Dare To Be Disappointed

Dare To Be DisappointedHello everyone! Today I have a post written by my blog friend Brent. He writes over at Vosa.com. Enjoy!

Select all. Delete.

This was what I just did to the blog post I was working on for you.

It might have been a mistake because I was almost done writing it.

It was a gem of a post about why you need to give every dollar you make “a job” since that is the first rule of the very popular budgeting software You Need A Budget (YNAB) that I’m giving away 10 copies of. (More details at the end of this post).

But I couldn’t stop thinking about some advise I received when I had lunch today with a very successful entrepreneur and I knew I had to write about it.

By the way, when I say “I had lunch with a very successful entrepreneur,”. I actually mean: I went to a luncheon where a very successful entrepreneur who has sold three companies for a combined total of more than $680 million dollars gave a talk.

Along these same lines, I’ve also “had dinner” with Rod Stewart, “drinks” with Blake Griffin and “played tennis” with Andre Agassi. But those are stories for another day. There were three things that really stood out for me today during this talk and they all had to do with failure.

At first you might think that it’s a little weird that the three things that stood out from a talk given by a very successful entrepreneur are all about failure but stay with me.

Many times, who we are today, the successes we’ve had and the places we are going are all shaped by failure and the lessons we learn when we fail.

 

Understand Failure

She shared with us today how incredibly important it is to understand failure. To understand that there is a very real possibility that the idea you have in your head will crash and burn into an absolute failure.

And that, if you fail, it’s okay.

Not everything will go as planned and, for your mental state as an entrepreneur, you need to understand this before you get started.

Failure IS part of the journey to success.

Once you’ve come to understand failure you can move on to the next step.

 

Respect failure, don’t fear it.

If you look around you (or maybe even when you look in the mirror?) you will see people staring back at you that are absolutely scared stiff of failure. They’ll put off trying almost anything not because they aren’t passionate about their idea, but because they are scare that they are going to fail.

Our society, in almost every way shape and form, has placed such a negative emphasis on failure.

This negative bias towards failure has paralyzed you and so many others who want to chase their dreams but are too afraid to start, too afraid to fail, too afraid to let their parents down, too afraid to let their friends down and worst or all, too afraid to let themselves down.

It’s time to stop being so afraid of failure and start daring to be disappointed.

 

Dare to disappoint

The concept of “daring to disappoint” was her third piece of advise that I latched onto with the fabric of my being.These three points, all related to failure, compelled me to delete an “all-but-done” post and start over writing this one.

Stop “under promising” just so you can “over deliver” with what is actually a mediocre outcome but appears to be amazing because of the low expectations you set for yourself.

Stop dreaming about that one day when the timing is perfect for you to start a business, a blog, a musical instrument, a budget, a garden, a charity, a passion project, paying down your debt, something, anything.

Grab life by the horns today and dare to be disappointed that maybe, just maybe, you will fail.

But guess what?

Maybe you’ll succeed too.

There is only one way to find out. Try.

 

As I wrap up this article, I realize two things.

1. This is the first time I’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone with my writing.

Until now, I’ve only allowed myself to write about personal finance, making money (like the time I ran a business out of shoebox and made more than $10,000), entrepreneurship and travel hacking.

Although this post can fit into any of those categories, my true direction with this post was to inspire you and to help add fuel to the fire that’s burning inside of you.

I want you to stop going through the motions day in and day doing things that aren’t making you happier, doing things that don’t align with your ideals or your vision for yourself and the world that you live in.

You are important, you are talented and you can make a difference.

Will this first venture outside of my writing comfort zone fail? Maybe… but I’ll sleep well tonight knowing that before this post was published I understood it might fail but I wasn’t scared of failure. I’ll also go to bed with a huge smile on my face after reading your thoughtful comment and seeing all the likes, tweets, and shares. *hint, hint* ;-)

 

2. I did in fact write a post about budgeting.

If there’s a common theme amongst everyone I know who’s ever budgeted before, that theme is failure. They fail to stay under their budget, they fail to reach their emergency fund goal by their self-imposed deadline, they fail to eliminate eating out and so on.

Budgeting is hard, but it can also be be very liberating. It can be liberating when you finally know where the heck you’re spending your money. It can be liberating when you finally start to pay down your debt, to save more money and it can be extremely liberating to finally break that paycheck to paycheck cycle.

Countless people have been liberated from debt, lack of savings and living paycheck to paycheck after they started using, and living by the rules set out by, YNAB (You Need A Budget).

Did you know that the median net worth increase of a new YNABer is $200.00 in the first month and $3,300.00 after just nine months!?! When was the last time your net worth went up by $3,300.00 in only 9 months?

This budgeting software sells for $60.00 but, since today is your lucky day, I’m giving away 10 copies away to 10 lucky people who dare to be disappointed that they aren’t going to win. Click here and enter to win 1 of 10 copies of YNAB valued at $60.00.

I’d love to hear what you think about this post, about failure, and, if you’re brave, what idea/passion/blog/business you have wanted to start for a long time but haven’t because of your fear of failure.

Please leave me a comment below. Thanks!

 

Image via Flickr by Gareth Williams

$14,156 in August Business Income

$14,937 in July - My Highest Income Month

Hello everyone! Welcome to August’s business income (and a little bit of extra income) report. It’s time to look at my monthly income report and track my progress over the past month.

Background information:

This all started out as my “extra income” report because before October of 2013, I still had my day job. In those extra income reports, I included all the income I made except for my day job.

In September of 2013, I turned in my notice at my day job as a financial analyst, and my last official day at that job was in October of 2013. Now, my income reports consist of the main way I make an income each month, which is through my freelancing business.

Some think I’m crazy for publishing my income report each month and being so public about the whole thing. I even received some flack recently from someone who sent me an email telling me I’m crazy! However, I don’t think I’m crazy (well, I hope I’m not). I publish my income reports each month for many reasons.

The main reason why I started side hustling is because I was reading other bloggers’ monthly income reports and they had me interested and motivated in making extra money. Now, it seems like there are several bloggers out there who publish their income reports, and I love reading all of them. I read income reports from Smart Passive Income, Retire By 40, Matthew Woodward, and more.

Before I started blogging, I knew nothing about side hustling and making money online. I didn’t think side hustles were worth the time, and I thought the main way to increase your income was through your day job. I believed the only way I could make money money was through raises and promotions.

Oh, was I wrong!

If it weren’t for others publishing their monthly online income reports each month, I don’t know if I would have even ever attempted side hustling.

Also, I like to publish my income reports each month because it’s a way for me to look back, learn from my mistakes and see what I need to change or improve the following month. Just sitting here and typing up this month’s income report is a great way to keep track of my business goals. It also gives me motivation because if I can see that nothing has changed in a few months I know what I need to start working on.

I know I say this every month, but it is the truth. Life is just so great now that I am doing what I want to do. I look forward to each and every day and it is a wonderful thing.

 

How was August?

August was another great income month, and it was my second best month after expenses. I did think August would be slightly better, only because I feel like I’ve been working a lot of 16 hour days lately. It was still a great month, and I hope it pays off in future months.

I have a lot of plans and I feel like I’ve been all over the place lately.

One area I need to work on is better time management and finding more time to enjoy myself. Instead, I usually feel like whenever I spend time doing something else, that I actually should have been working.

UGH! But that’s the life of someone who works from home. It’s hard to stop working.

That’s really the only downside of working form home though. Everything else is very positive and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 

In August of 2014, I made $15,051 in business income, before expenses.

 

August Business Report

This is for the month of August and before fees and expenses (fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $895, which includes VAs/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance on my websites, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.

After expenses and fees, I made approximately $14,156. In the amount above, I do not include the amount I bring in to the websites I provide services to. I only include the amounts that are my actual earnings from my services. So, if a website I manage makes an income of $3,000, I only include my payment for my services- not the full $3,000.

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4 Common Mistakes Made By The Self-Employed

5 Common Mistakes Made By The Self-EmployedI’ve been fully self-employed for almost a year now (side hustled for 3 years) and I have learned a lot over this time period.

No, I’m definitely not an expert but I do know a little bit about owning businesses and running them since that’s all I did when I had my day job as a business analyst.

As a quick summary, in my old day job some of my responsibilities included conducting interviews to learn more about a company and how they operated, analyzing any legal and business agreements, reviewing and/or compiling financial documents (including tax returns, financial reports, etc), and so on.

When I had this position, I saw some really amazing companies. I saw many companies where the owners completely started from scratch and built multi-million dollar companies which were extremely successful.

However, I also saw many, MANY companies that made some horrible mistakes. These companies operated at losses each and every year, and I just don’t know how they did it.

Even though I run a fairly simple business (all I need is a laptop and internet to work), I’m starting to understand more and more about what these business owners went through in order to get to where they currently are.

I’ve also made my own fair share of mistakes, and I know no one is perfect. Hopefully, you can avoid some mistakes though!

Below are four common mistakes made by the self-employed:

 

1. Not being organized.

This is a very common mistake made by the self-employed. I’m guilty of this one too.

I make this mistake all the time, but I am trying to improve. When you have your own business, you really need to work on being as organized as you possibly can.

You need to make sure to keep your personal and business finances separate, receipts organized, papers organized, and pretty much everything you use for when you do your taxes the following year need to be prepped and organized.

Keeping everything organized will help everything go much more smoothly when you eventually need the item. It’s easy to let each little thing slide and all of a sudden your disorganization will take over your life.

It might become impossible to find anything, and you might even lose important documents.

 

2. Thinking being self-employed will be easy.

Now, this one isn’t necessarily too common, but I do think it’s a common way that people who are NOT self-employed think.

I recently read an article about someone who quit their job and entered the self-employment world because they wanted to do something easier in life. Sadly, they found out the truth was the exact opposite.

Being self-employed isn’t a never-ending vacation. This is something too many people think. Just because you work for yourself and/or at home, it doesn’t mean that life is automatically easier.

You will need a plan for your business, research about how you will actually make an income, organize your finances, handle the legal side of owning a business, manage to not let your business takeover your life, provide services, sell products, find health insurance, save for retirement, and so on. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about taxes!

 

3. Not having an emergency fund.

I have seen too many people enter the self-employment life, only to have a few bad months and completely give up. I understand that running a business can be hard (see above), but I do think having an emergency fund can be a lifesaver in many situations.

Different people like to have a different amount in their emergency fund. I have a full year of expenses just in case everything completely tanks, or if something major happens to either of us or our home. Keep in mind that we do have a $12,000 deductible before we can actually use our health insurance, so we keep our emergency fund extra inflated with a year’s worth of expenses because of that as well.

An emergency fund can really help if you have a bad month, if something goes wrong with your business plan, or if you have some major expenses coming up.

Instead of completely giving up on your dream, your emergency fund can help you power through any bad months so that you don’t have to quit (unless you truly want to, of course).

 

4. Spending a crazy amount of money.

Luckily, my business is very cheap to run. I don’t need much in order to make an income. All I really need is my laptop and internet. Everything else I pay for are really just little luxuries to make everything a little bit easier.

When I first started my hustles, I ran it much more cheaply than I run it now. I wanted to save as much money as I possibly could.

This is not how everyone runs their business though. I have seen some business owners start their business by spending TOO much money on items that they probably do not need. Yes, some items are a need, but others can probably wait a little bit until you know you have a viable business plan.

Also, some spend a lot of money on their business just so they can write the expenses off on their tax return. Let me say this, just because you get to write it off it does not make the item free! You still have to pay for the item.

 

What mistakes have you seen or made?