Other VanOrden Posts

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Using Your Own Creative Power to Double your Income

I wanted to retire so I would have more time to travel while being free to serve family and others. A few years ago I decided to learn the skills needed to build my own e-commerce business without relying on others to do the thinking for me.

I wanted control of my time, creativity, commitment, and cash flow. I was 58 years old and winding down my career as an educational administrator. The summer of 2012 I turned 60 and “retired” after 33 years with the same educational institution.

I watched friends go through this dramatic transition, and listened to their dreams, worries, and complaints. It’s tough to know exactly what your income will be, no matter how much you consult with accountants, tax advisors, and investment professionals.

Most people I know simply decide to stay with their current career rather than “risk” losing benefits and late career income. We worry about Social Security, Medicare, and health care costs. It takes real courage to make the jump and retire before reaching federal mandated full retirement age, 66 years old.

So I invested in a good computer, and started learning the ins-and-outs of the cyber world. I enrolled in several online e-commerce training courses. There are hundreds of courses available online.  I was fortunate to have my oldest son Jason as my consultant to help me choose the most useful training programs. He owns a very successful online business training company, and has a six figure income, all from his home office.

All together I have invested about $5000 in my post retirement business career, including the cost of my fancy high capacity computer. I enrolled in two training courses. I started a blog, my own website, and began creating my own “brand” by writing about my retirement experiences.

I enjoy the creative process as well as sharing my ups and downs along the way.  My online presence began to grow. My son told me this would happen. At first it was a bit ucomfortable to open up to such a diverse audience.

My Facebook friends grew to over 2800.  My blog has nearly 12,000 hits. My fear grew into fun as I learned how to be careful with my opinions and concentrate on sharing what I am learning.

I do the best I can to just be myself but you can’t control perceptions when some of your online community knows you only as a cyber personality. As time passes, more and more of your group have not even met you in person. They learn to trust you because your information has proven to be honest and useful. It’s important to never break that trust.

So the trick is figuring out how to make money from your online “brand”.  I am beginning to share how I am supplementing my retirement income by developing my very own online business.
Here are some of the computer programs I use to manage my online brand: Blogger, Aweber, Libsyn, Wordpress, Facebook, and Gmail. There are other programs out there that do the similar things, but these have proven to be comprehensive and understandable for my 60 year old brain.

I will have upcoming podcasts focused on the way I use and synthesize these programs to make money. I thought it would be too complex, but I discovered it actually helps my mental agility.

I copyright my podcasts to protect my “intellectual”/creative material. In order to gain access I invite those interested to become part of my secure email group by signing up in the box to the left of my blog posts.

I hope you will join my group. By doing so you will get direct access to my podcast, soon to be updated bi-weekly. I guarantee this will be one of the best things you do to supplement income.

I avoid online MLM (multi-level-marketing) businesses for several reasons: 1) on average 1 of 1,000 downliners make good money, 2) you don't own the "brand", and finally 3) MLM fill social needs rather than making serious money.  If you are building a social network it’s great but if you want to build personal wealth you may have missed the mark.

Learning how to find your very own personal cyber-niche is not really difficult. It's not hard to turn your own brand into ongoing income that increases exponentially. You can own and control your own destiny. The likelihood of success improves dramatically from 1 out of 1000 in MLM to 1 out of 10 if you are the creator of the business and hang in there, or in other words, your odds definately improve.