November 29, 2012, 6:00 am

The Power of Becoming Aggressive and No Longer Waiting Around

by: MD    Category: Assets and Net Worth

Do you think it’s better to keep on going or to switch gears immediately when things aren’t going well? Do you persevere during the difficult times or give up?

I had a debate with a good friend recently. He’s smart and works hard. His only problem is that he doesn’t take any bold moves. He doesn’t see the point in doing anything that deviates from the norm or upsets anyone in the slightest. I think that’s insane because life’s too short to be bored every single day. I believe in being aggressive to get what you want out of life. Too many people are quick to be a glad hander or super-polite. While it’s politically correct to be polite, sometimes you have to be aggressive to get ahead.

Working at a job hoping that you get noticed or waiting months to ask that girl down the hall out, will not get you anywhere. You have to be aggressive.

Should you just keep on going?

No. We all feel that something will just happen if we keep on surviving and hanging on.

This works out sometimes. Sometimes life throws us a bone, things fall into place, and our problems go away.

What should you do instead of just going on and on? What should you do instead of waiting around?

Do something bold.

“You want to be afraid, really afraid, take a look at what your life will look like not if you try and fail, but if you keep on keeping on for decades. That’s the real nightmare scenario for most people.” — Jonathan Fields

Nothing happens when you’re waiting around. You have to be aggressive. You have to take. You can’t ask or wait around.

I don’t want to get into details, but I didn’t start meeting more women until I got aggressive. I always thought that if a girl likes me would come up to me and tell me. That’s not the case. That almost never happens. I got more aggressive and have dated women that I would’ve never had a shot with if  I was polite or waited for them to notice me.

Those around you will respect you for being more bold. From potential partners to the friends that you interact with on a daily basis.

This same logic applies to your job and other goals that you have. Waiting around won’t bring you closer to your goals. It’ll just keep you in the same position for a LONG time.

What’s the worst that can happen? You get rejected. As long as you don’t do anything illegal you won’t get into trouble.

Quit.

“The time to look for a new job is when you don’t need one. The time to switch jobs is before it feels comfortable. Go. Switch. Challenge yourself; get yourself a raise and a promotion.” — Seth Godin

Giving up is often mocked in our society.

You should never quit. You should just keep on going on until something magical happens.

Screw that. If something isn’t working or you’re not getting the results that you so badly want, the best thing you could possibly do is quit. When you say yes to something, you’re say no to something else. Stop saying no to the potential great things that could happen to you!

Are there only two options here? Do something bold or quit? YES. There’s no sense in waiting around. Right now is the best time to start building wealth.

Do you want to be that dude that waits around for his girlfriend to come back? Do you want to be the friend that chases business ideas for a decade until he realizes that he’s in his 40s? Do you want to be stuck at a job you hate? Obviously not! We all want the best. The only difference is that not all of us are willing to become more aggressive to get after our goals.

I urge you to stop just keeping on keeping on. It’s not worth it! It’s so much more powerful to become aggressive and stop waiting around. Sure, it’ll take a while to get used to. It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

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November 28, 2012, 7:03 am

Is My Online Gig a Company or a Sideline?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Business,Make Money Online

 

 

At the very beginning of the year, I wrote an article entitled 2012 Blogging Goals The Pass or Fail Ultimate Test. For the first time in four years of existence, I thought that 2012 was the breaking point for our company to become the ultimate making machine or simply remain a great sideline. I thought that after 2012, I would know for sure if my online project is a company or a good sideline that will never pay the bills. There is only one month left of 2012 and I already know the answer about my sites. But let’s look at my 2012 blogging goals first:

 

1st Goal: Launch my Dividend Growth eBook by April and sell 300+ copies

 

Our very first goal of the year was to successfully launch an eBook and sell over 300 copies. Let’s be honest, I didn’t give myself all the chances of succeeding in this one. Instead of publishing my book in April as planned, the book was launched the last week of September. Therefore, instead of having eight months to sell 300 copies, I only had three left! Fortunately, apart from the bad timeline for this project, the rest of the plan was solid. It was so solid that I didn’t even need three months to achieve my goal. As of yesterday, I’ve sold 325 copies. Sales have slowed down over the past three weeks but I’m still selling over 1 copy per day.

 

In 7 to 10 days, I’ll be launching the paper copy for both version (Canadian and U.S. edition). I’m just waiting to receive my copy for review and I’ll be all set to click on the publish button. Using my network (and huge newsletter), I’m expecting to rake in an additional 50 to 100 copies in December. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reach over 400 copies by December 31st!

 

It was a really good decision to go with Amazon for publishing as the “Amazon machine” is selling books by itself while I can continue to promote my product from my website as well. We have learned a lot during this process and I can already tell you that we will be launching another book in 2013 and we’ll save a lot of money and time in the process. It’s a good thing that the book is already profitable after 2 months as it gives us hope to create a more profitable product in 2013.

 

nd Goal: Reach over $15,000/month in online income by the end of the year

 

Our second goal was determined way before I got my first kick in the nuts (read how many kicks I’ve got so far here and have a good laugh!). With our recent progression (from September 2011 to January 2012) back then, I thought we could increase our revenues by 50% for three consecutive months. The plan included the following strategies:

 

– Increase our traffic and reach an average of 3,5K/month with Adsense (currently at 2,3K)

– Growing our niche websites and make 2K/month (currently, we make about $500/month with them)

– Keep our private advertising income at 6K/month (this is about an average month for us with peaks at 8K)

– Grow our advertising management service to income of 2K/month (we are currently making about $600-$1000 per month with it)

– Grow our affiliate sales to a steady 2K/month (this greatly vary from month to month right now)

– Sell our Dividend Growth eBook (hopefully make over 3K in sales for 2012)

– Buy 1 or 2 websites and generate 1K/month from them (we are currently hunting, so let us know if you want to sell yours!)

 

We focused on Adsense earnings with such success that we reached a record month of over $4,000 back in September. Unfortunately, we got penalized right after and our Adsense payout has dropped down to $2,800 – $3,000 per month. It is still higher than it was at the beginning of the year so it’s good news.

 

I wasn’t able to put as much emphasis I wanted on our niche websites. The result is that I didn’t really work on them throughout the year and they continued to make roughly $500-$600. I can’t really say that we improved this revenue source but at least, it’s pure passive income and it didn’t go down.

 

Private advertising was definitely hit big time as you know already. I wanted to maintain $6,000 in revenues from this side of our business and it had dried up to almost nothing. To be honest, if private advertising was still a healthy business model, I would have been making over $15,000 per month for a while! I’ve literally spent the year working on diversification to compensate for the losses of income from private advertising!

 

Along with the private advertising, our brokerage services have dried up as well. While we are still offering this service and still making money from it, we are far from the $2,000 we used to make in the “good old days”.

 

Affiliate sales have been increasing steadily with several successful campaigns throughout the year. We get regular checks along with peaks during mailing list campaigns. I’m sure I can do more but I’m very happy of all the funnels I’ve created in 2012 to ensure a stable income from affiliates.

 

I’ve already covered the book at the beginning of the article. The funny part is that I won’t be seeing the color of my money until January. Amazon payment system is not the fastest on earth so I have to wait 60 days after the first month I reached the trigger amount to generate a check. I expect my first payment in January. The good news is that I should be able to get a check each month after that.

 

As for the site to buy, we did it early in 2012 and took our time to integrate them perfectly in our business model. So far, it has been a great transaction where little work is involved and a lot of passive income is generated!

 

Overall, we weren’t able to increase our revenues this year. This is a major disappointment. At the same time, we are in line to only have a slight decrease of our revenues even if 60% of our business has been thrown in a garbage can. If private ads weren’t dead, we would have killed our objective.

 

rd Goal: Successfully launch a new site of major importance

The site is launched but the energy and work is yet to come. Dividend Stock Analysis was officially launched on TFB back in September during the Authority Site Duel. We are happy with our start since the site is already making money while we haven’t pushed the promotion of the site very much.

 

We can say that the site is launched but it’s not a site of major importance yet ;-). However, the early response from our existing readers is great and we expect to grow this site in the upcoming months. We already started to get more links towards this new site and will host a contest in 2013 in order to grow our newsletter base rapidly. We have over 100 subscribers already and I want to finish 2013 with over 1,000. This will be another awesome customer base for any investment related product.

 

Keep our expenses at the same level

 

We have kept close attention to our costs throughout 2012. We were able to diminish them while we were growing. Today, we have more sites and more projects rolling with a smaller budget. We will also attack our interest paid in 2013 in order to reduce this additional cost.

 

Our system allows us to run multiple blogs and other websites without having to stay up all night. The key is always to focus on added value actions and outsource the rest. I can say that our “fixed” expenses are roughly $4,000/month while we added at least $3,000 in debt repayment per month. The rest goes for variable expenses (and taxes! Lol!).

 

Is My Online Project is A Company or Just a Great Sideline?

 

The answer is not as clear as I thought it would be at this point of the year. I’ve called that 2012 was a “pass or fail” test as I wanted to grow my revenues to a level where it could compensate totally my income. This is not the case yet but I don’t consider it as a failure either. All external factors contributed to put pressure on my revenues this year. None of the things we control helped us out to boost our company.

 

Nonetheless, we were able to find other sources of revenues and keep our objectives in line even if we had to delay some projects. Our “recent” focus on debt repayment also influenced the way we managed the business this year. In order to gain in flexibility in the future, we decided to restraint our expansion this year. A cash rich company could definitely be profitable in a few years and will allow us to do even more things.

 

I think that our diversification translates into several doors opening in front of us that will lead us to even more revenues in 2013. We used to have two major metrics to push in order to increase our revenues (private ads and Adsense). We now have several other metrics we can push at the same time. Our revenues are not only more stable from month to month but offer also a wider range of improvements. Products combined with an upsell system will also be a great fit for 2013.

 

For now, I’ll continue to consider my online empire as a company and think that it could grow significantly in the upcoming years. What’s your take? Do you think I have a good sideline or the possibility to eventually create a real company with my websites?

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November 26, 2012, 7:50 am

Yearly Income Update; Small Joys & Deceptions

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Career,Personal Finance

 

 

I particularly enjoy the period of end of November and December as it is the moment of the year where I resume my successes and failures and setup my goals for next year. Last year, I’ve wrote about my biggest personal income report ever making $176,000. Was I able to repeat it this year? Not at all… but I knew I couldn’t since I started a new book with new clients.

 

For those who are in the business, you will understand how hard it is to start from scratch and show a big 0 in the $ under management column. Even thought I knew I was going to make less money this year, I made the move for several reasons:

 

–          I save 2h30/day in transportation time

–          I also save the cost associated to this transportation

–          I increased my base salary

–          My future potential bonus is better than my previous job

–          I have the opportunity to work for the best department in the financial industry (private wealth).

 

Nonetheless, all these very good reasons don’t pay for my mortgage at the end of the month! Lol! But I can’t really complain as “on a bad year” I made slightly over $131,000 this year.

 

How My Income is Earned:

 

As you know already, I’m the only income earner in a household of five. This is why I feel additional pressure to make money in order to insure that my wife and three kids live a great life without money problems. This is also for this reason that I have built a sideline business to ensure stable income over time. My online business represents 27% of my overall income this year (as compared to 19% last year). It’s been three years that both my partner and I are benefitting from our online company even though we don’t pay ourselves salary. We are better off leaving the money inside the company to ensure its growth as opposed to bleeding it right away.

 

In 2012, our online revenues didn’t grow since Google hit both private ads and our traffic on sites that were doing well with Adsense. Nonetheless, we should make roughly the same revenues we earned in 2011 as we were able to generate additional sources of revenues such as our newsletter, affiliate programs and our eBook (now showing over 300 copies sold already!!!).

 

My other source of income is obviously my day job. I’ve separated this source of income into 3 different parts:

 

Base Income

My base income is super important since it is my main source of income throughout the year to pay my bills. I was able to increase it this year by having a promotion to work in private wealth. While I know I could make a lot more money if I was a broker paid strictly on commissions, the security behind a stable biweekly pay check is awesome when you have a young family. I just don’t want to stress with money and have to work 70 hours a week to compensate for this stress.

 

Bonus

The most interesting part of my day job is the time when I receive my year-end bonus. It is usually the most interesting moment. But not this year and this is my biggest disappointment of the year. I knew it was coming because I started a new book, but my bonus is nothing compared to what it was last year. I don’t even want to write down the drop in % as I would cry! But sometimes you have to accept taking a step back to move forward. I did this back in 2008 when I barely increased my overall income and suffered from another drop in bonus. In 2009, this career move allowed me to jump from high 60s to over 100K. I hope I’ll be right again this year!

 

Employer’s benefit

 

Most people don’t consider their employer’s benefit as $ in their pocket and I think they should. But I don’t consider all my benefits because some of them are too complicated to calculate. For example, I ignore my insurance and pension plan benefit. I know they count as an important part of my overall income but I can’t really put a dollar sign in front of it.

 

I do consider the interest I save on my mortgage because I work in the financial industry and I have an additional rebate on my interest rate. The other thing I consider is the “free” portion of my employer stocks paid by my employer. Since I cash out my stocks each year, this is clearly cash in my pockets!

 

My overall sources of income from 2011 to 2012 have been relatively stable. In fact, each part increased besides my bonus. Here’s how it is distributed:

This Year:

 

 income distribution 2012

Last Year :

 

 income distribution 2011

As you can see, the main difference between 2011 and 2012 is the importance that my bonus is taking in my overall income. On the other hand, if I consider how much I save in gas and transportation cost, there is a big part of my loss of bonus that is being compensated! Plus, I don’t feel tired anymore which is priceless.

 

What’s Coming for 2013?

 

I was happy to see my overall income staying well above 100K even though I’ve turned my back on a potential bonus over 35K for a 4th year in a row. Overall, my other sources of income have proven that my “personal business model” is solid and can provide over 100K in income even in a bad year. A 6 figure income is great for a single individual but when you factor in that I have to compensate for my wife’s income, I’m not making more than any family household with two average salaries of 50K each.

 

In the upcoming year, I’ll be first working on increasing my bonus. I’m already working on a plan to generate a bonus over $25,000. It’s not going to be easy as I will have to do around 150% of my objectives while my book size is a quarter of what it should be. I’m still in the dark as of to what my exact objectives and payouts on bonus will be for 2013 so I’m currently working with this year’s metrics. I hope it won’t change much and that my plan will be successful. I have identified where I can get business to with my existing clients and made a list of potential clients I can approach. The rest is pure mathematics: the number of calls you make gives the number of appointments you get gives the number of deals you close 😉.

 

My base salary and employer’s benefits are fairly stable over time and I should only see an inflation adjustment on them. I wish I could get more but it’s impossible in my position. The only way I can get a bigger raise on my base salary is to crush 2013 and build a huge book. At that time, I will be in a good position to ask for a raise. In the meantime, I’ll stay quiet and concentrate on my job!

 

As for my online revenues, I don’t expect a huge increase this year either. The reason being we are paying off our corporate debt at a super high pace. We were at $100,000 in corporate debt at the beginning of the year and we are now showing $73,000 as of November 1st. We should continue to reduce our debts by about $3,000 per month for the next 2 years until we have nothing left owed. Then, I should see a huge increase from my online income, hehehe! More seriously, I expect to increase my online income by 5% only this year in order to leave enough liquidity to the company so it can pay back its debts. In 2 years, we will have a marvellous debt free money making machine.

 

Overall, my income goal in 2013 will be to reach $150,000. This won’t be as great as my record year at $176,000 but this should be enough so I can treat myself to a nice trip ;-). The only reason why I focus so much on money is to be able to treat myself and my family. If not, there won’t be any reasons to bust my ass like I do!

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November 25, 2012, 2:23 pm

Epic Time

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

Hey guys, it’s time for another epic link time. Are you guys watching the Grey Cup? I’m sure the American readers don’t even care for one second. It’s our version of the Super Bowl, but more lame, and with a Justin Bieber half-time show.

What was my favorite piece of the week? I enjoyed…

Five Great Money Books for Young Adults @ Young Finances.

When I first got into personal finance I wasn’t sure where to start. I didn’t know what to read. This article highlights 5 personal finance books that make for a good gift for someone in your family or a good read for yourself if you want to get started with saving money.

I’m curious to hear: what’s your favorite book based on money? I haven’t read a solid personal finance book in a while.

Carnivals:

Carnival of Personal Finance #388: Thanksgiving Preparation Edition

Carnival of Money Pros

Carnival Of Financial Camaraderie – Black Friday Edition

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November 22, 2012, 6:00 am

Does Your Dream Job Have to Pay Well?

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income

Do you care how much money your dream job pays? Is the purpose of a dream gig to make lots of money?

I enjoy watching MMA, more specifically UFC shows. So my story is going to involve someone that happens to be a fighter in the UFC.

When I watch someone on television, I usually assume that they’re making good money. When a show costs $50 to order from home and when the bar is packed, I imagine that the company is making big money. I thought that a safe assumption to make was that someone fighting in the UFC would be getting paid well.

Then I found out otherwise in an article that I read when I went to find a preview for a card a few weeks back.

I noticed that the fighter in one of the interviews was more excited about getting paid than actually fighting. This guy has his dream job and enjoys what he does. He just hasn’t been able to make as much money as he needs to pay the bills for his family and enjoy life. That really makes you question the notion of working at your dream job.

Does your dream job have to pay well?

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” — Aristotle

I really don’t have the answer here because I believe that it all comes down to your lifestyle and how you want to live. For example, if your dream job allows you to move to a more favorable part of the world or if it gives you freedom from doing work that you hate, you can make an argument for not getting paid very generously. On the other hand, if you can’t pay your bills, then there’s a huge problem.

Not having enough money to pay the bills will lead to many other problems that trump being happy at your job. If you don’t have enough money, you might be stuck living in an average home without any access to resources. Is it worth being happy at work and then miserable at home?

This then brings us to the next important question…

Can you conquer money management to be able to work your dream job?

I’m thinking that not everyone with a dream job is making a fortune. This means that you might have to dig into the world of personal finance to work your dream job. What does this world entail?

  • Frugality.
  • Couponing and looking for deals.
  • Paying yourself first to ensure you have enough savings.
  • Watching how you use your credit cards.

You don’t have to make millions at your dream job if you know how to manage your money.

Making millions at your dream job won’t always lead to financial success.

I decided to perform a few Google searches to look at broke celebrities.

Mike Tyson made $400 million in his career. Yet in 2003 he still had to file for bankruptcy. Most of us reading this won’t even make $1 million in our jobs in less than a decade. Tyson made hundreds of millions of dollars.

A few years back Nicholas Cage went broke when it came out that he owed the IRS $6.2 million in back taxes.

Even Abraham Lincoln was forced into filing bankruptcy twice in his life because of businesses that went wrong.

Then there’s Jacob of Early Retirement Extreme who can live off in a year what some spend in a month. His dream job pays him enough to live the type of life that makes him happy. It’s not for everyone, but it seems to be working well for him.

At the end of the day, I salute anyone that’s doing what they love, especially if they’re not hurting anyone in the process. We already have enough miserable people in the world. The last thing we need is another disgruntled employee taking their frustrations out when they’re stuck in traffic or in line for a cup of coffee.

I just have a few questions for those of you with dream jobs…

Does your dream job have to pay well? Is it a dream job because of the pay or because you love the work that much?

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