Saturday, 7 July 2018

Income Report: June

So, I'm properly back in the groove of the daily grind of the corporate world.

Re-establishing a form of daily discipline that's relevant to this world has been tough. I've been so used to working when I want, waking when I want. So going back into a full-time role has reflected trade-offs we all make in life.

My work plus commute hours are reasonably long (well, a lot longer than when I was working for myself...). There's also less flexibility for me to do my own stuff while at work.

But it's all about the bigger picture. I can't be distracted from my long-term goal: financial freedom based on multiple streams of income.

Because of my new-found distractions, I've got to be sensible with how I  manage my side hustles. I've had to get approval from the compliance department in my company in order to continue with them so I have to make sure I don't raise any red flags.

The truth is, the hoops I've had to jump through and the layers of bureaucracy I've cut through has taught me a lot. Simply put, it has shown me that the corporate world isn't for me long term anymore and that I really have to work harder on my online efforts!

It's not about earning money, per se. It's about building a business with structures and processes that allow me to step away from the daily grind. It's about building a lifestyle for myself and my family that allows us to live a life that gives us options. Because that's all this is about. Options

It's a dream. It may not happen in the manner I intend. It's something to shoot for.

In terms of June's income:

Resume Writing: $139. This was a big income element for me. But for now at least it's going to have to slip into the background. My world has changed and I can't commit as much time. I have told the company that I did a lot of work for that I would still do the occasional bit of work but at the moment I'm not quite ready for it.

Article Writing: $42. I only wrote one article during the month. Admittedly, this was a very short piece so it was never going to be paying very well. But there's more to come on this front...

Dividend: $170. It's going to be tough to build my dividend income at the moment because I'm limited by what I can buy in terms of shares. Working for a bank can be awkward like that. Regulations and all that. Still, dividend income remains a key part of my strategy so I'm still going to pursue this route.

Coaching: $0. This is the new addition to my monthly breakdowns. I never used to record them here. But given as this now counts as one of my many side hustles, it's time to start monitoring and measuring. That said, I didn't actually do any coaching over the month. I have one long-term client that still wants to meet and one guy that has gone quiet. That's the crux of my coaching practice at the moment and I'm not planning on expanding much beyond three or four clients at any one time.

eBooks: $2. Another quiet month. I keep saying that I'll do some marketing. When I have time, I'll be pushing harder with my three books (Cryptocurrency Job Hunting for Non-Techies) to add to (The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume).

Amazon Merch: $0. The dream of being able to retire on passive income from selling t-shirts hasn't quite happened as yet...I haven't invested that much time in it all to be fair. But I know if I do commit to the venture, there's money to be made. It's about making the time.

Total: $353

All in all, it wasn't so bad all things considered. This is me starting from scratch again so it could take time. But if I can make over $500/month consistently by early next year (or even closer to $1,000 if it's possible) I know I'll be on a good path.  There are a few decent income opportunities for me in coming weeks:

  • Resume writing project for a university. I did work for a local university about a year ago, writing resume profiles for MBA students. They asked me to put in a proposal for this year's cohort. In hindsight, I think I might have priced myself out. That's ok if that is the case. Last time it took many more hours than I thought it would and my time is more precious now than it was a year ago. 
  • Career site writing. I've been asked whether I can up my writing quota from the occasional one or two a month to two or three a week for the next fortnight. It's pretty easy writing this stuff so I'm taking on the task.
  • Coaching client. I met a prospect a couple of days ago. I sent him a proposal and I'll just have to see whether he wants to follow through. 
  • Websites. It's way too early to say this is a decent income opportunity but I'm finally going to try to monetize a couple of domain names that I bought a while back. This will be a slow burner but it's all part of the process.
I have no idea how this journey is going to play out. I may love work so much that I simply decide to give up on all these hustles...Nah, that's never going to happen. One read of Nick Loper's Buy Buttons book has shown me that. 

It may not be as spectacular a journey as some blogs you find online, with spectacular numbers and fantastic opportunities in surrounding passive income and financial independence. No, mine's different. 

It's sometimes slow. It's sometimes boring. It's sometimes unfocused. That's fine. Most importantly, it's real. Watch this space.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Income Report: May

This is the last month for this income report in its current format. The reason? I've got myself a job. Back to the grindstone and all that.

But it's not the end of my money making ideals. Now my goal is to work towards replacing my full-time income. Or at least create income streams that allow me to have a sustainable portfolio career that gives me choices. Because that's what my version of financial freedom is about. Choices.

So there will be some changes to how my income streams look. Some elements may fall by the wayside to some extent, including my resume writing. Others, such as my coaching work, will from next month get added. I had originally framed this income report exercise as being about online income, which is why the coaching wasn't really mentioned. But now it's really about me growing my portfolio of hustles in general.

I still see plenty of value in this exercise - possibly even more than before. It's all about being able to make money without having to rely on a boss, company, government, etc. So if I ever get the "Thank you for all your efforts, but..." conversation, I'll be suitably in control of my future.

And that's the irony of getting back onto the hamster wheel of work. I'm more focused on using my free time wisely and know it's time to revisit the ton of income-generating resources I have collected.

As I've mentioned before I'm a massive fan of the Side Hustle Nation podcast hosted by Nick Loper and found great value in his recent book Buy Buttons. Definitely, worth checking out if you're new to this game - or even if you're not new but have got a little stale (like me). Going forward, I'm certainly going to be anchoring some of my approach to ideas from here.

Anyway, how have things stacked up?

Resume Writing: $2,346. This has been my best month income-wise for resume writing, which is ironic given that I'm going to have to drop a lot of it. This has been a major income provider for me in recent years, both in terms of directly consulting for one specific firm but also the spin-off work that I've benefited from (see below). It has served me well and I'm keen to keep this as part of my income arsenal.

Conference Project: $3,500. I mentioned before that one-off projects count if they are related to my online businesses. Well, this one related to my resume writing again. It involved working for three-and-a-half days at a finance industry conference and paid pretty well. Actually, very well as far as I'm concerned. Unless it takes place on a weekend, this type of gig will disappear now that I'm going full time. But at least I know my capabilities and can use it in the future.

Additional Writing: $130. My regular blog writing about careers continues. It doesn't especially pay that well ($0.07/word - and I miscalculated on my invoice so undercharged) but it's great branding for me and my career-related services.

Stock Dividends: $108. One strategy I will continue to build upon is my dividend yield strategy. This is about buying high dividend yield stocks to benefit from the cash flow. I'm not being as diligent as I should be. That is, I could be screening the stocks far better than I am. But so far it's worked out fine and I keep reinvesting the cash so as to buy more stocks.

Ebooks: $6. I started the month pretty strongly in that I sold three books in the first week ("pretty strongly" in my world anyway...). It was only the first proper month of my third book (Cryptocurrency Job Hunting for Non-Techies) to add to (The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume). I know that I need to market them but I simply haven't made the time. My hope is that seasonally the summer months are a good time for job hunting books, with all those graduates looking for roles all at the same time.

Amazon Merch: $0. It's not really happening at the moment. I'll still keep plugging away.

Amazon Affiliate Income: $0.04. I've finally made some affiliate income! I know this is an area I must build upon. This is the classic passive income stream. It's not really anything to write home about but I've brought some pennies in. If I can do that then I'm pretty sure I can do a lot more.

Total: $6,090. (my best month and well ahead of my $2,000 monthly target. Even if I stripped out my one-off gig, it still came to $2,590 so I'm happy).

Looking ahead

Before I look ahead, I think I should at least celebrate how far I've come to achieve my best income month. A lot of my efforts came out of necessity as I tried to find my footing "between jobs". But I've always put it in the bigger picture context of financial freedom.

My very first income report was for May 2016. So I've had two years to look at my progress.

I achieved the princely sum of $974.50 that month, of which $800 was resume-related. In May 2017, I made $1,489, with $1,353 from resumes. Yet my resume income alone for May 2018 almost matched my entire income for May 2016 and May 2017 combined.

The bottom line is, I've tried to consistently work towards building income streams. It hasn't been easy or straightforward. But I've seen some progress. And if I can do it, anyway can do it.

And so to now. It may take a week a two to sort out the new rhythm of work, but I'm going to push ahead with my portfolio career efforts.

One of my first tasks is to do a proper inventory of all my hustle interests to see whether they are worth the effort. I need to look at my ROE (return on energy, in this case) and make some hard choices. It also means putting in more efficient processes.

The goal is to still build passive income streams. They tend to require more effort and/or money upfront than the traditional "selling your time for money" approach, with the expectation that they'll pay in the long run and you'll be sipping pina coladas on a beach before you know it...The good thing about having the job in the background is that it gives me the money buffer to help with this, even if it takes away the time.

So I think I'll take a piecemeal approach this month and target a couple of websites I own to see whether I can properly monetize through Google Adsense.  That will probably require some blogging and such. I may also market the ebooks - but I've got to work out whether the effort is worth the return.

Regardless, I'm certainly going to see what I can get out of Buy Buttons - so much to learn from this book.

It's all change but fundamentally it will all stay the same...a portfolio career.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Income Report: April

I was hoping to report that I had got myself a new job. Well, not quite. Yet. I have loosely been offered in verbal form but I'm not going to get too excited until I've signed something on the dotted line.

The problem has been that I've been holding back on marketing certain coaching and consulting services locally to make sure I don't disappoint clients somewhere along the line. I've also not pushed on with creating products as well.

In reality, I should be focusing more on the products side, as the goal would be to sell my expertise online while doing my day job. Time to act more strategically.

I'm pretty sure I'll hear something this month on the job front, but until then I'm going to keep playing with my ventures.

So let's look at the income front:

Resume writing: $1,837. This will be the first victim of a new job. I won't give it up entirely, as I still believe that we all have to have multiple streams of income in this new world. But I won't have the time to invest in writing on regular basis.

Writing: $130. I've got a regular writing gig related to career guidance. I haven't yet billed for the work, as I haven't actually written the two pieces yet. But my estimate should be about right.

Dividends: $760. This is something I'm increasingly keen to build out, as it's a passive income stream that I like. It's not without risk as I need to develop a screening process to select the right stocks. But it's part of my long-term focus. I managed to buy a few more stocks with a good dividend during the month and I was very happy to benefit from a few dividends and special dividend payments.

eBooks: $2. I managed to launch my third book (Cryptocurrency Job Hunting for Non-Techies) to add to (The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume). I always sell at least one or two a month. It's not a lot but it is passive. I know that I haven't marketed them at all so it's no surprise that I haven't been pulling in big numbers. Going into the summer months I'll certainly be pushing the books to a graduate audience. Last summer was certainly me most profitable period for my books so will hope to build on that.

Amazon Merch: $0.09. Well, it is passive income...But it's not one that is kicking into high gear just yet. That's partly down to me. I've been focusing my energies on what I see as areas that will give me a better return on my time and money. I'll try to put a few hours aside to develop some new designs and see where this thing takes me. Importantly, it fits into my passive income mindset.

Total: $2,729 (better than my $1,800-$2,000 minimum target)

Looking ahead
It's really dependent on my work situation essentially. I need to keep working on the online course I've started on. Hopefully, I can get that out before the end of the summer.

I also have to see what I can get out of Buy Buttons. So much potential there.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Income Report: March

One of the positives of working for yourself is that you don't have someone standing over you hurrying you along.

But one of the negatives of working for yourself is that you don't have someone standing over you hurrying you along...

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. I realized he didn't actually appreciate the ins and outs of my portfolio career approach to life, aside from the observation, "you must have a lot of time on your hands". The fact that I work every day in one shape or form is almost irrelevant. My world isn't as easily translatable to his corporate world.

That said, he did say something that really struck me. "If you had done ABC (fill in with whatever action) during all that time you've been away from your corporate role, you could have been XYZ (fill in with whatever blue sky result)."

Obviously, the world doesn't operate in such linear terms and 20/20 hindsight is beautiful. But I must admit he did have a point. Because I was operating in my easy-going, "let's see what happens world", I haven't actually pushed on where obstacles and pain were there in front of me. It's very easy to hide when you're working for yourself. In other words, the lack of accountability has hurt.

My goal for this next quarter is to really smack a few things into place. I'm a massive fan of the Side Hustle Nation podcast hosted by Nick Loper and I bought his recent book Buy Buttons. It was a revelation! I've been dipping my toe into side hustles and the gig economy for some time but I honestly had no clue about how many ways you could make money. It's inspired me to have a look at what else I can build. I'd recommend having a read of his book if you're looking at developing side income streams.

One thing that most definitely will define my world in the near term is the possibility of a corporate role. Just because I have this portfolio career approach, it doesn't mean I won't dip in and out of the corporate world. If I get the role, things will have to change. If I don't get the role, I'll push on with several initiatives I've been holding back on and things will have to change...

Resume Writing: $1,318. Steady as she goes. But my goal is to become far less reliant on contracting via one firm so I'm not too disappointed as this figure starts to dip.

Additional Writing: $468: Not bad. I managed to do follow-up work for two recent gigs, plus I've also done some resume work separate to the contracted work I do. The reason I group it here is because it's from a separate source and the overall goal is to diversify my sources of income.

Amazon Merch: $0.09. Yes, I'm off the mark! Ok, I only sold one but it's a start. I've got some pretty cool, professionally designed T-shirts ready for purchase (Dog T-ShirtCool DogPitbull). Time to push on more.

eBook: $6.50. This is still ticking over and I made a similar amount to last month, split between a sale on Kobo and the rest on Amazon. I don't really do any marketing but it's good that it's still working (The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume). I've also now signed up to E-Junkie as well. My next book will launch in April (I had hoped for March but life happened and that has changed) and I have high hopes that it is a topical angle on the job-hunting space.

Total: $1,792.59

This is ok, and it's not my only income stream thankfully, but it's a bit below what I now want to be the minimum here ($1,800 - $2,000) and below three of the last four months.

Looking ahead
The corporate job dynamic has been hanging around for a long time and it should be resolved within weeks. That will shape my next moves.

In the meantime, I've got to get my book out, start writing my course and see what I can get out of Buy Buttons. There are so many ways to make money out there.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Income Report: February

Progress is gradual but noticeable.

The last few months have got me thinking hard about what the heck I'm doing, so I've certainly been more intentional in a few areas.

The coaching business I have, which I don't include here, is picking up. I have a very nice short-term consulting gig lined up, and I may even have a chance to be a part-time tutor on coaching as well, which is nice.

Separately, I've also reconnected with my wish to blog. This is in no small part down to the writer Seth Godin, who basically suggests that you should just get on with it and forget about SEO, perfection, selling a product and so on. So that will be my platform for future product and service sales.

In the meantime, let's look at the income streams and what's going on there:

Resume Writing: $1,950. A decent month for me, particularly as I've cut back on the amount I want to do. Some of the figure may reflect resumes written in January but this remains the pillar for much of my online-related income.

Writing: $270. It was never going to be as much as the January figure ($1400 or so) but it's certainly picked up when consider that I probably didn't make $200 over most of 2017 in this category. I'm in two minds as to how to push forward here. From a return on investment / energy perspective I can't always justify such writing gigs, particularly if there are plenty of revisions to be made to the work done. But it's a healthy place to start, both writing gigs have more work (if I want) and it is the diversification of income I always speak about.

Amazon Merch: $0. This is a space I haven't yet mastered. I've got some pretty cool, professionally designed T-shirts ready for purchase (Dog T-ShirtCool DogPitbull) - I just need to be better at marketing them.

eBook: $6.50. I tried a free ebook promotion for a few days and, to be honest, I'm not actually sure whether it had an impact. Still, I'm all about experimenting and I'm glad that sales are still quietly ticking over.(The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume). If everything goes to plan I will launch another book in March.

Dividends: $0. None of my stocks paid a dividend during the month. But once again I've added to my high dividend yielding portfolio, which now has an overall yield of 3% (this was the first month I've actually calculated the return in this manner), which should give me a few thousand dollars over the year.

Total: $2,226.50 (better than January's so onwards and upwards)

Looking ahead:

The goal is to still shift out of the low-value income streams into higher value. Once I've got my next book out it's time to push on with the online courses. That's where I see my value being created.

I've also not been able to make any affiliate income so far. My underutilized sites need to get to work.

There's still plenty to do but I can honestly say that I can see progress. 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Income Report: January

It's amazing what can happen when you get your focus better aligned. Don't get me wrong, I haven't suddenly hit the big time. Far from it. I'm nowhere near where I need to be.

But by acting more strategically, as opposed to simply doing and going for what's right in front of me, things are changing. I'm certainly transitioning to a new business model.

The fly in the ointment (of sorts) is that I may be shifting back into the corporate world soon, and away from my business as a coach (which I don't include in these blog posts). I've been waiting around for this opportunity and apparently it may happen.

If it does come to fruition, I still plan to do my online and passive income initiatives. I think we all need to have them to secure financial and personal freedom. My model may have to shift again to be as hands-off as possible.

In the meantime, I'll simply push on with what I've got. So let's look at the income streams and what's going on there:

Resume Writing: $733. I consciously decided to do less in this space in order to diversify my income streams. Ironically, the balance of work has actually improved. Firstly, the firm I've been working with has raised the pay per resume. Secondly, I'm now being offered more Executive (i.e. bigger ticket) jobs. Thirdly, the approach to writing LinkedIn profiles has changed so that they are less complicated and should take less time. Overall, these changes should mean a better return on my effort. We'll see.

Writing: $1,410. This has suddenly taken off. Not that I've yet been paid for them all (or in fact completed all the jobs) but I'm counting them now anyway. I've managed to get two PeoplePerHour finance writing gigs, one of which has offered repeat business. I've also started writing award submissions on behalf of law firms, something I was offered through a business contact. Finally, I've been offered more career advice writing for a site. And to think I was trying to shift away from writing...

Amazon Merch: $0. After waiting 11 months, I finally got accepted on Merch. And so begins my t-shirt business. I decided to use Fiverr for some of my first few designs, while I learn the nuts and bolts of designing on my own. So far, so nothing. But I'm finally building out passive income opportunities.

eBook: $2.50. I think the algorithms must have changed as I didn't get much traction over the month. I guess it would help if I did a little marketing of my books...(The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume)

Dividends: $0. Nothing to see here. None of my stocks paid a dividend during the month. But I've invested more into the market targeting higher dividend yielders, so hopefully, I'll see increased returns over coming quarters.

Total: $2,145

Looking ahead:

My goal is to shift out of the low-value income streams into higher value. I'm writing another ebook at the moment, which I intend to get out before the end of February. But it's a volume game and I feel there are possibly better opportunities for me elsewhere than these books.

I've talked about online courses for a while now but I haven't yet created one. That has to be my focus for the first half of the year. I've also not been able to make any affiliate income so far. I've got a few underutilized websites and it's about time I made them work for me.

The next few months could see lots of change. That would be great as I spent way too much time spinning the same plate last year.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Income Report: December

As 2017 draws to an end, I guess it's time to have a little review of where I am now.

It took me a while to start getting a bit serious about all of this online income / passive income / enterprise thinking, and I'm nowhere near where I want to be. But I've worked a lot on my mindset in recent months and I'm convinced that 2018 will build upon the momentum I've been seeing in recent months.

I'm gradually building up structures and disciplines that should put me in better stead for the next 12 months. One of the reasons why I struggled at times this year was that I didn't have clear enough goals to target and didn't have any metrics to measure how well or not I was doing. That's going to change.

I'm also going to keep my main focus on two areas: career and finance. Those are going to be the core of all my income streams. That way I won't be too distracted by shiny objects that cross my path. It will also allow me to repurpose content and work done in different areas. I have a few random connected domains that I hope to monetize, while I also need to build on my relationships and ideas in different ways. Go where the money is and use what you know what works - that's my plan.

December was an incredibly short month for me as I effectively took off the last two weeks. As a result, there's very little to speak about in relation to my income streams:

Resume Writing: About $400. Did very little but that was to be expected. I'm angling at $1,200/month for this. That's a lot less than most of my months but that's because I want to re-direct my efforts elsewhere with a passive and online income bias.

Ebooks: $16. Pleasantly surprised that I sold eight over the month (not amazing but one of my best months, and reflective of both books being purchased - The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume). In keeping with my idea of repurposing and going where the money is, I'm starting to write a new book talking about cryptocurrency. My goal is to get $20/week via my ebooks in 2018. That's a stretch at the moment but that's exactly what I need.

Writing: $0. This was a disappointing area for me this year. I had a few bites but didn't have the consistency. In 2018, my writing is going to be heavily focused on finance writing. By focusing on this niche I won't waste time on areas that I can't build as part of my brand.

Projects: $0. I had two good projects this year and the goal is to find similar types of deals. I realize that working with organizations, while more hassle, are far more profitable and better for my development. It means that I need to tighten up my propositions but I'm excited about what I might be able to bring to the market.

Total: $416. A non-month but directionally I'm heading in the right direction. Slowly but surely...

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Income Report: November

It's as if the scales have fallen from my eyes. Well, at least a bit anyway.

For months I've been playing at my income generation world. There's nothing wrong with taking a step backwards to go one to two steps forward. The trouble is I seem to have been going one step back, then one forward, then one back...Looking back at old blog posts this all became clear.

But I've noticed in the last few months that I've started to wake up. Baby steps, perhaps. But woken up nonetheless.

I had an interesting chat with a guy a few weeks back, who initially was a potential client but actually turned out to be simply a font of knowledge. One concept he talked about was the idea of what he called the "Strategy-Tactical-Execution" pyramid. At the very top is Strategy. This is our big long-term goal, whether that's for a career, for building a business or creating a life. The Tactical stage below that is all about doing things that support your Strategy. For example, taking a new qualification or building new business relationships are ways in which you can better position yourself for being a success at the Strategy stage.
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The trouble is a lot of us tend to get caught up in the same old, same old because it serves a purpose (e.g. gives us cash) but doesn't actually move us forward towards a greater goal. That is the Execution stage. That is the level that isn't necessarily taking us forward, beyond giving us cash, something to do, putting food on the table and so on. It's obviously a necessary step, and sometimes it feels quite substantial. But in order to get ahead, we simply have to learn how to move up the pyramid.

And that's what I'm focusing on more. The Execution level is something I've been stuck in for too long. Low level, easy cash but a "no progress" level of existence. This month, however, I've (hopefully) started to think differently. I'm back on the mindset of building stuff.

I had a windfall of a gig that I hadn't been expecting. It was similar to the consulting role I had in the summer helping out a university with resumes for its MBA program. (Not "online" in any way shape or form but I still want to highlight it because it came out of online roots). The added dynamic to it is I had to do a mini-workshop/talk.

Now, I have never seen myself as a public speaker but in the space of one month, I have done two talks - one for a university, one for a women's forum.  Both tested me and both opened my eyes up to possibilities. I also managed to get a new coaching client as a result of the forum talk as well. I've been resisting a lot over the past year and I realized it was time I woke up to this fact and took a stand.

Time to stop playing at being an entrepreneur or self-employed or freelance or whatever moniker comes to mind. Time to see how far it can take me. Things will be very slow. No doubt. But it's time to stop the excuses and get on with it!

So, how was this month?

Resume Writing: $1460. This is always an interesting one. It's a staple that has been very consistent over the last year. But in many ways it's got "Execution" tendencies. I'm trading time for money, it's got little in the way of "Tactical" qualities (beyond giving me the skills to write my ebooks and giving me deeper insight into the banking industry), and it's certainly not something I plan on doing forever. I'm not going to get rid of it just yet but I would be disappointed if I read this in a year's time and it's still making up such a large percentage of my "hustle" income.

Project: $3840. I know, I know, this is a one-off. But it's the second one-off of its ilk and was, in fact, a direct result of working with someone at the previous university. These nice bonus payments won't be a monthly occurrence, but if I play my cards right I could find myself with a few more of these with other institutions in 2018.

eBooks: $2. I've got two books out there (The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume) but I haven't consciously marketed them in recent months so traction has been limited. The algorithm that had worked quite well for me months ago isn't playing ball any longer. But because I've got these two products primed, I need to move beyond Amazon and think about also marketing them elsewhere. That's my target in January.

Writing: $120. I haven't actually collected the money yet, and I'm still waiting for the pieces to be accepted, but I'm pretty sure my two blog posts to be used on a careers site should be fine. This was another opportunity I saw available, having looked around my local Facebook forums and followed it through. I think there's scope for more there as well. And it's a great way for me to also promote my services as well.

Dividend: $70 (can't exactly remember but it was something like that). I haven't spent enough time looking at my investments and I do plan to start trading more actively as an additional hustle (my background is in investments, though I am pretty rusty). Still, my dividend approach is still something that appeals, and with each dividend I receive, I simply reinvest it in the same stock.

Total: $5492. Thanks to the project, this was one of my best months this year. I'm not going to pretend that this will be the norm, unless I consistently get awarded bonus projects. But it's certainly a pointer in the right direction.

Other projects I've looked at have included:

Zazzle: This is the second year running I'm going to try to take advantage of the Christmas season and sell some products. Last year I achieved zilch. This year, zero. But at least I'm giving it a go.

Domains: I bought some domains a couple of years ago and haven't used them at all. I don't want to flip them, as I do see some value in their names. I reached out to another Facebook forum for ideas and someone suggested using them for affiliate marketing. To do that I would need to build some websites, or pay someone to do it for me.

And then I have a eureka moment. I already have a website sitting there, doing very little, with a few half-hearted blog posts. Why don't I turn that into an affiliate site in the meantime? Far less time, money and effort required than the other sites and it's an asset that's being wasted doing nothing. I only came up with this idea today so it's still fresh. But my goal is to gradually optimize it over the next month just in time for those "get a new job" new year resolutions (it's a resume writing site).

So that's it for now. December will be quiet as I'm essentially switching off mid-month and taking a three-week break. I may do another entry towards year end with a forward-looking bias.

Either way, November was good and certainly on the right path. It wasn't just transactional execution. There were signs of some potential long term.