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Find A Perfect Side Hustle (Or Two)

Find methods to make some money on the side. There’s an entrepreneur inside all of us. Once you master some methods there’s only one more thing to do: cash the checks of course.

Side Hustles

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7 Ways Wealthy People Think Differently

While some rich people are obviously rich based on their appearance and the quality of their lifestyle, other people pretend to be rich, living well above their means, spending much more than they earn, living on credit, and slowly burying themselves in debt.

Adding to the confusion, some rich people go to the other extreme and are disarmingly modest. For instance, two of the richest men in the world, Carlos Slim (with an estimated 2017 net worth of $51.2 billion) and Warren Buffett (with an estimated 2017 net worth of $73.4 billion) don’t live in mansions but in the type of homes owned by those in the middle class income bracket.

How A High School Dropout Became A Millionaire

Napoleon Hill interviewed 500 of the richest people of his time to write, Think and Grow Rich. This 1937 book itself created millionaires who followed his ideas of learning how to think like a rich person. So how do rich people think before they become rich?

Here is a modern true story that illustrates the point that you have to think rich before you get rich:

If you read a report on cryptocurrency would you consider buying Bitcoins? If you’re like most people, you might not want to take a risk on a new form of currency, even though it appeared to be widely accepted all over the world.

However, that’s not what Erik Finman thought when he first heard about Bitcoins. Instead, this high school dropout thought like a millionaire long before he became one. Finman bought his first Bitcoin when it cost $12. Over the years, he progressively built up his collection of Bitcoins. He then sold his investments when a single Bitcoin was valued at $1,200 to make his first million.

7 Wealthy Mindsets

Steve Siebold interviewed over a thousand ultra-rich people to write his book, How Rich People Think. Here are some of the differences he discovered in the difference between how a poor person thinks and a wealthy person thinks:

1. A poor person thinks money is the root of all evil while a wealthy person thinks that you need resources to achieve things in life.

2. A poor person considers selfishness immoral while a wealthy person thinks that you can only contribute to the welfare of others when you have something to give.

3. A poor person hopes that they will come into some good fortune while a wealthy person believes that action is necessary to change things for the better.

4. A poor person has little regard for acquiring expert knowledge while a wealthy person is eager to learn new things.

5. A poor person reflects on all the mistakes they’ve made in life or longs for the good old days while a wealthy person thinks about what’s possible in the future and engages in setting goals and making plans for a better future.

6. A poor person makes emotional decisions about money, either hoarding or overspending, while a wealthy person make logical decisions, evaluating the value of things before investing or spending.

7. A poor person works for a living at a job they hate while a wealthy person focuses on projects that they love.

Master Your Mindset

Although it may sound somewhat counterintuitive, you won’t join the 1% who earn over $380,000 a year simply by going back to school, getting a better job, or saving more money each month. It’s not that there is anything wrong with this approach; it’s just that it’s premature. Before taking any course of action, no matter how sensible it appears to be, you must first change how you think. When you have the right mindset, then everything you do will work out in your favor, and if you’re doing the wrong things, you’ll quickly course correct.

6 Easy Strategies To Grow Your Blog Readership

You might already know how to create a blog, especially if you’ve seen my guide to creating a blog in under 30 minutes. You may also know the importance of adding content consistently to your blog, but do you know how to drive traffic to your blog?

Sometimes the simplest methods are the best: this list contains some of the most basic but essential ways to grow your blogs’ audience.


1. Produce Quality Content… Consistently

When people can count on you to update your blog regularly, especially on a strict schedule, they will visit more often. If you commit to posting interesting content at least once every week, and more frequently if you can, you’ll be well on your way to a larger readership.

The key here is that the content must be high quality. Do not be pressured into posting three times a week if you can’t deliver insanely great content.


2. Comment On Other Blogs

A great way to encourage people to check out your blog is to leave interesting, engaging comments on other blogs. If people appreciate your comments, they will likely click on your name in search of what else you have to say.

Don’t make the mistake of only saying things like “great post!” and leaving your link. Always add value to the discussion with your comments. Comments that do not acknowledge the blog you’re on or those that sound like an infomercial for your own blog are not what other bloggers or blog readers appreciate, and such comments can look like spam.


3. Link To Other Bloggers

Want to know a quick way to have people find your blog? Link to their blogs first!

Most bloggers track their stats and incoming links, and they will click over to see who has linked to them. They just might end up linking back to you if they like what they see.

You don’t have to be selfish about your readers. If you find a great blog or blog post that you think your audience would love, share the link on your blog! Don’t keep a good thing to yourself. It will whet your audience’s appetite for more of the same sort of content, and will give you a good reputation with others in your field.


4. Write Guest Posts

Countless blogs readily accept well-written, relevant guest posts, and that’s good for you: guest posting is one of the most effective ways to introduce your blog and your writing style to a new audience. As an added benefit, if the host blog has a lot of traffic and ranks high in search engines, having a link or two from that site to your blog will increase your search engine rankings, too.

When submitting a guest post, make sure to follow that blog’s guest post guidelines. Always carefully proofread your article before you send it. If it gets rejected, don’t take it personally—submit it to another blog for consideration instead.


5. Make It Absurdly Simple For People To Subscribe

A subscriber to your blog feed or email newsletter is much more likely to remember your blog on a regular basis. Plus, once people have made the effort to sign up, they are unlikely to bother unsubscribing.

Make it as obvious as possible how and where to subscribe to your newsletter. Keep the prompt in your blog’s sidebar at all times, if nowhere else, and occasionally remind your readers of the ease and benefits of subscribing. Giving a little something away as a reward for subscribing doesn’t hurt, either.


6. Create A Community

To build your readership, you need to be there for them. Your audience is composed of individuals, and they will regard you with greater respect and loyalty if you treat them as such. Don’t just write a post, then disappear and leave your readers to talk amongst themselves in the comments.

Respond to questions and interact with your readers on a regular basis. In fact, when you are first starting out, you might want to try to respond to all comments left. It encourages people to stick around because it makes them feel like part of a close-knit group.

Rather than adding a forum section to your blog, it’s much better to create a Facebook group to get your readers to interact with you and each other.

11 Money Habits Of The Rich

Are you broke and want to be rich? Who doesn’t!

If you want to be like the rich, maybe we should learn about their daily habits / morning rituals.

Here are 11 money habits that separate the rich from the poor.

Automate Your Finances

Set your financial plan on auto-pilot. Once you get paid, send money automatically to your savings account, investment account and your bill payments.

This way, you won’t ever be hit with a late fee and you won’t be tempted to skip your savings one month. That’s because your money will go directly from your paycheck into your savings/investment accounts.

Invest Your Spare Change

To truly build wealth, you need to invest what you earn. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest, it’s still a good (and fun) thing to try out. It is exciting to see your money grow.

You don’t need millions to start investing either. You can use a micro-investing app like Acorns to begin investing your spare change. With Acorns, the app rounds up your purchases and puts your spare change to work.

For example, spend $42.63 and Acorns will round up to $43 and invest the $0.37. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a pain-free way to begin investing.

The power of savings isn’t in the amount, but rather how early you invest and how often you continue to add to your investments. When you start early and do it often, you are letting the power of compound interest work its’ magic.

Take The Fast Lane

Thinking you are ever going to get rich by working for someone else isn’t the right approach. To become wealthy you need to be the one at the top of the food chain.

The slow lane is 40 years working at a 9 to 5. The fast lane is starting a business, no matter how small. The power in running your own business is that you can automate and outsource most tasks, which makes this income passive.

Look at anyone who is rich and you will always see they took the fast lane to wealth – not the slow lane!

Have A To-Do List

Another rich person habit is to have a to-do list. The wealthy value time, knowing that time is money. They take advantage of their time wisely by always having something to do.

The poor, on the other hand, seem to always complain that they never have any time. Then, find themselves bored half the time.

Wake Up Early

Millionaires wake up early. That’s because people are most productive early in the morning. It’s quieter, the sun is coming up, birds are chirping. What a wonderful start to your day!

The wealthy wake up early and take advantage of their time, the poor set an alarm to wake up, then rush to barely get to work on time.

Eat Healthy

Rich people care about their health more than the poor do. The rich count calories, go to the doctor, exercise regularly and eat healthy.

The poor? They eat fast food and sit at home watching tv on the couch.

Create Goals (And Follow Through)

The rich and wealthy are goal-setters who are constantly pushing themselves to be a better version of themselves.

One key money habit of the rich is to set specific goals – not general ones like “lose weight”. Nope, the rich set goals such as earn X dollars in Y days by doing Z.

Rich People Read Books

The rich read books. But not for entertainment, but to better themselves. Rich people are constant learners, always looking to learn more. For the rich, learning didn’t end at graduation – but rather started there.

Focus on reading self improvement books. Even reading just 10 minutes per day really adds up to quite a few number of books per year.

Wealthy People Take Risks

The rich take calculated risks to achieve their dreams of becoming wealthy. The poor, on the other hand, are too scared to try something new.

But you will never achieve anything by standing on the sidelines and watching. Get in the game!

The Rich Are Producers, Not Consumers

The rich abandon consumerism. You know, that silly stuff they sell on TV and those childish games of trying to impress people.

The rich are producers who create things that the poor will consume.

So, want to be rich? Stop consuming and start producing.

Surround Yourself With Successful People

You are the average of the 5 people you hang around with. Are they losers? I bet you are too.

If you want to be a winner, get rid of the losers and hang around people who will help you “level up” in life.

Did you find this post helpful? It would totally rock my socks if you shared this post on your favorite social network below!

  • Edwin
  • December 31, 2019

3 Proven Ways To Improve Your Efficiency

Being productive means doing more with less, faster yet still correctly. In this post I’ll discuss how to be more efficient in order to squeeze the most out of your day.

Here are the 3 main segments of your life to focus on:

Managing Your Time

Managing your time is essential for improving your productivity. If you think multitasking is the answer, think again. Even though you claim to be the master of multitasking, you’re not. It’s been proven that you can’t do two things at once. The brain is not like a quad-core processor. It performs tasks one at a time. Sure you can drive while adjusting the radio dial, but while you’re thinking about your selection you’re not thinking about the road.

The appropriate way to manage your time efficiently is to minimize tasks that distract you. Yes, that means shutting off notifications when you’re working. Plan your day in sections. Start it off with email, news and social media to get caught up on what you missed overnight.

Then shut off alerts and concentrate on the most important tasks of your day. Throughout your day it’s okay to take breaks and even a power nap. What’s imperative is that you work efficiently with a laser focus on the task at hand.

Your Workspace

Your workstation needs to be free from clutter. A white empty area eliminates all distractions, allowing you to see only what you’re working on.

If you work from home, create a new user account on your computer dedicated to work. On your browser, create an account with your work email so that you are logged into a browser which only has work related bookmarks and plugins. Having a work bookmarks folder is not enough.

Turn off email notifications. Every time there’s an alert you’ll be tempted to stop what you’re doing to check it. More often than not it’s a newsletter or something not important. Yet this stops your flow and messes with your concentration.

Having The Right Mindset

Running a marathon is a daunting task, but while you’re running in one, what matters is just the next mile, just the next step.

Likewise, break your bigger tasks into smaller chunks. Doing this reduces procrastination as we’re more likely to avoid doing large tasks.

Checklists are useful for keeping you on track. Utilize checklists to allow you to see that you are making progress with your bigger tasks.

Use an app to create your checklists and check off each small task after you complete it. Seeing the box checked, the ding noise or the striked-through text triggers the rewards portion of our brain.

The app I use and recommend is Trello. Trello is a task management app that gives you perspective over all your projects. Large projects can be broken down into what are called cards and each card can have smaller tasks within it. It’s useful for everything from planning a party to creating an editorial calendar.

What tools or methods do you use to improve your productivity?

  • Edwin
  • December 30, 2019

How To Set Up Your Home For A Side Hustle

Extra cash is never a bad idea. For some of us, working 9 to 5 just isn’t cutting it, but the idea of working more hours can be overwhelming. Each time we think about trying, we bombard our own heads with questions:

• Where can I find a second job?
• How far away is it?
• Will the time and energy be worth it?
• When will I sleep, eat, and breathe?

If you set up your home for a side hustle these questions will fade, along with your money issues. You’ll be able to work as soon as you wake up or get home; making more money without spending extra time on a commute.

Want to know how to begin? Let’s dig in to how to set up your home for a side hustle, plus peek at a few side hustle gigs to get you started.

1. Remove Distractions

This is a big one. If you’ve ever worked from home remotely, you know that there are dozens of distractions and temptations that can pull you away from your work.

If you’ve never worked from home, well, we’re here to tell you that you’re bound to get sidetracked by shiny-object-syndrome.

There’s the big screen TV, the laundry piled up in the corner, there’s even a big yellow circle outside called the sun and it’s calling your name.

Somehow, you’ve got to ignore all of it.

If you have a roommate who works from home, he or she is bound to be the biggest distraction of all. From rolling past the living room at night eating a bowl of crunchy cereal, to cranking up Justin Bieber in the wee hours of the morning, you’ve got some serious obstacles to overcome.

What To Do:

For starters, keep your phone in a different room and try turning the internet off if you don’t need it. If you do need to use the internet, use a website blocker to make sure you only use the sites related to the work you need to get done.

With those two steps, you remove any temptation of losing hours on Facebook or Netflix instead of building your side hustle.

If you’re tempted by looming chores, remind yourself that doing laundry all night won’t pay the bills. Choose a day on your calendar instead to work on washing your whites. Rainy days are best to clean up and do other household chores.

If you have a roommate, you’ve got to get creative. Sit down with him or her and explain that you’ll need some quiet time between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (or whatever hours tickle your fancy) to get some work done. If they want you to pay your half of the rent, they’ll get the message. With any luck, you live with a respectful roommate so this shouldn’t’ be an issue.

If it is an issue, it’s time to invest in headphones and some white noise. You can buy white noise machines, or you can pop on YouTube and take a peek at their offerings. A fan will even do the trick.

By closing yourself off to distractions and noise interruptions, you can be more productive and crank out additional work in no time.

2. Design The Ideal Workspace

Speaking of closing yourself off, if you share an apartment or house with someone else, you’ll want to create your very own workspace for yourself. This personal space is a huge plus when you need to be productive.

If setting up shop in the shared living room or kitchen isn’t an option, consider a corner in a spare bedroom or your own room. But don’t just shove a desk and chair in there and call it a day. Take the time to set it up so it feels different and exclusive.

Experts say that creating an ideal workspace is beneficial because the space we occupy shapes who we are and how we behave, both of which affect our psychological wellbeing and creative performance.

If you work an eight-hour shift at your job, you’re going to need a clear mind and some creativity before digging into your side hustle. Taking the time to design the ideal workspace will help you get there.

What To Do:

First, decide where to set up shop. Clear that area out completely, including any wall art.

Next, choose colors that speak to you. If you like black and maroon (the color of compassion), it’s time to hit the thrift stores to find the ideal desk and chair that matches your colorful needs.

If color isn’t super important to you, go with neutral earth tones. They’re rather soothing.

If you can’t find a desk or chair in the color you like, spend a Saturday painting that awesome desk you picked up at a yard sale for $25 bucks. Make it your own.

Have fun with this process. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this area working. The least you can do is make it an enjoyable space to be in.

Do the same with any wall art or pictures you want to hang. Check out antique shops, thrift stores, and yard sales for some good buys. Bring your new space full circle with a soft light desk lamp. Don’t work under glaring, bright lights.

Workspace lighting is more important than people realize. Our work environment, work performance, and well-being are affected by it. So, turn the lights down and bring on the ambiance.

If you can work in natural light, even better. It’s good for the soul.

3. Dress For The Job

It’s true that one of the advantages of working from home is the freedom to dress however you want. But, tempting as it is to work in your jammies, you might want to dress up a little even for your home office.

There’s been some evidence that the clothes you wear can affect your mindset. If there’s no real distinction between your “work” clothes and your “off” clothes (or “sleeping” clothes as the case may be), you may find it harder to get your head in the zone.

On the same token, you might also find it hard to get out of “work” mode if you’re wearing the same thing all the time. You might find yourself constantly thinking about your projects or clients, even when you’re supposed to be focusing on your relationships and hobbies. That’s a recipe for stressing and eventually burning yourself out.

But you shouldn’t take this as a sign to start wearing a suit every day either. Because so much of this is psychological, the perfect type of “work” clothes can change from person to person.

What To Do:

Experiment!

When you’re working from home try wearing different types of clothes and see for yourself what makes you most productive.

If you want – start working in the clothes that you normally wear to work. From there you might start incrementally wearing clothes that are more and more casual. For instance – going from slacks to sweats, or from sweats to jammies.

While you’re making these changes, keep track of how you spend your time. If you find yourself becoming less productive, that’s a good sign that your clothes might have gone too casual.

Or – you might try going more formal than your normal workplace. Who knows, maybe a three piece suit is just the thing to supercharge your side-hustle efforts.

4. Be Your Own Boss

This might be the greatest challenge for anyone choosing to earn extra income with a side hustle. But if you remove distractions and stick to your guns, you can make it work.

According to a Gallup Study, more and more people are working from home. They’re figuring it out and reaping the rewards. That means they’re choosing to be their own boss.

The best part of being your own boss is that you call the shots. If you choose to sit down at your desk at 7 o’clock at night, Mr. Boss Man can’t say a word. The world is your oyster.

What To Do:

Being your own boss can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure how to organize your priorities. Try using an app like 17 Hats to keep everything you’re doing in one place.

If you’re not ready to invest in an app, good old-fashioned spreadsheets always work. Find an accountability buddy, too. This works great if you find work with demanding deadlines.

Anytime you want to get up to run outside and play, remind yourself of the fact that the bills won’t get paid and your dream vacation will never happen unless you focus.

5. Side Hustle Ideas

Not sure what to do to earn extra cash?

With so many people today moving toward the work-from-home model, the number of side hustles out there are endless. Truly. If you can think it, you can do it. Thanks to the Internet, anything is possible.

  • Do you write? Freelance writing jobs are off the charts.
  • Do you work in admin? IT? Are you a social media geek? Or maybe you like to cut coupons and save lots of money?
  • Do you transcribe? Enjoy reading? Like to scan Amazon?

Jobs that match these desires are out there.

If you’ve never explored how to find a side hustle before, we’re got some suggestions for you.

What To Do:

Start with Google. Google is your BFF. Sit down in your living room with your cat (or dog or ferret or monkey) and start digging. Google things like:

• Side Hustle Jobs (for variety)
• Freelance Work (for writing)
• Virtual Assistant Jobs (for administrative and social media work)
• IT Remote Work (for internet technology work)

Depending on what you Google, you’ll see options a-plenty. Here’s what came up with the keyword search Side Hustle Jobs.

If you really like Amazon, they’re always looking for copywriters to write descriptions for them.

As you conduct your search, remember that this is a process. You may spend a week or so searching for a sidle hustle that resonates with you. When you do find it, you’ll have to take the time to apply for the job.

You can either drive around the city looking for jobs delivering pizza, or you can use your time to create a comfy workspace and look for jobs that you can do from home.

Option 2 doesn’t need any money for gas.

Conclusion

There’s lots of research out there that speaks to the kind of stress we deal with at work and how making money from home can reduce that stress.

Who knows, maybe your new side hustle in your cozy little corner is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe you’ll discover that you can create a more balanced life by working for yourself. Start small, go big.

If your current employer has an option to work extra hours from home, ask about it.

When you set up your home for a side hustle, create a cozy space to work in, and make a deal with your roommate to stay out of your way, the work-from-home possibilities are endless.

The question now is, when will you begin?

  • Edwin
  • December 24, 2019

7 Fun Ways To Make Extra Money

Whether you’re looking for a large amount of money or trying to come up with a clever way of bringing in some extra income, there’s nothing that spells success like choosing to do something that you would do anyway for free.

While choosing your favorite hobby is easy, finding ways to make money off of it may be very difficult.

Below are 7 great ways to turn a hobby into a profitable venture:

Dog Walker

If you love dogs and have a lot of free time during the day, then you’d be the perfect candidate to turn walking and caring for dogs into a great opportunity for making money. Many city-dwellers work during the day, so if your hours allow for it, you can make a great deal of money just by creating a schedule where you watch and walk stranger’s dogs.

Baking

Some of us make cookies and cupcakes for fun and then bring the leftovers to work to share with coworkers, when we could be making and selling them for a profit. Try putting out an ad for services you can handle with your current schedule, and lower your prices to compete with bakeries and other independent bakers. If you’re already doing it for free, then a little income is better than nothing.

Playing An Instrument

If you’re not already part of a band, or playing at cafes and bars, you should seriously consider doing so. This is especially true if you write your own music. Some places charge you to play there, but many cafes will let you come in for free and keep whatever you make in tips. As your fame grows, so will the money you make. If you’re looking for a low key start to pulling in extra income, this is definitely it.

Crafts

If you make anything of any sort, you can usually sell them on Etsy and at craft shows for quite a profit. Try to isolate a craft that is both inexpensive to make, yields a high profit, and also takes very little time to make. Remember that this is a side job, so it shouldn’t take over all of your free time.

Writing

Here’s where many people find their extra income. If writing is something you love to do, then you can find a million ways to make money off of it. The best part of all is that you can pretty much write anywhere – on the train, at a coffee shop, on the way to work, and when you get home. It doesn’t take up any space and doesn’t require a financial investment to get started.

You can try your hand at writing articles for blogs other online publications to start, and work from there. Starting your own blog will yield more profit due to the promise of ad revenue (either selling your own ads or selling products).

You can also proofread, edit and write content for others who are willing to pay for articles like on Fiverr.

Photography

A lot of people pick up cameras and love taking pictures of events and friends. Some even go beyond and buy accessories for their camera. If it’s something you love to do for fun, and will be doing at events anyway, offer a cheap service for great photos.

This is especially great when it comes to huge events like proms, sweet sixteens, and weddings. Professional photographers can make or break a couple’s budget, so if you offer something small for a quality job, you’ll be bringing in a good amount of money for something you love to do.

Make Money Online

Pretty much anything you can do on the internet is bound to get you money. If you’re the artistic type, you could try your hand at web design or graphic design. If you’re more of a marketer, you can offer your search engine optimization or paid marketing skills. If you’re a numbers person then computer programming may be your calling.

Regardless of which path you choose, the most important thing to remember is that your money-making ideas should never cause you more stress than their worth. You should always be something you can fit in your schedule while being something you love to do.

  • Edwin
  • December 18, 2019

5 Investment And Finance Books For Beginning Investors

Navigating the world of personal finance and investing can be a daunting challenge for just about anyone, particularly those who are beginner investors.

But learning about investing and finance doesn't need to be a monumental challenge. Luckily, there is a wealth of literature out there for guiding beginning investors.

While they won't tell you what to buy and when to buy it, these books can serve as a guide to help you wade through the muddy waters of being a first-time investor.

You'll find that these books on finance and investing provide tremendous, nuanced insights while also being enjoyable reads.

While some of these books were published decades ago, they have withstood the test of time and the advice offered are still applicable today.

Here's the list of the 5 best investment books for beginners, in no particular order.

The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham (1949)

Graham is widely regarded as the father of value investing. Famous investors such as Warren Buffet have credited Graham for laying the foundation for them with his ideas about security analysis.

The Intelligent Investor teaches sound, established principles that every investor can use. According to Buffet himself, it is "by far the best book on investing ever written".


Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill (1937)

The book Think and Grow Rich was, rather ironically, written during the Great Depression. Hill conducted extensive research based on his associations with wealthy individuals.?

The book stresses the importance of planning and persistence to increase one’s income, and it makes the argument that people can succeed in any type of career.


The Essays of Warren Buffett, by Warren Buffett (1997)

Buffett is widely considered the most successful modern investor. In this book, he outlines his views on a wide range of issues which are of importance to corporate America, investors and shareholders.?

The book delves into the interaction between a company’s management and its shareholders. It also highlights the thought processes involved in enhancing a company’s enterprise value. It is an absolute must-read for investors.


How to Make Money in Stocks, by William J. O’Neil (2002)

O’Neil is the founder of Investor’s Business Daily, a financial research and media company, and the creator of the CAN SLIM system.?

This book is of great interest to investors keen on stock picking and serves as an excellent blueprint. How to Make Money in Stocks is full of substance and is quite on point and trimmed, leaving out any ambiguities.?

This book is recommendable if you are looking for an approachable book that you can apply to your day-to-day investing.


Learn to Earn, by Peter Lynch (1995)

Lynch is well known in the world of investments: beginning his career in the 1980s, he served as the manager of the well-known Fidelity Magellan Fund. Learn to Earn targets a younger audience and focuses on explaining business basics.?

Lynch takes a common-sense approach and insists that individual investors can perform just as well or even better than experts can if they adopt a strategic approach to investing.?

This book is strongly recommended for younger readers and beginning investors.


While investing can seem frightfully complicated, one need not go through the process alone. Many investment and finance giants have passed on their knowledge and experience in the form of widely available books.

The books listed here are but a drop in the ocean when it comes to the abundance of professional advice and guidelines for investing.

Are there any good books in investing for newbies I’ve left out? If so please do share your personal favorites in the comments section below.

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5 Priceless Pointers From Successful Millionaires

How do yo improve your finances? There are literally thousands of blogs out there promising to help you with money – most of them are trash. A few websites offer helpful advice, but most everyone that’s successful got that way because they followed a few simple (yes, simple) rules.

Be Something

You can’t just do something. You have to be something, too. How can you be someone when you’re not successful? Some say “fake it till you make it.”

What’s important is that you see yourself as successful, even when you don’t have a lot of money. Not everyone who is successful in life has money. You probably already know someone who is living a great life, but who doesn’t own a movie studio or a large art gallery or has millions in the bank.

You’re probably already successful in some area of your life. Use that as your stepping stone – a platform to build further successes.

Sign a Prenuptial Agreement

For many, it’s an unromantic offer. “Here honey, sign this prenup, just in case.” But, the reality is that 50 percent of marriages end. It doesn’t always happen because of problems, either. Sometimes, people grow in different directions. People still respect the spouse, but they’re no longer in love.

That might not sound romantic, but it’s a reality. If you plan on becoming successful, sign a pre-nuptial agreement. And, if you do have money in the bank, and your future spouse refuses to sign a prenup, have a rational discussion about it. If you can’t, something is already seriously wrong with the relationship.

Love never hinges on a contract – whether it’s a prenup agreement or a marriage certificate. 

Borrow Money To Get Started

Many successful millionaires got their start by borrowing money. One of the richest men on the planet, Warren Buffet, started with a borrowed $10,000. So, if you’re strapped for cash, don’t let that stop you. Alternatively, you can try hitting up friends and family.

The important thing is to get started. Find a source of funds you can use and put together a minimum viable product or service. Market it, and you’re on your way.

Don’t Rush Financial Decisions

Wealthy people don’t rush financial decisions. This is partially because they don’t have to. But, it’s also because this is how they became successful. They didn’t make hasty decisions. It doesn’t mean that they always made decisions slowly.

It means they always acted on their best knowledge at the time, were honest about what they didn’t know, and never tried to rush into a business deal just to be part of a business deal. They went after winning trades or businesses because they knew (or had a good idea) that it would be profitable.

Have Discipline

Finally, all successful people have cultivated a special sense of discipline. This is a huge reason that successful people are successful and unsuccessful people remain that way. You need self-control and the “stick-to-it” attitude that won’t let you give up, even when the going gets rough – and it will.

  • Edwin
  • November 25, 2019
1

Making Money Online: 7 Steps For Success

Want to make money online? Then follow the 7 steps to making money online that I’ll outline in this article.

You’ve seen the countless infomercials and online ads promising you that you can make money online fast from home. They all make it seem so easy don’t they? Their ads are full of cars and houses, gold chains and diamond rings. And the yachts, how did I forget to mention the yachts.

But the truth is that making money online is not that easy. It requires a lot of determination. There is no shortcut to success. There is no elevator to success. There is only a very long and tall stairwell.

Keep this in mind though. After climbing that stairwell, on the second story of that house, is the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

There indeed is a formula for success in making cash online. It will take you time, you will have failures, but if you stick with it, you can and will succeed.

Many try and fail only because they think they will see results in a very short amount of time. But the truth of the matter is that only those with perseverance and yes, stubbornness can succeed.

Here are the 7 steps to making money online.


1. Find An Exploitable Market

Exploit A Market: Steps For Making Money Online

What are you going to sell? What are you going to write about? What product is in demand right now? Will you go from topic to topic, hunting for the latest craze? Or instead will you focus on one topic and stick with it?

This is something I cannot answer for you. Certain industries go through trends like dirty underwear. The weight loss niche, for example, has countless diets and exercise fads that go from zero to hero and back down to zero in a heartbeat. In industries like these, if you’re not ahead of the market, then sadly, you are behind it.

Then there are other markets that are remarkably consistent. Two of those would be travel and finance. With travel, you have cruises, planes, hotels and car rentals. With finance, you have credit cards, investments and mortgages.

Put your time and money into something you can get excited about. Then take that excitement and dive deep into the subject, looking for angles to make money off of them.

Don’t know where to start? Go to Facebook and look at the ads. Every person behind every ad is making money. My way of generating revenue was by creating a blog and selling ads on it.


2. Define Your Customer

Target Your Audience: Steps For Making Money Online

Who are you going to be targeting? This largely depends on your product. Will you sell to the masses? If so then you’ve got to have a very popular product (or niche) in mind. Odds are, it’s been done cheaper by the Chinese. Trying to make a buck selling watches, perfumes or handbags is downright impossible without overseas connections.

Instead, focus on something only you can provide. Is it training? Is it a handmade item? Is it a service? It should be something that’s difficult to find and there has to be a demand for it.

Next, you’ll have to decide whether you want to make a penny per sale and sell 1,000 per day or $100 per sale and sell one per day. I’ll gladly take the latter.

For example, you can market an around the world travel package valued at $9,999 (of which you will receive a hefty $500 commission fee).


3. Define Your Product

Define Your Product: Steps For Making Money Online

Instead of selling a hundred different things, just focus on a few – or just one. You’ll want to hyper-focus on this product and keep ripping apart the niche until you find one item that you will master. Be an authority on a product or a subject. Ever heard of the saying “jack of all trades, master of none”?

Learn everything about this item. Buy it, use it, fall in love with it. The more you know about this item the better you will be able to sell it.

If it’s a blog you’re creating, target a specific group like maltese owners, tesla fans, those who seek early retirement or iphone fanboys. People need to know you’re an authority, so creating a blog about “general stuff” just isn’t going to fly.


4. Advertise Your Product

Facebook Advertising: Steps For Making Money Online

The next step to making money online is to sell your product. This product could be something you created (like a book). This product could be a product you’re getting a commission from. This product could even be a blog you want to get more traffic to. Whatever the product happens to be, you need to market your product correctly if you want to have any kind of success.

The first place to market your product has to be Google. They are so big, Google has become a verb in the English language. There are two ways to rank in Google. First, you can pay for it by using Google AdWords. Second, you could learn about search engine optimization (SEO) to climb up the rankings.

Gone (well, almost) are the days of traditional advertising like banners and text links. Now people are advertising on social media apps like Facebook. Those ads in Facebook, those promoted Tweets and Instagram ads, that’s how the new generation advertises.

You can also do a commercial of sorts. But I don’t mean a late night informercial. I mean a YouTube video or two (or 100). If you’re marketing a 30 day diet regiment book, for example, create YouTube videos promoting it.

But if visitors see a sales pitch, they’ll run to the hills. Instead, make it a “how-to” video and push the content on your social media channels. If need be, pay an influencer in your market to give you a shoutout.


5. Test & Refine Until It Makes A Profit

Test And Refine: Steps For Making Money Online

You don’t know if something works until you try it. But if it fails, don’t throw in the towel. All you’ve got to do is tweak it. Change your campaign (whether it be the design, your price or your marketing methods). Try, then try again.

If you see some success with your changes, then you know you’re on the right track. They call it split testing. Two campaigns to determine which one is better. You then take the better campaign and do a new split test.

You continue to refine your methods until you’ve got a well oiled machine delivering perfect results. I’ve had this blog for well over 10 years and I’m STILL making changes.


6. Automate The Process

Hire A VA: Steps For Making Money Online

Once you’ve seen what’s working – do more of it. Don’t have the time? Automate the process then. There are programs that can do the work for you, such as automatically posting on Facebook and Twitter.

Tasks you can’t automate, you can delegate. Once you’ve got a method in place, hire a low cost laborer to follow your careful instructions. You can hire virtual assistants on Fiverr starting at five bucks an hour.

This frees you up to keep your business moving, rather than being stuck doing mundane repetitive tasks.


7. Rinse, Wash, Repeat

Do It Again: Steps For Making Money Online

So, now you’re at the final step in making money online. Hopefully you have managed to create a successful business. Even if it’s only making $200 per month, it’s still a success if you can have it running on auto-pilot.

You know what the next step is? Yep, repeat it all over again. Choose a different product, a different blog, a different topic altogether. Use the knowledge and skills learned in your first venture to create another one. While making $200 a month might not seem like much, imagine if you could duplicate this strategy times ten? That’s the key here, finding something that works and then: rinse, wash and repeat.

3

5 Tips For A Successful Garage Sale

Garage sales are a great way to clear out clutter and make a little extra money during the process. For shoppers, finding great bargains and haggling can make for an exciting weekend morning.

Garage sales held in the spring and summer months tend to do very well and with all of the free advertising options available, it’s easier than ever to have a successful garage sale. However, getting customers to your sale is only half the battle, you’ll also need to know how to price your items.

Read on for 5 great tips to help you price your items correctly and have a successful garage sale.

The 1/3rd Rule

Price excellent condition items at 1/3 of their retail value. High-value or big-ticket items in excellent condition can successfully sell at 1/3 of their retail value. That means if you have a stroller that you paid $300 for and barely used, you can probably sell it for around $100 at your garage sale. Understand that garage sale shoppers are usually bargain hunters, so don’t be surprised if the first few people that look aren’t interested.

Mark Your Prices Clearly

Casual garage sale shoppers hate asking a price on an item, so it’s important to have prices clearly marked. Marking prices on items will result in more sales than relying on customers to make an offer or ask a price. If you don’t want to price each item individually, make a sign that says all like items are a certain price or all items on a certain table area another price. This may require some work on your part to keep track of where the items came from or how much each group of items costs.

Offer Bulk Deals

Offer bulk pricing on like items or lots of items. True bargain hunters can’t resist bulk pricing. If you have a bunch of CD’s or books, consider pricing them as a lot. Offer individual items for one price or the entire lot of the items at a discounted rate. If the shopper is a true bargain hunter, they’ll likely pick up the lot for the discounted price, which means you’ll sell more of your items and clear your house out that much faster.

Drop Your Prices

Drop prices as the day wears on. If getting rid of clutter is your primary motivation for holding the garage sale rather than getting rich, be prepared to offer discounts as the day goes on to get the last of your items cleared out. Dropping prices will bring in a few extra dollars and save you a trip to the donation bin at the end of the day.

Team Up

Team up with neighbors to have multiple sales on the same day. Garage sale die-hards love neighborhood or multi-family sales. It means more items to choose from and more bargains in less time. Consider teaming up with your neighbors to have a sale at the same time to draw in even more customers. You’ll all wind up selling more items in the end, so it’s worth the effort to find a weekend that works for everyone.

Nighttime Rituals To Boost Your Productivity

Whether you’re seeking a serene environment for sleeping or trying to get a head start for the following day, you need a great nighttime routine in order to wake up the next day feeling ready to be productive. Here are some nighttime rituals you should incorporate into your daily life.

Properly Balance Work/Family Time

For a lot of people, the workday is not over by 5 PM. More than half of full-time workers in America put in more than a 40 hour work week and a third of working Americans work weekends.

If you want to build a good night routine, you have to find a way to balance your work with quality family time.

Telecommuting and flexible working hours are becoming more common. See if your employer is willing to accommodate you. If they’re smart, they’ll realize that a happy and refreshed employee is the most productive.

When you’re at home, you can designate a workspace for yourself so that members of your family will know when not to disturb you.

Put your phone on silent when it’s family time so you won’t be tempted to check it every time it beeps.

Adopt Good Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is not about keeping your sheets and pillowcases clean. It involves putting efforts into make it easier for you to sleep well.

If there are no cues to let your system know it’s time to wind down, it might be difficult for you to keep your mind quiet as soon as you’re in bed. It is very important to create boundaries between time to work and time to wind down, particularly for self employed entrepreneurs, remote workers, or anybody who takes work home.

There are no set rules for what the appropriate method of sleep hygiene is. But here are some practices you can adopt:

  • Stay away from alcohol or caffeine several hours before your bedtime.
  • Have a steady bedtime every night.
  • Drink warm milk or some herbal tea, or eat a light snack.
  • You can try doing some activities that are screen-free like reading or meditating.
  • Try to make your bedroom as quiet and serene as possible.
  • Make your room dark and keep the room quiet.
  • Your bed is for sleeping and your body needs to know this so don’t linger in bed eating or watching TV.

Get A Full Nights Rest

I’m sure you’ve heard of super successful people who succeed on little sleep. It was reported that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey had to work for 16 hours daily in order to concentrate all his attention on Twitter and Square. People like Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Marissa Mayer, Sergio Marchionne of Fiat and several others survive on 4-6 hours of sleep every night.

But is it right for you? Probably not. Surviving on nothing other than a “glorified power nap” is more related to genes than any form of motivation. Approximately 5% of the world doesn’t require more than a few hours rest to feel refreshed and this can be linked to a genetic mutation.

Most people need at least 7 to 9 hours of rest nightly, but they’re not necessarily getting it. More than 50 million adults in America suffer from sleep disorders, and about 30% of adults sleep for six hours or less daily.

But hey if you’re already up, then you should probably take advantage of it, right? Lots of people who are night owls find they are most productive and creative at night.

The founder of JetBlue, David Neeleman, used to work until 2 AM during his tenure as CEO. It was reported that he viewed his ADD as a form of creativity and energy to maintain the company’s growth. Working long after his family had retired for the night and sending out the ideas fresh off his mind were very good strategies that helped him launch JetBlue into the world of competitive airlines.

Conclusion

A good evening routine does more than set you up for more relaxing sleep or help you maximize creative working hours, it sets the tone for the entire next day, helping you feel productive from the second you wake up in the morning.

Do you go to bed early or do you stay up late at night? How do you create a boundary between work and family time?

7 Tools To Stay Productive Throughout The Day

Entrepreneurs face the challenge of keeping on top of things. There are countless emails to go through every day as well as staying on track with your projects. If you have employees then there is the added task of delegating responsibilities and keeping track of their progress. And let’s not forget networking and looking for new business opportunities.

All of this must be done without being too distracted by the news, social media, watching sports and then we must also make time for our families.

So how can entrepreneur juggle life’s challenges and stay productive? The answer is by using smartphone apps and other tools that are readily available to better manage our workload.

Today I’m going to list several of my favorite tools that I use on a daily basis to help me effectively tackle my daily responsibilities and ensure I make the most of my workday.

1. Trello

I use Trello to manage most of my life. Whether it’s to plan a family vacation, create an editorial calendar, or follow a strict exercise regimen, Trello is there to save the day.

The main point of Trello is to give you a birds eye view of projects, large and small. In Trello there are boards, lists and cards. A board could be titled Work, a list could be titled Articles and each card would be the title of a different article.

From within each card you can set due dates, add a checklist and even invite others to collaborate on a project. This is extremely useful if your collaborating with a team member on any kind of project.

That team member doesn’t have to be a coworker though. It can be your spouse as you are jointly planning your child’s birthday party. You can create a list of what you need and each of you can check items off as you complete them. You can add comments, images and links to each card.

2. Dropbox

There are so many cloud services out there. It seems like each major company has one. There’s Google Drive, Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive and of course Dropbox.

The reason I choose Dropbox over all of the major companies is that Dropbox works perfectly across all platforms. I use it all the time to share documents. I create a document, save it, then right click on the file to copy the Dropbox link to share. I no longer need to attach documents to emails. Edits can be made by the other party, I can then see their edits, add comments and see who has opened the document and when.

Other benefits of Dropbox include being able to recover deleted files, restore a previous version, setting expiration dates for links and of course it works on both my computer and my iPhone seamlessly.

3. Momentum Chrome Extension

Momentum replaces your new tab window with a beautifully designed simplistic one. It’s designed to keep you focused on your goals. Instead of just a blank page as your new window, your Momentum page features a full sized background, an inspirational quote and you can set your main task for the day. This way, every time you open a new window you get a reminder of what your goal is for the day.

If just one task seems too simple, realize that people often times have trouble finishing just one task per day. Set your goal the moment you open your browser window and the Momentum plugin will keep you determined to completing your main task for the day. The next time you open a new window and get tempted to waste hours on Facebook, Momentum keeps your focus where it should be.

4. Spotify

Wait, music? I thought this was about focusing on work. Well, for me at least, listening to music on Spotify helps me to stay productive and focused. It’s so easy to be distracted by things like outside noise, the TV and your phone. But when there’s music on, none of those other things matter. I function better when there’s music on in the background.

Just like a good playlist can help you power through a tough workout, music can help you power through a day of work. Not sure what to listen to? No problem, go to the Focus section on Spotify, choose a playlist and let them do the rest.

5. Canva

If you’re graphically challenged yet need to make a quick logo, banner or edit a blog image, then Canva is for you. This photo editing app is nowhere near as intimidating (or expensive) as Photoshop. First of all, you can do all the editing from your browser with a simple drag and drop system.

If you know how to use Snapchat or Instagram stories you already know how to use Canva. Just choose an image, add some graphics and choose a font to add text. You can create everything from large infographics to ebook covers or just a simple blog post image. In fact, the image on this blog post was created on Canva in under 5 minutes.

6. Streak CRM For Gmail

Want to know if your emails are being read? Install the Streak CRM for Gmail chrome extension to take your GMail to another level. Tracking opens lets you see if your messages are being opened or if you’re being ignored. It shows you when, where and how many times your email has been opened. You can also track clicks, which is particularly effective if you’re sending an email newsletter. You can see what type of content resonates with your audience by checking your email analytics.

Other features include being able to schedule emails to be sent at a later date/time. If you write a lot of the same things in emails to various customers/clients, you can also save snippets, so you don’t have to keep writing the same thing over and over again. Finally, there’s also a “mail merge” option which puts emails in one thread for all those times when a subject is changed and a new thread is inadvertently created.

7. Fiverr

For just 5 bucks you can get a quick task completed on Fiverr. Don’t expect amazing results, but for simple tasks nothing beats Fiverr.

So if you’re looking to get some text translated, an article to be proofread or need a caricature/avatar made, Fiverr is the place to go.

I use Fiverr weekly for any small tasks I need help with. Here’s a sample of some gigs I’ve had completed for me the last couple of months on Fiverr:

  • I bought a new blog and needed a logo. $35 later I had a perfect logo at a reasonable price.
  • I also needed new content for this site, so I bought bulk articles at a rate of $10 each.
  • There was an error on another blog of mine I couldn’t fix. I ordered a gig from a WordPress expert who got my code fixed.
  • I ordered a review of a blog I own because I wanted the input of an impartial observer. They gave their opinion on the color scheme, style, text size and overall thoughts on the blog.

Bonus Tool: ServiceScape

Do you need an email, business plan, academic paper, blog post, or book edited? ServiceScape has the right expert editors for all of your editing needs. They have been providing professional editing services for over 17 years, and their editors are all vetted, rated, and reviewed. They even provide free sample edits upon request. So, if you’re looking for a second set of eyes to correct and polish your writing, ServiceScape is the perfect place to go. Everyone can benefit from an outside perspective.

3

Does Having Office Space Increase Productivity?

When you started your small freelancing side hustle it was a necessity to work from home. It was cost-effective. After all, you’re already living there and paying rent or a mortgage. So, you simply designate a space for work and you’re all set. Simple, right?

But what if your freelance business is beginning to take off? What if you’re no longer some small fry trying to make it big? What if renting an office is within your budget? Should you spring a few hundred dollars per month to lease office space?

While the decision is a personal one that’s entirely up to you, I’m going to tell you 5 reasons why having an office space can benefit you.

1. You Will Increase Your Productivity

The number one reason to get an office outside of your house is to improve your productivity.

This point alone can justify the added expense.

  • Maybe you have small children who need your attention throughout the day.
  • Maybe you have a difficult time working in a messy cluttered house.
  • Or perhaps you just can’t work efficiently with distractions like city noise, the radio or the television on.
  • Then there’s the refrigerator that is always just one room away, tempting you to pause working to find a snack.

Getting out of the house can help you avoid all those distractions so you can concentrate on what matters and get more work done.

2. You Will Have A More Professional Appearance

First impressions mean a lot. If your job requires you to meet clients in person, you need to have a real office. If your side gig is a website designer, marketing agency or consultant of some kind, you might need to schedule an appointment every now and then.

Having an office space gives you the businesslike impression you need to make a positive impression. If you meet a client at a coffee shop, at their own home or business, or at your home, it doesn’t give the appearance of a professional person who they can trust with their money.

What you need is the added credibility of physical office space, which may lead to you attracting more clients.

3. You Get Your Own Business Address

When you run a small business your address will be splashed everywhere. Much like your email should be from your domain name rather than gmail or yahoo, your address should also be professional.

  • If you have a newsletter for your blog, your physical address should be in every email.
  • If you have a “contact me” section you may also include an address as well.
  • If you have business cards, your address should be on them.
  • Your domain registration information is public, unless you pay to hide it.

You really don’t want to publish your home address anywhere publicly. That’s where getting an office comes into play.

An office space gives you a real address, which is much better than a PO Box. Would you trust a website with no address or a PO Box? But seeing an address with a suite number lets you know you’re dealing with a person who takes their business seriously.

4. Access To Advanced Technology

Some office spaces are fully equipped to handle your growing freelance business. Some have large shared conference rooms with video teleconferencing capabilities. You simply need to schedule to have the room to yourself ahead of time. If you think having office space leaves a good impression, imagine how having a conference room makes a client feel.

There’s another added benefit to renting out office space. You may also benefit from a super fast internet connection that you can’t get at home.

5. Having An Office Gives You The Right Mindset

Ever heard of that old adage: you have to spend money to make money? You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on your dream office. All you’re looking for is a small room so you can get work done. Plus, that money paid plus any other office-related expenses are fully tax deductible.

By dishing out a few hundred dollars per month, you’ll force yourself to work hard. You’ll realize you’re spending money so you will definitely want to take advantage of the time you spend there. Being in an office with a desk, a computer, a filing cabinet and no distractions can really do a lot to put you in the right frame of mind.

Then, when you head home, you can concentrate on your family life and leave work behind as much as possible.

Do you have an office, a home office, or neither? How would you rate your level of productivity? Let me know in the comments section below.

  • Edwin
  • September 13, 2019
9

8 Things To Do To Get A Raise At Work

In a difficult economy, asking your boss for a raise isn’t out of the question. In fact, if you are a good employee that helps keep the business afloat, your boss may agree to a raise just to keep you.

But in order to be successful when you ask for a raise you need to be properly prepared to say the right things. Here are the 8 things you need to do in order to get a raise at work.

Timing Is Everything

If a quarterly report has just come in that shows the business is struggling, you should not ask for a raise. If, however, the financial numbers are looking good, take that opportunity to set up a meeting with your boss. After all, you were a part of that success.

Ask For A Meeting

You should not go up to your boss and begin talking to them about a raise in the hallway or during lunch. You need to have their undivided attention. The only way to get this is to set a specific date and time with them. This way, they are prepared to hear what you have to say and you won’t catch them off guard.

Confidence

If you yourself don’t believe you’re getting a raise, then nobody else will believe it either. So fire your ego up enough so you know that you truly do deserve a raise. This is not the time to be modest and shy.

Practice

Before discussing a raise with your employer, practice your approach with a friend. They will be able to critique you and tell you how to perfect your presentation. It will also allow you to practice what you’re going to say so you can better familiarize yourself with your sales pitch.

What Not To Say

Your boss is not going to give you more money just because you need it. It doesn’t matter to your boss that your significant other has lost their job or if your rent has gone up. Your employer will only give you a raise if it’s in their best interest.

Know Your Worth

Do some research online as to the average amount someone in your position is paid. If you notice you are being underpaid, be sure to mention this. Be sure to have various sources in case your boss wants to correct you. If you have a lot of experience and other special skills and do other tasks at the office, then this will also bode well for your worth.

Explain Your Reasoning

So come forth with a persuasive argument. Explain to them that you are underpaid when compared to others who hold the same position at other companies. Explain to them how long you have been working there and that you are due for a raise. Tell them about the extra duties you perform at work or extra education and training you have acquired.

Ask For A Little More

After you complete your presentation, ask for a specific amount of a raise. If you don’t mention any amount your boss is more likely to shut you down. Make sure to ask for a bit more than what you think you can get. This way, when your boss is shutting you down, you can ask for a smaller raise and get it. Getting any amount of an increase in your paycheck is better than nothing. It’s a common negotiating tactic to shoot for the moon and land among the stars.

  • Edwin
  • September 4, 2019
6

5 Tips For Improving Your Productivity Working At Home

The 9-to-5 crowd thinks it’s a dream come true to work from home. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sure, working at home has its advantages. You have the freedom to wake up whenever you want, dress however you want and set your own work hours. Yet on the other hand, distractions are plentiful when you work at home and it takes real discipline to actually get things done.

When you work from home there’s no boss to stop you from checking your Facebook every 5 minutes. There’s nobody to yell at you for watching daytime television for hours on end. There’s no one to get on your case for having a 2 hour lunch break.

This freedom may sound nice, but when you own your own business it’s a recipe for disaster. Work-at-home freelancers aren’t paid by the hour, they’re paid on commission.

Everyone shares the same 24 hours a day, however it seems that some of us are able to accomplish so much more than others. It’s all about time management, removing distractions and being more efficient with our time.

If you’re finding it difficult to focus at home, follow these 5 tips to maximize your work-at-home productivity.


1. Designate An Exclusive Space For Working

If the living room is where you watch TV and also where you work, then it’s hard to actually work when you’re in that space. Every worker needs his or her own place under the sun. Those who say they can work anywhere are telling a lie. Because even if they can indeed work, their productivity level is sure to go down.

When working at home, investing in a comfortable home office is highly recommended. Treat this room as a real office. That means no television, doors closed and yes that means no unauthorized people allowed.


2. Start The Day With A Schedule

There really isn’t a structure when you work from home. This type of flexibility is dangerous to those who lack discipline. Creating a schedule, or a set of goals for the day, helps provide the structure you need to be productive.

Create a to-do list every day and set out to accomplish each item on the list. Then check each item off your task list as you go along. The pleasure of completing a task will only help motivate you to complete the next item too.


3. Organization Is Key

Clutter will cost you a lot of time. It’s also not good for your mind. Having a messy office doesn’t lend to being disciplined and productive. When you have a neat office space it exudes professionalism and will make you want to stay at the top of your game when you sit down to work.

Organization isn’t just putting the pens in the correct drawer, it applies to your hard drive as well. Organize your work, create folders and sub-folders. Rename items so you can find them again easily. Don’t just save everything on the desktop as Untitled 1, Untitled 2, etc.


4. Eliminate Distractions

Remove anything that can distract you in your home office. If there are things that can veer your attention away from your daily goals then do away with them.

Often times distractions happen right on the very computers we’re using to work. Whether it be a Skype call coming through or a Facebook message or new email, it’s important to stay focused on work. So log out of your personal accounts so you won’t be bombarded with any distractions while you’re “at work”.

One way to do this is to have two accounts on your computer. One for your personal use and one for business use. The business user account only has work related programs while your personal user account can have Spotify, Angry Birds, Gmail and iTunes.


5. Create A Daily Routine

It’s difficult to work all day and night. The more hours you work (or try to) the less productive you will be. True productivity occurs when the mind and body are able to perform at their best.

Set two 15 minute break times and one lunch hour every day. Use your 15-minute breaks to enjoy a cup of coffee or go out to walk your dog. Lunch hours may be spent with your family. Never eat in the office or stay inside for 8+ hours straight. Doing so is not healthy nor will it lead to improved productivity.

If you work from home, how do you manage to stay productive? If you have any tips to share, let us know in the comments section below.

5 Ways To Break Free From Procrastination

Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today? It seems like a pretty easy question to answer, yet many people find themselves putting off tasks for days and weeks on end. Procrastination is an issue that a lot of people have to deal with, and while it can be somewhat glossed over in trivial details, it is something that can hurt you at work.

Leaving large projects to the last minute often means that the work delivered is not as good as it should be. Deliver that sort of work on a regular basis and the next thing you may be procrastinating about is searching for a new job.

Here are 5 ways to break free from procrastination and become more productive:

Answer An Important Question

Why do you procrastinate? Ask people who have made a habit of doing it and you will get a number of different answers. For some, it all comes down to self-doubt, while others will claim to be perfectionists who need everything to be just right before they begin. Once you are able to answer the question about why you procrastinate, you will then be able to take the steps to stop behaving that way.

Start The Clock

For most of us, actually getting started proves to be the toughest part of any project. How many times have you dreaded the thought of doing something, only to find out that is wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be once you get started? The more you think about the actual start of the project, the more ominous it seems. Decide that you are going to start today, set a timer for 10 minutes, and as soon as that alarm goes off, jump right into your work. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you start rolling once you get started.

Picture The End

Take a moment to think about a project that you recently completed, and then think about how good it felt once you completed it. We all spend time focusing on the negative aspects of the work that needs to be done, which is why it becomes easier to put it off till tomorrow. Instead of thinking negatively, always envision how good you will feel when the project is done. Trust us, you will want to speed towards that good vibe.

Have Some Fun

Even if you are committed to a large project, there are going to be times when you feel bogged down or uninspired. This can lead to a stall in productivity that can begin to stretch into hours and then days. Before everything starts to stagnate, think about ways you can make that task fun. Put on some music, or maybe take your laptop to the park or a coffee shop, or anywhere that isn’t your office. A little fun can lead to a lot of inspiration.

Be Held Accountable

We all become inspired to do better when we are held to some level of accountability. Enlist the help of a friend or family member when a project needs to be done. Tell then when you are going to begin, and when you plan on finishing. Have them check in on your progress at regular intervals. Trust us, the shame you will feel at not being where you said you would be at a given time can act as a great motivator.

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7 Must-Have Apps For Serious Freelancers Only

Looking for useful apps for freelancers? You’ve come to the right place.

You’ve come to the right place.

The work of a freelancer can be done from anywhere and at any time – if you have the right tools.

From your home office, your bed or even while relaxing on the beach, the power to run your business rests right on your fingertips.

With the right tools any self employed individual can take their small business to the next level by using these 7 must-have apps for freelancers.


SignNow

SignNow app for getting a signature

As a freelancer, you need to sign documents from time to time. Maybe you’re hired to redesign a website and need a contract to ensure you’ll be paid. Maybe you’re agreeing to write content for an online publication.

Regardless of what gig you’re performing, as a serious freelancer you really shouldn’t be making agreements without having a signed contract.

The old fashioned way was to physically sign paperwork and either mail or fax it back. The newer way was to print, sign and then email the contract back. Well there’s a new way to sign documents now, electronically.

With the SignNow app, your client could be a block away or a whole world apart, it makes no difference. So whether you’re at your home office or enjoying yourself while on vacation, you can close deals in minutes.

The main reason I like this app over the other digital signature apps is that the first 5 signatures every month are free. So if you work exclusively on big projects – and thus don’t have lots of contracts to sign – this app is perfect for you.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to use the SignNow app.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTDvh6lNyeI

Download SignNow for iOS here.

Download SignNow for Android here.


Expensify

Expensify app for keeping tabs on your costs

Self employed entrepreneurs don’t need to create expense reports to turn in to the boss. But it is important for freelancers to keep track of all of their business expenses.

This is especially true when it comes to filing your tax returns. It’s important for any freelancer to deduct all business expenses to lower their tax liability.

The Expensify app simplifies everything for you. You can take a picture of a receipt and all the pertinent information gets added to your account. Then, with ease, expense reports can be created to give you a good idea of where your money is going.

The app also features automatic mileage tracking. Just open the app and your mileage is recorded and reported.

Here’s a short tutorial on how to use Expensify.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOl_Wq9LuVU

Download Expensify for iOS here.

Download Expensify for Android here.


Google Calendar

Google has lots of useful apps for freelancers

You can keep up to date with your appointments with the Google Calendar app for Android smartphones and now for Apple users as well.

If you have an iPhone you can use the built-in calendar app. But what if you’re not entirely in the Apple ecosystem? Well the solution is to use the Google Calendar app instead. This way, you’ll have access to all of your appointments and to-do’s everywhere. Even if you’re on a public computer you can just visit http://www.google.com/calendar and log in.

Google Calendar integrates nicely into Gmail as well, with events such as flight and restaurant reservations automatically being added.

Google also makes other useful apps for freelancers such as Google Translate, Google Sheets and Google Docs.

Google has always been available on Android, but not for iOS until recently. Here’s a video for the iOS version.

Download Google Calendar for iOS here.

Download Google Calendar for Android here.


Paper

Paper App: Sketch Your Designs.

Paper is basically a note taking and drawing app. But its’ simplicity allows your imagination to flow. You can start with a blank canvas or annotate photos if you wish.

Freelancers can use it to jot down ideas in a visual way. Flow charts, pie charts and basic designs are all good uses for this app. Other freelancers will use it to write business plans, goals or presentations while on the go.

Your designs aren’t just senseless doodles that are just for fun. You can invite others to collaborate on them. I can see how this could be useful if you’re redesigning someone’s website or logo. You and the client can both go and make edits to the rough draft so you both are on the same page.

You can see the beauty and simplicity of this app in the video below.

Download Paper for iOS here.

Paper is not available on Android.


PayPal

Paypal is a great app for freelancers

PayPal is a must for freelancers. The days of sending checks are almost a distant memory. Clients want their product immediately and freelancers want immediate payment too.

In comes perhaps the largest online payment processor around, PayPal. With their mobile app, freelancers can send payments as well as see payments posted to their account. You can then withdraw your money to your bank account in one business day.

PayPal for Business offers more robust features such as invoices and merchant services. To process payments in person, you’ll use the Paypal Here service. For this, you’ll need a mobile card reader ($14.99) or their chip card reader ($79.99). They’ll also take 2.7% of each transaction you process.

Here’s how to use Paypal Here to accept payments in person.

Download Paypal on iOS here.

Download Paypal on Android here.


Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk App

Freelancers have a lot of things to do. Remember The Milk is a task management app that helps to keep you more organized. Don’t be fooled by the name. While it can indeed be used as a grocery store list replacement, it can also help you be more productive.

Here’s how it works. You first create a list. You can create as many as you’d like to help organize your task list. Then you can create tasks and even subtasks. Each with different colorful tags and even reminders.

This is one of the most useful apps for freelancers that I can recommend.

The key to accomplishing a lot isn’t being a workaholic! The keys are managing your time effectively by taming your to-do list in order to focus and complete your most important tasks first.

Here’s a very good and detailed review and tutorial on how to use the new Remember The Milk app.

Download Remember The Milk on iOS here.

Download Remember The Milk on Android here.


Hubstaff’s Apps For Freelancers

Hubstaff tracks employees location and time traveled

If you operate a small team of employees or independent contractors who travel to jobs, you need to keep track of their performance. With Hubstaff’s GPS monitoring and time tracking abilities, you’ll able to know your team is on track.

From within the app, you can track how long it took them to reach the destination and how long they stayed there. With this data, you can automatically generate timesheets and invoices to figure out how much to pay your employees and how much to charge the end customer.

Bonus: Hubstaff also have Hubstaff Talent, which is a free resource for companies (and freelancers) looking to find remote talent across the world. As a freelancer, it’s hard to do everything on your own, so why not outsource some of your work?

There’s a lot of ways you, as a freelancer, can utilize the services of others.

  • You can hire a short-term freelancer to be a virtual assistant to help manage your social media accounts.
  • If your website needs some TLC, you could hire a programmer to fix bugs or a web designer to completely revamp your site.
  • If you need help with content, there’s plenty of competent copywriters available to help craft blog posts, ebooks, newsletters or just proof-read your work.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can do with this time tracking app.

Download Hubstaff on iOS here.

Download Hubstaff on Android here.


Do you have any apps for  freelancers that you simply can’t live without? Let me know in the comments section below!

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10 Self Made Millionaires Share Their Morning Rituals

Millionaires and billionaires have something other than being uber rich in common. They also have similar morning routines.

Have you ever wondered why some people are so successful and you’re not? Is it just random luck, are they smarter than you or do they have more money to invest than you? While perhaps some of this is true, we should also look at other reasons why people are so successful.

I think one of the reasons why some find success is a positive mindset. I know it takes a lot more than just the right attitude, but it’s a great start.

Speaking of starts, I always wondered what successful people do first thing in the morning. I mean, do they work late and thus wake up late? Do they sleep less to work more? Do they eat breakfast or skip it?

There’s a lot of life choices we can make in the early morning hours that can shape our entire day. It’s possible that if we make these changes we too can find that success that so eludes us.

Just what does the right morning routine have? Well, in the morning, your routine should maximize your energy for the day, help improve your productivity later and should give your mind a boost of creativity all day long.

So just what do the most successful people do to start their day? That’s the topic I’m going to dive into today. Here now are the carefully crafted morning routines of millionaires.

Steve Jobs

Morning Routine Of Steve Jobs CEO Of Apple

Steve Jobs was a minimalist who chose not to spend (or waste) time on meaningless things. His minimalism was evident not just in his Apple product designs, but in the way he ran his business down to even the clothes he wore.

In the mornings, he would ask himself “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And if he answered “No” too frequently, he knew there needed to be a change in his life.

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet Morning Routine

The CEO of the wildly successful investment firm Berkshire Hathaway has a daily routine that anyone would envy. He is an avid reader and advocates reading 500 pages per day.

He lives very modestly and doesn’t waste time on social media. It seems like he tries to take advantage of his time by improving himself, which is a common theme of millionaires (and billionaires).

Richard Branson

Richard Branson Morning Habits

What does the founder of the Virgin Group do every morning? This one is interesting. Richard leaves the curtains open at night, so that when he sun comes up, it hits him right in the eyes. He rises at 5:45 AM with the bright light because, according to Richard, he loves “bouncing up early”.

His mornings also consist of swimming or kite surfing before eating a healthy breakfast.

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey's Successful Habits

The CEO of Twitter has a simple morning routine he sticks with. He gets up every morning at 5:30 AM to meditate. That’s right, he starts off his day with meditation. After he clears his mind, he goes for a run and runs several miles every morning.

If this sounds like a daunting task, to run for a few miles every morning, then maybe you don’t have what it takes to be successful. You have to be very practiced and very disciplined to pull off this morning routine.

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer Sleeping Habits

What does the CEO of Yahoo! do every morning? Well, it starts with sleeping only 4 to 6 hours a night. That sounds a bit on the low side, but every person is different.

Marissa likes to maximize her productivity by utilizing the 130 possible working hours available to her in the week. It’s the passion that she has for her job that motivates her to stick to such a tough sleep schedule.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos Productivity Hacks

The founder and CEO of Amazon is worth a whopping 46.7 billion dollars. So what’s his morning routine? Well it starts with a good nights’ rest. He sleeps 8 hours a day. You see, sleep if very important to him, so important that he has a sleeping bag in his office for those late nights.

Meetings are inevitable in the business world, but he tries not to schedule any meetings in the mornings and schedules no meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Elon Musk

The CEO of Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX is known for his time management and productivity. He often will skip breakfast and eat during a meeting instead.

Even though he’s busy running multiple companies, he still finds time to exercise once or twice daily.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey Daily Habits

As you might expect, Oprah Winfrey makes use of all her morning time. It starts with some meditation, followed by hitting the treadmill for a workout. Then she has a healthy meal afterwards.

Then it’s off to work early in the morning. But she doesn’t waste time once there. Oprah was known to record two shows in the morning. At that rate, she’d have the afternoon/evening’s off and some extra days during the week.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg Work Habits

The founder of Facebook knows that at his job, he is faced with making many decisions. So his mornings are as simple as can be. He doesn’t have to make decisions because he adheres to a simple repetitive routine.

Mark rises every morning at 8 AM (that is unless he’s pulled off an all-nighter at the office). He is also known to wear the same t-shirt every day to avoid making any extra decisions.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates Reads Every Day

The ex CEO of Microsoft is one of the richest men in the world, with a net worth of around 79 billion dollars.

His mornings start with a one hour workout on the treadmill. While on the treadmill he doesn’t listen to music or watch the news. Instead, he takes advantage of this time to educate himself. He watches educational videos from The Great Courses to learn something new every day.

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