Summer has hit Ontario! It’s the beginning of May and I already have a little tan going on. It went from being pretty cold to summer within one week. I’m not complaining. I’m loving it. I just come even more alive when the summer hits. How are things where you live?
Let’s check out some cool links from the past week:
Five Fast FAQs About Intermittent Fasting @ Roman Fitness Systems.
Have you tried this idea? I’ve been fasting for the longest time and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I skip breakfast, start my day, then I hit the gym. Once my workout is over, I finally eat. It’s tough at first, but totally worth it in the long run.
Scared Your Child Will Blow Their Savings? Consider a Custodial Account @ Good Financial Cents.
I’ve seen friends blow their parents’ money. It’s pretty sad. Don’t let this happen around you.
Back to fitness. Are you motivated to stay in shape? I personally love to train and never miss a workout. My weakness is junk food and beers.Google+ Comments: 0 Read More
Are you struggling to stay focused? Are you finding it impossible to get anything done?
This happens to the best of us. We have all of this free time to get work done, yet we get nothing done. We sit around. We do the laundry. We check email. We go and do the laundry again. How much dirty clothes could we possibly have? We just keep on wasting time. We all know that time is precious and that once it goes away it’s gone forever. Still here we are wasting valuable time.
I have a solution for you.
Get another job.
Find another gig. Instead of spending your evenings or weekends or days on trying to be “an entrepreneur,” why not get another job where you actually get paid for working?
But wait, how does this make sense? Another job isn’t passive income. You’re not following your passions if you find another gig. You’re not channeling your inner strengths.
I’ve learned over the years that more time doesn’t equate to more work getting done. This is the harsh reality. You can often get more done in that less hour before deadline than you did in the days or weeks building up to the deadline. We’ve all experienced this.
I have friends that work two jobs and manage to get so much done in between. They’re always on top of things. More work also doesn’t stop them from going out and doing fun things. They simply don’t have the luxury of slacking off or being bored.
Then I know people who are unemployed and can’t even respond to a basic text message over the course of a day. They never have time for anything, yet they have all of the hours in a day.
Actually nevermind, I’m a perfect example of this.
When I have a whole day off, I get nothing done. It sucks. I tried an experiment in school. One semester I tried to work less hours. I thought that this would improve my grades. Did it? Not at all. I just slacked off more.
The next semester I went back to working full-time. I was forced to get the most out of the hour on the bus or the hour before work. I was forced to get an article done in between classes. I had to manage to squeeze in a date with my girlfriend at the time.
Having less time meant no time to waste.
Not at all. I just want you to see how valuable time is and how much of it you really have.
This isn’t mean to be permanent. This might not even work for you. You might be perfectly productive and already on top of things. That’s cool. This article isn’t for you. This is for those of us that waste time when we have so much of it available to us.
Find another job or add another commitment to your life. Reduce your free time. Notice what happens to your productivity. You’ll get more done than ever before. You’ll appreciate time.
When you no longer have the luxury of sitting around all day, you’ll get down straight to business.
Once you get better with your time and productivity, you’ll realize that you already have more than enough time. This is when you can quit that job or free up more time to get more done.
Oh and I wrote this article in between commitments. I had limited time at Starbucks. I grabbed a coffee and got straight to work. No time to waste!
Google+ Comments: 7 Read More
“You don’t want to take initiative or responsibility, so you check your incoming mail, your Twitter stream, and your blog comments. Surely, there’s something to play off of, something to get angry about, some meeting to go to. I know someone who goes to forty conferences a year and never seems to actually produce anything.” — Seth Godin
A lot of things are happening…
Each month, I report on the activities performed for my online company. In the month of May, I’ll take a pause from the classic Evo Report and tell you what we discussed during our annual meeting. Each year, my partner and I take a full day (or a weekend depending on the situation) where we start working at 7am and finish around a beer, ribs and a hockey game. We started this initiative a long time ago when we decided our blog activity was a business. Each year brings its challenges and new ideas. Here’s what we have discussed for 2013. I hope it will inspire you!
Not so long ago, I discussed on this blog how I should have a clear discussion about our personal finances with my wife. I was hesitant to start this discussion as I didn’t want to turn it into an argument. Well a similar situation was required with my partner. We both have well paid day jobs and busy lives. Last year, I had my third I child and he had his first. He was surprised to see how much time and energy a newborn takes in a day and I was surprised to see how my new job drained me at first. The result of these situations (doubled by the fact that the income was harder to earned) was a drop in our motivation and the number of hours worked in the company. This is why I had to discuss this issue with my friend: what stand do we take with regards to our business? Is it a hobby paying for our internet or do we want to eventually work full time online?
I was somewhat scared to have this discussion with my partner for two reasons:
#1 I didn’t want him to think I was disappointed by his work as I consider I underperformed as well. Sometimes, the other party could think you are blaming them while you are trying to have an honest discussion.
#2 I was scared that he would tell me he just wanted to keep the company as is to see how it goes. If we want to continue making money from our websites, we have to continuously evolve. Business model changes through times in the “real world”, it’s happening in the internet world as well.
The end result was very satisfying; I was scared for nothing. We are both committed to work harder on the company this year and that we would eventually be happy to work full time on our sites. I don’t think this situation will happen very soon considering that we both love our jobs and that we are making a good pay check. However, the plan remains the same; the day I want to retire early, I will count on my online gigs to make it happen. Same for him. In the meantime, we will continue to grow the company as we grow our careers.
Hosting our blogs is not enough anymore if we want to go to the next level. We can use our blogs as a launching platform and brand, but we need to expand from simply having a blog set on WordPress. I’ve discussed that we will be working on our traffic by improving our social media presence along with going mobile for our sites. The Facebook page should be as important as our blog. The reason is simple; people going on my Facebook Page, following my twitter account or communicating through Google + are all independent from search engines.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter if Google likes my sites or not; I will continue to get traffic. Aside from social media and becoming mobile friendly, we will also work with different media this year…
We just ordered our microphone along with screen capture video software. Our first goal was to build tutorials about things we do (manage our mailing list with Aweber, doing keyword research with Market Samurai, stock research and analysis, etc.). We thought that adding video on our blogs would make them more interesting for readers and could help us rank in another great search engine site; YouTube.
Once we got the idea of doing tutorials and short videos, we started brainstorming on another level. We thought that making podcasts could be another very interesting addition to our brand. Stock market reviews for one could be a great hit. Since we have a huge investing mailing list, we could start our podcast with several subscribers instantly. It’s now just a matter of mastering the art of the microphone before going live.
Since creating a membership website is one of my 2013 blogging goals, we took a good part of our day to brainstorm on this idea. We had several previous discussions about it but taking 3 hours straight to define our project truly helped to put it in the right light.
We discussed the time table to make sure we will be able to launch it on time. Such projects require several parties and need to be coordinated. We will need a programmer to organise different pages in our site, a designer to make it look sharp, an editor as we need all wording to be perfect and fellow bloggers to publish guest posts, reviews, etc.
We will also create a beta class for long time readers where they will have access to the membership site for free in exchange of their feedback. This will be a great way to make sure we have built a useful tool for investing. If this project works, this may be the beginning of a much bigger company!
We have the chance of having one of our VAs working near us. We were then able to invite her for lunch and get her direct feedback on what works and what doesn’t. We also gave her objectives to complete throughout the year. One of them is to take care of the social media campaign. She’s in charge of setting our pages and monitoring our progress.
We also wanted her to get clients for private advertising. We are not talking about sidebar links here but to get private clients for complete advertising campaigns. It could be reviews of their products, CPM ads or private affiliate programs that we will share throughout our network only. This is also a great source of revenue that have been underexploited lately.
What I like the most about these meetings is the feeling of accountability coming out of this. If we want to make it happen, we each have to commit ourselves and start working very hard. I’m convinced these changes will help us to expand our brand and make our business more fun!
Have you ever thought of bringing your blog to a whole new level or are you happy with where it is at?Google+ Comments: 8 Read More
I know the trend on financial blogs is to tell you to pay off your debts… but what if this advice is wrong?
A rich person is an individual with no debts. I’ve often heard that quick line explaining that paying down your debts is the universal financial advice. Since the beginning of 2012, I’ve embarked on a quest against my debts. At the end of the year, I quit on paying debts and decided to turn back to what I do best: make money.
This doesn’t mean I’m not paying off my debts. In fact, my latest net worth statement shows that I’m now attacking my consumer debts with success. I’ve also mentioned on this blog that we are concentrating on paying off our corporate debts at a fast pace recently. Over the past 12 months, we have paid down about 30K of our corporate debts and we should pay another 20K this year to finish paying off our debts towards the end of 2014.
Quick accounting tip: you are better off paying your corporate debts over a few years since you need to use after tax money to pay it. Therefore, if you pay everything in 1 year, you will have a big fat check to write to the tax guy!
My partner was quite happy to see my perception of debts changing over the years. After all, I was the one who mortgaged his house to buy our first site 4 years ago…
While most people like using a conservative approach regarding debt, I usually think that using other’s people money is the best way to make money. I’ve been thinking this way since I was a kid. I guess it’s in my genes. My life has been covered by leverage stories:
Back in high school, I was 12 when I first borrowed money (it was school money) from my friends to play dice. While it was a very bad idea to borrow money to gamble, I won a lot more money than I lost and was able to quickly reimburse my friend and run with my own money (and keep winning).
Back in College, I was thinking of applying for a student loan to invest in the stock market. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I was too lazy to fill in the paperwork in order to get the loan. Instead, I borrowed $5,000 on my credit card to buy a new car and fund enough cash to move into an apartment. Overall, it was an awesome move since I got a super nice deal in a great area of Montreal for cheap. My car was new and therefore I had never to go to a garage. Within 12 months, I cleared my credit card debt with my first day job.
Right after paying off my credit cards, I bought some land with a personal loan. I wanted to build my assets as fast as I could. Since I didn’t have many payments going on, I thought of borrowing 25K at a bank to buy a piece of land. I sold the land a year later with a profit of $4,000. That’s pretty nice considering I didn’t use my money!
Borrow to invest in the stock market. At the same moment, I wanted to start investing in the stock market. I was following several stocks daily and thought I could make a few dollars out of my new hobby. I borrowed 20K in 2003 and turned it into a profit of 50K in three years. This was the cash down payment for my house.
Borrow to buy the house of my dreams. I borrowed from my parents the amount of 25K a few years ago because I absolutely wanted to put 20% cash down on the house of my dreams. I knew I had to pay back the 25K (plus interest) after 5 years. But I also knew that my career was booming at the time and my income was set to be a lot larger 5 years later. I struggled a bit to pay them back on time, though I did it. In the meantime, I lived in an awesome house where I made a nice profit to buy my third house. I actually used a part of my profit to pay off my parents. This was definitely a great move. From a loan of 25K, I made a profit of $75,000 in four years.
Remortgage my house to buy a website. In 2009, I decided to borrow almost $30,000 using my house as collateral to inject into my online company. This transaction opened the door to many other deals and was definitely one of the pillar moments for our business. Since this purchase, we have been making over $100,000 in annual gross income. I took about 23 minutes to decide to buy the site or not and to remortgage my house. In fact, 3 minutes was for thinking about it and 20 minutes was to explain to my wife why she had to sign all the paperwork .
After all these great stories about leveraging, I can say that borrowing money is definitely a good idea. I would not be worth 250K at the age of 31 while affording to have a stay-at-home wife + three kids without my leveraging abilities.
However, it’s been over a year that I’m focusing on debt repayment. My goal in 2013 is to drop under $300,000 of debts and would like to clear all my consumer debts other than my mortgage by the end of 2015. Our online company went up to nearly $100,000 in corporate debts last year and we are now down under $70,000 and counting.
Both my personal and corporate finances have been growing year after year due to several leverage maneuvers. Nonetheless, I’m taking the decision to clear my debts in the upcoming years. By the end of 2015, I should only have a mortgage over my head and my company will be free of debts. Can you see me coming with this?
That’s right: I’m preparing for financial freedom. In two and a half years, I’ll be 34. By the age of 35, I wish to be financially free. This doesn’t mean that I won’t have any debts but if I can clear everything and have just a mortgage to take care of; I can basically live from any kind of income and still be able to make it.
While leveraging has been the only solution to generate income over the past 10 years in my life, it’s time to clean my balance sheet in order to move forward a lot faster. You know I’ll start borrowing again at the age of 35 to grow my income & assets to a whole new level. I’m just preparing my balance sheet for another big jump in two years…
What about you? Have you ever borrowed money to accelerate your asset building?Google+ Comments: 15 Read More
Where are the weeks going? We’re back here again!
What should you check out from the past week?
3 EASY JOBS TO GET WHILE IN COLLEGE @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.
A straight to the point guest post on work you can find in college. Sometimes, we need to take things back to basics and remember that there are jobs that have been around forever that are available to young people.
I’m a big fan of the site and the books. I’ve been to a few book signings and have read both of his books. My favorite gem from this article is:
“Perceived value is determined by the customer, not by the critics—and sometimes, not even by you.”
The carnivals…Google+ Comment: 1 Read More
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