Building a better 2020

So we are entering the final months of 2019, and I can bet that for the vast majority of us we are no further forward than we were this time last year and for some of us we may actually be worse off, and that will be further exacerbated by the up coming festive season and the pressure from both the media and advertisers as well as the personal pressure you put on yourself to spend money on presents and entertainment for your children or yourselves, often on credit cards or over-draughts or worse still loans, this time of year is really a hunting ground for capitalists and vultures looking to tie you into agreements that mean next year you will have to come back for more.

It is not our fault, advertisers and social media put us in positions that we simply cannot escape, and we borrow in order to “keep up” with the neighbours or our work colleagues be it through our children’s activities or through the car on the driveway, holidays, clothes even sports and hobbies all say something about us and our ability to pay out money, this is all well and good but what happens when you can no longer work? I don’t mean if something were to happen to you right now, more the inevitable end, Retirement we are all heading there and most of us with nothing planned to see us through.

I would like to push for another type of new years resolution, it will be something we are going to achieve in our house, that is instead of the standard “no chocolate” or “go back to the gym” both of which normally only last a couple of months before we find ourselves sitting on the couch eating chocolate while we should be at the gym, we are going to be working toward reducing debt and becoming more financially intelligent, after all how can you expect to master something without knowing how it works ?

Some startling statistics are that the average UK debt is £31k per adult! that is shocking and although I don’t know anybody quite there I am aware of people near that threshold, when you put that against the average UK household income of £28k the gap is clear to see, and of course as this comprised of borrowed money the interest is also staggering, an average of £967 in interest alone paid last year for every Brit.

All economies run on the least paid individuals, this is the case universally, as these economies are propped up on debt, the circle is vicious and relentless and designed to make it difficult to break, but not impossible.

Firstly bear this in mind, there are debt charities and advisories that offer free and payed advice to people struggling with debt, but this advice in my opinion is flawed beyond belief, the basic advice is centred around either declaring bankruptcy or entering into a sponsored agreement where you declare to the world that you are nearly bankrupt and asking for them to freeze all your accounts and let you pay off the balances, but let’s think that through for a moment,

  • Bankruptcy – Stays on your credit file for 6 years, and will affect your credit rating for much much longer, so let’s say that you have reached the point where you believe that is an option, you would normally be around 30 years old and may possibly have a mortgage, so you would need to sell the house and use the equity to repay debtors, everybody is made aware of the Bankruptcy as it is public information, and it will have to be declared when you apply for housing with private landlords, any credit over the value of £500 and could remain for longer based on how long it takes to become discharged, at the very best based on a 30 year old this means you are 36 when discharged and paying through the nose for credit while you try and rebuild a credit rating, then at around 40 you are able to start re-building your life and possibly look to buy a home again, all the while having to declare that you have been a bankrupt and paying higher interest for the rest of your life, this doesn’t sound like a good option to me.
  • IVA – Individual voluntary arrangement, this is a fixed term of between 60 and 72 months (so 5 years at best) possibly 6 and the conditions are no more relaxed, you will still have to sell any assets you have to pay into the IVA and then you are still the same age when you start to re-build your life.

And of course you could just bury your head in the sand and do nothing, but that leads to all manner of issues and most of these will ironically cost you more money because you are always viewed as not wanting to pay as opposed to not being able to pay and this is despite the fact that you haven’t got enough money for the initial debt.

The first steps in my opinion are to understand the nature of the debt, how much actually is it ? how much is the interest and how much am I paying off the capital ? often these questions are not asked and people simply start at the least amount and try to pay that off while struggling to keep up the payments on a debt that is costing them a fortune in interest every month.

Work out how much your utilities actually cost, it is surprising how many times we just simply pay the regular estimated payment without question and then are excited when the company gets in touch to tell us that as we have overpaid we can either claim the money back or allow it to be credited to our next bill (most companies assume this by default) under these circumstances we view this as good will on the part of the company but actually that money could have been better spent on a debt reduction rather than sitting in an energy companies account gaining interest.

Not everybody of course will be affected by the previous examples but I guarantee that if you are reading this you are either trying to make money to be more comfortable or you are stuck in a financial rut and are desperately trying to get out, what I am trying to illustrate is that lack of knowledge is often the most costly mistake we make, when we look at people that are financially savvy what we are actually seeing is people that have worked out how to not give all their money away, they look for value in expenditure and they look for return on debt, if you have a house that provides more rental income than the mortgage outgoing then this is good debt, if you consume any service or utility make sure that you are only paying for what you take, and never take anybodies word as gospel always check yourself where possible so you can say with certainty that you know how much you are getting charged and why.

Conclusion

As human beings we are forces of nature, we have the proven ability to change the world and explore other worlds, we can create our own futures, and deal with our pasts, capable of great acts of kindness and huge atrocity the human drive and spirit is the most voracious and uncompromising force known to man.

Make a list of every thing that is keeping you awake at night and worrying you in the morning, everything that makes you snap at family and friends because you are pre-occupied when they speak to you and realise that you do have the power to change it, end the cycle of debt by not taking anymore out, pay off credit cards quickly and realise that if you can’t do that then you can’t afford the lifestyle you are leading, but if you put that lifestyle to one side for a single year you may very well be able to afford a much better one, and not pay somebody else for the privilege.

Obviously I am not a financial adviser and any situation should be looked at on an individual basis to determine the correct course of action, but you cannot lose if you find a way to pay less interest to lenders, and borrow money or goods on inflated interest because we haven’t got a “perfect credit score”.

Amazon Seller – free guide to get started.

There are hundreds of courses out there to help you become an Amazon seller and on the whole they cost thousands to access, I know that you only get out of life what you put in but that does not mean we need to over extend ourselves or use money unnecessarily to learn something that can be picked up for free, sure if you were to be paying a couple of hundred pounds for a course then it would probably save you that much in errors further down the line, but when we start talking four and five thousand dollars then I really do think you would have to really screw up on a monumental scale to even up the balance.

I am not saying that these courses are all worthless, I am just pointing out that they are expensive and the majority of us have been driven to look for a side hustle or a change in income streams through lack of available funds, not through and abundance of money and boredom.

So I started looking around to see if there were any free reliable alternatives to some of the expensive courses, and I found this site https://tinuiti.com/blog/amazon/sell-on-amazon-uk/ the guide seems really thorough and one of the first things that I noticed was that I actually had no idea of the prerequisites of opening a seller account on Amazon, I also found another site as an alternative to Junglescout this is https://sellics.com they not only have a 14 day trial offer but they have some free resources including keyword search for your chosen products.

Another challenge I have is the US centric nature of this business, so I will be spending some time researching how much of an impact this will actually have on me as a UK resident and if there are any workarounds to those issues.

Turns out there are, in future posts I will going through setting up my seller account from a UK perspective and hopefully making a profit.

That’s all for now…….

Photo by David Riaño Cortés from Pexels

Changing yourself is not always a bad thing.

Controversial I know but hear me out, changing yourself is not always a bad thing if who you have become is what is holding you back, and for the majority of us that is the case, working jobs we hate on a corporate hamster wheel or even worse dead end jobs that are only “filling in time until we decide what to do” the world has educated the masses to believe that we are meant to work we shouldn’t aim high and routinely we, as a group ridicule the ones who dare to dream.

Don’t Change for Others!

Well no, you shouldn’t change for the sake of others, if you are being yourself and people have an issue with that then that is their issue not yours, on a personal level you should never alter your standards or shelve your hopes and dreams for the sake of a relationship, relationships are supposed to be reciprocal and therefore tolerance and in most cases a certain prioritisation of the partners wants and needs should come first and the other way round too, this way both parties are happy and equally valued, and if you had one person in your corner all all the time helping you to achieve your goals imagine how far you would get, this is not the place to change, love and loyalty under a false banner of intention and desire will always end in tears, Always.

Change Everything Else, However

I posted previously a news article that frankly scared the hell out of me, I do not want to work until I die, penniless and without the ability to enjoy my winter years or to help me children achieve their potential in a world that is getting smaller and more cramped, but to make this happen life has to be treated like a business, with the advent of gamer “professionals” and vlog millionaires the bar and the goal has shifted, you are now the business, and unless you treat everyday as a means to an end you will go out of business and be closed down sooner than you think.

The concept of going to work 9 to 5 and making a decent living, retiring at 65 and living a comfortable life at the seaside with a golden retriever and enjoying long walks on the beach with the Mrs in the sunset happy just to have an ice cream isn’t dying it’s dead, it no longer happens, chances are that if that was how you lived your life then the Mrs left ages ago for a younger bloke who sells rubber dog poo with a nice cheery face on it through his etsy store, and vice versa, this may sound very male biased but to be fair women have been just as capable of making huge sums of money as men, are just as capable of putting in the hours as men and the only thing that historically stopped them from achieving the same positions was having to wade through an archaic “old boys club” culture in business and life in general, this is now largely giving way and quite rightly, so the above scenario cuts both ways.

The process begins by having a look at yourself and having the guts to ask “what am I doing wrong?” and with the opportunities on the internet and global reach the way it is today, if you are worried about money in any shape or form then you (like me and millions of others) are doing something wrong, good news is these things are not too hard to spot I have listed below the one’s I found.

  • Sleep late / wake up late – sounds obvious right? then why do we all do it? realise that if we sacrifice the binge watching of breaking bad now we can watch it in a penthouse overlooking the beach in the future, but for now Sleep because nobody functions properly when tired and irritable.
  • Don’t exercise – Easy to say, that you want to be a business person or you are too busy to exercise, cardio at the very least is a must, remember you as an organism run on oxygen, cardio will improve your cardio vascular system, so in a basic sense the fitter you are, the faster you are and it takes less time to complete tasks, that way you have more time to do more things.
  • Take chances – The easy path is the path of least resistance, yet we marvel at people who are flexible and have trained themselves to be able to practise yoga or gymnastics or even bodybuilders. stop to think when looking up to these people is that what you are admiring is somebody literally chose the path of most resistance, if you are pushing so much there is a little pain then you are doing good.
  • Listen – Real simple, if you knew everything then you would be rich already, listen to as many people as possible, most of what is said will be useless, but there is gold in them thar hills!
  • Keep Goals in mind – Stop being distracted by everything around you, TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA NOTIFICATIONS

If you are looking for something to do while staring at your phone, rather than the latest cat video, or yet another guru shouting at you that their way is best and you should give them thousands to see how, train your mind to be quicker and more agile, try Elevate in the links below (not affiliate links) I will even start a little traineesuperhuman group so we can play against each other.

Call to Action

Now is not the time to start, now is the time to DO the clock has been ticking for some time already and we are literally fighting for our futures, so whatever it is you do, do it better, excel at your chosen field and always run a side hustle, no income is guaranteed that is true, but income that relies on the decisions out of your control needs a backup, because you never know when it is going to fail.

Work Until you Die? or make a stand now ?

This article confirms what I have thought for some time now, we need to make a stand because for most of us the future is set in stone and it is cold, hard and very unpleasant.

https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2017/mar/29/a-world-without-retirement

Photo by THE COLLAB. from Pexels

Educate yourself on everything!

Well not everything, but all that is important to you, for instance if you are trying to get healthy do not simply look at the label or the physique of the model that is holding the item up on Instagram but rather dig deeper and actually research the supplement or diet change you are about to make, I say this because I have recently realised that the quantity of cod liver oil that I have been using is actually not high enough to provide the amount of EPA and DHA that is regarded as “Beneficial” this is because I like a lot of others just remember that somebody once said that Cod Liver oil was good for you, and I took the recommended dosage because I was to lazy to look any further, this is true of all things physical, medical, business and finance, dig deeper and actually reap the benefits of what you are doing, because if you don’ you are simply spending money and seeing no return.

So here is my example, studies have shown that Omega3 is responsible for the improvement of a lot of conditions to name a few

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Cancer – although further study is needed it has been shown that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids is linked to the reduction in incidences of, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer and Colon Cancer
  • Heart Disease – Some studies have recorded as high as 25% reduction in heart attacks with the correct dosage of Omega-3 high in EPA and DHA

And this is where my point comes in, you see the dosage for these kinds of benefits is around 250 to 500mg a day of combined EPA and DHA, and when looking at the back of my cod liver oil tablets I can see that the one a day that is the recommended dosage, is providing me a whole 80mg of EPA and 100mg of DHA, so nowhere near enough to help when looking for even the basic benefits of Omega-3 let alone the 850mg dosage that was used in the Cancer study, to compound matters there is even a question over the use of “Cod liver Oil” as opposed to “Fish Oil” again not taking the time to educate myself failed me there too, you see the reason that the supplement companies do not want you taking large dosages of Cod Liver oil is because it is high in Vitamin A and at certain levels this is toxic to the body and will as the levels get higher poison you, this can also be fatal so is best avoided really, before you start panicking however it should be noted that it is widely accepted that the danger point is somewhere around 10,000 I.U. and each Cod Liver Oil tablet I have in my tub provides 2,664 I.U. so one a day is fine but to get the required EPA and DHA intake would mean you were dangerously close to the upper limit as, ironically, the better your diet the more Vitamin A you take in naturally.

Fish Oil on the other hand is available with much larger quantities of the two important ingredients EPA and DHA and as it does not contain Vitamin A it is possible to take enough in to satisfy the requirement to start seeing the benefits of increasing your intake of these fatty acids.

I have made this switch to Fish Oil and upped the dosage to around the 600mg level and will bore you all with the findings in a week or two once I have started to see any changes as a result.

Now, that was quite a long winded explanation about Cod Liver Oil, and although it is informative and I hope it helps somebody make a choice between throwing their money away and actually getting some benefit from a product, it was not really the message I was looking to convey.

If you leave yourself in the dark that is all you will ever see, you will never make any real progress because you cannot make informed choices, a good example of this is, I have been hounded for a few weeks now by a crypto currency based investment company, I know what you are thinking here comes the sales pitch, but you are wrong I won’t even mention the name until they have proved to be a success or a failure, they have contacted me as they have a scheme whereby a team of professional traders send you recommendations every week and you can trade these recommendations with them on their platform and hopefully make some money, it sounds too good to be true right? well that is what I thought and I kept giving them the brush off until I actually thought what if ? what if it isn’t rubbish or a scam ? so I wrote down some questions regarding how they get paid and what risk if any they take and I waited for the phone call, after asking my questions and checking the answers against their website and common sense I actually decided to give them a try, because it sounded plausible enough and I could see the benefit to them of me trading their platform and making money, now it could easily turn out to be a scam but I was able to make an informed decision based on my instincts because I asked the questions I wanted to ask and got the answers.

And that is really what holds a lot of us back, not being able to make a decision because we lack a certainty level where we are comfortable and the reason we lack that level is because we don’t educate ourselves on the prospect in front of us.

Hopefully some of that at least has made sense and I will keep you posted on both the EPA DHA debacle and the crypto currency traders, so if the next post is just a string of sad face emojis I have either gone made through too much Fish Oil or lost all my money, till next time…….

Still Scraping Around? This Could be Why

So you are working 9 to 5 and you are coming in and spending time with the laptop trying desperately to break the endless cycle of work and struggle, but you, like countless others are still are banging your head against a wall that you cannot see, I know because I have been there and for that matter still am.

In an earlier post I shared the revelation that in order to make money you need money, this is not a huge revelation and I am not trying to get more likes simply by repeating it, rather it need repeating because it is true, you see there is a single global truth about success, if you understand something then you will be successful at it, it is really that easy, sure the occasional person may get lucky and just hit upon a winning idea, but these are quickly surpassed by others who study the early success and formulate a repeatable formula to not only re-create the success but to grow on it and leave the “lucky” ones in the dust.

If you spend enough time searching for making money online, you will find that you literally cannot watch a YouTube video or go onto a website without and AD being run by some desperate entrepreneur trying to hook you into the latest system with this weeks free seminar, here’s the kicker, it’s shit, all of it, and it is wasting your time and mine, they haven’t got the answer which is why they are pushing the same “online live webinars” as everybody else and promising the earth with that identical desperate look in their eye.

but still for the majority of us we have a look and then 2hrs later we realise the whole thing is the same pointless pitch with the upsell at the end for several thousand dollars in some cases and mere hundreds in others, but what I will ask is what if? what if you took that thousand dollars and paid off some of your credit cards, the reduced balance would mean more money in your account each month and more money in your account means more money to pay off debt, it is a vocabulary thing, really it is, when we hear people like Robert Kyosaki talking about using debt to make money he is talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars of mortgage debt paying him a huge dividend at the end of each month as the difference is calculated between the repayments and the rental income.

But for us the hundreds of pounds/dollars each month on repayments that in the main are just paying off the interest is what is keeping us poor and it will never be any different.

Somebody once asked Warren Buffet why if his system worked so well that not everybody followed it, his reply was simple “because nobody wants to get rich slow” and he is right, because every time we turn on the laptop we are bombarded with these jerks selling us exactly that, and it does not exist but taking a long time is not as long as you might think, even on a modest wage if you removed all the outgoings to credit, and I mean Credit Cards, Auto Finance, that huge 50 inch TV pulling your chimney breast down and those 10 days in the sun your boss graciously lets you have once a year, you would soon have enough money to start investing in a way, it may not be the largest way, but a way.

So you need to stop listening to the $200 a day from Google shit, or the $500 dollars a week from simply typing, because it is literally that, your viewing time and clicks are just feeding people as skint as you as they try desperately to find a way to get a video to go viral, or hook enough people into their upsell, stop doing it, instead learn from experts in their field, spend time watching videos on investing, or property development, seek out millionaires or billionaires doing exactly that look for educational development so that when you have the money to invest you understand what it is you are investing in and don’t lose all that hard work, unfollow dreamers and scammers, bloody dropshipping courses that stopped being profitable years ago because now everybody has a shopify store, and nobody wants to wait 6 weeks for delivery from China on a sub-standard product, don’t go down the affiliate route and start picking items to promote on Clickbank, learn a skill and write an ebook and get affiliate marketers to sell it for you on Clickbank, think about it what makes more sense, weeks and weeks competing with people to sell one lousy product and earn a tenner, or write an ebook or course about something you know and get an army of hungry affiliates to sell it for you ?

You, like me owe yourself at least this much, stop trawling through Instagram for inspiration, if you have been there once then you have inspiration enough, stop looking on YouTube for another business idea because the one you tried was either useless or didn’t work in a week so you gave up, literally turn 6 months of your life over to hardship and struggle to put yourself in a stronger financial position and a better mental state with a more thorough understanding of your chosen path, and then hit the internet with your ideas, get affiliates selling your courses, or make your millions investing with your patterns or your system the world is big enough for us all to make fortunes, but sometimes you have stop running in the dark, leaping from idea to idea and pushing other peoples ideas and property, and realise in the world of affiliate marketing the only ones truly getting rich are the content creators.

As always please leave a comment if you have one and I hope that you have every success with whatever path you take, till next time…….

Main Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Following on – “Now I’m Not Saying………”

I wanted to follow on from the rant that I had yesterday regarding certain individuals on YouTube and Instagram taking the time out of my hands as they pitch their way through all the free B******t to get to the upsell, I am not saying that you can not make money any other way, I am simply saying that Shopify Stores, Amazon Affiliates, FBA, and Drop Shipping are not the way to go (in my opinion) they are tired and oversubscribed and yes the people on the screen probably did make a lot of money from them, but this was because they got in at the bottom, look at them all, most of the Bio’s contain the phrase I struggled for ages until I discovered this one system, the system is not rocket science, they did not discover the wheel or fire, they simply made use of the tools that were created at that time, and from what I have heard these people owe most of their wealth to Jeff Bezos rather than to their brilliant acumen, there is of course nothing wrong with that but, if we stop for a moment, they can make thousands every day from a beach in Mexico, (another popular tagline) but instead they want to share this secret with you so you can mimic their success, problem is there is no “secret” anymore, my 9 year old daughter has alibaba app on her iPhone, and the same people watching your adverts and your facebook posts are also watching the Guru’s, this means that their desperate attempts to draw people in is also one of the huge contributors to why your drop shipping or your Shopify will fail, and to be fair the human race just isn’t that giving when it comes to money, I know that is difficult to swallow but it isn’t, the reason these courses (I use the term lightly) are being pushed is because they know that the space is becoming crowded and less profitable.

When I think of the time that I spent watching these videos, listening to the same advice over and over and setting up accounts it makes me seethe, instead I could have been researching how to finance a property business, learn how to build websites, coding or 100 other things that end with a product, You want to make money? then make something, build a product and use the Internet to it’s best advantage to market that product, or to make people aware that you have property to rent, or you have a service that will make their life easier.

Think about this, the world thanks to the Internet is a smaller place, barriers are broken down now in most places, if you built a property business you could live anywhere and provide homes or buy and sell anywhere in the world, I will explain how.

  • Website – Websites are available 24/7 365, and can be translated into any language automatically so you can be seen anywhere at anytime, with Twillio you can even get a local phone number that routes straight to your mobile anywhere in the world you have signal.
  • Property – Same the other way round, you can use local estate agents to find property and Google maps to even have a look around the surrounding area, there are also crime reports for most areas available online too.
  • Viewings – The Gig economy means that now you can for not much cash arrange for somebody to act as an agent in another part of your country or another country altogether if need be, no permanent employees just a one off cost, to be fair the estate agent will do the most work for you.
  • Management – Management companies exist everywhere that rental properties do, due diligence will give you an idea of the quality of the agency and if you just buy / sell then even better.

Now that was literally written in five minutes off the top of my head, so it would need some more consideration (probably quite a lot more) but you get my point, that is not rocket science, put it in a course and label it “Start a Million Dollar Global Property Business from Your Front Room” charge $999 dollars for it and BAM!

Of course it won’t work for most and you would have to skirt over the downsides to it as you wouldn’t want anybody to not pay.

My point really was that if you want money I mean Real Money create something of value and use the Internet as a vehicle to push that value, most of these courses will line pockets and bank accounts but seldom the course attendees.

Till next time……..