Why an investment in knowledge pays dividends

KnowledgeAn investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~Benjamin Franklin

You don’t get paid for the hour; you get paid for the value you put into the hour. It’s important everyone understands that important distinction dear reader.

You get paid for the value you add.

The more value you can add the more you will get paid.

It’s that simple really.

If you can solve problems for people with the skills you’ve got then you can earn a very good living.

The question is what underpins your skills? The answer to that question would be knowledge of course.

Knowledge comes from learning and learning is a lifelong process.

The quote at the top of this post from the venerable Benjamin Franklin reminds us of the importance of learning. Learning is an investment in ourselves.

We all have enormous capacity to consume and retain knowledge in our heads and that knowledge is then a currency with which we can trade. The more knowledge we have the more value we can add.

When it comes to investing, nothing will pay you a better dividend than making sure you have a good education.

And it’s not about whether or not you go to college or university. Important as they may be, learning can be achieved in many ways.

Knowledge can be gained through reading books; listening to audio and video tutorials; and challenging yourself to master anything that appeals to you. Learning from hands-on experience, making mistakes and learning the lessons you can take from any mistakes you’ve made.

In particular, if you want to master the game of money and all matters financial then you need to become a seeker of financial knowledge and know-how.

You need to become a reader and a keen student of finance. To be successful in investing, of course you really need to know what you’re doing. You need a financial education.

Ignorance can prove to be very costly indeed. And that’s true in every aspect of your life.

Education may seem expensive but it’s nowhere near as expensive as ignorance.

So, if you’re not already, become a reader.

The investment in yourself is well worth the effort and it’ll pay you a handsome dividend.

As the late, great Jim Rohn once said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

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Here’s why you should consider becoming self-employed

Becoming Self-employedThere are many ways to make money dear reader and they all have their merits.

For instance if you get a job with a big corporation potentially you’ll earn a decent income and you’ll enjoy a few fringe benefits too.

And if you get a job in the public sector the pay may not be quite so good but the pension scheme is usually the best you’ll find anywhere. And of course working for the Government is usually fairly secure employment too.

If you become a wage slave in any sector you can make a living, and sometimes that can even be a decent living too.

However unless you work on Wall Street or for an investment bank in the City of London, you’re unlikely to make a fortune. Unfortunately dear reader, that’s a fact.

So if your aim is to make serious money you should consider becoming self-employed.

We live in an age in which becoming self-employed has never been easier or cheaper. As a result of the Internet there are so many opportunities that were simply not available to previous generations.

And the best news is, you don’t even have to give up your day job, not initially anyway.

You can start your own business as a part-time venture and keep it that way until the income your business is generating for you is sufficient for you to live on.

You can even start one business to generate extra cash and as it makes money you can invest that cash into bigger and potentially more profitable opportunities. The possibilities are endless.

As an employee you’re trading your time for money and that’s fine.

However if your firm does well, you’re unlikely to benefit significantly from any extra profit they make. You might get a bonus but regardless of personal contribution, it’s more likely to be an incidental sum rather than life-changing money.

With your own business you can be making money whilst you’re sleeping.

In fact it you

 want to get seriously rich then you’ll have to start making money whilst you sleep.

Now dear reader I can hear you asking, but how do you make money whilst you sleep?

Let me give you some examples of online businesses that you could start with little or no money and start making money whilst you sleep:-

Selling Products Online:

Through the Internet potentially you can reach most of the people on the planet, wouldn’t you agree?

Think about that for a second.

If you create a website or an online store then billions of people around the world will have access to it. And those people can access it whilst you’re asleep.

So the potential is there for you to create something that can be generating money for you 24 hours a day 365 days every year.

Still not convinced? Let me give you some examples of businesses you could start to achieve this goal:-

Amazon:

If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon you’ll probably have noticed that they are not always the actually seller of the item you’re seeking to purchase. Other suppliers sell their own products through Amazon via what is known as Amazon Marketplace.

And when third party suppliers sell products via Amazon they can also use a service known as Fulfilment by Amazon or FBA.

This means if you’re the seller, you simply deliver your stock of products to Amazon and they’ll handle all the logistics associated with product delivery to the buyer.

Fulfilment by Amazon:

If you want to sell products but you don’t want to handle your own packing, postage and delivery then you can get Amazon to handle it all for you using the solution known as Fulfilment by Amazon.

You can do it yourself of course but the point is that you really don’t have to because there’s an easier way.

So you can just focus on finding products that will offer solutions to the problems your target customers may have and then you just let Amazon do the rest.

And remember this; those products don’t even have to be new.

They can be ‘second hand‘ or used items too.

As long as you can find a suitable niche in second hand products then there’s money to be made there too.

Let me offer you an example.

Each year graduating students have textbooks to sell. Maybe you had that experience dear reader?

Essentially such students just want to get some cash back for those books they’re unlikely to read ever again.

The shrewd entrepreneurs recognize that there’ll be a ready market for those very textbooks at the start of the next academic year. New students are always looking for ways to obtain the course textbooks at a better price.

So entrepreneurs offer selling students a quick way to turn their textbooks into a little cash.

And then buying students will be sold those same textbooks at a rate which will save them money on the price for the same book had it been bought new.

Thus the entrepreneurial you can set up a website to attract book sellers and then through Amazon Marketplace the books you’ve bought cheaply can be sold at a profit.

And in that way you can create a profitable second hand book business.

You could repeat the same trick with music such as vinyl records and CDs, as well as films on DVD. Second-hand smartphones, tablet computers and other technology items offer another entrepreneurial possibility.

Alternatively you could source your own products, e.g. skin care products, cosmetics, household products and so on and then you simply sell those via Amazon.

Plenty of people have created successful businesses with this approach I can assure you. 

Becoming Self-employedeBay:

When people sell stuff at a boot sale or a yard sale, they usually sell at very low prices simply because they price items for a very quick sale.

This is stuff they need to get rid of as quickly as possible for whatever reason. And in that there’s a potential opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

You buy these items cheaply and you then you resell them on eBay for profit.

More importantly people sometimes sell valuable stuff at boot sales and yard sales for ridiculously low prices because they didn’t realize the real value of the item.

On the British television show Flog It, I saw a woman sell an antique vase at auction for £800 having originally bought it at a boot sale for just £1. Now that’s a very nice profit.

Yes such examples would be the exception but shrewd people can and do make money this way and eBay is a great vehicle for doing so.

Affiliate Marketing:

Essentially affiliate marketing is ‘commission only’ selling.

Linked with the idea of content marketing, what this means is that if you can direct traffic to a product seller’s website which results in a sale then you will get paid a commission for that sale.

The amount of commission can be as low as 4% from the Amazon Affiliate Program to as much as 75% from some items offered through programs like Clickbank and Commission Junction (or CJ).

How do you achieve this in practice?

Well despite its relatively low commission rates Amazon offers the easiest opportunity for the beginner. You sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and then identify a suitable niche which interests you.

Let’s say that niche is sports shoes for women. The niche does need to be focused and quite narrow. The category ‘Shoes’ would be a bit too wide. You need to think about categories for which people will be searching via Google and other search engines.

Once you decide on a niche, you then create your own website publishing say reviews of a variety of those sports shoes for women.

And remember; those reviews don’t have to be your own necessarily. They could be a summary of various reviews you’ve read elsewhere with an overall rating based on what others have been saying. In other words you’ve done the hard work for readers by providing them with a comprehensive summary of all the reviews out there and then providing a convenient a link to Amazon so that they can easily make their purchase

Creating a review summary by curating input from other sources is perfectly legitimate as long as you acknowledge the different sources which form the basis of your article.

Why review sites are a good idea:

Review sites work with affiliate marketing because they capture buying intent and that’s important.

If someone searches for a review for an item on Google then the chances are they will buy if the reviews prove to be positive.

When producing your review articles the crucial action is to embed affiliate links within the text.

Getting readers to click on those links and taking them to Amazon is how you’ll make money. If they buy within 24 hours of clicking on a link then you will get paid a commission.

Amazon commissions vary from 4% to around 10% depending on the number and type of sales for which you are credited each month.

So in choosing a niche you must think about product value too. Generate low value sales and you won’t make much. However sales for items with a bigger price tag can prove very lucrative.

That said generating some low value sales can be a way of pushing subsequent bigger ticket sales into a higher commission rate. So don’t ignore them completely.

Content Marketing:

Essentially content marketing is the idea of publishing web content in order to provide the means for promoting products and services. Content marketing is closely linked with affiliate marketing but not exclusively so.

There are two types of content you can consider, as follows:-

(1) Written Content:

For instance, if you’re producing regular content and publishing it on your own blog then there’s the potential to generate an income through advertising.

Now selling advertising space on your blog or website is only possible if you have substantial amounts of traffic. If you’re just starting out you will not reach those levels for quite some time. However what is known as pay per click (CPC) advertising could generate money for you right from the start.

Perhaps the best known CPC program is one offered by Google Adsense. You sign up for this program, then embed Google’s links in your blog and they will insert advertising on your blog that is relevant to your content.

Every time a reader clicks on an Adsense advertisement you will get paid and it’s not purchase dependent. Readers only have to click for you to get paid.

The trick with Adsense is to have a very narrow focus for your blog.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your blog is about how to keep chickens and deal with blights like red mite. You’ll attract search engine generated traffic from people desperate to deal with the problem of red mite. Google will insert ads from companies offering products that will help with this problem and desperate people are likely to click on those ads to see what’s on offer. They click you get paid.

As long as your subject matter is focused and narrow, and ideally based on a highly searched keyword or phrase, then this can be a way to generate decent money. However the traffic levels to your blog will have an impact on how much money you can reasonably make.

(2) Video Content:

Another way to benefit from Google Adsense is to create your own YouTube channel, produce videos and again insert links from Google so that relevant pay per click advertising will appear on and around the video. Again if people click then you get paid.

Write eBooks:

Devices such as the iPad, the Kindle and other eReaders, provide you with the opportunity to self-publish your own eBooks and sell them through Amazon.

You may not be able to come up with the next Harry Potter work of fiction but there is good money to be made writing ‘How To’ books on just about any subject.

They don’t even need to be that long either.

As little as 50 pages or 8,000 – 10,000 words covering a topic of general interest can be enough to produce something that will sell for one dollar or one pound sterling. That might not seem like a lot but sell 1,000 of them and you’ve made a decent sum of money.

Write something on an evergreen topic and it could sell for years.

If you then write several eBooks like this, again on evergreen topics, that could become a decent income stream.

And what do I mean by evergreen?

These are topics for which people have always looked for solutions. That might be something like tips for good time management or how to lose weight, and so on.

And even if you’re not an expert you can research the necessary information and pull it together for people. Essentially you will be doing the work for them.

Develop Apps:

If you can learn to write code, and you can learn to write code, then you can also learn how to develop apps. If you can develop a killer app and sell it through the App Store then you can make serious money.

You’d love to but you don’t know where to start, right?

Well there are endless videos and tutorials on YouTube and from these you can learn how to code and develop apps.

Yes there’s some work to be done upfront of course.

However a good app will generate money for years to come. Just think about apps like Candy Crush Saga.

Produce something which becomes a real fad and there’s serious money to be made.

11 things to bear in mind:

If becoming self-employed appeals to you and you fancy making money as an online entrepreneur then here are 11 things you should bear in mind:-

  1. Know your target customers.
  2. Know your target niche or niches
  3. Know your strengths and interests?
  4. Apply your strengths and interests to serve customers
  5. Recognise that different markets need different strategies.
  6. Make sure you’re capturing buying intent.
  7. Create an image that will appeal to your target audience.
  8. With a website, traffic matters.
  9. Search engine optimization (SEO) will bring traffic.
  10. Getting back links from other websites will help with SEO.
  11. Be determined, work hard and learn as you go.

6 things you must do when you’re self-employed:

(1) Register with the tax authorities: Make money by all means but pay your taxes too. Upsetting the taxman is not a good idea dear reader wherever you live. In some countries tax regimes are more benign than in others but it’s always better to keep the tax authorities happy.

(2) Register for sales taxes and VAT: Again it’s all about paying your dues. If you do well financially then you have an obligation to share some of your wealth with the rest of society. Taxes are the price we pay to live in society and you can’t have a successful business without the society in which you live.

(3) Get a separate business bank account: Keep your business activities completely separate from your personal life. This is very important.

(4) Keep accurate and up-to-date records: You’ll need these in any dialogue with the tax authorities. You don’t want to end up paying more in tax than was necessary. Paying your dues is one thing; overpaying your dues is careless.

(5) Insure your business: When you’re in business, you’re required by law to have certain insurance policies in place. Exactly which policies you need depends on the nature of your business activities. Make sure you know your obligations and act accordingly.

(6) Keep it simple: In the early days you don’t want to be spending money you don’t have on things that are initially unnecessary. So keep everything as simple as possible for as long as possible.

Conclusion:

Self-employment can be an attractive proposition and for most people it is the only way you will ever make a fortune. It’s not easy of course but it can be done and you don’t have to ditch your day job to get started.

With an online business you can start small and build it up over time. And you can mix and match options. For instance you can start a website for making money with both Amazon affiliate marketing and Google Adsense.

A good review website can become quite profitable and once it’s generating revenues on ‘autopilot’ it can become an asset which you can sell for serious money. There are plenty of examples where such sites have sold for 6 and even 7 figure sums.

Don’t underestimate the challenges of course but it can be done and people do. Why not you? Think carefully about how best you can exploit the opportunities before you and then have a go.

Good luck and may you be the next Richard Branson.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

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Did you find this article interesting? If so, then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

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Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

25 inspirational stories of people going from rags to riches

Inspirational StoriesInspirational stories can be so uplifting. They tell us that if other people can be successful then so can we.

Did you have a tough start in life?

Perhaps you feel that your difficult past will prevent you from enjoying a successful future?

Well a tough past doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a tough future.

The same goes for a mediocre past.

The past is the past of course and it can’t be changed. However it serves only as a series of lessons to be learned. Remember, it’s not a life sentence.

You can create any future you want, as long as you’re determined, focused and prepared to put in plenty of hard work. You won’t get anywhere without those ingredients. Nevertheless it can be done, though it will be all down to you.

The future is an endless stream of opportunities which you can choose to take or not.

Don’t just accept my word, look around for people who’ve actually done it. There are plenty of inspirational stories if you’ll just look for them. Today I offer you a video with 25 inspirational stories.

Inspirational Stories25 Inspirational Stories:

In the video included here there are 25 excellent examples of people who had a tough start in life but went on to enjoy considerable financial success.

These are all inspirational stories of people going from rags to riches. And if they can do it, why not you?

And remember this; you’re never too old.

Colonel Sanders started KFC at the grand old age of 65.

And Ray Kroc began building the business empire we now know as McDonald’s at 52.

Believe you can and you will.

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Money-Making Tips from the 50 Smartest People

Money is important despite any observations to the contrary you’ll hear from other people occasionally.

In the modern age we can’t get by without money, so money-making is something that’s always on our minds.

Ideally we’d all like to have enough money, so that we can do as we please.

Well it can be done if we invest in things that will in themselves generate an income.

If we can generate multiple income streams that’s even better.

Which brings us back to the idea of money-making and how we go about it in a way that works for us and leads us down the path to wealth.

As with all things if you want to succeed at something, look around for people who’ve been successful and copy what they do. The obvious question is though, where do you start?

Fortunately Tony Robbins has been very helpful here.

In the video included with this post Tony talks about his book which provides money-making tips from the 50 smartest people.

Tony is full of inspiring words and great ideas and I can recommend this video to you dear reader. You can watch it here:-

If you find this video interesting then you may like to add Tony’s book Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom to your personal reference library.

The book is available from Amazon and you can buy it now if you CLICK HERE.

Alternatively time pressures may limit your ability to give the book enough of your attention so you might consider purchasing the unabridged audio CD version so you can listen to it whilst driving. I do this all the time and it’s an excellent way to use time profitably.

The unabridged audio CD version of Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom is also available on Amazon and you can buy it now if you just CLICK HERE.

Never underestimate the power of having your own personal reference library and your own motivational resources to inspire you. So go on, choose your format and buy now.

DISCLAIMER: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links above and then make a purchase, you should know that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

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How to set goals and achieve them

goal settingWhat is life really all about? Do you ever ask yourself that question?

Paying bills and drifting aimlessly through life is not living, it is merely existing, surely?

Personally, I don’t want to live forever but I do want to live life to the full whilst I have the chance. Don’t you?

A life well-lived should include some notable achievements, if you are to realize your full potential and leave a legacy behind you. And leaving a legacy does matter too.

However achievements require proper goal setting if they are to be accomplished.

This article explores goal setting and how goal setting can be translated into achievement. It is by accomplishing goals that you will get a genuine sense of achievement and you feel your life has meaning.

Successful people:

Why are some people successful and others not so?

Successful people generally are no more intelligent than unsuccessful people. In fact many highly intelligent people remain unsuccessful throughout their lives. It’s not about whether you’re clever or not.

Successful people know what they want and they’re determined to get it. Successful people set goals for themselves based on what they want and they pursue those goals with determination and persistence.

You cannot hit a target you cannot see.

You cannot turn your dreams into achievements without goal setting.

However goals don’t set themselves, nor do they accomplish themselves. It requires effort from you.

So get started; identify what matters to you; set goals; keep going; and achieve your aspirations.

Goals must really, really matter:

The act of goal setting alone does not in itself guarantee success. Many people set goals which they fail to achieve.

Why do you think that might be?

The simple answer is that goals often fail because the goal setter didn’t want the potential prize badly enough. They didn’t fully know their ‘Why?’.

For a goal to be achieved the outcome if it’s accomplished must matter to you. If you don’t regard the outcome as being sufficiently worthwhile then you won’t have the motivation to see the goal through to conclusion.

The goal must mean enough to you if the extra effort required to achieve it is to seem sufficiently worthwhile.

Make no mistake any goal worth achieving will require a lot of determination, persistence and hard work. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, that’s for sure.

To quote Napoleon Hill, “Desire is the beginning of achievement.” You must have the desire and the outcome must matter to you.

Change your thinking; change you life:

How we think matters too. You can’t achieve much with negative thinking.

A positive mind with a genuine sense of direction will take you as far as you really want to go.

There are no limits for anyone with enough self-belief and a real sense of what they really want from life. Believe you can and you will. Believe you can’t and you won’t.

The way your mind is currently programmed may be getting in the way of you getting what you want but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change your thinking and, if you do, it will change your life.

Dream lofty dreams:

Don’t be afraid to have a vision for yourself that is truly inspiring. Don’t be afraid to have dreams big enough to be just a little bit frightening. It is on the edge of your comfort zone that you’ll begin to feel you’re really living life to the full.

And your goals should be big enough to stretch you and inspire the desire within you. Be realistic of course but don’t make goals too easy.

Anything easy will not give you a sense of achievement, that’s for sure.

Revisit your inner child:

Children have no limits to their dreams. Most children believe they can achieve anything they want in life. They’ll tell you they want to be an astronaut or an Olympic gold medalist or whatever.

As children we all had grandiose ideas about what we might be in life. Certainly I did. Perhaps you did too dear reader?

The problem is, as we get older, life takes its toll and we all got a little bit more cautious and a lot less ambitious, don’t we? We fear losing face if we are seen to try and then fail.

Self-doubt creeps in and before long we’re adjusting our ambitions downwards. Perhaps we won’t become an astronaut, maybe we’ll settle for being a bus driver instead.

As human beings, often we fear failure and the perception of any resulting embarrassment much more than we genuinely desire success.

We don’t fully appreciate that any minor embarrassment that might result from getting an outcome we didn’t want is actually a lot less painful than spending the rest of our lives wondering what might have been.

We fear failure and yet there’s no such thing as failure, just opportunities to learn and start again.

So goal setting starts with pretending you’re a kid again and believing that anything’s possible.

Just sit down with a notebook and a pen or possibly your tablet computer and start brainstorming right now.

Write down your list of your 101 biggest dreams and goals.

Now don’t think about whether or not they can be achieved, just write them down.

Then from that list you’ve written, identify the items that really, really matter to you.

And remember this; if the goal really, really matters to you then you will find a way to achieve it. Goals only fail when they don’t matter enough.

Remember life requires balance:

Knowing what you want and why it matters to you will help you achieve your goals.

However never forget your goals should promote balance in your life too.

In setting your goals they should benefit you but they should also benefit your loved ones too.

If your loved ones can understand the benefits to them as well as you then they’re much more likely to support you in the achievement of your goals.

And you will need their support. No one ever achieves anything in complete isolation.

Never, ever lose sight of your loved ones in anything you choose to do.

The art of goal setting:

Start by deciding exactly what you want to achieve and then make a firm commitment to it. You must feel genuinely motivated by your goals.

Your goals should be:-

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-limited

This is the so called SMART technique.

Once you have goals you must write them down. This will make them feel much more tangible.

You must share them with other people too, especially your loved ones.

This approach will have a subliminal effect on you and help in the process of achieving your goals.

Then you must plan the steps you will need to take if you are to realize specific goals.

The planning process will almost certainly result in a big goal being broken down into a series of smaller goals and activities.

Then once you have a plan you can cross off each activity as it’s completed.

6 Steps to Goal Setting:

To summarize the goal setting process:-

  • A goal must be specific
  • A goal must be time-limited
  • A goal must be written down
  • A goal must have a plan
  • A goal has a price to be paid
  • A goal must be in your thoughts every day

11 reasons why goals fail:

If goal setting is something you’ve tried with little or no success then you might feel it would help you if you had a better idea of why goals fail. Fear not dear reader help is at hand.

In the embedded video Vic Johnson from Goals2Go.com provides some interesting insight into motivation and goal setting. His words are wise and certainly they will make you think.

It’s a fairly short video but well worth your time if your aim is to improve your goal setting technique and set goals that will result in achievements for which you can be truly very proud.

Further Reading:

Brian Tracy has produced an excellent book and audiobook on goal setting. This offers three and a half hours of useful advice and guidance. The book is called:-

GOALS! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.

I have the audio version of this book and I listen to it frequently when I’m driving. It’s really helpful and truly inspirational I think.

In the book, Brian Tracy explores the key elements of goal setting and the actions necessary to set and accomplish goals of any size.

This book will help you determine your strengths, your true values and goals that will really matter to you.

Brian Tracy explains how to build your self-esteem and confidence and how to overcome every obstacle and problem.

He also explains how to respond to challenges and how to continue moving forward regardless of what’s happening around you.

This book really is a ‘mental fitness’ program for character development and it can help you become the kind of person who can achieve any goal you set yourself.

This would be a great addition to your personal development library and it is well worth the cover price. Buy it today.

You can check it out and buy it from Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

Polite request:

If you found this blog post useful then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

Please share it now and I’ll be ever so grateful. You’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

Disclosure: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links, meaning I will receive a modest commission should you make a purchase from Amazon via one of the links included in the text. However there would be no additional cost to you in making any purchase. These commissions serve only to help with the cost of maintaining and operating this website. Your understanding in this matter is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

What makes a great idea?

What makes a great ideaWhat makes a great idea?

How is it that one idea can be successful and another idea less so?

Why has the iPhone been so successful and yet the Blackberry has all but disappeared?

How do you know when one of your ideas might just make big a difference?

The key ingredient for a great idea is timing. Ideas are a dime a dozen. The trick is to know when one of your inspired thoughts is right for its time and therefore how hard to push it.

If you’re too far ahead of other peoples’ thinking, that inspired thought you believed was great will only be ignored because it won’t resonate with people.

If you’re too far behind, then it will be ignored because they’ve seen it all before.

However if you can hit that sweet spot between the two extremes then you can generate value from your idea because it will capture the imagination of the people who are ready for it.

An idea whose time has come is a truly great idea. Though coming up with one is not so easy, of course.

It’s because great ideas are so rare that they can become so valuable. And that value is why it’s worthwhile to seek out great ideas constantly.

Should you decide the world is not quite ready for your inspired thinking then don’t worry. Not ready now doesn’t mean the world will never be ready.

Keep a journal and make a note of all those flashes of inspiration. And add your journals to your own personal library. Never throw your journals away. Go through them occasionally and see what ideas you’ve had for which the time might now be right.

Your personal journals could be a source of pure gold in the future so make sure you buy quality notebooks that you can add to your personal library as you fill them with your thoughts and inspiration.

My personal preference is for the RHINO A4 160 Ruled NoteBook which can be purchased from a great selection of notebooks that Amazon has in stock.

You might consider this notebook to be a bit expensive of course but buying cheap notebooks is a false economy.

In keeping journals you’re creating value. And value starts with a good quality notebook which you can BUY HERE.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

The secret to being a successful entrepreneur

The secret to being a successful entrepreneurHow often do you hear people say that they’d love to be an entrepreneur?

People will tell you that they’d love to be a success in business, making a difference to peoples’ lives with great products and services.

Then they’ll add the caveat that unfortunately the time’s not right for them at this moment. One day they’ll have a go but their circumstances won’t allow it at present.

However very few of those who say they’ll have a go, will ever actually have a go. They don’t really have the desire and they probably don’t understand the secret to being a successful entrepreneur anyway.

The only way to get rich:

As an entrepreneur, success is measured by the money you make. Let’s face it starting any business is all about making money for the owners. Otherwise why would anyone bother?

And starting your own business can be a fantastic thing to do and, for most people, it is the only way you’ll ever have the chance to make some serious money.

Certainly you’re unlikely to get seriously rich working for someone else.

However to succeed in business, first you must get started.

The critical ingredient to success in business is you getting off your butt and actually doing something about it. And the best time to do it is now. Last year or the year before might have been better but otherwise now is always the best possible time. It’s simple really.

The secret to making money:

Getting off your butt is one thing but how do you make money as an entrepreneur? Well dear reader pull up a chair and listen carefully for the secret is very simple.

The secret to making money as an entrepreneur is to solve problems for people. To make their lives easier in some way.

Solve problems; make money:

Every product you sell must solve a problem for the customer.

So if you can identify problems for which people need a solution and if you can offer those solutions, otherwise known as products, at value for money prices then you can make money and you can be successful.

Remember this too; you don’t necessarily have to be the first with a solution either. If you can improve on an existing solution in some way then you can still make some serious money. If you can ‘build a better mousetrap‘ then people will buy it.

For instance, Steve Jobs and Apple were not the first to offer cellular mobile phone handsets, and nor were Samsung. Yet these two companies both dominate the market for smartphones right now.

The secret to being a successful entrepreneurMake a difference:

Has your appetite for business been whetted dear reader?

Do you have any ideas you think might make a difference? You do? Then you have to be prepared to take action. Having ideas means nothing unless you take action.

Ideas are ten-a-penny. Plenty of people have good ideas that never see the light of day.

Occasionally people will have good ideas but just leave it all too long and then someone else comes along with the same idea and beats them to the draw.

Having ideas is easy. Implementation is the tough bit and there are too few people with the drive and determination to turn a good idea into a business opportunity and then make money from it.

So you must take action if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.

Not tomorrow; not next week; not next year; but right now.

Become a ‘doer’:

In my experience, true entrepreneurs are doers, they’re not dreamers.

So go on, get started right now.

Solve peoples’ problems and you’ll be on your way down the road to riches. Good luck.

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Rules for Business Success Simply Explained

Rules for Business SuccessAnyone can start their own business. You don’t need any special qualifications. You just need the desire and determination to succeed and a little appreciation of the basic rules for business success.

There are many attractions of running your own business too. When you make a profit it’s all yours. You will be building your own dream rather than helping someone else build their dream. And you will be calling the shots, rather than having to work with someone for whom you have little or no respect.

Now running your own business is not easy of course. However it’s the best chance you’re ever going to have to make some serious money. Look at any self-made millionaire and in all probability they’ve made their money by starting their own company. The chances of you getting rich as a salaried employee are slim to non-existent, unless you work on Wall Street perhaps.

Let me be honest here. There’s no easy formula for success in business; there’s no magic bullet. Business involves some risk and it also involves a lot hard work. You have to be prepared to work hard that’s for sure. Anyone suggesting there are easy ways to make money in business is either dishonest or deluded.

Nevertheless plenty of people do succeed in business, so why not you? If they can succeed then you can too with a little self-belief, surely? Believe you can and you will.

However there are some basic rules you should bear in mind. Here are 12 rules for business success that you must always bear in mind:-

  1. Always have target customers and their problems in mind
  2. Solve a problem for your customer
  3. Create a product around the solution to that problem
  4. You don’t have to be first, just build a ‘better mousetrap’
  5. Remember: Your customer is your boss
  6. Until money is coming in, spend as little as possible
  7. Money in must exceed money out to make a profit
  8. Success depends on making a profit consistently
  9. Your profit margin should be worth the risks you’re taking
  10. Use the skills and resources you’ve got
  11. Be flexible and adapt when necessary
  12. Go for activities where you can add the highest value

With self-belief and determination you can be as successful in business as anyone else. Don’t let negative talk by others put you off. Just go for it, if you think you have what it takes.

Even if you’re not quite sure whether you’ve got what it takes, it’s better to have a go and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been. Life is too short to look back with regrets.

Business success can be achieved; people do and you can too.

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How the power of words can change lives

Have you ever wondered just how powerful words can be? Well let me tell you a heart warming story to emphasize something I believe to be true.

Not long ago I had lunch with a group of old friends. Nothing unusual about that, you might say.

Even the fact that it was the first time we’d all been together in the same place, at the same time since the summer of 1979 was not exceptional. Such reunions happen all the time, don’t they?

Anyway it was genuinely a pleasure to see them all again and swap stories about how our lives had progressed since those far off days.

However it’s the story of one of my fellow diners that day that’s worthy of sharing with you now because I think it’s a source of inspiration and it reinforces the importance of just how powerful words can be.

Back in those distant days, we were all working together for the national telecommunications operator in Bahrain. Three of us had been young, graduate engineers on an upward career trajectory, with the future seemingly ours for the taking. The other member of our group, let’s call him Saeed, had been the handyman and tea boy in the department at that time.

Saeed was then a teenager, straight out of school. He was a bright and willing fellow but with absolutely no academic qualifications and he spoke very little English at the time. He came from a poor village and his perceived failure at school had left him feeling that he’d blown his chances and was destined for a series of low paid, low skilled jobs.

Fast forward 40 years and Saeed’s now every bit the poor-boy-made-good story.

Not only is he now a wealthy international businessman with two very successful businesses. He also has a string of qualifications including a PhD. Amazingly he’s now completed a second doctorate too.

In short, his success is impressive by any measure.

Nevertheless, how did Saeed get from where he was to where he is now?

The simple answer of course is determination and a lot of hard work. You cannot achieve anything without those ingredients.

However he also needed a reason to believe; a spark to light the fire. And that for me is where the story gets interesting.

Over lunch Saeed explained that it was a kind and encouraging word, all those years ago, from one of our fellow diners that had made him believe that he could make a success of his life, despite a poor start.

My fellow diner in question, let’s call him Tom, didn’t even remember the conversation. However back in the day it seems Tom had explained to Saeed that your future is not defined by your past, it’s an endless stream of opportunities which you can choose to take, or not, and you can make your life whatever you want it to be.

The power of these well-timed words of encouragement had an impact on Saeed so profound that they propelled him down the road to a destiny which otherwise he did not think possible. And in that is the point.

Words can be very powerful, so always choose them wisely.

A few well-timed words can inspire young people. Young people need encouragement more than they need critics.

So next time you’re working with someone in the early stages of life’s journey, remember your words can have the power to encourage them. They also have the potential to discourage them too, if you’re not careful. What you say and how you say it really matters.

Always offer positive words of encouragement, rather than harsh words of criticism.

Never, ever forget how powerful your words can be. The right words really can inspire young people to achieve their full potential.

If you want to leave a legacy behind you; it would be hard to improve on that I think.

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How to build wealth from nothing – 5 Top Tips

How to build wealth from nothingThere’s nothing anyone can do if you were born poor. That was just unfortunate. However you don’t have to go through life poor.

It is possible to build wealth over time and people do.

Many people born poor become very wealthy through their own efforts and you can too dear reader.

Here are five tips to help you build wealth from nothing.

How to build wealth from nothing:

1. Pay yourself first:

You’ll know I’m sure that making money can be relatively easy, whilst holding on to it is very, very hard.

We’re all constantly bombarded with reasons why we should spend our money in return for some fleeting sense of gratification. Would that be an experience you recognise dear reader?

It doesn’t have to be that way of course and rich people know that only too well.

So what do rich people do that’s different to everyone else? Simple! They always pay themselves first.

And what do I mean by paying yourself first?

I mean when you’re paid, you take a slice off the top of your income immediately and you put it away somewhere safe. And by a slice I mean say 10%.

And what do I mean by somewhere safe?

Well initially that would be depositing your money in an interest-bearing account.

However once your money starts building into a larger sum then you can start thinking about other forms of investment that’ll give you greater returns potentially. Stocks and bonds for instance.

Building a capital sum is important because as your money grows it starts to generate a second income stream for you. That may not seem important to you now but it will be as you get older.

So paying yourself first is a discipline to which you must adhere until it becomes a habit you do without thinking.

You must always put some money away and you must make that money work hard for you. You must grow and protect your investment portfolio with careful diversification and over time you’ll find yourself building a sizeable fortune.

So here’s today’s mantra for you: Pay Yourself First. Never forget that please dear reader.

2. Be an investor not a speculator:

You must understand that there’s a big difference between investing and speculation. They’re not the same thing at all.

I don’t wish to imply that there’s something wrong with speculation though. There isn’t.

In the world of finance speculation brings liquidity to the market and therefore it does have its place.

However speculation tends to operate on the ‘greater fool’ principle.

By that I mean someone is prepared to buy an asset for a given price in the hope that it can then be sold quickly to someone else, the greater fool, for a greater price.

This is what professional speculators do and they can make money this way because they know what they’re doing and they have sophisticated systems to support them.

However for ordinary people speculation is like gambling in a casino. And you should never invest your money as though you’re gambling in a casino.

You might get lucky occasionally of course but over time your losses will outstrip any gains you might make, and almost certainly by a significant margin.

So my recommendation to you dear reader is you should never speculate. Instead you should focus on becoming an investor.

By investing I mean buying stocks and shares in solid, well managed, cash-generative businesses which have the ability to pay good dividends on a sustained basis.

Buy stocks worth holding for the long term. This will provide you with a steady income stream from the dividends regardless of any short to medium term volatility in the market. And spread your risk by building a diversified portfolio.

If you reinvest your dividends then over time you will find that this approach should give you a good return on your money.

If you want to make money and build capital, then my advice to you dear reader is to be an investor not a speculator.

3. Focus on value not price:

The legendary investor Warren Buffett once said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.

With this observation he’s making a very important point. There’s a distinction between price and value.

A low price for an asset doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be getting value. And a high price doesn’t automatically mean you would not be getting value. Price in itself is not a measure of value. You must consider other factors to judge value.

When you’re buying any financial asset, says stocks and shares, you should always focus on value and you must establish metrics by which you can adequately judge the intrinsic value within that asset.

Judged in isolation price is just a number, nothing more.

A lower price means absolutely nothing if you’re getting little or no value in return for your money.

Never, ever forget that it’s the intrinsic value that will determine whether something is really worth buying or not.

Get real value at the right price and then you can get a decent return over time from an investment.

4. Create a personal private income:

Much as we all aspire to do work we love, you must never forget dear reader that ultimately work is simply a means to an end.

Essentially work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. In turn that money is then the fuel on which we run our lives.

Money provides us with the means to put bread on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and those of our loved ones of course.

If you work hard enough you can earn a lot of money.

Manage that money wisely and you can build capital. Invest that capital intelligently and you can create your own personal private income streams.

When you have a decent private income in your own right then you can truly pick and choose the work you do.

Then you only have to do what you enjoy doing; that thing that gives you a genuine sense of purpose.

Creating a personal private income is a worthy goal and it’s well worth the effort.

That way you’re in control of your own life and no one else can dictate what you should and shouldn’t do.

You’ll be in control of the good ship ‘Me’ and only you then decide where it goes.

The message here is, work hard so you don’t have to work hard.

5. Never forget what matters most:

It would be very easy to believe that a life filled with lots of money and materiality will make you blissfully happy. Well let me tell you dear reader, in isolation, it won’t.

I’m not suggesting that these things are not important but you must get your priorities right.

Yes of course, go out there and make money. Manage it carefully. Buy nice things and enjoy some of that money too.

However to be truly happy you must never lose sight of the most important thing in your life and that is family and friends. People are social animals; we’re not solitary like cats. We need other people and most of all we need our loved ones.

So make time for your loved ones, especially your children. Enjoy their company and make the most of every minute with them.

Never focus on work to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important of course but people are much more important.

Never lose sight of the people in your life.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.