The Cash Diaries

My experiments in passive income, trading and life

Category: Diary

The Ultimate Cheatsheet for being a happier Entrepreneur

The other day I was thinking about what makes me happy as an entrepreneur.  And so I did a bit of a brain jump and jotted down 20 different things that make me a happier entrepreneur:

1. Get Yourself a Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Some people cope better with being alone than others.  I can quite happily spend an entire day with myself.  A younger me believed that having a boyfriend/girlfriend was no big deal.  If I had one, fine.  If I didn’t, that was also fine.  I wouldn’t let a relationship get in the way of my goals.  As I matured a bit, and started having relationships, I started to understand how important a good partner can be.  Someone to unload on.  Someone to listen to.  Someone to just lie down and do nothing in particular with.  Now I’m in a relationship and I work hard to keep it healthy.  My business doesn’t need to take over 100% of my time.  There is plenty of time to have a partner.

2. Socialize

Just like having a partner, socializing with friends is also important.  If you’re in school/college, work hard to keep those friendships.  If you’ve left education, you’ll have to work harder to maintain/start friendships, but it’s really worth it.  Go to the movies, have a drink at a bar and every now and then don’t be afraid to get a little crazy and have a big night out with your friends.  You should never be too busy for these people.  You’re going to need them a lot more in the future.

3. Get enough sleep

Staying up all night isn’t a badge of honor.  It’s a mark of stupidity.  Sure, there will occasionally come a time where you are on such a role that the night just seems to disappear.  But don’t make this a regular occurrence.  It’s just not a good long term strategy.  You’ll burn out and won’t be able to handle even just 1% of your current workload.  Getting enough sleep is easy.  Turn off the TV and go to bed!

4.  Eat a proper diet

I fall down on this one.  I really need to do better.  I’m young and thin, which means I can get away with eating rubbish.  But I still feel like crap if I don’t eat the right food and I know I’m not going to be young and thing forever.  I notice a big difference in my energy levels if I start the day with a proper breakfast and have unprocessed food throughout the day.  I have better focus, I don’t crash and burn during the afternoon.

5. Walk

Nobody walks anymore.  Ok that is going a bit far.  But seriously – all of my friends drive everywhere.  I love to walk.  Everyday I walk for around an hour – mainly to and from work.  I don’t have to, I choose to.  Walking gives you an excuse to think.  I don’t listen to music while I walk.  Instead I just let my thoughts go for a wander too.  I motivate myself, clear my mind, focus and gain confidence.  All by ditching the transport and going for a walk.

6. Go Exercise

Apart from my walking I try and do strength training as exercise on a regular basis.  The options for exercise are endless.  So I’m not going to offer much advice here.  Furthermore, you also are well aware of the benefits.  So take this as a friendly reminder to integrate regular exercise into your schedule.

7. Read books.  And not just non-fiction

I’ve started reading more recently.  I think it’s had a great impact on my state of mind.  And I don’t just read non-fiction.  Because I chose not to do much reading as a child, I have a massive backlog of “must reads”.  I’m sick of my boyfriend rolling his eyes everytime he asks if I’ve read something :p

But I’m also reading more non-fiction too.  If you haven’t yet discovered Brainpickings, then head over there to get some amazing suggestions

8. Cut down on the Netflix

Or youtube, hulu, cable etc.  Netflix is fun – too much fun.  I’ll be the first to admit i’ve skipped working days to binge watch an entire series.  Unlike reading a book, I don’t feel great when I’ve finished either.  Why is that?  I don’t know, but I do know I would rather be doing other things.  So I try and limit myself.  Since switching entirely to an on demand setup I’ve cut down on TV time and watch the odd show here and there.

9. Master skills outside of business

I’m a strong believer in having hobbies.  I love cooking.  And I’m pretty damn good at it too.  And I got good at it from years of practice and learning from the best.  When I’m having a horrible day at work, I relish the opportunity to ditch what I’m doing and dive into some cooking.  Devoting all my attention to creating perfection.  It’s such a good way to regain focus and put things in perspective.

10. Travel

Whats the best way to learn new things, refresh your mind and fill yourself with a zest for life?  Travel.  I love travel.  I always come back having picked up some new life experiences.  And some of my most treasured moments in life have been on the road.  So don’t overlook travel.  Don’t tell yourself that you can travel when you’re retired.  What fun is that?  Travel now.

11. Buy yourself proper clothes

I used to believe that clothes were all pretty much the same.  It didn’t really matter which brands you bought.  How wrong I was.  I perfectly fitted suit, an expertly tailored pair of chinos, a nicely stitched pair of shoes – they all make the difference.  I now buy fewer clothes but I make sure they are the best I can get.  I exude confidence when I’ve wearing an outfit that fits perfectly.  It really shows.

12. Stop buying crap you don’t need

I still struggle with this from time to time, but for the most part I’ve dramatically reduced my consumption.   I try and buy better quality.  I don’t try and buy every new gadget.    Instead of buying “things”, I try and buy experiences.  I enjoy the bf out for a fancy meal or going away on  trip and staying in a 5 star hotel in Paris.  That makes me happy.

13. Don’t read/watch the news

You might think being a forex trader I would need to be on top of the news.  And it’s true, you need to have one eye on the news.  But it’s very important to choose the type of news you follow and how much you follow.  “Fear” articles – terrorism, immigration, senior people getting bashed etc etc – are the articles YOU MUST avoid.  Don’t get sucked in.  I follow business news and pretty much avoid everything else.  I don’t need it. It doesn’t make me happy.  It doesn’t make me any more informed or educated.

14. Become a Sharer.  Share your journey

I like the idea of sharing your journey.  Entrepreneurs are often guilty of only sharing the positives.  Whether it’s just with friends or on a blog like this, sharing the ups and downs will do wonders with your mental state of mind.    My new years resolution for next year will be focusing on sharing all the ups and downs.

15. Network and Mentor

Get out of the fucking building!  That was the exact advice my mentor gave me.  Sure, sometimes you need to put your head down and power out the hard hours.  But the most important thing an entrepreneur can do is get out of the building and talk with their customers, clients, mentors, advisors, other entrepreneurs.  Go out and drink, invite people for coffee, or attend meetups.  It’s really not that hard.

16. Don’t settle

This is a really good one.  What you have right now might be amazing.  But such is life, that tomorrow it might all be gone.  That’s why you can’t settle.  You need to keep exploring new opportunities, meeting new friends, pushing yourself.  There will come a time when you are forced to settle.  And by then all you will wish for is that when you were younger you kept on pushing yourself to experience new things.

17. Kill your ego

If I had a dollar for everytime I’ve let my ego get in the way of a good decision! Well I certainly wouldn’t be writing this blog post myself 😉

It’s a constant struggle.  I’ve found when I force myself to eat my ego and instead use rational thought  – sure it doesn’t always work – but when it doesn’t work out, I know it wasn’t my feelings getting in the way.

18. Learn to live with Uncertainty

My number one tip for other entrepreneurs.  Accept that uncertainty is going to be a part of your life.  Where is the next dollar coming from?  Is this company going to crash and burn tomorrow?  Embrace the uncertainty.  Learn to love that feeling of standing on the edge.  It’s what will drive you in the future.

19. Do nothing

Stuck for ideas?  Feeling burned out.  Turn off the TV.  Turn off the music.  Stop reading this.  Just sit down with zero distractions.  Just sit and do nothing.  When you’re struck with inspiration resist the urge to get up and keep working.  Just keep doing nothing until you can no longer sit still.  I have yet to find a greater way to motivate myself then doing absolutely nothing.

20. Create a clean work/living space

A clear desk = a clear mind.  Get rid of the clutter.  Learn to live in an orgnanized fashion.   Trust me, keeping a clean apartment helps you live a better business life.  It doesn’t sound connected but the discipline of keeping things clean will flow across all areas of your life.

So there are my tips for being a happier entrepreneur.  What do you think?  Let me know below.

Get Yourself a Christmas Gift of Shares This Year

Each year I like to buy myself something for christmas.  I cut loose a little and usually get something on my wishlist that I can’t really justify as a “useful” purchase.  It’s a good way to end out the year and make me appreciate the hard work I’ve put in.

This year, I’m going to do something a little different and use the money to buy some shares in a host of companies I’m liking.  I’m thinking just $100 per company (etoro allows you to invest as little as $10 in a stock) and spread across 5-6 different companies.  These will include, Google, Apple, Tesla, Toyota.

And because I would have usually spent this money on something stupid, I’m not even too fussed about doing any technical analysis.  It doesn’t matter – i’m just buying into companies that I love.  However on the flip side, I do think all of these buys are solid and as I’m using eToro, i can see that my stock trading gurus are doing the same.  So i’m hoping this time next year (probably a lot sooner) I will have made a little back and I can invest in another set of companies.

So this year, get yourself something worthwhile and head on over to etoro.

October Update 2014

Ok, no I haven’t died.  I’ve just been crazy busy.  And I always would rather work on the stuff that actually makes me cash than just write about it here.  Most people do the complete opposite.  They write about all the things they are going to do to make some cash, but never actually get anything done.

Income

My number one money maker – an authority site in the finance niche managed to pull in over $2.4k last month.  It usually does around $1k.  The crazy thing about this site is that it is 100% passive.  I set it up over a year ago and do nothing.  I don’t build backlinks, I don’t post to social media, I don’t create new content.  If you create uber high quality content, that is unique then you can sit back and let the content do its thing.

I find it funny to see all the people struggling away on the various marketing forums, doing crazy amounts of work for a dollar or two here and there.  High, high quality is where its at.

Another site of mine, where I make money from PopCash, didn’t do so well.  It’s so unpredictable and lots of variables involved.  I went from making about $80 a day to $8 on that site.  But in the past it has gone down and gone back up again.  Like my other site, it’s set and forget.  I might give it some love.  Just to keep it ticking over.  I still think PopCash is a great revenue maker and they continue to pay out on time every within 24 hours of a request.  They are awesome!

I didn’t do much Forex trading and the one trade I did open lost me about $15.  That’s the way it goes.  I still copytrade, which I believe is the best strategy and I’m up about 4% over the past couple of months.  I did Buy some Apple Stock through eToro which has gone up recently!  So I sold some of it.  I’m loving how easy it is to buy stocks through etoro.  I’m also going long on Apple.  $150 is my target and completely realistic in my opinion.

I’ve got another massive money maker in the pipeline.  It’s a 100k return type  project.  I’ve spent a lot of cash on it, and it’s basically what I’ve been working on (and haven’t been blogging).  It’s unique and I think will become hugely valuable.   It’s going to be valuable because no one else is building something like it.  It’s not in the IM niche.  It’s not a content site or an authority site.  It’s a completely different type of company.  This is my point people – you have to go against the grain and do what nobody else is doing.    Then making money just happens.

Expenses

Biggest expenses this month were clothes.  Which is a little shit.  But i’m tired of buying clothes that don’t really fit or don’t make me feel confident.  I’m now at a stage in my life, where I would rather buy a shirt for $300 that makes me look and feel amazing as opposed to shitty shirt worth $50 that sort of fits but i’m self conscious in.   Unfortunately Mr Porter, is ridiculously good at making you buy things.  There online shopping experience is top notch.  I feel a little better knowing I earn a fuck load of bonus frequent flyer points shopping their.  p.s – before making a big purchase, always buy it through your Frequent Flyer program.  Most programs have deals with all the big online retailers.

Second biggest expense was servers.  The problem with running a number of large sites is the large hosting bill.  It’s still well within the 1k per month range so thats nice.  I’ve been putting all my new sites on DigitalOcean.  They are by far the best VPS provider out there.  Way better than Amazon or other cloud providers and all their servers run on super fast SSD drives.  Amazing performance and they start at a silly $5 per month!

Investments

I’m cash rich at the moment, mainly because over the past few months (bar this one), I have been uber frugal.  Most of my cash is just sitting in a high interest savings account which makes me a little uneasy.  It’s too safe.  I would rather invest it. So i’ve been on the lookout for sites to buy or build.  Nothing took my fancy.  I might make a purchase this month.  I did buy some shares in a bank.  Apart from etoro shares, I don’t usually buy stock.  I made an exception because I was a) cash rich, and b) I use this bank, they have an amazing product and customer experience, and they aren’t American.  Which is pretty much what I look for in an investment.

So that is October.  I’ll try and push some more blog posts out.  I’ve got some cool ideas.

Day 1

Welcome to my blog.

Why Do I Need a Passive Income?

I like setting myself challenges.   And one of the challenges I have set myself is to create enough passive income to support myself.  Currently I’m living at home with my parents.  As much as I love them, this really does suck for a young guy like myself.  I want to get out there and start living.  It’s time for me to grow up and be a man.  And a big part of this is earning an income.

One of my dreams is to be able to travel all over the world for an entire year or more.  I’ve done some travelling before, but I’ve always had to return home after a month or so because of money.

That’s why a passive income would be awesome.

How Am I Going to Build my Income?

I’m going to be building 1-10 different websites.  They will each focus on having “viral” content.  The type of stuff you’ve seen on Reddit.  I recently came up with a method for getting a fairly reliable source of traffic and making a website go viral.

I can build a website within 24 hours and have it making $50 a day in adsense revenue within 2 days.  The tricky part is keeping this money flowing in.  So far, I’ve only been able to keep it going for a few days.  My challenge will be to make it more reliable and to go from one authority site to 10+.

I don’t use any blackhat methods.  Everything is above board and legal.  I also don’t rely on Google for traffic – I’ve been burned by Google sooooo many times I don’t even bother with even 1 second of SEO work.  I know better ways to generate traffic.

Why Do I Need a Diary?

One big problem I have is motivation.  Often I start a project and just don’t follow through.  I’m starting to get better with this.   My aim with this diary is to hold myself accountable.  I don’t care if anybody reads it or not.  It’s just here to remind me to get out of bed each day and start working.

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