We all know it. There is a HUGE difference between that voice that strokes our ego and actually taking the action to move in the direction we dream of. It’s the beauty and beast of us. We have this beautiful inner sight of what we want our lives to look like, but in reality there’s more beast than beauty.
This beautiful version of ourselves currently lives only in our mind. That we’re these rebellious, yet naturally in tune people. That we aren’t fitting any stereotypical mold. That we’re doing something truly different.
There are so many articles and posts on why we should be this awesome, beautiful thing. Why we need to create this beautiful life for ourselves. Why we need to push the envelope and break the mold. I’m not saying those posts are wrong, they definitely make us all feel good and inspired.
But what about after coming to the resolution of making that change? We want it, so now what? What’s the first step? Where’s the guide for that?
Beauty vs. Beast
Every person has this beast manifested in them. It’s there. That part of you that lets you sleep in, that part of you that lets you veer off your schedule, that part of you that skipped your exercise hour this morning.
What do we do when we find ourselves in the position of a hidden beauty in beast mode?
I’ve recently took to study behavioral psychology because there were too many things I wanted to do, but my current habits didn’t reflect the person I was in my head. I knew I needed to change, so I’ve put every spare hour and thought into figuring out how to build a new mentality, new way of approaching life, and a new way of living. We all want to be that person that gets a million things done in a day. Say that girl you know who student teaches, is a personal trainer, a zumba instructor, and has a side business (ehm, ehm). Seriously, it’s a miracle this girls fits so much accomplishment in one day, mashaAllah!
I’m not one of those people that can start a new lifestyle tomorrow based off will power alone and I don’t think there are many of those people that even exist. However, there is a way to change. It’s by changing in absolutely the most ridiculous small steps you can imagine. I mean little, tiny increments and LETTING those small increments BE YOUR VICTORY. You need to let yourself know that what you did was amazing, spectacular, and life-changing for you. Know that you really did accomplish something, no matter how small it may seem. And then success leads to success.
When BJ Fogg, Stanford psychologist, wanted to start regularly flossing, he implemented triggers and felt victorious with small steps. He started by first keeping his floss right next to his tooth brush. This is placed as a trigger, you see it and you’re reminded. Then, once he was triggered, he would floss A SINGLE TOOTH and then go to sleep. That’s an example of making ridiculously small step I mentioned. And he didn’t feel shame for only flossing one tooth, but instead was victorious, “heck yeah, I flossed ONE TOOTH, YO!” (okay maybe not with the yo or the heck yeah). He eventually did more and more teeth. Yet, sometimes he regressed. Even if he was too tired to floss all his teeth, he would still floss that one tooth and let himself feel victorious about it, that he did do something and that he didn’t give it up!
THAT is how you build a habit. The magic of this is you can apply this to so many things and do an endless amount of experimentation.
Want to start exercising?
Step 1: Buy workout clothes and be victorious. Step 2: Buy a yoga mat, keep it close to where you’ll be right before you’ve schedule to work out (like near your bed when you wake up) and be victorious. [Location is a big deal because it triggers you, it reminds you!] Step 3: When the time of your exercise comes around, roll out your mat, sit on it for 5 seconds, roll it back up, and be victorious (repeat for about a week, whatever time increment feels right for you). Step 4: Add 5 minutes of exercise and be victorious (repeat for about a week). Step 5-?: Add a steady increment of time to your exercise routine over a period of days/weeks until you reach your goal and be victorious. Wow, you just became a regular exerciser in a paragraph, go you fancypants.
And if you ever regress, regress to a previous step, instead of giving it the boot altogether. DO NOT LET YOURSELF FALL BACK TO NOTHING! Go back to an old step and be VICTORIOUS!
Let yourself relinquish the beast and become the beauty. Start changing your life today, right now.
Start your step 1 today. What’s that habit you’ve been meaning to adopt and how can you break it down into ridiculously small steps? Let me know in the comments.
When you have that feeling in your heart and in your mind, it’s quite overwhelming. The most ridiculous grin is stuck on your face, you heart races, your skin tingles, your mind fires from one thought to the other, you’re not exactly sure how you’re breathing… For me, I even giggle hysterically. That’s how I am when I think about my business. Oh and yes, I’m a crazy person and love every second of it.
Oh, what you thought I was going to admit a secret love, pah!
Now, it’s time to turn the tables. Is what I’ve just described how you feel when you think about your career? Is that how you feel when you think about your job? If the answer is yes, you’re a lucky duck.
If the answer is “no.” …Well, then why are you doing it? I mean I know I give a lot of backlash for professional schools, like being a doctor, only because I almost tricked myself into thinking that’s what I really wanted. When I realized it was NOT what inspired me and made me feel (yes) giddy, I knew I would last through it. But it wasn’t until four years of my undergraduate career for me to make the promise to myself to pursue only the things which inspired me.
When you’re on this side, you can see so much more. What I thought was once impossible became a shrug of …eh it’s probable, I can do it. I’ve promised myself to serve people, in the way I can do it best. It gives me the greatest fulfillment.
If you’ve gotten this far in my post, I HAVE to assume you want more from life. So, let’s do something, eh?
Carve out 1 hour from your week.
My journey into online entrepreneurship happened on a whim, with small increments of time I happened to have found myself dedicating to it. If you didn’t realize, by you reading this, you’re exactly where I was over a year ago. Because, yes, it took me a year to take the plunge. It’s scary, thrilling, and some people think you’re an idiot, like sky-diving.
Carve out one hour from your week and dedicate to figuring out what you would do, IF YOU BY CHANCE, wanted to start an online business. Just an hour a week to ruminate on it and mull it over. This means no T.V., no computer, only a pen and a notebook to write some ideas out. If you need some help figuring out what you like, love, or are interested in then just get my “Spark Your Goals” guide by signing up for updates.
Pick the one hour, right now. Sunday’s from 1-2? Thursdays from 6-7? Carve it out now. Remind yourself my setting an alarm on your phone or sticking a piece of paper on the wall saying, “Taking a Risk on Myself.”
Always, remember it’s the sum of SMALL STEPS that make the journey. And enjoy each foot forward.
Now, what do you have to say about this? What’s your carved out time? What day of the week is it? Let me know, below!
Just like in the tangible world, the online world has plenty of scams. You know those pop-ups that bombard you saying you can make $500 in 20 minutes, sounds like a catch and it probably is. It makes you think making money online is a bunch of rubbish. But the truth is you really can make money online and there are plenty of ways to do it.
Allow me to list the ways:
Flipping Sites/Domains: This is the same thing as flipping houses, but with websites. You can buy a site and “fix it up” or build one yourself and then sell it for a larger sum. If you’re good, you can sell sites or domains for thousands to millions of dollars. Want to know some real amounts people sell their sites for, check out https://flippa.com/.
App creation: iPhone and Android apps are starting to get pretty competitive, but you haven’t missed the boat yet. Build an app that people want and sell it and you could be easily make thousands of dollars. Do your research first though.
Advertisements: Another option is to put advertisements up on your online property, like your site. You can sell space individually to businesses or use Google’s Adwords. Depending on how many people go to your site, you could make a pretty dime.
Affiliate Marketing: This is something I do myself. It’s like getting credited for recommending a product to a friend. Basically, you refer someone to a product, and if they buy the product you get a commission. I made my first $100 online this way.
Selling Your Own Products/Services: Create a product or service and sell it online. You can build informational products or tangible products and sell them online. Or you can sell a service. I’m a copywriter and have a copywriting service that I offer. The trick here is making something people actually want to buy.
Those are a few ways to make money online. The more creatively helpful your approach, the more you’ll make. If you really want to make good money online, you really have to care about the people you are serving.
Want me to write an article on the specifics of how to get started on one of the above? Let me know in the comments.
A young, beautiful girl got married and she thought everything was just dandy, until her husband left her, with their three children and all those bills, for someone else. And, of course, she didn’t get to finish pursuing her career because she got married and had to be the homemaker. Now, she has very little to survive. Poor girl, it’s so sad…
They all go something like that. As young girls, we were raised on the stories of jilted women thrown into ruin. No wonder what women really want is their own financial security.
It is no bad thing to be prepared for the worst. The worst can come in a lot more forms than a broken marriage: the breadwinner may lose their job, health problems arise, or someone passes away. We pursue becoming a doctor, a lawyer, or what have you. When the job starts, it’s fabulous. Money’s coming in and the family’s happy.
But then the whole world puts itself on our shoulders. We’re pushed into this corner of having a professional career, be an amazing daughter, and eventually an doting mother. A true triple threat, maybe more so to ourselves. It’s not the easiest thing in the world. Women are expected to be perfect at everything, all the time. In reality, it’s hard to strike a balance. And to the women who do this, kudos. May you all be protected and keep as strong as you are and more.
Being a mom is something I’ve looked forward to my entire life. I want to be there for my kids every moment, I don’t want to miss a thing. But I also want a career. That’s why starting a home-based business made the most sense to me. I get to be at home with my kids, watch them grow, and see their first experiences of a world I’ve taken advantage of. At the same time, I get to do what I love, which is writing, and make good money from it. I get to have the best of both worlds. It’s also true that I fantasize traveling with my kids and teaching them about the world first hand, too.
If you pursued a home-based business, what would be your reason to do it?
I sat in a crowd of black robes with a square hat on my head and a tassle fluttering in the wind. I knew what was on everyone’s mind: the next phase of their carefully planned journey. But for me, I just knew exactly what I DID NOT want to do. I was not going to use my degree at all. Back to square one for me and I couldn’t be more excited!
I spent four years pursuing a degree in Health Science. I did it because it was expected of me. I did it because I thought it would make my parents happy. I did it for everyone, but me. I know a lot of people would think it was a waste of time. But the truth is it wasn’t.
People aren’t built to execute plans. We’re not computers in that way. You don’t set a human program, run it, and die. Nope. We are meant to learn on our journey. And the most important and exciting thing to learn is about ourselves. I made a mistake in choosing health science. But the reality is, for a long time, I thought it was for me. Those four years helped me realize that although I was smart, although I could do it, I did not want to become a doctor.
Through those four years, my escape was the world of the internets. I dabbled her and there, quite everywhere. I actually learned a lot about myself through that time. What type of person I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted time with the people I loved and to do the things I’ve always, which mainly includes learning languages, meeting people, archery, and riding horses, but we’ll leave that to another medium.
We all need to experiment with who we are and what we love. We won’t know what we will really like until we try it out. There’s no other way around it. You really need those years of, what some people call, being lost. When in actuality you’re just manifesting who you really are in that time. All the greatest people took the time to find what they were meant to do.
Here’s a great quote to leave your mind teeming:
-Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005
So what about you? Have you manifested yet? Do you know what your great work is? Or are you still searching?
Have you ever dreamt of waking up to another sky. New air? Why stand still when there’s all that life out there?
As a Muslim, there is a phrase that is commonly used to describe living your life: “Live your life as a traveler.” And what if we really did?
Ever think about it? Filling a small suitcase, pulling on your killer kicks, and saying “chao” to the life you knew? I’m not saying abandon it, just depart from it for a short while.
But it’s not that easy is it? Because we’re all attached to things, people, expectations, and what Sarah/Maryam-who-doesn’t-really-care-for-your-happiness-or-well-being thinks about your life choices.
My question is: What will liberate you?
You hear stories of people who completely change their life after they get a cancer diagnosis. They use those last bits of life for something fantastic. The majority of us are so attached to the life we live that we forget to realize it is in no way attached to us. Will it really take something as big as cancer, a death of a loved one, or near-death experience for you to walk up?
Truth: We’re all dying. This day is the only one of its kind and we will never see it or experience it again.
If I died tomorrow, I’d be happy knowing I was at least in the pursuit of something absolutely brilliant. Could you say that?
If you ever want to escape the life you’re living or the expectations that are breathing down your neck, there is one thing that you need to build now. If you ever hope to travel the world at will or simply be a constant part of your kids’ lives by working from home. There is something you should get started on now. If you ever think, “I just want to live my life my way,” there is something you need to do right now. That something is to blog.
What the Blog?
What is a blog? It’s not an online journal talking about what you did today or how roasted mushrooms make you think about death. That’s…um no. That’s not the blog I’m talking about. The blog you need to build is the one that will nurture the idea of your business and nurture the growth of that idea to the world.
If you ever really wanted to start a business based on your passion, say painting. Start a blog about painting and everything to do about painting: what canvas you use, what paint you love, what brushes inspire you, tutorials on how to paint, what painting does to your soul, etc. Notice how all these post ideas revolve around helping your reader, that’s not a coincidence. If you ever make the smartest decision in your life and start blogging: Assume everyone’s an egomaniac. Make it about your readers and how you can put value into their lives and you’ll be golden.
Why A Blog
Now, let’s answer the why bit. Why should I start a blog? It gives you a concrete presence online, now everyone knows where to find you and figure out what you’re up to. Oh hey, this chick’s got a website. It establishes you as an expert in your field of passion. Yup, this chicka knows her ish about painting. You spread the word about yourself. Wow, she’s dedicate to this, impressive. Blogging is a great way to be found by search engines faster. Wow, I can’t believe Google helped me find such a crafty chick. Blogging builds a community of raving fans. OMG no, I discovered her first but I guess we can all share the love! Blogging gives a 24/7 place where people can discover you. I always find the best stuff when I’m late night surfing! Blogging is awesome-sauce, ain’t it?
How Do I Blog?
There are great free blogging platforms. Blogspot.com and WordPress.com are great starts and if you want to start there, go for it. However, I would highly discourage it if you ever plan on being serious about your business. Which is the whole point of this post, so don’t be cheap now, I promise you, cross my heart, you will regret with every fiber of your being one day, if you choose the free route. It doesn’t give you much room for growth and I know you have the urge to grow. Because we’re kindred spirits, you and I, and I know you want more! Also, the cons of free blogging platforms: If you breach their terms of service, say goodbye to the entirety of your blog. Yes, it’s gone forever. It has limited features and limited design options. If you ever choose to get a stand alone blog (like a regular “.com”), the transfer will be a pain in the tush. But again, it’s your choice. Don’t be discourage, many have started with a free blogging platform.
A blog is just your stage though, a stage with no seats. Have you ever seen a stage with no seats? People like to sit down and soak in the show. If they’re on their feet, it’ll be easier for them to leave. So, for your blog, you’re going to need seats. The “seats” of your blog is a subscription list you create. This allows people who are interested to stay for the long haul. The people who subscribe to your list are your audience. They buy their ticket by putting their name and email in a box and hitting submit. You need to build your audience in order to build a relationship and a loyal fan base because that gives you exposure and credibility. When people sign up for your email subscription, it’s voluntary on their part, and they get your content delivered right to their FACE (via email).
So, what have we learned: you need a blog and an email subscription service. To have a blog, you need a website, which includes both a domain name (www.yoursite.com) and a hosting server (where all the content of your blog is stored online for people to see properly on your site).
It does cost money. If you’re serious, put about this much moo-lah to the side:
$12 Domain (per year) + $7 Hosting (per month) + $19 Email Subscription (per month) = $38 for the first month (relatively)
Note: Bluehost shows prices per month, but you have to pay for a minimum 6 months initially, so you’d have to pay about $80 up front. So, if that’s too much, better start saving. Figure out how to save $5 a day and in a month, you’ll have more than enough dough. (Don’t buy your daily coffee or don’t eat out).
If you know one day you’re going to want to escape from the life you’re living there is one thing you should set up now. I mean right now. This thing will allow you to branch out with some security. It’s a blog. In business, blog’s are essential. Absolutely. It’s ridiculous how important it is. I know you think it’s not that important. But out of all the things you understand, it’s this: You need to blog. If you ever plan on pushing that eject button, let your cushion be a blog. Start it now. If you don’t take this advice, I promise you will regret it.
Are you thinking about taking the plunge? What are your fears about it? Nervous to put down the dough? Let me know in the comments!
If you have questions, email me at Nadia@nadiachaudhry.com.
Everyone feels like poop sometimes. It happens. I’ve used the first few posts of my blog to talk about taking care of yourself. Why? Because it’s cool. Well, yes, it’s cool, but that’s not why I did it. I did it because if you’re hardcore about starting an online business, you, as a person, have to be hardcore. Ya, ready for some mind-blowing stuff?
Warning: Online Entrepreneurship is not for people who need deadlines or school/workplace culture to get work done.
Everything you do is for you. So slacking off will hurt you like no other. No one will come to remind you, send you an email, or update you. Can you trust yourself?
Exception: If the above warning applies to you, there is hope. You can change.
Woah, didn’t expect that one, did ya? I believe people can change themselves. Period. Want to know why? Because I did.
My “I changed because I could” Story:
In business, you’re super better off if you’re positive. Me + the past = I didn’t believe I could do it. TRUE STORY. But I realized I really wanted freedom and I would fight to get it, even if it killed me. So, I knew I needed to change, but wasn’t quite sure how to do it. I doubted myself, doubted my capabilities, and hated the way I was. Okay, fine! A lot of people have this story. It’s something that makes us human, a universal struggle we all face. I am glad to say that was my weakness and I got out of it.
So, how did I start seeing the best possibilities for myself by instinct? Instead of seeing the worst in everything, making excuses for myself, and saying it probably wouldn’t happen? (My usual instinct was “Poop, I can’t do this bye.”) How you say? By choosing to rewire my brain.
Shawn Achor, a professor from Harvard, calls it “The Happiness Advantage” and no matter who you are, you should really watch this video (ignore the weird music in the beginning):
This is the “happiness journal” he’s talking about, mine anyways. I call the “happiness journal” because I LOVE being dorky. You can call it the “gratitude journal” if you want, to be all sophisticated and what not.
He mentions you need 5 things in your life to become more positively minded: Noting three things you’re grateful for, journaling, exercise, meditation, and random acts of kindness. My journal takes care of the first two. Everyday I write three things I am grateful for and I journal about one experience within the last 24 hours that made me happy (so a positive experience). Quick and simple. Watch the video (it’s also hilarious). He explains his studies and how he’s worked with companies around the world to help their employees be happy and become more productive.
Why is this effective? You’ve attached a repeated action to it, making it more tangible. A thought is indeed powerful, but attaching something tangible to it, makes that thought stronger in your mind. Choose to be positive, make this action to align with that choice, and let it be part of your everyday. When you want a big change in your life, it’s good to keep yourself reminded and motivated with something tangible. Many people who try to lose weight put motivational quotes all over their room to keep them going. I wear a hijab, which keeps me focused on my religion (I actually wrote a whole post about this which you can read here: Wearing Hijab is Exactly Like Being A Superhero).
You’re the advocate of whatever business you decide on running. It’s your baby. In order to operate a successful business, you need to operate as the best version of you. Save yourself, save the world. I am a firm believer that by changing yourself, you can change the world. You know who else agrees with me? RUMI!
Okay, fine. Because I know you love them, I’ll add another warning:
Warning: Wanting to change is completely different from taking the actions to change.
Don’t talk. Do. Be your own power. Buy a journal, write in it every night. Be positive. Watch yourself change. BAM.
What have you done to improve something about yourself? What was your struggle? Let me know in the comments below.
In order to succeed in business or in life in general, you need to genuinely care about the people you serve or have in your life. In order to properly take care of people, you need to take care of yourself. Broken people can’t fix broken people. You will have the strength to accomplish anything if you take care of these three things: your mind, your body, and your soul.
It’s important to keep your mind active and engaged in order to truly see the possibilities around you. This includes both what goes in it and how it works. Make sure you are surrounded by positive people who inspire you to push past your inhibitions. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Are they feeding your mind properly? TIME TO GET REAL! It’s time to reflect whether or not these people are giving you the right environment for you to grow. Do they discourage your ideas? Do they just gossip all day long? Do they never have an intellectual conversation with you? Do you get the impression they don’t want you to “surpass” them? If you said “yes” to any of that, things have gotta change! If they aren’t the people you want to be like, hate to sound evil, but they need to go and fast. Unless you like being mediocre and not living to your potential…jus’ sayin’…
Then again, maybe you have a great circle of friends, but your mind is the problem. The way your mind processes things makes your reality, so work on being more positive. Count your blessings, literally. Does that not sound like you, at all? Don’t worry, my next post will include what I do to keep on keepin’ on the positivity in my life. So, keep your eye out for it.
This is something I need to include way more in my life. When you exercise, eat healthy, and just take care of your body, you’re giving yourself the best advantage. Because what this does is it adds SO MUCH MORE ENERGY INTO YOUR LIFE. Giving your body energy, gives your mind energy. It also makes a connection between your mind and your body. It teaches you that whatever actions you make has a direct effect to you as a person. A pretty big idea, right?
I believe all humans have a spiritual side and our spirituality needs to be nourished. We all need something to feed our souls. Take a few moments every day and try to mediate. I’m Muslim and meditation is part of my daily life. In fact, I do it 5 times a day. If you’re not Muslim, this is something I also do: I like to do is sit in the elements of nature and appreciate every gust of wind that shakes the branches of trees and the way the sunlight hits the water on the lake by my house. Appreciating the beauty around you is a great way to meditate. This is so important because there will come a time when your energy is so depleted and you have to pull from something deeper. That something deeper is your soul. Strengthen your soul and it will build your endurance to take on more challenges.
Take the time to love yourself and take care of yourself; it’ll truly help you accomplish your goals…which reminds me of a really amazing line:
Save yourself, save the world. You can’t help people if you can’t help yourself. Simple. Take the steps NOW to get these parts of yourself taken care of and you’ll be amazed at how well you’ll stick to fulfilling your dreams.
Tell me what you think of the importance of taking care of these 3 things. What do you do to take care of yourself?
There are certain moments when your heart swells in acknowledgement because of what someone has said. It comes from the people that think like you, the people that understand your story, and have even lived it. You nod, cheer, and explain to that person profusely how much you agree. This commencement speech is one of those things.
For anyone hoping to be successful in doing their own thing:
The world is changing. It’s the best time to make your own rules. The best point I got from this is that you need to enjoy whatever you’re doing and stop worrying. Count the blessings in the moment you’re in.
What did you think about the speech? What remark applies to your life?