, used the “it’s Saturday” excuse, and delayed my work again. Screw that. You need to punish yourself.

Those are my observations from the past and tips for moving forward.

How did 2011 turn out for you? What do you have planned for 2012?

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December 23, 2011, 6:00 am

Epic Shiz of the Week

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

The epic shiz of the week is 5 Steps to a Better SEO Strategy @ Quick Sprout. This is easily becoming my new favorite blog. I started reading it over the summer and am now hooked on it. I recommend that you check it out and look through archives.

What’s so epic about this article?

The article follows the usual format of being very detailed, practical, and full of examples.

What’s the best part of this piece?

Great search engine optimization boils down to writing great content and SEO friendly blog posts. That’s pretty common advice, but I think too many people think about it after they launch their seo campaign.

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December 22, 2011, 6:00 am

The Simple Rules For Success

by: MD    Category: Miscellaneous

As we sit down to think and reflect about life, our accomplishments, and our failures in 2011, we’re going to wonder about what it takes to be a success. For each of us there are going to be different rules for success and different ways to look at life. We all view success in a different way. For some of us success is all about money. For others, success is about lifestyle and how we live life. Some measure success in friends and family.

How does that saying go? If you want to get rich quick, then just count your blessings.

I’ve been struggling with what success means to me. I decided to look for some answers through a few of my favorite books that I have beside me on my desk right now. I wanted to see how successful people view success and getting more out of life.

According to Gary Vaynerchuk in Crush it!, there are three simple rules when it comes to his secrets to success:

  1. Love your family.
  2. Work super hard.
  3. Live your passion.

Those are some pretty simple rules. Obviously no advanced techniques are mentioned. This is a really simplified, yet effective way to look at success.

I wanted to learn more on top of this answer so I continued to read. I checked out one of my favorite books. In Linchpin, Seth Godin writes:

“The astonishing fact is that the most successful people in the world are those who don’t do it for the money.”

What’s the theme here? Both of these successful individuals are more focused on on delivering something valuable, instead of chasing the quick buck. There are many successful people in this world that never thought about making big bucks. They were more worried about the service and what they were actually going to deliver instead of thinking about how rich they could get. This might sound corny at first, but it seems to be true. When the chasing the big bucks, we often get distracted away from focusing on value. It happens to the best of us.

Where am I going with this? We all get a little too greedy sometimes. It’s perfectly natural to go after the money because we all need money. Well need to money to pay the bills and to live a normal life. Nobody wants to blindly “follow their passions” and live life with no money. That’s just not realistic at all.

Is there a solution to this greed? There are many ways that you can make money without a traditional job. There are many ways to get paid to do something that you love. I’ve been learning this over the past few years.

You don’t have to quit your job and follow you passions like the “experts” suggest you to do. You can moonlight with your new side business or you can keep a part-time job to ensure that the bills are always paid. You can eliminate your expenses so that you can survive off little money. You can move to a part of the country where the cost of living is much lower. You can start a side business as a hobby without any thoughts of money to see if you can even get it off the ground. There are many ways that you can live a life where you fulfilled. You don’t always have to be rich.

It’s impossible for me to define what success means for you and how you can be successful. At the end of the day we all view success differently. What I do know is that I’m interested in hearing how you define success.

What simple rules for success do you follow?

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December 21, 2011, 6:50 am

I’m Giving You $500! It Pays to be Bad!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous

Hey People!

 

Haven’t you notice that most people become generous all of a sudden at Xmas time?

 

Maybe it’s because we feel fortunate and we know that some people are not.

 

And maybe we are simply brainwashed by the media who show a bunch of little orphans with nothing to eat on Xmas eve!

 

Well, regardless of the case, I’m giving $500 CASH for Xmas!

 

All right, I lied.

 

Yeah, yeah, I’m giving the $500 and the blog is hosting the giveaway but the money is not coming from me. It’s coming from my buddies at Life Insurance Finder, the easiest place to compare life insurance. They contacted me to host a giveaway where all you need to do is confess your financial sin for 2011 and you could win $500 in cash to repent in 2012! No catch, just cash ;-D

 

If you have followed this blog during the year, you know that I am pretty good at making money but I’m also a big sinner when it comes to pay down my debts! I think it’s obvious that I’ve been pretty bad at managing my budget this year and I count solely on my ability to increase my income instead of sitting down with a piece of paper and starting some calculations!

 

Now it’s your turn to tell me where you have been bad in 2011… and you can get paid to do it!

 

Here are the contest rules:

 

(1 entry): Confess your financial sins for 2011! Leave them in the comments below

 

(1 entry): TWEET about our Financial Redemption giveaway!  Just copy & send the following:
“I just entered to win $500 with @lifeinsurancef and @FinancialBlogr! Enter here:http://bit.ly/rZm4x6

 

(5 entries): Subscribe to my TFB newsletter: You’ll get exclusive info on how I run my online business and make money online:

 

(5 entries): follow @lifeinsurancef on Twitter

 

(10 entries): BLOG about this Giveaway!  Post up YOUR Financial Confessions List of 2011 on your site  – either in text, or in pictures  and then make sure to mention you’re trying to win “the $500 Financial Blogger competition, sponsored by Life Insurance Finder – the easiest place to compare life insurance” somewhere with both links & text fully included, then include the URL in the comments below.

 

 

 

EDIT: Contest runs until January 14th!

NOTE: the winner must have a paypal account (which is free anyway!)

 

By the way, I’m not getting anything from it… beside looking cool by sending money to my readers ;-D

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