Mindset is key when it comes down to changing your habits, going after your goals and working hard on moving forward every single day.
It all starts in the head, before you see any actual progress in your life.
But what’s around you is also important. And it affects you more than you think.
Here are two examples:
Being surrounded by people who are ambitious – who talk about ideas and chase their dreams, who think of ways to make money, work out, take care of themselves, travel or else – will make you want to do something about your life too.
You’ll want to improve, take immediate action and see results.
Let’s say you want to get fit, start eating better, or lose weight, or all of these. And you do your best not to eat any junk food.
But if you have some of it in your house, you’re much more likely to have a cheat meal. And to ruin your whole day, or diet.
Many may give up just because they couldn’t resist a pack of cookies.
And it’s not really your fault.
It’s the fact that you have them around you, knowing that and thinking about it every time you pass the cupboard they’re in.
Even that uses your willpower as you eventually start craving them.
And, of course, there’s a solution for both of these.
In the first case, you’ll eliminate the people around you that are toxic, that talk only about other people’s lives and indulge in bad habits, that have no desire to grow and learn, and are too negative and selfish.
And you’ll surround yourself with new ones by joining communities, finding people with the same interests online, starting a new job, going to courses, trips, camps, etc.
In the second situation, you just need to get rid of everything tempting at home. That’s all.
It will still be hard, but this time you won’t feel the bad influence of the environment in your own house.
The fight for a better you continues, though.
When you go out you’ll meet people that will make you feel bad and depressed, and will have to ignore the cravings in the supermarket, restaurant, or else.
But still, your life will be much easier if you make a significant change in the environment you spend most time in.
And never forget that it shapes your behavior in many more ways that you expect.
What do you think has a bad influence on you in your surroundings? And are you planning on changing it?
Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.
During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.
How did you start your career in finance?
I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.
What made you start blogging?
The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.
The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.
The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.
I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.
I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.
How was The Ways to Wealth born?
I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.
1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.
2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.
3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.
One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.
What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?
The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.
Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.
I then went to Upwork and posted a job for agraphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.
I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.
I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.
What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?
My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.
When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?
My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.
What happened then in January?
First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.
Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.
Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.
How do you balance work and family life?
I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.
When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.
This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)
What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?
Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.
What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?
I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.