Friday, 8 January 2016

Ditch the 9 to 5 and do something truly meaningful with your life.

Before you storm off and claim I am lying or that I am simply trying to sell a fool's dream I want you to just take a second to hear what I have to say.

When I first quit my job and started on a crusade to help others do the same most of those who knew me called me an idiot (if they were feeling kind). Nearly six months later though and more than a few of them have started to ask why I always seem so happy when they see me.

As of today I have to admit I only make about as much as I did before I quit, and that isn't exactly a fortune, but every week my income rises. This isn't about the money though. Hell in my first month or so I made next to nothing but I was still happier than I had been in a long time.

You see for me the money is just a way of ensuring that I get to keep doing what I love and what I love is helping to show people a real alternative to the drudgery and modern day slavery that is working for a wage.

90% of us think that that is just the way it is and that there really is no alternative. We are brought up to think that the only path to a good life is to go to school, do well enough to go to university and then to find a job. Even after we have a job we know we have to work harder and better than those around us to slowly climb the ladder.

By the time we are somewhere we feel comfortable most of us have, without even noticing, grown old and tired. Society though no longer needs to be like that. Sure we still need people to get that factory job, to be our lawyer and to serve us coffee but what we also need is more people with vision and with dreams. People willing to take a chance and to build a business all of their own.

While everyone else fights to hold onto their job in an ever more competitive market digital entrepreneurs are crying out for people to come and join them. So why is it that such a wonderful opportunity is being so badly ignored that many of us find ourselves begging our friends and relatives to ditch the desk and get online?

For me the reason I hear time and time again is disbelief and mistrust. So many people when I explain what I do look at me like I am one step from being a criminal. Like I am doing something morally wrong. It is a hard stereotype to get past. Don't get me wrong I am all too aware aware that there are a million and one scams on the net but if I am going to be honest the net is really no worse than what goes on on most high streets.

All I can really say though is do your homework. Don't give money to a Nigerian prince and make sure you get a money back guarantee. Always look for reputable sites and if in doubt Google or Youtube the company or person in question. Remember too that if your gut says t feels wrong you may just be right.

All that being said I stick to what I said in the beginning I am proud that I deliver people an education not a job. That I help them get the freedom of a self-controlled life and that I never have to put my morals to one side just to earn a living.

If you want to join the crusade and you want to be free from the 9 to 5 come and see what we can offer, after all what harm can looking do?

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Make it happen'stime

Build your dream'stime

Let us help you build your dream

Get Inspired'stime
Too many people believe that being an entrepreneur requires having vast resources of money to begin with or that it means being the right person in the right place at the right time. What being a successful entrepreneur really requires though is the ability to think outside the box and to seize the opportunities that come your way.

Many successful people share a belief that they are not special, instead they understand that we all have the creative spark needed most of us just don't nurture it. Take Tony Robbins for example. The man is not a success because he was lucky. He worked hard and he trained his mind to see past all the little speed bumps that stop most of us dead in our tracks.

The same goes for the likes of Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. All of these men excelled more in their ability to realize their goals despite the difficulty rather than because it was easy for them.

Another, less known, figure that comes to mind when thinking about those who saw past the negatives and the problems and succeeded in building for themselves a life they truly loved is Stuart Ross.

That then is not only the secret but the goal of a true entrepreneur. Not the money, not the fame but the ability to get up everyday and relish the challenges to be faced and to simply live the life of freedom the have been able to build for themselves.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

I love what I do the question is do you?

To make a great start to 2016 I wanted to take a little time to explain what it is that the Six Figure Mentors do.

Even though Stuart Ross really does say it best I wanted to share with you a little bit of it from our side. For a couple of years now we have worked as affiliates through the SFM and as such I think we are in a pretty good position to explain how it all works.

Starting out just looking for a new way to make a living we came across the growing digital industry and for completely different reasons we decided we wanted to get involved.

Doing research wasn't as easy as it seemed after all there is a whole lot of opportunity out there and a whole lot of rip off merchants too. After making a couple of bad calls and nearly deciding to just give it up and go back to our day jobs we were lucky enough to stumble a cross a video made by Stuart and Jay.

I know it is a cliche but it really has changed our lives. After going through their training and, I have to admit, taking quite some time to finally get into the right mindset and have a little faith we got the ball rolling. Basically they not only gave us all the information and training we needed to get in the door but their ongoing support network has kept us from straying too far from the path.

After we finished up our training we started working as affiliates for them selling their training, not because we had any need to we could have sold anything, but because of all the resources and communities we had come across the Six Figure Mentors really are the best. 

Even now that we have some practice and know, mostly, what we are doing we still promote them everywhere we can because we just love what they do.

Regardless of whether you are a two finger typer, like me, or a full blown techie I know they can help you out. Don't take my word for it though or even Stuart's word for it go on and try it. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Wandering Misfit: Part 21 ... not with a bang but with a whisper

     As promised today we are going to delve deep into the chaos that is teaching English in a Chinese primary school.

     One of the best stories I remember was the first day I had a new T.A. for the primary school. When I first started teaching there I had a male T.A. who was normally pretty good but the primary school classes just ruined him. This is a man who 6 months later would end up managing one of our satellite schools literally brought to tears on several occasions by an unruly bunch of 11 year old children.

     That's why when I was told I was getting a different T.A. I was both relieved and worried. When they told me it was a T.A. who had literally finished her training only the week before my heart sank.

     When we headed out to classes that Thursday I was determined to be firmer with the class, the last thing I wanted was this young, shy T.A. being so demoralized that she up and quit (a response I really thought possible).

     Before I go on I should maybe admit that within the next 12 months this same T.A. would go on to be one of the best I've ever met. I've only ever seen her raise her voice once in all the time I've known her (but that is a whole other story) and yet she demands respect from her students.

     So in we walked and surprise, surprise the kids were going crazy. As soon as they noticed the change in T.A. they got even louder and their behaviour got worse. At this point I decided to take matters into my own hands and started yelling at the kids to sit down and shut up. As I've said before I am not particularly good at this and to be honest it has never worked for me.

     In this particular class, the first of three every Thursday, there was one girl that pretty much ran the show. She was the real ringleader but catching her doing anything wrong was nearly impossible. She had basically made an art form out of causing chaos and not being implicated when it all went south.

     Now even as I started to get flustered and run out of voice the new T.A. just turned to me and asked if she could have a couple of minutes. Sure I told her knowing that tirades and threats from other T.A.s had completely failed to have any impact in the past.

     Instead of yelling or banging the ruler on the big metal desk she quietly slipped into the rows between the seats heading straight for little miss trouble maker. Apparently in less than five minutes she had already figured the pattern out and was headed straight for it's source.

     As she reached the girl's desk the class started to quieten down, it seems just like me they were waiting to see what was about to happen. So Susan (the T.A.) bends down so her mouth is right beside the girl's ear and she stands there for a couple minutes just whispering to her.

     Even as I watched the girl's face just seemed to crumple in on itself and in less than a minute the girl was sobbing. Not yelling or crying out loud, not even crocodile tears but that slow sob that you know will last for a while.

     Slowly and gently Susan pulled her to her feet and told her to stand in the aisle. After that the class was much more subdued. Don't get me wrong it didn't turn them into little angels but one good look from Susan was enough to quieten them down most of the time.

     After the class (40 minutes later) the rest of the kids went to break but the trouble maker was still in the aisle sobbing. Susan went over and had a chat with her and the girl seemed to brighten up a bit but was far from her usual obnoxious self.

     As we were leaving later on that day I asked Susan what she'd said but she point blank refused to tell me. In fact I never did find out what it was she had whispered in the girl's ear that day. All I know is that from that point on not only did the students learn to respect this shy young lady but the foreign teachers did too.

     Rory McDonald is an online marketer and digital entrepreneur, co-founder of the Online Business Expert and passionate blogger. 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Wandering Misfit: Part 20 ... the zoo class

     We didn't just do in-house classes we also went out to primary schools and kindergartens. These external schools were often places that teachers felt some measure of dread over. For internal classes we had a class size limit of 18 students which is mostly manageable but for external schools we had classes of up to 50 students which make life a lot harder.

     I will never forget my first primary school class in China. We had classes in a primary school inside the nearby university. Aside from a trip of half an hour each way and a long break between some of the classes the classes themselves often ended up being something of a challenge.

     For about 18 months I was in charge of teaching the 3 grade 5 classes at this school. Now before I go on to talk about some of the things that happened in these classes I need to explain just how bad they were. The grade 5 class had amongst the foreign teachers gained the nickname the "zoo class". I know it seems harsh to draw similarities between a class full of kids and a zoo but it is a good example of how bad these kids could really be.

     Aside from the fact that all of the foreign teachers and T.A.s dreaded these 3 classes there is is the fact that even the headmaster of the school knew that these kids bullied not only other students but teachers too.

     Before I took over the class they had been given to one of my predecessors. They had been given to him specifically because it was believed he could "scare them into behaving well". Now no foreign teacher I know ever used any form of physical or verbal abuse but obviously some teachers are stricter and more intimidating than others.

     When I first started I was definitely not a strict or intimidating teacher. In fact I was accused many times in my first few months of being too soft, so this class was going to be a major challenge for me.

     Needless to say I have some pretty bad stories from these classes. At the time they seemed to be some kind of nightmare but now I come to think back on it some of them seem pretty funny.

     Tomorrow I'll share some of the weird stuff that went on at this particular primary school.

     Rory McDonald is an online marketer and digital entrepreneur, co-founder of the Online Business Expert and passionate blogger. 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Wandering Misfit: Part 19 ... and the list goes on

     It isn't only the locals that choose strange and unusual English names. Even amongst foreign teachers I have seen some odd choices when giving out names to students.

     The first one that comes to mind was a class I took over from someone else. When the class was brand new it had started with 11 children. For some reason, presumably known only to themselves, the foreign teacher in question had decided to give all of the students names beginning with T. This meant that for the boys for example there was Tom, Tommy, Tim, Ted and Tony. While the girls were called Tina, Tessa, Trudy, Tania, Tami and Tiffany. Altogether it made for a rather confusing situation.

     Other classes I have taught or at least covered for others included ones where all of the students were named after characters from a specific tv show and ones where the kids were named after places.

     Overall it really doesn't make a big difference after all they will most likely go on to choose new names for themselves as they get older if they continue with learning English. Somewhere in my mind though it just made me slightly uncomfortable both handing out new names because I was too lazy to learn their real names and also making the sole judgement call on what that name would be.

     By the time I was a year in I had gotten to the point where I simply refused to do it and made the T.A., kids or parent come up with names. Usually this worked pretty well, they often chose names that sounded as close to the poor kid's actual name as they could. Sometimes however it went badly wrong with kids choosing names like sheep and parents going for names like Ilex (pronounced Aleth according to the paretns involved by the way).

     All in all names to me ended up being something I tried to avoid after all it is hard remembering 100+ names when you only see the kids once a week without adding the strange and unusual to the mix. Personally I've never been good with names but I can't count the amount of times I have called a student by the wrong name so I always tried to make it as simple for myself as possible.

     Rory McDonald is an online marketer and digital entrepreneur, co-founder of the Online Business Expert and passionate blogger. 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

17 things that can make you a great Home Based Entrepreneur

1. Do what you enjoy.

     The whole reason why people are moving in droves to quit the cubicle and become their own boss is that many have started to realize their own happiness is important. When setting out to build your own business it is vital that you love what you do, not only will it make it much easier for you to stay focused but it also means that when you sell you can be genuine. In the new digital economy this ability to love your business and your product really makes you stand out from the crowd.

2. Take what you do seriously.

     Just because you can run your new business from your living room while still wearing your pajamas doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously. One of the greatest pitfalls for those who have the courage to make the change is forgetting that above all to be successful you have to want it and you have to work hard for it. This is especially hard in the first few months, after the ball starts rolling things do start to get easier but never let yourself get complacent.

3. Manage your money.

     We’ve said it before but this is a point that needs to be repeated. When working from home you need to be aware of where your cash is going and where it is coming from. You can build a business with no money but the results are going to be slow and spotty. Knowing whereand when to use your advertising budget can really make or break your business. Also pay attention to spending some of your money on education, after all the more you know the more you can do.

4. Education makes the difference.

     Like it or not if you are going tobe successful online you are going to need to go back to school. Learning and education online comes in many forms and can be very flexible but no matter the style learning new tricks is the real key to longevity for your business. The best option is to find a community of professionals and get help from those in the know. This may seem expensive but the question you need to be asking is how much is my time worth?

5. Ask for the sale.

     Many people find the hardest thing about marketing online is that even if you have complete faith in your product it can be hard to make the sale. Being pushy is bad but most people spend their time online in a kind of daze and need to be reminded that if you like what you see maybe you should buy it. Often times people also fail to sell simply because they haven’t told their would-be client what to do and how to buy. The moral be honest, be firm and tell people exactly what you want them to do.

6. Remember the customer.

     Nowadays the old maxim that it is all about the customer is more accurate than ever. With the growth of social media word of mouth and person to person endorsements have become the best way to build a client base. Make sure you spend time designing products or services that really offer value to your clients and make it clear that you care. Don’t treat customers as numbers just because you don’t have to look them in the eyes.

7. Self-promote.

     Always remember there is a lot of competition out there and it is only going to get harder. When you are buried under a thousand other websites and blogs selling products similar to yours make sure you keep telling people why you are the best. Be careful not to attack or belittle your competition and try not to be arrogant or obnoxious, just take what you know to be true and get your message out there at every opportunity.

8. Always be positive.

     If you don’t believe how can you ask anyone else to? People want to be able to trust you the best way to build trust is to make sure you are not only honest but that you are upbeat and that when clients ask you questions you have a clear and concise answer. Procrastination and beating around the bush is the best way to scare of potential customers.

9. Know your customers.

     It is often said in digital marketing that your perfect customer is someone just like you, but this isn’t always true. No matter what you want to promote understand who is going to be paying for it and why. For example just because you think your product is for single men it doesn’t mean the people who buy it most might are those same single men. Many people buy things online for others, either as gifts or because the person who is going to end up using the product or service isn’t sure how to do it.

10. Discover your options.

     It can be easy to say you just want to put yourself and your product in front of as many people as possible but most of the time that simply doesn’t make for good ROI. Find out where and howyou can advertise, find out where your clients are looking and try to match the two together. Even if Facebook seems like a great way to get in front of people you may find just as much success (with a smaller budget) using other advertising platforms. Again this comes down to making sure you are educated.

11. Don’t go it alone.

     When you first start out you will probably be flying solo, it is important during this stage to do everything yourself to get a good feel for how it works. Obviously there are going to be things you find you dread but the idea is that once you understand the process you can start outsourcing some of this to others (sites like are great for this). More important than finding someone to do the work you dislike is to find mentors and peers to keep you motivated and point you in the right direction if you get stuck. Going it alone can make life hard and growth slow.

12. Ask an expert.

     Already we have talked a lot about getting help and getting an education but we are going to say it again just to make sure. When looking to try something new it is easy to spend vast amounts of time and money trying to get the system to work. A far better use of that time and money is finding someone who knows exactly how it works (often by learning the hard way) to help you out. There are several good communities where experts offer their time to help you out just like this and we will be recommending one of our favourites later on.

13. Never Stop investing in yourself.

     The world moves quickly and the digital world moves even quicker. It is really important that you keep up to date on new techniques, new platforms and new information. Again this all comes down to staying educated. We all know that most big companies and top business people spend millions each year bringing in experts to coach them and help their business stay on top, so how do you think you will get to their level if you don’t learn something new every day?

14. Communicate.

     It can seem like a hassle answering every email and dealing with every query and once you have it under control it is one of the first things most people delegate away. Don’t underestimate the importance of good communication though. Answering a question today might not get you a sale today but a reputation for great support will definitely get you more sales in the long run. Remember treat every email or question like your business depends on it, after all it just might.

15. Design your workspace.

     Working from home is a joy. It means more time with your family, your pets or on the beach but it is important to remember that by working from home you are also making your home your office. Try to plan when you are going to be working on your business so you can avoid distractions. Setting goals keeps you on task even if it is something as simple as “I must finish this article before I go and make another cup of tea”. Another important tip is keeping your chosen workspace clean and tidy a cluttered desk really does lead to a cluttered mind.

16. Take a break.

     It can be very tempting to turn into a workaholic when you don’t have an 8 hour work day set out for you but it is a temptation you must learn to resist. You do need to be putting in sufficient time an effort in to get the outcome you want but there comes a point where you hit the law of diminishing returns. Aside from the risk of burning yourself out or treading water there is also the fact that presumably you made the choice to work from home because you wanted to have more freedom to enjoy your life. So don’t forget to take time out and stop to smell the proverbial roses.

17. Follow-up!

     So you’ve made a sale and the money is sitting nicely in your bank account. Job over right? Far from it, one of the biggest money spinners in the online game is repeat or ongoing custom. Once someone has bought from you they are far, far more likely to do so again so it is vital that you follow up. Send them an email asking if there is anything else you can do for them, keep in touch about new products and offers and provide ongoing help and assistance if it is required. Any good marketer will tell you that hooking a new customer is far more expensive and time consuming than marketing to an already happy client.

So we've discussed some of the things that great home based entrepreneurs do and one of the biggest takeaways is education and community. While there are many good communities on the internet that help you learn how to become a great digital marketer our favourite by far is the Six Figure Mentors. We've worked with these guys for 3 years now and they have given us the best training and the best advice we've ever had about online marketing so head on over and watch the videos and see why we chose them to be our Product of Choice for this article.

Wandering Misfit: Part 18 ... the student formerly known as Lucy

     Staying with names I was reminded writing the last post of a great student I had who had a terrible time with her name.

     I took over a class from the previous senior teacher and one of the girls really disliked me for replacing him. The kids in the class were in their early teens and so were just starting to get a little angsty. When I took over the class the girl's English name was Lucy. A little plain but overall pretty much okay.

     After 3 weeks of refusing to speak to me Lucy finally calmed down and decided that maybe i wasn't all that bad. She decided though that now she was old enough to pick a name for herself and that now she had a new teacher it was the perfect time.

     The name she settled on was Candy. Now I tried really hard not to groan or to discourage her after all she had only just decided to stop sulking in the corner and talk during class.

      The very next week though she came storming into class, walked right up to me and yelled "I hate you" right in my face. Not sure yet what exactly I had done to receive this kind of venom I waited to see what would come next. The T.A. looking a little worried went off to talk to Candy. Sitting in the corner chatting the T.A. suddenly started to laugh.

     At this point I was feeling a little hard done by and out of the loop so I set the other kids on a writing task and headed over to see what was up. It turns out that Lucy/Candy was upset because I didn't tell her that Candy was  stupid name. Apparently my instinct the week before had been dead wrong.

     At this point Lucy vowed once more to change her name but this time she said she would do her research first.

     Next week eventually rolled around and in walked Lucy. "So what is your new name?", I asked. "I thinked a long time and I want my name to be Reborn because that is what I am", was the answer. Turns out that when she said she was going to do research she really meant she was going to use a dictionary.

     Thinking back on the result of her last odd name choice i tried to explain that maybe she was being a tiny bit too literal, but she wasn't having any of it.

     From that point on she became to all but herself "the student formerly known as Lucy". As far as I know she still calls herself Reborn and no-one else in the class ever got the Prince reference.

     Rory McDonald is an online marketer and digital entrepreneur, co-founder of the Online Business Expert and passionate blogger.