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Safety First – The ‘Chicken’ Strategy

Safety First – The ‘Chicken’ Strategy

As I look outside I can tell it’s raining, not much, just a drizzle. It’s barely noticeable against the dull grey sky. It’s grey, it’s dull and it makes you intolerably impatient: not so unlike some of the emotions you go through as you work yourself through the opening phases of your own online business and create that parallel track while you hold on to your current job.

Why is this?

Well, the main reason is simple. It takes time to create that value for other people and it takes time to become visible to that group of buyers that your value product is targeted at. And we all know how time and the passing of it can kill anything you’ve started right?

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Remember, you’re going from completely unknown to the level where you start getting noticed, by people in your niche or by search engines like Google. First, you will start seeing traffic coming your way as well as returns and revenue. But the beauty of it is that you still can pay your monthly bills, keep a roof over your head and have a source of regular funding to prepare your new life.

This is what has been penned as a “chicken strategy.”

It’s not my own devised system, but it is the one that I have been dutifully following myself for the past years as I’m a staunch believer of it. Just to make it clear: it has nothing to do with food production, but everything to do with sensible start-up entrepreneurship. You see, one of the reasons why a large percentage of online start-up businesses fail, is much due to the fact that they pour all their investment (time and money) into the business without having first tested whether there’s a market for it first.

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Worse than that, they also hand their notice in with their current employer, cutting off the only supply of income they have in the process. In the poker world, this would be called the “all in” tactic, which subsequently has a meager chance of success in winning or losing the round. When it comes to your life, this is not a very advisable tactic to say the least. Russian roulette seems also to be a suitable name for it.

It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to get your idea up and running. No kidding. I know ALL about it, as I´m still working at it! But if you are passionate about it, you will succeed.

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In the beginning your progress is governed much by the massive drive and eagerness you have inside you, and that everyone has as they commence something new and exciting. I guess you can compare it to what we call “tunnel vision,” that feeling of narrow focus one gets when driving at high speeds. Here, everything around you blurs and you´re concentration is solely set on the far end of that focus.

Well, to succeed with what you’ve started, this tactic just won´t do. You see, it’s of utmost importance that as you progress you not only keep an eye on the end line (your overall goal), but also gather up all the information you can, coming from all kinds of angles along the way. The reason being; these are what fuels your drive to succeed. The more you get the greater the chance of you succeeding.

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Stick to your current job. Don’t burn any bridges. Work on your own business on the side, until one day you can fire your boss and live that life you so desire.

 

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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