Why Ask What Would I Do Differently?
Its very interesting to consider the question What would I do differently? For some people this might seem like a pointless exercise unless I have a time machine. In my opinion however a lot can be learned from reflection. Not only do I learn something about myself, I can also explain to others why I would have done things in a different way.
The Starting Point
For those who don’t know already I started working from home because I lost my job through ill health. Unfortunately at that point in time I had debts of over £20,000 and I had a mortgage to pay as well. I have to be honest and say I really thought I was going to end up loosing everything.
Now if I did have a time machine I would definitely go back to when I was debt free and I would never lay my hand on a credit card ever…. Its easy to say that now, but most of my debt was due to paying for training or general living costs while at university. I thought I was investing in my future career.
No credit card would mean never trying to follow my dream of becoming qualified as a psychologist and counsellor. I regret the debt but not the experience of that.
For this learning curve exercise I will assume my time machine can only go back to the day I lost my job.
If I Knew Then
Knowing what I know now would mean I certainly would not panic, in fact I would celebrate. As it turns out loosing my job was the best thing that could have happened because it forced me to learn how to work from home for a living. In fact, had I known what an amazing journey that would be I would never have worked for an employer in the first place.
Sadly my time machine is firmly set to that day when I lost my job and had £20,000 worth of debt. From that point on I would do quite a few things differently.
I would manage my debt differently as well as the working from home side of things. Today I want to focus on the earning learning curve experiences, and I will discuss the debt management another time.
The First Opportunity
One of the first work from home opportunities I discovered after loosing my job was Neobux. This paid to click website gave me my first experience of earning money online. I, like so many others, clicked ads, made pennies and promptly came to the conclusion that would never provide me with an income. I just did not understand the potential that I had at my fingertips.
Now, after many years of working online, I do understand the power of being able to make a small amount of money every day. That is the basis of my Zero2earninghero System after all. Had I learned more about how Neobux works I would never have tried the hundreds of other casual earning websites that took so much time and effort.
So that would be the first thing I would do differently. I would spend time learning more about PTC sites and how to use them properly.
Meeting My Needs
Of course back then not only did I not understand the PTC concept, I also needed money to live on. Neobux would not have provided me with a decent income for months or more likely years even with ‘proper’ use. What I could have done though was both.
That would be the second thing I would do differently. I would use both a way to earn for now, and a way to earn for the future.
Too Many Opportunities
In my ‘earning for now’ mode I also made the mistake of trying to join as many different free online earning sites as I could find. I think I had accounts with over 50 sites at one point. Like so many other people who do this I found having so many accounts was just impossible to manage.
More importantly I was also spreading my earning across a lot of sites that had minimum withdrawal limits. I added a little cash here there and everywhere and as a result it took me ages to make any claims.
Thats number three on the list. I would focus on a small number of sites that had low claim levels.
In my hindsight state I can see that back when I was joining all these online earning sites, the only thing I was thinking about was getting some extra money to buy food and electric. I was in survival mode.
Over the past 6 years or so I have seen that in others many times.
It is like the brain shuts down the ability to think past the next few days or weeks. Perhaps it knows if you don’t sort the next few days or weeks there is no future. There is no point in thinking months and years ahead because you won’t be here to see it.
With my interest in psychology I find that fascinating. However, now I can see it also kept me trapped in a cycle of earning for survival for much longer that I needed to be.
Let me explain that a bit more. The cycle was I made a some money and I spent it on necessities like food. When the money was gone I needed more. The casual earning sites allowed me to make enough money to survive (and pay my debts). Believe me I was really really grateful to have found a way to do this.
I spent years doing exactly that; Making a little extra money online to help me pay the bills and buy food. Eventually I did pay off my debts of over £20,000 and then something strange happened.
My brain changed out of survival mode and allowed me to think about the future again. I changed my earning strategy around to building an income over time rather than living for now.
All that time I spent earning for now I could have also been working on the future. I would be a lot further forward now if I had started building an income years before this change.
Ah but you were only making enough money to live on my survival brain keeps trying to remind me…. The future planning brain though knows that I could have started building an income from nothing!
Building Income Mistakes
When my future planning brain did join the party I made several attempts at building an income over time. Oh this is when I made some big mistakes…. or should I say learning curves?
The first one was I started listening to so called experts. People who had made a lot of money by working from home (or so they said). Don’t get me wrong, I did get some good advice from them, but I forgot to listen to myself.
The things I was being told were the usual ones:
- “This is the next big thing”
- “You need to join now to be at the top”
- “You might not be earning much yet, but you will if you keep going”
- “The money you are paying is an investment in your future”
The things my brain were trying to tell me were:
- “This sounds good but it is new, so be careful”
- “I don’t really want to be at the top if it means other people are losing out”
- “Its ok for you to say keep going, you are making money out of the money I am paying”
- “I want to invest in my future, but is this the way I want to do it?”
During this experience I did try to help those in my team as much as possible. I even told them not to pay for things if they couldn’t use them (much to the disgust of my upline). It was clear I was not happy making money at the expense of others. I already knew that though so had I listened to myself it would have saved me quite a bit of heartache.
For that reason listen to myself is definitely high on the list of doing things differently.
Related to listening to myself has to be the ‘do things that you enjoy and beleive in’ thing.
I discovered it was not enough to do something that works when I had no passion for it. I knew how to make sales and was happy enough to sell a product that did get the desired results. Somewhere in that mix though doing that just didn’t float my boat.
I did make sales and a little money with this opportunity so it did work. Deep down though I knew I didn’t really want to be selling things. My passion and motivation comes from being able to help people. The product I was selling did help people, but the price excluded people as well. That simply increased my desire to find something that works for everyone.
Make sure to connect with your passion and motivation therefore is another one for the list.
When I finally did come up with something that does work for everyone I found I was so motivated and passionate that I turned into a swirling dervish. I wanted to get everything in place all at once. The ideas were pouring out of me on a daily basis and I simply couldn’t keep up with myself. Not only was I trying to do too much all at once, I was being completely chaotic about it.
A lot of that is realted to my health problems. Some days I can do a lot and others I can do next to nothing. Somehow my survival brain stepped in again and told me to slow down and do less. Very reluctantly I put together a very simple daily routine for my own earning. By doing that I finally saw the progress I had been aiming for all along.
That means, remember to recognise and work within your own limits is next on the do things differently list. That one was extremely powerful for me.
Finally, at this point in time, slowing down and working with a daily routine allowed my future brain to pop up and wave at me again. It said “you can do the daily earning thing now with no problem. Now you just need to use that to do something within your own health limatations”.
The thing I came up with is investing.
I was quite scared to try investment opportunities before. I guess my experience of debt and not having enough to live on did make me very cautious. When I discovered I could invest as little as £10 though I knew I could cope with that. Even if I tried something and it didn’t work I knew I could make another £10 to try something else.
Guess what? It worked!
Putting all of my ‘learning points’ together has allowed me to focus on doing something I truly believe in. I know it is something I can continue to do on a daily basis. It meets my health demands and limitations and my desires to help others. I have the ability to create a never ending source of those £10’s and I see what works to make more.
Everything has fallen into place….
The last thing on my list of what to do differently is to not be scared to try something that costs a little money.
As long as you are able to cope with loosing a small amount of cash should it not work out there is nothing to be scared of. I have a system where I can replace that investment cash within a few days. Its not a big deal. Investing everything you have in anything that has no guarantees…..now that is something to be scared of!
I hope you have enjoyed this journey of reflection. Perhaps it has given you some things to think about as well!
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