Category Archives: Mindset

The New Rules Of Networking

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I just got an email from a guy I know. He’s selling a course that he created along with some really cool software. The software is made by another friend of mine. Guess what? I introduced the two of them about a year ago. Now, they’ve combined forces and are making money, and not paying me one red cent! Am I okay with this? Heck yeah! I make it a practice to put people in my networks and my spheres of influence together without worrying about getting paid for my efforts. You see, I’ve learned over the years that there really is such a thing as marketing karma. The more I give, the more I get.

I was at the gym the other day. Good thing, too! I run an online business, actually two of them, and I spend way too much time in front of a computer. Someone asked me today what I do for a living. The short answer is that I’m a writer. The long answer is that I’m a professional internet marketer. I create information products for various fields of internet marketing that show people how to build businesses and make money online. For real! Yep, I know that might be pretty hard to swallow, that this sort of thing is a real business. But it is, and I’ve been doing it successfully for over five years now.

When I’m at the gym, I get bored. Occupational hazard, that is the inability for my brain to be still. When you’re surrounded by social media and the internet all day long, it’s difficult to unplug. So, to amuse myself, and also to make sure that I do my half hour or more of aerobics every day, I have access to a lot of interesting books on my Kindle app on my iPhone. The other day, for instance, I was reading James Altucher’s book, The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth
. This isn’t your normal, run of the mill how to make money book. There’s a ton of insight and real wisdom in between those digital covers.

One thing that James talks about is networking in the 21st Century. James has what he calls the new rules of networking. You see, the old rules make us ask “How can I get ahead?” The new rules compel us to ask “How can I help others get ahead?” At first I thought this was going to be one of those touchy-feeling things. Borderline victim stuff. Remember the old book by Robert Ringer, “Looking Out For #1”? The opposite of that. Sort of like global warming and occupy Wall Street meet business ethics. I had read James’s previous book, which is entitled just “Choose Yourself”, and I knew that there would be much more depth that just socioeconomic self hate. I didn’t know, however, that Altucher would go on to describe networking in the exact way that I had been very successfully doing it for the past few years online.

Altucher suggests three ways you can successfully network. They are 1) Introducing people to others who can provide value for them. 2) Introduce people to ideas without any expectation of receiving something back. And 3) finding a meaningful connection between you and the other person. As I said, I’ve been doing these exact three things for the past few years, and they flat out work. Let’s break this down step by step.

Actually, in my mind, the third item, finding a meaningful connection between you and the other person, is the bedrock of this whole thing. I’m a firm believer in putting the relationship first and the benefit that I might (or might not) get out of the relationship a far second. A solid relationship between you and anyone else, wife, child, business associate, depends on finding meaningful connections. If you’ll do that one thing, you will start to receive huge benefits back from your networking. Benefits which may or may not come from the person you’ve connected with. Sometimes they do. Many times there’s no real connection. It’s just the Universe rewarding you.

If you can find meaningful connections between you and a lot of other people, you have the makings of a huge and powerful network. What do you do next? Well, items 1 and 2 in the list above. Specifically, you can connect people to people and/or people to ideas. Both are powerful! Both will reward you in ways you can’t begin to imagine. (Beyond just sitting around and feeling really good about yourself.)

There’s only one caveat to all of this. Don’t look for the benefit to come back to you from the people you helped! If you do, you’ll break the magic. I don’t know how this work, but believe me it does work. You reap what you sow, but, to continue the metaphor, often from an entirely different field of crops.

How To Intelligently Plan For Retirement

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Let’s look at a few telling statistics, and then let’s talk about you…and me.

According to Forbes (linked to below), only 18% of American workers feel like they’ll have enough money for retirement. That means 4 out of 5 American workers feel like they won’t. They either won’t retire, or if they do, they’ll live in penury! Couple this with the looming Social Security shortfall, and you have a tragedy waiting to happen.

Those are the big, overall numbers. Sometimes, the big picture loses meaning because people think it won’t apply to them. They’ll win the lottery. They’ll recoup the money the lost ten years ago through bad investments. The tooth fairy will sprinkle their retirement account with tooth fairy dust some night while they’re asleep.

Sounds harsh, I know. But this is a harsh issue.

It used to be that people worked for a company or some sort of entity and they got a retirement that lasted as long as they did. Now, with longer life spans, more economic stress (costs more to live), and less money saved, most people will outlast their savings. This isn’t a pretty picture. I hope it doesn’t apply to you. Statistically, if I were a betting man, though, I would probably win the bet if I assumed that it does apply to you.

Although, we as a society are going to have to deal with this…or not, you and I as individuals have options. We have the means to correct where we’re going financially for ourselves and our families, and even if overall older Americans shipwreck themselves on reefs of poverty, we don’t have to.

We can take charge of the situation.

As I see it, there are a few things going on.

You have to make more money than you spend. I’m not being silly when I say that making more than you spend is different from spending less than you make. Here’s why.

Unless, you already have a good income, it is really difficult to spend less than most families make. After health care costs, housing costs, the car, education, student loans, technology, and a host of other expenses that really weren’t nearly as onerous when I was younger, most families really don’t have anything left over.

You could get a second job. That’s one solution. But often with what you’d spend on transportation and child care, you’ll just be breaking even, if that.

You can change careers. That too has its issues. You’ll probably eat up in student debt the extra you’re making in a couple of years when you get done.

Sounds bleak?

It is, unless you think outside the box.

How about starting a home based, part time business?

Millions of people have done this. Over a period of twenty years, an extra $500 per month that you don’t spend and that you save in some way will make a massive difference in your retirement outlook.

This leads me to the following.

Starting a home based business puts you in the category of making more than you spend, instead of spending less than you make. You get to have a decent life style, and you get to prepare for the future.

Sounds good?

It gets better!

I have run a home based business full time for the past five years. Actually I run two. I could never ever think of working in the traditional sense of having a job. Hello…Freedom?

A home based business lets you spread your entrepreneurial wings without borrowing a million or so dollars and sacrificing your health for the next ten years. You’ll get to challenge yourself, and your kids will know who you are!

Okay, let me give you the prefect scenario! What if you could combine this home based business concept with investing money and building real wealth? Wouldn’t that be the best of both worlds? You would make an income…and…build an asset.

I know, I know. This sounds way too good to be true. But it’s not!

I do this right now!

If you’re interesting in knowing how, hit me up here on LinkedIn. Just reach out to me and message me. I’ll be happy to tell you what I’m up to. It’s a little mind blowing, and a little out of the box, but it works amazingly well. It works for me, and it will work for you.

Just let me know.

BTW, here’s the article in Forbes that sparked this whole line of thought in my head.

What I’ve Been Listening To While Working

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Okay, this has nothing to do with making money online, internet marketing, or network marketing. Having said that…Some friends of mine turned me on to the remake of Hawaii Five-0. I started watching it and loved it. In Episode 5 of Season 1, there’s a burial scene that’s just beautiful. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so if you have Netflix or something, just go watch it.

Anywho…one of the things that makes the scene so enchanting is the music. I saw the episode again recently with my wife and daughter. Afterwards I looked up online who sang the song at the end. It’s a Hawaiian singer named IZ.

You can see the cover of the album above. I thought the song was so wonderful that I bought it on iTunes.

 

Is Solopreneuring Right For You?

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The Urban Dictionary defines the word “solopreneur” thusly: “An entrepreneur who works alone, “solo,” running their business single-handedly. They might have contractors for hire, yet have full responsibility for the running of their business. ”

I personally have been a solopreneur for close to five years now. I wouldn’t change anything about this workstyle, but it does have its issues. (Believe me, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks by a margin of about ten to one.) Having said all of that, I would like to talk about solopreneuring. A few pitfalls that I have encountered. And, how you can possibly avoid these pitfalls.

Hopefully, this article will help you decide to jump in and solopreneur yourself, or at least give you enough information so that you decide to pass it up and move on to something else.

Let’s start off by talking about my history and how I got into solopreneuring.

A Bit Of History

You can read more about me here on the About Page on this website. In a nutshell, let me tell you my story.

I have a varies career history, but for some crazy reason it breaks up into sales and marketing, on the one hand, and teaching, on the other. My last “job” was as a mathematics teacher at the high school level. I loved teaching, but hated a few things too!

Specifically, I hated being in a big organization. Especially the public school system, which is more like a giant Alice In Wonderland clone than a real educational system. I was closer than I wanted to be to the nonsense, too, because I let my much loved principal talk me into being the department head, It’s amazing how few levels you have to rise in Education Land to get into a Strawberry Fields world, where “nothing is real”. Just for the record, I adored the teaching part!

While being a teacher, though, I discovered that you could do more with the Internet than just send emails. I discovered the whole world of internet marketing. For a few years, still while teaching, I made extra money mainly as an Amazon affiliate. Interestingly, as I made more and more money as an Amazon affiliate, what I call my Inner Entrepreneur started screaming to be let loose.

One summer about five years ago, I just couldn’t take it any more. I was slated to go back to work in a few weeks. I picked up the phone and called my vice principal. I told her I wasn’t returning.

FREEDOM!

But then…how was I going to make money?

What I Do As A Solopreneur

As soon as I hung up the phone, my mind went into overdrive trying to formulate a game plan. I already had, kinda sorta, a game plan. I mean, I had been dreaming about this day for literally a few years.

I took stock of my skills, search engine optimization, a certain skill with what was then called Google Places, and I had a ton of online writing experience. (I had over 700 articles published on EzineArticles. I still make money from them, after all this time!)

So, I went into business helping local businesses navigate the Internet. Didn’t take me long to land my first client, either. About 2 hours in fact. I did this by cold calling local opticians to see who needed work on their website or Google Places listing. Why opticians? Who knows? But I got an appointment that same day, and the next day I walked out of the appointment with an $800 check in my hand.

We’ll talk at the end of this about what you can take away from all of this. Having said that, I think taking massive action will top the list!

Problems With Solopreneuring

Now I was my own boss! I could set my own hours, and work as much or as little as I wanted to.

Well…one thing is I worked way more than I did in my job. Of course, not having a 45 minute commute each way helped. And, not having to wake up and shower and shave until mid-day helped, too! The thing about working in your pj’s is really true. It’s very appealing!

Handling fulfillment and prospecting for new business was an issue though. I would normally get a client, then forget about sales and marketing while I worked on that client’s project. After I was done, I had nothing in the pipeline.

That still goes on, by the way, but in a much more manageable form.

Another issue was just my inexperience running a business. And since I was a solopreneur, I really didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. I made all the classic mistakes, besides forgetting the keep the marketing funnel filled, that is. Everything from not putting aside nearly enough for my taxes to getting so lost in new projects that I lost site of the main goal.

I course corrected. I worked hard to overcome the challenges. I still do! I wouldn’t change this for the world, though.

My main business, which is a product creation business in the Internet marketing niche, has allowed me to have a lifestyle I only before dreamed of. It’s also been responsible for me making friends with really cool people from all over the world. (You see, there are others like me and we tend to find each other via social media.)

Had I to do it all over again, I would definitely do it all over again!

Taking The Plunge

So, you’re still here! You’re still reading this! Well, I’m guessing that might mean that this topic is of interest to you. The big question people ask me is how do they cross the proverbial abyss and go from employment to fulfilling self-employment?

I would love to answer that question! Truth is, I don’t know!

Me? I just got fed up and decided to throw caution to the wind and take the plunge. I can’t in good conscience recommend that you do that. I personally landed on my feet and thrived. I don’t know if you will.

Tell you want, though. There is someone you can ask about this. Yourself! One of the big things I’ve learned being a solorpreneur is to trust my intuition. It has never let me down. If you’re interested in this, I would suggest you sit down in a quiet place and just ask yourself who it is you want to be and what is it that you want to do with your life? The answers will come (along with the means) as soon as you start honestly seeking them.