Category Archives: Attracting Income

What Makes A High Achiever?

Who even IS a high achiever?

It’s all relative, of course. Everyone is a high achiever to someone, the same way everyone is a lesser achiever to someone else (yet another reason why we should never judge ourselves against others).

Simply put, we’re all on our own journey, each with its own challenges and battles. What is easy to one person is tough to the next, and so on.

This is a great video for keeping you focused on your own journey.

Yes, it’s going to be tough. Yes there will be days you don’t want to get out of bed. Yes there will be jealousy along the way. Yes there will be people wanting to see you fall. Yes you will feel like stopping. Yes the world will assume things about you.

I say ‘you’ – but really, of course, I mean ‘me’. I totally, totally have areas of weakness, places where my inner high achiever struggles to beat the lazy scared person.

For one thing, I always find it so hard to get out of bed. Every. Fricking. Morning. And that’s one area I need to work on, to get up, earlier, get started faster, get off my phone go for the day harder.

As this video reminds me, just get out of bed. Just do it. Ignore the rest inside my own head and the heads of others, and DO IT.

Stepping above the rest is not easy. We must surround ourselves with people who also have vision and can see the possibilities for us all. Surround ourselves with other high achievers, and prepare to fight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Discipline and Success

Self-control. Discipline. Determination.

It’s so easy to let things slip. A new workout regime, a new diet, new working habits, new focus – they’re all great at the start. (I’m talking from personal experience here, lots of it!)

And then, three weeks later, that fantastic new habit has fizzled out. And who do we blame?

I know I blame my lack of self-discipline. I blame my inherent weaknesses. My lack of focus. I tell myself, oh, it’s just the way I am, I guess.

Oh, what total crap!

In the words of Nike, sometimes we’ve got to Just Do It. And this video by InspireDiscipline is a hugely powerful message  for inspiring us to – just do it.

You can’t read the summary here and expect it to work, you need to take the 12 minutes or so and watch it. But here’s a basic guide to the lessons in this video:

  1. Think of something you really, really want, and be sure to engage with that dream every morning. Visualise it, think about it, focus on it.
  2. Work on your focus FIRST, before the chaos of emails, social media, snapchat and whatever hit you. Do your work first, the video advises, so you start your day right.
  3. Block your day out. Don’t leave your day open to randomness – plan your calendar so action is planned.
  4. This is where it gets fun… but you’ll have to watch the video to find out what it is!

Invest the next 12 minutes in yourself, and get ready for what InspireDiscipline calls ‘The Charged Life’.

To self-discipline!

 

 

Setting Goals and Making Plans

This is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life!

No, George Clooney hasn’t turned up asking me to forgive him for marrying Amal, nor have I have won the lottery.

But, exactly a week ago, Dean and I both closed down to the outside world and began working on our new business – a quality, bathroom and wetroom installation company.

And that’s about as exciting as anything could be! Sorry George!

After being a general building company, specialising is a HUGE relief. At last we can get really really good, we can hire people specifically, we can do the same thing over and over which means we can get really, REALLY good.

Best of all, we can now see some really exciting ways to market the business, so we can get even bigger and even better.

We are both SOOOO excited!

And we’re doing what we desperately needed to do – preparing the business before it begins, setting goals for the business and for us to achieve.

The new van is signwritten (it looks amazing!), the website is being built (we hired a professional photographer to take photos of a few of the bathrooms we’ve done over the past year) and I picked our new business cards up on Friday.

Tomorrow we are fixing our price list. Our systems will also be confirmed down in the next 24 hours. Then we will do 10 – yes, 10! – price ups using our new systems so that when clients come to the new business we will have set ways to handle each query.

So this was the scene on our kitchen table last Monday morning:

List of tasks to accomplish, things to organise, learn, prepare… Setting goals and building a business

I’m pleased to say that some of those tasks are now ticked ‘done’ and others have morphed as conversations have evolved, but we are still working our way through them.

When the Planets Align…

Have you ever felt like the universe shifted to help you?

I had one of those wonderful moments a week or two ago. I was lucky enough to see a post on a Facebook builders group in which someone recommended this book:

Markup & Profit by Michael C Stone – a great read and a real boost to our business

The post was about pricing up and how people decided on what to charge. The person who posted warned that this book isn’t cheap (it isn’t – I paid over £40!) but said the information is gives will be invaluable.

O. M. Geeeeeeepers he was right!

We’re a third of the way in and already Mark Up and Profit is changing how we think and feel. If only we had known of this book years ago! But anyway, we have it now.

Reading Mark Up and Profit is literally like having the author, Michael C Stone, turn up at your home and go through your business with you. He really knows his stuff and even though it is an American book, it works pretty much 100% for a UK business (just a few pieces of US-jargon re taxes, banking etc).

This book is specifically aimed at the world of construction but really there is useful information in there for any business, especially a business that creates things – houses, bathrooms, websites, clothing, whatever. I will definitely use the formula for mark up on jobs when I come to grow my website/video business, Little Red Horse.

If you have ever wondered about how to work out pricing or when to know if your price is too high or too low, I really recommend getting your hands on a copy. It really has changed everything for us.

If you don’t mind me collecting a very small percentage of the cost of the book, you can buy it through this link here.

I cannot describe how grateful I am that as I scrolled along my Facebook timeline on that day, I decided to click on that post and see that comment. Sooo grateful!

New Energy – Setting Goals

As often happens, once energy starts flowing freely in one part of your life, it soon spreads to other areas.

My YouTube channel has been a bit stuck recently, I haven’t uploaded any videos for a while, not quite knowing what to say.

Today I found my diaries for 2014 anbd 2015 and looked back to July 30th on both years. It was interesting to think about what I was doing then, and how much has now changed. (I haven’t kept a diary properly for almost two years and I know I’ll regret it – this blog is partly an attempt to diarise how the journey goes).

Then on tonight’s dog walk I had the idea of posting regular, monthly goal videos – I read constantly that setting goals is one sure way to help yourself towards success, measuring your progress along the way. Also I wrote about it here.

So I grabbed Dean when he got back from golf and pinned him down to some goals for August. Here they are (for both of us):

  • Go running with the dogs at least 8 times – so twice a week
  • Complete two bathrooms as part of our bathroom business
  • Get three subcontractors signed up and part of our team
  • Go to bed by 10.30 pm three times a week (yeah right!)
  • Finish fire safety improvement works to all our rental properties
  • Get our dog recall up to 99.9999%
  • Do three Youtube videos – ‘how to’ sharing tips I’ve learned along the way
  • Do two Tony Horton golf workouts every week (Dean)
  • Eat some fruit and vegetables every day (Dean)
  • Get our new bathroom business completely set up

And here they are in glorious technicolour! (Trust me, there’s nothing like posting your secrets on YouTube for creating some accountability!)

 

 

Bob Proctor – M1, M2 and M3

The rain has not stopped all day today, giving the perfect excuse to spend the afternoon inside and clear the pile of ironing.

As usual, I took the opportunity to jump on to YouTube and gain some education and inspiration.

This film of a presentation by the amazing Bob Proctor was so good I just had to share it!

Like many people I first came across Bob Proctor from his appearance in the film The Secret (which if you haven’t seen, you must!) and he is a really inspirational and likeable guy.

At almost two hours’ long this film is well-worth listening to.

If you don’t have that long to spare right now, join him at 37 minutes in. He explains how most people (96% of all people) do M1 – working for a living – which will forever keep them poor and limited. We will only ever get so far if we only ever trade time for money. Sad to say, I am guilty as charged – or at least I was up until a year ago.

M2 is a definite improvement (3%) which is investing money to earn money. I’m glad to say I have done this, still only in a small way, and I’ll be increasing my property portfolio in the future.

M3 is where we should all be aiming for. This group set up multiple sources of income, and they get others to do the work for them.

I am definitely guilty of this! Right now, we are growing the business and I can feel myself struggling within my own limitations.

I know I am probably holding the business back right now, through my own weaknesses, but am I just thinking like an M1?

Surely an M3 person wouldn’t even need to think twice on this. They would just hire someone to do what they can’t.

As usual Bob has got me thinking. We don’t have the disposable income that a successful M3er might have, but by clinging on to M1 status I could be pushing that income further and further away with my own indecision.

 

 

 

 

We Have Power!

If you have ever lived in a house that was more renovation project than a home, you will understand the wondrous-ness of what I am about to tell you.

Just a year after we moved in here, I am so happy to announce: We. Have. Electric. Sockets.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

No longer is all electricity run through the house on a few hideous-looking extension cables.

There are plastic boxes fixed into the walls that, when switched, make electricity happen!

Why have we left it so long? Well, partly we didn’t know what we were doing with the house. And partly we were waiting until we had the money to get it all done.

And mostly because, well, we just kind of got used to it. Humans are pretty adaptable creatures really.

After much discussion, we have finally decided what we will do with this house. The plan is for this house to become a source of income and to finally start to pay us back, giving a return on the money we have paid in to it. I will of course share, once this happens.

But for now, we celebrate, no longer shall my business empire be run off a few plugs. We have electricity, folks, and the future looks brighter than ever before!

xx

 

How to Stay Motivated?

O.M.G. I do love Gary Vee!

So I just came across this short little video and if you have ever, EVER, found yourself lacking even the tiniest bit of motivation, you need to watch this:

Are these the three lines that win the Internet 2017?

“How do you keep yourself motivated?”

“By remembering that you might die tomorrow.”

“That’s true.”

GAAAAAH!!!! Thank you Gary!

So today I’m hitting the edit suite while the rest of the country enjoy a long weekend – I’ll be cutting and creating for the next four days.  Eating 100% Exante products. Because I actually could die tomorrow, and all this would be over, without me doing what I need to do or being what I want to be.

And THAT’S the scariest thought of all!

Stay motivated, folks!

xx

 

 

In the edit suite…

Happy Monday!

I’m editing today… or at least, I’m prepping for the edit. I’m busy converting many, many hours of media into a format that will work with Final Cut Pro.

It’s all a bit basic, but I decided there’s no point upgrading my equipment until I have a proper office to base myself in.

The project is a film I started last summer, about the village where I live. The bridge on the main road was damaged by Storm Desmond in winter 2015 and has been out of use ever since. There is another way into the village, but some local businesses have been affected.

So, I decided to make a film about the village being open. Kind of a good deed and also a good way of letting people know that I am around.

As I’ve gotten busier and busier, editing the film has moved further down the list of priorities. Sometimes, though, it’s just a case of deciding to do something. It is hoped there will be a new bridge in place in a few months’ time so I need the film to be out there by then.

So here goes! Lots of work ahead! Luckily I really enjoy the editing process, and the footage is all looking really good, so I’m in for quite a few long but enjoyable days and nights.

Of course, I’ll be posting the film up here when it’s done 🙂

 

Rocking the online accounting!

These days, Fridays don’t signal the end of the week, because weekends are as busy and full as any other day.

(I’m hoping this won’t last forever, y’know, but for now that’s just how it is).

Even so, it’s hard not to feel just a little Friday Night Fever… even if that means switching the TV on and having a cuddle with the dogs, not a full-on downing 20 pints and heading into town with my gladrags on (as if I even could!)

Today, though, I allowed myself a little more Friday night fever than usual. Because, my dear, dear reader, today is the first day I think I can fully say that when it comes to online accounting, I, Have, Got, It.

Just about.

And it feels amazing!

When I took my part-time, temporary, job in a letting agents, which I know went against everything I had vowed not to do, namely not ever having another boss, this feeling was exactly what I was hoping to achieve.

Because I had never had what I would call a ‘proper job’, one where I dealt with income, with cashflow, with profit and loss, with looking into the accounts,  etc etc, I literally had no idea what to do in that area. Working in TV I was pretty much protected from anything like that, it was all about people, stories and pictures.

And of course I was never taught anything at school that might have come in useful in that area – and don’t even get me started on this – why on earth would you not want to equip children with skills that might help them make and manage money later in life?!

So back in those first few weeks and months of getting my head around all the different systems that make up running a property management agency, I avoided looking into the money side of the bespoke property management software*. Franky, I was busy enough dealing with tenancy sign-ups, leaking toilets, snotty landlords and the rest.

But in the past six weeks or so I have steadily forced myself to venture into areas called ‘Property Ledger’, ‘Tenant Ledger’ and ‘Landlord Ledger’. Instead of just looking like a blur of gobbledygook, they have, slowly but finally, begun to make sense.

And, in turn, I’ve been able to bring that awakening to Xero, the online accounting system that we use in our business.

It is still with its challenges – some of which are caused by Xero, because it is not perfect – but I finally feel that I understand what Xero is going to be able to do for us.

Part of learning anything is the learning of how that thing can work for you. Give a calculator to someone who never went to school and they would look at you blankly – they would need to learn maths to understand how a calculator could be useful. Ok, that’s a little extreme but until very recently I felt that I also stared blankly at Xero, not quite understanding what I should be getting from it.

Today our accounts assistant Ade and I – Xero was new to her too, although she had used Sage before – looked at each other and agreed that we are nearly, practically, just-about, almost in a position to say we are sort of getting there!

Actually, I think we’re further on than that, but setting up a new business (well, 3), and setting up a new and unfamiliar accounting system, on top of everything else has been challenging.

Then there seem to have been millions of interruptions and distractions that have got in the way.

But, maybe, just maybe, on this quiet, dark little Friday night, I really can celebrate a milestone.

Even though it has been really tough fitting in the job, on top of the business(es) and everything else, I am so glad I took it on, and so very glad I stuck with it, and so very grateful that it has worked out as well as it has done.

And who knew it would ever really be possible to love online accounting!

 

*I don’t want to name the property management software that my bosses use. It’s not great, and while that isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, I have found them as a company extremely unresponsive to suggestions for ways to improve. Many of the processes are clunky and very time-consuming/wasting, and could be made so much easier, but it seems they have grown too big to care. So, I won’t name the software, but if you are considering investing in property management software feel free to email me at success@projectlifesuccess.com and I will happily name and shame!

 

Project: Life Success

Changing career aged 40+, learning about and building my own business, losing weight, building passive income & finally making a success of my life!

 

Happy near-end of 2016!

Merry Christmas! I hope yesterday was wonderful for you, whether or not you celebrate the actual festival, and I hope you have been able to take some time out from the busy rush of everyday life.

We closed Dean’s construction business on December 22nd until January 3rd, so, asides from the mountain of paperwork I still need to go through – more of that in a later post – we’ve actually been able to take some time off, which has been wonderful.

I discovered a fantastic app called Enlight which allows you to do amazing things with photos on your phone – so I couldn’t resist sharing this of the girls on Christmas morning!

 

Yesterday was a quiet, pretty steady day – just me, Dean and his youngest son Sam, aged 15. Plus the dogs, of course. Even though it was just the three of us, there were all the phone calls to the rest of the family, text messages and of course the constant stream of Facebook posts to answer, so it felt busy even if we weren’t too crazy!

Even so, if we can find the time, Christmas is always a good opportunity as the end of the year approaches, to take stock of what we have achieved so far.

Dean and I covered this in our final 2016 call with our business mentor just a week ago. It really was so helpful. The thing with a mentor or coach is they will ask you what you want to work on with each call, so that you take responsibility for your own journey, and it felt appropriate to look towards the next 12 months and where we want Dean’s business to be (and also I couldn’t think of anything else to suggest!)

The start of a new year is, for me, much more than just another new month – it really can be an opportunity for a fresh start. Just imagine, 12 whole undiscovered months lying ahead, each one filled with the potential for fun, achievement and success!

Although I am painfully aware of how far we still have to go until we achieve true Life Success, I have to admit that 2016 has been pretty awesome for us both in terms of our pathway to success. The call with our mentor helped us both to see that – we made some big decisions in that call.

But if I’m going to do it properly, I need to write a list of those achievements, which I will do in my next post.

Then, we can start to look ahead to not only what 2017 will bring, but what WE can bring to the next 12 months to make them better than ever before.

So, I need to do another list – of our goals for 2017.

I’ve written before about goal setting, because it can be really hard to actually pinpoint what we want in life. If you are not particularly materialistically-minded, like me, it can be even more difficult to write that list.

But how good it will be if, at the end of December 2017, I have a list of things I can tick off!

I speak to so many people who say they never set New Year Resolutions, which seems strange. Why would people not even TRY to improve their lives? Fair enough, I may not achieve everything, but at least by setting some targets I’m giving myself the opportunity to play the game.

So, losing weight, earning more, growing our businesses and building our property portfolio are all going to be on list – call it Goals, Aims or New Year Resolutions.

(I’m setting to start my diet on Monday, January 9th. I know it’s a week or so into the new year, but there’s still probably going to be some good food left over on January 1st, and I want to reduce the opportunities for failure as much as possible. My box of Exante diet products has arrived and I’m going to shoot a video to post on my YouTube channel as I unpack everything – I’ve had a quick peek but nothing more so I’m excited to take a look.)

But before that, my immediate goals to do BEFORE the end of 2016 are to write two posts – one of my/our achievements and one to set my/our 2017 goals. There, I’ve said it, and I’m about to hit Publish – so I HAVE to do them now!!!

Thanks for reading!

Izzy

 

Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business & making a success of my life!

Save

Save

Save

Save

How Not to Waste Time

If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, be aware that when you rent out properties,  there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done!

(Yes, even if you do use an agent to manage your property.)

So here’s the story:

Monday: Email from the letting agent on Monday to say the arm on one of the sofas has broken and would I like them to source a new one (couch not arm) for £295 + VAT?

Positive: Agent would find new sofa and have delivered. No hassle to me.

Negative: Next month’s rent would be around £350 down. Plus I would have to pay for the old sofa to be removed.

Hmmmmm.

Tuesday: Tenant of another property (very local to us here) asks randomly if I know anyone who wants a new sofa. Amazing! I look, it’s in great condition, a couple of years old, still with Fire Regulations tags attached.

Positive: Just been offered replacement sofa for free!

Negative: House is nearly 100 miles away and couch will need to be delivered there.

Hmmmmm.

Wednesday: I speak to Dean. We decide to take the sofa to the house ourselves.

Positve: Even with fuel we will save around £300.

Negative: We’ll use up a huge amount of our own time taking it.

Hmmmmm.

Saturday: We take the sofa but we use the day as best we can:

  1. We turn it into one of our regular property inspections
  2. It’s good to see the tenants again and chat about any issues
  3. While Dean drives, I work out profit/loss on the business
  4. We listen to ‘Uncommon Sense’ by Mark Homer on Audible, to increase our business knowledge*
  5. We take Frankie the dog, which gives her experience travelling in the van
  6. AND I film the day, which turns into this:

So we turned what could have been a wasted day into a useful one. Frankie got to see some of the world, I got my Yorkshire fix, Dean and I both learned something about investing from Mark’s book (which is brilliant by the way, I heartily recommend it and you can check it out here if you like) AND we got a film out of it for the Project Life Success channel.

Which I like to think of as a Successful Outcome. Hurrah and Double Tick!! √√

*Audible is pretty much the best thing EVER! I love to listen to audio books while I’m driving or doing housework (not that I do alot) plus all those other times when you’re still doing things but are in a position to listen. The subscription is something like £7.99 a month and for that you get a book free. Utterly recommended! √

 

Project Life Success – changing career aged 40+ and building my own business!