Being productive is one of the main goals of those who want to improve themselves and their life. Progress in any kind is a result of getting things done, taking actions, doing more, and thus achieving more.
But what prevents us from taking our current productivity level further is that we think it’s got limits. When in fact we just haven’t tried harder.
It’s the same with human endurance – people don’t really know how much they’re capable of physically, before they are put in a situation that requires them to go for an extended period of time without food or else, for instance.
It’s no different with productivity. But we insist on not trying to do things faster, better and for longer because we don’t even assume it’s possible.
So the myth of productivity limits consists of these elements:
– not even trying to achieve more results and accepting our current level as the end result;
– not doing more of what works;
– thinking we’re being realistic, when in fact we just don’t dare to dream bigger.
Here are some examples:
I never really knew I could produce so much content for my blog before I actually decided to do it. Before that I believed in writer’s block, waited for inspiration, put too much pressure into creating the best posts.
But now I can write effortlessly for hours daily. It’s a habit, discipline, an exercise, a hobby, a therapy, what I know I should be doing and what feels right. And has nothing to do with all the excuses above.
Many people admire successful individuals who get up at 4 or 5, have a powerful morning routine and then spend their whole day hustling to get closer to their goals.
But the truth is that they don’t even try to do that. They may keep reading about such people, following them online and complaining about not being like them, but they don’t set their alarm for 5 and get out of bed.
They don’t have the mindset of a person that’s changing and improving daily. And that stops them from taking action.
I’ve read many stories of people who were once couch potatoes that tried to get up early and go jogging a few times a year. It never really worked, though.
But they got to know themselves, analyzed the limitations they had set to themselves, decided to change, made small changes in their lifestyle, and then some more.
And now, years later, they run marathons just for fun.
It’s a result of gradual improvement, and a lot of hard work, dedication, patience and discipline. But the difference between this new version of themselves and who they were back then is mind-blowing.
And all that is possible because after each little achievement on the way, they believed that if they could do that, they can do much more.
That’s how things work. You do something, believe in yourself, expand your horizons, and try to do more of it. And soon you see big changes going on in your life.
What you need to do right now is forget about the myth that productivity has limits and go after what you want.
What do you think about that? When are you most productive? And do you set limits to yourself?
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.