Learn to start an online business with the Thirty Day Challenge

Written by Sam on July 17, 2009 – 3:07 pm -

When it comes to the topic of personal finances, people primarily talk about controlling or reducing expenses. However, there is one equally important variable that can determine your financial welfare – increasing your income. The great news is that it’s easier than ever to supplement your income with an online product or business.

For those of you interested in making money online or starting on online business, the Thirty Day Challenge (TDC) is a great way to learn. This free program is conducted once a year and is about to start in August. They have been doing pre-season activities for a few weeks and there’s already a lot of great free content online for you to catch up on. I’ve participated in the TDC before and was impressed that they taught a lot of cutting edge information that I already knew about and was using but had to learn on my own. In fact, even if you don’t start your own online business, the internet tools they introduce and teach about are very useful in everyday life as well.

The only complaint I have about the TDC is that the content isn’t very polished and much more lengthy than it needs to be. There are frequently videos and audio recordings that you have to listen to in a linear fashion (you can’t just skim through them) which can be time consuming. They also frequently pitch other pricey “internet marketing” training programs and services. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to pitching other products and I’m certainly willing to put up with less-than-perfect presentations, particularly if the content is free.

The TDC is run by an individual named Ed Dale who is quite a celebrity in the internet marketing world. For those of you not familiar with “internet marketing,” the term refers to strategies used to acquire lists of potential customers which can then be used to market your products or services online. The TDC shows you how to sell other peoples’ products or your own. If you have particular knowledge or expertise about some subject, no matter how obscure, the TDC can show you how to start creating your own informational product and how to find people to buy it. With current internet technologies, it’s relatively easy and cost-efficient to create and sell your own products.

Check out the TDC and if you participate let me know what you think.

Sign up for the TDC
Pre-season Training Links

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Income | Comments Off on Learn to start an online business with the Thirty Day Challenge

Financial Peace University Part 6 – Increasing your income through career development

Written by Sam on September 11, 2007 – 9:01 pm -

Buying a homeIn week 11 of Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey talks about the income side of the equation. Up until now, Dave has primarily talked about managing the expense side of the financial equation. What people often don’t really think much about when managing their finances is that an increase in income of $100 is the same as a decrease in expenses of $100. Sometimes the fact is that you just need to make more money to make ends meet. Easier said than done, right? Well, yes and no. Sometimes it’s easier than you think to increase your income. In many cases it may be as simple as walking in to your boss and asking for a raise or a bonus.

Dave provides advice about not only making more money but also about how to get more joy and fulfillment from your career. Here are the highlights from this week’s session. I’ve thrown in my own comments and points for good measure.

  • Be prepared to change jobs…and grow your career – 50 years ago people would work for one company their whole life. Now the average career lasts 3.2 years. The downside is you shouldn’t expect to stay in one place for too long. The upside is you shouldn’t expect to stay in place for too long. Changing jobs isn’t the stigma it once was but that’s a good thing – it makes it easier for you to change roles and accelerate your career development. Rather than being stuck in the same job or role forever, you can experiment with different roles and areas of responsibility until you find one that suits you.
  • Determine what contribution you want to make in life and seek to make it – Being introspective to determine your life’s goals is a good thing. You shouldn’t choose a job or career solely based on money but rather on making your unique contribution. You will end up much happier and fulfilled.

    Dave tells about an experiment where researchers hired a group of people to dig a hole. At the end of the day, they were instructed to fill the hole back up. The next day they were told they would be paid more money for doing the same job, yet not everyone showed up. After several days of hole digging, the crowd of workers dwindled even though they were paid progressively more. Because they felt like they were doing meaningless work, they were dissatisfied regardless of the income.

  • Make sure your job lines up with your values – This is an extension of the previous point. If you do work that violates your values, you will inevitably be miserable. For example, working in a bar is not ideal if drinking is against your values.
  • Your job is not your life – While you should seek meaningful employment, it’s also important to realize your job is not your life and doesn’t define you as a person. You have many roles in life as a family member, friend, member of the community, etc. Your job is just one piece of your life.
  • Do you have a job, career, or vocation? – I liked the way Dave defined each of these terms. A job “J-O-B” is daily activity that produces income. A career is a line of work, but not necessarily a calling. A Vocation is a calling, purpose, or destiny. Dave says “If your vocation is something you love, you’re on vacation for the rest of your life.
  • Your personal style will help you choose your career better than your education – Dave points out that 15% of success in a job comes from skills whereas 85% comes from personality, ambition, enthusiasm, and attitude. You can gain most of the skills you need on the job. In fact, most people don’t even go into a field related to their major in college.
  • When finding a job, be yourself – your best self – When sending resumes and interviewing for jobs, don’t try to be something you’re not. People will almost always see through your act. Instead be your best self. Finding a job is essentially a process of marketing yourself – so highlight your best points and accomplishments but be honest.
  • Networking is key to finding a job – This is good solid advice. Only 15% of jobs are covered in newspaper classifieds. The best jobs aren’t even posted and must be found through networking. When looking for a job, be sure to tell everyone that you’re looking and what you’re looking for. Be specific. Jobs may come from the most unexpected contacts…even from a friend of a friend.
  • 3 steps to landing your dream job – Dave provides some specific action steps to help you land your dream job. Basically you make a list of companies you’re interested in and contact them three times.
    1. Send an introduction letter stating that you’re interested in the job and that you’ll be contacting them and sending them a resume
    2. Send your resume with a cover letter stating why you’re interested in the specific job and why you’re the right person for the job.
    3. Call the company (ideally the person responsible for hiring) a couple days later to follow up and make sure they received everything

    Most people don’t make the consistent effort that these steps require. Even though they’re simple, by doing them you will stand out amongst other candidates as a person ready to take initiative.

  • In your resume, don’t just list where you’ve been, but rather what you’ve done and how it applies to the job – A resume is not just a list of places you’ve worked but should rather list what you accomplished at your previous jobs. If you can show anything quantifiable, that’s even better. And if you can show how your accomplishments will help you in the job you’re applying for, you’ve hit a home run.
  • If necessary, take a temporary job to clear the log jam – Oftentimes, you’re in a financial bind and just need an extra boost to clear the metaphorical log jam – maybe you just need to pay off that final debt or to finish saving for a vacation. If that’s the case, a temporary job may be just the thing. It’s amazing how quickly you can get a job as a pizza delivery person; and how quickly you can earn a few hundred or thousand extra dollars.

    Taking on a temporary job:

    1. Cleans up little bills
    2. Reduces debt with gazelle intensity
    3. Helps you save for stuff or vacations
    4. Helps you build up some lump sum savings (emergency fund or your children’s college education)
  • Start a home based business – The possibilities of starting a home-based (or cottage industry) business are endless. And the good part is, you can do something you love. 45% of homes have a home-based business. Dave tells the story of a lady who placed an ad in the back of a magazine selling her homemade pecan pie recipe. She literally made thousands of dollars selling her recipe.
  • Build a home-based business with time, patience and consistency – This is my input on starting a home-based business. I’m convinced that anyone can do it given enough time, patience and consistency. Don’t expect it to be an overnight success. Set aside time every week to work on a business. Just start with your best idea without worrying too much if it’s the right one. If you put in consistent time and effort, over time you can make your business grow.

Posted in Dave Ramsey, Income | 3 Comments »

How to increase your income by creating empowering beliefs

Written by Sam on August 9, 2007 – 11:34 pm -

attitudeOne of my favorite bloggers, Steve Pavlina, recently posted a couple of articles about replacing limiting mindsets with empowering ones. They are entitled Quality and Contribution and The Abundance Mindset. I’m amazed by the limiting beliefs people have about making money. Steve Pavlina refers to the “scripts” we run – a preset pattern of thinking and relating to the world. This concept of scripts really resonated with me because I’ve recently been able to take a step back and see myself running the same limiting scripts over and over again. It’s like telling yourself a story. You need to justify what you’re dissatisfied with so you create a story to tell yourself.

Limiting beliefs and scripts

Here are some common beliefs about money or scripts I personally have run or have seen others run:

  • It’s hard to make money.
  • Work isn’t meant to be fulfilling but is rather a necessary evil.
  • Starting a business is hard and takes too much time.
  • Socially responsible people get an education and then go to work at a 9 to 5 job regardless of whether it’s fulfilling or not.
  • Following your passion is irresponsible and can’t provide an adequate income.
  • I don’t have enough time (this is one of my personal favorites).
  • I get home from work and I don’t have energy to do more than watch tv.
  • I would break out of the 9 to 5 routine if only it weren’t for my wife, family, job, [insert excuse here].
Creating new beliefs and scripts

One exercise that has helped me break out of my limiting beliefs, at least to some degree, is to conciously identify which scripts I run and which beliefs I may be holding subconsciously. I can then create new empowering beliefs and scripts. For example, one belief I’ve adopted is “making money is easy given enough time, patience, and consistency.” By embracing this more empowering belief I’ve been able to make progress towards my goals without self sabotaging myself. It’s given me the liberty to take things one step at a time.

Expanding your beliefs step-by-step

Steve Pavlina promotes a similar approach of taking one step at a time, particularly when it comes to starting your own business.

Start where you are, and stretch yourself to let go of those limiting beliefs that hold you back. If you think it’s fairly easy to earn $10 or 100, try to open your mind to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, it could be equally easy (maybe even easier) to earn $500 in the same amount of time or less. One you’ve reached that point, push on to $1,000, and keep going from there. When you think that a certain amount of money is “no big whoop,” you’ll find a way to earn that much, and that means you’ll be contributing more value to others. The money you receive as compensation is your receipt.

When I started this website I took the approach Steve describes. I knew that if I could make $5 a month then I could then make $100. If I could make $100, I could make $1,000. Taking baby steps in such a manner allows you to push the boundaries of your beliefs little by little.

When I started this site I was absolutely thrilled when I had my first $5 month. I actually remember it quite vividly. One of my early posts was picked up by lifehacker and I received thousands of hits. I literally did a celebration dance like I had won the lottery or something. It was the most exciting $5 I’d ever made, not because of the monetary amount, but because it was a representation of the possibility of earning even more. I had taken action and created something capable of generating income. I now had an asset to build upon.

Now it’s commonplace for me to make $5 a day and sometimes I make considerably more than that. It’s still hard for me to realistically believe I could make, say, $10,000 a month, but as I gradually expand my belief system it doesn’t seem nearly as hard as it once did.

A way to practice

Last week I mentioned a way to learn how to make money online from the Thirty Day Challenge website that shows people how to make $10 online in one month. I’ve told several people about it and the responses have shown people’s beliefs. Some people say “what’s the use – it’s only $10.” Others say “it’s just too hard to start and maintain a business and I don’t have the time.” They just kick start their favorite script and away they go. It’s a shame that people don’t catch what the $10 represents. They don’t realize that once they learn how to make $10, they can use the same techniques to make $100, $1,000, or even more.

If you have any desire to make more income or a supplemental income, I strongly encourage you to participate in the 30 day challenge. I’ve been very impressed so far with the content. Most of it I’ve known already but I’ve also learned some incredibly useful tricks. They start from scratch so it’s doable even if you’re new to the internet. And part of the beauty of the program is that it’s flexible enough that you can choose to make money off of a topic that you’re passionate about.

Take some time and examine your beliefs about making money. Do you have any limiting beliefs or scripts? What new beliefs could you establish?

Posted in Income, Personal Development | 3 Comments »

How to make money online (at least $10) in one month – The Thirty Day Challenge

Written by Sam on August 2, 2007 – 10:45 pm -

I’ve talked a lot on this site about how to manage your expenses and control your spending. While managing expenses is an important part of personal finances, it’s only one half of the equation. Equally important is how much money you make-your income.

Many people dream of making a lot more money than they currently do and being able to quit their day job. But it’s hard to know how to get started. Fortunately there’s a new site that will tell you exactly what to do to start earning extra income online, and the great news is it costs absolutely nothing. It’s called the Thirty Day Challenge

The thirty day challenge is a website that will be posting daily step-by-step information about how to make $10 in 30 days on the internet. The official challenge started on August 1st and goes through the end of August. The instructions are easy to understand and even beginners can follow along. Apparently this is the third year they’ve done the challenge but this is the first time I’ve heard about it.

It may seem like making $10 is no big deal. That’s hardly anything. But if you think about it, it’s the perfect approach. When I started this blog one of my goals was to make some supplemental income. I used a philosophy taken from Steve Pavlina’s blog – I knew if I could make $1 on this site, I could make $100. If I could make $100 I could make $1,000. The first few dollars are the hardest – after that you have momentum to build on. It gets subsequently easier to make more money.

If you can make $10 this month, you will be able to make even more. You’ll have gained the knowledge to help with future efforts.

I’m frequently asked how to start on online site or blog. This is the perfect chance to learn how. But if you’re interested, be sure to sign up today or you’ll fall too far behind. You can still catch up over the weekend. I’m actually going to participate for fun and see what I can do from scrach (not including this site). I’ll keep you posted. If any of you join the challenge, please post a comment and let me know.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Income | 12 Comments »

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