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.”

Please share this post with your friends:

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

So please share it now. If you do I will be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

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

3 things you need to know about money

things you need to know about money

Today I’d like you to think about things you need to know about money dear reader. In other words, think about what it all really means.

It’s natural to dream about being rich of course.

Most people dream about being able to buy whatever they want and go anywhere and everywhere they’d like to go.

The attraction of having that pot of gold is why a lot of people will chase every rainbow.

However, whilst money is necessary to sustain life, there are some things you should really understand about money. Here are three of them:-

1. Having money brings its own pressures:

A great fortune is a great slavery. ~Seneca

It’s reasonable to want to create wealth and build a fortune. As suggested above, we all want to feel financially secure don’t we? Why wouldn’t we?

However being financially secure doesn’t mean you’ll have a life without problems and worry.

You’ll just have different problems and different things to worry about.

No one goes through life without problems. Dealing with problems and challenges is an inevitable part of the human condition.

Put simply, having money brings its own pressures.

Once you’ve got money your biggest concern will be to ensure that you hang on to it.

Inevitably that means you can become a slave to managing your money, preserving its capital value and protecting your fortune.

Being wealthy may be the nice problem to have but it’s no less of a problem for that.

So keep it all in perspective.

2. Money can never be more important than people:

We love to earn money, who doesn’t? It gets you things. ~Katie Price

Earning money is great and it does allow you to buy the things you want and the things you need. However money won’t take care of you when you’re ill.

Yes, it might enable you to buy in some hired help.

However that’s not the same as having someone around who genuinely cares about your well-being. That someone for whom you matter much more than money ever will.

In my experience, whilst money is important, nothing in our lives matters more to us than our friends and loved ones. Human beings are social animals and only people matter to us really.

So never focus on money to the point where you neglect the people who should matter most to you. Forget about them and eventually they will forget about you.

You can have all the money in the world but without friends and loved ones you will have nothing at all.

Go out and earn your money by all means and enjoy it too.

However always maintain a sense of balance in your life and make sure that you allocate some time for the people who matter most to you.

An investment of your time in the people you love is an investment that will pay dividends.

3. Money is a precious resource so use it wisely:

A penny saved is a penny earned. ~Benjamin Franklin

I make no apology for repeating Benjamin Franklin’s money mantra frequently repeated by generations of well-meaning parents to their profligate children. It’s as valid today as it was in his day.

Whether Franklin was referring to money saved when making purchases or money saved from income is not obvious in his statement but that doesn’t matter.

The underlying point is that you have to be careful with your money because saving money is the key to building wealth and becoming financially successful. No one ever got rich by wasting their money.

Money like time is a precious resource, so use it wisely.

Please share this post with your friends:

If you found this blog post interesting and 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:

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

How to build character

How to build characterHow to build character? Now that’s a frequently asked question.

Whether it’s someone seeking to build their own character or to improve character in someone else, we hear it often.

However the supplementary question is, what is meant by character?

There’s a difference between being ‘a character’ and being ‘of character’.

Whereas the former just means being a little bit eccentric, a wit perhaps, or even a raconteur. That’s not the subject of this post, despite all these being admirable qualities, of course.

The point being considered here is how to become a person of character.

So what does it mean to be a person of character?

First of all, people of character usually do what is right regardless of whether they’re being watched or not.

They also display traits such as honesty, integrity, courage, manners, self-reliance, commitment, and determination.

The comedian Will Rogers once jokingly observed that to be of character people should live in such a way that they wouldn’t be ashamed to sell their parrot to the town gossip.

So being of good character is an important thing to be.

If achieving sustained success is your aim then talent alone isn’t enough. Talent might get you into the limelight briefly but without strong character you’re unlikely to remain there for too long.

The process of developing good character is one that is on-going too. So you have to keep working at it.

Essentially character is composed of 3 things:-

  1. Values: Having the right values and knowing what matters most.
  2. Doing what is right: Even when no one is watching.
  3. Being a decent person: Showing wisdom, honesty, integrity, love, humility, loyalty, courage, compassion, empathy, self-awareness, and a willingness to recognize fair criticism.

We all have at least some work to do if we are to become people of good character.

This is an area where constant improvement is necessary, however good you are now.

Some people may be well on the way to being of good character, whilst others may have a lot of work to do yet.

However those that are still some way off can change and they can grow in character. You can be better if you want to be better and you can practice the behaviours necessary. These include:-

How to build character1. Decide you will be better:

As mature adults our first duty is to take care of ourselves and to be the best people we can be. To live lives worthy of respect. So decide to be the person you really could be.

2. Life-long learning:

It doesn’t matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement.

Improvement comes through education and learning, whether formal or informal, and experience is gained by doing, making mistakes and learning the lessons from mistakes made.

3. Work on yourself:

To quote the late, great Jim Rohn, Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. We’re all works in progress. Make sure you keep getting better.

Don’t leave them saying, “She used to be really good.” When they speak of you, make sure they say, “She just keeps getting better. She’s an example to us all.That applies equally to ‘He’ of course.

4. Pursue excellence:

If anything is worth doing then it’s worth doing properly. The way you live your life is no exception.

5. Add value:

Our contribution to society is in the value we add.

That might be in the example we set or the work that we produce.

We don’t get paid for the hour. We get paid for the value we put into the hour. So make sure you leave every situation better than you found it.

6. Be determined:

If success is your aim, it won’t happen without hard work and determination.

Being good is not enough. Being determined to get to where you really, really want to go is everything.

7. Be persistent:

Never accept an answer unless it’s the want you want.

Never accept an outcome as the final outcome unless it’s the one that you want.

Never quit until you get to where you really want to be or you’ve achieved the goal you set for yourself.

Remember; winners never quit and quitters never win. Be the winner you can be.

How to build character8. Accept every challenge:

Never underestimate the importance of taking on a challenge.

A challenge provides us with experience through which we’ll learn lessons.

It’s also the means through which character is developed in the process.

Not only will we learn more about our own character, we’ll learn about our capacity to achieve.

9. Ask yourself some searching questions:

It is a fact that too many people go to their graves with their full potential unrealized.

They never quite develop their characters to the point where they leave a genuine legacy and an example for others to follow.

Ask yourself this question, If you were to die tomorrow how will you be remembered at your funeral?

What will they say about you?

How would you prefer to be remembered?

What would you like people to say about you? And how can you change now to ensure they do?

Depending on the answers to those questions, you may well decide to make a few changes in your life.

Where to go from here:

If you recognize the need to change, start with value. What values will you live by and what value are you going to add from now on? Be a person with values and of value.

Then think about challenges you could take on to build your character.

In taking on a challenge we can often surprise ourselves in terms of just how far we can go.

Through a challenge we can also learn new skills and improve our self-confidence.

A challenge is an opportunity to grow; it’s an opportunity to learn; and it’s an opportunity to make progress towards becoming the person you really could be.

It’s true that challenges are hard and they’re meant to be.

Challenges push us out of our comfort zone and that’s the whole point. Unless we move out of our comfort zone, how can we possibly grow as people?

So embrace challenges but never fear failing at a challenge; your only fear should be never realizing you full potential because you failed to move out of your comfort zone.

Do well in a challenge and it can provide you with benefits you couldn’t have imagined before you started.

At the very least every challenge makes you that little bit stronger and builds your character, so you really can’t lose.

So do you have some changes to make?

If so, what and by when?

Write them all down and make a plan. Now! It’s never too late to be the person you really could be.

Please share this post with your friends:

If you found this blog post interesting and 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:

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

3 of life’s lessons learned you really should know

Lifes Lessons LearnedMany regular readers will be familiar with these three of life’s lessons included here today but that’ll not be true for everyone. It all comes down to experience really, doesn’t it?

Well dear reader, please don’t feel that you must make every mistake yourself in order to learn.

You can learn from the experience of others, and you can choose to bear in mind the lessons others have learned.

So here are three of life’s lessons learned that you would do well to bear in mind:-

1. Money can’t make you happy:

If you’re not happy without money then having money won’t change how you feel about yourself.

We experience happiness not through the things we purchase but through our personal philosophy, as well as our relationships with other people. People are social animals.

If you want to be happy you must never lose sight of the most important people in your life, i.e. family and friends.

Spend time with them and enjoy their company, especially your children. Make the most of every minute you have with your loved ones.

Yes of course, go out there and make some money. I’m not suggesting money doesn’t matter because it does. It’s up there with oxygen for sustaining a life worth living.

So you must manage your money carefully and invest some of it too.

Enjoy your some of your money and buy nice things occasionally too. Life’s too short not to enjoy some of what you have from time to time.

However never focus on money and work to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important but the people in your life are far more important.

You could have all the money in the world but without you friends and loved ones you’d have nothing.

Lifes Lessons Learned2. Life is too short to do a job you hate:

You should never do anything for money alone.

Yes you need an income and yes it’s nice to have plenty of money in your pocket. Let’s face it we’d all like to have plenty of money, wouldn’t we? That’s human nature.

However no amount of money will compensate you for the drudgery of doing a job you hate.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it well. And if you don’t do it well eventually you’ll come unstuck. It will all end in tears. Now is that really what you want dear reader?

And then you must always remember that one day, like everyone else, you will die. You’re not going to live forever, nor would you want to.

What a shame it would be if on your death bed you felt you’d completely wasted your life. Now how bad would that be?

So find a job you enjoy.

That really is important. You’ll spend one third of your life in work and that’s a long time to be doing something you hate.

If you haven’t found a job you love yet then keep looking.

Don’t focus on money. Find the right job; do it well and add real value; and the money will follow in time.

3. Greed can lead to expensive mistakes:

There’s a classic telephone scam, which never fails to catch some people out.

The way it works is a salesman or woman working in a ‘boiler room’ somewhere offshore calls you with an offer for you to purchase an asset at a price which they’ll tell you will guarantee you an enormous profit.

It might be stocks and shares or it might be plots of land in some faraway place but the underlying message is always the same.

Essentially they’ll tell you that next to no one knows about the availability of this asset just yet but when they do the price of the asset will go through the roof and keep on going.

They’ll tell you that whatever they have to offer is a steal and that you have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and make an absolute killing but you have to buy today or you’ll miss out.

The sales people always sound friendly, very plausible and they’ll make it all sound very professional. They’ll even take a little time to make you feel that really they’re trustworthy.

This scam plays on our greed and our gullibility.

We believe what we’re being told because we want to believe it. We just love the idea that we might get something for nothing.

However if you part with your money that‘s the last you’ll see of it.

The asset will be worthless or even non-existent. You’ll have been scammed.

Furthermore, if you’re foolish enough to buy, you’ll also be put on a ‘sucker list’ which means you’ll get inundated with similar calls from other high-pressure sales people offering similar ‘deals‘.

In reality any deal that sounds too good to be true will prove to be too good to be true.

There’s no easy money to be had anywhere. And anyway, if it was that good a deal why would they be telling you? If there really was a killing to be made, they’d simply invest their own money and bag the ‘profit’ for themselves, surely?

Never allow yourself to fall for it.

And never, ever allow yourself to be bounced into buying anything just because they tell you that this deal is only available today.

In sales language that’s known as a ‘call to action‘. It’s the oldest sales trick in the sales handbook.

The idea is to bounce you into making a purchasing decision before you have time to think it all through properly.

Don’t be a mug and don’t be foolish enough to line other peoples’ pockets at your own expense.

Please share this post with your friends:

If you found this blog post interesting and 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:

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

The A – Z Guide to Success

Guide to SuccessLooking for a guide to success? We could all use one, right?

Well here is a concise A- Z guide of the things you will need to bear in mind.

Perhaps it’s a little over-simplified, if I’m honest, but it does cover all the bases, of that I’m sure.

If you need a guide to success then print this list and pin it above your desk and refer to it constantly:-

  • (A) Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places.
  • (B) Believe in yourself and in what you can do.
  • (C) Consider every angle and look at things from both sides.
  • (D) Don’t give up and never give in.
  • (E) Enjoy. Motivation happens when you’re happy with life.
  • (F) Family and Friends. Never, ever lose sight of them.
  • (G) Give more than what you believe is enough.
  • (H) Hold on to your dreams. These should drive you onward and upward.
  • (I) Ignore those who belittle your ambition. If you believe you can, what they think is irrelevant.
  • (J) Just be you. The key to failure is trying to please everyone.
  • (K) Keep trying no matter how hard life may seem.
  • (L) Learn to love yourself. You’re as good as anyone.
  • (M) Make things happen. The harder you work the luckier you’ll get.
  • (N) Never lie, cheat or steal. Always play a fair game.
  • (O) Open your eyes. Be aware of what’s going on around you.
  • (P) Practice makes perfect. Be a student of your craft and work towards mastery.
  • (Q) Quitters never win and winners never quit. Be a winner not a quitter.
  • (R) Ready yourself. Be prepared and be ready when opportunity strikes.
  • (S) Stop procrastinating. Get on with it. It’s later than you think.
  • (T) Take control of your life. Discipline and self-control are key to success.
  • (U) Understand others. Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
  • (V) Visualize it. What will success look like to you? How will you recognize it?
  • (W) Want it more than anything. It must matter to you if you’re to keep going when it gets hard.
  • (X) X Factor is that little bit of magic that makes you different from all the other wannabes. When you’re truly motivated, you’ll deliver that extra something that will help you shine like a star. Shine like a star and you’ll get noticed. Get noticed and you’re on the way to achieving success.
  • (Y) You are unique. You have special qualities no one else has. So work to your strengths and do the things that only you can do.  That way you will begin to shine like a star.
  • (Z) Zero in on your dreams and just go for it. Don’t stop until you get to where you want to be.

Please share this post with your friends:

If you found this blog post interesting and 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:

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

7 tips for becoming your best self

Best SelfSuccessful people are generally regarded as being the best at whatever they do.

However to be the best at what you do you must start with becoming the best person you can be. That is you must be your best self. In other words, you must find the hero that lies within you.

There’s infinite capacity within you to excel but to realize at least some of your potential you must work at becoming the exceptional person you really can be.

The obvious question is, where do you start?

So today I offer you 7 tips to help you become your best self:-

1. Know your purpose:

If you’re going to be the best person you can be then you cannot just drift through life hoping that it will all just fall into place. It won’t. Nothing happens by accident.

You cannot drift through life with little direction or purpose, not if success is your aim.

Drifting may seem attractive to some but it’s not the way to discover contentment, health and wealth?

It never has been and it never will be.

You must determine your life’s purpose, or your mission if you like.

Having a sense of purpose is essential. With it you’ll have your own compass that will guide you to your truth north all the time.

2. Know your values:

What really matters to you dear reader?

Having a set of values is important. Having a moral code is important too.

Civilization is underpinned by accepted values and a moral code.

Values are the benchmark against which we measure ourselves and any successes we may achieve.

For instance, achieving success by cheating will not make us feel good about ourselves because we’ll know we didn’t play fair. We were dishonest and we’ll know we were dishonest.

It can only feel like a real achievement if it was won in a fair fight. A bit of gamesmanship is one thing but cheating is quite another.

So what is it you value most dear reader? Pause for a minute and give that question some thought.

Make a list of your top three values.

Then check your goals against those values. Are your goals congruent with your values? Certainly they’ll need to be.

If a goal doesn’t align with any of your top three values then you must get rid of it.

Anything you achieve that is inconsistent with your values will not make you feel good about yourself.

You will only recognize you as your best self when you consider yourself against the values that matter most to you.

3. Know your needs:

Every human being has needs. Having needs is part of the human condition.

Abraham Maslow put it best when he described the hierarchy of needs.

Physiological needs, the need for safety and security, the need for love and belonging, the need for self-esteem, and the need for self-actualization.

We all need these things to varying degrees.

We all need certainty. However certainty can be boring, so we also need uncertainty or change to make life more interesting. The problem is uncertainty can make us feel insecure which is why we tend to feel uncomfortable when we experience change.

You’ll have your own specific needs dear reader and it’s important to identify them.

If you’re to live authentically then the life you live should be consistent with your needs. You can only be you. Anything else would be a fake.

Perhaps attention and recognition are your greatest needs?

Perhaps what truly matters most to you is family and friends?

Perhaps you have a need to become a mum or a dad?

Perhaps you have a burning need to play a musical instrument or to write?

Whatever your needs if they remain unmet it will stop you living authentically.

So list your top five needs and make sure any goals you have are consistent with meeting them.

Know your needs and make sure you work towards meeting them before it is too late.

Best Self4. Know your passions:

It’s often said that the three things we need in life are a passion, a purpose and a pastime.

Passion is important.

If you have a passion for what you do, you’ll do it well.

If it really matters to you of course you’ll do it well. And if you do it well people will notice. And when people start to notice then demand for your services will increase. And once demand for your services increases then your value will increase. So it’s a virtuous circle.

Knowing what you truly like and enjoy doing is part of really knowing who you are as a person.

Knowing your passions allows you to express yourself and to make your own unique contribution to life.

And by expressing yourself and leaving a legacy you’ll pay tribute to all those people who inspired you to become the very person you really could be. To become your best self.

5. Live from the inside out:

Your body is the temple in which you will live your entire life.

If that temple is in bad shape then that’s hardly a basis for you becoming your best self, is it?

So be in tune with your body and take care of it.

Eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

Put your physical and mental well-being at the heart of everything you do.

Appreciate the world around you. Stop to smell the roses occasionally. Allow yourself to be in spiritual contact with nature and the world around you.

When you feel stressed and pressured, take the time to breathe deeply. This will help you relax and quiet your distracted mind.

Above all, listen to what your heart is saying. Follow your heart but take your brains with you, of course.

6. Know your strengths and work to them

We all have our own strengths. We all have a natural talent for something and there are things that others will recognize that we’re very good at.

You’re no different dear reader. So what are your strengths?

At what do you excel in comparison to other people?

Knowing your strengths and making sure you’re working to your strengths is essential if you’re to be your best self. Certainly you won’t get far if you’re working to your weaknesses.

So what positive traits do you possess?

What would other people say are your strengths?

For what do other people regard you as the ‘go to’ person?

Your authentic self will be expressed best by working to your strengths, of course.

If you’re good at what you do then you’ll do it well. And doing it well will increase your self-confidence.

And confidence is an essential ingredient to you being your best self.

7. Serve others:

Human beings are social animals and we live naturally in groups and society.

Being part of society means making a contribution to it.

We must all make a contribution particularly if we are striving to be our best self.

Living authentic lives means we must develop an interconnected sense of being.

If you’re true to who you are, living your life’s purpose and giving your talents to the world around you then you are providing a service to others.

To contribute to society you must serve others in some way. And giving your best is the service you share with others. That is your spirit; your very essence. That is your raison d’etre.

Service to others provides its own rewards.

Sharing your gifts with the world can be pleasing indeed. Knowing your contribution was one only you can make can be truly satisfying.

Know you’ve made a real difference and you will have achieved your best self.

Please share this post with your friends:

If you found this blog post interesting and 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:

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

How to speak so people will listen

How to speak so people will listenThere’s an old saying which states; it’s not just what you say but the way that you say it.

And it’s very true, how something is said is as important as the words being spoken.

Now just think about that for a second. We can use exactly the same words in different ways and we will deliver completely different messages.

How something is said also has an impact on whether people listen to us or not. We all met engaging people who capture our attention and we’ve all met a few boring people too.

In the video included here Julian Treasure offers some excellent insight into how to speak so people will listen to you.

His underlying message in the video is that we must learn to speak with power if we are to get our messages across to other people.

Julian Treasure suggests that there are a number of habits we must avoid if we are to speak with power.

He says in his view there are Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking, albeit he does note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. His deadly seven are as follows:-

  1. Gossip: Speaking in an unkind way about other people.
  2. Judging: People are unlikely to listen if they feel they’re being judged.
  3. Negativity: It’s hard to listen to people with a negative attitude.
  4. Complaining: It’s hard to listen to a moaner too.
  5. Excuses: You won’t be taken seriously if blame is always elsewhere.
  6. Exaggeration: This can border on lying and who listens to a liar?
  7. Dogmatism: Where facts are confused with opinions.

So if we suffer from all or some of these deadly sins, can we change?

Yes, of course but it does take a little work and a better understanding of how improvements can be achieved.

In the video Julian explains that there are four cornerstones to powerful speech. He uses the mnemonic HAIL to explain these as follows:-

  1. Honesty : Being clear and straight
  2. Authenticity : Being real and being yourself
  3. Integrity : Being true to your word
  4. Love : Wishing people well. And we all like to be appreciated, surely?

However understanding these cornerstones is only the beginning of the process because, as stated earlier, how you say what you’ve got to say is important too.

Julian then discusses aspects of speaking such as Register; Timbre; Prosody; Pace; Pitch; Volume; and the use of Silence. To address many of these issues you may need the help of a voice coach of course but knowing about them is a good start.

Julian also suggests some simple voice warm-up exercises for you to use before you give a speech. They’re so easy you can use them immediately.

Being a TEDTalk you’d expect this video to be both interesting and useful and it doesn’t disappoint. I found Julian Treasure’s ideas fascinating and if you’re someone who regularly speaks in front of an audience, large or small, then I am confident that you’ll find this video helpful.

This video has had over 22 million views on YouTube so clearly Julian Treasure’s ideas have resonated with a significant audience already.

Polite request:

If you found this blog post and the embedded video 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:

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

If you knew you’ll die tomorrow, here’s what’s important to you today?

Life is Short

Life is short:

Many of the posts on this blog reflect on the importance of money to living life in the modern age.

Let’s be honest it’s difficult to live without money today, is it not?

Nevertheless we must also remember that life is short. And for some people it’s very short indeed.

So, whilst money is important to some degree, it’s not an ideal means for measuring success, is it? Not success in life anyway.

In the modern age it’s easy to become obsessed with money but the accumulation of money for its own sake should never be the underlying motive that drives us, surely? That can only lead to a life of misplaced priorities I think.

If your approach to life includes an obsession with money then you’ll be doomed to disappointment I think. One day you’ll look back and wished you’d spent a bit more time with family, friends and loved-ones.

So what would be an ideal measure of success?

For me a better measure for success is whether we’re feeling fulfilled by what we’re doing.

If our work is something we’d do as a hobby if we couldn’t get paid for it then that’s a better way of gauging success. As the great Warren Buffett once said, “Look for a job that you’d take it you didn’t need a job.”

A sense of purpose and work which is fulfilling and truly absorbing is a much less stressful way of living. If we enjoy what we do we’ll do it well and the money will follow anyway. If we do our work exceptionally well then people will notice. And once we get noticed, we’re on our way to genuine success.

Never be driven by money alone.

Never accept a job simply because it’s well paid.

It’s nice to have a good salary, of course. However once we get used to the money we still have to spend a third of our lives doing the work for which we’re being paid well. And to do work we don’t enjoy, is a very big price to pay in terms of emotions, our stress levels and the impact on our central nervous system.

If life is short then our time is very precious, surely?

What’s the point of working every hour we’ve got just to become rich, only then to die suddenly of a heart attack having had no time to enjoy the fruits of our work?

What a waste that would be. Being the richest man or woman in the graveyard is hardly a title worth having, is it?

So the underlying message to you today dear reader is to find work you enjoy doing and to make sure you leave a little time to enjoy life too.

No one’s life is perfect.

Everyone faces challenges occasionally. Inevitably your life will have its ups and downs too. However make sure there are more ups than downs in life, as far as you possibly can.

Take some time to smell the roses and have a laugh. As the old Music Hall song used to say; “enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”

You wouldn’t want to live forever, but you should be living your life to the full today. Life is short and it’s definitely later than you think.

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:

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

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.

Polite request:

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

So please share it now. If you do I will be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

© 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.

Polite request:

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

So please share it now. If you do I will be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

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