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Progress Thread A journey to freedom from alarm clocks

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by journeyman, May 7, 2017.

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  1. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Recently I made it my No 1 priority to achieve financial freedom and as evident from the title, freedom to wake up when I want and live my life on my terms.

    Trying to test my business ideas, I have already had a couple of disappointments but I expect a lot more to come, nothing worth gaining ever comes easily.

    I am starting a new thread to monitor key stages in my development as I have found this to help a lot with accountability and hopefully get some good advice as well.

    My goal is to eventually grow my side-business income (currently 0) to match my current job income (~24K / year).

    At this point I am going to quit and focus my effort and use my time in order to really pimp the side businesses and grow my monthly income to my target number.

    Major mindset sticking point right now:

    I am used to a certain lifestyle, which is not luxurious by any means, but allows me to live comfortably and have peace of mind in things that matter to me.

    I keep thinking that I need to downgrade my lifestyle so I can save money to invest in side projects and in order to light a fire under my ass that will force me to hustle even more. Needless to say, there is extreme inner resistance making that decision as I truly believe it will make me unhappy for quite some time before I have my breakthrough.

    #Project No 1 - Information product

    This is my project that I want to be completely divorced from my time after I have set it up properly. Doesn't matter if it makes a lot of money, as long as that money comes in fully automated even when I sleep.

    To this end, I have written a short ebook in which I share my hard earned advice to aspiring grad students. I had to really hustle a couple of years back to discover on my own what works and what doesn't, so I truly believe there is great value in my ebook.

    So I built a landing page, and drove some traffic to test if there is potential for profit. After only a few days it was apparent that the cost of driving traffic far exceeds any profit that I can make.

    Therefore this idea was abandoned. I will have to sell this ebook only with organic traffic, or really low cost promotion.

    Potential avenues:
    • Just self publish it on Amazon, drive some traffic initially and do giveaways for reviews hoping that it will catch on. I am not that fond of this way since I will have limited control.
    • Start a blog, write articles consistently and offer a part of the ebook for free in exchange for email signup. After some time I expect to have built a substantial email list. Then I should be able to sell the ebook to the list, or even sell a more premium service or membership if I decide to do so.
    Hitting another wall:

    Experimenting with e-mail lists and blogging I keep finding that you need to include your personal details.

    Since I am not a registered business, I only have my home address to work with.

    It could be just mental bullshit but I am just not comfortable handing over my living address to the world wide web. At least not yet.

    I am still working on getting around that and reading on the subject.

    Things that I learned in the process:
    • Learned how to build a landing page from scratch
    • Had my first attempt at writing sales copy
    • Learned how to use paid advertising and faced the reality of expensive traffic.
    • Got some experience with wordpress and getting your ideas out to the world.

    Project #2 will follow in the next post.
     
  2. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    #Project No 2 - Drop shipping goods

    The idea of buying and selling products has always been appealing to me. Therefore, I am willing to give the whole drop shipping - Shopify business model a shot.

    Action taken:
    • Identified aliexpress products that I can validate as profitable
    • Created a shopify store but never got past the free trial
    • Bought test samples from the same sellers so I can evaluate the products first hand

    Problem faced: Lacking the money to invest in a shopify account, domains and paid advertising.

    It has become apparent that this model requires a capital to begin, albeit small. Capital that I do not posses right now.

    To supplement my income and be able to invest more in my new endeavors, I have decided to land some freelancing gigs on the side.

    When I reach my target profit, I will stop the freelancing and focus again on the shop. That is until I run out of money and need more, then rinse and repeat the whole process until the store becomes self sustainable.

    Things I am good at:
    • Scientific writing.
    • Researching concepts in depth and finding answers
    I have created profiles in the major freelancing sites and I will spend quite some time looking at job postings before I decide what I can confidently apply for and as a result what skill I can work on and develop further.
     
  3. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Quick update: Things have been super hectic at work recently with some traveling included, I haven't done much freedom work.

    What I did achieve was reject my drop-shipping idea as the products that I received as tests from Aliexpress were of such poor quality that I would never try to sell them.

    On another note, I managed to make my first 4$ through freelancing. I know, drop in the ocean, but it's a start and I got my first 5 star rating and a happy client.
     
  4. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Current progress
    For my project No 1. , which is my ebook, I have decided to self publish on Amazon with organic traffic and just get whatever sales I can get. I don't really need this to be my main source of income so even if I make 10$ profit/ month it will be something I didn't have before. I just want to get it out there to be honest since I wrote the damn thing already. In 3 weeks I will have time off work so I will have time to research the editing and publishing process properly, my absolute deadline is to have it up and selling before the end of August.

    For the project No 2. I had to backtrack a little bit, watched quite a few informational videos on how to go about choosing dropshipping products and I am currently about 60% in my market research and have shortlisted several products that should be researched further for advertising and audience size. Quite excited with this development.
     
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  5. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Project no1 is progressing well, I am hitting all my deadlines and I will have published the book before the end of the month.

    Project no2 didn't work as expected, I found a product, created a store and ran facebook ads. I didn't get a single sale.
    It's annoying how much time it takes to set it up and all the money invested in subscriptions and ads... I think I might chill off the rest of my dropshipping ideas for a while...

    I am also getting gradually more annoyed with being tied down in the same location year round, I crave moving around... I know it will happen eventually but my patience is definitely being tested
     
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  6. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Quite excited at the moment, I am focusing all my energy on my eBook, I have sent it out for editing, outsourced a nice looking cover and wrote the description and keywords on KDP.
    At this rate I could probably get it out in a week, I have decided on a list price of 2.99 $ ( ~18,000 words). At launch I will enroll in the KDP select and do free giveaways hoping to get reviews. After some positive reviews, I have 2 avenues of advertising to move it up the amazon ranking system:
    1) Put a banner ad up in a webpage that caters exclusively to my target audience, or even use their e-mail list.
    2) I have some Adwords credit leftover, could use that as well.
     
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  7. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    My latest accountability update which is more of a rant of how confused I feel lately.

    e-Book
    Screwed up my book launch by using the free promotion straight away and also by only asking one friend for a review... Now the book is sitting with one review and I can't do another free promotion for 2 more months. Oh well... You live you learn...

    I still had a sale and several pages read through the Kindle lending library program. When I saw the first sale I was really excited, then the excitement wore off, it's funny how adaptable humans are...

    Currently looking for ways to promote the book inexpensively since banner ads are going to cost an arm and a leg.

    Freelancing
    Another thing that I am struggling with is freelancing. For months I have been dipping my toe in it bidding for easy random gigs and just browsing all the niches to find one suitable for me. I am really apprehensive towards just picking one skill and developing it in depth as a freelancer. Why? Because I will still essentially be trading time for money and won't be much different than my current job. On the other hand it will offer location independence, which would let me move somewhere cheaper ( and refresh my motivation ) and also get me out of a daily 2 hour commute...

    I am just terrified of the steep learning curve that I will have to go through the first months and especially since all of this would need be done when I come back drained from work...

    More projects
    I have decided that I don't want to keep toying with dropshipping, at least not the aliexpress-shopify model. Too low barrier for entry, everyone and his mom is creating a shopify store these days... Also I find the poor quality products an annoyance to market. However should I find a great quality product that I would be proud to sell and create a new label, I will revisit the e-commerce idea.

    A big reason that I didn't commit to freelancing is that lately I have been getting all kinds of ideas for online businesses.

    Literally every other day I will come up with a new website idea. Most of them seem so promising to me that I want to drop everything I am doing and develop them. Then after some research I find that either someone else has done it already, or that there is no market for it, or that it will require a great amount of time and money invested. Then I will get de-motivated and repeat all over.

    At least I am narrowing something down, in the sense that instead of developing something new from scratch, I could take a successful model from an english website, and do the same in my small country which is somewhat left behind when it comes to Web 2.0

    But then the obvious question is, how am I going to develop successful websites with no development experience ( I don't even have a hosting website account...). Maybe I should focus on learning that first?

    /end of rant
    Re-reading the Millionaire Fastlane to help me focus and remember the key principles.
     
  8. Jimyy
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    Jimyy New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Are you willing to link your book? I'd be interested to have a look
     
  9. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thanks for stopping by Jimyy. My first though was NO haha especially because I have it under a pen name.
    After thinking about it I can't think why not though, check it out http://amzn.to/2wSBPfo
     
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  10. Jimyy
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    Jimyy New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I like the look of the book, though I have no experience in that area. Have you though of offering one on one training/ seminars etc for people looking to get in to PHD courses as a help push the book?

    Have a crack at learning the basics of web development to see what you are getting into, don't need much for that.
     
  11. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Cheers man, yeah I have thought about it and I am still toying with the idea even though it is not something that particularly excites me.
    I am getting into web development asap, I will post an update soon. I am going to work on a couple of wordpress sites to start developing the skill
     
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  12. Xeon
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    Just want to understand....you plan on learning web development so that you can work as a freelance web developer?
     
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  13. StevieB
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    StevieB Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    That will be a good idea seeing as to how some of your posts MJ addresses in his book, such as other people already doing the idea you had or it would take to much time and effort.

    Also I didn't read much about marketing in your posts.

    I recommend the 1 page marketing plan book.
     
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  14. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I am gonna expolore web development just for the sake of learning the skill. Starting by pairing my book with a blog. If I see that this is something I have a good grasp of later on I will freelance it yes.

    Thanks Stevie. It might not be apparent from my posts but I have devoted quite some time to learn internet marketing, traffic generation, ads conversion rates etc. The practical application though is definitely limited, as I have only ran a few ad campaigns created landing page etc. Throw in a lack of ideas to market, which leaves only my book to market at this point.

    I am quite convinced that the last thing I need right now is another source of marketing information, rather it's the opportunity to learn by application that is next for me.
     
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  15. Xeon
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    All thanks to your recommendation, I just purchased the book this morning after reading the Amazon reviews on how great it is.
    Sounds like it's the marketing equivalent of MJ's books!

    Can't say much for this, but I wish you good luck in your endeavors. I was on a very similar path last year as you are right now, but after realizing that freelancing is a path in which I can only lose, I dropped the idea (this was about 10 mths before I discover MJ's books).

    Freelancing = The Ultimate Trade-Time-For-Money Job. You also have to deal with accounting while coding and finding clients. I don't quite see how one can win this game in the long run though.

    The competition for freelancing (especially websites) is really cut-throat. In terms of offering value, there's almost none (zero, in fact), where we can do what others can't do. And that's not even taking into account those guys from India, Pakistan, Vietnam who can code for a price 3x lower than yours. And take into account those guys from eastern europe whom I've worked with.....those are just insane in terms of speed, quality and price.

    To be free from alarm clocks, freelancing is probably a bad option. I had a coder friend who freelanced in the past. He was free from alarm clocks though. How did he achieve that? Well, lack of gigs and clients.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  16. StevieB
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    StevieB Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    If freelancing is something that interests you, I recomment @SinisterLex threads..
     
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  17. SinisterLex
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    SinisterLex The moments that define you have already happened. Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Your friend's and your own inability to create value as freelancers doesn't mean there's zero value to create. That's not a fact. It's a belief..your belief. That's why you're still waking up to alarm clocks, and I wake up when I feel like it (as a freelancer) with zero competition. With any luck, the book will help change that!

    Here's some of my beliefs:

    1. I can create value anytime, anywhere
    2. I can win no matter the odds
    3. Nothing is impossible and can't be proven so
    4. Helping people is how you get noticed
    5. When you're awesome, there is no competition
    6. The only limitations are created in the mind

    There's a mindset shift you have to make before you win. Freelance, startup, even at your job. If you want proof, click the threads in my signature.

    I spend a few hours working on other people's stuff each week and the rest of the time I work on my own. Also I started spending 2 hours a day learning piano because I can because I'm not at work.

    OP wants to make $24k/year and replace his income. Freelance is probably the single fastest route to do that. But it only becomes possible once you get the mindset part down.
     
  18. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I love freelancing

    I GET PAID by business owners to:
    • Find out what problems they are willing to pay for.
    • Find out how to solve those problems.
    • Find out which of those problems are held by many business owners.
    • Build processes to solve those common problems.
    • Hire other freelancers to help me solve those common problems.
    • Create repeatable processes once we find out what we keep doing repeatedly.
    • Automate repeatable processes where fit.
    • Train other freelancers how to do what I've learned to do technically.
    • Train other freelancers how to sell their services better to business owners.

    All while:
    • Building a network of business owners.
    • Improving my technical skills.
    • Improving my sales skills.
    • Improving my business development skills.

    Business owners are paying me to build the people, process, and technology that will solve their problems.

    I GET PAID TO BUILD MY BUSINESS.

    Sweet.
     
  19. journeyman
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    journeyman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I never expected that my thread would see such activity lol.

    I really appreciate your input Lex and Andy, I've followed a lot of your posts so thanks for stopping here to comment on freelancing.

    Just wanted to clarify that it was never my intention to move full time into freelancing, but rather to use freelancing as a tool to supplement my income that I can use to fuel other business ventures. This is being hindered by my indecisiveness and several different ideas, as you can see in this thread My most promising and fastlane friendly idea seems impossible to implement

    I will figure it out though!
     
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