Five Dot Three Sixty Five
One constant in life is redefining one’s vision to reflect changing circumstances both personally and in the world in general.
I keep dreaming big, but wonder if my aging body has the energy to make it happen. Trouble is, I will get older whether I put forth maximum effort or not.
Rebuild I must. I am not an affiliate marketer, but a writer who sometimes promotes affiliate products.
During the current global lockdown, or soon thereafter, I expect the SHTF even more than it already has.
Coronavirus may be a scam. Maybe not. But the economic meltdown did not need to occur. Look at Sweden.
We may have to band together as families as we haven’t since the 1930s, but the key to survival will be to get your health and wealth in order now to give your family the best chance to prosper in bad times.
I’m busy adjusting what I have to do, and cutting back or eliminating TV is one possible requirement I am not looking forward to. So is transitioning to a standing desk.
A Random Walkabout With Meaning
Beginning March 1st, I plan to embark on a minimum 99 days of pain and agony. Age is slowing me down. If I don’t make my health as perfect as possible now, as well as my finances, when will I do it?
I’m working on my schedule now, but it looks like this:
- Wake up at 3:33 am. Take care of my teeth. Shave. Drive to the gym. (Note: Planet Fitness – on hold until lockdown is over)
- Workout. Shower. Drive to Panera Bread. (Also on lockdown.) Work online from 6:00 to 9:00.
- First tray of the day of whole-food, plant-based, low oil food. Work in the bedroom/office.
- After 4:00 pm, work on the websites, spun articles, and traffic. Nap.
- Evening shutdown at 10:00 pm: dental care, meds, check sugar. Sleep
One thing I hope to do for 365 days is a modified Altucher list of 10 ideas each day. I want mine to relate to IBM* health, wealth, and relationships. Nothing magical. Just a chance to think for a few minutes each day. And these are article ideas.
- When I upload pdf files to various blogs, keep a link in my Masterlist for easy access.
- Put the TOS/PP on each blog in the same fashion.
- Over the 180, I need to practice carrying a backpack with the Chromebook and a change of clothes at all times. Shower at the gym. Get ready for life on the road.
- When I find a columnist I like, set up a 1 click video template in one of the blogs.
- Create brief posts about each affiliate dating site, keeping the affiliate link on my blog, and link to these pages in pinterest. Use pretty links.
- When promoting a new affiliate link, create a spun description to use in articles.
- Create New Categories for Walkabout Solopreneur
- Update the legal pages for WS.
- Create bottom menus for each blog.
- Update categories on cloudonlyaai.com
Politics as War
“Big Conservatives never tire of making reverential references to Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Father who authored those immemorial allusions to “unalienable rights.” Yet there is another quotation of the author of the Declaration of Independence that they never invoke: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.””
To engage in Politics-as-Game is a waste of the final years of our lives. The best way to engage politicians is not at all. Go off the political grid. But as in a street fight, if the situation is life and death, and you can’t flee, go for the kill.
Random Acts of Walkabout
For me, becoming a Walkabout Solopreneur is a key part of becoming the best IBM* I can and live life to its fullest on my terms.
This is all about creating a self sustaining life with meaning.
I am done with pushing myself to do a particular task at a particular time unless I am forced to do so.
Some habits have to be developed, others broken.
My worst habit to be broken is watching television. Nothing good comes of it. I don’t think I will kill it completely, but I may limit my exposure to occasional live sports and watching recorded shows while I eat.
A major part of my life is taking control of the morning. I will be away from home from 6:00 am to 9:00 am, and often from 5:00 to 10:00. I have to get away. Panera Bread is my new office.
Many people spend more money on a small breakfast at Panera Bread than I spend on my entire whole-food, plant-based, no added oils, vegan diet.
I must live below my means, especially until additional income arrives.
My system is about deciding what I need to do at any particular moment, and taking action in that direction. I have some big objectives, but I have to get the structure built first.
Building a better IBM*:
This looks like the perfect way to promote a web hosting account.
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I have been tired and sleeping more as I have gotten my blood sugar under better control. Also, my vision is suffering, especially for reading. I see the diabetic eye specialists next month.
I will also need to boost my testosterone levels:
What I need to do is research foods that boost testosterone levels and create a positive diet that includes them all.
One key to making the plants boost hormone levels is to increase walking and weight lifting.
Diabetes is kicking my ass. My desire to eat carbs had run my sugar up to 505. Not good. The only thing that works for me is fasting to knock the blood glucose numbers down. It’s harder and harder to exercise and eat non-starchy foods. I have started a new water fast. Actually a no calorie beverage fast to include black coffee and cold herbal tea.
The water fast did not last long enough to be permanent. I have switched to a modified Daniel Fast which is stricter than the Bible.
After only 1 week of eating my trays of whole food, plant-based, low-oil meals, blood sugar is under control. The only spikes come when I give into banana chips as a crunchy snack.
I placed an order on Amazon to get a multivitamin for old fart men. Should be here tomorrow. I have embarked on a 21 day fast, or as many days as I can handle. I can’t wait any longer to drive diabetes out of my life.
Note: Not eating will make getting used to my partials easier. I can wear them all the time except when sleeping.
The next 365 days are about many things, but the number one priority is defeating diabetes. It doesn’t matter how much I write or how much I walk. This starts with a difficult fast, and a whole food plant based vegan recovery.
I have at least 200,000 words available for posting online. While I will concentrate on the 3,000 words a day again, I need to post my notebooks info, scan the pages, and get rid of the paper.
Takeaways From Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau:
- Get a profitable idea off the ground with just a minimal investment of time and money, and make it happen alongside your job.
- In this day and age, it’s not just about extra cash. Business has no loyalty to workers. Your company can move overseas almost instantly. A side hustle is now “job” security.
- Even if you love your job, having more than one source of income gives you freedom and options.
- A side hustle has many benefits and no downside. Guillebeau presents a way to create yours in 27 days. For the IBM* who may be retired, a side hustle is the basis of Walkabout Solopreneur.
- You can exceed your retirement or Social Security income.
- Unlike a hobby that costs you money, a side hustle makes you money as you try something new or learn different skills.
- Undesirable ideas have characteristics like:
- a grand vision hard to simplify or translate into action
- something you don’t have the skills for
- a vague idea people will not pay for
- something that requires high maintenance
- something with a long lead time
- High Potential Ideas:
- a simple idea you can describe in one sentence
- something you know how to do or can learn easily
- solves a problem or makes a person’s life easier, and something a person is willing to pay for
- low maintenance and easy to deliver
- can bring in recurring income
- Can you describe your idea in one sentence?
- Is there an obvious way to make money from your idea?
- Does your idea solve a problem?
- Can you make it happen quickly?
- Low maintenance? (anytime, anywhere income)
- Potential for recurring income?
- Starter Ideas vs. Next Level
- starter: drive for Uber
- NL: coach people on how to drive for Uber
- What do you have to do to start?
- How much will it cost?
- What are the potential obstacles?
- How hard will it be to get the first sale or client?
- Has anyone done this before?
- What is the best case scenario?
- What is the worst case scenario?
- Don’t spend more money than you take in.
- Money grows on trees – if you plant the right seeds. Constantly look around for potential opportunities.
- Not all ideas are created equal. Your ideas should be feasible, profitable, and persuasive.
- Starter ideas are okay at the beginning, but you will want to transition to next level ideas. (Scale, automate, or outsource.)
- As you move forward with an idea, see what others are doing, and decide if you can do it better or differently.
- Determine who fits the profile of your ideal customer. What can you learn from that person?
- Transform your idea into an offer with a promise, a pitch, and a price.
- Promise – how your hustle will change someone’s life
- Pitch – why should they purchase from you
- Price – what it costs
- 5 Ways to Create Urgency in Your CTA
- Use words like now and today in your call to action, even if the offer will not change and will not sell out, like a digital product. (I laugh all the time at people who sell a digital product and say the quantity is limited. Yes, it is. To the number of people who pull out their credit cards.)
- Respond to customers as quickly as possible. When companies respond to info requests within one hour, they are 7x likely to become customers.
- Use red text to communicate urgency, especially if you are offering a time sensitive discount.
- Announce an upcoming price increase to give people time to commit before the higher price goes into effect.
- Add a countdown timer.
- Copywriting Tips:
- write to a person, not a group
- talk directly to your ideal prospect as if she were the only person in the world
- have a purpose for every word
- every bullet point must be there for a reason
- write multiple drafts and edit ruthlessly
- use numbers – they grab attention faster than words, especially in headlines
- use words that elicit joy, surprise, reassurance, and other positive emotions
- help customers see themselves as part of the story
- testimonials for social proof
- use active verbs
- keep it pithy
- Like a comic book superhero, your side hustle needs a history. Tell a story (maybe not the lame “I was horny and broke living in my parents’ basement but now drive a Ferrari while my hot girlfriend blows me”).
- Some ideas are better than others. Use the checklist to weed out the losers and focus on the better options.
- You don’t have to be better than the competition in all areas, just different in a significant way. Know your competition.
- Resourcefulness is your most valuable asset. Start sourcing everything you will need to launch your project.
- Get a business bank account just for your new hustle.
- Get a separate credit or debit card for use for expenses associated with the business. Almost all business checking accounts include a debit card.
- Pay for everything up front if you can. You don’t want 30 or 60 day terms that bite you on the ass.
- Set aside 25% of income for taxes.
- Invoice people quickly. You want to be paid as soon as possible.
- Use a written agreement for service work. Use basic terms (not legalese) to avoid future disagreements and misunderstandings.
- When you start making money, you may want to form an LLC or corporation. Check with your accountant.
- If possible, set up a dedicated workspace. For many solopreneurs, your workspace is your laptop or Chromebook.
- When you start making money, pay yourself first, not last like many business owners.
- Pricing is always a challenge. Use a cost plus model to begin. If you are breaking even, you are losing money.
- Whenever possible, set up recurring income. Memberships are good, and are regular updates.
- Consider tiers, usually OTOs in digital products. Customers get a cheap front end product but can pay more to get more. You don’t need a Chinese menu, just a couple of upsells.
- Don’t be clever. Provide value, not gimmicks.
- Don’t stray too far from market prices – high or low.
- If you don’t have a way to get paid, you don’t have a hustle. Paypal will be the easiest for most people, but you can also look at Shopify and Stripe.
- Create a workflow. You want to copy McDonald’s and document and lay out every part of your system.
- Focus Area 1 – change your customer’s life. Underpromise and overdeliver. Go above and beyond expectations. Keep tuned to any unspoken needs. Highlight positive results.
- Focus Area 2 – Make more money. Commit to a regular schedule of price increases. Pursue incremental revenue. See what else you might be able to do that would earn additional income without a large investment of money or time. You can even start a side hustle for your side hustle.
- Chances are you will fall into the trap of trying to do too much. For Walkabout Solopreneurs, you need to know how to do everything, but you may want to automate or outsource as much as possible. Avoid employees and pay only for what you don’t do well or what amounts to busy work. Fivver.
- Work smart. Not hard. Get in the habit of doing one task each morning related to growing the business, not running it.
- You make more progress when you concentrate on what’s important.
- Ideas must turn into offers so people can pay you. An offer includes a promise, a pitch, and a price.
- For your workflow or system, list every action your customer will need to go from discovery to purchase. Anticipate any potential bottlenecks.
- Make it as easy as possible for customers to pay you. Start with something simple like PayPal.
- Launch your hustle before you feel completely ready. This is a problem with the Web. Nothing is ever really finished. Updates and improvements can be made instantly.
- Perfectionists don’t make good hustlers. Waiting for the perfect offer usually means nothing gets done.
- If you plan to use social media, create a Facebook page for your hustle, even before making a website or blog.
- You need to sell your offer. The people who need your hustle want to be marketed to. Back up your benefits with features. Establish value in the prospect’s mind before introducing price.
- No man is an island, but you have to swim there by yourself. Instead of employees, outsource and automate. (I would only consider employees in China or the Philippines where you can get much more for your money.)
- Test. Try different things and keep a record of the results.
- You are not Amazon. You don’t need to test everything, only the things that matter most.
- test your product or service
- test your offer
- test different price points
- long vs short copy on your sales page (long usually works best for unknown businesses)
- word order in headlines and in calls to action
- website navigation and ease of use
- free trial vs freebie
- testimonials from customers vs expert ratings and reviews
- hard sell vs soft
- Always celebrate your early achievements. Frame that first dollar. Small victories keep you going when times are tough.
- Track what matters. Ignore the rest.
- if it works, do more of it
- if it doesn’t work abandon it and move on
- It’s much easier to sell more to existing customers than to find new ones. Don’t depend on customer acquisition alone. Remix your offers if necessary to make them fresh.
- Keep a journal. Document everything you do. Makes your life easier. (I hate when I learn a program, then come back to it months later and have to learn it all over again. One answer for me is ChkLines.)
- A side hustle is different from other startup businesses. You don’t have to follow the advice of experts or conventional wisdom. You don’t have to hire employees. There is no prescribed right way, only your right way.