Investing into myself

I realize that, in order to get the most out of life, you have to be willing to put the work into what you think is your most valuable asset or group of assets. One of the best investments you can make is to invest into yourself, according to multiple financial gurus. So, if this (you) is (are) the greatest asset of your life, then what sort of resources do you think would be the most fitting towards your financial future?

Self education. This means, very simply, that you take the time to learn from the people who know finance, life coaching, or education principles that would launch you to a world of success and happiness. Now, I’m not saying I know anything more about this than the next person. I do know and understand the importance of books. I have plenty– they just don’t get read. I work a physically-demanding job, so eight hours of my time every day for five days a week is immediately followed by naps, then dinner, then back to sleep again. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t think that’s going to be so much of a problem. Actually, I don’t even really get onto social media much. My biggest time waster is gaming, but that’s not doing anything for me.

Right now, as it stands, I have to take a bit more time to develop my writing. I have a very strong affinity for this, but I rarely find myself motivated enough after the hard workdays to stay awake to find any time to do anything but try to rest. So my blog posts don’t even come out once a week. Sometimes, yes, I can manage, but other than that, I’m usually taking care of chores or other stuff.

When it comes to investing into yourself, the first thing you’re going to have to find is time– time to read, time to watch a few informational or educational YouTube videos related to your self-investment, and time to put into practice all that you’ve learned and read thus far. I have heard that applied knowledge is really what constitutes power; knowledge alone is power in reserve. That’s the potential energy you read about in physics, which is a ball sitting atop a hill with a flat top. Kinetic energy, then, is energy motion–applied knowledge is the ball rolling forward, accelerating a little faster with each passing moment in time. This is the very fundamental explanation behind becoming something better than you ever thought could be possible.

So, that’s well and good! You have just learned a little about how to invest in yourself! Below, I’ll be listing a couple of books that I personally have in my library, which I have read and refer to whenever I feel stuck.

1. Think And Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill

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This is the quintessential book for anyone wishing to really get into the mindset of becoming wealthy in all aspects of their personal lives. I’ve read this a couple of times, and each time I go through the pages, I see something that applies to a new feature of my path, which, had I only read this book once, would have passed me by– I would have missed an opportunity otherwise. It’s focused on how the wealthy made their money, by using nothing more than the will of their mind to become rich. Now, there are multiple paths to becoming rich, and thought alone will not get you there. A “burning desire” is what really helps to forge your path to wealth, because it forces you to think about how to go about developing yourself, which is ultimately the path you take in life to obtaining your wealth.

Anyone who has ever read anything about finance has heard about this book. I recommend it only because it’s helped me a little bit, but I’m not claiming to have utilized it to my full potential; it’s only a small stepping stone!

2. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

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This book has introduced the idea of limiting my spending habits to such an extent that I have an emergency fund for immediate use, since a good portion of the population for my demographic seem to not have such a thing. His recommendation is to have at the very least $1,000 for emergencies, to start. Later, this increases, but at least you’ll have this available and at the ready, before taking on some of the next steps towards financial independence.

Now, this book is more common sense than anything, focusing on eliminating your debts through your own efforts first and foremost and living below your means (this term will become apparent to those who are only hearing this for the first time). Rather than buying the latest hot gadgets, the focus is to really only get what you need for your daily life until you can realistically afford the small luxuries.

Last, but certainly not the very least, two books from the same author:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki

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These two books are more geared towards the person who has already developed their financial literature, and has a more confident approach to how they’re going to move from the left side of the quadrant to the right side. This is the path I’m currently taking. Now, these two books have done quite a lot for me in addition to the other two which I have mentioned, because they’ve exposed to me a mindset and perspective which I wish I would have had when I was much younger. Of course, I never did listen to my parents’ advice, so here I am struggling financially– but the difference here is that, after a couple of years of consideration, hard thinking, and long hours of physically working too hard, I realized that life doesn’t have to be as such. It’s a humbling thing, understanding your flaws and accepting yourself for who you are after years of self-deceit. I’ve been on the left side of the cashflow quadrant for a long time, and I feel it is now time to start taking steps to get to the other side.

Not only am I doing this for my future, but for the future of my family and siblings and nieces and nephews. I hear so many stories of personal success, and it never occurred to me that I should be doing the same. After watching a few videos from Jeff Rose on YouTube, I’ve become more motivated to doing what it really takes to succeed. Now, it’s going to be up to me to find a niche or career path which is best suited for me, but perhaps I should just start right here on my blog. Blog posts are a good foundation for stepping into another realm of financial security and decisions.

Featured Image of money from these guys at The Green Head.

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Affiliate Marketing Or Writing?

I’ve been working with affiliate marketing off and on for a little while, and I haven’t made a single dollar. The only time I ever made any money was through a book that I had written in the early stages of my career as a custodian. I made a single sale since its release! Yay!

But, as far as I can tell, it hasn’t made any headway. Apparently, the first thing one should know about writing a book is actually how to write one. This takes time and effort to really develop. I spent a measly 6 hours writing it out, and it ranks relatively low on Amazon within several categories, which are as follows:

Ranked # 3,725,672 Paid in Kindle Store
Ranked #2,727 in one cluster of categories
Ranked #5,644 in another cluster of categories
And ranked #1,644,760 in nonfiction

Funny thing, though: I released it last year on the 23rd of December. So it looks as if I’m revisiting this area in a cycle. By this point in the amount of time I’ve spent in my job, though, I have a far deeper understanding of how the system seems to be working. This is the general basis behind writing on anything– you have to know what you’re doing if it’s an everyday thing that you do, or if it is something with which you’ve been involved for a significant amount of time. This was something that had escaped me.

Now, I’m not much for knowing a whole lot about affiliate marketing myself, but within the realm of passive income are many opportunities for one to earn money almost entirely without doing anything– after, of course, putting in the amount of hard work that’s necessary up front. I’ve seen everything ranging from real estate, to REIT methods (real estate investment trust), all the way to writing a book with good information that will sell for as long as Amazon is around. People set up Etsy shops and make physical products, sell them, and successfully own their businesses and maintain their brands. They know what they love to do, and their passion no longer remains inexplicable.

So, what do I know about writing? I apparently know enough to edit on the fly for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors, which is only a basic (I mean BASIC) function of writing. I have a deep understanding of my personal level of literacy, and everyone else who has seen my writing prompts has agreed. I really do not brag on this skill. However, I’ve noticed some really awesome things which really boost my confidence in eventually making money from combining writing with affiliate marketing. Here’s why: based on the number of free Amazon books I’ve read on the subject, I have seen that even these very basic principles are those to which not every aspiring writer seems to adhere. This is only easy for me to say, because I’ve excelled in English all my life, particularly when it came to college. I’ve never once before this particular decade considered writing a means by which to earn money, up until perhaps just last year (2016). But, even when I become motivated to begin writing, I almost end up with something terrible. This is because I’m not following a plan on what it is I’m writing.

Funny thing, brainstorming seems to have escaped me. Right as I ended that last paragraph, I had a random flashback to high school, where my senior English teacher first imprinted onto my mind the importance of planning out one’s writing projects, which led to a memory of my English teachers from college having told me the exact same thing.

And when I did, I actually began to write a little better. I still REALLY wanted to get into affiliate marketing, but that wasn’t happening. I still REALLY want to continue my efforts in the realm of affiliate marketing, but until such a time occurs when I am more motivated (and have more energy during the day to actually spend writing) I’m just going to have to brainstorm a plan to follow through with that after I’ve first graduated from writing blogs (which is another way to make money– in fact, isn’t this a blog already? I just feel like I vent here more than anything) to focusing more on writing. Maybe I could actually teach advanced English through a series of ebooks.

Hmmmmmm.

Playing the Lottery

Once in a while, I’ll pick up a scratch off ticket from the convenience store, and a good portion of time I’ll get the little dollar or two dollar scratchers. Maybe one out of every three times I play, I will land a ticket or a dollar. Even less frequently, I’ll play the mega Millions or Powerball. Once, I won $33 on a dollar scratcher. Not too shabby! And I, too, have won the lottery on two occasions, with a grand total of $2 in prize money, so maybe I unconsciously utilized the strategies outlined in Richard Lustig’s book.

Last night, I bought a $3 scratcher at random and it raked in a cool $25. I like the times I win because it feels nice, but it is not every run. Such is the basis of gambling. You place a bet on an unknown variable in hopes that you’ll bring in more than you slapped upon the table. Your odds of winning are terribly against you with much higher payouts, and with much larger numbers of participants. The lottery is one such form of gambling, where many will enter and few will win.

Wouldn’t it be severely unlikely that someone ought to win the lottery more than once, though? Close to impossible! With a few exceptions, one notable person in modern times has managed to develop a strategy to purchasing lottery tickets, claiming that there’s a means by which to increase your odds of winning. I mean, for someone to win multiple grand prize jackpots and actually have succeeded in consciously doing so? I believe that would far more than justify claims of his success being intentional. Of course, some critics might argue something along the lines of, “Oh, sure, he has won jackpots, but he only won just over a million dollars. Why doesn’t he win the massive jackpots and really prove himself?” To which I would respond, quite simply, “How many millions have you won thus far after reading his book?” Chances are fairly high that this critic hadn’t even made a single purchase.

Of course, when it comes to success, everyone has their particular means by which to obtain the greatest possible leverage against the given odds. And some people might have been given a single stroke of awesome luck, but it still doesn’t hurt to accept that some people just happen to have developed a sense of methodically carrying out their will in this area of the world– the gamble-sphere (I know it sounds dumb, but that’s what I say). And you know what? They have the car to prove it.

I understand that a good portion of winners out there fall into bankruptcy within a few years of a substantial windfall, so maybe it isn’t all strategic luck out there. I know I’ve figured out what I would do with my winnings– investments across the board. I would even start buying websites by the dozen and figure out marketing like crazy. Wealth building. I would even make an investment into a program that automatically trades sports like the stock market with a resounding success in favor of accuracy.

Maybe some people out there have purchased Richard Lustig’s book for themselves and made their hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have come across this blog, let me know what it felt like for your big time win!

New to Affiliate Marketing?

Me too. I mean, it seems like one of those American Dream stories– two parents, one a housewife and the husband a hard worker, putting in 40+ hours per week, all for the pile of debt which won’t be paid for years because of minimum payments and the annual percentage rate keeping their principle in check. Dad gets tired of working so hard and spending so much time away from family eventually. I mean, I’m there right now. I’m frustrated with the amount of time I’m trading in for the amount of money I get paid. This isn’t about me, though. It’s about the thousands of other people who have done exactly this thing and felt as if they were wasting their lives away, paying someone else’s mortgages with their mortgage payments, or a land owner’s house being paid by the multiple tenants in the apartment complex.

Eventually, the paradigm shifts for those who are keenly aware of their own preferences in life. Instead of working for their dollar, people have figured out a way to make their dollar work for them. For these individuals and families, it is nothing to place six hours of their time over the course of a whole week and spend the rest doing a hobby they love to do, or traveling and hosting a blog or YouTube video blog to show to the world where they’ve been, experiencing different cultures the world over, while the masses who have not figured out their secrets to wealth building are left feeling hopeless because they’re working a basic job somewhere for minimum wage. The difference here is simple: those who have become successful have become aware that their time is not worth a measly $10.50 an hour. These individuals, then, have decided that their time is best spent just enjoying life.

That’s where I want to be. I know that the life I’m living right now can be described (as someone once put it) as “trans-financial,” identifying oneself as feeling as if they have tons of money but were born into a family that either budgets very poorly or doesn’t budget at all (I found that here). I know it seems like a funny thing to say, but the reality is that people don’t know their own potential, just as much as I don’t know my potential– and just as with any highly successful person, my personal paradigm is shifting into a mindset where I’m no longer working for my money; I’m no longer aware of the importance of a job, personally, because I keep telling myself if I could just develop a sense of how to market, how to become an affiliate, or how to just work my mind a different way, and actually UTILIZE the power in reserve which has endearingly become called “knowledge,” then I could also enjoy a life of luxury, boat cruises, excellent savings, or even just a nice Zippo lighter to add to my collection, I could become more relaxed about life than scraping change and recycling cans and bottles just to make some extra money here and there. I know what it’s like to struggle, and I can only imagine what financial independence feels like.

Now, I’ve been finding affiliate marketing to be a wonderful niche unto itself, and this is for good reason– it is one of the most popular ways for an individual to potentially make tons of money. There are tons of resources available online, and for the last ten years I have not been utilizing the internet correctly. If you’re familiar with Uber or Lyft, you know that ride sharing is more profitable for individuals than simply re-selling physical products from your own home on eBay. Vitamin supplements are still extremely popular. There are probably more links than I can mention in this one post, because you might be looking at more characters in that post than exist in pi.

Now, I can’t guarantee to any of you out there that my method of blogging versus owning an actual brick-and-mortar business will be of any real success. I actually have to be going to bed right now, because I have to work in the morning, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that you can earn money while you sleep, for real? I look forward to hearing some information about how you became successful in a niche!