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Progress Thread Progress

Discussion in 'Process / Progress / Execution Threads' started by FionaS, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Introduction

    I don't have a business yet, so, at first glance, this is an odd thread for me to be creating. This thread seems lonely in this forum, surrounded by action-takers and business owners, making solid progress and improving their businesses. Honestly, I hesitated posting this thread here - I don't have a business idea, I'm not making money, from the outside it seems like I'm doing nothing.



    However, I realized something today. Sure, I may not have a business mapped out yet. But that is OK. Because I have been learning and progressing. I've been educating myself, through forums, websites, and books. Though I may not be at the same stage as a lot of the other people here, yet, I've been gaining the knowledge I need to be able to join you on this path, sooner rather than later.

    I'm starting this thread as a way to keep me accountable, keep me moving forward. Here, I'll write about my path towards financial freedom, the steps I take and the knowledge I gain along the way. Not only will I write my goals, dreams, and tasks out, I hope that I will be, in a way, teaching what I learn to those readers who are along the same path as me. Maybe I can help some others, maybe not. But, either way, I'll have a record of what I'm learning. All in one spot, easy to review and easy to take action on. And, soon, I will have a business, and I'll be able to write about that too.

    But first, my current situation:

    • My introduction thread - for those of you that'd like a bit more general information.
    • College student (senior), full-time
    • Army cadet
    • Expecting a son, due any day now!
    • Debt free, but low on cash - have about $50/month I can put towards a business at the moment without extra work
    • Experience with blogging (Wordpress), website design, and programming (some CSS/HTML, little PHP and Javascript)
    • Interests include health, finance, and languages

    What is my WHY?

    From reading the book and looking around the forums, I realize that this is a very important part of being successful in the Fastlane. Like MJ writes in The Millionaire Fastlane, "Passion for an end goal, a why, drives Fastlane action." (pg 214) Without having a reason for doing something, you aren't going to get far. So what is my WHY? I have several that I believe really affect me, and make me passionate about this path.

    • I want to be able to support my family while being able to spend time with them, without being shackled to a J-O-B.
    • I want to be able to repay my parents for all they've done for me throughout the years, and give them opportunities and experiences they could not have otherwise.
    • I want to be able to travel and explore the world, without having to worry about if I'll have a job when I come home.
    • I want to live life according to my, and my family's, schedules, not my job's.
    • I want to make a difference in the world. I want to make someone's day just a little bit better, someone's smile just a little brighter.

    Overall, I want to be in control, to have freedom, and to be the driver in my life, not the hitchhiker.

    My goals [UPDATED 30SEPT2011]

    Goals are an extremely important part of achieving anything. Without specific goals set up, you may very well never arrive at your WHY, as it is very easy to stray off of your path and get distracted with other opportunities. I find these goals are best split into five parts - Overall, Long-term, short-term, near-term and daily. Each part feeds off of the part that comes before it. Near-term goals will help you work towards your long-term or overall goals. This way, you know that things you are working on right now will get you to where you want to be. The wonderful thing about goals is that you can always change them, so these are just my (business-related/financial) goals as I see them now - in time, I'm sure some will change.

    • Overall - These goals are the goals that keep you going, how you will be able to achieve your WHYs, and what you ultimately want to accomplish with your life.
      • Create a business that truly brings value into this world, effecting millions of people world-wide in a positive, helpful way.
      • Have a passive or semi-passive income of at least 10k/month.
      • Organize and balance my personal/work life so that I have plenty of time to spend with my family, whenever I want to.
      • Constantly grow, learn, and achieve new things - bucket list.
    • Long-term - Long-term goals are those that are a couple years out still, but ones that will impact your overall goals and get you closer to being able to live your dreams (or your WHYs).
      • See Daily goals
    • Short-term - These are probably goals that you want to achieve by twelve months from when you set them. It's a refinement of the long-term goals.
      • See Daily goals
    • Near-term - Near-term goals are the specific actions required to achieve your short-term goals. They cover about 4 weeks in advance, and are always changing. I take my daily task list from these goals.
      • See Daily goals
    • Daily - These are the nitty gritty, daily (or even weekly) tasks. Just doing a few of these a day will allow you to make significant progress towards your goals.
      • Create a long-, short-, and near-term plan to achieve my overall goals.
      • Analyze 30 Day Challenge business idea.
      • Practice 'seeing opportunities'.
      • Practice sales skills through Beachbody.
      • Study business structure.

    My education

    As I've stated earlier in this post, I've been educating myself on a lot of business- and life-related topics. I'll keep an updated list on what I want to learn here, so that I can always look here when I don't know what my next step is. In future posts, I plan to share what I've learned so that other people can take advantage of this as well. =)

    "You have a LOT of hidden knowledge in past posts on these forums. So much so that if you used the search function well, you could spend the next 5 weeks reading, non stop, and learn enough to get started." -Russ H (I've definitely found this to be true!)
    • Seeing opportunities.
    • Sales skills.
    • Improving creativity.
    • Positive outlook.
    • Learn the vocabulary.
    • Collect 'tools of the trade'.
    • How to read/understand financial statements.
    • Basic accounting knowledge.
    • Basic tax knowledge.
    • Legal knowledge.
    • Financial modeling skills, be able to test scenarios.
    • Budgeting.
    • Networking.
    • Negotiating.
    • Raising money.
    • Understanding markets.
    • Communication skills.
    • Leading people.
    • Managing Time.

    My current resources

    I have two main resources currently available to me. The first is a blog that I started about two years ago (Baby-Steps to Fluency), and the second is my position at Beachbody as an Independent Coach.

    I am planning on using both as learning opportunities while I work at creating my Fastlane business.

    My blog will let me improve my writing skills (English is not my native language, so I can use all the help I can get!), work on my programming/coding knowledge, and let me play with different techniques to really improve a website (split testing, sales pages, etc). It'd be nice to make some side income through this website, but in the end I will use it as a learning platform for myself, while still being able to provide value to the people that read the blog.

    Though I know that being in a MLM isn't nearly as good as owning it, it is a great opportunity to learn and see what works and doesn't work with sales and marketing. I've never had much experience trying to sell things to people, and this company (with products that I really believe in, a la P90X and Insanity) will give me some knowledge I can really use in the future. I have a wonderful upline coach who has been really successful (he's in the top 10 worldwide), and talking to him has been extremely educational so far. Through this, I also feel I could learn a lot about networking, finding opportunities, and improving my creativity. I'll also be able to put any income I make from this directly into my business fund.

    So...

    I think this post is more than long enough, and my brain is getting fried thinking all this stuff through. Hopefully this thread will be at least a little bit useful to people here, and if nothing else I've got my thinking somewhat organized so I can take the next step. =)
    zendolphin and yveskleinsky like this.
  2. JackEdwards
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    JackEdwards 280 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Wow.. Good write up.. Good Luck..
  3. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Buffer/Focus/Free Days and Goals!

    Thanks, Jack. =)

    [HR][/HR]

    Organizing my time

    Upon waking up this morning, I realized I spend way too much time planning things out and studying than I do actually taking any action. I mulled this over a bit - because obviously, I need to actually take action to get anything done - and decided on trying out a technique that I found in a thread on this board (the idea was originally from Dan Sullivan) - Buffer, Focus and Free Days.

    For those of you that don't know what these are (and I'm sure there are quite a few of you), here's a quick overview:

    Dan Sullivan suggests looking at days as 24-hour time periods, each of which is assigned a certain task - Buffer, Focus or Free. The things you accomplish (or don't accomplish) within these time periods depend on what task is assigned to that particular day.

    So:
    • Buffer Days - Assigned to Preparation. These days are used for building systems, administrative functions, researching, learning skills, planning Focus days, and putting out fires.
    • Focus Days - Assigned to Productivity. The 'get things done' day. Used for activities that will boost your bottom line, that will create tangible results. Full of revenue producing activities, writing, creating, etc.
    • Free Days - Assigned to Rejuvenation. Just what the name implies. Even the hardiest worker needs free time - to recharge, spend time with family, and give his brain a break. No work is allowed during this time period!
    I decided to give this a try, after all, if it doesn't work for my situation I'll at least know that so that I can structure my time as needed.

    [TABLE="class: grid, align: left"]
    [TR]
    [TD]Monday:[/TD]
    [TD]Buffer[/TD]
    [TD]Friday:[/TD]
    [TD]Buffer[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Tuesday:[/TD]
    [TD]Focus[/TD]
    [TD]Saturday:[/TD]
    [TD]Free[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Wednesday:[/TD]
    [TD]Buffer[/TD]
    [TD]Sunday:[/TD]
    [TD]Free[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Thursday:[/TD]
    [TD]Focus[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    So, this is how I plan on scheduling my time, with a few caveats.
    • First - this also includes all schoolwork - other than going to class (which, for this quarter, is 2 hours twice a week). Since many of my classes are online, I'll be doing all my weekly classwork on these two days.
    • Second - Focus 'days' (other than classwork) will be from 0900-1500. I have class at 1500, so skipping class and working through this time is not an option. ;) Classwork will be mostly limited to after 1500, unless I have a really big assignment - that way I am sure to get some business work in, instead of letting my classwork expand with time (Parkinson's Rule, anyone?).
    • Third - Once my son is born (anytime now), I obviously won't be able to concentrate on just work, even from 0900-1500. So, I'm planning on trying to work out a couple hours in the morning and a couple later in the afternoon when my husband will be able to take care of him, so I can still get uninterrupted work in. This will require some playing around with times, but I'll update you on that as we figure it out.
    • Lastly - My goal is to start with more buffer time and slowly turn some of this buffer time into focus time. This is because currently, I have a lot more to learn than what I can actually do. As I learn more and can implement more of the things I learn, I will increase both focus time/day and the amount of days in the week.

    [HR][/HR]

    And my goals update

    Well, I don't have these goals figured out yet. This has been slower to figure out than I thought it would be.

    I'll continue trying to plan these out, but for now I'll just stick to daily goals that will get me closer, step by step, to figuring out how to best achieve my overall goals.

    So, today's goals/tasks:

    • Create a long-, short-, and near-term plan to achieve my overall goals.
    • Analyze 30 Day Challenge business idea.
    • Practice 'seeing opportunities'.
      • Think of complaints people have or that I myself have.
      • Find solutions to those complaints/needs. Doesn't necessarily have to be something I want to have a business with - this is just to grow my 'opportunity radar'.
      • This will help me learn how to welcome opportunities into my life rather than ignore them.
    • Practice sales skills through Beachbody.
      • Make 5 new contacts/leads.
      • Talk to my coach - ask him about converting leads to customers.
    • Study business structure.
  4. fellipe
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    fellipe 15 kph

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    FionaS, thanks for your inspiring thread. I totally relate myself with your why's.
    Don't know if you saw this, but if you plan to make a blog, the more I read and think about this I think it's better than regular blog: How to Build a Six-Figure Blog Without Anyone Knowing
    One thing, that I actually don't like is that you're overpreparing... IMHO creating this kind of schedule will not only be impractical but is consuming your time already.
    Just focus on making everyday better than yesterday. Also, don't rush. ideas come and go. suddenly one can strike a light.
    Of course a little due dilligence is expected but don't be too stuck on that. The founder of Subway realized he had to learn how to make a sandwitch when his first customer arrived.

    wish you the best :)
    FionaS likes this.
  5. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hey Fellipe, thanks for your comment. =)

    I've actually been reading Viperchill for years, it's a good blog! I already have a blog (it's been up for two years), and I'm not planning on changing it to email, simply because my website has a lot of evergreen content that I want people to be able to look up when needed. However, I do have an email list that I'm planning on using more proactively.

    Honestly, I don't feel like I'm over-preparing. I have always been a planner, true, and have used that in the past to not take actual action (mostly due to fear). The reason I'm doing Focus/Free/Buffer days is because I know I'll spend too much time planning. I love planning, I love lists, I actually really enjoy doing this stuff. This is my way of forcing some action, even though I still have that fear. This way I have my buffer days, and I can plan without feeling guilty (these days will get reduced), while also having days that force action and days where I have to stop myself from doing work. If I don't moderate this in someway, I'll either end up achieving nothing or get burnt out very quickly (and I say this from experience).

    I've always made sure each day was better than the former, though, haha. I'm not planning on rushing though - I'll take it day by day. If I make one small step forward each day I'm happy. Right now, those steps are composed mostly of learning what I need to learn, because what I'm trying to achieve now is very different from the work I've done in the past.
  6. rocknrollkid
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    rocknrollkid 30 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    I agree, I initially had the impression she was over preparing as well. But if she is going through with everything she 'planned' to do I suppose it's worth the time and effort.

    I never really 'prepare' for anything, I just set out and do. But I will admit, in the past I have had procrastination issues that I am just starting to completely get over.

    p.s
    Great Grammar skills FionaS, people like you make me jealous. Seeing organization skills like that makes me realize how completely chaotic and unorderly I am on the inside lol.
    FionaS likes this.
  7. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Army class!

    Hey bateati,

    Like I said earlier, I do tend to prepare almost too much, I understand that's a weakness of mine. That's the exact reason I'm doing the focus days, so I need to actually get something done. =P Either way, it's a weakness that I'm trying to work on. I think posting everything I do here is helping, because I can look back and see how much action I actually took, and how much time I spent just learning. So far... it's just been learning. Tomorrow is my first focus day, though, so I'll see what I can get done then!

    Thank you for your comments on my grammar, English isn't my native language so I try really hard to make sure I'm understood. I was lucky that most of my early English learning was through books, so spelling and grammar has always been pretty natural to me. Doesn't stop me from re-reading what I'm about to post, though, I try my best to be relatively error free. =)

    [HR][/HR]
    Who says school isn't useful? My Army leadership class today had some (in my eyes) gems in it, so I figured I'd share them with you! We were talking about counseling (formal counseling), which a lot of businesses do anyways, so here are some pointers I took away from the class:

    • One leadership quality that is very important is to be seen as approachable and fair. This reputation "allows you to place a finger on the pulse of your organization". "Officers who spend time understanding their soldiers will develop a well deserved reputation as the type of leader that looks out for the best interests of those that they are charged to lead."
    • "...captains who had effective mentors or mentoring experiences were less likely to plan to leave, as were those who indicated their raters provided useful mentoring and counseling." Effective mentoring and counseling provide an one-on-one connection, representing an investment in the individual by the organization, and provide feedback and guidance valuable to their professional development and careers. (Army Research Institute)
    • Developmental counseling is subordinate-centered communication that "produces a plan outlining actions that subordinates must take to achieve individual and organizational goals." You assist with identifying strengths and weaknesses, and create plans of action. Then you assist with the plan's implementation and assessment of the plan. Subordinates must want to improve, be candid and accurate in their self-assessment, and be challenging but realistic in their goal-setting.
    • Communication Skills and Techniques -
      • Active listening: eye contact (shows interest, builds trust and respect, shows commitment), body posture (relaxed and comfortable puts subordinate at ease - be wary of being too relaxed), head nods (shows you're paying attention), facial expressions (natural and relaxed), verbal expressions (don't talk to much, speak only when necessary).
      • Responding: respond to show you understand what the subordinate is communicating. You can respond both verbally and nonverbally.
      • Questioning: use with caution. Be wary of excessive questioning, could cause subordinate to feel they're being attacked. Questions should be open-ended.
    • 3 Counseling Approaches
      • Nondirective - Encourages maturity, open communication, and personal responsibility. It's more time consuming and requires greatest counselor skill.
      • Directive - Quickest, good for people who need clear, concise direction, allows counselors to actively use their experience. Doesn't encourage subordinates to be part of the solution, tends to treat symptoms rather than problems, solution is the counselor's, not the subordinate's.
      • Combined - Moderately quick, encourages maturity and open communication, allows counselors to use their experience. May take too much time for some situations.

    Quotes are all taken from my MSL IV Adaptive Leadership textbook.

    [HR][/HR]

    Time to get ready for my doctor's appointment and my last class for the day. I'll update later today with actual business stuff. =)
  8. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Admin Staff Member FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Fiona,

    Not sure how I missed this thread but I finally found it. I think it is great that you are taking proactive steps. All great successes start with small steps and what you are learning TODAY will help you greatly TOMORROW, Fastlane or not!! Look forward to reading more.
  9. 77startup
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    77startup 20 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    It all starts with a plan =)
  10. pro
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    pro 15 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    That's a lot planning.

    Fiona to save a LOT of time just go MEET someone who is doing what you want to be doing.

    Focus on less but do those things well and with intensity.
  11. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks, MJ. I just try to remember that one step a day leads to massive action in a year. If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other I'll get there!

    This reminds me of an interview Tony Robins did with Frank Kern and John Reese back in 2009 (Interview), one of the things that Tony said that I'm sticking on my wall to remember is that breakthrough happens by conditioning your mind every day. Creating a ritual of doing a little each day is what gives you the momentum to succeed. We are pretty much defined by these rituals.

    I know it's a lot of planning... believe it or not, I'm reigning myself in. I love planning, and often the planning stops me from taking real action. When I first created my first website, I'd spend at least 12 hours a day (added to at least 4 hours a day of class) of simply planning, learning, and taking action. I got a lot done, and I felt amazing. However, I stepped back and focused on school for a while, and I suppose that now I feel like I need to get back where I was before, which is requiring a lot of planning to get to that position again. So, I am probably doing a little too much planning, because I'm so focused on making my business better than last time. I'll take it one step at a time, though, and that's why I started this log - so I can have people to tell me, "Hey, quit it!" when I get too 'perfectionist'.

    I have met a lot of people doing what I want to be doing, networking has been no problem, and I have some great role models. I've been lucky to be surrounded by successful people both at school here and on the web - it's definitely been an eye opener!

    [hr][/hr]

    These focus days are a lot harder at first than I was expecting. For those of you that don't know, my son is due within two weeks and I've had labor symptoms for the last 3 weeks. I'm definitely not getting as much done as I would've without these constant contractions, and being confined to bed/couch for the most part right now makes it easy to just surf on the internet all day and do nothing - my mental capacity definitely isn't quite there.

    I think I'll drop the Focus/Buffer/Free days until my son is born and my schedule has calmed down - not because I won't be taking action, but simply because I have found that I can't focus as long as I would like to, especially with all the college classes I'm taking this quarter. So, instead of having a full day dedicated to action, I will simply complete one focus day action (creating tangible results, boosting my bottom line, real action) a day. This will help me get my momentum up and help me 'condition my mind'.

    I have just two rules for this - 1) Do this action first thing in the day if at all possible, and 2) Don't visit the Fastlane forum before I complete it! I'll get distracted for hours. ;)

    Today, I had a lot of stuff I wanted to get done but didn't get done. I did finish one action step - list a lot of my books on Amazon to get the first little bit of money for me to put towards my business. With my son coming, I don't feel like it's right to take money out of my already stretched household funds, so I promised myself anything I made from selling my old books would be put into the business. I'm expecting at least $100 in profit, which is a good start.

    The rest of my day, so far, has been spent doing Army paperwork and doing school assignments, which I've been doing in spurts ahead of the due dates in case I go into active labor. I really don't want to have to be in the hospital the day one of my assignments is due with no way to complete it!

    Thanks everyone for your comments, knowing people are actually reading this makes me all the more motivated to get tangible results soon!
  12. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I haven't gotten too much done these last couple days, other than school stuff. Had some discussion board questions to answer and a test to take (Yay 100%! Easy test, but I feel smart now. Hehe.). I also have an assignment I apparently have to finish at the law library that's a 2 hour drive away, but that's not going to happen while I'm in labor. So, I'll do what I can and talk to the teacher about the rest.

    I have increased the amount of books I'm selling to Amazon, my husband and I went through our collection and we have a lot of old textbooks we won't be using anymore. The first 10 books we found will net us almost $400, which we will split up for discretionary money (mine going towards business, of course). We still have another bookcase to go through too... never realized money is so easy to find when you look for opportunities. =)

    I also never realized a budget would be so handy, but I don't go a day without opening it nowadays. I'm finding money I never knew we had! We use a program called You Need a Budget (YNAB), and it's been great helping us out... we live off of last month's income, have plenty of rainy day funds, and are able to save up for lumpy expenses ahead of time. It has definitely taken all the stress out of budgeting, and now I'm figuring out how I can adapt the program for my business.

    I started reading What Rich People Know and Desperately Want to Keep Secret, taking notes as I go. I will post some of the biggest 'lessons learned' here when I'm done. It's a very good book so far, helps cement some core concepts and helps me see other things from a different point of view.

    As far as actual business actions taken:

    Haven't done nearly as much as I'd like. Life is hectic. Especially right now. I was able to keep learning at least a little every day though - even though I may not accomplish as many concrete things in these upcoming couple weeks, at least I'll be learning and figuring out next steps. I did manage to get 2 more Beachbody leads. Totally improving on my selling skills... or at least my, "getting them to take the first step and register on the website" skills. It's a beginning. ;)

    I also finally started on my research for the business idea I came up with a couple days ago. Some competition, but I feel like I could do gobs better than any of them. I've spent a lot of today deciding on next steps for that - figuring out my target audience and if this is a legitimate need or just one that I've orchestrated in my head. I've also been looking up exactly what I'll need if I want to use this particular idea for my business.

    Well, enough blabbing. I'm making my goals list for tomorrow (neglected it the last couple days, probably why I didn't get much done), and I'm going to sleep... or, at least, I'm gonna try to.
  13. fellipe
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    fellipe 15 kph

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    Fiona, right now it's very clear that your writing skills are really good. But I would just suggest you to try to express yourself with less words.

    I think a great skill to develop (I'm personally studying this subject) is to use the least amount of words yet expressing your idea fully.


    “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Mark Twain
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  14. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hey Felippe,

    You have a great point! I've noticed I need to work harder to use less words when writing... it's tough switching between academic writing and "regular" writing. I'll try I will be more brief when writing here, it'll be a good exercise for me. Please call me out if I'm getting wordy.

    My son is due on Monday, and these last couple days have been torturous... so haven't done much with the business. I've been watching some of MJ's videos and reading a lot, but haven't taken any actual action.

    I did use one of the suggestions from one of MJ's videos, and searched for "I hate" on Twitter... many useless tweets, but got some needs/solutions out of some of them. A good exercise, if nothing else. Will be doing this again tonight.

    Need to do some research on LLCs tonight as well. Trying to figure out if it's ok if my business makes money before my LLC is actually formed, and if so, how I need to record that or what I need to do. I'll report back on my findings, in case someone else has issues with that.
  15. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Yes, I'm still here!

    This has totally taken the back burner for a little bit, because my (adorable, cute, handsome) little son was born on Friday! He's absolutely wonderful, but he has distracted me from my Fastlane success a little bit (which is totally A-OK, of course).

    Now that he's here, I feel like I can start to really work on this. I will make my Fastlane business succeed, and I will be able to help provide for my family in doing so without losing the freedom to spend time with them. Failure isn't an option, because, well... this will happen. There's no doubt in my mind.

    So, enough messing around on the forums. I've got work to do.
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  16. rocknrollkid
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    rocknrollkid 30 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    You had a baby?

    Congrats!
  17. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    So, in the month since my son was born, I've done almost nothing. I was blessed with a colicky baby who will only fall asleep on my chest and cries when he isn't held... not real conductive to work.

    However, though he still wants to be held all the time, he's started to sleep a little more so I'm able to work at least a little more, albeit one-handed.

    I joined Learn Web Design, Web Development, and iOS Development - Treehouse (my profile is at Fiona Skallerud's Profile - Treehouse, if you want to keep track of my progress), and finished the HTML foundations lessons and took all the challenges. Next up is CSS foundations, which I'll complete by the end of the weekend. I'm planning on using this knowledge and some prior knowledge to build websites on the side for some extra money, as the money I had set aside went to medical bills instead.

    I'm exploring several different options for businesses, and currently am trying to figure out if they have potential as a Fastlane business. They're all online, looking at making them membership sites but I am not sure if they're viable yet. Have a paper to write for school this weekend, but once that's done I will do my research and, if viable, will start working on my Fastlane business (and will drop more information here).
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  18. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Ok, so I've been gone for a couple months (well, I've been lurking, not necessarily posting). I let life get away from me and went back to just dreaming, not doing. Being a perfect wantrepreneur. However, that doesn't get me anywhere.

    I have no excuses. I know I wasted my time and the time of my family.

    On the plus side, my son is older (almost 9 months) and can play on his own more and more every day, giving me more time to work. My husband will also be back from Russia in 9 days, so he can help watch Luke again, giving me even more time as he doesn't go back to work until December. We are also staying at my parents until then, so our costs are greatly decreased.

    On the negative side, my husband doesn't work till December, so we have no income until then. We also have a big trip to the Netherlands in about a month, decreasing available time and money even more.

    I have about $700 saved up explicitly for business purposes, but since we have no income I would like to avoid spending as much as possible. So, I'm bootstrapping.

    I also managed to shoot down my past ideas. I have an idea for an auto-clicker for the XBox/PS3 that I'm working on right now, researching and seeing if there is a market for it. I'm discouraged by early research, but I'm looking a little more and seeing if I can find a good market for it. However, that needs money to get started, so on second thought (I'm thinking this through as I'm typing this post), I should maybe hold off on that idea until I have some more capital saved up.

    I decided to start using this progress journal again for sure, though. It helps keep me accountable and helps me see that even if I think I'm doing a lot, I'm really not. Maybe it'll help me organize my time a little bit more effectively, as that is a weak point of mine.

    For the rest of tonight, I will probably brainstorm some business ideas (have about an hour available) and write a specific plan for tomorrow so that I have specific things I can work on getting done.
  19. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    My first step was to re-read TMF, because I felt like I had gone off the track and was thinking of ideas that were more job replacements than anything else.

    Haven't finished yet, but I have thought of some initial actions to take.

    1. Reframe everything in a positive way. My family has told me I often look at things in a negative way, so I'm reframing everything to be more positive.

    2. Distance myself from negative people and bad influences/habits. I started this last night. Instead of taking my laptop everywhere and just surfing all day, my laptop isn't leaving my bedroom (I spend most my time in the living room). When I need to look something up, I can, but I'm less likely to walk to the other side of the house just to surf the net. I'm writing this post on my phone, but for the most part, that stays in another room too. I'm a technology addict, and that's a bad habit to have.

    3. Look at everything how a producer would. This is also mentioned in the book, with MJ relating it to infomercials. I feel that if I look at everything as a producer would, ideas would come to me a lot easier - right now, I struggle with finding good business ideas.

    4. Use this log as more of a journal. I haven't been using this much, but it helps keep me accountable (even if no one reads it). Just writing about everything I do and don't do will help me figure out my next steps.

    I'm getting off now, brainstorming a list of 50 ideas, and then I'll read a little bit more of TMF. I don't have any quiet work time available today, so the goal for today is to get my "idea blockage" unstuck.
  20. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Double post... My bad.
  21. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Some internal reflection coming up - had a bunch of thoughts going through my mind and I figured writing it down would help.. and who knows, maybe it can help someone here with similar issues.

    Finding an idea.

    Integral for starting a business. Period. You have to have an idea, a need to fill, in order to get started.

    So why is this so hard for me? I feel like there is a big wall in my mind that I haven't been able to get over. I've wanted to be an entrepreneur for years, the thought of entrepreneurship is nothing new to me.

    The last couple weeks, I've been renewing my efforts to think of something. I've written brainstorm lists, gone to Twitter and did searches based on the keywords "I hate" and "Wouldn't it be cool", bugged friends and family about things they'd love to have - and everything has come up either totally unreasonable or in violation of the NECST principles.

    I know there are millions of opportunities out there. I really do. I know I'm staring them right in the face, and I don't even realize it.

    I spend most my day feeling hazy. My day is dictated by my son - I sleep when he sleeps (and not that soundly either), eat when he eats, and exercise and work on my business when my family can take him for a couple hours or when he's happily playing. This doesn't make for an ideal business environment, but that's no excuse. Many people have had much worse situations to deal with than I do. I have a healthy, happy family. We are doing alright financially. We live comfortably.

    But I have this block.

    Is it because I'm exhausted? Bad sleep and not enough exercise makes for a uncreative mind?
    Am I just too comfortable?
    Is it because I just don't have the right mindset yet?

    Could be all 3.

    I think it's probably mostly the mindset that is giving me the most issues. I find myself thinking like a consumer, rather than a producer. I'm a sponge, I take all of this stuff in, but I don't turn around and look at it like a creator, a producer.

    So, finding a good idea is the first step I need to take. How will I find a good idea? More of the same isn't going to be the answer. I know the ideas are there, I just don't see them in the right way.

    So, finding an idea really isn't the first step. It's changing my mindset. Looking at things the right way so I can recognize business opportunities when I come across them.

    Links that Helped Me
    http://www.thefastlaneforum.com/gen...-have-plan-i-cant-do-i-dont-know-how-fix.html
    Developing new startup ideas - Chris Dixon
    How to find start-up ideas


    Action Steps
    * Improve my sleep. Take naps if I need to. Remember to exercise and move every day.
    * Take 15 minutes every morning to relax and meditate. Clear my mind and open my mind to new opportunities.
    * Dedicate two hours a day to looking at every day products and figuring out how they can be done better.
    * Write down every idea I can think of, even if they aren't viable. I need to keep my mind open to opportunities.

    This thread may just be an "idea" thread right now, and I feel like I'm wasting the time of the one or two people that may accidentally click on this, but it will be a "How I Succeeded" thread before you know it. I can promise you that. ;)

    Baby steps.
  22. The-J
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    The-J 180 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Just right down every idea you have, because ideas are never stand-alone: they always branch out into new ones. And just because you move forward with one idea doesn't mean that's the one you're actually going to find success with.

    Good luck!
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  23. 458
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    458 25 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    You seem to like writing, maybe roll with that.
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  24. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I've been trying to do that. I'm an Evernote junky, so I have a folder specifically for ideas where I write down each idea I have.

    Today, I did something that I think helped - I wrote down a list of my belongings (pretty much a selection of things I could see from my desk) and wrote at least one idea for each item, for some more. I think I actually got a couple reasonable, viable ideas in there. No idea if they're really viable, as I haven't looked into them yet... but I'll keep doing this exercise. Everything I see is an opportunity waiting to be found.

    I do enjoy writing. I don't feel like I'm any good, though. I'm not a native English speaker, so it's not something that comes very easily to me. I'm sure that whatever I end up doing will incorporate writing, but I could definitely look at more writing based ideas as well. Thanks for the idea.
  25. FionaS
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    FionaS 80 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    So, quick update.

    Thinking of some ideas, but they all require either more capital than I have available currently or require a physical location (I'm moving in a couple months, so that won't work).

    So, instead of looking at all ideas, I decided to look specifically at businesses based online with no physical products.

    Business Models on the Web | Professor Michael Rappa

    The above link has a great list of different online business models. I'm currently going through this, seeing what's currently viable for me and then looking at needs that can be met using those models (or offspring of those models).

    I will be looking more at brokerage, infomediary, subscription and utility businesses.

    Gotta run, but I'll keep you all updated.
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