There are two schools of thought for many aspiring online entrepreneurs. One is to quit your job and focus on your business full time and the other one is to start a side business and quit once the business shows signs of viability.
I am a proponent of the later and will never tell you to quit your job to start a business. That is not always the right approach however.
There are solid arguments to be made for both approaches. The right approach for each individual is going to be different based on the individual’s personal circumstances.
If your circumstances happen to indicate that you should quit your job to work on your business, don’t quit without benefiting or profiting from your separation from your employer. Yes, it is possible to do that and I have done it before in one of my previous lives.
I am not talking about simply cashing in your unused vacation and getting the standard severance either. Sure, those are there, but what I am talking about is a much more lucrative exit strategy from your current employer, such as a full year’s living expenses for example.
I can summarize the highlights of how you can do this, but it wouldn’t be fair to my friend Sam Dogen who shared with me his new book in which he discusses several other methods to separate from your organization and profit from it that I wasn’t already aware of.
Sam is a personal finance blogger and recently wrote a book on how to engineer your layoff so that you can profit from it while maintaining a good relationship with your employer.
Sam had worked in the financial services industry since graduating college until recently when he retired at 35 to focus on his book and other initiatives. When he separated from his company, he managed to negotiate and secure a separation package to cover 6 years of living expenses. That is not a typo. I too was stunned.
I had to ask Sam about this arrangement and in our discussion he mentioned “I was happy to sign the papers if I could get 36 months worth of living expenses. Instead, I managed to negotiate about 72-84 months worth. That is the biggest no brainer in my mind to quit, ever. It gives me huge breathing room, EXCLUDING all that I saved over the past 13 years to do whatever.”
Sam’s main concerns were “what if I quit and my bank account goes dry in six months?” “What if I can’t find a new job in a new industry that I really love?” “What if my entrepreneurial endeavors fail miserably and some exogenous variable knocks me out for the count?” “What if I turn into a deadbeat with no more motivation to do anything again?”
These are all valid concerns which makes it more important to secure a good separation package when leaving your employer. Sam didn’t hate his job, he just didn’t love it anymore like he once did. Many are in this situation. Many will fall into this situation down the road. And while quitting your job is not always the right decision, if you choose to do so, you want to do it while protecting your best interest.
So when Sam was ready to pull the trigger, he searched everywhere and while he found many books that talk about securing a lucrative job and making lots of money, he couldn’t find a book that talked about how to quit your job and profit from it.
I’ve read his book entirely in which he talks about several other individuals he helped, from bar tenders to folks working in Corporate America negotiate and secure several months of expenses from their employers on their way out. The book gets into the fine details explaining how exactly to do this in a step by step manner.
If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you probably have noticed that while I recommend a lot of the books I’ve read and benefited from here and there in my posts, I normally don’t write about books in this detail. In this case however, I feel that this book not only hits it out of the park, but it is also very much relevant to some of the audience of this blog.
Whether you plan to quit your job now or in the future to start a business, don’t quit like most people do and simply walk away with nothing. This book is a must read to learn how you can profit when you separate from your company while maintaining a good relation at the same time in the event you want to return back to your job or work with them in some capacity down the road. It’s never smart to burn bridges that you don’t have to.
It’s eye opening how much money companies are saving by “screwing” people off while making it seem that they are doing you a favor when they decide to end their relationship with you.
Read this article to understand exactly how, as well as why you may think you are getting a good deal when you are given a severance when in reality you are really not. A severance is chump change. The law gives you rights to much more that companies are not telling you.
The book is lengthier than it can be due to lots of self promotion and tangent material – I felt the book could’ve been more concise, but that’s just Sam. He is very passionate about this topic and it is clearly apparent when you read the book. There is some material that is somewhat related but not critical to the book. It can be done without to make it a quicker read.
There is some philosophical talk as well that although good, could be done without. Again, that is Sam. He loves to pontificate and that also shows in the book. Not necessarily a bad thing – a reader may simply skip these parts to get to the main points.
The book includes several links that require internet connection. Though internet is mostly prevalent, there are still some circumstances where readers may read this book and feel teased because they cannot access the links immediately. Thankfully, none of the links are critical to the main message of the book which is delivered within the book’s content itself.
I felt some of the points required re reading and yet they seemed a bit difficult to understand for me. But then again, that is just my opinion. Everyone interprets material differently. The good news is that when I followed up with some questions, Sam was very responsive and provided elaborate responses that clarified my understanding.
I like the fact that all the research is done for you and tested as well on several professionals. As a reader, you just have to take the information and act on it. Having been through the process of separation in the past, I learned a lot of new things I didnt know already that could have made my previous separations more profitable for me.
The book is very easy to read and although longer than I think it can be, you can easily get through it. The book is very comprehensive, with lots of tangent material that you can further explore through additional links. The book is very detailed, especially the real world examples and anecdotes provided by Sam.
To summarize, the book covers four main points in great depth:
I love the one page questionnaire toward the end. This is a framework, or a matrix that has a few questions that you can answer to determine whether you are ready to quit your job. The questions provide a scoring system that will answer this difficult question for you.
This is a wonderful idea. I can’t tell you the number of aspiring entrepreneurs that have consulted with me who ask me whether they should quit their jobs or whether I feel they are ready to. While many often contemplate quitting their jobs, a lot of them do not know simply when the time is right, or whether they are ready to do so to begin with.
Just ask yourself. Do you know for sure whether you can quit your job and still be alright? You may have an inclination about it, but it is very rare that you know 101%. If you did you’d do it. This framework makes it a lot easier for you to determine the answer to that question.
Knowledge is power. Don’t forget that if you quit or get fired, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Whatever you do, do it the smart way. Take time to invest in your education and awareness, which will help you make the most of your strategic decisions in life.
If you are going to quit, do so in a way where you receive several months of living expenses as well as healthcare coverage for you and your family. By doing so, you are eliminating a lot of the concerns people have when they want to quit their jobs and try something new like an online business.
This book really introduces a new perspective on quitting your job the right way. It is very well done and I wouldn’t be surprised if this book received significant attention and led to several other opportunities for Sam.
This is the only book out there that talks about this subject that I know of, and the message needs to be spread, especially to the community of aspiring online entrepreneurs who may have the itch to quit their jobs either now or some day down the road.
I contacted Sam to become an affiliate of his book after having read it and loved it. I really believe this information can significantly impact anyone who puts it into practice. I’d love to answer any of your questions if you are contemplating getting this resource. Let’s continue this discussion in the comments section below.
You may be perfectly happy and successful in your career today, and that’s fantastic. I congratulate you and am happy for you. Not many can say that for their careers.
But the truth is, you don’t have full control over your current situation. Anything can happen at any time because there are just too many external variables involved beyond your control.
You can definitely wait to consume and understand the wisdom in this book until you feel like you have reached a point of pulling the trigger on your job. However, I strongly believe this is information you want to consume when you are in a stable situation, financially and mentally, so that when the right time comes you know exactly what to do and how.
When faced with challenging situations, it is not uncommon to forget things, or not fully understand the material we consume because there is already so much going in our heads. For example, I certainly didn’t need the information in this book right at this moment, but I still took the time to consume it.
I know that when faced with a situation where this information would come handy, I’d be prepared to apply it effectively. You may not need the information in this book today, but when the time comes, you want to be equipped with the right information to make the best decision for yourself and your family.
I was able to secure ONE FREE COPY of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader ($48 value).
I’d be happy to give you a copy if you help me spread the word. Here is how:
1) Please “Like” this post on Facebook
2) Tell me in the comments section if this sounds like a helpful resource, as well as why, and how would you use it? In other words, what is it that you will work on after using this book to quit your job profitably if you ever decide to go that route?
You must do both 1 & 2. I will pick one winner randomly in a couple weeks and tell you how I did it.
One other note. The technical details in this book are specific to those in the United States. That said, the fundamental principles are universal and likely apply no matter where you live and work. In addition, many jurisdictions outside the USA have similar employment rights / programs in place that are equivalent of or similar to the ones mentioned in this book.
Happy Thanksgiving to you if you celebrate. We have some relaxation time coming up with family and friends. Not a bad time to invest in some personal and professional development. All the best to you and I’ll see you after the feast . . .
In this post I want to go over how to get more clicks to increase visitor opt ins, conversions, sales and the number of subscribers to your website, blog or newsletter.
Regardless of the business you are in, you always want more traffic entering your conversion funnel so that you can convert more of it into customers, clients, readers, etc. How do you do this non-invasively is often the key challenge.
Some readers have asked me in the past how I am able to convert my readers into subscribers, and while there are several conversion techniques you can employ to increase subscribership, I want to discuss one specific way that has been very effective for me.
I am not a fan of flash screens and pop up opt-in boxes that attempt to get the visitors of a website or blog to sign up to an offer in exchange for their name and email address as soon as they arrive on a website.
Although these tools are effective in acquiring new subscribers or potential customers from a statistical perspective, I personally don’t like their invasive nature, and strongly feel that while you can acquire new email addresses, you may be alienating your existing readership base by providing a less pleasant experience than what they are used to.
There is no definitive answer to whether or not you should be using these tools. The use of such tools really comes down to your objective, marketing style and personal beliefs. Are you aiming to acquire more email addresses or subscribers who are truly fans? Or are you aiming for a better user experience? Neither answer is necessarily wrong.
For example, if you own a static website and feel that your existing readership is no longer “monetizable”, you may decide to implement a pop up opt-in program to acquire “fresh” email addresses that may potentially convert into paying customers. After all, making money from your web property is one of your goals of being online – an important one.
At the same time, if you are blogging and intend to build a real community, or if you are a hobbyist blogger, you may want to consider the implications to your existing readers and new visitors.
If you want to increase your readership, how do you do this without offending a loyal, existing reader who takes objection to the invasiveness of pop ups and flash screens?
I am constantly looking for ways to grow my blog’s readership, and I’ve always secretly wondered what a pop up tool would do to my subscribership. But because I personally don’t prefer using such tools, I haven’t implemented one.
Few months ago however I came across a tool that I felt demonstrated a good balance between attracting a new reader’s attention to increase the chances of opting in to an offer and at the same time doesn’t come off as too invasive.
I am referring to the Hello Bar that you see on top of the page. Adding this bar allows you to include a short message like the one you see on mine, followed by a clickable button that takes the reader to your conversion page. Mine looks as follows:
I like several things about the Hello Bar. It allows for absolutely painless and seamless integration. It literally took me 5 minutes. I also like the fact that it is that it is not too invasive in my opinion. Readers can click a tab on the bar (this tab is movable) to shut down the bar.
The Hello Bar also has some nice analytics built into it, including an automated periodic email update informing you how your conversions are performing, and whether you are trending upward or downward over time.
But most important of all is the tool’s unprecedented effectiveness. I personally have never experienced any online tool that has resulted in such a dramatic improvement in my click through, opt in and subscriber conversion rates.
Here is a snapshot of how the Hello Bar tool compares with some of the other methods by which I attempt to increase my blog’s subscribers.
-yes, I know!
As you can see, nothing is even close to the effectiveness of the Hello Bar, including my free report which I feel is one of the most valuable contributions I can share with anyone right now from my own experience. So if you are wondering how to get more clicks to your conversion funnels, you might want to consider using a tool like this.
The Hello Bar has a free and a paid version. If you are relatively new to the space and want to give it a shot, try the free version as it gives you the full flavor of what the tool can do for you. You get a limited amount of clicks to your free version, after which the bar stops appearing on your website or blog until the next period when you get a fresh set of free clicks.
The only difference between a free and paid version is that you will not run out of clicks to your bar with the paid version. I started out by trying the free version just to observe what it does for my online business. I was pleased with what I saw and decided to purchase the full subscription plan.
It’s important to try different things to see what works best for your business. This is one of those things that I tried and has worked really well. I just implemented it on my authority website and will be measuring performance shortly.
If you’d like to try out the free version, I am an affiliate of Hello Bar and would be happy to answer any questions before you even get it, during or after.
What are your thoughts on using tools like this? What’s working well for you today in terms of conversions and opt ins? Why would you, or wouldn’t use a tool like Hello Bar?
PLR articles are one of the more under-discussed topics in internet marketing for reasons I can’t figure out. I struggle to understand why not more discussion takes place about these because of their versatile application.
PLR articles, or Private Label Rights, are unique articles you can purchase in bulk and do a variety of things with. Only a few buyers will have a copy of these articles, therefore it is limited in its spread or availability.
Before I get into the details of why PLR articles can be a solid addition to your internet marketing arsenal, as well as the various ways you can use them, view this quick 4 minute video where the founder of Easy PLR Nicole Dean explains what PLR articles are in her own words.
These articles are available to anyone looking for content for their websites, blogs and newsletters (many often don’t think of newsletters as an application for PRL articles).
Why would anyone buy these articles? Well let’s see . . .
Because of the high demand, there are several companies that sell PLR articles. I get mine from Easy PLR because I know, like and trust the Nicole, the company’s owner.
Further, I have repeatedly done business with them and have always been pleased with my experience and the quality of the articles. Articles come in various packs (number of articles). They each come in word doc (.doc) and text (.txt) format.
There are no rules when using PLR articles you purchase. However, there are search engines who we need to keep in mind when using PLR articles.
When you purchase PLR articles, you own the rights to them immediately – along with a few others as well (it could very well be that only you purchased the set you did but companies often sell the same set to a limited number of buyers).
When you post PLR articles to your website or blog, you don’t have to link back anywhere because you own these articles just as if you wrote them, however, because a small number of others may possess the same version, it is best to modify the content and add your unique twist to it before publishing it online.
There are people that buy PLR articles and post them online as they are. Not that there is anything unethical with this approach, but personally I like to modify the articles to add my own voice to them, as well as avoid any duplicate content penalties imposed by search engines.
My approach to using PLR articles is one of collaboration, where I look to leverage existing content and make it fit my tone, personality and experience. I don’t use PLR articles as filler content just to have something to post online or send in an email newsletter, however, you can and many do.
I have seen them all across the board, but there are certain areas or topics that get more attention than others. I am assuming because PLR companies produce more of what sells. I would too if I was running the business.
I have seen a ton of PLR packages in areas like financial services, general business, abs, weight reduction, self development, time management and technical articles on websites and blogs among others.
If you don’t see articles on a topic you are interested in, all you’ve got to do is email the company. This does not guarantee that you will soon find articles on the topic you are interested in, but there is a chance you will. You don’t know until you ask.
The good thing about most PLR content is that it is evergreen in that it will hold true and fresh yesterday, today and tomorrow, which means you have a broad application for these articles. Not only that, you don’t have to worry about updating the content once you use it.
This is where and how I suggest PLR content should be used:
Niche Site – found some profitable keywords from conducting your keyword research and want to establish a niche site? PLR articles can be the quick solution. I have taken this approach before (see below). Larger, authority sites are a different story.
Article Marketing – this one is a gimme isn’t it? Purchase them, tweak them and submit them.
Social Media Marketing – often not thought off immediately, you can use parts off, or the entire PLR article and post on your Facebook account. You can chop off an article into a multi-part series as well.
Email Newsletter – using PLR content in newsletters don’t even require you to modify the content. Newsletters go straight in your reader’s inbox and are not seen by search engines.
Blog Post – there are many bloggers who rapid blog for the sake of creating content. PLR content can be a quick way to boost content, or provide for filler articles (not an approach I take or recommend but there are many who do this).
Thought Starter – you don’t even have to use the PLR content. Simply refer to it to get your brain juice flowing for a particular topic.
Ebook / Free Report Giveaway – this one is also a gimme in my opinion, and one where you don’t need to modify the PLR articles. Simply compile them in a free report and wala you have something to give out to your readers for free and build rapport. Of course I am not advocating you do this without ensuring you add your own touch and see to it that the freebie delivers solid value.
I have several websites that I generate passive income from. Of those, 8 are sites that I did not write the content for. They are a combination of ghostwriting (I hired freelancers) as well as use of PLR content that I modified before posting. All 8 are profitable, with 6 of them still on page 1 of Google (in spite of the drop some of my other sites have experienced due to algorithm updates) for their respective keywords.
I am currently focusing on other initiatives such as my iPhone applications, a couple new ebooks and the local SEO firm that I started, which is actually doing very well (we have secured a couple out of state clients and a few relatively good size local clients).
If I ever shift focus back to niche site creation, or to update some of my existing sites, I will certainly consider using modified PLR articles and share my experiences with you on this blog. In fact I’ve been wanting to create a site just with PLR content and do a case study.
I’ve always been curious about whether a site can do well with just PLR content as its foundation. It appears however that this would be a difficult task given how search engines have evolved but we don’t know that for a fact until we try. Too many interesting projects to do but very little time nonetheless.
If you are interested in trying out PLR articles, you can check out Nicole Dean and her Easy PLR company here
Note: I have been using PLR articles for various marketing initiatives and am an affiliate of Nicole’s Easy PLR company. I’d be happy to answer any questions if you are contemplating a purchase.
Were you aware of PLR articles before reading this post? What do you think about them? Would you consider using them? For what? What are your reservations? If you are already using PLR articles, please share how and your overall experience with them?