Here are 101 ways to make a living online.
Like To Talk?
1. Blog for Ad Revenue – Start a blog on a topic you love, build up a reader base and make money from ads on your site.
2. Be a Forum Moderator – Keep out the spam and build a community and you can earn a little cash on the side moderating forums.
3. Write Articles for Websites – Content is King on websites. Keeping sites updated with fresh, high quality content is a chore for website owners and often outsourced. If you’re a good writer with experience in an area you can make a living off of it.
4. Be a Guest Author – Some higher quality sites will pay between $50 – $400 for a solid article on a topic their readers are interested in. The results are never assured with this method, but the rewards are much higher.
5. Get Paid to Post in Forums – No one wants to post in an empty forum, so webmaster will hire forum posters to help kick start their forum and make it look active. Get paid between $0.10 – $0.25 per post to help get a forum started.
6. Start a Podcast – Basically the same as with a blog, but with audio or video. Talk about what you want and make money from the ads.
7. Get Paid for Forums You Already Talk On – Many forums offer a revenue share program where you can run your own ads on threads you create. This is something Destroy Debt offers. Take advantage of it.
8. Translate Documents – Automated translation is no substitute for humans. If you speak a second language, translate documents and get paid.
9. Be a Life coach or Counselor – Many people would rather talk to a counselor through the safety of the Internet. Offer your advice at an hourly rate.
Are You A Gamer?
10. Farm Gold – Regardless of which online game you like to play there’s always people selling in game money for real money. It may be against the terms of the game but it isn’t illegal. Just make sure you’re making more than your subscription fee.
11. Participate in Gaming Tournaments – If you’re good enough consider entering gaming tournaments. Several of them give away serious cash and prizes.
12. Buy In-Game Real Estate – This was popularized by Second Life. Buy and develop land in the game and it can fetch you cash in the real world. You could become a millionaire like Ansche Chung.
13. Open an In-Game Store – Another one from Second-Life. Many people have made big bucks selling tshirts, pets, and just about anything else you can imagine in the game.
14. Be a Tester – A paid game testing job is hard to come by, since so many people will do it for free, but they do exist.
Would You Like To Be A Middle Man?
15. Put a US Face on an Overseas Business – People outsource overseas because it’s much cheaper. However due to communication problems and some bad experience people are also weary of it. Find some workers overseas you can trust who have a particular talent, and open a US store front offering that service. Charge the premium rates for a US company and “oversee” the overseas work.
16. Organize Forum Posters – When starting a forum many webmasters will hire posters to get it started. Paying 50 people $5 each is a pain and you never know the kind of work you’ll get. Put together a team and provide a one stop shop for webmasters.
17. Offer Client Referral Exchanges – Programmers often will get more projects at one time than they can handle and have to refer them off. Pay these programmers 10% to refer clients to you, and charge other developers 20% to send referrals to them. Pocket the difference. The same is true with other professions.
18. Be a Link Broker – Many people want to buy quality links for their websites while others want to sell them. Be the middleman to make these connections and make a profit on the price difference.
19. Sell Websites and Domains for Others – Some people have quality websites or domains but either don’t know how or don’t have the time to go about selling them. Provide this service and charge a 10% fee.
20. Refer Others to Jobs – Many firms will pay referral bonuses of $500-$1,000+ for referring the right candidate for a job. Develop relationships with recruiters and scour job boards for candidates that fit. Make the connection and pocket the cash.
Can You Program?
21. Write Software for Resale – I’ve personally bought tools on a number of occasions I knew I could write myself just because they were cheap enough to justify buying them instead of spending the time to write it.
22. Write a Web Component – I’m sure you’ve bought fancy drop down menus, charting, comboboxes, etc before. If not with your own money than for a project at work. Write a component like this and sell it.
23. Develop Websites for Others – This is kind of a no-brainer. Do some side work, you can probably charge 2-3x per hour what you get paid for your day job. Sites like Rent A Coder and Elance can put you in contact with buyers.
24. Automate Manual Jobs and Charge per Job – I’ve seen several people asking for forms to be populated from Google Maps or Yahoo Answers data. Write a quick app to do this, but charge per entry the same as if you were manually doing it.
25. Extend Existing Software – Create a plugin, build a storefront package on top of Amazon Web Services, make a bulletin board system more SEO friendly, or whatever you dream up. By extending the functionality of existing software, you can quickly build a user base.
26. Start Your Own Search Engine – Not from scratch, Google provides a great API for you to build your own custom search engine. Build one around a certain topic, provide a better design or give out random prizes. When people search from your site and click on the ads, you get credit.
27. Build Canned Websites for Resell – Create a website for a particular industry once, give it a descent admin and then resell copies of it over and over. Just swap out the logo, a few images and you’re good to go. This works especially well for affiliate marketing websites.
Ever Heard Of eBay?
28. Sell Your Junk on Ebay – The packaging and mailing is a pain, but it sure beats having a garage sale.
29. Buy Other Peoples Junk and Sell it on Ebay – Go to garage sales and resell for higher, or buy bulk discontinued items and sell them off individually.
30. Sell Other Peoples Junk on Ebay for Them – There’s a store on virtually every corner that does this now. Why not you?
31. Create a Virtual Store on Ebay with Drop Shipping – Create a wide storefront with tons of products. The beauty is, by working with a private label drop shipping company you don’t have to actually have these products. Just order one when you make a sale and they’ll ship it out for you, with your name on it. You don’t have to deal with the packaging either!
Don’t Mind Working In The Real World?
32. Take Stock Photos – Take clever photographs and sell them for stock photos on other websites. Sites like iStockPhoto.com allow you to sell the same photo to hundreds of websites.
33. Make Stuff to Sell Online – If you can quilt, sew, work with wood or are descent at any other task, you can make it and sell it online.
34. Enter Data for Google Maps – Google is currently paying people to take photos of businesses and enter basic data such as hours of operation. Go to the local business complex next to the grocery store and you can knock out 50 of these in a few hours.
Got Some Money To Invest?
35. Flip Websites or Domains – There are countless websites and domains for sell every day at places like DigitalPoint, SitePoint and DnForum. Find the bargains and turn them around for a quick profit.
36. Buy Profitable Websites and Keep Them – The standard going price for a small profitable website is 10-12 months earnings. Buy some gems, hang onto them past 10-12 months and reap the benefits.
37. Learn the Art of PPC Arbitrage – Put up a simple website that has ads, affiliate programs or some other source of revenue. If you can find the right terms and buy traffic to the site cheap enough, it’s possible to make a profit on the difference on what you buy the traffic for and what you sell it for.
38. Become a Day Trader – Better know what you’re doing on this one because it’s just as easy to loose money with it as make it. But it can be quite profitable if you know what you’re doing.
39. Convert E-Currency – There are several forum posts everyday for people who want to convert some EGold money into Paypal money, etc. Offer this service and charge a 5%-10% fee for it.
40. Buy a Fancy Machine – Buy a high tech printer, engraver or automated sewing machine and charge people for the items you can produce with it.
Good With Photoshop?
41. Design Logos – Every good business needs a good logo. You may be just the person to provide it.
42. Design Websites – Why stop with the logo, entire websites need to be designed. I am horrible at design so hired Evermark to design this site. Other webmasters are hiring too.
43. Design Ads – Webmasters still need design work after the site is created. Create banners and other professional ads for websites.
44. Draw Cartoons – You may have noticed our section of debt cartoons. I can tell you I didn’t draw them, it was Dan from GibbleGuts.com. Start your own cartoon business.
45. Design T-Shirts – Come up with a nice image or some interesting text and sites like CafePress will help you slap it on a t-shirt and sell it.
46. Design a Seal – Here’s a little secret, most of those “authority seals” you see really don’t mean anything. They just look like they give a site credibility, so webmasters are willing to buy them because they improve the conversion rate. Create your own, make up some guidelines and charge $300 for websites to use it.
47. Create Digital Scrap Booking Templates – People love to scrapbook and some prefer to do it on the computer. Create templates for every occasion that allow your customers to just slide in their own photos.
48. Make Clipart and Icons – People still need these. Another option is comment graphics for sites like MySpace. Build packages of these, give a few away for free and sell the rest.
49. Create MySpace Backgrounds – Don’t stop at the comment tags. Myspace is a gold mine for selling simple customizations if you’re good at it. Create some nice backgrounds and cash in.
50. Make Photoshop Brushes and Filters – If you’re a true wiz at Photoshop, extend its functionality and you can make a fortune.
Have An Artistic Touch?
51. Edit Photos for Others – You can restore old photos, or give existing ones an artistic touch, nice frame, etc. My brother offers this service for kid’s sports pictures at Zongker Team Pics.
52. Create Video Montages – Have people email you a stack of photos and put together a nice DVD to music for weddings, anniversaries, reunions, funerals, etc.
53. Create Photo Mosaics – You know those nifty pictures that are made up from 500 smaller pictures. Have customers send you the digital images they want to use and you can create these automatically with software like Andrea Mosaic.
54. Record Songs and Sell Online – That is if you don’t suck. With online downloads, record labels are becoming a thing of the past. If you got the goods, sell it online at places like Arkade.
55. Sell Artwork Online – If you can paint, draw, sketch, make caricatures, etc try selling them online. You may be surprised how many people are willing to buy it.
56. Compose Midi’s – Create either your own original creation or your interpretation of more popular songs and sell them as midi’s or ring tones.
57. Make Videos – Sites like Revver and Break will share ad revenue or even pay you for your videos. Make something clever and upload it.
58. Contribute to a Collection – Whether it’s a recipe, short story, poem or whatever. You may not be able to sell it alone, but could get royalties from contributing it to a collection.
Have More Time Than Talent?
59. Submit to Social Bookmarking Sites – Just look at the Digital Point Forums and you’ll see tons of people paying for someone to Digg or Stumble their site. You’ll be considered the scum of the earth by the users of these sites, but will have a few extra bucks in your pocket.
60. Get Paid to Surf – You won’t make much, you’ll be giving up your privacy and possibly be installing malware, but this list wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory get paid to surf reference.
61. Take Surveys – A few sites will pay you to complete surveys. Not always in cash, but sometimes you can get free samples or points to buy products with.
62. Get Free Samples – You probably won’t find free cash, but hey stock up on all the free samples, mouse pads and other junk you can find! There are tons of freebie sites who’ve done the hard work of finding these freebies for you.
63. Enter Contests – If you’ve got some time to kill, enter a few contests. You may not win the beach house, but I’ve personally won free pizza’s, cell phone accessories and flowers from some local online contests.
64. Data Entry – Here’s ole faithful. People often need data moved from one type of document to another, or written/verbal notes dictated. It’s work pretty much anyone can do.
65. Become a Virtual Assistant – Occasionally people want research done on anything from finding a certain car but don’t have time to do it themselves. Provide this research service for them and charge by the hour. It’s a real industry with it’s own organization.
66. Get Paid to Search – With sites like Winzy you can win prizes for searching.
Do You Know HTML?
67. Make Blog/Forum Templates – Pick a popular blog or forum software, design some nice templates for it and sell them.
68. Create MySpace Layouts – This is essentially the same task as the blog templates, but an entirely different market. You may even be able to reuse the same template for both purposes.
69. Start an Online Store – Order products wholesale, or drop shipped and create your own storefront.
70. Start an Affiliate Website – Don’t want to deal with the headaches of selling your own products? Refer visitors to someone else’s products and earn a commission.
71. Open a Virtual Storefront – Building your own affiliate site is still too much work for you? Then don’t, open a virtual storefront hosted by someone else, using sites like Art.com and CardCommission.com.
72. Offer Paid Reviews From Your Website – Other website owners will pay you to review their website on your site or blog. Make from $10-$50 each or more by offering these reviews.
73. Start a Directory – Build up a quality listing of sites on a given topic and get other sites to link to this resource. Then start selling premium listings in this directory.
Are You Tech Savvy?
74. Resell Web Hosting – You can find several sites offering reseller hosting packages atWebHostingTalk. You just rent the server space, split it up and resell it. Occasional support is required.
75. Host Game or Chat Servers – Set up a Linux box in a datacenter and you can run voice chat and game servers off of it that are available 24×7. People will pay to use them.
76. Host Forums – There’s software like SebFlipper that will allow you to host hundreds of separate forums from a single web server. Charge your members to host a forum with you, or offer it for free and run ads on all the pages.
77. Install Applications for Others – People are constantly getting hung up and asking for help with installs on websites. Install software for them and charge a fee for it.
78. Answer Tech Questions – Sites like ExpertBee provide a place for people to ask questions and specify a price they will pay for the answer.
79. Start an Uptime Monitoring Service – There’s software packages out there that will check a website for uptime, send alerts and provide reports. Buy one of these packages and resell the hosted service.
80. Offer Hosted Email – Setting up an email server, blocking spam and making sure it’s locked to relaying is a pain for most webmasters. Provide an easy way for them to outsource the whole service to you.
81. Provide Application Testing – Manually test websites on different OS and browser combinations and provide a report of your findings.
82. Provide Load Testing – Put a heavy traffic load against websites an provide a report of how it responded.
83. Offer an Offsite Backup Service – Rent a server and massive amounts of storage space from a datacenter and provide remote storage space via FTP or other method for a monthly fee per gigabyte of storage.
84. Start a Domain Registrar – Sites like TuCows will let you create your own private label domain registrar where you’ll benefit from not only the initial sale, but from renewals.
85. Sell SSL Certificates – Another service offered by TuCows and others is the ability to resell SSL certificates.
Have A Knack For SEO?
86. Be a Link Builder – Someone who can find good quality links for a website is worth their weight in gold. Become a link builder and charge per link or by the hour.
87. Submit to Directories – Filling out the forms to submit to directories is a pain but important for webmasters. Most will gladly pay to have someone else do it for them.
88. Be a Consultant – Review websites and recommend changes to help improve search engine rankings. Slap it together in a professional looking report and you can charge several hundred to a few thousand dollars per website.
Know Something About Something?
89. Become an About.com Guide – About.com will pay you a very nice percentage of ad revenue from the section you’re a guide of.
90. Write eBooks – These are hard to sell but if you really have the info others want you can make it work.
91. Teach an Online Course – Many colleges are looking for part time teachers for both their online and in-classroom courses.
92. Sell Instructional Videos – It’s got to be something people want, but if you’re truly an expert on a topic, others will pay to learn what you know.
93. Start a Subscription Website – Provide new scrapbooking techniques, recipes or any other advice on a regular basis and charge for a membership.
Are You Opinionated?
94. Review Software – Developers are looking for honest feedback on their work and are willing to pay for it. Use a site like SoftwareJudge to get paid for providing this feedback.
Don’t Have A Conscience?
95. MySpace Blast People – Create an account, recruit all the friends you can and then send them bulletins with advertisements. You’ll loose a lot of ‘friends’ but you will make some money at it.
96. Do Homework for Others – It’s completely wrong of course, but you can get paid to do it.
Don’t Mind Annoying Your Friends?
97. Sell Products Via Email – Gone are the days of Avon, Tupperware and Arbonne parties. Just email your friends and family the the current specials and have them email back the orders.
98. Send Out Cards – Another great program for marketing to your friend and family is SendOutCards. They send out physical Christmas, birthday and other cards on your behalf and pay for referrals.
99. Refer Them to Surveys – Not only can you fill out surveys yourself, now there’s a second tier where you can refer friends to take surveys and earn money and gifts for doing so.
Don’t Want To Actually Work?
100. Sell Unused CPU Cycles – Why do work yourself when your computer will do it for you? Sites likeCPU Share let you sell your extra computer cycles. Just make sure you’re making enough to cover the cost of electricity.
Want More Traditional Work?
101. Telecommute – Hit up your favorite online job board for jobs marked as telecommute. Most you can do entirely online from your home.
How to Overcome Stage Fright in 5 Simple Steps
Fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia (which literally means fear of the tongue) is the apprehension that one experiences when speaking in public. It’s reported that 1 in every 4 individuals reports some sort of anxiety when presenting ideas in front of an audience. Regardless of one’s personal or professional background, being able to communicate ideas confidently and eloquently is of utmost importance. So, how can you overcome stage fright?
Here are 5 simple steps to help you overcome the fear of speaking publicly or in a group:
1. Success Visualization
A great deal of the fear we experience stems from the negative self-talk that goes on in our minds. Thoughts such as “I don’t think I can do it; I’m going to forget my notes; what makes me think people want to listen to me?” The first step in trying to counter the negative self-talk is through what I call Success Visualization. It’s a well-known scientifically-proven fact that the best way to counter negative mental chatters is with positivity.
Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for at least 15 minutes, create a mental image of the speech being a complete success. See the audience cheering and learning. See the equipment working properly. See yourself sharing your ideas with confidence. After all, no one goes to a speech to see a speaker embarrass themselves. Visualize what you want (success), not what you dread.
2. Purposeful Practice
How many times have you heard this well-intentioned advice: “Practice makes perfect”? You might wonder, “I’ve practiced over and over again, why am I not improving?” We’ve been told to practice, but no one ever told us how. In his bestselling book Peak, Anders Ericsson introduces the concept of purposeful practice that he defines as a focused process toward a well-defined and specific goal.
What we’re all engaged in is called naive practice, which is repeating a particular task and expecting to get better. That kind of practice as it relates to public speaking is highly ineffective. There is a myriad of skills that need to be mastered in order to become an effective public speaker. As such, purposeful practice is the right way to go since it allows you to focus on one skill at a time with timely feedback on what is and what isn’t working. Always practice with a goal in mind!
3. Energy Reversal
Science claims that we experience the same physiological changes whether excited or stressed. Our adrenal glands release epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol which are the flight or fight chemicals. From a physiological perspective, being ready to fight, or afraid, ready to run away, are two sides of the same coin. Henceforth, we can channel that same energy resulting from stage fright to psyche ourselves up for the speech.
Positive affirmations such as “I am excited! I rock”, can help trick your subconscious mind into believing that you’re excited. Our subconscious mind is impersonal. It doesn’t discriminate or rationalize, it accepts as true and brings to us whatever we suggest. Positive powerful autosuggestions sink deep into our subconscious mind, and manifest themselves in the way you feel, think, and act. Never tell yourself not to be afraid! Well, I mean always tell yourself you are excited and ready to rock.
No great results are to be obtained without consistent and persistent actions. Many of us attend speeches, workshops, and seminars expecting to get the desired outcomes right away. It doesn’t work that way, it never did, and it never will. The three previous steps mean nothing if you don’t have a structure that you can use to help reach your goal.
Knowledge alone won’t bring any result. Knowledge coupled with deliberate, systematic actions, will. What are you going to do? Are you going to join a local Toastmasters Club? How many times a week are you willing to practice? Do you have a support group? You reading this article is vibrant proof that you’ve had enough of stage fright. So, why not grab a pen and paper, and write your next action?
5. Know your purpose, audience, and materials
Three things must be absolutely clear in your mind before giving a speech: Your purpose, the audience, and your materials. First, on a blank sheet of paper, at the very top; make sure you have this question answered: Why am I doing this? Or in the form of a similar statement: By the end of my speech, the audience will have learned. Without a purpose to give you direction and bring value to your audience, you don’t have a speech.
Next, Who am I talking to? Before getting on stage, basic information about the audience’s age group, cultural background, and level of knowledge is essential. Those insights empower you to appropriately frame your message, so you can engage the audience and get your message across more effectively. Speaking isn’t about you, it’s all about the audience.
Finally, make sure you’ve mastered your materials. Specifically, the introduction, main ideas, and the conclusion. Part of why we are afraid results from doubts of not being fully prepared. Never get in front of an audience without having fully mastered your materials. Complete mastery of your materials will boost your self-confidence which will, in turn, reduce your public speaking apprehension.
I hope these techniques serve you well as they have me and the many others who’ve attended my workshops. Your willingness to try, fail, and improve is what makes magic happens. As you may have realized by now, all you have to do to transform your fear from a foe to a friend is to S-P-E-A-K despite your fears.
3 Steps to Overcome Your Brain Biases and Become a Better Leader
If I asked you what time it was, you would likely look at your watch or a clock and read the time out to me. And if I were to ask you where you were, you would likely tell me the exact place, city, or state. If I were to then ask you who you were, you would likely identify yourself by your name, demographics, and perhaps a work description. On the surface, answering these questions correctly would indicate that you were not delirious. But are these answers technically correct?
Biological research indicates that superficial orientation to time, place, or person is actually far from accurate. Rather, leaders might benefit from tending toward a non-dual awareness of the world, or at least offer themselves the opportunity to see the world this way. For time, place, and person, the biological realities differ from what we might initially think.
1. Don’t let the past dictate the future
We are not ever-present in the moment, nor should we be. In the human brain, the past, present, and future are all represented at the same time. Although we consciously organize our experiences using this segmentation of time, each of these networks can intrude upon the other. In fact, what you remember can influence what you can imagine for yourself in the future as well.
As a leader, ensure that you frequently examine your memory for positive reminders and biases, take advantage of your presence circuits by incorporating mindfulness practices into your day, and use your “possibility” circuits to imagine or simulate future scenarios. In fact, in the brain, imagination is a lot like reality.
Using all three components at all times will help you to become aware of biases and could also help you escape traps or an impasse. For instance, when a possible solution for product development is vague, thinking in terms of what you want and then reverse-engineering this process to make what you imagine could be helpful.
Walt Disney saw great success after building Disneyland in Anaheim, California, but outside interests began crowding his theme park. When he decided to build another park in Florida, Disney didn’t let the experience of California dissuade him. He expanded his vision to something greater — a city of tomorrow. He created fake companies to secretly purchase acres upon acres of land near where Interstate 4 intersected with the Florida turnpike so his company could develop the area around the theme park.
2. Think beyond your reach
We are not where we think we are. The notion of “place” has become increasingly irrelevant in a globalized world. With the increasing interconnectedness of societies, cultures, and economies, leaders need to be careful not to think of themselves too locally. When leaders are global in their thinking, they are likely to elicit more widespread cooperation from international markets.
Ask yourself, “What communities beyond my local community do I want to impact?” and “What communities am I impacting?” When you take this approach, it can help your advertising strategies, for example, become more congruous with specific or global markets. Also, leaders who think globally will be more aware of competition from afar and opportunities for collaboration, too.
Jack Ma can be credited with being a global thinker for founding Alibaba, allowing Chinese consumers to access domestic and international markets that they could not previously access. By moving into e-commerce, online banking, and cloud computing, Alibaba has expanded into India and Southeast Asia. Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform has even enabled farmers in Rwanda to sell coffee in China. This is a perfect example of thinking beyond your reach.
3. Connect the body and mind
We are not what we think we are. We are made up of 50% human and 50% bacterial cells. And water comprises 60% of our body weight. So we are basically bags of water and bacteria — with a dash of human cells thrown in for good measure.
Also, though we might think of ourselves as being separate from other people and things, many people or things you encounter in your life are stored in your brain’s memory centers. Our brain tissue contains images, voices, and other attributes of people and things, too. We are not actually as separate as we think.
Take care of your bacteria, and they will take care of you. Having the right balance of bacteria is of paramount importance to effective functioning because the wrong balance can make you depressed or anxious. Taking a probiotic can help restore this balance. Understanding that you are part human, part bacteria can change the way you take care of your moods by essentially reminding you to take care of your gut.
Mindy Grossman, the CEO of WW International — formerly Weight Watchers — is a good example of someone who understands the mind-body connection. Grossman has led the company’s focus from strictly weight loss to wellness through healthy habits. Part of the transformation includes a partnership with meditation app Headspace to help members maintain a positive mindset.
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi
When you engage in non-dual awareness by recognizing that your brain fuses and connects time, places, and people, your leadership capacities might also be enhanced. As Warren Bennis, founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, suggests, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.” And your “self” is more intriguing and mysterious than you might first imagine.
3 Ways to Optimize Your Life for Success
Welcome to the 21st Century! The era of the Internet and computers, lack of focus and superficiality. I know it sounds scary, maybe a little more exaggerated, but it’s true. We live in a world of short posts and 3-minute videos. We barely engage in deep learning, deep thinking, and deep focus to produce iPhone-level products or services. So, the majority of us are actually a failure, thousands of miles away from achieving our life goals and business visions. How do we turn things around? We need to optimize our lives.
Here are 3 tried and tested tips that will help optimize your life for success:
1. Upgrade your sleep
When I started my freelance writing career—about seven years ago—I was passionate and excited at the beginning. I’d fill my To-Do list with 6-10 items, worked until 12 am, set my alarm to go off at 3 am, and had my running shoes close to my bed before I went to sleep. However, I barely accomplished anything. I usually became weak and bored before noon.
I noticed that I was putting a huge strain on myself. I was sleep deprived, which is the primary reason why I didn’t have the energy and the drive to accomplish my tasks. Many studies have shown that sleep-deprivation affects productivity.
As soon as I began increasing my sleeping time from 4 hours to 7 hours, my whole life changed. I started producing a lot and earning a lot more than before while also improving my health. With more sleep, I get the emotional energy and willpower I need to read, learn, and optimize my career.
“By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” – Arianna Huffington
2. Read every day
I get it. You’re in the middle-class struggling to survive. You simply have enough to deal with. Reading? That’s not included on your to-do list. Well, if that’s you, then you’re not alone. The global literacy rates are at an all-time high at 84 percent, which means people don’t read as much anymore.
We already have enough on our plates. In fact, a study by the National Endowment for the Arts has found that the reading culture among American adults has drastically declined. That’s a big issue in our world.
Nothing can prevent you from reading, not even your plate that’s chock-full of other life’s priorities. If you want to produce more and impact the world around you, you’ve got to read more and learn more.
Take a look at the visionaries and business titans in our world. All of them are avid readers and avid learners. Bill Gates is a bibliophile and Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, reveres books. In fact, Knight customized his library to the extent that, before you enter into his library, you have to take off your shoes and bow.
So, what would you do next? Take Roald Dahl’s advice, captured in this beautiful line of the poem: “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray / go throw your TV set away / and in its place, you can install / a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
3. Use Pomodoro to time yourself
You can’t go far in life if you can’t stay totally focused on a task. If you want to achieve your goals, you have got to stay laser-focused on a single task before jumping on to another. Why? Because goals are not achieved in one session, they’re achieved in a series of tasks, one after the other.
To install the focus habit in your system; therefore, you need to use a time-management kind of “system” that will keep you firm and attentive on a specific project. Pomodoro is that time-management tool that will help you stay focused.
It’s an excellent app that lets you set a timer for a particular task. You can set it for 30, 60, or 90 minutes and stop working when it goes off. I use it all the time, and I can’t imagine my work life without it.
“I know when I stay focused, good things will undoubtedly happen.” – Marc Trestman
Optimizing your life for more power, passion, and productivity is not about working hard late at night or running multiple projects at a time. It’s about maintaining your health and recharging your energy (having a deep, quality sleep), updating your knowledge (by reading every day), and staying focused on a project—until you accomplished it (by using Pomodoro technique to boost your concentration).
Of course, developing these sets of habits is not easy. You’ll fail and get frustrated, but as the productivity guru Robin Sharma beautifully puts it, “all changes are hard at first, messy at the middle, and beautiful at the end.”
Which one of these three ways to optimize your life resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!
If You Want Your Business to Grow, You Need to Increase Your Capacity in the Following 4 Areas
Every entrepreneur must come face to face with the reality that there is only a limited amount of time, money, and people that you can use within your current position. The question is how do we increase or maximize the things that we find limiting?
As we walk through our hectic and often over packed ten, twelve, or fourteen hour work days, one of the questions that we should be asking is “What can I do to get more, to do more?” Instead, we just put our heads down and plow through the ever growing mountain of work. We are limited by capacity.
Webster’s dictionary defines capacity as “the maximum amount that something can contain.” As an entrepreneur, we have to be a little more creative than the average person and find ways to increase our capacity.
Below, we’ll identify the four areas where we need more capacity and ways to get more with less:
Every human on this planet is granted twenty-four hours a day. That is it. Your capacity is a total of twenty-four hours. Within that amount of time you must manage several different demands. Our goal is to buy back our time, when we can, and operate at peak performance when we are accomplishing our daily task list.
First, without staying in performance shape, you will lose the ability to stay at optimal performance levels. Our bodies are truly a machine with an amazing capacity, but when it is abused by lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise, you are reducing the capacity at which you are able to work and function. The closer you are to peak performance, the more you are able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.
Second is our mental condition. Here is what my experience has taught me. If I am mentally rested, I can think and make decisions faster because I can reason more quickly in addition to understanding the circumstances and information at an extremely fast pace.
When your brain is healthy, it becomes easier to absorb and process information at a lightning fast rate. Taking the time to allow your brain to rest will give it the ability to function at peak performance.
Third is our ability to train and delegate. So often, entrepreneurs are control freaks. No one can do it as good, as fast, or with the same passion as they can. While that may be true in most cases, you are only one person with twenty-four hours in a day.
You’ve got to delegate and accept people’s help. If you add one person that’s willing to give you eight hours of work a day, you have now bought back hours in your day to focus on activities that will generate more income and grow your business. Why wouldn’t you want to add more hours to your day by delegating out the appropriate task to qualified individuals?
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar
Money tends to be a sensitive topic. We all have beliefs that were formed through our childhood on the concept of money. With many different views and beliefs on this topic, let’s just focus on the fact that money is a tool that will either help grow the company or a tool that limits a company’s growth.
It is always amazing that the faster a company grows, the greater the challenge of money becomes, and this could potentially cause the company to implode on its own success. How do we then increase the capacity and have more money available to keep the company healthy?
Here are a couple of things to watch out for:
- Keep an eye on your budget and get accurate figures.
- Look at your Accounts Receivables. If they get too long, they could cause significant cash flow issues.
- Find investment opportunities. There are many private investors that are often willing to invest in companies that have true growth with solid foundations.
- Look at additional profit generators, products, or services that fit within your current business model.
Each of these are ways to increase the capacity that money contributes to the growth of your business.
3. Space and Supply
I will never forget exactly where I was standing when I had a manufacture call and tell me they were unable to supply anymore products. They had sold us everything they had, and they weren’t going to have anything available to sell for at least another six months. At that time, we were selling customer printed t-shirts and had tens of thousands of orders that we needed to fulfill within the next thirty days.
Space and Supply are tied closely together. Space is often associated with the production. Do you have a space large enough to meet the demands of the supply? If production can only create 1,000 products a day and buyers need 5,000 a day, there is a conflict.
A business needs to understand that challenge, and there are only 3 solutions to this problem: The business figures out how to increase production within the current workable hours, adds more workable hours with the equipment and space, or adds more equipment and space to increase production.
Space and supplies are assets that can be used towards the business advantage. Here are a few questions to ask when making decisions based on space and supply.
- Evaluate your supply channel. Are they able to maintain a solid supply of your raw product materials to match your growth as a company?
- Are there back up supply manufactures that can create a safety net for your raw products?
- Evaluate the amount of space you have available along with the time the space is usable. Can you run a second or third shift with the current space and equipment?
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your employees are likely going to be the most important way to create more capacity. We talked briefly about delegating to qualified individuals to increase capacity around your own personal time. The next phase is to create more capacity by adding additional, trained people.
You need to create leaders of leaders instead of you being the leader of followers. Don’t miss this because the greatest of all companies focuses on increasing their capacity by training leaders of leaders and not just a loyal following.
Entrepreneurs tend to be a lonely bunch of souls. Too often, we are misunderstood and looked at with slight amount of annoyance. Others just don’t always know how to take someone that is passionately thinking outside the box.
People skills are a must in order to have more than just yourself work to achieve that dream. As an entrepreneur, develop the social skills to work with individuals that are different than yourself.
Here is a 3 step plan to have great capacity with people as your allies:
- Start by learning how to delegate your own tasks to buy back your time. Identify the tasks that are easiest to delegate and document how you do them. This will give you a specific job description, set achievable goals, and create a daily action plan that is now something that is teachable.
- Use this system and apply it to the other things you are currently doing. I would suggest building out an organization chart and dividing the different tasks you do within the company. Then create a plan that will allow you to hire the right person and move you onto the next area in the organization that you will systematize.
- Finally, create the culture. Culture is like a child, it will grow whether or not you pay attention to it. So be intentional. Learn what it takes to build a culture that attracts the employees that want to be there and grow with the company.
Each of these four areas has an incredible amount of potential to increase your capacity, and allow your business to grow. Don’t attempt to tackle everything at once. Identify just one area that you will commit to grow within the next three to six months. Take action and implement.
What is your next step? Share with us below!
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