The Road To Financial Freedom: Book Review

Turn right in 503km
Turn right in 503km – ample time for audiobooks/podcasts

Since Soni and I are currently travelling  around the world for a whole year, I haven’t spent much time writing about the “4 hours”-part of this blog, which covers the financial aspect of lifestyle design. Of course we wouldn’t be able to do this trip around the world without having an online business which – at least in part – covers some of our travelling costs.

Even with our travelling, we are constantly working on our business and more importantly, we are also constantly working on our mindset. And the days of driving through the Australian desert gave us a great opportunity to listen to podcasts and audio books. Continue reading The Road To Financial Freedom: Book Review

Listen to my first interview at SmartPassiveIncome

Two weeks ago I got interviewed by Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com. Pat wanted to interview successful online entrepreneurs who are not in the “making money online” niche. Since I make most of my money in the wedding niche, I thought that I might give some inspiration to others.

If you are interested, you can listen to the interview.

If you have heard me talk before, you will notice that I am quite nervous. I hope that it still helps to motivate you.

 

The Right Laptop Choice for a Round the World Trip

Working online has huge benefits like working wherever and whenever you want. These benefits allow me to  travel around the world for the next 12 months. The only downside of working online is that you always need to have a good internet connection and a computer.

Unfortunately I can’t do much about the internet connection in the countries we want to go to but choose the hotels carefully. Concerning the computer there are vast differences and fortunately – thanks to the people from Intel and their great netbook CPUs – I am am in complete control of what computer I will have available on my trip.

Netbook or Notebook?

I really needed an upgrade to my 3 year old laptop for this trip. Although the old computer still worked fine for most of the stuff I usually have to do, the weight (2.8 kg) and low the battery endurance (only 2-4 hours) led to my decision to buy  a new laptop or netbook.

Performance

The usual online marketing tasks do not require a lot of CPU and graphics performance. However if you also want to use software like Adobe Indesign or Photoshop (which my wife uses almost daily), you might want to choose a computer with more performance than the little Intel Atom CPUs.

It used to be easy to measure the performance of CPUs just by looking at their clock rate. These days are long gone. Nowadays there are hundreds of different CPUs and for amateurs it is quite difficult to get find the perfect fit for one’s needs. You can use cpubenchmark.net to compare the different CPUs.

Weight & Size

The usual screen size for laptops is 15-17 inches. Although this makes working easier than with the small 10-12 inch screen of netbooks, the average weight of a 15 inch laptop is more than 2kg. Sometimes even as heavy as 2.5 kg. Since we are looking for a computer for the use during our travels, we want the lightest computer possible. Everything over 2 kg is to much for my taste.

Since I will have to work at least 10-15 hours per week on my laptop I also don’t want to have a screen smaller than 11 inches. I tried it and I figured that this would be though on my eyes.

Another disadvantage of the smaller netbooks is the limited performance. I couldn’t find a single netbook that fulfilled my performance requirements.

Battery

In countries like Thailand or the Philippines you don’t always have internet in your hotel room and have to go either the lobby or a restaurant to get  a good internet connection. That means I need to have enough battery power to work for a few hours before I have to get back to my hotel room to recharge.

I figured that my magic number is 4 hours of battery power.

Price

Unfortunately there is a strong correlation between weight, display size and performance and the endurance of the battery. Basically that means the bigger the display and the higher the performance is the higher weight of the computer or the shorter the endurance of the battery.

Of course the price is a factor that  helps to break up that correlation. You can get more power, less weight and larger display size all in one laptop if you are willing to pay a little (or a lot) more. When backpacking you need to consider that there is always the chance that your computer might break or get stolen, so you should think twice before spending a fortune.

My Choice

The ultimate combination of performance, weight, size and battery is shown in the Macbook Air series from apple. Naturally that comes with a price of at least 950€, which is too much for my purposes.

After countless hours on Google, Amazon and different laptop review sites, I decided to buy the Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820TZG, which is considered to be subnotebook with a comfortable 13,3 inch  screen, from Amazon Warehouse Deals. The Acer usually goes for more than 630€, but at Warehouse Deals I found it for only 430€.

For those of you that don’t know what Amazon Warehouse Deals is, it is Amazons way of selling the products someone bought and returned within the 30 days for what reason whatsoever. The products have all been tested and come with a two year warranty (at least in Germany).

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820TZG has a strong CPU and 4 GB RAM combined with a pretty decent graphics board. It only weights 1.8 kg and the battery last up to 8 hours!

Obviously I will test it during the next 12 months and keep you informed if that really was a good choice.

 

My Daily Motivation Routine

Motivation is critical for success. No one who is really successful got that way without the proper motivation. There are some people that just have so much motivation in them that they don’t need others to motivate them anymore. Most people, though, need either something or someone to keep them on track.

I fall under that category. I often need someone to believe in me and tell me that everything will work out just fine. Successes also help me a lot to keep me focused and working on my projects.

But what if there are projects where the success takes a long time to achieve? What if sometimes you don’t have the support from others? Should you give up? NO!

That’s why I started my daily motivational routine, which I want to share with you today

Daily Motivational Mantra

I already do the “Winning the Money Game” and “Winning the Mind Game” mantras I got from the T. Harv Eker seminar. And I felt that I needed something more. I needed something to keep me focused on my work. Something to win the battle within me to stay productive.

That’s why I created my “Winning the Work Habit Game” mantra. Every day when I get up I say the following sentences to myself, with my hand on my heart to remind me what I should do.

  • I do work that matters. I don’t work for work’s sake.
  • I enjoy my work.
  • I focus on what is important. I do not let unimportant things distract me.
  • Every action I take brings me closer to my goals.
  • When I work, I do not spend time on time wasters.
  • I am 100% committed to my work.
  • I do not procrastinate.
  • My work produces 5 successes each and every day.
  • My work helps others. It makes this world a better place.

Some may find this a silly habit or even some kind of voodoo. I found that saying things out loud helps me to reprogram my brain. And this is what it is all about.

If you want to change your behavior, you have to change your mind.

What are your experiences with mantras like these? Do you believe in stuff like that?

 

My new daily routine and new found joy for writing

Since yesterday I implemented a new daily start for the day routine. So far I am on day 2 and I am very happy with this routine so far. So here is how my day starts:

  • I get up between 6.30 and 7.30 depending on how long I stayed up. However, I want to start getting up at 7 at the latest like I did from November till January.
  • I cook my breakfast like recommended by Tim Ferriss in his book “The 4 Hour Body“.
  • I put on some clothes and brush my teeth.
  • After that I decide what podcast to hear and start going for a 30-40 minute walk.
  • When I come back, I do a short cleanup of the apartment and take a shower.
  • After my shower I blog, if I had a thought worth writing down.
  • Then it’s off to work…

This morning routine usually takes me at least 2 hours if not more, depending on how much I want to write that day. So why am I spending so much time walking around instead of working to make more money? The answer is that I need to get more focused and these walks help me with it.

Why I need to change

I need to start getting my act together and stop messing around. I have spent so much time doing worthless tasks to keep me busy or just distracted me with other things that have nothing to do with my business.

I want to change. I need to change. My wife goes to work every day and works very hard for her money. So it isn’t fair to her if I am sitting around all day playing video games or reading online news and hoping that the money will just come by knocking on my door.

We are going on a trip around the world and I am responsible to fund this project with my online work. So I have to do more to bring enough money it so we can have a good trip. So far my online business brings in good money, but not yet enough to support a trip around the world. That’s why I need to change! I want to live the lifestyle I desire and therefore I have to put in a little bit more work now.

I got so caught up in the 4 Hour Workweek that I have literally only worked for a limited amount of time every week. And when I say work, I mean doing things that matter. I have sat in front of my PC doing all kinds of crazy stuff, but those weren’t the things that really mattered. So now I need to focus and work hard, so I can reap the benefits later (this is actually the tag line from SmartPassiveIncome).

The purpose of my morning walks

There are 4 reasons for my morning walks

  1. I get a little bit of physical exercise and get my blood pumping for the day
  2. I take the time to listen to a podcast to motivate me. Great podcasts like those frome Cliff Ravenscraft of Pat Flynn help me to stay motivated. The give me great business ideas and also help me to course correct, if I take my mind of my goals.
  3. I take time to talk to God about everything that comes to my mind and thank him for all the great things he has done for me so far (which really is a lot). In the past I haven’t taken enough time to pray and really find out what God wants me to do with my life. I really want to live after His word and find the purpose He has for my life. I found that praying is the best way to connect with him. Maybe I will also add singing to my walks. This might be tricky though as I am not the only one walking there 🙂
  4. Also, I do my exercises (or mantra) from the Millionaire Mind Intensive Workbook to get my mindset right. I will also add a mantra for weight loss and disciplined working. These mantras have a great effect on people. In the beginning you might feel stupid to stand in a field and say “I am financially free” to yourself. After a while you get used to it and it really helps. And as Harv Eker says “You can be right or you can be rich”.

My revelation this morning about writing

During my walks I thought about my business and why I don’t have as much fun doing all the work. In the early days I sat at home on Friday and Saturday nights to work on my websites. I had so much fun doing it that I didn’t mind that I wasn’t going out to party with my friends.

In the last year since I decided to make this my full time job, I stopped having fun and saw this whole thing as just my business. I saw it only as a way to make money. And after I earn enough money, I can start doing great things and helping people. This was my mindset for the last months.

This morning I realized that my business already IS helping others. And I need to start writing with passion again. In the last couple of months, when I was writing an article or doing keyword research, I only focused on how to get people to my sites and how to write the articles so the websites could find it. And believe me, that get dull after a while. And so I need to start writing for people again. Every article I write should serve the purpose to help others and help them find the information they need.

If I write to help others, the money will follow. If other will find my information helpful, they will link to it or like it on Facebook. If I just write for SEO purposes, then there is no fun in it and people will realize it.

So today I will write a little bit for people.