Things you really need

Having the refugee crisis at your door step makes you think about, what in life is important. Imagine a refugee, who left back all his belongings, trying to find a better life. Could you give up all your stuff to live your dream. I’m not sure if I could.

Anyhow, it definitely let’s you reconsider the importance of material stuff. An average person in the western world owns about 10.000 things. Probably most of us aren’t even aware of, how many things we possess and only realize it, when we move. Then we have to pack all these little unknown things into boxes. Soon again, we will have forgotten the most of it.

What would you leave back first or what would you grab, if you had to escape from your home within one minute?

The first things I would consider are the digital helpers: smartphone, tablet and laptop. It’s crazy, but these are the tools that have become so important. They would help me to handle many situations*: contact other people, research the web for information, navigate, buy something. Only then, I would grab my wallet, clothes, food, sanitary products, etc.

The other way round, if I had to choose things to get rid of, it would be almost all the things in the basement (I have recently donated some bags of clothing, so I skip this thought).

I think this is actually good idea. Let’s declutter this dark room down there!

* ok, in case of an extreme event this would fail, because networks would be dead, but this is another story

Me Time

My personal goal is to get more freedom. This especially means to spend time in the mountains and go biking and snowboarding more often. I really like outdoor sports and for me it is the best way to enjoy my time.

It is great to have some time for me – being for my own – or sharing it with friends. Anyway, I feel better after being outside. I always collect new impressions on the way and it just reboots my brain.

Living in Munich makes it super easy to be in the nature and in the mountains. The Alps are just an hour away and you are in Austria, Italy and Switzerland in no time.

Currently I’m trying to be in the mountains once a week. This is kind of the minimum over the next year and I will try to increase it over time.

This is all about taking time for me: Me Time. It will make me more effective after returning, help me to focus and to kick butts.

Outsourcing

As I wrote, I’ve tried Upwork and think it’s great. It is amazing when you get work from the table, which would only bother you and have it done by someone else. The process is super easy – especially if you find a talented freelancer: Define what you need, choose a freelancer who meets the requirements, clarify some questions and wait for the results.

Another benefit of outsourcing is that you have to get very specific what you want. You can’t just start working, only to realize that your goals aren’t clear. This happens, because often it is easier to start with something – e.g. writing – than to plan it. Working with a freelancer forces you to make it clear what you want and what the goal is.

I want to outsource more of the writing tasks, because I feel it takes me too long. This includes copy and article writing, as well as proofreading.

Furthermore, I have already found a superb virtual assistant I’ve worked with and looking forward to get more administration tasks done by her.

Getting Streamlined

I’m working on a digital service – an online course, to be more specific – and the timeline is pretty tight. So I really want to work very effectively.

There are some tools I use a lot: Evernote for all kind of notes, brainstorming and bookmarks. Wunderlist for personal management. WordPress, of course. Lastpass as an awesome solution for the password problem. And others.

But the whole thing calls for more. I need streamlined processes and systems. Here is what I want to try in the next weeks.

Currently I write down topics, ideas and content for a video course. In the next step I will make a draft of a video script. This will be sent to a writer, who I will hire via Upwork. Then the video will be recorded. Probably I’ll do the voice-over myself or outsource it to a professional speaker.

The video will be available at Udemy, which I will use for the first time. The idea is to make a free course to get feedback from the customers. I will also try to push this by providing digital giveaways in exchange for feedback. Based on these insights I will create a payed course.

I’m especially curious about Upwork, which I’ve tried once and really amazes me. It is pretty cool to have someone who does your work, sitting somewhere in the world. You can focus on more important stuff and she will be happy to support you. Plus, it is not very expensive.

Furthermore I like to try Trello as a project management tool. I’ve heard some good words about it and the visual way of organizing stuff is something I like.

This is a quick sketch of my system. There are a lot of ideas in my head, how to improve it and I’m excited to develop it along the road.

7 Exciting Months

Exciting times are ahead! I have just planed three major goals for the next 7 months (7 because one year is too long and half a year is too short):

  1. Make first money with digital services (first project is a video course)
  2. Grow savings to finance four month without income (by trading)
  3. Steady income in 7 months (achieved with several projects)

I also broke down the points to smaller goals and individual steps. Especially the next weeks are pretty loaded. This actually feels really great!

The ONE Thing

I am constantly excited about new things. When I dip my toes into unknown terrain, I often can’t resist to jump right into it and enjoy the time in the “flow” state. In general I think that is a positive characteristic. But on the other hand, I get bored fast. This is, why many project end as quickly as I started them.

Focusing on one thing could really help. You have one goal and one project you are working on. No other distractions, no overwhelming work load.

My One Thing for the next twelve month is to get more freedom. This means more financial freedom but especially more freedom in choosing when and where to work.

I do not make this more specific. This is somehow a compromise between selecting one thing and staying flexible. Because I can not make a final decision regarding my business model. It will include stock and option trading and digital services in some way. But I want to try some different things and see how it works.

To get more focused during this year, I will set a priority project every week. Plus, I will not work on more then two projects at the same time – and only if it makes sense and is possible.

The next step will be to start the first (side-)projects and fill up my bank account to finance 4 month without income.

Let’s get started!

Ideal Business Model

Life is just too short to spend the major part of everyday with things we do not love. So we should always try to reduce the tasks we do not like and follow our passion. This is possible if we make enough money with a job which takes little effort or working hard on a vision we love.

How does my ideal business model look like?

I like to be outside. Spend my time in the mountains. Or exploring new places and cities. So my goal is to be independent of the place where I do my work.

The first part of the puzzle is trading stocks and options. As long as there is internet connection, you are up to date and able to trade.

Then there are apps. If you do it right, some good apps in the stores can bring you extra bucks each month. Once set up, the efforts to keep them running can be minimal.

And finally there are digital services and content. Bring together the knowlege from the previous points and wrap them up in some nice ebooks and other media forms.

That’s basically my ideal business model. I think it is also important to keep an open eye and discover new possibilities. Entrepreneurship is not something static but an ongoing process.

Bad Habits

 

Everybody has good and bad habits. Of course we all want to get rid of the bad ones, but ever so often we struggle with it. This is, because it is a hard thing and takes time. It can’t be done in one day or a week. Only if we can abandon bad habits for a longer time we are successful.

If I could replace a bad habit it would be my impatience. I can almost only focus on things which provide instant feedback and gratification. It is very hard for me to endure long projects, where the results are unclear or far away.

In the good sense this makes me always interested in new things. I am keen on learning and exploring the unknown. But most of the time I do not dive to deep in it, because it bores me just too fast.

The stock market is thus very fun and rewarding for me. You see very quickly if you are successful or not. Ok, there are times when everything just moves around the same level – these are the bad times -, but they are rarely.

Within the big picture, however, it is not satisfying. Even in the area of trading it is not always great to be impatient.

So what can I do to get rid of this habit?

I think the best way to improve impatience is to focus on the high level goals. The reason why you do something. It’s important to define and visualize this goal. The next step is to make detailed plans how to reach it. What are the most important steps and milestones?

By this, you have a destination and a map that guides you. Whenever it gets difficult along the way, you can refer to your overall goal and think about the joy and positive expectations connected with it. This will help to endure the hard parts of the journey.

I will improve my personal impatience within the next month and work more organized. This means defining clear high level goals and planing the individual steps. The plan will also include due dates to make it more accountable. The focus of every action is to reach the goal.

Even the longest trip starts with a small step. Let’s start and stay patient until we reach our goals.