The Online Marketing Lifestyle Formula
What Life Could and Should be Like for Internet Marketers
If you’re working full-time as an internet marketer, then congratulations! You have achieved the lifestyle that millions of people around the world have dreamed of and entered a unique group of self-starters who have the drive, motivation and technical understanding to make a living purely online.
Even if you’re not yet making your full time wage from internet marketing, simply understanding the concept enough to be marketing your services, promoting your own website or helping other businesses and individuals makes you a true pioneer. Just a few decades ago, the idea of making money this way was completely foreign and unheard of. This is uncharted territory and we represent an entirely new way of working and of living.
But is it everything you thought it would be?
Are you truly making the most of this unique position that you’ve created for yourself?
For many of us, the answer to this is unfortunately a big fat ‘no’. Internet marketing can be highly stressful and if you aren’t prioritizing your own well-being, health and lifestyle then it can actually be worse than working in an office 9-5.
If you don’t know how to separate your work/life balance, if you are constantly stressing about whether you’re going to have enough work, or if you feel completely crushed under a massive workload, then you can find that you never really get a time to relax.
Likewise, if you don’t get into a good routine, you can end up working from home in your pyjamas all day, starting work at 1pm and not finishing until 10pm.
Some internet marketers will meanwhile find themselves selling out and doing work that they take no real joy or pleasure in. It can be a soul-destroying experience to spend all of your time trying to help people sell low-quality digital products, or even harmful items like steroids. Then there’s the feeling that all the work you’re doing is for other people and that you aren’t actually ‘progressing’ in any meaningful way.
Then there’s the tax, which is remarkably stressful.
Then there’s the difficult clients who make unrealistic demands and unreasonable complaints.
You can end up tired, out of shape, stressed and constantly overworked as you just try to make ends meet.
And when it gets that way, you can find yourself wondering if it was all worth it. You took that big leap, that brave experiment and you became a digital marketer. And now you’re worse off than you were before…
Here’s what the internet marketing lifestyle can be, if you know how to do it the right way…
For starters, internet marketing can mean having your own business that you take great pride in. Imagine being able to hand out cards with your own branding on them, imagine having your own headed letter paper.
Imagine employing staff or freelancers and being successful enough to wear nice suits and drive nice cars. It’s a great feeling to be financially successful of course. But being financially successful through your own grit and inventiveness – that’s a whole other level.
It’s just a fantastic feeling when you’re at a party and someone asks you: what do you do for a living? And you get to tell them: ‘I run my own online business’. You’ll have your own digital empire and you’ll feel like an absolute boss.
Working online can also give you the amazing freedom that comes from being self-employed. I recently decided that I was going to take Wednesdays off. Why? Because I can! This way, I only ever have to work two days in a row and I have a day of complete freedom when everyone else is at work. This allows me to run personal errands (banks and hair dressers are empty) and to enjoy being able to play computer games or go on nice walks without any social commitments either!
More importantly, it allows me to work on my own projects. To work ‘on’ my business rather than ‘in’ it, so that I always feel a sense of forward momentum and so that I’m always progressing the business.
This freedom also affords you a range of other options. If you are worried about the health implications of a job that involves just sitting down all day for instance, then you can get around this issue by making sure you go to the gym every morning before you start work.
Better yet, you now also have the freedom to work wherever you want. How about becoming a digital nomad and working on the move?
You can see the world while working out of small cafes and bars along the beaches. Alternatively, you might decide you like your creature comforts too much and decide to create an awesome home office that you can be highly productive in.
If you take this to the absolute extreme, then you can find ways to streamline your business or to get it to run itself. That way, you can earn a purely passive income, meaning that you’ll earn money even when you’re sleeping or up in the air flying to your destination. Imagine waking up the next day richer?
About This Post
It’s time to change the way that you approach internet marketing and to start choosing the lifestyle you want – instead of having it forced upon you.
In this book, we’re going to cover all of those aspects of the internet marketer’s lifestyle and many more.
You’ll learn how to find a discipline and a rhythm in your work and how to design the kind of lifestyle you want around it. You’re going to see how to maximize your productivity, improve your health, make more money and look and feel like the kind of successful business person you probably dreamed of.
All the while, you’ll see how to grow your business and turn it into something incredible so that you never start to feel like you’re stagnating.
Better Sleep for Greater Efficiency
So you want to start making more out of your life as a digital entrepreneur? You want to find ways to enjoy the work you’re doing more, to earn more and to progress more?
In order to do this, you need to have a vision of what you want to achieve. At the same time though, you need to start making smaller, concrete changes to the way you work on a daily basis. You need to be able to see the forest and the trees.
If you are a sole trader who is running the show alone, then that makes you both the CEO and the workforce and that puts you in a unique and challenging situation.
The problem is that you can get so swamped by the grunt work that you are never able to think about the logical direction that your business needs to take. That means you’re constantly treading water and trying to stay afloat and you’re never able to implement the systems that would allow you the free time in order to start working less or more efficiently.
This is why many people who work online find themselves stuck in a vicious cycle of trying to get work done without having the time to look after themselves or enjoy life.
Ironically though, in order to give ourselves time to focus on the big picture, we first need to hone in on the smallest of details. You probably know you’re overworked and you probably know that you should drop the clients you have. You’re probably well aware that there are likely to be higher paying clients out there who could help you to earn more while working less! But if you’ve been too afraid to drop or negotiate with your current clients until now, chances are that you aren’t about to change any time soon.
So we need a solution and that solution is to look at the way you are handling your current work load. Because I’m willing to take a bet that you could be more effective and more efficient. If you’re currently starting work at 1pm or even 10am, then you are wasting hours of your day. Likewise, you may well be struggling with things like procrastination or distractions. Perhaps you find yourself constantly interrupted by phone calls, or struggling to stop playing Doom every morning for the first few hours before you do anything useful.
Likewise, there’s a good chance that the right technology or even a change in the way you present yourself could help you to get a bit more done. And that will buy us the time we need in the short run to start implementing change.
It’s time to take a look at how you work and whether or not you’re approaching your days in the best way possible.
The Importance of Discipline
When you are the boss, it is mighty easy to let lifestyle go to pieces and to find yourself a bit ‘all over the place’ as you try to instil structure and discipline in your own routine.
But if you’re starting work at 10am and finishing it at 10pm, then you’re not being as productive as you could be. If you often find yourself finishing work at 1am, then you need to seriously reconsider your approach.
Not only is this going to prevent you from being able to enjoy time with your friends and family but it will also come across as unprofessional to your clients. Do you really want to work with someone who is constantly handing work in minutes before the deadline?
Not only that, but you will find yourself constantly tired, strung out and less effective as a result.
So the solution is to start instilling discipline. That means that you wake up at a set time in the morning and begin work by a set time too. Likewise, it means that when you’re working, you’re working. That means no playing games, watching TV or making personal calls.
How to Fix Your Sleep With Ideal Sleep Hygiene
The first thing you’re going to do then is to try and fix your sleep so that when the alarm goes off, you have the will power to spring out of bed and get straight to work (or the gym). This takes a lot of mental discipline but that’s part of the point: this will cultivate your discipline and make you a generally more effective and productive person. If you can leap out of bed at 7am when your body is screaming for you to hit snooze… well then you can do anything!
But it starts with getting enough sleep so that you have more energy and will power to begin with. This is something that is very ‘in-vogue’ right now and all manner of blogs and websites will discuss the topic of ‘sleep hygiene’ at length.
There are a number of different things you can do to make sure your sleep is deeper, more restful and more effective.
The first is to turn off your phone one hour before bed and to stop looking at it. Same goes for computers, laptops or anything else. For starters, looking at bright screens will cause the release of the stress hormone cortisol which works against the sleep hormone melatonin.
The more cortisol you have in your system, the less melatonin you will produce. At the same time, phones and other devices are stressful in themselves. They are stressful because we associate them with important calls, with angry clients and with work. But they’re also inherently stressful in the biological sense.
That’s because they’re filled with things designed to trigger arousal and thereby get our attention. These include things like flashing lights, loud noises and bold writing written in red.
Turn it off and your body will start to relax more – especially if you combine this with a bit of reading to help calm the mind and simultaneously make your eyes tireder so that you start to feel ready for bed. At this time of night there is no reason not to turn off your phone, people will simply assume you went to bed an hour earlier.
Of course you need to make sure that your bed is comfortable and supportive and you need to ensure that the room is both dark and quiet while you’re trying to doze off. Look into getting blackout curtains and remove or cover up anything that has an LED light throughout the night.
Also important is to consider the temperature. We tend to sleep more heavily and deeply when we are slightly cool, so consider leaving a window ajar to stop yourself tossing and turning in the night. A warm shower will also make a big difference to your ability to sleep. This helps to relax the muscles and also encourages the release of melatonin. Better yet, it helps the body to ‘self-regulate’ its temperature during the night.
You also need to think about what you’re doing during the day. Making sure you get fresh air, exercise and sunlight will help you to sleep much better and thus wake up more refreshed.
Two Powerful Supplements for Improving Your Sleep, Energy Levels and Learning
Still struggling to doze off into a deep rest? One powerful supplement you can use is vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced in the body naturally when we are exposed to sunlight and this has many key roles in the body – largely revolving around the regulation and production of other hormones.
Vitamin D can help to raise levels of melatonin at pertinent times, as well as testosterone giving you more energy. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get anywhere near enough sunlight and thus we are severely deficient in vitamin D!
Because vitamin D is associated with sunlight, it can help the body to maintain its circadian rhythms – the rhythms that tell us when to feel tired, when to feel hungry, etc. Take this supplement in the morning and you should find you sleep better and feel recharged and rejuvenated.
More recent studies also show that it is highly effective at preventing colds and flu – potentially even more effective than vaccines and medications! This is an important bonus seeing as a nasty cold or flu can completely ruin your productivity for days.
The other powerful supplement I’m going to recommend is magnesium threonate. This is a supplement that you can take just before bed if you are someone who struggles to get to sleep and you should find that it helps you to drop off very quickly.
Magnesium is a mineral we get in our diet and that once again is an important ingredient for a range of processes in the body. In fact, magnesium plays a role in over 300 different chemical reactions throughout the body.
Magnesium is highly effective at encouraging sleep and can put us into a slightly dopey and restful state. In fact, magnesium is the reason that many of us associate milk with sleep! It also happens to be a powerful muscle relaxant, thanks to its ability to remove calcium from the muscles cells (which is involved in the contraction of muscle). On top of all this, magnesium is also crucial for testosterone production that happens during the night.
Magnesium is equally as effective as melatonin supplements for many people but without the negative side effects or risk of dependence. What’s more, it also has a range of other health benefits, making it an all-round great supplement.
Magnesium threonate in particular is beneficial because it is more readily absorbed into the brain. It has also been shown to enhance learning by improving a function called ‘brain plasticity’. This is what allows the brain to form new connections and to grow new neurons!
How to Get Out of Bed On Time, Every Time
The next thing you need to do is to make sure that you are actually waking up when the alarm goes off. One powerful tip I have in this regard, is to wake yourself up in stages.
NEVER hit snooze. The temptation is great but you will almost always feel more tired when you do rather than more refreshed. You might find that you lack the will to simply jump out of bed though, which is why the better solution is to get up in stages. For example, why not sit up and check your phone for messages? We are often told not to look at our phones first thing in the morning, but if this is something you can look forward to doing, then it will be enough to motivate you to sit up just slightly.
Likewise, you might find that you can motivate yourself to sit up a little and talk to your partner. Or to turn on the TV.
This takes very little effort but by taking this small step, you will start to come around. In 10 minutes, it will feel easier to get up than to go back to sleep!
A Powerful Tool for Waking Up
We can once again augment this with the right tool. In this case, we’re talking about a ‘daylight alarm’. This is an alarm attached to a powerful light that is designed to mimic the wavelength of the sun and to get gradually brighter as it becomes morning.
The idea is that this lamp will simulate the rising of the sun in the morning, gradually getting lighter and thereby stirring you out of bed. The devices are designed to treat those who suffer with ‘SAD’ or ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’.
However, they can be useful for helping anyone who struggles with their energy levels in the morning for two reasons: first, they rouse you into a lighter stage of sleep before the alarm goes off, thereby making you feel less ‘jolted’ when you wake up (a phenomenon called ‘sleep inertia’).
What’s more, is that when you do wake up, the room feels bright and this boosts your energy in a big way compared with waking up into a pitch dark room and fumbling for an unnatural feeling lamp!
Cultivating Discipline and Using Productivity Strategies
Okay so now you’re up, what next?
It’s up to you what time you get up and how long you need to come around. Most likely, this will be linked with other lifestyle commitments and requirements. Once you’ve decided to sit down and work though, the next challenge is to actually work and not get distracted by other things or put off working while procrastinating.
The biggest issue with procrastinating is that it’s not even restful or fun. When most of us procrastinate, it means we will spend our time browsing the web absent mindedly, playing mobile games or otherwise just generally wasting time while feeling stressed about the fact that we’re not working. Now think how much nicer it would be to work solidly in the morning and then to have a few hours at the end of the day to relax and to really unwind and enjoy your freedom!
So how do you encourage yourself to dive straight into work and to keep working until you have finished everything? The following tips will help you do that.
How to Separate Your Day Into Blocks
The first important point is to make sure that you do have periods of relaxation and fun on the horizon. If you are setting out to work and your plan is simply to work solidly from first thing in the morning until last thing at night, then your brain is very likely to fight you on that. Unfortunately, most of us do not have complete control over our brains and emotions and when we work against them, that’s when we have problems.
If you know that you have 8 hours of solid work ahead with no break in sight, then that is when you are going to struggle to stay focussed.
So instead, you’re going to separate your day into distinct blocks which will include time for you to relax and unwind.
To do this, you need to think first about what it is you need/want to accomplish that day and how long you have until it’s time to sign off. Another piece of useful information is to know roughly how long you tend to take completing any given amount of work.
This in turn will then allow you to work out how long you need to complete each task. With that knowledge, you’ll then be able to break each task into several hour slots and punctuate them with periods of rest. Even if that ‘rest’ is just 10 minutes or 20 minutes, that’s enough to give you something to work towards and to give you a break – which is important for your health as much as anything else.
A day might look like this then:
8am-9am – Workout
9-10am – Work on Guest Posts for Client 1
10am-10.10am – Make Cup of Tea
10.10am-11am – Look for New Clients/Respond to Emails
11am-11.20am – Mid-morning Snack/Magazine
11.20am-2pm – Link Building for 3 Smaller Clients
2pm-2.30pm – Lunch/Episode of Favorite TV Show
2.30pm-4pm – Site Design
4pm-4.10pm – Make Coffee
4.10-5.30pm – Start Tomorrow’s Work
5.30pm-6.30pm – Time to Relax
This now gives you a day that is filled with lots of large work projects but also gives you opportunities to relax and unwind and to catch your breath. Starting work isn’t so bad when you know that between the hours of 11am-11.20am, you’ll be able to relax with a cup of tea. And working again until 2pm isn’t so bad when you know you’ve got half an hour for lunch.
While many of us think that the best way to be productive is to dive straight into work and give ourselves no breaks, this is actually the worst thing you can do as you’ll find your brain ‘fights’ that and urges you to do more fun or relaxing things. It might feel indulgent to be taking hours’ worth of breaks and snacks but you probably normally break for longer than that in a day. Only now you’re actually enjoying that time off, using it to recharge your batteries and making it more predictable and scheduled.
Something else you might have noticed here is that I’ve gone as far as to schedule when to drink cups of tea and coffee. (Pro tip: a coffee at 4pm is a great way to pick yourself up during a time when the body is most tired and lethargic after work!)
This is actually really important and will help you to be much more productive. Why? Because little breaks to make tea can actually take you out of the ‘zone’ and represent a much bigger break in your workflow than you realize. If the first thing you do is make tea or coffee, then have a snack, then answer emails… it can quickly get to 10.30am and you still haven’t achieved anything! This is a very crushing feeling and it’s enough to set you back much further.
So instead, start working on something useful and important right away and that way you’ll be able to get your day off to a great start. Come 10.30am, you’ll already have a big ‘win’ under your belt which will set you up for the day ahead.
Another tip to making this plan work, is to make sure that the scheduled time slots for each piece of work are longer than you think they’ll probably need to be. In other words, if a piece of work normally takes you 2 hours to complete, then schedule it to take 2.30 hours. Why?
Because that way you will trust in the system and feel like you really can take those breaks. If your work is constantly down to the wire, then it will hurt the quality, it will make you feel stressed about finishing it and you’ll risk not getting everything done that you need to.
How to Jump Straight Into Work
The next question is what you should be setting as your first task for the day. And the answer to that is that ideally, you should make the task something that is relatively easy and fun.
The hardest part of getting into the flow when working, is putting yourself in that mental state to begin with. Once you’re going, it’s relatively easy to maintain. It’s getting to the point where you’re going in the first place that’s hard!
If you make your first task one that is overwhelming, unpleasant and very dull, then chances are you’ll find yourself putting it off, making excuses and procrastinating. But if you make it something that is relatively easy/fun, then you might find yourself jumping into it much more effectively.
That said, do also try to move the more crucial and urgent work toward the start of the day. The aim is that if you reach burnout by 3pm, you should already have accomplished all of the absolutely most urgent tasks that you need to complete.
Again, this buffer will then allow you to put more trust in the system.
Another useful tip in this regard is to ‘half finish’ a project the day before. Start writing a piece of content, or an email, or start designing a website/handling some on-site SEO. This will make it much easier to dive back in right away the next day and the reason for that is that is that we don’t like unfinished business. That is to say that it is human nature to want to complete a piece of work that is already started and this means you’ll be able to dive in with a lot less resistance.
Finally, if you experience the equivalent of ‘writers’ block’, then the best way to overcome this is to force yourself to do some work. Whether that means designing a few buttons or just writing something down, don’t worry if you’re lacking inspiration and the work lacks quality. The best way to get into the groove is to just start and you can always go back and fix what you wrote/made later on.
Find Your Way
Try following these pointers for the next few days and see how it improves your workflow. What you should find, is that you’re able to start earning back some time in your day and thereby to get yourself some free time. From there, we can start looking at how to improve the quality of your business and of your life!
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