3 Interesting Ideas I’m Pondering This Week

traveling is great for the soul

This type of posts is inspired by Tim Ferriss’ 5-Bullet Friday. That’s an email he sends to subscribers every Friday with a list of the things he enjoyed and did during the week (an article he read, a useful purchase he made, something interesting he watched and so on). I like it a lot and find it inspiring and helpful. And considering that I’m reading, thinking about and trying to improve different things every week, I decided to do the same.
It’s published on Sunday. You can read all similar posts here.

Traveling helps you grow spiritually.

The benefits of traveling go beyond what comes to mind first.

It’s the best way to get out of your comfort zone physically, but it’s also super beneficial to the mind and soul. And from what I’ve seen, the most valuable learning experiences and adventures in life are things that connect mind, body and soul.

Not everyone can make himself get out of his country, though. It’s more than just booking a trip and getting on the plane.

And I’m not talking about luxury travel here. No expensive hotels, restaurants or a lot of shopping.

I’m talking about experiencing culture shock and letting it help you grow and change on the inside. This infographic pretty much says it all.

Traveling means putting yourself in an unfamiliar environment, having to deal with new things, challenging yourself, seeing and feeling new emotions. It gives you knowledge and experience by doing stuff like communicating with the locals, trying the food, hearing a different language maybe, noticing different habits and etiquette.

All that combined moves your brain. You learn things, expand your horizons and take part in interesting activities.

And if you travel long enough and to different places, you then find yourself being okay with discomfort, getting used to new cultures faster, adapting to changes easily.

And once you get back to real life, these become powerful assets.

I’m thinking a lot about traveling lately. It’s even more practical and much needed for someone like me who’s sometimes an introvert and feels very comfortable with the way things are. Because comfort in this case means that nothing new is happening and I’m not challenging myself. Which leads to no progress.

And because I want to see myself growing and changing all the time, I have to travel more. Moreover, there’s nothing stopping me from doing that at this point. I’m done with university, don’t have a serious relationship, am working for myself and remotely. So it’s the perfect time to explore other countries.

I’ve got a trip around Europe in the beginning of April during which I’ll visit some of my favorite countries, and will also cross 2 more off the list – Sweden and Denmark. I’ve been meaning to visit Scandinavia for a long time now as I’m familiar with their culture and have friends there. So now’s the chance. Even though it will be for a short time.
Then comes July when I’ll go to the Netherlands and this will be my first location independent project. I’ll come to some important conclusions about my life so far, myself and my future after that.

However, the real spiritual growth happens when one visits Thailand, or Indonesia, or Japan, or any other country that’s completely different in every aspect. I’ll do that too eventually. But not now.

Using compassion to improve relationships.

I believe compassion is a universal language. And everyone – regardless of his behavior – is capable of it and seeks it one way or another.

I’m trying to make it a habit now. It’s difficult.

My goal is to show compassion to people – from family to random people – and thus not get angry, annoyed or else that will be bad for both of us.

I’m using it both in personal life and in business.

I always try to imagine what the other person might be going through, to explain to myself why he does what he does (when it’s not the right thing according to me) and to thus understand him and even feel sorry for him.

Truth is everyone’s fighting a battle. A big one – with his own demons.
And I try to be compassionate knowing how hard it might be.

So far that little trick has saved me many arguments and I’ve just felt in peace and without the need to even say anything. I even smile back to the person knowing he’s doing his best, although it may be absolutely wrong and others are hurt.

Try that. It helps.

House Sitting

I’m exploring more options now in terms of my accommodation when moving to Holland for a month this summer.
The most popular and safe thing to do is to just book something I like through AirBnB, of course. But there’s more out there so I had to do my research, and will keep doing it.

Now that I do my best for every dollar I make, I value money more. And believe it can often be invested into something more profitable and enjoyable.

So in this case, instead of giving a few hundred dollars for monthly expenses, plus a high tax for the site, all this can be used for trying out different things in the country and getting to visit every city I haven’t been to there.

So how will I save that money and still have accommodation?

I may turn to house sitting if something tempting comes up and me and the owner answer each other’s expectations.
It’s when people go on a long holiday or else, and want someone to look after their house and pets. That’s when travelers come and it becomes a win-win situation.

So what do you think about any of these 3 ideas?

See also:
8 Reasons to Travel Abroad
The Tao of Travel

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

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.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

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 a  graphic 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.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income