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These 7 Things Can Ruin Your Efforts of Making Money Online

These 7 Things Can Ruin Your Efforts of Making Money Online

We all know that many people are making good, great and even tremendous livings, all from behind their computer screens. For that reason alone, most of us should be past the whole “making money online is a scam” frame of mind. This ideology should be long gone and pushed as far out of our brain as possible. There is absolutely no excuse for this way of thinking unless perhaps you happen to be one of those old timers that had to walk 20 miles every morning to school in the snow. Ever heard that story before?

We can give them a pass. Anyway, in all seriousness, I wanted to write this for myself, the people just getting started, and even the people that are well on their way in their internet marketing/blogging/online venture of any kind. The hardest part about earning an income online is how much bad information there is on the web. Which is why I’ve created a free guide to increasing your income online, for people just starting out that want to know their options. The truth is, the people that are usually spewing this information are typically just trying to sell you something, and they don’t care if you make money or not. Here is my list of 7 Ways to Screw up Making Money Online.

1. Lack of Direction

Maybe you’re a newbie and just found out that you can make money online, and you’re lost as to how to do it. You may be researching on Google and YouTube, watching different videos of people telling you that this is the way, or that’s the way, etc. The amount of time that you can spin around in circles like this when looking for information is endless. The first step to getting rid of this problem is to get these ‘get rich quick’ schemes out of your head. I’m not saying that there aren’t ways to make large amounts of money online fast because there are many. But it’s much better to focus on developing and building a marketable skill online and become a master of that one thing. That’s the fastest way you are going to reach your goals. Period.

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2. Too Many Directions

There are so many different strategies to make money online, and you try to learn every skill instead of just mastering one. This one is dangerous and will continue to stunt your growth online for as long as you allow it. You need to do some soul searching and research.

What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Do you like writing? Consider starting a blog or offering freelance services as a writer on websites like iWriter. Do you know web design or want to learn? Watch all the YouTube videos you can on learning basic HTML and building a site on WordPress. Once you’ve developed your skills, you can offer website design and development services to local businesses or freelance on sites to get your name out there and build a client base. The important thing is to get started and gain some traction, or you’ll lose your enthusiasm.

3. Following the Wrong Leader

I was blessed, when I first started my journey online to have a good mentor and coach. Make sure that you use your better judgment on this one. Do your homework on someone, and make sure they know what they are talking about before you put your business and your future in their hands. Make sure that what they’re saying resonates with you, and they’re not just trying to sell you something.

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4. Lack of Focus

Have I mentioned that you need to focus on one thing? This is the silent killer when it comes to online entrepreneurs, it is extremely hard to have a laser focus on one particular thing when you have so many emails, videos and ads being shown to you offering the latest and greatest product or strategy to become a billionaire overnight.

Remember in heading two we talked about too many directions? You need to audit regularly where you are spending your time. If you are trying to build up your reviews on iWriter and develop a good name and reputation for yourself, you might not want to spend hours a day learning about opening up an Amazon store, see where I’m going here? Half of getting what you want means knowing what you’re going to have to sacrifice or give up to get it, then making that sacrifice over and over.

5. Lack of Money

There might not be many people out there who are actually telling you this, but you are going to need some money to get started. The amount is really minuscule though compared to the barrier of entry of basically all other business models out there. In a recent article, I talk about how I quit my job and moved to Denmark with no money but by this time I had already spent time learning and mastering my trade and had established a client base for myself.

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What I recommend for everyone just starting out is to keep your day (or night) job, and if you don’t have a job then get one! Even though the costs are low compared to other businesses, you still need to invest in yourself and your learning.

6. You’re Not Working Hard Enough

You’re going to have to work at this just as hard or harder than anything else that you’ve ever wanted in your whole life. Do you want a location independent business that you can run from anywhere? Make money while you sleep? Travel the world and work from your laptop? Ok, then you’ve got to ask yourself what you’re willing to give up to get yourself there.

When I first got started, I was working two jobs and going to college full-time, and I was tired. You know what the problem with that excuse is? The universe doesn’t care if you’re tired. It doesn’t care if you’re sick, hungry, upset or whatever other excuses you might have up your sleeve. As the great late Jim Rohn says, “You get paid for bringing value to the marketplace”. So what did I do? I found time. I basically didn’t leave my house for a whole year (as far as whatever free time I had). I studied and watched everything that I could get my hands on my chosen subject, while simultaneously applying it. That last part is key so read it again, so you don’t miss it!

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7. Giving up Before The Miracle

Internet marketers pockets are lined full of money from people who bought their product or course and never even opened it! I remember when I heard the statistic that it was something like 60-70% of people that buy a course never even actually open it up!

Think about how crazy that is for a moment.

You need to sit back and realize that there are TONS of people online really doing it! That have created a lifestyle business for themselves and you can too. You are no different from them besides the hours of work that they have put in mastering their skill. It’s all about setting goals for yourself and then working like hell until you achieve them. I wish there were some magic formula because I would be using it myself. But there isn’t. What there is, is good old fashioned hard work and discipline. My question to you is, are you going to be the 60-70% of people that resign to do something and never follow through OR will you be the other 30% that is living their dreams? The choice is yours.

Featured photo credit: Luis Llerena via pablo.buffer.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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