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Money Tips if You Do Not Have a Steady Income

life on your own termsBigg success is life on your own terms. We talked all about that last week in a series of five posts where we painted the bigg picture.

Now we want to get into the nitty-gritty. What keeps us from living our lives on our own terms?

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The challenge of irregular inflows

One of those things is not having enough money – one of the five elements of bigg success – when we need it. It’s one thing if you have a regular salary. However, a lot of people don’t have a steady income. It fluctuates from month-to-month.

What if you’re a salesperson working on straight commission?

What if you own your own business and don’t draw a regular paycheck? You may be a freelancer or a solo entrepreneur. You may be in business and have employees. You not only feel responsible for putting food on your table, you also have a group of people to whom you feel responsible.

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georgeI certainly can relate to this subject, having been a business owner for pretty much all of my adult life. Come to think of it, before I went into business for myself, I worked on commission as a sales person so I’ve seen both sides of it.

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marylynn
Of course, with George, I now am a business owner too.

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george
Welcome to the club, Mary-Lynn!

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marylynnWe have a couple of businesses in their early stages. I left a job in the corporate world with a regular paycheck, but I sure understand now what it’s like not to have that. I know I’m not alone. A number of people in our community have mentioned this as a major challenge to living their lives on their own terms.

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So what can you do if your income fluctuates from month-to-month?

Understand your cycles

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georgeOne thing that I found is that I had to understand my cycles. I’ve struggled with this one. When I wasn’t busy, I’d spend time and money promoting and prospecting. Then I would get too busy – I don’t have time to promote and prospect. So I stopped doing it. The thing I knew, I wasn’t busy again and the cycle would start over!

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If you can be consistent with your most important activities – those things that generate the most income for you – you may be able to smooth out your inflows.

You might even find that you can hire an assistant to perform some of these activities for you. You spend a little money now to save you time and make you money a little later.

What if you can’t afford to hire someone to help you? Then you’ll have to invest the time yourself. When you find yourself in your next “up” cycle – you’re too busy to spend time on crucial prospecting and promotional activities – take a look at it again to see if it makes sense.

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marylynnAnother thing I’ve found is that I can be more consistent if I carve up my activities into smaller chunks. For example, I may send out five e-mails every day of the week instead of thinking that I need to send out 25 e-mails. If you don’t have the time to do that, start with three e-mails a day.

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Stabilize your outflows

Risk is often measured by volatility. So by definition, if we have irregular inflows, we are taking more risk. Because of that, we should strive for less risk in our outflows.

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marylynnWe do this by keeping our standard of living relatively low. Our businesses are in their early stages. So we watch what we spend and live very frugally. For example, we watch how much we shop and go out to eat less than we did when our incomes were more regular.

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One of our newsletter subscribers, Randy, says “rowing his own boat” by working for himself are his terms for his life. He’s been on his own for about 25 years now. He’s put his two sons through college while remaining debt free. He says he did it by having a plan when his boys were just babies. That plan paid off. He just turned 50 and plans on living the way he wants from here on out.

Congratulations Randy and thanks for sharing your story with us!

Randy’s story also helps us understand a second part of stabilizing our inflows:

Be very, very careful with debt.

We have to resist the urge to pile onto our outflows by adding principal and interest payments. It puts even more pressure on our inflows and more stress on us because we have to earn even more.

What do you suggest?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for checking in on us today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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One of our listeners just accepted a new management job. Join us next time when we help him with bigg challenge.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00361-033009.mp3

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Tips to Manage More Than One Business from Home

afraid We were fortunate today to visit with Grant Griffiths on The Bigg Success Show. Grant is the President and Founder of G2 Web Media, a firm that designs custom blogs for individuals and businesses. He is also the man behind Home Office Warrior and Blog for Profit.

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marylynn
One thing we need to add to your list of credentials is that you’re a recovering lawyer.

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grant
That’s right. I went through the twelve step program and I’m now recovering!

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georgeYou have so many things going on, Grant, and that’s a bigg trend for entrepreneurs now – to find multiple streams of income. We’d like you to share some tips on how you juggle it all with the attention it needs.

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grantFirst, don’t pick businesses or income streams just for the sake of doing it. You have to be passionate about each one. For me, blogging is a passion; working at home is a passion. I spend a lot of time working, which is one of the advantages of working out a home office.

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marylynn
If you can’t sleep at 2 in the morning, you can get up and get something done, right?

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grantWhich is exactly what I was doing last night at 1 o’clock! One thing I do is really take advantage of technology. When you work out of your home, you have low overhead. Since we do, we shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to the technology because that is the key to being productive.

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marylynn
What are some tools that you can’t live without?

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grantI use the MacBook because I can take my office with me so I stay connected to my clients and freelancers. The other tool that I would not be without is my iPhone. A PDA smartphone is essential because you can’t always have your computer with you. Basically, I’m accessible and can access anything I need to 24 / 7. I may have created my own monster! But to do what we do, you have to stay connected because you really are the company.

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george
You left a traditional career to do this. What was your first step?

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grantI started blogging to promote my law practice a month after I moved my firm to my home office. I wanted to control overhead and I enjoy technology. I was looking for some other way, rather than spending thousands of dollars a year on Yellow Pages, to market my practice. I spent about six months investigating blogging because, frankly, I just didn’t get it! I think that’s a problem a lot of people have – figuring out how blogging is really marketing.

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georgeIf a business owner wants to start marketing their business through blogging, how would you suggest they get started if they’ve never done it before?

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grantIn my view, the first thing you have to do is pick out a niche – the more narrow you can make it, the better. Once you decide on that, start reading other blogs in that area. Don’t be discouraged that there are other bloggers in your niche because, if anything, that just shows you that maybe you’re on the right track with what you want to blog about. Jump in the conversation by commenting on blogs that you like. Drop a blogger an e-mail and ask them for help. Then just do it – do one, don’t over-think it.

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marylynn
How do you stay sane?

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grantHave a very understanding spouse! Spend time with your spouse and children. Get out of the home office – take your laptop and run to your favorite coffee shop or whatever – to be around other people.

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marylynn
Yeah, don’t turn into a hermit!

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grantWell, I tell people that my wife stuck me in the basement to keep me out of her hair! Another way to stay sane is to create your own water cooler. That’s where social media comes in. I’ve gotten some of the best answers to my questions by using LinkedIn and Twitter.

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georgeAnd I always find great articles to read thanks to Grant’s tweets. He’s one of my favorite tweeple!

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We recommend to all of our audience who are on Twitter – follow Grant! Thanks so much for the great advice, Grant!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll ask a question – should we try to get kids to be more like adults or get adults to be more like kids? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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How Much Should You Make An Hour?

By Bigg Success Staff
Updated 3.16.17

Leading-Edge Application
0000105-freelance_switch_hourly_rate_calculator

For all you freelancers, consultants, and service professionals, an hourly rate calculator is a great tool to calculate the rate you need to charge to make the money you want. We originally wrote this post about a tool called the FreelanceSwitch Hourly Rate Calculator, but that seems to no longer be available online. However below are the steps an costs that calculator used to crank out a number for you.

And we found a new tool to plug those numbers into: the Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator. You’ll see the steps are similar, and what is on this page will help you better understand the steps on their page.

Preparation
You’ll need to gather up some information beforehand. Specifically, know what it costs you to do business as well as your personal costs of living. You’ll also want to think about your work patterns – how much you want to work and when. Finally, you’ll want to think about your goals for retirement savings, major purchases, and the like.

Now you’re ready for the hourly rate calculator! You’re less than twenty minutes away from knowing how much you should make!

Step 1 – Calculate your business costs
You’ll be asked, item by item, to enter your costs including:

  • Rent for your office
  • Travel
  • Furniture and equipment, including computers
  • Software
  • Communications, such as internet and cellular phone
  • Insurance on your business
  • Professionals, like legal and accounting services
  • Supplies
  • Promotion
  • Miscellaneous costs not covered above

Step 2 – Calculate your personal costs
Then, you’ll be asked to consider your personal costs, like:

  • Rent / mortgage
  • Daily expenses.
  • Retirement
  • Occasional expenses – repairs, holidays, etc.
  • Other expenses not covered above

Step 3 – Determine how many hours you can bill
With all your costs in, you’re ready to determine how many hours you can actually bill out each year.

You’ll be asked to break that down by:

  • work days each week
  • vacation
  • personal days
  • holidays
  • work hours each day
  • your billable percentage

Step 4 – Set your profit (savings) goal
How much profit do you want? If you don’t have enough profit, you won’t stay in business. If you get greedy, you’re unlikely to attract clients in the first place.

Be reasonable, but still allow for enough money to fund major purchases, like cars, home remodels, or anything else you would like to do.

Step 5 – Click to calculate!
You’ll end up with two numbers – your ideal hourly rate and your break-even hourly rate.

Now you have to use your instinct. What will it take to make you happy? What are clients paying now for services like yours? What’ are competitors charging? How does your reputation, skills, and experience compare to theirs?

These are all factors you should consider in setting your hourly rate. Ultimately, you must rely on your gut instinct, but at least you have a scientific way to get to it if you use this great tool.

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