Monday, May 18, 2015

More Lessons From #Workcation

This post is #16 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

What moments in our life, will we remember when we are old? …Will we see our entire life flash before our eyes in a 20-30 seconds shortly before we pass away? ...What moments from that montage will we remember? More than likely, it will not be the time we spent working away in our office or cubicle. It will not be the moments spent inching away in the rush hour traffic or the time folding laundry and cleaning house. More than likely, we will remember the times we spent with our friends and family. It will be the individual accomplishment share with ourselves, family members, and friends that we will cherish, revere, and remember. 

There are various professional, romantic, and life milestones in life. Professional milestones, such a high school graduations, getting a first job acceptance letter, or a promotion are milestones that make our feel accomplished. Romantic milestones, such as a first kiss, a wedding, and new childbirths, make us feel complete and loved. Family milestones, such as annual thanksgiving dinners and holiday family photos, make us feel whole and part of something bigger thank ourselves. Lastly, rich life experiences, such as eating ice cream on a hot summer day, watching Fourth of July fireworks, learning to ride a bike,  going sky diving, running a marathon, completing an Ironman, or learning a new language make us feel accomplished, because we are push ourselves forward and expanding our understandings. All of these new experiences enhance our outlook on life and help develop our innate ability to move forward. When we pass away or slip closer to our deaths, I feel it will be romantic, family, and rich life moments that we will remember and share with our loved ones.

It’s amazing that as I started to take workcations, my eyes were opened more of my surroundings and the world around me. As I wanted to go hiking or mountain bike more frequently after work, I discovered new trails in my local vicinity. Part of me felt childish for not discovering these trails sooner in life, but part of me also felt rewarded for discovering them. As I continued to see expand my local horizons, my focus also started to shift internationally. My thirst to experience new and deeper life experience increased. I started to pursue vacation ideas that were on my bucket list. My bucket list started to transform into an accomplished list. I took my vacation time for a real vacation and ventured to places like Thailand and Italy. My travels were fueled by lifestyle decisions I had made earlier in life to save more money, generate more passive income, and ultimately explore more of the world around me. 

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Expand Your Potential

This post is #15 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 
  If you are looking for ways to enjoy more luxurious or cost-intensive workcations that are outside of your budget, there are two ways to create additional income: 1) reduce your monthly expenditures or 2) create additional income streams. As you divide you list into two different categories listed below, determine which ones you can revise, add or subtract to help you make the most of your lifestyle.

1) Reduce Expenditures
        From enjoy a Starbucks latte to paying for cable TV, there are one-time and monthly expenses that can overpower our lives. At times, our expenses can overwhelm us and make us feel like we can never get ahead.  In order to reduce your monthly budget, it’s important to divide your expenses into two categories: one-time and recurring expenses.

                One-Time Expenses: These expense typically are lifestyle charges, such as new clothing or dining out at a restaurant. Sometimes, these feel as “must-haves” and sneak into our budgets. It can be helpful to always sleep on it for a night and not feel pressured to buy on a whim. There will always be a deal around the corner and realizing that spending to save, actually doesn’t make the spender the winner is a good strategy to follow.

                Recurring Expenses: These are monthly expenses that take away from our income. Expenses, such as a mortgage, cable bills, car insurance, gym memberships, and cell phone bills, are all monthly expenses that fight for a share of our monthly paycheck. Some of these are billed monthly and we may not even be aware for the details of our bill or don’t use all of what we are paying for. If we spend time looking at ways to reduce or bills – either by reducing a service or possibly evening removing a service, such as cable TV, we will find new ways to have additional income.

2) Create Additional Income Streams
        Let me be frank. Most, if not 99% of all “get rich” schemes are not overnight successes. For every, “once in a lifetime opportunity,” there are tens of thousands of individuals who are either trying to create the same “once in a lifetime opportunity” or did not reach success working towards it. Most online people who share the secrets of achieving great wealth have very little practical information to implement into your own ventures.

        That being said, there are opportunities that are you can explore to help create additional streams of wealth. Today, more and more online marketing gurus are sharing their success and building resources and communities dedicated to helping people achieve their own online success. Although there are several of this “industry leaders,” it’s important to focus on individuals who are 1) transparent with how they make money, 2) interview other successful entrepreneurs and 3) if possible, provide this information for free. It can be easy to be curious and purchase additional information from some of these industry gurus, but some of the best individuals share their advice for free (yes, FREE!) with the hope to make additional income through affiliate purchases or advertising revenue.

        One of the best, online areas for knowledge, is Smart Passive Income ( Established in 2008, Smart Passive income chronicles the personal successes and failure of Pat Flynn as he tries to increase is the revenue he earns passively each month from online ventures, such as creating mobile applications, websites, or eBooks. Additionally, Flynn interviews successful online entrepreneurs, such as Tim Ferris, and shares their success and industry secrets on a weekly podcast. The podcast is extremely helpful and allows individuals to learn some step-by-step approaches that they can incorporate into their own personal lives.

        It took Pat several years to create a successful online empire, which currently earns between $50,000-60,000/month “passively” from various online projects. Although extremely successful from today means, Pat’s road to success was paved slowly and through necessity. He will be the first one to tell you that we was not fired from his architecture job, but laid off. After no success finding a job, Pat was determined to build his online empire by writing about the experiences he had attempting to create revenue online. It took him several years, before he earned a monthly income of a few thousand dollars a month, which help him support his wife and eventual two children at the time.

        Pat’s journey is inspiring, because it shares the value of hard work, built over time. Implementing similar passive income channels may help you to slowly expand and evolve your passive income opportunities. Overtime, I have learned to embrace these passive income generating opportunities, both as learning experiences to expand my professional skillset and ways to earn additional cash for workcations and vacations. For example, after reading about how to publish an eBook, I decided to turn my photographs into calendar. I spent time learning how to create an eBook, refined my knowledge, and ultimately published my eBook online. Overall, the calendar doesn’t make me rich, but it earns a small amount of passive income each month to help support a mini-workcation each month.

Now imagine if you have a few different sources of passive income? How many doors would open for you to expand your current lifestyle? As you start to think of additional revenue generating ideas, make a list of your creative passions. If this includes taking pictures, writing, or singing, making your list will give you can idea about what to explore. Knowing your passions first will help you translate these into revenue generating ideas. For example, if your passion is singing, maybe you could record some of your songs and submit them through iTunes or Pandora Radio for distribution. If you passion is writing, maybe you start a blog about a topic close to your heart and you display banner advertisements on it. No matter what the end goal is, it will be your passion that helps fuel your determination and success.  

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Workcation is the New Norm for Retirement

This post is #14 / #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Retirement sounds boring and in many cases unfeasible. Are we really expected to stop work completely and resort to a life of relaxation? On the flip side, why do we have to wait until we retire in order to have the freedom to pursue our passions? Let me pop the bubble of waiting until you have worked 30 years and are living off fixed income in order to start living your dreams. If we continue to live a balanced life and enjoy workcations at your discretion, we will be able to enjoy a balanced and accomplished life now, instead of waiting for a lifetime to pass.

                If you are planning to wait for retirement to enjoy your free time or afternoon, just how prepared are you? Several studies have found many Americans are not prepared for retirement. In fact, The Federal Reserve shared in 2014 that just under one-third of US households reported having no retirement savings or pension, including approximately 20% of households aged 55 to 64. The study also found that out of the people who have started to plan for retirement, 25% don’t feel that they will have enough to pay for their monthly expenses. Our culture has been engrained to work hard and spend hard. The focus on saving has shifted to the immediate satisfaction of spending in the moment to provide for our current lifestyles. As we start to plan our lives and plan out future interests, such as workcations, we can start to plan for the future as well as be okay with working for an extended period of time. It’s a cold hard fact that many of us will have to work well into our 60’s and even longer to provide for ourselves. However, if we enjoy workcations along the way, it will help make our daily lives more enjoyable as we are able to experience and enjoy life in the moment.

                When I had my bicycle accident, I realized that life is just too precious to spend it working the entire time. I want the ability to travel and do anything at will. However, part of me also enjoyed work. I enjoyed the team collaboration, being part of something bigger than myself, seeing progress in the advancement of a company, and achieving goals. I realized that work fulfilled me as much as taking time off. It was the balance of both that brought satisfaction to my life.

As we continue to advance at various stages in our life, it’s important to realize the importance of finding balance in yours. The reality is many of us will not be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, or Elon Musk. And, if we do have the foresight, strength, and aptitude to become one of these elite revolutionary business minds, the reality is we will more than likely continue to work hard and not retire. These business leaders all have enough money to stop working completely, but it’s the pursuit of exploration and creativity that drives them. They are able to pursue their individual and company goals, while finding time to relax during their busy work schedules. In fact, some of these leaders have been known to take breaks during their workweek to pursue athletic escapades, such as sailing extended distances, running marathons, or enjoying outdoor festivals, such as Coachella and Burning Man. The key is that they have found balance and are taking their own workcations in the midst of their lives.

           How are your life goals shaping up? Do you want to pursue outdoor pursuits? Do you want to work for the rest of your life? Well, phrased like that it may sound like an endless pursuit. However are you ready to work to accomplish your goals while finding time to balance and pursue your lifestyle goals? If you are, you are ready to explore a workcation and take full advantage to what life has to offer.

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.