Today I would like to share the top 10 things I learned last year:
Side Hustles Work
I have seriously spent years trying to find a side business or hustle that would produce some results (God bless my wife for putting up with my craziness). After listening to episode #99 of the Smart Passive Income podcast where Pat Flynn interviewed Jessica Larrew (who is seriously awesome) about selling on Amazon, I took action.
Following the show, I spent $75 starting my Amazon FBA business. That $75 grew into almost $70,000 in sales in a little more than six months and a more than $20,000 in profits! Not bad for only 10-12 hours of work a week!
Here is a screen shot of my sales for the last year:
Mornings are Important
As a father of three with a full time job, I realized the mornings are the most important part of my day if I want to accomplish my stuff. Instead of staying up late to try to get things done, it is much easier to wake up at 5:30. I just wish I would have started this earlier in the year!
This was further cemented into my beliefs after reading The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod. The mornings allow me to work on “me” time and other things I am trying to get accomplished. The mornings are way more productive than 9:00-11:00 at night.
Here is an example of my morning routine:
- 10 minutes Meditating and Visualizing
- 5 minutes going over affirmations
- 5 minutes reviewing goals
- 30 minutes exercising
- 10 minutes reading
Buy Index Funds
Instead of purchasing mutual funds from a “financial advisor”, stick with index funds. Considering 90% of fund managers don’t beat the index and index funds typically cost less than .20%; it is a no brainer. If you don’t know what you are doing visit someone who has their CFP and is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
According to Forbes a mutual fund can have expenses well over 2.50%. Over 30 years, this difference of 2.30% can cost you well over a hundred thousand dollars.
I Did Have More Time
If you are one of those people who want to get more done, but use the “I don’t have time” excuse; I bet you are lying to yourself. As a father of three kids under five I thought I didn’t have time, but it turns out I did!
All you need to do is cut out the things that aren’t getting you to where you want to go. This includes television, Facebook, and videos of kittens playing chopsticks with chopsticks on YouTube.
Meet New People
In the past, I didn’t make time to reach out to people. I limited my circle to people at work and my current group of friends. This has been one of the dumbest mistakes I have made over the past decade.
This year I have made some great new connections and friends. Some of these people are doing amazing things. Some of these people include Mike Alder, Johnny Lee Phillips, Nick Loper, Amy Robles, Olu Sanya, and many more. In 2015, I am going to try and deepen these relationships and make many more! Something I should have been doing for the past 10 years.
Learn from the Experts
After failing like a million times at going at it on my own to create an online business, I finally understood that learning from the experts is the best equation for success.
This year I took Kimanzi Constable and Jared Easley’s course Stop Chasing Influencers. The information I learned from those two was well worth the money I spent. So much so, I am now enrolled in their Influncers’ Mastermind group. If you want to learn more about starting an online business then I suggest you check out their site Stop Chasing Influencers.
It only makes sense to learn from those who have already done what you want to do!
Detach Once in a While
This is one of those times my wife can totally say, I told you so. Although I have never cheated on her, I have to admit my phone has been my mistress for the past five years.
This year we went on vacation where there was no phone service for an entire week. Guess what? I survived, the world didn’t come to an end, and no one complained about me not responding to their emails right away! And no one missed me on Facebook.
I have made more of a commitment to stay off my phone, but I need to get better. It’s just so easy to pick up and get lost.
I Didn’t Miss Much from the Shows I Stopped Watching
Again, television can be a big distraction and I am guilty of tuning out for a few hours. This year I made more of an effort to ditch a few shows. I learned that I didn’t miss much and I don’t feel any less fulfilled!
In fact, ditching those shows allowed me to read more, start my side business, and produce a training video. This was a great decision.
Taking Action is Important
I have listened to motivational speakers and read inspirational books for years. I learned they are all great tools, but are worthless unless you take action!
This past year I took more action than I have in the past 34 years of my life. If I double my action this year, then 2015 will be even more unbelievable.
The Little Things Matter Most
Earlier this year I learned from oldest son that the little things matter most. Every night I spend just a few minutes talking to him in bed. There were a few nights in a row where I skipped this routine because I had too much work to do and my wife saw that he was almost in tears after I left the room.
When she asked him what was wrong, he said dad just is too busy to talk to me at night now. I felt about a tall as Papa Smurf. Although we typically just discuss Star Wars and bodily sounds, this time means the world to him. He reminded me the small things matter most.
Bonus: Steve Jobs Was Right
Steve Jobs famously said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.”
This statement is more true over the past year, than the past 35 years of my life!
2014 is over and now I am ready for 2015! Bring it!