Multiple Streams of Income – MSOI

You mean to tell me I can have more than one stream of income?

This was the question I was asking myself after listening to a podcast called “Everyday is Saturday” by Sam Crowley. It was a mindset new to me after completing 13 years of service in the Air Force where you only had one task, which was the Mission. The thought that I could now start multiple ventures or take on multiple jobs began to open up my mind to the limitless possibilities to different forms of income.   I was ecstatic to say the least but bummed to just be figuring this out now, at age 37.  But then the thought came to me that better 37 than 47 or older.  I felt reborn in a way, that I just opened a door to a new planet.

But are you not just talking about working two or more part time jobs?

Well, you could look at it like that, but that is too simplistic, and old school thinking.   There are many different ways to bring in extra income, and the point of this post is to highlight some of those ways.  So instead of thinking that MSOI only means that I work part time here and part time there, think I work full time here and I have systems or assets that bring in income for me as well.  The overarching principle is “Work smarter, not harder”.

Build your Financial IQ now if you haven’t already.

Just a quick bit of advice before I go on.  Start reading books on personal finance and money in general.  This alone will start increasing your Financial IQ and get you headed on the right path from the get go.  This is something that I wish I’d done before college.  There is a book by Dave Ramsey called “Total Money Makeover” that is a good starter book and he gives out very concise and actionable “hacks” to getting control of your personal finances.  Another book that changed my normal way of thinking about working and finances, in general, was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.  In it he explains the difference between liabilities and assets, and how most people confuse the two meanings concerning items they own like a house or car.  Also he writes about having money work FOR you versus how most people think which is to get a job to work for money.  This rolls into my next bullet.

Active versus Passive Income

Very simple definition of Active Income is your typical 9-5 job, where you go to work, receive a paycheck for what your were actively doing, ie. flying a plane, working in a cubicle, bagging groceries, etc.

Passive income is where you have set up a system that brings in cash flow 24/7 that requires various degrees of maintenance or upkeep to keep the money coming in, somewhat predictably.  This could be from an online business( a muse), through real estate, royalties from books, media etc, or the vending machine you own.  The list can go on and on with different ideas for passive income.

Most people today work just on the former, but lately myself I find that a combination of the two, Active and Passive Income streams, is a very smart and secure way to go.

So, ok, good.  I felt like I had to get that out in the air for those reading that have never heard of Passive Income and/or MSOI.  If you have questions about this topic or would like to learn more,  please let me know, but I plan to write about my own findings as I move forward, in this post.

Please leave a comment if you have more than one stream of income, and let me know what they are and how you got them started.  Thanks!

 

 

 

Anchors Aweigh!

Have you ever tried to run carrying a lot of extra weight on your body?  It doesn’t take too long before your energy starts winding down and you begin to slow down your pace just to keep from falling on your face.

The same thing happens to us mentally and emotionally when we carry too many “anchors” in life.  An anchor is any thing that causes unnecessary stress or burden in our day to day routine, such as smoking, drinking, gambling, over eating, TV binge watching, extra marital affairs, and drug use.  There are probably many more I could list but I feel these are the most common.

Each of these types of anchors causes one to lose motivation, ambition, confidence, respect for one’s self, a lower self esteem, and the list goes on and on.   Those vices which are usually triggered by stress from work or home life, end up causing more stress in the long run.  As you drop these anchors one by one, you will notice that you can mentally and emotionally “run” faster, and your overall daily stressors reduce to nearly zero.  If you are involved in the last two anchors mentioned, I would highly suggest you drop those first, as they could potentially be the most destructive to not only your life, but to the lives of your loved ones as well, ie. spouse, children, family, friends, co-workers, teammates, etc.

I myself was being dragged down by the first five anchors, and have for the most part dropped all of them in the past two years.  I cannot accurately nor abundantly describe to you enough how much better my life has a gotten and how much better I feel overall after having done that.  Those things that I thought were helping me to reduce my stress and enjoy life were actually doing the opposite in an insidious manner.

What got me to notice these anchors was a certain chapter in Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich”.  Once my eyes were open to these vices, I made it a point to do my best to drop these one at a time.   Since dropping these anchors, in the past two years I have dropped about 40 pounds, exercise daily now for at least 30 minutes before work, daily meditate 5-20 minutes, read on average one book a week, have a noticeable increase in energy and a reduction in what I can describe only as brain fog or those notorious senior moments.

But how?  How did I just stop these habits?  It wasn’t easy and would be lying if I said I did not feel the urge to have a smoke once in awhile, especially when I see others smoking.  Or go out binge drinking with friends from work (which still happens if we have an official company party).  But the main thing is that these vices no longer have a controlling effect in my life.  I basically made a choice that I would be in control, and not let a stick of tobacco tell me what to do.  That and through reading constantly I kept running into excerpts that would list all the horrible side effects of smoking.  The one passage that really got me to quit was that smoking supposedly increases your chances of a stroke by something like 50%! Which scares the crap out of me to think about even as I write this.

There are good sources out there on the interwebs that deal with kicking bad habits and how to prevent relapses. Steve Pavlina’s blog is a great one for starters. Tim Ferris’ blog is another one I return to time and again. Once you release these anchors and feel what life is like without them, you’ll wonder why in the world you ever started in the first place. Quitting habits with friends or coworkers is another good way to make sure you stay on course. Encouraging each other as you struggle will help prevent you from the evil thought of “just this one time won’t hurt” self talk that could put you back into the habit again.

Another good practice that helps in dropping anchors is through mindfulness meditation. Not only is it a great stress reducer, but mindfulness meditation can help in identifying areas in your life that need tending to. Marriage related, work related, or just simply slowing down to notice life. I recommend Tara Brach’s website and guided meditation podcast as a good starter. I was not aware of how difficult it could be to quiet the firehose of thoughts that run through our minds daily.

So if you have anchors dragging you down, consider letting them go one by one. See if you notice a change for the better. See if you can run a little faster so to speak in your daily life. One thing is certain, others will notice a change in you. If you have difficulty in quitting some of these habits, don’t get too discouraged. Just try and try again. You will eventually get there. It takes patience and perseverance. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Failure as a blessing

First off, I wish I had read a blog post like this or been taught in my childhood that one should treat failure as a blessing.  I am not sure where I would be right now if I had received that “gold nugget” of information, but can guess that it would put me on a higher rung of the ladder with life in general.   Who knows?  But to those of you who have stumbled upon this,  I hope this post crumbles some personal barriers that have been put in front of you, either by yourself or others.

I had been taught either directly or indirectly that failure was ALWAYS a negative occurrence and that one should avoid such occurrences in life as much as possible.   In the Air Force, it was preached that “failure was not an option” and in operational missions I fully understand that, but off the “battlefield” I think the opposite should be taught.  Or at the very least, that failure can be looked at in a better light.

The fear of failure is a very powerful force and can cause one to procrastinate or never attempt to move towards their goal.  If there are self esteem issues involved or if pride is on the line, the fear of looking like a failure in front of your coworkers or friends can seriously deter even the most ambitious folks from accomplishing their goals in their career or in their personal life.  The purpose of this post is simply to tell you, the reader, that failure is a necessity, and to reach your major goals you will most definitely experience setbacks and delays.  If you can change your mindset about the term “failure” then you can reach your goals faster and attain more in the long run.

The other thing with failure is that it is an event and not a person.  Once your realize this, I believe it gets easier to keep after your goals even after huge setbacks or delays.  After a failure occurs, it is important to realize that these events happen and not to get down on yourself.  It has been said that great success usually occurs just after a great failure.  The important thing is to keep going after each failure until you get to that success.  Persistence is key in reaching your goals and marching forward despite the failures.  Find out the lessons learned from the failure and try again…and again.  Just keep going.

 

This will be an ongoing post I hope.  Updated as I go forward with my own goals.  Adding insights and tips as I find them myself.

Job Security – depends on YOU, and not your Company.

It seems that most of the people I interview have a common view when it comes to “Job Security” and that is, they view this as something that is provided by their Company.  I used to think the same thing until I heard a podcast of Zig Ziglar’s that changed my opinion.    He explains that Job Security is self made or established by the individual, and not by the employer.  If a person were to perform at the best of their ability versus doing only the bare minimum, then when the Economy takes a turn for the worse, this person would more than likely not be asked to leave the Company.

Ziglar uses the analogy of Kobe Bryant playing for the L.A. Lakers, and that if his Team were to disband, that he would surely get picked up by another team, not because he played for the Lakers, but because he PERFORMED for them.

People need to realize that your company cannot guarantee you “job security” , especially if you only do the bare minimum to stay employed.   You can, however, guarantee a better chance for yourself if you do more than what you are paid for in your work.  An employee that goes above and beyond their job description is a valuable team member, and when tough times roll through, they are less likely to be “let go” when the Company decides who gets cut.

The following are tips I give to folks who worry about job security, and will help you guarantee a place in your company for years and years.

1. Never show up late to work, in fact, show up at least 30 minutes early.  Showing up early to work, shows your eagerness to work for your company.  Showing up late consistently gives the perception that you just don’t care about your job or the Team.

2. Don’t gossip or listen to others gossip at work.  This causes resentment within the company and ultimately could lead to your early departure from the company.  Gossip is nothing but a waste of time, loss of productivity, and will come back to haunt you in the future.  If you run into this, do an immediate about face and get back to work.  Let those who choose to listen lessen their own ” job security”.

3.  Be a problem solver not a problem creator.  If you notice a fault in your company, before going to your boss, come up with several solutions first.  Doing so will make you out to be a Team player versus just a complainer.

4.  Do more than what you are paid for.  Volunteering for odd jobs that come up every once in a while will show commitment and your willingness to go the extra mile.  Helping others with time critical assignments to ensure they meet a deadline will highlight you in a good way.

5.  Continuous self improvement will almost always come to the surface and be apparent to your boss and co-workers.   This is really easy to do, and will help you feel better about yourself in the long run.     Getting to your ideal weight, reading books in your industry, learning a new skill within your field of work, or becoming an expert at a difficult subject or task are some of things you can do to improve yourself and ensure  your “job security”.

I hope this was in some way helpful, and changes your mindset of how to stay gainfully employed.  It should also help give you peace of mind in knowing that you can create your destiny in times of economic depressions.  Worrying about losing your job should be a thing of the past if you follow the above tips.   Let me know if you have other tips to share in the comments.

 

5 Tips on how to land that first job after the Military

As a recent separatist from the Military, I can understand the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty when starting job prospecting, but also the intense exhilaration of getting the first offer to join a new company. The purpose and objective of these tips is to help you transition and find employment as fast as possible, so you can finance your life on the outside and start building “street cred” in the civilian sector.

As a headhunter here in Tokyo, I have interviewed hundreds of candidates looking for new jobs to enhance their career and have seen trends in who gets hired and who gets rejected by some of the world’s top companies looking for that perfect person.

This list of tips stems from my experience in helping people here in Tokyo land that dream job they have always wanted and in quick time.

Treat Job searching as your new job!

Congrats on your new job as a Professional Job Searcher. Doesn’t pay a whole lot now, but if you are successful, it will lead to a hefty paycheck in the end. You should now by this point be eating, sleeping, and living your job search. Start reading up on how others landed their first job after the military, join social media sites such as LinkedIn to increase your job search network. One of the fastest ways to get hired is to get a great recommendation from a friend who is already an employee for the company you are applying for.

Set goals, prioritize, and schedule your day, week, month.

This tip cannot be stressed enough. You must schedule out your daily activities to include phone calls to targeted company HR contacts, resume and cover letter writing, interview appointments, self study time, interview practice, workout sessions and ,yes of course, your leisure time. All work and no play make Homer a something something.

Set goals for yourself and deadlines for when you will reach those goals. Goals like scheduling your first interview to getting your first Offer are good examples. Any goal to get you off your duff and in to action is a good one, and will keep you from procrastinating. Also, setting off to find a job without goal setting is like steering a boat with no rudder. You’re going to get nowhere, fast.

Practice is key, rejection is inevitable.

Just like in every new skill or task to be learned, practice makes perfect, and in the case of the job interview, it is no different. Don’t expect to get an offer or invitation for a second interview on your very first interview. If you do then hooray for you, but more often than not, your first interview will be your absolute worst one. With sweaty palms and dry mouth, it becomes difficult to play it cool, answer with witty responses, and have your interviewer nodding in agreement with every word that flows from your mouth.

So how do I get better? In a word, rehearsal. You can find lists of commonly asked questions in interviews on Google. Such as, what is one of your major weaknesses? or Tell us about a time when you failed. Walking into an interview without thinking of answers to these types of questions beforehand is setting yourself up for a lot verbal pauses, awkward silence, or worse, incoherent babble. The more you rehearse, the more confident and intelligent you will sound, the better your shot of making that great first impression with the person dishing out the questions. Have your significant other or friend ask you practice questions at random to get you used to hearing your own voice and serve as a judge on how well or not so well you answered said questions. Be sure to thank them after you ace your next interview.

First impressions, don’t forget to clean up your social media.

Oh yeah, that pic of you doing a keg stand at your farewell party…right out. Clean up your FB and save yourself from potential pre-interview rejection. Most HR Managers check social media sites such as LinkedIn, FB, etc. and WILL use them as a form of screening potential candidates. Even if you have your site blocked from non friends or non contacts, some companies pay for premium search benefits that allow them to look through entire profiles despite your security settings. Welcome to Corporate.

Try not to worry too much about saying the “right” thing to get the interviewer to “like” you. Just be yourself, act as you would naturally, and you will find that is much easier to build rapport. Trying too hard usually ends up creating opposite results. This is where practicing for the interview helps. As you practice, your overall confidence builds, and this confidence comes forth during the interview. It is much easier for an interviewer to relate to and like someone who appears confident, than with some who looks nervous and weak. Who would you want to hire if you were the one interviewing?

Stay positive and keep your eye on the objective.

Keep your goal in sight and you WILL reach it. It is easy to get discouraged by the rejections and failed interviews you will experience on this path, but remember that each step is a step forward towards that eventual Offer. Keep your thoughts positive and visualize what your life will be like when you do reach your goal. I will write more on how to keep positive and motivated, especially in our society, where it seems everywhere you look there is nothing but negativity.

Please let me know if this post was helpful, and feel free to add your comments, questions, and thoughts in general. My objective with this blog is to help you succeed after you leave the Military.