February 28, 2013, 6:00 am

Do You Have to Enjoy Every Minute of Work?

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income

Do you have to enjoy every minute of your work? This is something that I’ve been debating with buddies lately. Some of my friends just want to work, get paid, and move on with their lives. Others want to find a job that makes them totally happy all of the time.

When I read lifestyle design-related blogs, I notice the theme is to enjoy your work and to always be passionate about what you do. I actually love this theme. I’m sure most of us do. Nobody reading this wants to be miserable for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Nobody wants to be frustrated with what they do for a living or with what they spend the majority of their time on.

I’ve been reading, learning, and experimenting with the idea of doing work that you enjoy for many years now.

This leads to an important question…

Are you entitled to enjoy even minute of your job?

Nope. While it’s great to find a way to get paid to do something that you enjoy (blogging about money, working as a personal trainer, or coaching high school students), you’re not entitled to it. Not every job or form of income will make you happy 24/7.

What if you hate your work?

There are solutions and you don’t have to worry about being stranded forever. Just because you hate your job now it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be stuck in a job that you hate forever. There are many options. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and earning a living in this world.

What can you do if you want to enjoy what you do?

“Instead of leading horses around, and instead of causing thirst, it’s your job to find the thirsty and offer them water.” — Chris Guillebeau

Plan your exit strategy.

Do you have a quit date in mind?

Lately all sorts of blogs have popped up about exit strategies and age limits to when the blogger wants to call it quits (for example, Derek of Free at 33 or Joe of Retire By 40 — both sites are worth checking out!).

These bloggers have planned out an exit strategy. They chose an age for which they would like to retire and are working mercilessly to attain this goal (or in Joe’s case, to keep retirement going).

If you really want to get out of your job to spend more time with your family or to work on other projects, you need to set down and figure out an exit strategy. Some important questions to ask are:

  • How much can I save?
  • What can I cut back on?
  • Can I increase my income?
  • Can I cut back on my living expenses?

The answers to these questions will help you out with figuring out an end game. What’s your deadline?

There are ways to find work that you totally enjoy.

You’re not screwed if you hate your job. There are so many jobs out there that can make you happy. For the sake of repetitiveness, I’m not even going to get into blogging or “following your passions.”

If you’re young enough or still have the ambitious, you can do back to school. What sort of programs interest you? Between big universities, community colleges, and workshops, you can find a program that interests you and allows you to earn credentials in a field that you want to work in.

If you’re experienced enough, you can transfer companies to a job with a more suitable work environment. But, I don’t want to insult you with stating the obvious about that. I’ll just say this — the doors always open for you to leave and find work elsewhere. Don’t forget!

You can outsource everything.

If you do happen to work for yourself, you have the option to outsource the work that you hate. In the 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss, mentions how he just about outsources everything from responding to emails to even once setting up blind dates.

If you think that trade-off is worth it, then you can outsource the work that you hate to focus on what you like. You have to run the numbers yourself here, because outsourcing isn’t always worth it.

Suck it up!

You’re not going to enjoy every minute of every single day. Sorry to tell you that. You don’t have to be passionate about responding to emails, dealing with clients, or scouring the web for images to use for posts. It’s okay to be bored. Not every second of your day will excite the pants off of you.

How do you feel at work or when working? Are you generally happy with how things are?

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February 27, 2013, 5:00 am

Stop Trading Time for Money

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Productivity

 

 

Whats the difference between you and an entrepreneur? The entrepreneur works with 200+ hours in a day while you are limited to 24.

 

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE IN A DAY?

 

That’s an interesting question isn’t it? Let’s say you want to start a side project to make more money. How much time do you have in a day to make it happen?

 

Chances are that you sleep at least 7 hours per day We are down to 17,

 

You need to eat, wash and take care of yourself; another 4 hours gone 13 hours to go,

 

Darn! On top of that, you work out and stay up in shape; another 1h30 disappeared 11.5 hours left, the clock is ticking!

 

Oh wait! You also work, right? How about 9 hours per day with transportation? 2.5 hours to build something,

 

You are down to 2.5 hours in your day and you havent spent any time with your spouse, family or friends. You didnt even have time to watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead!

 

Oh well, you have 2 days free on weekends when you can squeeze in a few hours for your side project between groceries, cleaning and some free time. I’m sure you are going to build a huge empire… one weekend at a time! (sic)

 

WHERE CAN YOU FIND TIME TO MAKE MORE MONEY?

 

That’s an even better question. If you want to start making money on your own and improve your lifestyle once and for all, you need to make changes to your schedule. Warning; this means that you need to challenge all of society and break the unwritten rules of the dream crashers. If you really want to make money aside from your day job, you’ll need to turn around, leave I the sheep and run in the other direction. Have you tried to run the opposite way in a marathon? It is that hard!

 

Review Your Schedule and Prioritize

 

Over the past 10 years, I’ve gone from a simple admin clerk to a private banker making 6 figures systematically (since 2008). I have worked my share of hours but it’s not true that I had worked over 50 hours a week during all these years to get here. All I needed to do is to work smarter than my colleagues.

 

Look at what you do at work. Examine each minute of your day and ask yourself this simple question:

 

If I was paying someone else to do what I do in a day, would I consider him worth all the hours hes paid for? Would I like to get more back for the money I pay him?

 

Chances are that the answer will be no you are not working during all the hours you are at work. You do face time, you spend too much time talking with your colleagues, you waste an incredible amount of time in meetings and non productive tasks. I know because I do too. We all do.

 

However, several times a year, I stop what I do at work and try to establish a new routine. A fresh routine to help me avoid unnecessary meetings and chit-chat with colleagues. A routine that will ensure that my time at work is efficient and that I deliver more than expected. Why would I do that? Simply because the more efficient I become, the more “free time” I have to do something else ;-). If I deliver more than what is expected, why my manager would argue with me that I don’t use my time properly? This is the only way you can truly free up some time from your schedule and start working on your own project.

 

Today, my online business is also bringing in 6 figures in revenue and I work less than 10 hours per week on it. How do I do that? I’ve stopped trading money for hours.

 

YOU ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE, THEN WHAT? START MULTIPLYING YOUR HOURS IN YOUR DAY

 

The concept is super simple; imagine that you have all the money in the world. You can pay someone to cook breakfast, lunch and supper for you. Another person would clean your house, cut the grass and take the car to the garage. Basically, with all the money in the world, you can buy yourself a lot of free time.

 

The concept is similar to when you are building a company; you pay other people to work for you so you can have more free time to generate value. The key is to pay people less than what you make. If your employee works 1 hour and generate $50 in your pocket, the key is to pay him less than $50. The difference is going right into your pocket and you still haven’t work a minute. You need 10 hours of work to be done today? Just pay for them! Pay someone $30/hour and rack-up $200 in your pocket by the end of the day and you can still enjoy your day doing nothing.

 

But Someone Would Work for $30/hour For You Instead of Making $50/hour Working For Himself?

 

The answer to this question is surprising; because people are trading time for money. It’s a natural concept accepted in today’s society: you need money, you have to work. Period. It’s as simple as that; you just have to trade your time for an hourly wage and everybody is happy.

 

The thing is that trading time for money is an acceptable concept in today’s society. In fact, if you are not willing to work longer hours at work, you are perceived negatively. If you focus like a manager or an entrepreneur on paying qualified employees to do the work and take Fridays off, you are perceived as a lazy dude. So while you are acting smart, most people will think that you are lazy and that you abuse other’s people time. Nonetheless, they will happily make the decision to trade more time to earn more money the following day.

 

YOU WILL ALWAYS TRADE TIME FOR MONEY – BUT YOU CAN DO IT EXPONENTIALLY

 

There is another myth about trading time for money; pure passive income doesnt exist.

 

If you live off your dividends – you need to spend time managing your money.

 

If you earn rental income – you need to spend time dealing with tenants and take care of your property.

 

If you own websites – you need to spend time writing content or at least managing your VAs.

 

If you run a business – you have employees to manage, contracts to close, etc.

 

However, the main difference between an employee and these four situations is the following:

 

When the employee leaves the office at 5pm, he stops making money. The investors, landlord, site owner or business owner makes money 24 hours / 7 days a week.

 

I wake up every day with more money in my pocket than last night.  When I look at how much my sites had done overnight, I am amazed and I have never received a pay check for sleeping!

 

So the key is to make your hours of work produce exponential results. You can do that by either building a structure that will generate passive income in the future or by employing people to work for you. In both cases, you will end-up earning more money without trading your time for an hourly wage. This is what I call: stop trading your time for money.

 

This is probably the main reason why I’m working on the side to build my online business; to increase my overall hourly wage and make money while I’m sleeping. Eventually, I would like to buy a rental property with this money too.

 

What are your thoughts about trading your time for money? Are you trying to find other ways of making money? In which field?

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February 25, 2013, 5:24 am

Authority Website Update – How I Improved my Traffic… and Income!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site

 

 

Over the past month, I’ve been experimenting with a few things to improve the traffic of my authority website: Dividend Stock Analysis. After a few traffic peaks, my site quickly returned back to a relatively mediocre level with roughly 1,300 visitors per month.

 

I Know I Have a Good Site with Compelling Content, So What’s Wrong?

 

This is probably the biggest problem with all good websites; we all think our content is good and don’t understand why it’s not ranking higher in Google. I do own a strong investing network but besides driving my own visitors, I have found it hard to increase my site traffic.

 

I compiled some stats for my site since officially launching it in September (and including August to show the difference before/after).

 

MonthTrafficAdsenseRev/VisitSE Traffic
August482$9,10$0,0253
September4087$180,18$0,0476
October2060$82,55$0,0429
November1296$50,62$0,0438
December1138$33,39$0,0350
January1344$102,90$0,0851
So Far in Feb3119$180,02$0,0644
Average1932$91,25$0,0549

 

After a nice start (4,087 visitors and $180.18 after the launch), I didn’t do much in terms of revenue and traffic for three months. For some strange reason, after getting a few search engine visitors, Google decided that even 76 visitors for a whole month was too much and dropped me with their September update. I’m now slowly climbing the SEO ladder with each month being better than the previous one. The only thing that sucks is that I’m still not able to get more than 3 visitors/day from Google! This is something Ihave decided to take care of starting in February. In order to boost my traffic this month,  put three things in place.

 

#1 Using the Power of my Newsletter

 

I have a pretty good following through my investing website network and think I should use it. It wasn’t that easy as I didn’t want to spam my readers. I sent 2 emails in the past 30 days which resulted into something quite interesting in terms of traffic…

 

Traffic

 

The first email asked my readers to answer The Top 4 Questions to Answer to Build a Solid Dividend Investing Strategy. On the first day, I generated over 500 visitors and benefitted from a residual impact over almost a week.

 

The second email highlighted the Top 35 Dividend Stocks Performers in 2013 so far. As a bonus to add to my credibility, I have 4 stocks that I chose in my Best 2013 Dividend Stocks eBook without counting HNZ (which is my 5th pick in the top 35) that went +20% after the acquisition by Warren Buffett. I noticed that investors are always looking for “hot stocks” and these kind of posts always catch their attention.

 

As long as you find valuable information to send to your mailing list, you will always end-up with a good opening rate and… a lot of clicks! Interesting enough, my loyal readers also clicked on Adsense ads on my other site and some of them bought my Best 2013 Dividend Stock eBook.

 

I intend to send an email every 2-3 weeks with high quality content to send my readers to DSA. I think I can continue to generate traffic spikes with this method. I will not only generate traffic for my authority site but I’m also building a bond with my existing readers. The more “high quality” content I forward them, the more credibility I have when I want to promote my own products .

 

#2 Guest Posting Strategy

 

This strategy is older than blogging but it still works ;-). There is nothing like good guest posts on high PR blogs to build some authority with Google! I wrote three guest posts that were published in January and February. I didn’t get many visitors from those but the link building strategy behind it will eventually take effect.

 

The idea is to write good content and offer it to my fellow bloggers. Since I know a lot of investing bloggers, it won’t be difficult to get links from all of them. The key is to find enough time to write to all of them ;-).

 

I aim for 2 things when writing guest posts:

 

#1 Write the best content I can in order to generate a discussion and possibly attract new readers. By writing high quality content instead of paying a copywriter to do them, I increase my chance of getting new readers.

 

#2 Select 1 or 2 keywords I want to rank for and link back to my site with those. Instead of using a simple link toward Dividend Stock Analysis, I try to link to existing articles with specific keywords.

 

My plan is to produce at least 2 guest posts per month and exclusively targeting investing blogs in order to gain as much authority as possible. So if you have an investing blog and you want to swap guest posts, send me an email ;-).

 

#3 Directory Submission

 

Seriously… directories… anybody use this? Well, I don’t know if human beings use them but one thing is for sure; Google Bots like them a lot!

 

You don’t believe me? I can’t blame you; I was skeptical too! But I gave it a try, following recommendations from a good pal Sunil from Extra Money Blog. He referred me to a directory submission service called Directory Maximizer. It’s literally a time saver if you are looking to building links at a cheap price. You can get 100 links per month for $14/month. I wasn’t convinced but I thought that I could give it a try and see what happens with one site I bought a few months ago.

 

We paid solely for the design and content as the site received roughly 40 to 50 visitors per month. We didn’t link to this site from our network, we didn’t use our newsletter, basically, we didn’t do anything else but subscribe to Directory Maximizer and let the magic begins.

Check out the results:

 

 

We went from 50 visitors per month to 50 visitors per day within 4 months of trying the directory submission service. The fact that we absolutely didn’t do anything to improve the site traffic beside directory submissions leads me to think that it works! It really enables you to get hundreds of backlinks towards your site at a cheap price.

 

The way Directory Maximizer works is simply brilliant: I usually select 10 different keywords with different site descriptions and get about 10 links per keyword/description per month. This improves the natural side of the link building strategy and the site is classified according to a relevant topic within the directory.

 

Now that DSA exists for almost a year, I can use this strategy without looking weird to GoogleBots. If the Directory Maximizer strategy works well this time too, I will be able to increase my number of visitors to 5,000/month by the end of the year. At 5,000 visitors per month making $0.05 per visits, I’ll up to $250/month in adsense. This is besides the sales of my own products.

 

What’s the Next Step for DSA?

 

Creating my first free eBook about dividend investing was quite a success for my dividend blog. I think it would be time I create a similar product to draw a line between my dividend blog and this site. I don’t want DSA to be considered as a simple small extension of my flagship blog and I would like DSA to be able to “fly by its own means”. This is why I will have to start a new branding for this site and reduce the association with my blog.

 

In the upcoming month, I’ll continue my traffic building strategy and will look for a way to track down my sales from this site. Right now, I only have global view of my sales and can’t tell if they are coming from my authority site, my blog or even from another blog referring to me!

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February 22, 2013, 9:49 am

Epic Roundup

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

What article’s worth checking out from the last week?

Notes From My Google Adsense in Your City Visit @ Extra Money Blog.

Sunil shares his insights and tips from a unique experience that he went through with Google. I highly recommend checking out the article, along with looking out for a possible Adsense meetup in your region.

What about the carnivals?

Carnival of MoneyPros Lost Souls Edition.

Financial Carnival for Young Adults.

 

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February 21, 2013, 6:00 am

The Art of Hustle For Parents of Lazy 20-Somethings

by: MD    Category: Assets and Net Worth

Do you have a lazy kid?

At one point or another there’s going to be the need for hustle. This is time that I could be spending on anything else but writing. Yet, I love doing it.

Your kid is going to have to hustle hard at one point. There will be the phase where they’re forced to work hard. This will hopefully be followed by the stage where they enjoy working hard. Take it from me personally, I never imagined that I would look forward to working. Now I don’t even want to call it work because I enjoy working on my projects so much.

I have a feeling I know what you might be thinking:

My son watches TV all day, there’s no way he’s going to hustle.
My daughter hangs out with her useless boyfriend all day, I can’t picture her working.
My kid’s biggest accomplishment is reaching the highest level in a PS3 game.

All I have to say is that my parents probably said this about me and my brother at some point. We all go through our lazy phases. We all also wake up eventually and realize that we need to work if we want to get anything done.

Let’s get right into the important stuff. How can I get my kid to actually work?

Goals.

Let me ask you a quick question: if you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there? I find that the main problem with saving money in your 20s is that you really don’t know what you’re saving for and why you’re saving money.

I didn’t start saving my money until I got the idea to purchase a condo. We all need goals. Goals are essentially a dream with a deadline (I remember hearing this in some corny movie, but it’s still true!).

We need some sort of goals to strive towards. A lot of my friends don’t care for saving money because they don’t think that they have anything to save for. Once you develop this type of an attitude it will kill any saving bone left in your body.

What’s the point of saving for something if you don’t feel the need to?

This is why I always stress the importance of setting money-related goals. This can be something as simple as saving $1,000 for a trip or something a little more complex like saving $5,000 for a new car down-payment.

This is why I suggest that you sit down with the young person in your life and discuss the idea of setting money goals. You can ask the following questions:

What do you want to have in X amount of time?
How much money do you need for your dream trip?
How much money would you like to have in your bank account?

These are just a few quick questions that I thought of from the top of my head. I’m sure you can come up with many more.

The end point is to help the young person set some money related goals. Then we can move on to the next part.

Reward.

There has to be a clear reward somewhere down the road. If we don’t see any results we’ll either just give up or stop caring. Why save money or work on something if there’s no reward? This is why cheat days are so huge with most diet plans.

This is why I believe in tangible rewards. Storing money so that you can keep it in a savings account is cool, but it’s not all that exciting for the typical 20-something.

This is why I gave the two examples in the paragraph earlier: saving for a trip or a car. When you see the reward for your financial goal it entices you to get into the habit of saving money.

What young person wouldn’t want to go on a trip? By saving up for their first trip or major expense, they’ll learn the important of setting goals and how they can be rewarded.

Challenge.

Once goals are met and rewarded, a new challenge needs to emerge or else money management will become boring again.

I recommend constantly looking out for new financial goals so that your kid will always feel challenged. You can also create a challenge within a current goal.

For example, I’ll do this by trying to find ways that I can make some more money or cut back on useless expenses so that I can meet my goals quicker, and reap my rewards sooner.

If I want to go on a trip sooner (after a huge snow storm) I’ll see if I can pick up more shifts at work or sell more of my crap to have more cash available to me. It’s really amazing to see how much momentum you can capture from a few quick wins.

Keep the challenge alive! I’m sure that this is the same advice that relationship experts and personal trainers offer.

That’s all I have to say about getting the college kid in your life to actually work and save money. It’s time to get working and saving!

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