All Posts By

Jerad Hill

Sunday Dispatch

20,000 Steps Kinda Hurts & Other Challenges

Hey friend 👋🏼, how was your week? It was a busy one for me. Yesterday, I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, and it was filled with food and relaxing. I have been on this challenge to put 20,000 steps (approx. 10 miles) on my legs every day. It’s been hard work, so I was thankful that the gym was open on Thanksgiving morning so I could get most of the work done early. I post my daily step count on my Instagram Story. While jogging on the treadmill, I started thinking about the things I was thankful for. I know it sounds kind of weird, like something your Mom would force you to do, but I was feeling very gracious for where my life is right now. Things are not perfect, but they are pretty great. I think sometimes we need to remember just how good things are even when they might seem like they are not.

There are a few topics that will likely be common in my emails. The first is on building alternative sources of income. Besides my digital marketing agency, I produce YouTube videos, write reviews, and teach online. I am very close to having replaced my income with revenue from these efforts. I would love to share more about how I was able to do that.

The second topic is on productivity and life optimization. I used to like the term lifestyle design, but for me, it’s more about life optimization. Life optimization means doing the work it takes to make your current life better rather than always chasing something in hopes that it will bring happiness. There is happiness right here. It just takes work.

Before we jump into the topics and interesting things I have to share, I wanted to let you know that over 350 people have downloaded my Daily Log template in the last week. That’s pretty awesome. I plan to make a video about how I use it this week; I will share that with you in the next email. Of course, you can always subscribe to my personal YouTube channel so you get notified when it goes live.

Lastly, today is Black Friday. I am not sure if that is a common thing or not, but are you buying something for yourself on Black Friday? I always put away a few dollars in case something I want but wouldn’t pay full price goes on sale. This year I held back and didn’t purchase anything personal on Black Friday. I do make business purchases on Black Friday because, for some reason, companies that sell business services give deals as well. I’ll list my Black Friday Purchases below. Reply to this email and let me know what you are buying today.

Be Challenged Now

It’s almost the end of the year, so you are probably starting to think about those things you want to either start or stop doing at the beginning of the year. Wanting to start right away, I started challenging myself in a few ways already. In the last email, I shared my progress with you, and I will continue to update you at the bottom of each email so if I start slipping, you can call me out 😜

The hardest part about sticking to something for me has been staying motivated. I have found that the simple act of tracking it each day has been motivating enough. If I do something for five days in a row, I don’t want to have to start over at day one again, so I keep going. I have been testing a few habit tracking apps and also added a section to my Daily Log to track my progress as well.

Here are the three Apps I have been testing out. I will make a video about them soon, but to be honest, I prefer to track this in my Daily Log even though these apps are also on my Apple Watch, which makes it easy to check off achievements as they happen.

I’m not looking to develop a habit of anything specific; I’m developing the habit of doing things and challenging myself. Most people talk about doing things, few people do things. I want to be a person who is always doing things. What is one thing you always talk about but never do? Hit reply to this email and share that with me.

Habit Tracker Apps

Listed from left to right:

  • Productive – Nice interface. Easy to use. Has a monthly cost. (iOS & Android)
  • Strides – Simple interface. Easy to use. Monthly cost, but can be used for free with limitations. (iOS Only)
  • Streaks – Easy to use. I like the big buttons. App has a cost, no monthly subscription. (iOS Only)

If you are an Android user and want more options, let me know. I will test a few and include them in my video.

📺 New Videos This Week

VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector Review

State of Tech – Mobile Tech Reviews, Tips & News

Have you heard of 4K Laser Video Projectors? I spent some time with one to see if it would make a good replacement for our TV. This projector doesn’t have to go clear across the room, it goes up against the wall and projects almost straight up onto your wall. Pretty cool.

Check out the video.

Video Update!

I did a lot of filming and editing last week but only got out one video. Going into December, I have a lot of videos I want to put out on State of Tech, Ditch Auto, and my own YouTube channel. I will keep you updated in these emails but you can also go subscribe to my channels if you prefer.

My Black Friday Purchases

  • Freshbooks – This is the Invoicing & Bookkeeping service I use to run my business. I’ve been using Freshbooks for over 12 years now and it just rocks. They are running a Black Friday discount for new users. Save 50% off plans for the first three months if you skip the 30-day trial. Try Freshbooks
  • LensProToGo – I don’t need to own all of the camera gear. It’s actually cheaper to rent some of it just when I need it. I just rented a camera and lens I have wanted to try to take to Florida next month when my wife and I travel there for a friend’s wedding. You can actually use the coupon code “JERAD” to save 15% off of your rental. I don’t get paid for sending you there, I just like their services. Try LensProToGo
  • Teachable – I have hosted my online courses on Teachable for a few years now and Teachable just works well. They also run Black Friday deals each year so I renew at this time and save each time as well. Try Teachable
  • Namecheap – I buy way too many domain names (website addresses). Namecheap is running a bunch of sales right now so I purchased a new domain name for a small side project I have wanted to start working on. Check out Namecheap

Momentous Occasions

My youngest child turned one!

My youngest turned one the other day. We had a party for her last weekend. I captured this photo of her dumping the pumpkin off of the chair. That is totally her style. She keeps me busy. We brought her home at 11-days old and she officially became part of our family on August 12th. It’s crazy to think that this time last year we had no idea she was being born and that on December 7th we would get a call asking us if we could provide her with a home. One day I would like to tell the story of our adoption journey somehow. The entire journey took us almost three years.

What Resonated This Week

Ideas, quotes, and thoughts that are “resonating” with me make it to a new section in my Daily Log. Here are a few from the past week:

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” – James Baldwin

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami

Now

🇺🇸 Writing From: Home Office

💪🏼 Current Challenges:

  • 20,000 Steps/Day for 30-days (Day 9 – Friend me on Fitbit)
  • No Sip November – No alcohol (Day 28)

📱 App of the Week: Zero – Intermittent Fasting Tracker

🎧 Listening: The Side Hustle Show Podcast

📖 Reading: I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

🍿 Watching: Disney+

➡️ More now

Next

Several of you responded to my last email letting me know that you wanted a photography-related newsletter. I am trying to figure out what that might look like. Next week I will likely have a signup form, so make sure to look out for that if you are interested.

Thank You!

Thank you 🙏 for your support.

Want to fuel my next email? Buy me a coffee.

What’s currently in my pocket?

Disclosure: My content occasionally contains affiliate links and I earn a small referral commission for your purchases (at no extra cost to you). This helps fund the costs to support the newsletter, and I’m grateful for you!

Sunday Dispatch

💩 = 🌱

Hey Friend 👋🏼, can you believe November is almost over already? I remember this time last year thinking the same thing and feeling a bit depressed over the fact that I had not accomplished many of the things I wanted to do that year. Has that ever happened to you?

This year has not been perfect, but I have accomplished more personally and for my family than I have in years. As the year comes to a close, a portion of my email will be dedicated to helping you create goals, start them, and stay motivated to finish them. If you’re serious about making 2020 your best year yet, I’m considering starting a private group for those of us interested in making next year amazing. Let me know if you are interested in something like that.

I had multiple requests for a copy of my Daily Log, so I created a page where you can download the template for free. Check it out.

On Feeling Overwhelmed

It’s easy to get overwhelmed these days. More things pulling at us than ever before, and it’s hard to process it all. One of the things I have started tracking in my Daily Log is the things that are currently overwhelming me. When I get overwhelmed, my wheels kind of just spin in place. It’s hard for me to make a decision and move forward. Are you this way? I sometimes get overwhelmed when I have to decide what to focus on and especially when I have something I wanted to finish, but it’s time for me to stop working and spend time with my family.

Later today, I am going to start calendar blocking. Calendar blocking is the practice of planning out your entire day, so you know what to expect. I have tried this before, but it didn’t last because I didn’t dedicate myself to making it work. Using a task manager has worked well for making progress on projects, but blocking out my time will ensure I have time scheduled for those projects, so I am not scrambling to find time throughout the day.

What overwhelms you? When you are finished reading this share it with me in the comment section below.

Insights I’m Exploring

I was pretty busy this past week with client projects and publishing a few videos for State of Tech. During my time at the gym and while working, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. When something interesting is said, I log it in my Daily Log. Sometimes those ideas inspire me to write a blog or record a podcast. I wanted to share a few thoughts with you from my Daily Log this week.

We must go beyond knowing to feeling.

You can know something, but for it to be real, you have to feel it. To improve my life, I have to do more than understand what needs to be done. I need to feel the “why.”

I need to be right because when I’m right, I feel safe.

This thought kicked me in the chest. I am much better now, but in the past, I always had to be right. It didn’t matter if it ruined the connection I had with someone. Being right made me feel safe because, as a child, I was often told that I was wrong. I’ve been practicing holding back in conversations to avoid having to make a point or appear superior to the other person.

When 💩 Hits the Fan

I had this thought about a common phrase we use when something goes wrong. When 💩 hits the fan, where does the 💩 go? Does it stick to the fan? Does the fan sling it all over the room? If life is the 💩 and we are the fan, what am I doing with all of the 💩 that comes my way?

I had this thought as a milk commercial was on the TV in front of me at the gym. The cow was at a dairy. Now I was thinking about 💩 hitting the fan and cow 💩. That’s just how my brain works 🤷🏼‍♂️

I thought about how farmers turn cow 💩 into fertilizer that is used to grow plants. So 💩 = 🌱

How can I take challenges that life throws at me and turn them into growth opportunities?

Did something inspire you this week? Share it with me, I would love to hear about it.

📺 New Videos This Week

State of Tech – Mobile Tech Reviews, Tips & News

The iPad Pro is a year old, and it looks like Apple won’t be updating it until the spring of 2020. Is the iPad Pro worth it? This week I published a video on the iPad Pro 11-inch model one year later and discussed how I have been using it.

iPad Pro – 1 Year Later Review – How I Use It

Upcoming Videos:

  • Massive iPhone 11 Pro Case Haul Review
  • Airpods 2 vs Powerbeats Pro
  • How to Make Your iPad Pro the Perfect Laptop Replacement
  • Boosted Board Plus vs Boosted Mini X

Subscribe to get notified when new videos go live.

Ditch Auto – Photography Reviews, Tips & News

I didn’t get anything new out on Ditch Auto this week but I am editing a few videos that will go live before the end of the month.

Upcoming Videos:

  • Canon 90D vs Nikon D500 – Which one to buy?
  • Canon 90D – 10 Settings to Change
  • Nikon D750 Review 2019 – 5 Years Later – Is it still any good?

Subscribe to get notified when new videos go live.

My YouTube Channel

I had been looking for a tool I could use to manage my work and life rather than having several tools that worked well but didn’t talk to each other. I found Notion, and for the past few weeks, I’ve been figuring out how to implement it into my life. I decided to put out a video sharing how I am using it. Notion is free, visit the Notion website.

How I’m Using Notion for Productivity

Upcoming Videos:

  • 7 Ways to Be More Self Disciplined
  • I quit drinking for 30 days
  • 10-Minute Rule for Overcoming Any Habit

Subscribe to get notified when new videos go live.

From My Resonance Log

Ideas, quotes, and thoughts that are “resonating” with me make it to my new Resonance Log in Notion. Here are a few from the past week:

“Even if you’re sure you can win, be careful that you can live with what you lose.” – Gary Keller

“You will get there when you are meant to get there and not a moment sooner… so relax, breathe, and be patient.” – Unknown

“What other people think about you isn’t about you. It’s about them.” – Unknown

Now

🇺🇸 Writing From: Home Office

💪🏼 Current Challenges:

  • 20,000 Steps/Day for 30-days (Day 3 – Friend me on Fitbit)
  • No Sip November – No alcohol (Day 21)

📱 App of the Week: Notion

🎧 Listening: Brain Food Playlist on Spotify

📖 Reading: Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal

🍿 Watching: When a Korean kid meets an American kid for the first time – YouTube

➡️ More now

Next

I’m contemplating starting a weekly newsletter for photography and technology, perhaps one for each. These newsletters would be a collection of news and tips with the goal of keeping you informed with what’s new and also teaching you something new each week.

If this is something that would interest you, please reply to this email and tell let me know.

What question do you have for me?

Simply comment below or send me a message through InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

Thank You!

Thank you 🙏 for your support.

What’s currently in my pocket?

Disclosure: My content occasionally contains affiliate links and I earn a small referral commission for your purchases (at no extra cost to you). This helps fund the costs to support the newsletter, and I’m grateful for you!

Sunday Dispatch

You Should Start On That One Thing, Here’s How!

Hey friends, It’s been a busy week. I sent out my first Weekly Newsletter last week to over 21,000 people and only 1.9% dropped off. Thank you so much for sticking around to see what this thing becomes. I have some interesting stuff for you this week that I think you’re going to like including a podcast episode on a pretty big idea, some interesting thoughts from what I read this last week, and challenge at the end. Let’s Go!

Starting Is The Key

I have been tracking various aspects of my day for over a year now which includes tracking status on projects. Looking at the accumulation of data I realized that I start too many things and don’t finish them. A great realization to have after just having started yet another thing. 🤪🤪

My Daily Log Template in Notion

The main takeaway for me was realizing that starting something new is better than not having started at all. How many times have you told yourself “no” before giving an idea or a new project a chance? We are masters of coming up with excuses. It’s time you start on that thing you have been thinking about for so long. You don’t want to miss this talk, one of the keys to starting something is to “Get Chunky!” You’re going to have to watch the video or listen to the podcast even if it’s just to hear me say chunky multiple times, and yes, there is a vomit reference 🤣🤣 It’s basically a free short course I designed to help you develop a framework for becoming someone who isn’t afraid to start new things.

My Daily Log has been monumental in me becoming more self-aware. I not only log what I intend to do but I log what I get done as well. I also check in multiple times each day to note how I am feeling. If something happens or I come across some inspiration, it goes in the log. I recently started tracking my caffeine intake as well because I might have a problem there 🤫🤫

Want my Daily Log Template? Reply to this email and ask, I will send it to you directly. You can use it in your favorite note-taking apps such as Evernote or the notes app that came on your phone. I will be making a video on the topic of my Daily Logging practices. As part of my inner circle, you will be the first to know when that is ready 🙌🙌

Could you do me a small favor?

Did that get your attention? I bet it did because you are the kind of person who is eager to help a friend out. As I continue to improve my writing I have found the use of trigger words and phrases to be very interesting. It’s fascinating to me that we can simply say something a certain way and have someone’s attention whereas if we say it a slightly different way, it pushes them away. We all do this in our own subtle ways. I just finished reading, “Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact” by Phil M. Jones. It’s a shorter read, check it out.

“There are two types of people in this world: those who resist change in favor of nostalgia and those who move with the times and create a better future.” ― Phil M Jones

While we are on the subject of favors, I am not sure it’s for you, but I would appreciate you checking out my podcast and let me know what you think about it. Click Here to check it out.

This Week on the Podcast

I put out two audio podcast episodes this past week. The first titled “The Value of Challenging Yourself,” discusses how important it is for us to challenge ourselves even if we have other challenges we are facing in our lives.

The second is on the topic I mentioned above titled “Starting Is The Key.”

I bet you’re like me and need some motivation today, click here to check out the latest episode of the podcast or watch it on YouTube.

This Week’s Tech Video

AirPods 2 vs AirPods Pro – Which One to Buy?

This Week’s Photography Video

50mm f/1.4 Sony E-Mount for Under $100? Brightin Star E-Mount Lens Review

Do you like Photography?

I coordinate a photography Facebook Group and we started a monthly photo challenge. This month there is a give-a-way. The group has over 4,000 photographers in it ranging from beginner to advanced. I would love for you to join us. Join the Ditch Auto Facebook Group.

Let’s Go!

What’s something you have always wanted to start? After you finish reading this email, hit reply and share it with me.

Thanks for sticking with me, it means the world. Over 50 people replied to me last week and shared some things they are thankful for. It was the highlight of my week!

What questions do you have for me?

Simply comment below or send me a message through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Blog

The Value of Challenging Yourself

The Value of Challenging Yourself

Over the past few months, I have been challenging myself in different ways. I believe that we grow the most when we feel challenged. When we have a lack of challenge in our lives, we find ourselves deep in a comfort zone. It takes a constant level of difficulty to keep us sharp and feeling motivated.

There are many different methods for challenging ourselves. I try to challenge myself in ways that stretch me both personally and professionally. Some of life’s challenges will come naturally, such as when you get married or have a child. Other challenges we must force ourselves to take on such as losing weight or working to get a promotion.

I like this concept of challenging myself because it keeps me moving towards something. It is easy to get comfortable in situations you would rather be growing in. It’s easy to let things go when it comes to parenting your kids. It’s easy to eat that extra thing instead of throwing it away. The easy road is the most comfortable until it’s not anymore.

In this post, I am going to identify four different areas in which we can challenge ourselves. There are a lot more, but for me, these were where I started.

Common Types of Personal Challenges

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Relational
  • Occupational

These four personal challenge categories are all very difficult topics for me. I have struggled big time in each of these categories. Perhaps I will go deeper into that in a later blog post or podcast episode.

Physical Challenges

I used to be very physically fit. It was easy in my late teens and early twenties. I worked out a lot, was pretty active, and ate whatever I wanted. Pretty simple… Until it wasn’t that simple anymore. Responsibilities took most of my time and soon I was not going to the gym. My diet changed as well. I was not unhealthy, but I was overweight. I was giving my body more than it needed and it was storing that for me. I had to challenge myself to eat better and be more active.

Mental Challenges

Life would happen and I would just deal with it. That used to work for me. Handle it or forget about it. Those were the silos I put everything in until they were overflowing and everything came spilling out. I realized that if you don’t take care of your past you are carrying it with you. It was too heavy and I needed to get a handle on it.

Relational

I have never been good at maintaining relationships. I don’t have many friends and even fewer close friends. I was always too busy and didn’t want to spend time with people who had nothing better to talk about than sports facts. That made it hard for me to fit in with groups and I eventually developed some social anxiety. I have been challenging myself to make and maintain more friendships in hopes that some of them become deeper friendships.

Occupational

The problem with working for yourself is that there are often only two motivators: Money and Clients. You need money so you get clients. Clients want the work done or you don’t get money. If the clients are happy and my bills are paid on time, it is easy to feel safe. Feeling safe for too long leads to a lack of growth both in my business but also in myself professionally. I have had to find new ways to challenge myself to grow while at the same time not killing off what is still working.

Why Do We Need Challenges?

We need challenges to help us grow and get outside of our comfort zone. Without them, we stay comfortable until we get taken out by someone who’s challenge was to get ahead. It happens at work and in our personal lives. If I am not getting outside of my comfort zone then I’m not growing. I am finding ways to avoid frustration and avoid the change that I want in my life. That means I am saying no to opportunities that could be really interesting but might take some extra work and I am saying yes to relaxing and taking the easy route.

If we are ever going to progress, we need to expand beyond our current understanding. You might be a professional in your industry but there is always someone with more experience. My kids often feel like they know everything about a subject until I ask them to go up against someone with more experience than them. Whether it be a video game or their jiu-jitsu class, they need to seek out challenges to help them grow.

It is very important to put yourself up against others, even if they don’t know you are doing it. Sometimes my kids have a great jiu-jitsu session, other times, they get owned by some other kid. That is how life works. Sometimes we win and sometimes we get owned. You can have all of the techniques and lose in endurance. It happens. My kids have been in jiu-jitsu for over a year now and some days feel like they just started last week.

Challenges give us opportunities to learn more about ourselves. You don’t learn much about yourself from the couch. If you sit in your office all day and never bring that new idea to the table, you never learn whether or not your idea would fly. Sometimes we learn that showing up is what it takes and as long as we keep showing up, we keep winning. That is the case for me with my challenge to get back in shape. I just keep showing up. I’m not looking for perfection each time I go to the gym, I just get up and go.

Fear is also overcome when we challenge ourselves. You beat fear regardless of when you take on a new challenge. Fear is what stops you from even starting. Fear is what keeps you in bed at 4AM instead of getting up to go to the gym. Fear is what keeps me from blogging, recording a podcast, sending an email to thousands of people, or talking to my kids about something tough. The more you avoid fear, the easier it gets to stay somewhere safe.

My Challenges

I have been challenging myself to get to the gym first thing in the morning at least four days of the week. My goal is that I never skip more than two days in a row. For the most part, I have been able to stick to that. I have to get up early to get to the gym because that is the only time I can make it. Once the day starts, it’s too late. The demands of my family and work are priorities of mine so I can’t take off for an hour or two in the middle of them. I would prefer to sleep in, but I go to bed early so I can get up really early to work out. I feel great for the rest of the day when I keep that challenge to myself.

Another recent challenge has been to start sending a weekly newsletter to those who have given me their email address over the years through one of my websites. I had a list of over 22,000 emails and I was doing nothing with them. That’s 22,000 people who wanted to hear from me but didn’t. I have also wanted to get back into podcasting. I love podcasting and have been doing it off and on for about 20 years now. I would start and stop, because of fear. I know that I need to challenge myself to send something weekly by email and publish at least one podcast. This challenge is in line with the goals that I have for myself that fit into all four of the categories mentioned above.

My Challenge For You

What fear is blocking you from taking on a new challenge? It could be the opinion of someone else, or just a voice inside you telling you you’re not good enough. If you would be so brave as to share that with me in the comments section below, I would appreciate that. If not, please subscribe to my newsletter and reply to Issue #2 when it comes out. I will be making a similar ask at the end of this week’s email newsletter.

What can you do today to start challenging yourself? For my fitness challenge, sometimes it is just getting out of bed when the alarm goes off. If I get out of bed and head out the door, I will arrive at the gym and workouts will happen. The first step is getting out of bed. If that doesn’t happen, the rest of the plan is over before it even started. What is your first step?

Final Thoughts

Your challenge doesn’t have to be big. I know that on social media everybody looks like they are making these giant leaps ahead, but that is the problem with social media, it’s a highlight reel. We see the before and after pictures posted at the same time and we don’t get the story that includes all of the challenges they had to overcome to get there. Your challenge can be small. Small challenges add up to big change.

It also doesn’t have to be public. Often the first thing we do when we decide to do something is post about it. That does two things. It puts the pressure of other’s expectations on us and it gives people an opportunity to give us excuses as to why we can’t or shouldn’t challenge ourselves. I prefer to challenge myself in private as often as possible because sometimes I don’t know if what I want will benefit me or not in the way I hope it will. If I make it public, I then have to back down in public.

With other challenges, I have to give myself time to work them into my life. Lately, I have been giving myself 30-day challenges so I can measure the results and see if this is really what I want. If it is, I keep at it and hopefully, it will soon become an aspect of my life.

Sometimes we think that involving others whether it be friends, loved ones, or social media followers will help keep us accountable. I have found that people are actually more likely to give you excuses than to help you achieve your goals. When I would decide to stop working towards something I really wanted people would say, “well, you have four kids, you are busy enough,” or something like that. They are not trying to keep me from being the best version of me, they are just trying to help me feel better. But I don’t want to feel better, I want to feel challenged, so I keep it to myself at the beginning.

Whether you want to grow physically, mentally, relationally, occupationally, or all of the above, I hope that you decide to start challenging yourself today.

Thanks for reading! I ask that you would please subscribe to my Weekly Email Newsletter and if you like listening to audio, Subscribe to my Podcast.

Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch – Issue #1

What is this?

I know it’s frustrating to receive emails out of the blue. This is completely my fault as you did signup at one of my sites and I failed to send you anything for your efforts. Before hitting Unsubscribe, please take a moment to read about why I am sending you this. If you prefer to be removed from this list, the link is at the bottom of the email. No hard feelings 😇😇

So what is changing?

I have a variety of projects that I contribute to including State of TechDitch AutoLearn with JeradHill Media Group, my own personal blog, and social networks. Across these platforms, there has been no consistency. I definitely have shiny object syndrome when it comes to ideas and projects, which is why I am consolidating.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, it means that I am merging some things, starting with email lists. Nothing will change names at the moment, all of my projects will remain the same. I just desire to provide value and I hope you decide to come along. You may be a client of mine, a friend, family member, viewer of my YouTube videos, or a student of one of my courses, my desire is to inspire or motivate you. We all need as much of that as we can get, right?

What’s Next?

I do my best to stay connected to what’s going on in marketing and technology. I am also very interested in personal growth and development. Personally, I have done a lot of work towards the end of my 30’s and professionally I have doubled down in the areas I know I provide the most value; anything else, I have stopped doing.
The mission of this newsletter is this: To share and inspire what I believe brings value.

I will always lead with value and avoid anything that will waste your time. The fact that you trusted me with your email address and are still reading at this point means the world to me. I value your time and want to be a resource to you.

What will that look like?

Those of you who watch my YouTube videos know my sign-on: “What’s up, it’s Jerad…” So for now, I am going to call this weekly email, “What’s Up Weekly.”

It will come in the form of a weekly email that will briefly touch on a couple of topics. In that email, I will also share anything interesting I come across that week that I believe would be valuable for you to know.

You can expect to see things like this in the future “What’s Up Weekly” emails:

  • Insights into the latest in personal technology such as smartphones, gadgets, and computers.
  • Inspiring Quotes from something I recently read or listened to that resonated with me.
  • Recap and link to an article or podcast I think you’ll find interesting.
  • A recap of recent content I have created.

This email might not be for everyone, and I totally understand if you need to unsubscribe. If you do, consider staying connected or connecting with me on social media (Links: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Linkedin)

How will it evolve?

Everything changes and this weekly email will change as I get feedback from you. Each email will include a question or a challenge that I hope intrigues and motivates you.

Let’s Go!

I’m excited to get started. One of my personal goals is to challenge myself to do something for 30-days as a way to make or break habits.

This month I have cut out alcohol and I will talk about that more in a video soon.

What’s something you have always wanted to challenge yourself to do? It could be something simple or a big feat. Reply to this email and share that with me.

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Thanks!

You made it to the end. I know I already appreciated you for getting through some of the email but it really does mean a lot to me. We have too many messages bombarding us these days. I will do my best to make sure this is one you look forward to.

Before you go, do this one thing for me, reply to this email and share with me one thing you are thankful for.

Be Blessed!

Jerad Hill

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How To Make Passive Income – 7 Proven Ways, No Upfront Cost

How To Make Passive Income - 7 Proven Ways No Upfront Cost

For years now, I have been putting spare time and effort into a variety of passive income revenue streams that have grown to be a substantial part of my income.

In my 5 Step Guide To Building Passive Income Revenue Streams article, I talked about why I decided to stop trading my time for money. If you are reading this article, you have probably already made this decision.

It’s easy to get caught up in active income methods because they typically pay out faster. The problem is that active income only pays you as long as you are working. Passive income work continues to pay you even long after you have completed the work. If you continue to feed your passive income revenue streams, the growth continues. It compounds like the interest you earn on income you invest.

There are a lot of Passive Income Revenue models that require an upfront investment of money. I don’t believe in selling opportunity that isn’t proven. I would rather you start something with no investment at all other than your time. As you grow, you can find a way to invest in it in other ways.

I have a lot of resources I link to throughout this post so make sure to read it and click on the links that will provide value to you.

I am also going to skip the Passive Income methods that assume you already have a huge following. I will discuss each method and how to grow it into a revenue stream from Day One! Let’s jump into it!

#1 Blogging

It has never been easier to start a professional looking blog. Back in 2005 when I went full time into designing websites for clients, I felt that within 10 years, website design would be fully automated. That means I believed I would be replaced by software. While that is not completely the case, it is very easy to create a website and start blogging without spending any money at all.

Go to WordPress.Com and set up a free blog. There are free themes to choose from so you can give it a professional style that is appealing to you and premium themes that are pretty cheap as well. You can buy a domain name website address for your blog but I don’t believe you need to start with a domain. You can always purchase that later.

Start blogging on a specific topic. Starting a niche blog is the best way to get going because the search engines have a hard time determining what to rank a lower traffic website for. Until your website is receiving a lot of organic traffic from the search engines, it will be hard for you to be more generalized in your content approach.

You can start blogging about a hobby or an area of expertise you have. Your experience and unique approach will help others learn about the topics you are sharing. I shared a great example of this in my previous article and plan to share more, so make sure you subscribe to my blog for updates.

Don’t get caught up on making your blog fancy. Focus on the content. If you need content ideas, use sites such as Quora to look for questions being asked that are related to your blog’s topics.

My wife wrote a blog in 2012 titled “How To Make A Wood Sign With Stickers” which has received over 1 Million views since she wrote it. It ended up getting Pinned multiple times on Pinterest early on when Pinterest was first gaining popularity. She wasn’t even trying to write a viral piece of content, but it happened. Just focus on creating something useful and the views will come.

#2 Online Courses

We carry a high quality digital video recorder in our pocket. You can use it to film an online course to sell to the world. If you have an area of expertise, you can teach others about it. That doesn’t mean you have to be the world’s leading professional on the topic. You just have to know enough about the subject to teach others.

I am a professional photographer, but I am not the leading professional photographer out there. I created a course because I was continually getting asked how I get such amazing photos out of a camera anyone could buy off of the shelf. What is that one thing people keep asking you about? Have you considered turning that into a course?

You can upload and sell your course on sites like Udemy.Com for free. It’s a great place to start because they already have a large user base that is looking for online courses. Use their platform until you have grown your audience to the point where you can host your course on your own website using a platform like Teachable.

#3 EBooks & Information Products

You can easily create an ebook using something as small as your smartphone. There are so many powerful tools available to us these days. You can design and create a nice looking downloadable book using an app like Pages that comes with your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.

Ebooks and downloadable information products such as PDFs can be simple or very graphical. I recommend that you focus more on your informational product containing great information and only add flare where it makes sense. Don’t take away from the content, you simply don’t need to.

There are many tutorials on YouTube that can teach you how to make an Ebook in Pages. If you are not on a Mac or an iOS device, there are alternatives for Windows and Android, just do a Google search for Pages Alternatives for Android or Pages for Mac Alternatives for Windows.

#4 YouTube

Some of the most subscribed to YouTube channels started out filming videos on a smartphone or a cheap video camera. The popular YouTuber Casey Neistat often refers back to the cameras he was using when he first got started. You don’t need high-end video equipment to make YouTube videos. The quality of your content is more important.

There are YouTube channels focused on just about everything. I really get into watching “build” videos where someone creates something out of wood or metal. I really enjoy wood and metal working but don’t have the time or the space to do it myself, so I enjoy watching others create which keeps me inspired to create something on my own one day.

You can make videos showcasing a hobby such as many people in the craft space do. Rather than focusing on creating craft products to sell you can teach others how to create items of their own. If you are still learning make that part of the process as well. I shared about the YouTube channel “Seth’s Bike Hacks” in my previous article and how he has grown as a mountainbiker since he first launched his channel

#5 Affiliate Marketing

Companies need exposure for their products. One of the methods used to get exposure are affiliate programs. A company starts an affiliate program to incentivize others to promote their products in exchange for a flat fee or a commission on the sale.

Depending on the month, around 40% of my passive income revenue comes from affiliate marketing I have done for various brands. Currently, the most comes from Amazon.Com. In videos I publish to YouTube, I discuss the use of specific products as part of my videos. I link to those products in the description of the video and people click on those links to view the products. When they purchase a product, I get a small commission. One sale won’t result in much, but 100’s of sales do. Look to see what products you use and how you can incorporate them into your content.

Making passive income from affiliate marketing requires building up a lot of content over time. It will start out small but overtime it will grow into something you can count on each month as part of your overall income.

You can look for affiliate marketing opportunities on popular Affiliate Marketing Networks such as ShareaSale, Clickbank, and Rakuten Marketing. Sometimes companies have their own affiliate program and usually provide a link to it in the footer of their website.

#6 Automated Services

Just about everything can be automated in one way or another. I used to manually manage the business listing information of my clients online. That was a tedious process until I found a company that helps automate that process. Now I simply make sure the information is correct and let the tool I pay for continually check to make sure the information stays current. I log in once or twice a month to check on my clients business information and submit an update if needed.

You can easily find a service that most people do manually and automate it. We live in a world where automation has never been easier. Whether it be finding a tool that automates a process like I did or hiring people on a website like Fiverr to do the work for you, the time invested on your behalf will be significantly less which means you can more easily scale it into a passive income revenue stream.

It is often that automation services start out as something you offer manually. In order to invest in a tool that automates the process, you must first have customers willing to pay you for that service.

You can even use Fiverr to get examples of services you want to offer automation for. Chances are if it is being offered there, people are willing to pay to keep from having to do it themselves.

#7 Stock Photography

There are a lot of websites selling stock photography, so how can you create stock photography that will sell? Simple, create a specific type of stock photography and offer it to people in that industry. Let me give you an example:

An auto repair facility might want to use social media to reach new customers. They probably are not social media savvy so they need photography they can use in their posts and will pay for a collection of images they can use. You can package your photos together with a calendar of social media posts they can publish throughout the month. Heck, you could even automate the process for them using a social media scheduling tool and be their social media manager.

Find a niche that seems to be underserved with interesting photos on stock photography websites and create photos for that niche. The photos don’t have to be professional quality, they just have to be interesting and easy to look at. Keep your images simple and clear of distraction.

To get opportunities to shoot photos of these underserved niche markets, go into a local business that specializes in that niche and trade photos for them allowing you to photograph their facility. They need good photos as well. Just make sure you get permission from them to sell the photos online and have anybody that is in the photos to sign a photo release.

Start Making Passive Income

As you can see, it is pretty easy to start making passive income online. It doesn’t mean you get to avoid work as building passive income revenue streams means doing the upfront work. You are simply choosing to do work that continues to pay you rather than trading dollars for time.

If you want more articles from me on passive income and lifestyle design, subscribe to my blog here. Let me know down in the comments section below if you have any questions or if there is any way I can help encourage you to get started today!

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5 Step Guide for Creating Passive Income – Money Making Guide for 2020

5 Steps to Passive Income 2020

If you are trading time for money like most do to earn a living, take a moment and read this. It could change your life, just as it has mine.

I used to trade time for money as my primary source of income. I would do work and I would get paid for the work I did. That was it. Nothing more, usually nothing less. Why is this a bad deal for you? Well, it’s because your time is not scaleable.

You are given a certain amount of hours in the day that you can be productive before you need rest. If you trade time for money, that limits your earning ability. It is limiting for anyone whether they are a doctor or a school teacher. If you really push it, you can work and get paid for about 12 hours a day, but most of us don’t want to work like that. Even if we need to for a period of time, we never see ourselves working that hard our entire lives.

If you want your income to scale beyond the hours you have in the day, you will have to rethink the way you make money. If you want to have more freedom and flexibility in your day, you will have to make changes. That is what this post is all about.

Before you start looking at different options for making passive income you have to be in the right mindset. Passive income doesn’t mean you won’t have to work. You will have to work. At the beginning, you may even have to work harder than you do currently. This is typically the case with anything you start. It takes work until you build up momentum.

I started looking into passive income options about five years ago when I decided I was tired of chasing clients. I love working with clients but I don’t enjoy the chase. If a client wants to work with me, great. If they don’t, bye Felicia! There is plenty of work out there for everybody and plenty of clients in most cases. The perfect fit will find itself organically. What I just said there is going to frustrate a lot of salespeople. I used to enjoy the sales process, but my focus changed. The face to face sales process is not scaleable.

If I was ever going to have the freedom and flexibility I wanted in my life I would need to make changes to the way I earned money. I would have to be able to put that on autopilot to some extent. My first step was attempting to grow my online marketing agency Hill Media Group. I started by hiring a few employees and getting an office. That grew to multiple employees but I quickly realized that my growing agency was consuming more time than it was giving me back. You can’t just hire people and get time back. It takes a lot of time to grow a business like that to the point where your team can handle most of the daily activities around the business. This option was not for me and it was not the first time I had realized that building a business with employees was not the right direction for me. Sometimes I’m a slow learner.

So how do you go from trading hours for money like I was? It’s a lot easier than you think. You already have the expertise, you’re currently getting paid for doing something right? Let’s start by utilizing that. These are the 5 Steps I have identified you can take to start building a passive income revenue stream today. Let’s jump into it!

#1 Identify Your Area of Expertise

This has been a tough one for me. Not because I can’t identify what I am good at, it’s that I want to be good at everything. It is hard for me to focus on one area of expertise. This is my struggle. For you, it may be figuring out what that area of expertise is. We all have some sort of professional skill and usually a hobby or two we have invested time in to. However, don’t limit yourself only to what you currently know. Nobody says you have to start with a skill you already have.

In his book “Choose: The Single Most Important Decision Before Starting Your Business,” Ryan Levesque said: “consider that you can always learn how to do something that others would like to know.” You don’t have to be a professional, you just have to know enough to teach somebody.

I am currently pouring into a couple of different areas of expertise. Early on, I chose Photography, and have since added in mobile technology and teaching others how to create their own lifestyle rather than accept the one that was handed to them. That sounds like a lot, and I should probably pair down a bit, but for now, that is my focus.

Whether you are a lawyer or a manager at a Starbucks, you can turn your area of expertise into passive income by teaching others what you already know and do. You just have to present it in a way that helps others.

For the Starbucks manager it might be helping local coffee shops hire and train baristas. A coffee lover usually opens a small coffee shop out of a love for coffee, not because they have management and employee training experience.

A lawyer could create an online course to help new lawyers start their own private practice right out of law school rather than working for a larger firm which will push them to generate countless billable hours.

You already have an area of expertise. You can utilize that to help others or you can learn something new. You only need to know enough to teach others about it. We’re not talking Ph.D level stuff here.

I created my first online course for photography on the subject of teaching people how to take better photos using manual mode on their camera. I felt the best way to learn was to understand how the settings worked and how they effected each other. I didn’t bother with big terms and rules that would make it hard to understand manual mode. I just taught it as I know it. Over 250,000 students have taken my course and are taking better photos because of it. Some have even gone on to start their own photography business.

Do you have a hobby like Mountain Biking? The YouTuber Seth’s Bike Hacks is making passive income by turning his love of Mountain Biking into informational videos that help anyone improve their off-road biking experience. Beyond making money from ads that run on his YouTube videos he also tests products you can find for sale online and has built up a large enough following to make passive income-producing exclusive content to those who pay a small monthly fee on Patreon for access to his content. I am not sure what he used to do before making Mountain Bike videos, but he can now support himself and his family through his love of Mountainbiking. He has even turned the process of getting better at Mountainbiking into passive income by talking about that in videos. He didn’t start out as a professional Mountainbiker, he simply took something he loved and started making videos about it. How cool is that? I can give you tons of examples of people who have done this with YouTube or a blog.

#2 Decide On your Platform

There are many different methods for earning passive income. I have already talked about blogging and YouTube as two different options. Here is a list of passive income methods I have determined as being something you can do on the side and build up over time.

  • Blog about a topic
  • Create YouTube videos on a topic
  • Create an online course
  • Create a podcast
  • Write an ebook
  • Sell stock photography
  • Promote affiliate products
  • Online Workshops or Seminars
  • License something you created such as art or music

Everything I have listed above is something I have tried. Some require more work and/or expertise than others. In order to sell stock photography, you need to be able to take great photos. To license your music, you have to be a musician. However, where people often get held up is thinking that they are not good enough to do these things. The simple act of doing will make you into what you need to be. I’m going to borrow another quote from Ryan’s book: “If you don’t think you’re ready to teach someone, think again. The simple act of teaching will raise your expertise exponentially, in a way you didn’t even think was possible.”

You should probably just go buy his book. I listened to it on Audible while driving to and from the airport and while on a flight. Get your first month of Audible Premium and this book for free. Click Here!

It was actually that easy for me to monetize this article and make it create passive income for me while at the same time providing value to you. Prefer reading books over listening to them? Buy the book instead, by Clicking Here.

I have found that I learn more about something preparing to teach it to someone else than I would have learned had I just wanted to educate myself about it. It’s pretty amazing actually. This is why I end up producing so much content online. I learn by teaching others, and so can you.

Choose one or two options from the list and get started today. You can make the learning process part of the education you are sharing with others just as Seth does on his Mountain Bike YouTube channel. Not good in front of cameras? Create a blog and a podcast instead. The tools have never been more available than they are now.

My blog is a WordPress website. You can sign up here for WordPress and start a blog for free. I recommend you do this regardless as you can start your process of building passive income revenue streams by writing about it just as I am here. Even if you are not ready to start your blog, I suggest you buy your website address domain name. Do a quick search to see what domain names are available here.

Just make sure that you don’t start too many things at once. I recommend two at most and I will do my best to create resources to help you along the way, so make sure to subscribe to my blog by clicking here or using the form in the sidebar.

#3 Be a Giver!

You are going to have to have the mindset of giving in order to build passive income. If I had decided to write this blog and sell it to people, it probably wouldn’t sell. I have not established myself enough in the area of passive income. Those close to me know that I make a large portion of my income from stuff I do online, but I have not been specific enough about it yet. While I work on changing that, I will continue to give.

In the book, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea,” Bob Burg makes this statement: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” I read this book back in 2008 when it was originally published and when I was already on my “lead with value” path. It helped enforce and solidify what I was already doing and gave me even more of a desire to give away as much as I can. Click Here to buy it.

What I have come to learn is that you have to earn the ability to ask people for money. People have so many options these days, you have to give them a good reason to trust you over someone else. If I added up everything I have published online I would guess that at least 95% of what I have put out there was put out for free. That means that I charge actual money for less than 5% of the work I put out. Sounds crazy right? It’s not though, because people are watching.

I put out a ton of photography content before I charged for any of it. That content, however, was monetized in a passive way to the viewer. There was a short ad that played before the YouTube video would start. There were links to the products I used in the description that are Amazon Affiliate links. I avoided the traps other creators get into such as partnering with brands where I would end up trading money for time again. I created what I wanted to create as if I was teaching younger me what he needed to know.

The most important takeaway here is that I gave first. Another great book that validates what I have said here is Rich Dad Poor Dad. Robert Kiyosaki shares this thought in his book about those trading time for money: “They get up every day and go work for money, not taking the time to ask the question, ‘Is there another way?”

#4 Make Yourself Unique

It is said that there is nothing new under the sun. However, it is also said that you are unique and there is no one else on earth like you. God and science back up those two statements. Understanding that makes me very optimistic. It means that even though there are likely others out there that have been doing the same thing you are considering for much longer, your approach can be unique because you are unique.

There is no other photographer talking about cameras and camera settings the same way as I am because I am unique. While there may be some similarities with other YouTubers out there, my tone, personality, and every other unique aspect of my person makes my presentation different than every other photography educator out there. There are people who would prefer your presentation over that of someone else’s.

With that said, the internet does not reward people often for copying others. You need to have your own unique take on what you are going to share with others. This will take time and that is ok. It takes time to develop your voice on a topic, this is part of the process. Just go look at any popular YouTuber’s first video uploaded. Finding your voice is part of the process and it’s a process of growth.

With every new blog post, video, podcast episode, or whatever you end up creating think to yourself, “how can I make that better next time.” Don’t feel bad about what you have already created, just look at how you can improve. How can you tighten it up or make your points more clearly? This is something I am constantly doing, especially in videos where I tend to talk more than the average YouTube viewer prefers.

You can not do what I am suggesting without creating and publishing. You have to put something out there and measure it. You can’t do this privately. You will have some flops and that is ok. You will need to learn that every form of feedback or lack thereof is a form of measurement that you can use to make it better next time. In the marketing world, we call these KPIs or “Key Performance Indicators.” When I put something out there, what are measurements of acceptable outcome? Perhaps its email newsletter signups or new YouTube subscribers.

I prefer thinking of feedback as data that I can use to improve my KPIs. That helps me from getting emotional over a negative comment. You are going to get them simply because you are putting yourself out there. Don’t let someone else’s negativity distract you from your goals. Be unique and you will be rewarded for it. Being unique takes work, but just like being a giver first, it pays off tenfold.

#5 Develop Your Passive Income Revenue Streams

Hopefully, by now you have an idea or three of how you plan to generate some passive income. We talked about topics and I gave you some examples. We also talked about platforms, and I gave you some options there as well. Now it is time to start creating and earning your passive income.

As I discussed earlier, you can’t just create something and try to sell it. You need to build an audience in that space first. You do this by creating content such as blogs, podcasts or videos. The only shortcut to success in this area is to pay for ads on platforms such as search engines and social media to reach the right customers. This can be costly and I am going to assume you are not going into this with a large ad budget. This is why Step #3 Be A Giver is very important. You have to build trust with people and you will do that by giving them information, just as I am doing so in this article.

Using your chosen platform, make it a point to create something once each week. When you have more time, create more often. Write a weekly blog and share it on social media. Invite people to signup for your blog so they get your new writings in their email box. People are busy and likely won’t remember to visit your website often so getting them to subscribe to your email list is a great way to remind them of new content. Continue to feed them information for a while before making the ask to buy something. Your product could be an ebook or an online course. You could even start by giving your first ebook or online course away for free. This will help you build your email list even faster and it’s how I have over 45,000 people on my email list.

It is an individual decision as to when you should try to get your audience to buy something. You can’t give everything away for free forever, but as I have, you can monetize what you are giving away for free. Eventually, you will need to offer something more substantial that people can purchase directly from you. This is where your real earning potential is. I struggled in this area for a long time. This is where I plan to help you thrive.

Helping you get started is the easy part. It only took one blog post that I wrote in one day, all before breaking my intermittent fast for the day. Helping you replace the income your daily job provides is a whole other thing and will take more guidance and accountability. I have created something new just for people like us. It’s a free Chat Community on Discord where we can encourage each other and learn from each other as we build and grow our passive income revenue streams.

Join the Free Chat on Discord.

Key Takeaways

It sounds like a lot, but the key is to just get started. Even if you only have an extra hour each week, you can get started today. Building passive income takes time and as you start to see the fruit of your labor you will desire to allocate more time to working on your passive income projects.

Let’s recap what I shared with you today:

  1. Identify Your Area of Expertise
  2. Decide on Your Platform
  3. Be a Giver!
  4. Make Yourself Unique
  5. Develop Your Passive Income Revenue Streams

All of what I mention above will take work and dedication, which is why I created the chat group on Discord. Most of the people around you will not understand why you are starting this project so you will want some people you can do Passive Income with which is why I created the Discord group.

Building Passive Income Revenue Streams means you are starting a business and you need to treat it as such. There are no special credentials or licensing you need to get to start (unless you plan to give medical or legal advice, or something like that). You don’t need a business license until you decide to sell something. You can earn passive income from affiliate programs such as Amazon Affiliates without ever having a business license. It’s not required. A business license is required when you charge for a product or service directly to another person or entity, such as when you sell an ebook. This requirement could vary depending on where you live so I would check with your local business governing authority to make sure.

Ditch That 9 to 5

This is the first step towards ditching that 9 to 5 job where you can stop trading your time for money and instead invest your time into work that will continue to pay you even if you take your foot off the throttle pedal for a while. It won’t happen overnight. Treat it like an investment in yourself and your future. It will pay off and when it does, it will feel better than any paycheck you ever received from a job.

Next Steps

I have given you a few action steps to take in this post. I recommend you jump on them now. Don’t wait or procrastinate. Procrastination is a form of stress relief through avoidance. You will feel your body resist this change but you can override that tendency by creating your blog now or making that first video for YouTube.

Join the Discord Chat so we can discuss this together. Even if it’s just you and me in there, it will be worth having someone in your corner to encourage you along the way.

Signup for my email newsletter using this link or the box in the sidebar. I will make sure you get useful information when I have it to provide to help you on your journey of creating passive income.

Follow me on social media so you can see that I am living this lifestyle and not just blowing smoke. My passive income growth allowed me to travel full-time for two months this past summer with my family of six in our travel trailer. If it was not for my passive income revenues I wouldn’t have made it a week.

I hope this article gave you the encouragement and tools to get started today. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section below this post. You can also reach out to me on social media or through the Discord chat group I mention above.

I look forward to hearing the story of how you transformed your income by creating passive income revenue of your own.

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Let’s Talk About Making Change Happen Now

Wow, ok… So much. So much to talk about that it’s actually caused apathy. I have this problem that I think many people have where there is just so much that I can’t decide where to start. I just kind of spin my wheels whenever I try to start. It’s not that I do nothing instead. It’s quite the contrary. My mind is always working, always processing. It’s just that I can often get derailed because I can’t just get started.

What’s happening is called procrastination. It gets a bad rap because it’s usually associated with doing nothing at all. My procrastination is actually quite productive, it’s just not focused on what I should be doing, what I know I need to be doing.

Procrastination is a form of stress relief. It feels good to procrastinate, until it doesn’t. When that deadline approaches or someone calls you because you forgot something, that is when it doesn’t feel good. I consider myself a high-level procrastinator, kind of like those high-functioning alcoholics you hear about. You would never know I was drunk on procrastination because I look busy and productive.

With that out of the way, lets talk about change. Change in the form of making adjustments in your life that you only dream about. There are probably a few things in your life that you would love to change only if… We all have them. I know I have spent my life telling myself, if only this, I could do that. Well it’s time for that to stop. That is what this year has been about for me so far and I hope you can start to make that change too. Let me give you some context.

Last year, I made the decision to close down my office to work on creating a new daily routine for myself and to free up some overhead costs. I wasn’t closing my business, I was just getting rid of some overhead expenses because I can work from anywhere. It was tough, I kind of went kicking and screaming. I held on to some of it and didn’t really let go completely. When it got tough working from home because I didn’t get a good routine at home going I started working from the office again from time to time. I was one foot in on change and one foot still in the past.

I knew that the only way I could make change was to take myself out of the environment altogether. I also wanted to make some change happen in my household. I didn’t want my family to just sit around all summer. Modesto summers are hot. It’s been 100+ degrees outside. Unless you have a watermark in your back yard, you don’t want to go outside unless you have to. That led to the decision to travel all summer in our RV Travel Trailer. We completed that trip and got back home to Modesto a little over a week ago.

I learned a lot two months on the road in an RV Travel Trailer as a family of six, and I plan to share about that soon. What it opened me up to was how easy it really is to make change if you just do it. It is hard though, which is why I wanted to talk about it today.

How To Make Lasting Change

The key to making lasting change is to remove the comfort aspect from whatever is keeping you stuck. Why are you stuck? Because it’s not painful enough to make change. The thing you want to change is actually providing you a level of comfort and control even though you seem to be uncomfortable. It’s really easy to stay stuck when it doesn’t really hurt that bad, or at least we don’t think it hurts that bad. But a dull pain always gets worse, doesn’t it?

We do this in our lives in so many ways. We stay at that job because the pay is decent but it is slowly sucking the soul out of us. I have had clients like that in the past and had to get rid of them somehow. The money isn’t always worth it. Sacrificing a little bit of your soul for financial gain just leads to selling more of your soul later for more financial gain. It never stops unless you stop giving yourself away like that forever.

We do this in our home as well. We don’t like the fact that our kids are stuck in the house and spend too much time on technology. We know it is slowly ruining them and that is not the way we wanted to raise them, yet we don’t make any change because it requires some discomfort on our part as parents. Changing this aspect of our household is not an easy task. It would almost be a full time job until everyone is used to existing with less tv and technology time.

We do this with our bodies knowing full well that we need to eat better and be more active. We get a gym membership only to abandon it. We buy healthy food only to go back to convenient packaged foods because it’s easier. We are busy and life can get frustrating. The last thing I want to do is take the time to make a healthy meal when a cheeseburger is waiting for me at a nearby drive through window.

It’s hard to make lasting change. Anyone who makes change and says it is easy is a complete fool and charlatan. Social media gives us that false presumption that people all around us are making change and living their best lives. That simply is not the fact. There are a few outliers who are doing it, but 99.9% of the rest of what you scroll past is marketing. If it’s not a company marketing their product it’s an old friend from high school marketing their perfect life to you. Spoiler Alert: It’s not a perfect life, it’s a curated highlight reel… Marketing! Whether we mean to or not, we mostly share the highlights of our lives because who wants to follow someone who’s falling apart?

I’m not immune to it. Just look at what I shared from our two month long full time travels all over the Northwestern United States. It kind of looks like a magazine. It doesn’t represent the challenges we had on this trip. The photos I posted don’t represent the day I spent in bed because I was too depressed to move or the times I so frustrated with my kids that I just had to step outside. Happy photos get likes.

Nothing worth doing is easy, or even pretty at first. It is usually hard. But isn’t life going to be hard anyway? We know that life is going to be hard, so why don’t we choose what gets to be hard and avoid the rest? That is a question I have been asking myself often this year. How can I better choose what gets to be hard in my life?

That sounds kind of new age guru annoying, but it’s actually kind of possible. Of course we can’t avoid everything and choose only what we want. The world will throw us some curveballs we didn’t see coming, but for the most part, we can control what gets to be hard in our lives, so let’s talk about that.

Choose What Get’s to be Hard in Your Life

Choosing what gets to be a challenge really comes down to getting as many of the typical life decisions we have to make into our control in a healthy way. There are a few things that will make that near impossible so I wanted to touch on those really quick.

  1. Money: Finances are the main thing that take control of our lives. We have to make money to exist and have a few nice things, which means we have to trade our time for money. For most, this means getting a job. Some of us are lucky enough to get to do something we enjoy for work, most are not. The reason most are stuck trading time for money doing something they don’t enjoy is that the pain has not become strong enough to make change. There is a level of comfort there still. We talked about this earlier in this post. If your expenses are close or equal to what you make, you are kind of stuck. The only option you may see is to find another job that pays the same amount doing something else you would enjoy more, but that may be hard to find. You have to make change in your financial situation which will likely mean sacrificing some things so you can save more or take a job you would enjoy more even it it meant you are paid less.
  2. Relationships: The people you surround yourself with can make it hard for you to make the change you want to in your life. If you want to make change but your partner doesn’t, that creates friction that will keep you stuck. If you surround yourself with agreeable friends who make excuses for you rather than challenge you, it is likely you will remain stuck.
  3. Patterns & Addictions: If you have certain patterns and/or addictions that run contrary to the change you want to make, you will often be stuck in those ruts and find it hard to get out of them until you get help from someone who has been there before. If you think making change is hard simply based on the pain vs comfort aspect we talked about earlier in this post, an unhealthy pattern and/or addiction will multiply the likelihood you remain stuck tenfold.
  4. This list could go on forever, but I think you get the point.

There are many things that keep us stuck and not moving towards the change we want. If it was easy, we would all be making awesome change and killing it in life. The hard things to get past are found in the comforts that we have grown accustomed to. I say that they are comforts that we have grown accustomed to because if you actually take a step back, they aren’t really that comfortable. We just deal by adjusting our level of discomfort so we can remain in control. Even by not taking control of a situation we are still exercising a form of control. Everything is a decision, even choosing not to make one.

Now I’m not going to paint you a perfect picture of life and tell you that if you simply run to it you can have it. I am a bit more of a realist than that. I have known plenty of people who left one situation only to take their issues right into the next one. Things are going to be tough no matter where we go and with who we go there with, life promises us that. But we can choose the things that are going to be tough, we’re actually doing it already.

If your finances are tough, that’s because you took on too much debt. If your relationship is tough, that’s because you aligned yourself with someone who doesn’t agree with the same things you do. If your health is suffering, chances are you had a hand in that too, although I do understand that some health situations are out of our control to begin with.

We make choices every day. We make a choice to get up and go to work at a job we don’t like. We make a choice to let our kids run our lives. We make a choice to live where we live. Everything is a choice, whether its good or bad, most of us don’t have a loaded gun pointed at our head even if at times we act like we do.

So why not choose things that we can enjoy even if at times they still get tough? Choose a job that challenges us but is also very fulfilling. Choose to improve our relationships, which will be tough work. Make uncomfortable choices for our kids sometimes because we know it will be better for them in the long run. Choose to turn off a few of the monthly subscription services because we could use the extra money in the bank and the time they took from our lives.

Making change happen now starts with making the right next decision now. You don’t have to have it all planned out in advance, you just have to start taking steps towards it. Big change starts one step at a time.

Make Uncomfortably Tough Decisions

Chances are some of the choices you will have to make will be uncomfortable. Whether the choice have to do with work, relationships, food, kids, where you live, or anything else, it’s probably going to require some sacrifice. You need to become a pro at sacrificing yourself daily to get to where you want to go.

I went to lunch with my dad today and had the most bogus salad. I was at a Mexican Food Restaurant and would have given my left kidney for a grilled steak super burrito, but I got a chicken salad with no dressing at all because none of their dressings were going to work for me.

Multiple times I have taken my family out to dinner at a restaurant where I could have easily ordered a giant burger and fries but instead I ordered a bland salad or on a few occasions, nothing at all for myself. Do I deserve to eat out with my family especially if I am the one paying the bill? Yes! But my family is not on the same path as I am with food so it is not fair for me to try and force them to eat the way I want to eat.

I used to like having an office outside of the home. It was my own space that my wife and kids had no jurisdiction over. I don’t have that space in my home so I deserved to have that office, but I had to make the decision to get rid of it because I wanted to save money and it was the easiest thing for our family to sacrifice.

I took my family on the road in our RV Travel Trailer for two months knowing fully in advance that it was going to be very tough for all of us to be in close quarters like that for so long. I knew that it wouldn’t be convenient for me at all to work from the road and to constantly have to be breaking up little fights between my kids due to the close proximity, but I made the sacrifice so we could travel the Northwestern United States and experience all of it’s beauty.

Being able to make uncomfortable decisions is the only way to move forward in life. Most people are going to make decisions based on what results in maintaining the level of comfort they have or obtaining more of it, and at any cost. That is not how you have a fulfilling life.

Never Stop Dreaming

You kind of have to be a dreamer to want a better life. If you have made it this far through this post, you probably are at some level, a dreamer. Dreamers often spend time thinking about the possibilities of what life would be like if they could make change. I know that I am a dreamer, but in the past I often looked at the things mentioned above as obstacles.

I felt stuck in Modesto because I had built my business here and all of my family lives here. I thought that the only way I would ever be able to move or travel long term would be to places like Modesto or larger. Never until I made some sacrifices did I think I could spend long periods of time in the mountains away from big cities. I stopped believing I couldn’t do it and just did it this summer and it was the best thing our family has done to date.

I felt defeated when it came to the food I consume because my wife and kids would never get on board with a diet that would lead to a more healthy body and mental clarity. My wife and I didn’t really eat that unhealthy to begin with, but I realized that if I was going to make the change I wanted for my own body, I would have to make big changes, and I would have to do it alone. That doesn’t mean I can’t have a burger and fries. It just means I am only going to to that once a month. I never stopped dreaming of being healthier, but I was in my own way. Once I got out of my own way, I started losing weight. I’m down 25lbs at the time of writing this.

I have been very passive in my marriage doing everything I can to not make waves while at the same time inadvertently causing most of the problems in my marriage subsequently. I don’t want to get into my own childhood in this post, but there are traumas from my childhood that resulted in how I handle my relationships today. These issues range from how I was talked to as a child to abandonment issues. I carried all of this trauma into my marriage and they have also influenced how I parent my own children. It has been very uncomfortable to drill down into my life to better understand where everything within me has come from. It will actually require a lifetime of discomfort, but it’s worth it. I am working on improving the way I communicate to and treat my family so that that don’t have to feel nervous around me or always wonder if they are doing something wrong like I did growing up.

You need to be a dreamer so you have ambitions to grow into something better than you were yesterday. You have to put in the hard work in order to make change. It is going to be uncomfortable so you need to learn to enjoy the discomfort that comes with hard work. It doesn’t mean that you have to constantly fall on your own sword to make other people happy. This is not about making them happy, it is about making yourself happy through making healthy choices that are right for you and the people in your life. That will result in a win for everybody involved. My family wins when I am happy and healthy. They lose when I isolate and withdraw from my dreams.

Where to go from here

I just read what I wrote and it’s a lot. It’s a lot to take in and it’s a lot to think about. I am feeling apathetic just having spent a moment thinking about the work I still have ahead. I am nowhere near out of the dust yet. I am constantly blowing things up in order to prevent tripping over them again. I try new things so I can be open to something better than what I am used to, even if it’s challenging.

You need to do this too. You need to delete Netflix off of your phone even if it means you will have to figure out something to do with yourself for multiple hours each evening or do whatever you need to do to get wasted time back. You need to throw away all of the unhealthy food you spent perfectly good money on because if you wait to start eating better until it’s gone, you will just buy more. I know because that is me. Whatever it is for you, you need to do it.

Making change is going to require you look inward. Depending on how much time you avoid looking inward, this could suck, but it’s necessary. You have to choose to see and love the potential you have, not what you are currently see yourself as. You have to flip the script. I like the phrase “flip the script” because a script is a story that contains a beginning, middle, and end. Right now, you are in the middle. You need to understand the beginning so you can rewrite the middle and live your best end.

What do you need to do to make change? What are you doing in your life to maintain a false sense of comfort? I hope my sharing helped you. In turn, your sharing will help me. Feel free to use up that comment section below this post. I read every comment and reply to them when I can.

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5 Work From Home Jobs That Pay $100/Day or More

5 Work At Home Jobs That Pay $100/Day or More

Want to work from home? In this episode, I give you some work from home ideas that could earn you at least $100/day. 

Listen Instead!

Let’s talk about five work-from-home jobs that pay at least $100 or more. Some of these are things that you’re going to be able to get started on right away and start earning immediately, and other ones you’re going to have to maybe apply or look for the work, but nonetheless, once you start getting the work, it’s very easy to earn that amount of money every single day that you’re willing to put in the work.

Before we jump right in, I want to share the sponsor of this episode, which is WP Engine. If you need a website, WordPress is definitely going to be the option to go. WordPress powers over 30% of the internet and WP Engine is one of the leaders in hosting provider for WordPress websites. They specialize in WordPress, which means you set up an account, you instantly have a WordPress website that has the best in class hosting, the best in class support, lots of available themes so that you can easily customize your website and get it set up.

They’ve got tons of training. They’ve got tons of features and stuff, of course, built on top of it that make it one of the best solutions in hosting, so make sure to check out the link in the show notes or the description below, or you can just go to jerad.link/wpengine and check out what they have to offer.

Let’s jump into it. Five work-from-home jobs that pay at least $100 a day.

1. Transcribe Video/Audio on Rev.Com

The first one is going to be transcribing videos on Rev.com. Now, for me, I tend to produce a lot of video content, and it can be very time-consuming for me to do a video, and then do a blog, and use content in different ways. It’s much easier for me to take my video and have it transcribed by somebody, and so I pay Rev.com to transcribe the videos for me.

You can actually take that job on and transcribe the video. Essentially, you’re just watching a video and transcribing what’s said into their system, and then that is provided to the purchaser, and then of course, that purchaser can use that content for a blog or for close captioning for their video. There’s a lot of different things that they can use that content for. In fact, the text you are reading right now was transcribed by some fine person who freelances for Rev.Com.

For me, I use Rev for my blog a lot of times. Sometimes, I go in the reverse order where I actually write a blog and then do a video using the content from that blog, but most of the time, especially in some of my longer form content, those like tutorial videos that I do over on State of Tech and Ditch Auto. Those are longer form like 20, 30-minute long videos with a lot of steps, and it’s so much easier for me to have it transcribed, and then I go in, and add images, and make it look like a blog using the transcription from the video that I had already produced.

You can sign up and be working in the next hour easily. You’re just waiting for jobs to come in. You’re taking that job. Their whole system in the backend makes it very easy for you to see what jobs are available. You can transcribe them. You have a certain amount of time you need to finish it in, and then of course, that’s it, and then they pay you right there on the spot.

The rate of pay is pretty decent. You can easily make $100 a day. I think you could probably make a little bit more than that and not even have to work a full work day because they charge about a dollar a minute is what they charge those of us that are having videos transcribed, and then of course, you get a good chunk of that, so if you think about that… I don’t know what the exact dollar amount is, and I know it varies depending on how frequently you work with them. I mean, there’s tiers and all that stuff, so the more you work with them, the better your rate of pay is going to be, and of course, the better you do, the better quality of your transcriptions, there are perks and all that stuff, so you’ll definitely want to go over their website and check it out.

Visit Rev’s Website

2. Live Chat Representative

All websites these days are integrating live chat. It is a great way for a business to capture a viewer’s attention and be able to answer those questions. A lot of times, people just don’t have the attention span to click around a website, and look, and try to find the correct information. It’s easier just to go to a live chat rep and just start chatting right there.

There’s a couple of different ways that you could find live chat representative jobs. Of course, there are companies out there that just hire people to work from home and handle all the live chat for different customers, and you may be a live chat rep for a variety of different small businesses, or you might end up being a live chat rep just for one larger business, but there’s also the option of finding local businesses in your area.

For example, if maybe there was an insurance agent company in your town and they want to have live chat on their website, you could be their chat representative and work from home essentially. You would probably be… being hired by them, but you would work from home. You can do that from the comfort of your own home using your laptop, or iPad, or whatnot, but I think probably the easiest route would be just to simply go online and find a live chat rep job. I’ve got a couple of links down below to companies that hire live chat reps that can work from home. Very easy.

Live Chat Representative Jobs:

Apple: https://www.apple.com/jobs/us/aha.html
Concentrix: https://careers.concentrix.com/careers
LiveWorld: https://www.liveworld.com/about-us/#careers
ModSquad: https://modsquad.com/join-the-mods/
Arise Work From Home: https://www.ariseworkfromhome.com
Needle: https://www.needle.com/
SiteStaff: https://sitestaff.com/chathost
The Chat Shop: https://www.thechatshop.com/jobs/live-chat-agent
Upwork: https://upwork.com
Indeed: https://indeed.com

3. Do Jobs on Fiverr.Com

On Fiverr.com, people post jobs that they need done for cheap. It used to be everything was $5. That’s where they got their name, Fiverr. For $5, somebody will transcribe a video for you. Somebody will write a blog for you. Somebody will write a review for your product online for you, will comment on your social media accounts or whatever. Like there’s lots of different things that people would do, but it’s expanded not only to be like little $5 jobs. It’s everything from a dollar to jobs that are over $100, and you can use your expertise.

If you have an area of expertise, for example, maybe you studied some graphic design in college or something like that, you can post jobs that you’re comfortable doing, and people can pay you to do those jobs, and so depending on your range of work, for example, maybe you have a good voice and you can do voiceover. You have a computer. You have a microphone. You can do voiceover, and so you offer your voiceover services.

There are so many things that you could do on Fiverr.com to earn money. You can just go to Fiverr.com, and start searching, and see what other people are offering, and of course, you can offer the same or similar services, or even add your own twist to it. There is no limit. There are no limits really on Fiverr.com. There are so many different things that you can go there and check out. Just check out all the categories that they have available, and look and see what some of the featured users on Fiverr are doing, and build your profile, and start doing some jobs, and see what happens.

The best people to reach out, so after you set up a Fiverr account, and you’re ready to go, and you have a couple of jobs, the best thing that you can do is actually reach out to people that you already know and say, “Hey, I’m trying to build a little bit of a following on Fiverr. If anybody needs… like if anybody needs a little bit of graphic design work or if anybody needs some photography done or a voiceover, or whatever it is that you think that you can offer on the website, reach out to your network of people that you already have. You’d be surprised how many people might need that service.

If you do voiceovers, you could do a cool voiceover for somebody for their birthday. I mean, there are so many things that you can do that are just interesting. I mean, I saw a guy who… You pay him on Fiverr, and he’ll go and make a video like a happy birthday video like shooting off guns. I mean, it’s just totally weird. There are so many interesting things that people do on Fiverr, and they make a small living at it, which is pretty awesome.

Depending on what it is that you offer and how much of a need there is for it, Fiverr might be the one that varies a little bit to where it’s going to take a little bit of time for you to build up to that $100, but depending on the job, I mean, if you provide a service that is a little bit more or if you can provide a service that is a little bit more pricier, you’re going to get to that $100 mark much easier than somebody who might be providing a smaller service for around $5.

Of course, the smaller priced services, you’re going to have to do more of those jobs to reach that $100 mark, whereas if you could position yourself on the higher end, producing a higher end service on Fiverr.com, it’s going to be a lot less work for you to find more customers because one customer might actually reach that $100 a day mark for you.

Visit Fiverr.Com

4. Virtual Assistant

A lot of times, there are business owners, entrepreneurs that need an assistant to handle some tasks for them, but they can’t really afford to hire a full-time assistant nor do they really want to. They don’t have enough stuff to keep a full-time assistant busy.

I know for myself, I wouldn’t have enough things for an assistant to do full-time. We don’t have phones ringing all the time. I don’t have tons of emails and stuff coming in with questions to where maybe the assistant can handle them. I don’t have people scheduling with me all the time. It’s like a little bit here and there, and so a virtual assistant can handle that because I could pay a virtual assistant just for the time that I need them, and then of course, they can be a virtual assistant for other people as well.

Here, there’s a couple different ways that this works. There are websites that hire virtual assistants and get the jobs of them, so that’s definitely a way you can go, and I’ve linked to one of those down below for you. You can sign up. Put in all the things that you’re good at. Maybe you’re a good writer. You know Excel. You know how to do a PowerPoint. There’s like different things that you know how to do. You fill all those out so that they know what kind of jobs to send your way, and then you’re getting… You’re being a micro virtual assistant for a lot of different people on a per-need basis.

Moving down a little bit more, you may be an actual virtual assistant for a specific person where you’re handling some of their scheduling. You’re doing maybe a little bit of research for them. I know that I have used virtual assistants to research for a blog for me. I knew what I wanted to write the blog topic on, but I wanted some compelling research to include in the blog, so I had a virtual assistant do that legwork for me, and they got it done in a day’s time, got it over to me, and I finished off my blog with much more information than I would have been able to get if I had to use my own time.

A virtual assistant can really end up earning a pretty decent wage because one person might not be able to hire you full-time as an assistant, but if you could virtual assist for like maybe five to eight people, that could easily become a $100-a-day job right there. As you start to build that up and you get a couple of people that you’re working for, of course, you can keep building on that until you don’t have any time left available, but I think it wouldn’t be too hard to get to that $100 mark.

Virtual Assistant Jobs:

ZipRecruiter: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Jobs/Virtual-Assistant
Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/q-Virtual-Assistant-jobs.html
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/virtual-assistant-jobs/
Upwork: https://www.upwork.com/o/jobs/browse/c/admin-support/sc/personal-virtual-assistant/?sort=relevance%2Bdesc
Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/virtual-assistant-jobs-SRCH_KO0,17.htm

5. Social Media Manager

Now, a social media manager can mean a lot of different things. It’s very easy for people to think, “Well, I have an Instagram or a Facebook account so I know how to use social media,” but to use social media on behalf of a business, or an entrepreneur, or something like that, you need to be able to produce content that speaks to their audience, and they may actually even produce that content for you. They’re just looking for you to communicate and maintain those comments, and responding, and stuff like that on their different social media platforms. That can become a very busy job for a person if they have a decent size following.

I know that for me on YouTube, it’s challenging for me to keep up with all of the comments that come in on State of Tech and Ditch Auto because some videos will end up having hundreds of comments coming in, and that becomes a little bit of a challenge to keep up on all those and maintain all of those conversations, which of course I want to do, but it definitely gets a little hard, so you as a social media manager can step in and keep those conversations going.

Of course, that may almost look like a virtual assistant position because you may have to go to the person that you’re working for and ask questions to be able to properly respond to some of the questions that are being asked or some of the comments that are being left on social media, but nonetheless, you become that person that gathers the information needed and produces the response on social media or even helps with producing the content that goes on their social media.

Some of these jobs you probably already have the skills for. For example, if you know how to type, you can do transcription on Rev, and you can also be a live chat representative. Those are pretty simple there. Where on Fiverr, you may have to have a little bit of a certain skill so that you can provide a service. Being a virtual assistant means that you have to utilize some sort of skills.

Of course, maybe as a virtual assistant, you’re only writing or maybe just utilizing simple software that most of us grew up using on our computers. But then, there are more advanced aspects of being a virtual assistant where you may have to use or understand how to use specific tools, but going online and figuring out how to use those are pretty simple. There’s so much information available online right now.

I’ve linked down below to a couple of the courses that I’ve done. A virtual assistant or a social media manager may include setting up a Facebook profile or setting up a Facebook page for a business. I have a course on how to do that, and it’s a free course. You can watch it, and then you’ll instantly know how to set this up and even manage a Facebook page for a business.

Introduction to Facebook Pages for Business

Understanding Hashtags in Social Media

I’m working on more content for you so that you can understand some of these other platforms better like YouTube, like Instagram, and LinkedIn, and all that stuff, so you want to make sure to check out the links down below and put in your email address or at least sign up for one so that you can be notified when I produce new ones because I want to make sure that I am giving as much information as I can to help people on this process.

That’s going to do it. I hope that maybe one of these will change your life. I know for me that an extra $100 a day would be life-changing, and I think that that’s the case for pretty much everybody. If you agree with me, just say yes or no down in the comments section below. Of course, if you have any questions or want a little bit further explanation, or maybe you are confused about anything I said, please ask down in the comments section below. I will do my best to respond and of course, provide as much information as I can based on the knowledge that I have.

Get out there and make some money from home!

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