Procrastination Is Good For You

I LOVE procrastinating; as a matter of fact, I’m a chronic procrastinator.πŸ˜‰

That doesn’t mean I’m lazy or I don’t get shit done, I’m actually very good at meeting deadlines; it’s one of the reasons why I believe I’m still employed.

Here are a few reasons why I think procrastination is good for you:

  1. Lets your creative mind wander and explore
  2. Helps generates new ideas
  3. Gives you time to rest and relax

These are my personal reasons; as someone who has to come up with ideas and execute them on a weekly basis, I strongly believe in procrastinating and just allowing thoughts and ideas to come through.

It may seem as if I’m just ‘browsing’ the internet or whatever, in reality my mind is searching for its next idea.

If you understand the creative process, then you probably understand why procrastination is just as important.

Anyway, enjoy the animated gif I made.

Some Useful Tips for Graphic Designers

Some words of wisdom from me to you. Hopefully this will help you on your journey whether you work for someone fulltime or freelance as a Graphic Designer.

Follow Instructions

You’d be surprised as to how many people cannot do this. I can attribute my longevity to keeping a job for the simple fact that I am able to follow instructions or take direction. Make it easy for someone to work with you by simply following instructions and I guarantee that you’ll always have a job or have work consistently.

Follow Their Lead

As much as you want to add your own creative input, it’s best to follow the person’s vision. Unless you work for a cutting edge, out of the box company – the reality of graphic design is that most people really just want you to copy someone else’s existing design. They probably saw what works for another company and so they want to replicate the same thing. You’re getting paid for the job, so again just follow their lead.

I know this may seem frustrating at first. I mean after all, you’re supposed to be doing original and creative stuff. Not necessarily. I’ve learned over the years that if I’m getting paid to do something, I’m creating someone else’s vision – even if that vision was inspired or copied from something else. This is how most people operate and you must be understanding about it.

Be Prepared to Know More Than The Person You’re Working For

Graphic Design is not just creating things visually. You must also know your specs and final outputs, which some designers don’t know. Trust me when I say that I didn’t enjoy the technical aspects of design, I just wanted to create! But it’s part of the job, and in order to be a really good designer – you MUST understand the technical parts too.

For example, whatever you’re creating: is it for print or web? You need to know the difference between the two as print and web have very different outputs.

Also, each printer has their own specifications. So again, you must be able to follow instructions and ask questions too.

Through my own trial and error, I’ve learned that if I’m to create a logo then I need to create it in Adobe Illustrator, not Photoshop.

Why? Because Adobe Illustrator is a Vector based program. It allows you to create graphics, scale them large or small and it will retain it’s sharpness and quality. Not so much with Photoshop.

Conclusion

These are just some of the tips off the top of my head. They have worked for me so far and I’ve been working in graphic/web design for over 8 years.

I could go on and on with this topic as there’s so much to know and learn and so much that I left out, really. Whatever I’m writing down here is all based on my experience of creating graphics and designs for other people.

A Few Things I’ve Learned from Having My Small Business

Most people might call it a hobby or a side hustle. Whatever it is, my online crystal shop, Metaphysical Vibes has been up & running for almost 2 years. Here’s what I’ve learned from it:

You will experience ups and downs, especially in sales.

Sales are super slow right now and when it slows down, it feels like a total bummer. Nobody’s buying and nothing’s moving. What’s even bummier about it is that I don’t have a whole lot of money to spend on paid traffic so I only get to buy traffic in very small, sporadic amounts. Like every other weekend or two.

So I have to find other ways to stay occupied and learn how to optimize my ecommerce website somehow without spending any more money.

Here’s a useful link that I found: 10 Do-it-yourself SEO Tips to Save Money

Don’t compare yourself to others, just keep your head down and work.

This is important. Although it’s good to look at what your competitors are up to, don’t look too hard. You will start to feel like shit and feel like you’re not doing enough. And then you fall into a rabbit hole of negative self talk and comparison.

Everyone is on different levels of their entrepreneurship journey. Mine is different because I still have a fulltime job. I’ve mentioned this before in another post: I’m just a wannabe.

You must persist and keep at it, especially when you’re not seeing results right away.

When I say ‘keep your head down and work’ – what I really mean is ‘mind your own business and do whatever you feel like doing’. Having a business doesn’t have to be hard work, I personally choose to have fun and go at my own pace.

It’s better to be generous than to be greedy.

I read something online that one of the ways for people to remember your business is to give something away. I’ve been exercising this strategy and it works 50% of the time. Like those who are getting something for free will most likely buy something eventually.

So yes, definitely give things away for free. Plus it shows that you are generous.

Conclusion:

Don’t give up, especially when sales are slow. Figure out ways to optimize or make your ecommerce website better somehow.

Random Thoughts About Wealth & Money

Since I am officially in my 40’s now, I’ve been thinking about money, wealth and retirement a whole lot more – like how to keep more of it.

I’ve been reading this book titled “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” and while reading it has given me regrets about my own spending habits for the first 40 years of my life, I still have about 40 to go that I can go about differently.

The main takeaway from this book is: no matter what your income is, you must live below your means.

The book gives a lot of examples of people who supposedly look wealthy based on what they buy – house, luxury car, spending habits, etc. versus the people who don’t buy very often but have a high net worth.

So even if you get a pay raise from your job, do not increase your consumption. Instead put that money away; pay down your credit card debts, create your emergency fund, then learn how to invest.

I feel frustrated that I spent my first 40 years of my life not knowing this. My parents did the best they could to educate me on finances but it just wasn’t enough.

So instead of regretting the past, I’m going to attempt being frugal and more conscious of where my money goes from here on out. It would be nice to have at least half a million for retirement. We shall see, as I have so much to learn still.

The Best Income is Passive Income

My online only crystal shop is Metaphysical Vibes: https://metaphysicalvibes.com

In April of 2017, I created something out of nothing and it’s brought me extra income. And not just extra income, but a fun extracurricular activity that’s made my life a whole lot richer. I suppose some might call it just a hobby, but to me it’s become much more than that.

What is it you ask?

Selling minerals – crystals and stones!✨

This is what happens when you’re frustrated with working a 9 to 5; at some point you want out, but you don’t know how. I had been reading online a lot about entrepreneurship but most of the concepts were beyond my understanding. It took a lot of self inquiry to figure out what it was that I’m really into and how I can make money off of it. The universe heard me and gave me an idea.

I thought quitting a fulltime job to freelance would be the answer, but it wasn’t. I realized that I didn’t want to work for other people and be a slave to them too.

I wanted to make more money AND not have to work harder for it.

Society has us believing that we have to work hard for the rest of our lives, then we get to retire and travel when we’re old. That sounds ridiculous to me, especially since I’m reading more and more things about how our Social Security won’t even exist by the time I “retire”.

So if you’re in a similar rut right now, just think about what it is that you think about A LOT. Like what are your hobbies, what do you do when you’re not working? That is probably what you can make extra money off of.

Passion is fast becoming a cheesy word, if not already. “Follow your passion”, they say. It’s an overused word and it makes me cringe.πŸ˜–

I think about money a lot and how to make more of it in a way that I enjoy. I like art and considered myself an artist, but making money off it CONSISTENTLY seemed like a far away goal, one that would require me to be a ‘people pleaser’ type of artist. You’d have to build up an audience who loves your art, which sounded difficult and takes a long time. I’m impatient and needed something now.

But I don’t know what else to call it other than “shit that really interests me” I guess?

So yeah, I found a way to make money off shit that really interests me: selling crystals & stones via Etsy and my own e-commerce website.

So here are some reasons to start making money on the side:

  1. The time will come when your fulltime job will no longer be enough to pay for the life you want. You’ll reach a plateau and will want to make more money, but not necessarily work harder for it.
  2. The cost of living is going up everywhere. It doesn’t hurt to make some extra money.
  3. It’s really fun to make money off something that you truly love. Some people enjoy selling shoes, clothes, handmade stuff, real estate; I enjoy selling crystals and stones.

Conclusion:

Find a way to make money off of something you’re really into. Start brainstorming and getting to know yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses.

It’s also best that you don’t compare your success to others. Keep your head down and work on your shit, I guarantee you will be successful.

Who has influenced me to think like this? Jonathan Green, James Altucher, Sam Ovens, Tai Lopez to name a few. I’m definitely not on the same level as those guys, but it doesn’t hurt to apply their mindset.

Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande – Lyric Video

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for a few weeks now and I’m not even into pop music at all. I only listen to pop music to keep up with what’s trending, what’s popular AND to keep me awake and alert when driving home from work.

What I am into though is the visuals (graphic designer here, duh). I like the cut up collage style they did here with the words. And the lipstick mark.

Too Lazy to Make Money Blogging

I’m not lazy actually, just inconsistent.

And I’ll be honest – the whole concept of making money from blogging still seems like a huge mystery to me.

I think it’s because I haven’t fully tried? And I haven’t fully commited so it’s definitely my fault.

I blog for work – which mostly consists of a photo and some words and I also blog sporadically at my art & personal website, but for some reason the whole ‘make money blogging’ thing is alien to me.πŸ‘½

Immediately my mind wants to think of plenty of reasons why it won’t work for me, but I’m not going to go there.

I do want to start blogging though in the event that I can no longer rely on a fulltime job.

Here’s a blog that I was reading earlier to get motivated as well their infographic:

Top Earning Blogs and How they Make Money Blogging

via BB101

Infographic: 10 Things You Need To Do If You Were Fired Yesterday

10 things you need to do if you were fired yesterday

Being a graphic designer and all, it’s obvious that I love graphics and collect a lot of the ones I find from the internet, like this one.

And even though I have a fulltime job and have been consistent with keeping one over the years, I’m one of those people who think about getting fired A LOT. Call me a weirdo but that’s how my mind works. Perhaps I just want to be ready for when it actually happens? I don’t know.

Anyways, so I was following James Altucher on Twitter for a bit and saw him post this infographic. I’m going to transcribe whatever it says on it because it’s a bit hard to read:

10 Things You Need To Do If You Were Fired Yesterday

Do just one thing today. And then one thing tomorrow. And the next. That’s all you need to do. By James Altucher

Ideas

Make a list of places or people you might want to work with. Then come up with a list of 10 ideas for each that can make them money. This way you keep your idea muscle intact. Then pitch your ideas to each. If you can’t, move onto the next one. THIS TECHNIQUE WORKS.

Write

Write a book in the next three days. You can write a 30-page book called “100 Things To Do The Day After You Are Fired.” Make it funny. Time to dominate the publishing industry while you are unemployed! Make a list of all the possible 30-page books you can do. Then tomorrow start one of the books.

Lunch

Schedule a lunch with someone you haven’t seen in three years. Could be anyone. But it has to be someone you haven’t seen in at least three years. This injects new blood into the system. You need a total transfusion to get rid of the infected old blood.

Lunch, Part II

Have lunch with one person in your industry. Have your ideas ready for that person. Have him critique your ideas. Learn

Gratitude

Make a list of the people you’ve worked with over the past ten years that you are grateful you worked with. Email them and tell them why you were grateful you worked with them. Ask them sincerely how they are doing. This is one of the most important things on this list.

Resentment

You are going to feel like the people at your old job wronged you. But they are just trying to survive also. Make a list of all the good qualities that person has and send them an email why you think they are good at what they do. Thank them.

Brainstorm

Go completely in a different direction. What other industry can you work in? What other location can you live in? Make up the wildest fantasies about what you can do. Keep going until there is one possible direction you can execute on today. Brainstorm for an hour and some little slice of reality might peak through.

Love Yourself

Wake up early, exercise, take a shower, wear a suit, go into the city, and walk around. Smell that freshness on you. It makes you feel as if you are ready for anything. And you are. That’s all you need to do that day. Heck, go to a museum. You won’t have this opportunity for freedom forever.

Slash

Make a list of all expenses you can slash. Make your runway as long as possible. There are plenty of sites to advise how to do this. Picture your worst – worst case scenario. It’s never as bad as you think. Write it down. Write down the plan for the worst-case scenario. Then take a nap. You just had a hard day. You need to rest.

Reconnect

Contact other people who used to work at your old company. Maybe they even worked there ten years ago. Reconnect. Come up with ideas for them.

10 Reasons To Blog Even If No One Reads It

It’s true, I rarely blog on here. I spend most of my time on social media networks like everyone else.

But even though I don’t, I still think blogging regularly is very important.

Blogging, in my opinion still outweighs social media because people are still searching for specific topics and blogs fulfill that exact request. You can’t search for specific topics on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, all you can do is like it and hope that you’ll be able to find it later, buried under all your likes and favorites.

I also think that because social media is hitting it’s peak – it’s crowded and everybody is on there – it’s time to do the opposite.

So yes, this is a reminder to myself to start blogging again.

I figured I would repost this infographic again which I downloaded fromΒ Mark Schaefer awhile back. Enjoy.

10 Reasons To Blog Even If No One Reads It:

  1. Search Engine Benefits
  2. Personal Growth
  3. Improved Skill Set
  4. Virtual Sales Calls
  5. Clarity
  6. Content Library
  7. Product Development
  8. Infinite Search Life
  9. Public Relations
  10. Numbers vs. Impact