Tiny ways to afford the experience of your material desires

Thoughts on finance

It’s okay to want material things regardless of your philosophy on life. The key is having balance. Perhaps you want to try the new Charlotte Tilbury makeup, a trip to a jet-set location or a quality dress from your favourite designers. With inflation going up and higher, the cost of living skyrocketing to the point most of us feel like it’s impossible to put a penny aside for rainy days, and the scorching summer heat summoning us to long for a few days on the beach, it’s a problem that most of us feel entangled into. Although, you don’t have to miss out on experiencing the joys of having a few nice products and creating memories just because you’re on a budget.

First and foremost, remove yourself from the lack and poverty mindset and stop saying ‘I can’t afford that’ or ‘I will never be able to have this.’ If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you’ll know I’m about reprogramming the subconscious mind to elevate lives. When you use such words concerning your growth, you have immediately placed a limit on yourself. If you don’t already know, we live in an abundant universe, and you have the power to invite and attract your desires to you. You can reprogram your mind by changing your perspective and having a solid plan for motivation and discipline. Repeat affirmations, journal and dive deep into yourself to understand where the lack mindset comes from.

Swallow your pride and go out of your way to find discounts and vouchers for what you want.

The holidays are a great time to participate in gift swapping with family and friends. It’s also a great time to take inventory of the gifts you don’t want to keep and sell on marketplaces such as eBay.

Know the right time to book vacations. The summer usually gets busy with the school holidays, so try to book your holiday off-peak.

This one is obvious but cut out habits such as buying on-the-go coffee and impulse purchases when grocery shopping. (Don’t shop on an empty stomach to avoid temptation).

Don’t be afraid to bid on designer products on eBay. Although ensure that you research the seller, view all photos and check the seller’s reviews.

Wait for the sales! 40% off is better than paying the total price, for sure. You just need to be patient.

Do you really want the product? Take three days to think about whether you’re buying something because you desire it or feeling pressure to keep up with current trends.

Until next time.

~J

6 lessons I’m learning as an online entrepreneur so far

My time is mine. However, it’s easy to fall into a time trap thinking, ‘as long as it gets done on time, I can do it when I’m ready. As a writer, inspiration strikes spontaneously; however, having the discipline to ensure I complete everything on my to-do list each day is essential. Otherwise, things pile up and get confusing.

Organisation is always key. Being organised is in my DNA as a Virgo but even if you’re not, strive to have a clean automated routine every day.

Blockages and bumps in the road are natural. Learn to acknowledge and rectify them quickly. Working for a company and having a boss is easy because you can ask for support when you’re stuck. Lone working requires you to have a curious and troubleshooting mindset. It’s up to you to fix the problem.

Income is unpredictable in the early stages of the journey. If you don’t work, you most likely won’t get paid. This is why it’s important to have an automated system and multiple avenues of income.

It’s challenging to stay focused and motivated, but seeing results from your work brings a feeling of accomplishment.

People won’t understand that your working schedule is different because it’s not 9 to 5. Be prepared to be a mild disappointment in your social groups because you can’t make it out to an event on the weekend.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on life: Boredom can be a b*tch

“I’m so bored!”. We’ve all said this phrase in our lives, some more than others. Regardless, we’ve all encountered situations where we have verbally or mentally expressed boredom. When we feel we have nothing to do, we default to doing anything that provides stimulation. We recline into couch potato mode and watch Netflix, browse the internet or force ourselves to meet up with friends, and before we know it, our energy is drained.

The note that most people refuse to accept is that boredom is okay to experience. Society and social media always seem to make us feel like we should be doing something all the time. It’s not easy to be at home when everyone is presumably living their best lives. The key word here, though, is ‘presumably’. Just because people post pictures and always look busy doesn’t mean they’re having a better time than you. In today’s times, we are so busy chasing stimulations that we forget to take time out to reconnect with ourselves. How many times do you sit in complete silence and do nothing? Even when we have time off from work, the current trending culture always tells us to be ‘booked and busy’, so we work ourselves into anxiety, fearing that we should be doing something constructive in our downtime. It doesn’t end up being productive, though.

Yes, boredom is uncomfortable and frustrating, but one thing you’ll find is that by surrendering to the process, you allow yourself to explore aspects of yourself that you were too busy to notice.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on life: Playing fair in an unfair world is self-sabotage

It’s interesting how many people claim to live life fair when the world that we live in isn’t fair. Think about it. You may walk around on a moral high ground, playing by the rules, doing everything right, yet you often wonder why some people have manifested their best life, and you’re stuck in mediocre land. I’m not advocating lying to and hurting people. Although, when it comes to your desire to have more, a promotion at work, the lover of your dreams or being at the forefront of success, playing fair sometimes is just a slippery road to self-sabotage.

You may have set your eyes on the partner you desire, but others have too. You may want that promotion, but so do your colleagues. You may want to stand out from the crowd but so does thousands of people. Sometimes, doing everything right doesn’t mean you’ll get to where you desire to be. It’s not that you have to be conniving, but some situations may require a bit of manipulation. Before you raise an eyebrow, manipulation isn’t always a hostile action. You manipulate your life every day. Perhaps you desire a new hairstyle; that’s manipulation. Maybe you feel low and sense your energy isn’t right, so you use manipulation to change your mental state to be more productive and motivated. Let’s say you want that work promotion. You may put in extra effort to let your manager see you, and perhaps you find a way to spend time with them outside of work to bend their ear about your projects. You see, that’s manipulation that puts you on the forefront to be seen and heard.

Some of the most influential and successful people in the world didn’t get to win by playing fair. At some point, one has to think and strategise their way to success. Some people’s feelings may get hurt along the way, but when you’re working on yourself and knowing that your heart is always in the right place, the world will have to make space.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on finance: The struggles of living within our means

Life comes with responsibilities, and amongst them, unless you’re living off the grid, you have to pay bills. And in the current state of the world’s economy, most are often struggling to make ends meet. One of the perils of managing finances is ensuring that you have enough to live a fulfilling lifestyle. This means that you often require funds to afford your desires. It’s often buying a new book, a dress, holidays or a day out with loved ones. In the age of the internet, though, our desires tend to grow bigger as we see some people ‘living their best lives’ while others swear by the minimalist lifestyle. Then comes the struggles of finding a balance between living abundantly and within our means. So, where do we draw the line? This is an impossible question to answer here as everyone has their financial boundary. We’re all on the same ride in hell, but some are in Lamborghini, some are in private jets, while the majorities are on public transport. So my advice is to place yourself in financial positions that are empowering. Then prioritise what you value the most. If an expensive perfume or spa day is conducive to your growth, then put some money aside and make it happen. 

If you value your sleep, perhaps invest in some good quality bedding once in a while. Nobody should dictate what you can and can’t do in life, especially when it comes to money. Yes, be responsible; however, life shouldn’t be about suffering. Regardless of your budget, living within your means shouldn’t be a struggle. Some days you’ll have to sacrifice to meet specific goals, and that’s on you to evaluate your budget and seek support. Above all, remember that not everything you see online is real. Some are in debt from their head down to their toes, chasing the high of luxury. You don’t need to buy an expensive item to feel luxurious but if you can afford it, by all means, enjoy. 

Until next time.

Thoughts on Entrepreneurship: Productivity sometimes sucks

Day in, day out, you feel like you’re just going through the motions to gain visibility, producing products and content for your chosen business venture. Sometimes you wake up on Monday morning wondering how you can muster the motivation and discipline to push forward. You love what you do, but you just find yourself stagnant. We’ve all been there. Even the most influential and successful people have been there. It’s easy to lose productivity even with the saturated motivational content you find online. We are often caught in the need to be successful, productive and attainable because everyone in our field seems to be reaching their targets fast. So we feel compelled to compete. The truth is, our body and mind require time to process our progress. We also require quality rest. Sometimes sleeping for eight hours a day is not enough, especially when juggling a job, family life, social life, and personal growth. You are growing whether you like it or not, and just as seasons come and go, so will your motivation and productivity levels.

It’s especially not easy to balance it all when you are surrounded by people who are not aligned with your path. This is why you need to be cautious of who you let into your world because they have the potential to make or break you. This is not a post on how to gain your productivity and motivation back. Instead, this post is an opportunity to check in with yourself. Are you burnt out? Have you gone outside to breathe some fresh air today? Did you eat well and drink enough water? We’re often so busy with the daily routine, ticking tasks off the to-do list, that we neglect our needs. So if you’re here because you fear you’re stuck in a rut. Don’t fret. Take some time out and recalibrate your mind, body and spirit. Life is difficult at times, but you don’t have to choose to suffer.

Make the most of your day and acknowledge your wins, no matter how big or small you think they are.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on Success: Truth on Book Publishing Part 1

You have probably come across adverts and testimonials encouraging you to sign up for webinars and courses that teach you how to make money online. Some of them are often focused on utilising Amazon KDP and Audible. It is true that authors, whether self-published or traditionally published make a substantial profit from their books. However, these quickly make money gurus will hardly tell you that publishing, just like a high street business, requires hard work and endurance. It’s probably easier to open a business on the high street because people will see your building and be intrigued whether they visit it only once or often. Being a published author requires the ability to wear many hats, including marketing, unless you have a large budget to pay someone to do this for you. Now, don’t be disheartened by this post. I firmly believe that if you have a passion for writing, expressing your creativity or have a natural gift in a specific field, you will find a way to build it into a business. This post aims to open your eyes to what being a successful author entails. The ceiling of traditional book publishing is very high and made out of sturdy glass. The road of independent publishing is steep, with many unexpected learning curves.

So you have written your manuscript, and you want to put it out to the world. Great. Now you need to make a decision. To self-publish or not? If you choose to explore the traditional publishing route, this will take time. First, you need to ensure that your manuscript is as clean as possible. Then, you need to submit your work to a literary agent who is the gatekeeper of the publishing doors. Most publishing houses will not accept unsolicited manuscript submissions for consideration without an agent. So, you need to do your research and compile a list of literary agents to submit your manuscript for representation. This process is relatively slow as literary agents read loads of manuscripts each month, and with a growing saturated market, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from them for months or not at all. However, once you break through the first hurdle, the literary agent will work with you to ensure that your manuscript is as perfect as possible, and they will find a publisher to turn your work into a book. Then you get paid. An advance. That’s the basic process of traditional publishing.

The self-publishing journey is simple. However, it requires a robust view of self-discipline, faith, and learning aptitude. You can write mediocre stories and upload them to a self-publishing platform; however, if you want to compete with traditionally published authors and have your books picked up by bookstores, you need to learn to finesse your work. As a self-published author, you need to learn the basic formatting and etiquette for paperback, ebook and audiobook. Once you have a manuscript, you can hire an editor and proofreader, a cover creator and a marketer to maximise your chances of hitting higher rankings once you publish your book. You need to research the genre and topic for your book, especially if you’re writing non-fiction. However, if you take a quick look on Amazon, you will also find the most popular fiction. If you cannot afford to hire the help you need, start learning to edit and format your manuscript. There are plenty of videos on youtube and websites from successful authors and other professionals. You can also learn to create your book covers on canva by watching Youtube tutorials. Research metadata to include in your book and during the publishing process, use the correct keywords to improve your book’s visibility on the platforms you have chosen to publish. Don’t forget to purchase ISBNs, although self-publishing platforms provide one for each book, highlighting your books as ‘independently published’. It’s not uncommon to have your book not generate interest from the audience when you start if you don’t already have an online community. This is why you need to learn how to use the power of social media and networking to market your book. Don’t expect Amazon or other platforms to market your book for you.

Once you publish your first book, I advise you not to wait for sales to write and continue doing the work. Start writing your next manuscript, draw in an audience and connect with them, set up your author website and profiles, learn as much as you can about the self-publishing business and find a strategy that works for YOU. Then rinse and repeat. Being a self-published author is not easy, but it’s rewarding, especially when you start seeing tangible results. Just make sure that you write books that you enjoy and would make people want to read. I will write more on self-publishing going forward, and I hope you found this post useful.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on Money: Financial security is important

Some say that money is the root of all evil or that you do not need money to be happy. This post is not to reinforce or go against this message but merely to shed some light on the importance of financial security. Money is a tool, and with the declining state of the world’s economy, people require this tool now more than ever. Money doesn’t only pay essential bills and support families in the present. When you have financial literacy, you learn how to leverage it in savings and investments to provide security for years to come. Hence you end up working less while enjoying more of it in the future. However, money can also be a pitfall for those who use it compulsively, buying and spending more than what they can afford, for example, buying expensive luxury items, paying for nights out on credit cards and taking out unnecessary loans. These could quickly become a liability in debt.

There are various ways to leverage an income which you can research. The idea of working hard and playing harder in the context of finance is quickly becoming redundant. This is apparent with people promoting awareness of minimalism and ways to spend money consciously. It is essential to know your financial health whether you are in a relationship, living with family or alone. When you take the time to assess your earnings and spending, you can make a financial plan that works for you and will benefit your future. If your financial status is chaotic, you will continue to fall into traps. And some companies take advantage of people who are already in financial traps.

Having financial security allows you peace of mind, which could positively impact your mental health. Losing sleep over money woes and being anxious about whether you can pay your bills on time is unhealthy and could lead you into haste decision making that will further cause a detriment to your mental health. If your financial health is poor, organisations and services are available to provide support and advice. You have to muster the courage to find them and ask for help. Having financial security is imperative, especially when you have goals such as buying a property, saving for your family or even if you want to treat yourself to a vacation.

So take some time to look at your finances, create a plan that works for you and stick to it. Life comes with many sacrifices, but you won’t regret them when you reap the benefits in the future.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on self-reflection: The Useful Art of Journaling

Let’s go back to our childhood and remember the ‘Dear Diary’ moments. As much as some of you may cringe at such memories, the art of journaling may have helped us to connect with ourselves. In the privacy of blank pages, journaling allows us to open the heart’s vault of our deepest desires or help us to release emotional trauma without judgement. Today, journaling can be just as soothing and cathartic.

Journal your way to reducing stress

In today’s hustle and bustle of our daily responsibilities, it may become easier to hoard an abundance of stress that could hinder your mental health. You can pen your positive daily habits and break down your responsibilities in a fun to-do list to lighten the load off your plate.

Manifest your desires with journaling

You can use journals to understand what you desire and work with this tool to manifest your goals into your reality. There are plenty of strategies for this, such as practising the Law of Attraction. In addition, a Journal can be utilised for your vision board, mood board, affirmations, expressing gratitude and intention setting, etc.

Sketch your way to good moods

A journal doesn’t always have to be for expressing yourself in the form of written words. For example, you can use a journal to sketch your thoughts or your environment.

Journaling is also a way to enter a meditative state which can aid a more peaceful approach to life. At the least, it can help you process your thoughts, which could turn into a book or an art portfolio. I began journaling when I started my spiritual awakening. It started with a few lines a day which eventually turned into a few poems a week. It was then that I realised that I could become a published author. The spiritual journey was arduous, but I found solace in creative writing. There is no right or wrong way to utilising a journal for your personal growth. The journey is yours to be experienced.

Until next time.