I’ve been doing a lot of consulting lately (for both individuals and companies) and have seen some common trends in the questions I am asked, the self limiting beliefs many people possess as well as the actual limitations they face.
It is sad to observe that so many hurdles that people are facing are not really hurdles, rather self limiting beliefs or misconceptions, and that’s exactly what’s stopping them from achieving their goals and objectives.
I want to extend my observation to this blog by asking you to tell me very specifically what’s stopping YOU from achieving your objectives?
In exchange I am offering my time that we can use for a one hour chat. This chat can be about anything – consulting, reviewing, crtitique, bouncing ideas off, social, or anything else that you can think of. We can do this either live in person or through a Skype conversation.
Here is what I want to know . . .
Please be elaborate and very specific. Please provide examples and references where you can.
I have not decided how I will select who to speak with for an hour. I may select a random comment or be judgmental based on the most elaborate, specific and insightful response.
Parallel to this initiative, I have been conducting a survey of the number ONE barrier to progress. You may already know this if you’ve received an email from me.
I want to use this feedback collectively to write more content around topics that are most meaningful and relevant to YOU and where you are with your goals and objectives today. I highly appreciate your input in advance.
Feel free to plug-in a pen name in the comments section below if you are not comfortable disclosing your real name.
I apologize that this post is a few days late, but I had some last minute family trips come up.
I am also working on my first iPhone Application experiment which tied up some of my time last week. I will be talking more about that project as it unfolds (yet another opportunity to establish a passive income stream).
But here it is, the fortunate four winners of the previously announced contest have been selected. There were a total of four free giveaways:
As I mentioned before, this giveaway had been long due. I launched my blog just over 18 months ago and since then have hit several milestones way beyond my expectation. Thank you.
The success of this blog has been made possible by you, and I plan on hosting similar contests in the future as well. Please accept this gesture as my way of giving back to the Extra Money Blog readership.
I cannot emphasize my appreciation for your continued support and participation in all ways, shapes and forms, whether through comments, personal emails, Facebook Likes and Twitter Tweets. From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much for being part of this small community.
This is the only time I will be announcing the winners publicly on my blog. All future contests and winners will be announced via email. I hope you continue to stay subscribed and participate in future contests.
I also have big plans for my email list. Till now it has simply been another way to update you of new content on my blog. But stay tuned for some really cool developments that I am very excited about. I will be segregating my list based on your personal interests so you only get information that you are highly interested in.
I will then incorporate Feedburner’s “blog updates by email” feature so that you can subscribe to blog updates via RSS or email based upon your personal preference. By doing this, you will no longer have to be subscribed both via RSS and email, but still have the opportunity to be part of an email group for a very targeted subject matter.
Everyone on any one of my email lists will be notified of future contests and winners.
Why do this?
This blog is a blend of a variety of topics that discuss expedited wealth building through entrepreneurship and personal finance. And although the end goal is to speed up the wealth building process, preferably through passive and residual income streams, there are many paths of journey one can take.
Through some surveying I’ve conducted, the 6,500+ readers of this blog have varying interests. I don’t want to annoy everyone with everything. I’d rather provide you with information you are specifically interested in and are looking for. Make sense? What do you think of this approach?
At the end of the contest period, my VA compiled a spreadsheet of all the participants and the number of entries they accumulated. There were around 1,000 entries total.
Once I was provided with the spreadsheet, I randomly selected a handful of participants and counted their entries and matched it back to either their emails to me or the comments they left on the blog. I did this to reasonably ensure the accuracy of the spreadsheet.
Once comfortable, I went to Random.Org, a really cool program that randomly selects a number based on your inputs. I can think of so many uses for this program.
Anyway, I input the numbers and the program gave me the following results: 43, 672, 311, 19
I started with the fourth prize and worked my way up to the $1,500 cash prize. Each winner was re-entered for an opportunity to trade up. In other words, the winner of the Gift Card had the same opportunity to win the $1,500 cash later in the drawing.
I matched the numbers provided by the program to the rows on my spreadsheet, and selected the winner that was on that particular row. Here are the lucky winners:
A Big Congratulations to all the Winners! I will also get in touch with you via email to arrange the logistics.
I am disappointed that the initial winner I selected for the Apple iPad 2 was rejected for falsifying the number of entries they had earned. I am glad I audited each winner to ensure they really did what they said. This took some extra time, but it was worth it in an effort to be fair to all participants.
I am also disappointed because there were a few individuals I was really cheering for to win who didn’t. I really wanted these individuals to win because they have really gone out of their way to support the Extra Money Blog.
I couldn’t resist, so I will personally reach out to a handful of you with a surprise 🙂
Thank you for your extraordinary support. You know who you are.
As you likely already know, I make most of my income online through various projects outside of this blog. And although I spend most of my time working on this blog, it generates the least amount of profits for me.
But that said, it has already surpassed all of 2011’s profits in just the first 3 months of 2012. Again, thank you!
Here are some of the things cooking on my end this year:
Establishment of an SEO Firm – This is probably the biggest development going on with me. Over the years I have managed to get several websites, both my own and of others, on the first page (many on the first spot) of major search engines.
During this time I have established several relationships with “experts” in their specific skill sets, as well as have trained several individuals (full time and part time virtual assistants) on specific on page and off page SEO methods that have and continue to work very well.
I have also declined several offers from professionals and businesses over the years who have approached me to help them with their online presence.
Thanks to the launch of my blog, 2011 was a very opportunistic year for me. The blog became a mechanism through which several individuals with similar experiences as I got in touch with me, and after several months of discussion and “scoping”, we have collectively agreed to establish an SEO agency, a small Web 2.0 firm that will help other businesses establish and strengthen their online presence.
There will be a total of three partners in the firm, all US based, and we will pool our existing resources (roughly 22 individuals based in the US, Philippines, Russia, India and Indonesia) who have complimentary skill sets that together complete the SEO firm’s capabilities.
My vision is to establish a business model that can eventually become relatively hands off for the partners and at the same time be able to help professionals and businesses on a much larger scale than each one of us can do individually.
I enjoy the “client interaction” aspect of business, and I don’t mind it at all. I want to set it up so that the partners focus on business development, while our back-end team focuses on the execution. Each client will get monthly status reports with key indicators that they are interested in monitoring (i.e. rank change over time, traffic, conversions, etc).
That said, there will be quite a bit of work involved up front establishing the foundation. I am looking forward to upcoming the travels and training opportunities.
Another example of how taking action can lead to opportunities. Although the blog itself is not a highly profitable entity, it can (and in this case did) lead to all sorts of other opportunities.
What do you think of this initiative? Is there appetite for this offering in your opinion? At what price point will YOU be willing to outsource your SEO and ongoing link building work?
iPhone Application Development – A random idea came to mind while working out at the gym. It stemmed from discussions around me when I realized that I always hear the same type of stuff being asked and discussed. And because everyone seems to have a smart phone at the gym they use to listen to music, I thought why not develop an application that addresses those questions on the spot using a smart phone?
This is my first time getting involved in application development, and I am looking forward to all the “fun” in the process. Similar to what I have done with eBooks over the years, application development can also be a similar opportunity to establish multiple passive income streams over time.
I will talk more about this as the app evolves.
Publishing More eBooks – I met two “experts” in their respective fields between last year and earlier this year and have persuaded them to write eBooks for me on their specialties. They have agreed to a one-time payment in exchange for full rights to the eBook. I plan on launching these in the summer.
eBooks are one of my personal favorite methods of building passive income streams. You can read more about the entire eBook creation to distribution process here. This initiative is consistent with my goal of establishing at least three additional income streams each year.
Sale of My Niche Sites – I have been approached to sell a couple of my niche sites, one of which I have previously declined multiple times. Both offers are in the five figure range. I am contemplating the offers, but so far it does not look like I will be accepting either.
I plan to discuss the offer to purchase my site in detail in a future post.
Speaking of more niche sites, I established three new niche sites just over a year ago. Yesterday when looking at the Adsense account I had set up for these, I will be getting a check of over $5,000 in April from these three sites (I tend to lump three niche sites into each account/legal entity/company). This will be the highest earning month for these three.
Development of 2 More Niche Sites – When Google announced where the Adsense revenue to be made is, I started exploring some targeted areas and found two pretty good niches where the Adsense payout potential is tremendous. These niches have a relatively healthy search demand and mediocre competition.
I really think I can carve out my space in these niches, but time will tell as you don’t really know how successful a niche site can be (in spite of the numbers) until you launch it. Given my approach to niche websites, this initiative is also consistent with my goal of establishing incremental passive income streams each year.
I plan to discuss these in more detail in upcoming posts.
I Accepted a Large Consulting Engagement – Last year I was invited to speak at an entrepreneurship meeting at a top ten university. A marketing exec of a small company approached me after the meeting to discuss internet business and we stayed in touch since. The company has big plans and hopes to go public next year.
They have engaged me for a consulting project starting this fall. I will be working with their marketing and soon to be formed e-commerce department to define, design and implement a web business strategy, where the focus will be on establishing a solid web presence and leveraging the various internet marketing platforms with the overall goal of establishing a solid and long lasting organic presence online.
But this is not passive income? I understand and I usually decline more consulting offers than I agree to. However this is one of those engagements that has far more long term benefits (both monetary and more so non monetary), thus although I will be paid good money for my time, my motive is far more than just money.
– – – – – –
All kinds of cool stuff planned for 2012, but now that I’ve documented it I feel like I may have taken on too much 🙂
My wife and I are traveling to London and Paris this spring, followed by several weddings in Michigan, Toronto and New York. I also have week long trips scheduled for Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. At the end of the year, we will likely be in India and Dubai. Good luck Sunil!
Again, congratulations to all the winners, and to everyone, thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to hosting more giveaways in the future.
Your thoughts, comments, suggestions are most welcome?
This giveaway has been LOOONG due. In October 2011, I crossed 5,000+ subscribers, a milestone way beyond my expectations when I first started blogging. Last month, I exceeded 6,000.
So in celebration of surpassing 6,000 subscribers I am giving away four prizes to four random lucky winners. I have been planning this contest out for a while now and albeit a bit late, here it is . . .
1 Brand New Apple iPad 2 (16GB) with a Case – I will order this from Apple and have it delivered to your address in the color of your choice.
The iPad 2 has well over 80% market share in the US tablet market and although the iPad 3 is rumored to come out soon, I didn’t want to prolong this giveaway any further.
1 Free Vacation – This is a free certificate I won by promoting a particular product. I will not be using this certificate as I have plenty of trips already scheduled and paid for.
This certificate entitles you to a 4 day, 3 night vacation stay (Hotel room) in most locations, and a 3 day, 2 night stay in over 30 selected locations.
Locations include places like Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Cancun, Mexico and more.
1 $25 Amazon Gift Card – I will order this from Amazon and email you the certificate
I am paying for the Apple products and the Amazon gift card out of my pocket. Although I have not aggressively monetized this blog, I have managed to make a decent amount, more than enough to fund this round of giveaways. I hope to continue to give away more down the road.
I also receive plenty of freebies just from day to day affiliate marketing activities that my (now over 20) niche websites participate in. For example, if I refer the most leads in a given month to Vendor A, they may send me a prize at the end of the month. Many vendors run all kinds of contests of their own to encourage boost in activity. I have received video games, iPods, bicycles, gift baskets and all sorts of goodies over time from these promotions.
There are a few reasons why I am doing this contest now. Although I never had doubts about persevering in the blogosphere, I didn’t really do anything for my one year anniversary which is a notable milestone that I really should celebrate. In addition, the blog surpassed 5,000 readers, another milestone worthy of celebration which I quietly ignored.
It is important for me to keep in perspective that when we work to earn a few dollars, we spend a few of them acquiring goods and services we need and want. Who we pay turns around and does the same. This simple exchange of goods and services makes the world go round. I make some, I give some, I make some more and I give some more. It’s what we call economy.
Similarly, being on the receiving end of many of these freebies, I’d like to give away some of them away in exchange for more exposure, which leads to more opportunity to win more freebies down the road for everyone involved.
Why do I want exposure? The primary attribute of my blog’s success is the readership community – You! I have exceeded all my expectations since starting this blog so THANK YOU! I truly mean that.
So here is to the next 5,000 readers which I want to achieve in the next 18 months. And as a small gesture from my end representing my appreciation for your support, I will continue to periodically host more contests and giveaways.
You can expect similar prizes in future contests.
This is an action based contest in the sense that your chances to win are based on the number of actions you take. Each action equates to a certain number of entries into the raffle drawing (excel spreadsheet). At the end of the contest I will randomly (really systematically) select three winners from this pool (more on how below). Here are the actions you can take to gain entries to the raffle:
Subscribe to my updates via email (earn 2 entries)
This is not the same as subscribing to my RSS feed. To subscribe to my blog updates via email, use the sign up box on the upper left hand side of the blog. All existing subscribers will be imported to the excel spreadsheet to ensure you also get the 2 entries.
“Like” this contest post on Facebook (1 Entry)
“Like” this post and then tell me you did it in the comments below. It can’t get any easier than this as I have a like button readily available on the right hand side.
“Like” the Extra Money Blog on Facebook (1 Entry)
“Like” the Extra Money Blog Facebook Page and tell me you did it in the comments below. Can’t get easier as the link above takes you to the Facebook page.
Google Plus (1 Entry)
Use the side bar on the right hand side and Plus One this post. Tell me about it in the comments section below for 1 entry.
Tweet this contest (1 Entry)
You can use the bar on the right side to tweet or retweet this post. Tell me you did in the comments section for 1 entry.
Follow Me on Twitter (1 Entry)
Scroll all the way to the top where you will see a Twitter icon to the right hand side. Click this icon and it will take you to my Twitter page. Follow me on Twitter, tell me about it in the comments section below and earn 1 entry to the contest.
Recommend another subscriber (5 Entries)
This one takes some effort, but if you are successfully able to recommend a new email subscriber (not yourself) to this blog, I will give you 5 additional entries to the contest. I want you to tell me that you referred someone in the comments section below if you did. However, send me a personal email and include the name and email ID of the person you referred to me. I will need this for my audit (read below).
Mention this contest on your website or blog (3 Entries)
This also takes a little more effort so I am giving 3 entries for this action. Mention this contest with a link to this post on your blog or website. Tell me you did in the comments section below and earn 3 entries. To be fair to everyone, if you don’t own a website or blog, mention this contest somewhere else online (this could be your Facebook or Twitter page, another blog or forum online) and link to it in the comments section below so I can verify it during my audit (more on the audit below). This option is only available to you if you don’t own your own website or blog.
Tell me how many of my niche websites I have mentioned on this blog (8 Entries)
This one can be challenging hence the 8 entries. I own several niche websites and have mentioned a good number of them on my blog over the last year and a half or so. Tell me which ones I have mentioned and I will give you 8 additional entries to the contest.
Maximum number of entries you can get to the contest = 23!!!
IMPORTANT: Comment in the comment section below (1 EXTRA Entry) – In the comment section below, tell me which of the above actions you have taken so I can give you the appropriate number of entries. If you are reading this on a reader or in your inbox, you can hit reply to the email and send me your answers that way, or you can visit this post online and leave a comment. You get an additional entry for providing your responses by commenting on the blog itself in the comments section below.
I will keep this contest open for a period of four weeks beginning today and ending on the 28th day from today at midnight Pacific Standard Time. At that time all entries will be uploaded into a spreadsheet in no specific order.
Once entered, I will select the winners in order from the fourth prize working up to the grand prize (Apple Ipad 2) using the random.org program. I will announce the winner in a subsequent post following the 28 day contest period.
Important Note: Unless otherwise specifically stated in the future, this is the only time I will be announcing a winner publicly on my blog. In all future promos, contests and giveaways I will make the announcement via my newsletter. I am doing this to incentivize you to stay subscribed. I hope you stay on. Future contests may also be announced via Facebook and Twitter as I get more involved with social media later this year.
In the interest of fairness to everyone, I WILL AUDIT EACH WINNER OF THE CONTEST. What do I mean by that? For example, if a reader comments that he or she did X,Y & Z and earned 10 entries as a result and I happened to pick them as one of the winners, I will go back and ensure that they did each and everything they said they did to earn those 10 entries.
For example, if they Liked this blog on Facebook, I will check to see that they did. If they subscribed to the newsletter, I will check to see if their information is in my list. If I am not able to reconcile the activity, I will disqualify the reader from the contest.
IMPORTANT: Unless I am familiar with your email ID from personal interaction or regular interaction on my blog, I will email the winner personally using the email ID provided to subscribe to my newsletter (prior to announcing who you are on the blog). I need to do this so I know your name and can announce it on the blog. If I don’t hear within 48 hours, I will disqualify the winner and select another one. Another reason to stay honest and fair to everyone.
I can’t believe I am finally doing this. I am very excited about giving these freebies away. Once again, I thank you very much for enabling this blog’s success. I hope you win. And if you don’t this time, I hope you win next time, or the time after that, or after that . . .
All the best to you!
Special thanks to the Yakezie Network for inspiring this giveaway contest. Several Yakezie members have successfully run similar promotions. Thank you everyone for your inspiration and support.