Don’t be afraid to be accountable

 

We all like free stuff. Some free things are good. 😎

However, the value of free (or cheap) stuff can come with a catch. It’s like fast food. It’s cheap and fulfilling immediately, but in the long run it will have horrible consequences in your health.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is a time to enjoy the free stuff, but at some point you need to put some skin in the game. That will happen in the form of time, effort, or money. It’s the only way to go from a dream to a business.

Having skin in the game makes you accountable. You cannot longer procrastinate because you will start paying for that, sometimes big time!

You will start making new decisions that need to be very well thought out; you will make a plan and will get to work on it right away, making adjustments along the way and handling the bumps in the road without losing focus of the vision that you have set for yourself.

Accountability will make you show up every day, not occasionally, not only when inspiration comes to you. You will seek opportunities to create solutions every day, everywhere, at any time.

The evolution of any entrepreneur starts with a dream, then you start taking baby steps, which includes learning, networking, crafting a solution to a problem, and then launching your business and brace yourself for what’s coming ahead.

In this process, the key component between each phase is this: taking action. Without taking action there is not movement, and without movement there is no momentum, and without momentum there is no growth.

Nothing is guaranteed when you get started.

But if you don’t get started, there is something guaranteed to happen: NOTHING!

So, what’s stopping you from getting started?

If you’re afraid to fail, I understand you, because I was the same way. It’s not your fault. Entrepreneurship goes against a lot of teachings and ideas that we have been exposed for decades during our lives, and it’s not going to be easy to unlearn some old habits.

Remember that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago… but the next best time to do it is… NOW!

I’m still fearful. It’s like public speaking… you never get rid of getting nervous. The difference is that, when we take action, we are OK with being fearful and nervous. We just change our response in such situations to improve the outcome.

I’m sure that you can do great things. I am convinced that you have great ideas, experiences, and a lot of value that you can share to the world.

There’s only one small step to take: ACTION!

I used the course offered in the link below, which put me in a great path to get started with my business online. I acquired so much clarity and the confidence in myself to take the first steps towards financial independence and to control my own working schedule and the projects and ideas that I love. I no longer fear the possibility of getting “streamlined” because I have the skills that will allow me some day to fire my boss and dedicate all my energy to my business.

I know you can do it too. It’s just one small step…

Here’s the link, if you’re interested, and let me know if you want more information.

https://www.alejandroclavelg.com/

😎

15dayonlinebusiness

Disclaimer:  If you purchase anything through a link in this article, you should assume that I have an affiliate relationship with the company providing the product or service that you purchase, and that I’ll be compensated in some small way.
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The Power of Forgiving Ourselves

In multiple occasions I have taken bad decisions. Decisions that came with a hefty price and in different forms. Decisions that at some point I regretted and wished to take back.

If you have been in situations like that, I totally understand your pain and frustration.

But we also need to look at those decisions and their consequences as a lesson from life, a lesson that teaches us something, something that can be used to improve and to be ready for the next decisions to take.

Instead of grieving forever due to the decisions we took in the past, forgiving ourselves helps us close that chapter and move on. It allows us to look at the future with an unburdened mind and gives us more clarity to base our next steps on the foundation of our resiliency and our character.

It requires great character to forgive the faults of other people, but the ultimate act of self-improvement is shown when we forgive ourselves and get ready for the next fork in the road. Remember that our current situation is the result of the multiple decisions we have made in the past. That means that our future will be determined by the kind of decisions we start taking today.

If you’re looking for a better future, you’re allowed to review your past, but only as a reference, not as a predictor of the journey ahead. Use that knowledge and put it to good use. You will thank yourself later for that.

Some people use the phrase: “I want to leave the world better than I found it”. This is a great statement, but there’s no external betterment without internal improvement. We cannot take care of others when we don’t take care of ourselves. Forgiving ourselves gives us that opportunity and it must be part of our plan to thrive in any circumstances.

I choose to forgive myself. You, my friend, please do the same.

Have a great life!

😉

3 High Paying Skills You Must Learn Today

It’s critical to adapt to the changing times we’re living in right now.

It’s no secret that for many people the skills they have and that have been generating income are no longer useful, at least during these crazy times. Yes, many are hopeful that the jobs will come back, but the waiting time is going to take a huge toll on and the demand for employee is not going to be the same as it was before.

Why?

Because the companies will not simply hire back all the employees they had. It’s a normal strategy to slowly reactivate the jobs and progressively try to go back to the prior levels of productivity. That means that at the beginning only a few people will be employed and for others the situation will get worse.

Learning new skills is a necessity. Here are three high paying skills that you can start learning today.

 

Personal branding

You have knowledge, you have skills, you have experience. All your life you have been doing some things that other people want to learn. Let me give you an example. If you were a cheerleader in your early youth, you have some tricks that you can share with other, and if you put your own spin to the way you explain those, that’s your branding. If you know how to dance, you can help others do the same. If you have kids and have apply some things that helped you raise your kids successfully, that’s a skill other parents need.

Your brand is the particular way you have to demonstrate your skills. It’s unique, it’s not copying anybody else. It’s your own way of presenting a solution to a problem.

You might say that the skill you have is already out there in Google, YouTube, TikTok or Instagram. But such skill with your own signature is not.

I grew up in the 70’s and when I heard on the radio songs like Staying Alive or Night Fever or More than a Woman, I was sure it was a girls’ band. Then I realized that it was a group of bearded dudes with a very special signature: a high pitch voice that presented the songs in a unique fashion that was accepted by millions of people all over the world.

So, your brand is something that you already have, you just need to refine it and make it specific so the people that relate to you can find you and follow you. And that’s the beginning of the journey where you put yourself out there in order to create value.

Branding is not about being a celebrity. It’s about helping people. You need to understand that nobody cares about you unless you care about people.

And to create value to show that you care about people you need to apply the next high-paying skill.

 

Copywriting

Expressing our thoughts and ideas sometimes requires writing them down in an organized way. Delivering a message that describes a real problem and then presents a great solution is a skill that requires practice and constant evolution. The ideas that live in your mind need to be written in such a way that the reader can perceive the benefit of paying attention to your message and to follow your recommendations.

Copywriting can be exhausting or it can be easy. It all depends on the clarity of your business proposition and the power of the solution that you intent to deliver to your audience. Learning copywriting is essential to communicate with your potential clients, and it doesn’t have to be formal or serious. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who’s branding is totally relaxed or casual. Presenting your personality in your writing is a sign of authenticity and allows people to know you better.

 

Sales

Finally, if you want to do business, you need to learn sales.

It doesn’t matter what industry or field you work or worked before, you have done sales.

How’s that?

Have you been interviewed for a job? That’s an act of selling. You’re selling your skills, your experience, your value. All this with the purpose of landing a job. Once in the job, you better be selling yourself highly every day to keep that job.

In your job, in your neighborhood or in your family you have a reputation. They refer to you with labels that describe your personality. Well, for good or for bad, this is the result of you selling your personality to those people.

What I’m trying to say is that selling is not a scary thing, but is a skill that demands rewiring our minds to understand that when we are rejected at the moment of trying to make a sell, we need to treat this as just another step in the process of closing.

Some people say that they are not made for selling, but that is the same as saying that a baby is not made for walking just because a few falls happened during the process.

 

There are millions of people that need help, and your skills are the perfect match for them. But without a branding platform where they can find you, without the right message to present your solution to their problem and the right way to persuade them to buy your solution there is no business. And this can apply to any product, either physical or digital. You can create your own training course, or you can promote products from other businesses, and you can make a commission. You can start with a product and then move to other product. In any case, the common skills to achieve success online are the same: personal branding, copywriting and selling.

Everybody wants to make money online, but learning the core skills is essential and is not that difficult, you just need to invest in yourself and be coachable so you can apply the same steps that other people have applied already.

Let me know if I can help. I know a thing or two.

I wish you the best of success!

Three key elements to become successful

We all want to be successful. It’s totally normal because we all want to be better, regardless of our current circumstances. We all wish to be in a better situation.

Here are three key elements that we must focus on to become successful. They are education, relationships and coaching.

Education helps us to change our mindset, because when we learn we become smarter. When we read a book, when taking a course online or attending a class, we will generate more ideas. If we have a trade or ability that we have practiced for years, we can learn to turn that ability into a business that can give us a tremendous advantage over those who decide to do other non-productive things.

Now, let’s not forget that there will always be someone smarter than us, but there will also be someone who learn from you and will benefit from your experience. We don’t need to be the greatest expert in each topic or trade to create value towards other people. The important thing is to find those who have the same goal and interests that you have.

For example, if you know how to cultivate corn, I bet you can find a lot of people interested in that as well. On the other hand, there will be a lot of people who don’t care about that. Now, those who are interested in this topic will want to learn from you and to hear your experiences about corn crops. And just as they are learning from you, you need to keep learning from others. You need to stay in that continuous improvement cycle because we never stop learning, regardless if we are 5 years old, or 20 or 50 or 90 years old. We must always be learning.

I remember a situation where a very old man who loves to play the guitar was asked why he kept practicing 4 to 5 hours every day, when he was very proficient at playing that instrument. Now, he wasn’t born with that ability. He just put the time to practice and followed his passion. His answer to the question on why he kept practicing so much was: “I think I’m making progress”.

So, it doesn’t matter in what part of our lives we are, we always need to be getting better and better. And education is a powerful tool to become better every day.

The second component is relationships. The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. We become the average of the five people we hang out with. Our relationships can make us better or worse, because if we hang out with people with a negative mindset we will get infected by that. On the contrary, if we follow people or groups with a hard-working and positive mentality, we will raise to their level and will get better. If we try to make it alone, we might have some level of success, but the long lasting and sustainable entrepreneurship requires that we flock together with those of our same feathers. The goals will be similar, and the synergies and mutual support will deliver tremendous results.

Finally, the third key element in our journey towards success is to have a mentor or coach or guide, call it whatever you want. A coach is someone that helps us to figure out how to put together the pieces that will result in a business by using his experience. This accelerates the process and can give you the confidence that you have been lacking to make hard decisions. By following in the footsteps of a proven entrepreneur, your odds to be successful increase significantly. A lot of people who have achieved success always refer to someone else who helped them get clarity and support them in ways that were critical in their lives.

There you have them, the three key elements to achieve great success. First, education and continuous learning. Second, relationships, seeking to hang out with people with a learning and improvement mindset to help each other and to continue learning. And finally, never underestimate the power of having a mentor or coach who can help you accomplish your goals faster and with better results.

That’s all I have today my friend. I hope this was helpful and I wish you the best of success in all your projects.
Hasta la vista!

A restless mind

Our brain doesn’t need to rest. When we sleep and cross into the dream world, the brain is reconstructing itself and becoming smarter. What we call rest, for the brain that translates into rewiring and producing complex and stronger structures that will allow us to continue the physical and intellectual journey the next day.

Learning new things keeps the brain active, and such activity continues (if we allow it) in the golden years, when the physical part becomes more challenging. Is in this moment when we need to find ways to stay in learning mode. It’s never too late to become a musician, a poet, a writer or a singer. As long as we fuel the passion for acquiring new skills, new trades, new moves…

The brain has a unique capability called neuroplasticity, which is the ability to change continuously throughout an individual’s life. For example, brain activity associated with a given function can be transferred to a different location, the proportion of grey matter can change, and synapses may strengthen or weaken over time.

We can learn something every day. But we have to seek for new knowledge. We need to move from “I’ll try” to “I will”, in order to keep our minds busy in productive thoughts. Such drive will take us to a better state in our older days… away from the risk of senility.

Let’s keep learning, keep the grey matter working!

I can help you learn Spanish, and you can help me learn something!

Adios! 😁

BOOK REVIEW – The 5AM Club: Own your morning, elevate your life.

BOOK REVIEW – The 5AM Club: Own your morning, elevate your life. By Robin Sharma, Adam Verner, et al.

This is a great book! It presents a good story on how to own your morning in order to conquer your day. It presents a similar approach to what’s known as the compound effect, where small increments lead to huge benefits in the long term.

The 5AM Club is a story where the lives of a billionaire, an artist and an entrepreneur get intertwined to produce a plethora of learning experiences and events that redefine and reshape the mindset of the last two, guided by the unorthodox yet appealing billionaire.

In audio format, this is an 11-hour book. It took me four days to listen to it entirely, but a couple of hours into I was psyched and hungry to keep learning more.

Event though this is depicted as a fiction story, the life lessons are real. I bought into this approach and I’m applying it myself.

In a nutshell, the book presents an approach to devote 1 hour a day to yourself. From 5AM to 6AM this is a time to practice the 20-20-20 method, which consist of 20 minutes of intensive exercise to the point of breaking a sweat, followed by 20 minutes of meditation and rest, and finally 20 minutes of deep learning about anything that improves your life.

A very important part of this is to jump right out of bed with no distractions, no technology, no news. It just you and you only. Resisting these temptations is a key component for this to work.

I’m just three days into this and I’m seeing good results already.

But, hey…this is not something new! It’s being said that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, but it takes around 66 days to get such habit ingrained in our subconscious minds, so it becomes automatic.

I’ll share with you my results half-way thru to such period, to let you know what kind of progress I make. However, I want to share with you now a few quotes that I gathered from this book.

  • Change is hard at first… messy in the middle… but gorgeous at the end.
  • The moment you most feel like giving up is the instant when you must find it in you to press ahead.
  • One who sweats more in training bleeds less in war.
  • High victory is made in those early morning hours when no one is watching and while everyone else is sleeping.
  • To find your best self you need to lose your weak self and that only happens thru relentless improvement, continuous reflection and ongoing self-excavation.
  • The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.

You can borrow it from your public library. Let me know if you need help with that.

Or you can get it on Amazon.

You’re welcome to join the club!

Have a nice day!

 

Alejandro

Use your defects to your advantage

Sometimes a defect can be an impediment, a hurdle, a hard thing to live with.
 
Other times a defect can help us be creative and use it to our advantage. Let me share a personal experience.
 
Early in my life I faced issues with my right ear, to the point that I’m almost deaf on that side. I didn’t know until I got tested around 11, and as a result of that the doctors tried to compensate for the lack of internal tissue in my inner ear to enlarge my bones so I could have a “normal” hearing. The medical care was awesome, and I was able to improve my hearing a bit, but to this moment I still must manage such imbalance in different ways.
 
I tell my friends that their secrets are safe with me, if they talk to my right ear, which is quite the case. 😅😅
 
This condition made my school days challenging, and I had to ask several times to the teachers for additional repetition of the topic, because I missed some details sometimes due to the noise around me. But then this became an advantage, because by having the teachers repeat things I was reinforcing, having an extra “class”. At first, I did not think of this that way, and of course it was not done intentionally, but later in college that became a powerful tool when needed to juggle multiple activities. Let me explain.
 
My parents’ financial situation was tight, and the expenses of a professional career were too much for them. Although I attended public schools, the everyday expenses and books and other materials were taking a toll on my folks, so I quickly decided that I needed to work in order to help myself and them. This job was in a daily newspaper, which was great because it was after school and it was a full-time job. The downsize was that I was home very late, at 1 or 2 AM, and classes started at 7 AM, with almost 1-hour ride on the bus.
 
Also, during those days I decided to pursue student leadership, which led me to become the president of the Computer Systems Engineering student counsel. This helped me tremendously to get out of the shell where I was before and I was able to create great connections in and out of the school.
 
So… how much time was left for studying? You can imagine. 😕
 
So, I resorted to the tactic I had created as a result of my early struggle. I started asking the teacher to repeat the process to solve the problems, or the definitions of any term or topic, so I could reinforce it right there in the classroom. Sometimes the subject was so easy, it was ridiculous, but I knew that I would have no time to go over it by myself.
 
Sounds like cheating? I will let you be the judge of that.
 
Have you use any defect to your advantage?