Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

16Feb/112

Didn’t Your Dad Teach You To Live Within Your Means?

Well, he was wrong. And this is why.

It's depressing. Everything is falling apart! Have you ever felt like everything around you is caving in? Your credit cards are maxed out, rent is late, and your mobile phone is costing you more than you can afford. If this has ever happened to you, read on.

That's when human nature kicks in. You instinctively start shrinking. Spend less, do less, eat less, be less. Thinking that this is going to help you get back on your feet, you instead find yourself in a poorer state then when you started. You have become less of yourself.

Now you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done if this is what you really wanted.

But I think you'll agree with me that you want more. You want to be more, do more, live more. You want to have more options.

Living within your means is putting a limit on yourself. It's tying a rope around your waist and attaching it to your house so you can always safely find your way back.

The length of the rope is your means.

Staying within it gives you comfort and certainty.
Stepping beyond it represents danger and excitement.

When you are within your comfort zone there is little reason to want more because you accept your new normal.
But it's people like you and me who know that there is more, who won't settle.

Applying the title too literally is not what I'm suggesting, although the fact that you've read this far tells me that it's served it's purpose. I'll explain:

When you find yourself under external financial pressure, don't shrink. Rather, expand. Use the energies that would cause you to shrink and channel it to your creativity and put it to work thinking of new ways to earn more.

External pressure is more effective than self-motivation for most of us to cause us to take action. I'll illustrate that below:

Let's say you want to increase your income by $300 a month.

So you make commitments and plans but things don't go as expected and at the end of the month you are still at the same level: just scraping by, making ends meet. You think: "Oh well, maybe next time."

Now let's switch it around.

You commit to increasing your income by $300 and to solidify your commitment, as soon as you get your paycheck you invest that amount to your plan for increasing your income. You now know that you are going to be $300 short at the end of the month, and start thinking about where it's going to come from.
You know you HAVE to get it or else you are going to face external pressure in the form of your landlord, credit card company etc.

This is where you have to fight the urge to cave in. Take those thoughts and fears and channel them to your financial creativity.

Then the bills come, the ones you can't pay now because you invested that $300 at the beginning if the month. You're teetering on the edge, thinking that this was a bad idea.

Then the magic happens.

The culmination of a month of figuring, thinking and worrying comes together to create something new. Something you wouldn't have thought of if you had not gone through this process.
The key to unlock the door to your financial difficulties.

Now this may seem unrealistic to you, but you will find hundreds, if not thousands of stories of success that happened as a result of strong external pressure, financial or otherwise.

Yours could be on the list next.

Now do yourself a favor and generate some strong external pressure that will propel you to your next level of success. Or, if you have personally experienced it, post your own story below.

Progress always involves risks.  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.  ~Frederick B. Wilcox

A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for.  ~John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.  ~Ray Bradbury

18Nov/101

Whiners are Losers!

What separates the winners from the losers in life? The list can be pretty long, but if you've ever read the book "Think and Grow Rich", which by the way is not only about making money, you'll understand that one of the most basic, yet most important things to remember if you want to be a winner in life is to keep a positive outlook.

This is not to say that you should go into a state of denial and tell yourself that you live in a wonderful place when your house really actually looks like a dump! See things as they are, but give them alternate, empowering meanings which will be beneficial to your personal growth.

In the book the author talks about his son who was born without ears, but he refused to treat him any differently than other children who had normal hearing. He explained to him about the advantages he had over others with things like getting special treatment from his teacher because of his lack of hearing and being able to sell more newspapers than others because people pity him, etc. Because his son was able to see every situation as an advantage instead of a handicap, he overcame his handicap and became an overachiever and a very successful salesman and businessman.

The people I encounter who are not making progress in their lives have three main things they whine about:

1. I don't have enough education

2. I don't have enough money

3. I don't have enough time

Education. If history ever repeats itself, which I believe it does--a lack of education never stopped the likes of Edison, Ford, and even Steve Jobs. Don't get me wrong here--I'm not knocking education, just don't let the lack of it become an excuse! If you feel you need it, GET IT!

Money, or capital may have been a necessity 30 years ago to start your own business, but today there are countless successful companies which were born of the internet revolution which required little or no initial capital investment. If you want a good example explained, buy the book: "You Call the Shots"

Time. We all have the same amount of time and you may have heard this before, but it's so true! The things in your life that take your time (youtube, gaming, cleaning the house?) now are the things that you feel are most important to you whether or not you admit it to yourself. Why not do yourself a favor and put personal-development at the top of your list? My wife is a very busy person and has 7 kids to take care of--myself included--and she said she really did not have time to fit in a daily exercise routine (and I'll admit I was almost convinced). I had to coach her and help her put it above all else, recognizing that if her health failed, then all else in her life that depended on her health, which is just about everything, would also fail. The result? She's already started each day with her exercise routine, prioritizing it above the rest of her duties, and she's on a roll!

What's on the top of your list?

18Aug/102

Making Money Online

I know that I told you all before that I quit affiliate marketing because I did not like it one bit. At the time that was true, as I really had no desire to continue on doing something that I wasn't enjoying, or seeing enough success in.

Then something happened.

I did some research and found the source that many gurus base their affiliate marketing training programs on. It turns out that the creators of the various materials are members of a company called Wealthy Affiliate University.

I checked them out, and found that they were expensive! ($97 a month) I figured that I already wasted enough money on so many other programs, so why not one more? (Pretty intelligent reasoning, no?)

Anyhow, I signed up for one month, just to check it out and was initially overwhelmed by the huge amount of information there, but felt a little bit more stabilized when I found the action plan as a good starting point. I already knew a lot of the information in the beginner parts, but I went through all the lessons anyhow.

Fastforward to present day:

I signed up six weeks ago, and am only only on week 3 of the action plan putting in an average of 2 hours a week, I know, I have a lazy streak. But amazingly enough, I already have a monthly passive income that exceeds my monthly membership fee by more than double. There are people who signed up at the same time as I did who are putting in a full day's work and already making over $200 a day!

I was about to cancel my membership, hoping to save money, but seeing the progress made me start to love it, and to want to put more effort into it, making it work for me even more, though stopping now wouldn't stop my income stream.

The reason I'm bringing out this subject is that I know that as a friend, I would be holding back from you if I were to not share this with you. When going through changes in our lives, securing a stable income can be challenging, but I know that if you put in the effort and have enough persistence (with the right tools), you can and will make money. The importance of skills are far below the importance I would put on faith and persistence.

If I had given up when I felt like it, then I would never have seen the income that I'm getting now, as little is is it, but I have proven that the system works, and now that I know how to do it, I just have to multiply my efforts in order to multiply my income.

2May/104

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

It's funny that in life it happens so many times that just when you think you've finally got things figured out, something happens and everything changes.
I've been trying out affiliate marketing for some time, learning all the ins and outs about it, and decided to focus mostly on article marketing. I spent some good money on programs to help teach me more advanced methods, and even a software package that would automatically spin my articles so I could recycle them to save me work.
Things were going okay, but a bit slower than I had anticipated. I was spending time daily writing articles, SEOing them, submitting them, pinging, more optimizing, bidding for keywords, etc.
Then something clicked in my head.

I don't enjoy doing this one bit!

It all came back to me, the whole reason I was looking for change in my life is so that I could focus on what I loved doing, not enduring something so that I can earn money and then go on to what I love during my spare time.
I was digging my own grave, and at the same time proclaiming to others that I was heading into some "Major changes in my life". It seemed I had lost sight of the goal, the whole reason I had started out in the first place.

So then I asked myself: "What do I love doing?"

I love helping people. I really, really actually get a tremendous amount of satisfaction when I feel that the effort I invested in someone has helped them in a profound way.

Why not become a life coach? I'll get job satisfaction by helping others, I'll be able to support myself financially, and I'll also be doing what I love doing second best: learning something new--constantly! Because each human is unique, I will never get bored of it.
Time to start learning again. I'm going to be attending Speed Coaching seminars in Tokyo starting next weekend, and I'll count that as my first step in the direction that I want to go.

Wish me well, and pray for me.