Act on your dream!
December 1, 2007 Issue #7
Written by John L. Dilbeck, http://AYearFromNow.com
Copyright © 2007 John L. Dilbeck, All rights reserved.
A word from the editor...
I want to thank you, again, for subscribing to Act On Your Dream!, and it is a pleasure to send you this first substantive issue in quite a while. I hope you find it interesting and informative.
This is the time of the year for winter holiday festivities, spending time with families, and celebrating with our friends. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
In this issue, you will find a couple of success stories from Lynn Terry and Monte Russell and I want to congratulate them on the success they have already achieved and the future success I know they will enjoy. Both are very helpful and friendly and I think you'll enjoy what they have to tell you.
I wish you and your family the very best,
What Is Your Dream?
What do you truly want to accomplish with your life?
What are you doing to make your dream come true?
What can you achieve in as little as a year from now?
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Table of Contents
- New sections added to forum
- Added new site map
- New study on reading websites
- Great thread on the Sitesell Forum
- Setting goals at LifeTango
- Lynn Terry - The Work At Home Dream... Is It Worth The Risk?
- Monte Russell - One Year Later
New sections added to forum
You're invited to come visit our A Year From Now Forum and discuss any topics related to finding your dream and working to accomplish it.
I've added a new section called Sit and Talk where we can talk about topics that may not conveniently fit any of the other forum sections.
After visualizing and imagining my major dream, I'm starting to talk about Castle Freedom and I've announced that I'm going to open it on July 4, 2017. I have no idea how this huge project will be accomplished, but I'm certain it will be. I'll be publishing announcements in the Castle Freedom Updates and anyone who cares to can join in the Castle Freedom Discussion.
Anyone want to help build a castle?
If you can think of any sections that should be added to the forum, I'm all ears. It's been rather lonely there and I'd love for you to come and join us.
Added new site map
As part of my reorganization and revitalization of AYearFromNow.com, I decided it was time to create a site map to make it easier for visitors to find what you may be looking for. It's a small site now, but it won't be in a few months. I wrote about Creating a site map for your website and recommend an excellent free tool you may want to know about if you have your own website.
New study on reading websites
I ran across a recent study in Eyetracking Research into Web Usability that may be interesting reading if you are a webmaster or are involved in online advertising and marketing.
Although I originally wrote about the study on my John Dilbeck And Friends blog, I just now posted it to the forum for your convenience. You will find it at Eyetracking Research into Web Usability. I always welcome any comments.
Great thread on the Sitesell Forum
There is a great thread on the private members-only Sitesell Forum about Using the Master Keyword List to the fullest, part 2 that offers some very interesting ideas for building traffic to your websites faster and easier. It's a bit unconventional, but the strategy seems sound and I'm going to be using it over the next few weeks.
If you click the link, above, you can read about this on my forum, and the article I posted has a link to the thread on the Sitesell forum for anyone who is a Site Build It subscriber.
Setting goals at LifeTango
I've been looking for a good site where I could set and track goals and share them with others. I've tried several sites (which I won't recommend), but LifeTango.com is looking very promising.
I posted a brief article about Setting and tracking goals at LifeTango.com. Perhaps you'll find LifeTango useful in setting and accomplishing your goals.
The Work At Home Dream... Is It Worth The Risk?
by Lynn Terry
Life is GREAT, the kids are a blast, and everyone who knows me says the same thing... "I want to do what you do!"
The minute I hear that, my gears start turning. It's a natural reaction - I love to help people turn their lives around, set exciting goals and then achieve them.
Unfortunately, there aren't many people who are willing to take the risk that comes with achieving the Work-at-Home dream. They aren't willing to risk their free time to invest in their future, or aren't willing to spend money or let go of their current lifestyle - no matter how miserable or frustrated they are with it...
The more I hear the questions, and the reluctance to take any risk whatsoever, the more I think back on my own decision to quit my full time job and start a home-based business. It's been on my mind a lot lately, and I have to say that I am incredibly happy about the decisions I acted on 10+ years ago.
I've been nostalgic lately, anyway. Something to do with my 10-year anniversary as a work-at-home mom and business owner, my oldest step-daughter getting married next month, and my youngest child going from my baby girl straight into being a pre-teen.
I'm at this exciting place in my life where I can look back over the past decade and clearly see my progress and accomplishments, and look ahead at the decade before me with much anticipation. 34 is proving to be a great year.
I do realize that it's hard to see the benefits of making such a huge life-change when you aren't standing in such a place. But that's where it starts: visualizing yourself there. Being able to see yourself as the person you want to become, living the life you want.
As this week came to an end, I had one of those quiet moments where you stand at the kitchen sink looking out the back window... and just smile. We had finally gotten some much-needed rain here in Tennessee after a very hot dry spell. I had walked over 8 miles during our evening walks, many of them in a light rain or a full-on storm. We went on a big shopping trip in the middle of the week. And yesterday... we walked the railroad tracks over the river and then waded the creek below the dam.
There were dozens of moments in the last week alone that I would wish for anyone. Just smiling, being content, laughing together and even at each other, waking up and going with the flow with whatever the day offered.
There are times that I almost feel bad for the people with a "real job." Not that I dont work - because I DO. And there are times I put in insane hours. But I do truly love the flexibility and the extra time with my children...
Everybody should be able to stand out in the middle of an afternoon storm and do fishy faces with a spunky 10-year-old. Because those are the moments that life is made of.
Too many moments can be lost doing things we don't enjoy. And those moments can turn into years, and even decades. Wouldn't it be worth a short-term investment, or even a crazy risk, to create decades of life you can really live?
I think so. And I didn't just 'get lucky' - I busted my a$$ to make it happen.
It doesn't matter how old you are or where you are in your life. You can wake up one day and decide to change everything and do a complete 180 on your lifestyle. It won't happen overnight, of course. Depending on your goals, it might take 90 days or 9 months or even a couple of years to turn things around and get them moving in the right direction.
You just have to decide exactly what it will take, how much you can invest yourself into the plan (not how much you are willing), and start taking action. Make the decision and act on it - Period.
Here are examples of some of the more recent conversations I've had, coming from people who desperately want to work from home or do something different than what they are currently (miserable) doing...
"I'm not willing to risk going broke..."
This sounds very much like a lack of confidence. It's understandable of course. We all crave stability and financial security. But you have to look at it like this: It is very unlikely that you are going to end up homeless by making a life change. And it is very unlikely that a miserable (or even just boring) situation is ever going to get any better.
Every day that passes is your life. You do have choices in how you live it.
"I have so little free time already, there's no way I'm going to work then too."
If you would rather watch television than invest in a better future, be my guest. Two years from now you could be living the life you always dreamed of... or you could be watching re-runs after a long day at a job you still don't even like (much less enjoy).
"I can do that! It's something I would enjoy too!"
Yay! But wait - where's the follow-through? So many times I have heard this from people who pick my brain for details on how they could achieve their work-at-home goals... and more often than not, they never even take the first step towards making it happen.
I'm not talking about pie-in-the-sky dreams that seem impossible here. I'm talking about making strategic changes in your life to get to a better place. Making that decision is the first step. Taking action on that decision is the second. Your ideas and goals will gain momentum from there.
The one thing that I would suggest for anyone who is serious about making a major life change is that you find a mentor and/or a team or support group. There is a reason for groups like AA and Nutri-system - we need support and encouragement when it comes to making changes in our lives.
Otherwise we'll make silly excuses, change our minds, or give up too soon...
Fortunately, one of the easiest sources for support is open 24/7 and usually FREE: online forums. There are thousands of discussion forums online that cater to almost any goal or change you have in mind. Simply do a search on Google!
If you want to work from home, I welcome you to join my own discussion forum at Self-Starters Weekly Tips. It's free to join, and the members are very friendly and helpful. You will find the support, encouragement and resources that you need to set your work-at-home goals... and achieve them.
I'll even help you personally.
Copyright © 2007, by Lynn Terry. All rights reserved worldwide. Used with permission.
This article has been adapted from Lynn's original blog post with her permission. Visit the original article to see photos and comments.
One Year Later
by Monte Russell
I started my two web sites on the same day, 18 Oct, 2006.
The idea for one web site - www.diy-computer-repair.com - was One Year Later, meaning I wanted to replace my job income. Now this would not be an easy task because I was making over $60,000 a year before I walked away.
The second web site www.ClassiCarParts.com is my passion; I like to restore old cars.
When I started my web sites, one was with a GRQ (Get Rich Quick) outfit that soaked me for $4000 to setup the hosting and teach me how to become a business owner. Too bad, I fell for it hook, line, and wallet.
The second web site I used a hosting company called SBI - Site Build It! for less than $300 for a year.
Even though I had started both web sites on the same day I did not actively work on the car site, I was putting all my time and effort into the computer site, finding a good affiliate program, signing up, and then trying to convert their data into a catalog.
For the next three months I worked diligently on my computer site and when I came up with writers block I would work on my car site.
Now, I am here to tell you SBI has to be the easiest way to build a web site for a novice. I had built a couple of web sites while I was employed but they were just plain Jane web sites where someone else actually did the development: writing the content, getting all the pages linked together, getting the web site indexed by Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and ASK, not to mention lesser indexing directories.
As I worked my sites all day every day - from getting affiliations, to writing content, and trying to find some other web sites to link to my sites - I noticed that my car site with less than twenty-five pages was getting visitors, around ten to twenty a day(!), but my computer site - the one that is going to replace my income(!) - was not getting any visitors! None! Period!
Having learned a few things working with SBI, I started looking at why my computer site, now with over ninety pages and a catalog of over three thousand products was not getting any visitors. The hosting company for my computer site did not allow indexing by the major search engines! Nor did they allow the search engines to authenticate ownership of the web site. These are two major requirements to get your web site to rank so a visitor can search for and find your content.
In January of 2007, I decided that if the computer site was going to be successful, I needed to move it away from the GRQ hosting company to some place I could get the search engines to see my work and start selling product! I have a server at home I could have just as easily used for my host, setup my web site there and saved myself some money, but with the experience I had with SBI I decided to let someone else have the fun of hosting the site. So around mid-January I move the computer site from the GRQ host to SBI. To date, I have over two hundred pages including the catalog of around fifty pages. The site is indexed and has a Google Page Rank (PR) of 2. I have over two hundred inbound links and, on average, get one hundred unique visitors a day.
Now, the site is still very young. I have some pages that rank # 1 and # 2 with the search engines but too many pages still rank above thirty when someone searches using typical phrases that find a site like mine. You need to be in the top five items of the first page on the search results to get really good traffic on a web site. I am working on that daily.
Having a computer background did not make any difference when I started!
I have an AAS in Computer Electronics Engineering Technology, certifications from Microsoft for Administrating Servers and Desktops, and some hardware certifications. None of this background helped when it came to actually building and writing content for the web sites.
Just like any other career I had to start from scratch as far as the web sites and my business is concerned.
I had one other business that I gave up on after two years, it took too much time from my family because it was a part-time business and my sons were very young. Also, because it was a startup business, I was not making a lot of money from it, in fact it was costing more to keep than it was making. So the decision was to drop the business: a failure, and I am not used to failure.
I worked my way from an Airman to Master Sergeant in the US Air Force. I retired after serving my country for over twenty years. I went back to college and graduated with an AAS. I worked in the computer industry for twenty years and walked away from it a happy man.
What I have learned over the last year will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I have found that owning a business is very hard and mostly tedious work. But with this business I have also found it is fun, there are some really nice people in the world that will help you if you give them a chance and guess what?! They don't ask for anything in return! Yup, very nice people indeed, you see they are also entrepreneurs, like me. They understand that to get the type of help they need for free they have to give of themselves for free.
My trials and tribulations in building web sites have taught me patience, persistence, and how to read all the instructions! I have leaned more in the last year than I did with four years of college.
I now am able to format, write content, create links, setup forms, and do all the things a webmaster is required to do to create a functioning and pleasing-to-the-eye web site. Not a web site consisting of one page full of advertisements, but a web site that is full of useful information that a visitor will bookmark and return to time and again.
This is very satisfying to me when I receive an email from someone who has visited one of my web sites and thanks me for helping them resolve a problem or teaches them a new way of doing a task. Yes, very satisfying. Now, if I could just start to fill my wallet, the misses would also be very pleased, but "web sites, like a fine wine, take time to mature" - quote Monte Russell - Jan 2007.
Copyright © 2007 by Monte Russell. All rights reserved, worldwide.
Used with permission.
I welcome your comments, suggestions, and critiques.
Please make your comments about anything in this newsletter in the Two Success Stories from Lynn Terry and Monte Russell thread on our A Year From Now Forum.
I intend to accomplish my definite chief aim and make my dream a reality. I want to see you do the same.
If you believe you can, you can.
Act on your dream!
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