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You have reached the Blog of NZ based entrepreneur, designer and budding author Kyle Madgwick. This is where I share the various steps I cover as I work my way to financial independence, along with other random stuff I find interesting.
Hitting Reset

Hitting Reset

And so ends my great adventure in the big smoke. To explain more fully – I was fortunate enough to be offered full time work doing marketing and online promotion for a company in Auckland, which is a good 2 hours away from where we currently reside. After discussing it with my wife we decided it would be silly to not at least give it a go, despite me having to be away from the family for a prolonged period of time. I literally dropped everything and jumped straight into the new position – No hesitation. What can I say? At the very least, neither of us is afraid to try new things!

Two months in and it was very obvious that this role was not going to work out – The work was fine however I missed my family something fierce and with all the hours I was dedicating to the job, I let all of my own projects fall by the wayside (including this page). It wasn’t making me happy and it wasn’t moving us closer to our goals. Time for a reset.

However as Tony Robbins once said; There is no such thing as failure. Only Results.

The entire episode has cemented in my mind exactly what I want out of life. Both for myself and for my family. I will continue to work hard to provide for my family and I will keep working towards the lifestyle that I desire. At the same time I will continue to keep my eyes open for any opportunities that present themselves, however I will be ensuring that these opportunities are more in-line with my goals before diving in head-long again.

It will take some time to get everything back in order in regards to my own work, and therein lies the problem with hitting reset. But I am viewing this as somewhat of a clean slate. The infrastructure is already established due to the work I put in months ago, leaving me free to just concentrate on the meat. The juicy bits. The content itself.

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December 20, 2013Read More
Challenge.co – 2 Weeks Down!

Challenge.co – 2 Weeks Down!


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Adam Goode

It is currently 8pm Sunday evening and I’m sitting down to my pc, whiskey in hand. Happy and quite frankly exhausted.

I’m officially two weeks down with ‘The Challenge’ and I’m fairly happy with where things are going with my product so far. The ultimate objective, writing an eBook to release on Amazon’s Kindle platform, is in place and the end is in sight. However that’s not to say that I’m not having a few problems with the process.

The daily instructions seem to have veered from the helpful and inspirational into the boring and the mundane. This isn’t entirely the fault of the presenters and the Challenge itself however. Many of the things they are teaching are more than a little below what I’m capable of. So as a result I find myself dedicating large chunks of my morning to processing the material only to find that the time would have been better spent working on more copy for my book. I already know how to use software and layout text, so in depth tutorials on setting styles and how to preview are a little wasted on me.

Furthermore, I’m finding the focus on dawdling along with just creating a single product as opposed to also building a following, with backlinks and mailing lists, and all the other things that I feel would help with actually selling the thing once I’m done writing it, frustrating.

And yes I get it. The idea of the 30 Day Challenge is to get novices from absolute zero to making that first ever dollar from selling a product online. But surely if you just wanted to make a dollar online you would just sell some of your old crap on Ebay? The amazing and exciting thing about building an online business is that you can sell your passion to anyone and everyone, no matter where they are located.

To be fair, as of writing this I’m only sitting at the midway point, and there are many more lessons to come. I remain dedicated to the process regardless of how slow things seem to be going right now. I just hope they can return to the fresh and exciting stuff they kicked off the challenge with at the start of the month.

I’ve spent a large chunk of this weekend setting up material and researching marketing avenues for when I launch my product in the coming weeks. I have the domain in place and have started working on pillar articles to start building a readership. The challenge has 2 more weeks to go, but if I’m completely honest I think I’ll need an extra 2 weeks to get things to the level I’m happy with before releasing.

Watch this space.

September 15, 2013Read More
How to improve yourself every day while you wash the dishes

How-to-improve-yourself-every-day-while-you-wash-the-dishes

If there was one tip I wish I could pass on to everyone that I talk to that I seriously believe would improve their lives immensely, it would be this:

Listen to Podcasts. Whenever you can.

It’s a very simple tip and one that I have personally utilised for the past 7 years, however there are still people out there who don’t understand exactly what a podcast is, why they should care or how they could personally benefit from it.

What is a Podcast anyways?

Put very simply, it’s a audio show on a particular topic that you download from iTunes and listen to at your leisure. The key difference between Podcasts and Radio Shows is that a you can select the topic that you want to listen to at any given moment, rather than what the radio station just happens to have scheduled.

The quality of production can vary from show to show so for example you’ll find some that are CD quality captures of professionally produced radio shows. And at the other end of the spectrum you’ll find recordings that are little more than a Skype conversation between 2 dudes in MP3 format

The thing that isn’t immediately apparent about this is just how much information is sitting there waiting for you to discover and just how good some of that information really is. The Skype recording of 2 guys doesn’t sound all that appealing at first, however what if that conversation was between your two favourite film directors, talking shop and discussing their latest projects? Or what if it was an interview with a prolific author outlining behind the scenes happenings of their latest NYT Bestseller?

Isn’t that just a small Audio Book? I already have those…

Almost, but not quite. I think an appropriate analogue would be to say that Podcasts are to Magazines what Audio Books are to, er, Books.

There is definitely something to be said for long form programmes, however you’ll find that Podcasts are a lot more agile in that they can adapt to new information and they will tend to be more up-to-date. Likewise they have the advantage of being able to present multiple perspectives as opposed to that of just the book’s author.

Also, did I mention that Podcasts are completely FREE? You don’t even need to hand over your hard earned pingers to get hold of this stuff!

How does this translate into improving myself daily?

If there is a podcast about every topic then there is almost certainly a podcast about what ever it is you want to know more about: Personal Finance, DIY, Psychology, Sports, Business, Movies, Music, News – And you can guarantee that whatever particular niche you’re after is catered to also.

The best bit, however, is that you don’t need to be sitting at your computer or reading from your iPad to digest all this knowledge. Load your mp3 player of choice with whatever podcast takes your fancy and you’re free to listen while you scrub dishes, mop the floor or mow the lawns. It’s also ideal for any commute time your shitty job may subject you to.

This essentially transforms time that would otherwise be spent laboring away at household tasks or wasting away in traffic into a prime personal development opportunity. You could teach yourself Japanese while you fold the laundry or even get your daily NFL bulletins while you make the bed. Multitasking is good.

I’m convinced and now I can’t live without Podcasts. What now?

So you’re gonna want iTunes and an MP3 player of some kind first and foremost.

Once you’ve got those sorted you can get some shows on the download.

Open iTunes and head to the Store and then click on the section labelled ‘Podcasts’. You should now find your senses assaulted by the sheer number of shows that are available, so have a browse around and see if anything tickles your fancy.

A few shows I can recommend as a start are Radiolab from WNYC, This American Life from Chicago Public Media and WTF with Marc Maron.

I’m planning to run reviews of various entrepreneur, personal development and lifestyle development Podcasts on the blog going forward so check back from time to time for more great shows to add to your listening queue.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or recommendations of your own. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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September 7, 2013Read More
The Top 9 Reasons to Start an Online Business

The-Top-9-Reasons-to-Start-an-Online-Business

It isn’t immediately apparent to a lot of people as to why they should ever wade into the murky waters of eBiz. There is no doubt that at times it can seem quite abstracted, as opposed to picking up a part-time job down at the local supermarket, which is far more tangible.

However I personally believe there are many great reasons to get in there and get amongst it so I’ve put together my personal Top 9:

1) Scalability

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out and can only spare 5 hours a week from your busy work schedule, it’s totally possible to scale up to a full 40 hours a week. This means you can dip your toe a little and see if this venture will work for you BEFORE you quit your day job entirely.

2) Work from anywhere

I’m not going to lie, this is probably this biggest one for me. My wife and I have always planned to live in a number of different countries so that our kids can experience a variety of cultures in a variety of climates. Being location independent in my work means we don’t have to waste time and energy finding new jobs every few years as we move.

3) Low startup costs

Other than time, the initial costs of starting are minuscule. Assuming you already have power, a roof over your head and access to the internet, all you really need to pay for, to be on your way, is a domain and a hosting plan.

4)  Be your own boss

You hear this one time and time again: Why should you waste your time and effort to make someone else rich? And it’s totally true. One can not express how empowering it is to be the one calling the shots and deciding the direction your business will take. As an added bonus you don’t have to justify 10am starts or working from home to anyone.

5) Develop new skills

Some people prefer to outsource a lot of tasks involved with running a successful online business, but I personally find it a perfect opportunity to develop new skills. Management, Design, HTML, Marketing, Finance, Writing – Running an online business requires you to develop at least basic skills in every one of these areas. And as it’s the internet there will always be new stuff out there for you to learn.

6) Save time

At the present time I work a fairly typical 40 hour work week that involves a 30 minute drive each way and a half hour lunch break every single day. The amount of time that is wasted in a car or just sitting around is just unbearable at times.

7) Open all hours

I plan to go into to this topic more at a later date, but for me the biggest revelation was when I realised that my focus needs to be on creating PRODUCTS that utilise my skills. Whereas previously I had been selling my TIME utilising those skills. As a freelancer or worker you can only ever be working on one job for one client at a time. If you make a digital product it can sell to people all over the world at any time of the day, whether you’re physically working or not.

8) Job Security

Let’s face it, you’re not exactly likely to lay yourself off any time soon. But to be serious for a moment here, any time spent developing your business is basically time you have invested in yourself. So product launches may flop or sales may taper off – But every failure can be turned into a success if you can take something away each time and make your future ventures even better.

9) Family

The 9 to 5 work day is a real bummer when you have kids, plain and simple. There’s school holidays, teachers only days, sick days – Not to mention all the crazy hours if you have a newborn. Working for yourself means you can be there when your family needs you and still keep working around those crazy timetables. I have always wanted to run my own business but it wasn’t until I had my own young family that I had a reason to try.

 

This article was inspired by the post ‘13 Reasons You Should Start An Internet Based Business’ on Victor Pride’s blog Bold & Determind which is a great source of inspiration for me on many different topics. Check it out.

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What I’m Working On – Challenge.co

What I’m Working On – Challenge.co

Challenge.co Homepage

I’ve signed up for Ed Dale’s 30 Day Challenge as an exercise to get me thinking more about applying what I have been learning, rather than just spinning my wheels. It’s completely free (so far at least, heh)  and the promise of the whole course is that it will get you started with your first $1 coming in before the 30 days is up. But to be honest I don’t really care about the results. I am open to all outcomes but attached to none.

As I was saying, it is the process that I am more interested in. The challenge requires a 30 minute time investment every day for those 30 days, and according to most research I have read online this should be enough to make new habits stick.

You can read more about the challenge here.

In other news I’ve signed up to the ‘Landing Pages 107′  email course from Kick Off Labs because quite frankly their stuff is beautiful but I cannot afford any of it. The very least I can do is learn from them and make my landing pages look as good as possible. And who knows, all going well I might be able to afford their services one day.

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September 2, 2013Read More