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Saving Time & Making More Money with the AMZ Image Plugin for WordPress

Making sure you stay compliant with the Amazon to protect your Amazon Affiliate earnings is no easy feat. Working efficiently with the Amazon affiliate program and your wordpress site is always something you need to be careful with! Here is a great tool to help you increase conversions and make your website look great to visitors!

As an online business owner, you are constantly finding ways that you can improve your website’s value to readers, increase your monthly income, and essentially convert more users into buying products on Amazon. Part of how you can improve conversion rates and higher sales each month is dependent upon how you format your website and craft each post with the user intent in mind.

One of the things you need on any niche site are quality images that contain your affiliate links without risking your Amazon Associate’s account. If you aren’t already routinely using images to direct your readers over to Amazon, or are burdened by the time commitment involved in doing so, you might be interested in using a plugin like AMZ Image. Below, we will cover all that you need to know about why this is my go-to plugin. Check it out since it will save you a ton of time and help you make more affiliate commissions. 

What is the AMZ Image Plugin?

If you are already using images on your website, then they are probably from stock-photos or you manually download and upload them to your site to make things like Alt-tags, centering the image, and so on. In just about any case, though, there is a pretty hefty time commitment. Not to mention, it is risky to upload pictures from Amazon to your site manually as this can even cause account closure since it’s a breach of their terms. Enter the AMZ Image Plugin, which is 100% Amazon compliant and much faster to use than any alternatives, since you don’t have to leave the WordPress editor to insert Amazon product images. 

Here are some of the main features we find in the AMZ Image plugin:

  • Instant product images for your WordPress website
  • 100% compliant with Amazon’s API
  • Installs right to your WordPress website in a few clicks

Anybody who wants a smoother and more efficient experience while editing posts and inserting images will enjoy using AMZ Image since it makes it as easy as touching a button and selecting your product to put in your images. This will save you lots of time going over to Amazon and doing this manually by downloading the images and uploading them to your site on your own. 

Why Use AMZ Image? Top 5 Benefits

Using AMZ Image is practical for those who are already approved for Amazon Associates, but need a better way to input images on their site that include their affiliate links following the Associate’s Program Operating Agreement. If you are still on the fence as to whether or not this plugin will work best for your business’ needs, let’s consider some of the main benefits that this plugin provides. 

1. Images Increase Conversions

It has been widely reported throughout authorities on the matter that having quality images on your site increases conversions. In one instance, images have been shown to increase conversions by at least 27%. Also, click-throughs have been increased by 95% simply by throwing in some pictures of the product being discussed. 

Think of this as a customer. If you find your way to a niche site, you are probably already in a buying mood and are simply seeking some quality information on the product. If all you see are large blocks of content with no clear description or critical feedback on the product being discussed, you will probably go back to Google and find a different site to reference. 

However, those who have images, bullet points, use bold text, and separate their paragraphs well to make the content easily skimmed through will have better results. Using the AMZ Image plugin is a great way to put up quality images on your content that is attractive and proven to generate clicks.  

2. Saves You Time

If you have already gotten sick of going back forth between Amazon and your website to put up images, then AMZ Image is the tool that you might have been waiting for all this time. As we can see below, adding in an image is as easy as clicking a button on the top of your page builder. Instead of clicking “Add Media” and uploading the image manually, AMZ Image will embed the image on your site for you. 

Even if you are accustomed to using the SiteStripe feature on Amazon directly, this plugin is still faster. This is because it can help you manually adjust settings like adding in a “no-follow” tag, alt-text, and so on, without hefty work adjusting the coding on your site or ever leaving your WordPress site in the first place. These sorts of features are great for those that aren’t as tech-savvy but still want to optimize their site’s potential for success. 

3. Compliant with Associates Program Operating Agreement

One of the top concerns that people have before using a plugin that works with an Amazon niche site is whether or not it will impact their good-standing status as an Amazon Associate. Since AMZ Image utilizes Amazon API and complies 100% with the Associate’s Agreement, you will be able to use this plugin with some peace of mind. 

You will never have to worry about this plugin harming your good reputation as an Associate. The developers of AMZ Image monitor all the latest developments in the Operating Agreement to ensure their plugin will never get your Associate account banned from Amazon. 

4. Updated Version Works with Gutenberg and All Versions of WordPress

If you are using the new Gutenberg page builder and/or the latest version of WordPress, you will not have to worry about compatibility issues with the AMZ Image plugin. The plugin developers stay up-to-date with all the latest WordPress updates to ensure that they can meet the needs of a diverse range of website owners. Especially the ones that use modern tools like the Gutenberg page builder. 

5. 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

If you want to check that the plugin will work on your website, then you are welcome to a 30-day money back guarantee. Just install it on your website to make sure it works before the 30-days are up. This will give many people the peace of mind they need since you have plenty of time to test it out. 

Your Associates Account Must Be Active

Before you head over to your WordPress dashboard to install this plugin, there are some factors that you should be aware of. To use the AMZ Image plugin, you need to have an active Associates account with sales in the past 30-days. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect your account to the plugin and add in images. The AMZ Image plugin works by connecting directly with your Associate’s Account. 

Otherwise, the plugin would not be able to credit your affiliate account with any sales that are directed towards Amazon from clicking on one of the images. If your account is still under review, make sure that it gets accepted before you start using the AMZ Image plugin for your website. 

Current AWI Users Get an Exclusive Discount (15% Off)

If you are reading this right now, then then you will be able to access a 15% discount on the AMZ Image plugin. Since the plugin already comes at a pretty fair price, this extra discount might help lessen any potential financial burden that purchasing a premium plugin would entail. 

To be able to access this discount, you will need to click “Buy Now” and navigate into the checkout screen. Once you are at checkout, you will notice that the discount is applied automatically for you. 

Want to Learn More About AMZ Image?

As we explored above, the AMZ Image plugin is a great way to save yourself some time as an Amazon Associate by putting images up on your site in an efficient manner that avoids manual downloading and uploading. If you are still unsure about whether or not this plugin is right for your needs, you are invited to check out the official AMZ Image website and learn more about the features and latest pricing straight from the AMZ Image team.

Are PBNs Safe and Do They Work in 2020

In this post, I am going try to answer the question of are PBNs safe and do they still work? 

There is no black and white answer but by trying to look at this from a few different angles and my years of history building and buying and selling websites I hope to be able to provide a deeper understanding for you to make your own informed decision. 

The decision ultimately around the risk vs reward will be unique to your situation.

Are PBNs Safe?

There is no form of rank manipulation that is risk-free, even supposed white hat strategies of outreach / guest posting comes with risk. The short answer is PBNs are still effective and being used by many. However, once site builders are established and have very long term time horizons and sites of significant size many move away from using PBNs. 

This post is going to cover…

  • What is a PBN?
  • How do we define risk?
  • Examples of when people use or don’t use PBNs
  • Look at the data on who uses PBNs
  • History of Google updates that impacted PBNs  

What is a PBN or Private Blog Network?

A PBN is an SEO tactic where you purchase a group of domains, typically recently expired domains with quality backlinks to them, and then build a relevant site linking back to your money site. This shows Google that high authority sites in your niche backlink to your site and backlinks are still the #1 ranking factor in Google or another search engine. 

How do we define Risk? 

Risk is the probability of a negative event occurring and the consequence of that event. So in the context of are PBNs risky the question becomes…

  • Probability – What is the probability that the use of PBNs will cause a penalty?
  • Consequence – What is the consequence of that penalty?  

When to Use and Not Use a Private Blog Network Examples

Let’s go through a few examples first before we dig into the data. 

Example 1 – Purchased Large Clean Site

Imagine if you just purchased a large website that has never done any link building (white hat or otherwise) and you now need to decide should you build a PBN or buy PBN links or do nothing?

In this case and using the formula above your current probability of getting penalized by Google for the use of PBN backlinks is near zero and the consequence is very high. 

Therefore, it would not make sense to increase the probability of a penalty by building PBN links.

Example 2 – Purchased Medium-Sized Site Already Using PBNs 

In the case where the site already has PBN links. You are currently living with the potential of a penalty and therefore building additional PBN links (if they are built properly) does not increase the probability/risk in a significant way.  

Therefore, adding additional PBN links to your site would not significantly change your risk while helping you rank. 

Example 3 – Starting a New Site

This becomes a very personal decision for you based on your timeline, aggressiveness and overall appetite for risk. As shown below when we look at do PBNs work it is clear PBN links are still effective in 2020, however, are you wanting to optimize for short term success or long term success. 

Therefore, it depends on your personal risk profile. 

What Has Changed With PBN Building

I first started using PBNs in 2013/2014 and created some ultimate guides which have been used over the years and stayed remarkably relevant. 

However a few critical things are different then they used to be…

  1. Speed of Building an Expired Domain – I don’t have all the data yet but it is clear the speed with which a relevant site is back up on a dropped domain matters in the eyes of Google returning its pre-dropped love to the site. 
  2. Real & Relevant Is Important – It has gotten more important to find relevant domains to build your PBN site on. Having old restaurant domains link to your camping gear website is no longer as effective at passing link juice. 
  3. Organic Traffic > Link Metrics – We are wanting to get domains that pass Google love to your website, the best measure of Google love is if Google is sending traffic to the domain. Buying for metrics only DA/PA/TF/CF/DR/UR have long passed. 
  4. Anchor Text Obsession – The risk of SEO’s over-gaming the anchor text has increased and now Google does a better job of understanding the relevance of the page you are receiving a link from. So it is now smarter to obsess less about the anchor text and more about the relevance of the site you are getting a backlink from. 

Are PBNs Safe and Effective in 2020

Now to try and answer this question I am going to look at a few sources of data. 

First, looking at the histo

PBN Usage in Content Sites for Sale: 

EmpireFlippers provides some great data by publicly identifying the content sites on their marketplace that use a PBN. I have done this analysis other years and therefore can compare is the rate of use of PBNs in content sites increasing or decreasing. 

Looking at the number of content sites 

Questions to Be Answered:

  1. What % of people building and selling profitable websites at EmpireFlippers use PBNs to rank their sites?
  2. Has the % of people using PBNs changed over the last 5 years?
  3. Are PBN’s used only on small sites?
  4. How much does the use of a PBN drop the value of a site by?

Big Pile of Data to Answer These Questions…

  • 100 Most Recent Amazon Affiliate monetization method money sites listed on EmpireFlippers 
  • $227,461 worth of monthly net earnings
  • $7,428,843 worth of sites included in the data

Method:

  • Collect all the data filtering Amazon Associate, most recently listed/sold, 
  • Remove websites that don’t use organic traffic at all (some ecommerce, most FBA etc)
  • Compare to previous results and answer questions

Results:

  • Question 1 – What % of people building and selling profitable amazon affiliates websites at EmpireFlippers use PBNs to rank their sites now?
  • Answer 1 – 32% of Amazon Affiliates websites for sale use a PBN to help drive organic traffic to their website.
  • Question 2 – Has the % of people using PBNs changed from 2015 to 2020?
  • Answer 2 – People using PBNs to help their Amazon Affiliate websites rank has decreased from 42% in 2015 to 32% in 2020. 
  • Question 3 – Are PBN’s used only on small sites?
  • Answer 3 – It turns out sites that were using PBNs earned an average of $600/month more than those that weren’t. Over a $20k increase in value for the average site.
  • Question 4 – How much does the use of a PBN change the value of the site for sale?
  • Answer 4 – No Change – This was interesting there was almost no difference in how a site with a PBN vs without a PBN was valued. 32x for sites without a PBN and 31x for sites with a PBN. 

Summary

A smaller % of people are now using PBNs to rank their Amazon Affiliate websites. Those that do use PBNs make 31% more per month than those that don’t and the valuation multiple is unchanged between the two groups.

Google has made it more and more difficult to build a network of sites to help another website rank effectively driving up the cost to build a quality network of sites. 

As a result, what we have seen over the last 5 years is fewer people making the decision to invest in building a PBN to support their site but the answer to the question of do they still work is clear. 

PBNs are still effective in 2020 however they are not without risk. 

Additional Resources:

Income Report Roundup – June 2020

These online entrepreneurs continue to adapt. Although the future is difficult to predict, many are now comfortable with their new direction after all the world changes. Many have found success in catering to their customers’ new lifestyles, which includes a lot of staying at home! 

#1 Takeaway – Cater to Your Audience – Throughout these highly turbulent times, the thing that has lead to success for most of these online entrepreneurs is to cater to the lifestyles of their audience. The common theme with success is that entrepreneurs have geared their content and their digital offerings towards peoples’ stay-home lifestyles. Things such as do-it-yourself blogging content, e-books, and online courses have been where many have seen the majority of their sales. 

  • Market Research – The implication here is that in order to gather this lifestyle information, effective market research is needed. This means knowing your customer base, knowing their habits, and also paying attention to what your competitors are doing to succeed. 
  • Make it a Habit – Many know about market research as they enter a new market or niche. But it is worth mentioning that market research needs to be ongoing. Things change, markets evolve, and you need to stay on top of this to succeed. Just because you are on top of your niche now doesn’t guarantee that you will stay there forever. You need to make it a habit to get down to the basics and perform market research at regular intervals. 

Quick June Update on my End:

My Reason for This Round Up:

When I started my online entrepreneurship journey I took a lot of inspiration from others that were sharing everything they did online. Seeing that people like me were making REAL money and that the opportunity to replace my day job was possible. 

It has been 3.5 years since I left my day job – https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/quit-my-job/

The more transparent the report the more I appreciated and was motivated by it. 

Over the years I have tried to be as transparent as possible sharing along the way my goals, business successes/failures and the ultimate results(profits). 

After years of sharing monthly income posts I decided that it made sense to stop these… a decision I actually regret as I wish I had found a way to keep sharing some of what I was doing. 

My reason for stopping was my online world and “real” worlds became more connected and it was becoming very odd to share these numbers.  

Looking at many of the people that originally had an income round up posts they have also stopped. Namely the most famous in the space Pat Flynn no longer does income round ups. 

In this post I will cover…

  1. List of inspiring income report posts and how they earned their profits
  2. Recognize motivating people showing not just telling people the results they are achieving
  3. Learn from others – What the key learning is from the people
Income Report Roundup - June 2020

Last Month Profit – $16,069.73

Name – Ron Stefanski

Website – onehourprofessor.com

Business Model – Authority Affiliate Site      

Income Report – https://www.onehourprofessor.com/june-2020-monthly-income-report/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Ron had a great month as his online businesses continue to bounce back. 
  • Ron sold one of his blogs! He is very excited to be able to complete this project. 
  • Ron’s YouTube channel continues to grow

Checkout the video I did with Ron and be sure to read his gripping story here!

Last Month Profit – $4,240

Name – Lidiya

Website – letsreachsuccess.com

Business Model – Blogging

Income Report – https://letsreachsuccess.com/june-2020-blog-income-report/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Lidiya is responding quite well to the shifting industry. 
  • Lidiya recommends digital products to online entrepreneurs, as people are much more willing to try and take courses during this time.
  • Lidiya’s blog continues to grow, and next month she plans to release the next module of her online course. 

Create and Go

Last Month Profit – $204,121.13 (Quarterly Revenue)

Name – Alex & Lauren

Website – createandgo.com

Business Model – Affiliate Blog & Online Course

Income Report – https://createandgo.com/blog-income-report/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Alex and Lauren do not publish expense figures, only revenue. 
  • They recommend blogs which focus on projects which can be done from home, as well as selling digital products such as online courses. 
  • Alex and Lauren make the bulk of their income through selling online courses. 
Income Report Roundup - June 2020

Last Month Profit – $10,543.44

Name – Johnny FD

Website – johnnyfd.com

Business Model – Mixed – Dropshipping & Investing

Income Report – https://www.johnnyfd.com/2020/07/june-2020-expenses-income-and-travel.html

Key Lesson(s):

  • Johnny is still living the life in Sri Lanka! 
  • Cost of living in Sri Lanka is much cheaper than Johnny’s home of America, so this helps to contribute to his higher bottom line. 
  • Johnny saw surprisingly high sales for his 2 books that he has written on the nomad lifestyle. 
  • Johnny’s dropshipping stores did quite well again this month. As a bonus, Johnny is only a part-owner in these stores, and spends minimal time in the management and day-to-day activities. 
  • Johnny is starting to take his YouTube channel more seriously, and has started to see revenues grow.
Income Report Roundup - June 2020

Ryan Robinson

Last Month Profit – $37,008.60

Name – Ryan Robinson

Website – ryrob.com

Business Model – Authority Website (affiliate earnings)

Income Report – https://www.ryrob.com/blog-income-report-june-2020/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Ryan had a great month, as blog income raised dramatically! 
  • He continues to see success with long-form content which is performing great in search results. 
  • Ryan continues to grow his email subscribers using ConvertKit, and added almost 5000 new subscribers this month! 
  • Ryan expects things to flatten out in July, which is by no means a bad thing. He expects to continue investing in content to grow his blog. 
Income Report Roundup - June 2020

Yeys

Last Month Profit – $6,875

Name – Anne

Website – www.yeys.com

Business Model – Web Publishing Blog

Income Report – https://yeys.com/june-2020-traffic-revenue-report/

Key Lesson(s): 

  • Anne made another profit this month, and her revenues continue to grow, the best month yet! 
  • Anne continues to grow her blogs by focusing on underserved niches. She works with publishers and freelancers to post roughly 150 articles a month. 
  • Most of Anne’s sites grew quite well in June, although one took a big dip. 
  • Anne’s profit actually would have been quite a bit higher if she hadn’t invested heavily again into more content for the next month. She anticipates further growth and steady returns for this reason. 

Honourable Mentions:

Although they don’t do exactly income reports, there are a few reports that are worth mentioning and when they publish new reports I will be sure to include.

Am I missing any I should include? Please drop a message in the comment section below with anyone I should include next month!

Several this month didn’t publish so I wasn’t able to include but will again when they publish.

Should You Get an SBA Loan to Buy Your First Online Business?

Should you get an SBA loan or any other form of debt to buy your first online business? The math and potential is undeniably attractive! But at what risk?

My strong and unpopular opinion…

I strongly believe buying most online businesses (especially your first) with personally guaranteed debt (SBA or other) you can’t afford to pay back without the business is a VERY BAD idea!  

Despite my strong bias, I will try and present both sides of the borrow, or not question. 

The SBA Loan Dream Being Sold…

In one purchase you can transform $100k of your money (or even an equity partners money) combined with a loan (SBA or other financing) for 90% of the purchase price and have a Million Dollar online business with ~$300k+ in discretionary earnings. 

Incredible right? 

You want out of the 9-5, be your own boss, have financial freedom and be location independent? Great… just one business purchase away… right?

Hack the startup process and live the successful entrepreneur lifestyle immediately all while running a fully remote business. 

Sounds pretty great… in fact, it is a great way to live… as I write this I am at my Cottage during the workweek loving my new 2 days entrepreneurs schedule

No path in life provides a greater ability to engineer your own lifestyle then as an entrepreneur, so I definitely get the desire!

But what are the risks and is it worth it? 

This post will look at the risk vs reward of purchasing an online business (especially your first) with an SBA Loan or any other form of debt.

The Benefit of Buying with Debt

As mentioned above if you can successfully pull it off the results are incredible. Shortcut YEARS of hard work and buy your way with leverage to the entrepreneur lifestyle. 

A fantastic book that looks at buying businesses and then building them is Walker Diebels book Buy then Build. In this book, Walker makes some great arguments in his book for the use of debt. I just finished it and its great… I agree with much of what he says and specifically the application of the margin of safety when using debt to buy a business.

Compared to traditional financial investment alternatives with bonds at incredibly low returns and the stock market typically returning 4%-8% the ability to get 100%+ ROI using debt is attractive. 

So if it works out and the business even stays flat you can achieve full financial freedom at a cost of under $100k! Very incredible. 

Before I dig deeper into the downside there is one scenario when I think adding debt into the equation of an online business acquisition makes sense. If you have…

  • successfully run online businesses before
  • adding in debt to “juice” the returns
  • not risking more than you would be capable of paying back if the business went to zero

Under that very restrictive model I believe it is not fiscally irresponsible to borrow. 

However, I would ask someone in that situation if the juiced returns impact the quality of your life or would needing to pay off the debt impact the quality of your life. If borrowing risks your chosen lifestyle then you are trading financial security for (I hate the word but…) greed? I am not anti-greed and there is nothing wrong with a person that makes that decision as long as they are aware of it. 

So why do I think if the debt you are taking out would risk your family’s financial security it is a terrible idea?

Downside – Margin of Safety when there is a Single Point of Failure

In value investing a popular term is margin of safety. 

The margin of safety is when the market value is significantly below the intrinsic value of a company. 

So what is intrinsic value? In financial analysis this term is used in conjunction with the work of identifying, as nearly as possible, the underlying value of a company and its cash flow per Investopedia

For a high margin low overhead online business with no assets beyond the domain name and some content (ie affiliate site) the intrinsic value includes no “real” assets and only the present value of future earnings (ie the value is set at some multiple on the websites income 3x annual income as an example). 

Many online businesses have a single point of failure that can send the business to ZERO. Some of the common single points of failure for online businesses include…

  • Google – Any business dependent on Google Traffic is one update/penalty away from going to zero
  • Dropshipping – Paid Traffic Channels can turn unprofitable turning the business negative
  • Amazon FBA – Suspension or Amazon mistakes can send the business to zero (at least temporarily)
  • Any business with 1 primary monetization source – Amazon Affiliate as an example
  • SAAS Business – If tied to a marketplace they don’t have control over (Shopify app etc)

So if the amount of money being borrowed is more than is capable of being repaid then if the business fails you are taking a SIGNIFICANT risk with your family’s financial future for years(decades) to come. 

Thought Experiment on Volatility

Not all online businesses have a single point of failure, but many/most do. 

Let’s estimate the stability of an online business based on both SBA loan defaults and the volatility of online businesses.

  • The failure rate for SBA Loans = 17.4% went into default 1/6 out of all SBA loans (NerdWallet)
  • The failure rate for online business = Hard to estimate but look at the history of Google Updates at SearchEngineJournal.

I would argue that the volatility of online business is higher than the typical SBA eligible business, but even if not many people are going in with a 20%+ chance at a negative life-changing financial consequence. Granted a <80% at a positive outcome.

Lets use a couple gambling analogys…

  1. What would the payout and odds need to be for you to play 1 round of Russian roulette? For many, an SBA loan is significant enough it is financial Russian roulette with decades-long potential consequences if you default.
  2. Most SBA loans come with a business that becomes your single means for achieving your financial goals. This lack of diversification coupled with a 20% failure rate is a problem. If you walked into a casino and there was a coinflip game you knew had an 80% chance of heads and 20% chance of tails the optimal strategy would not be to bet 100% every time on heads. Within a handful of bets, you would likely be at zero.

If it is so risky then why is most of the content discussing SBA loans being used to buy online businesses positive?

There is a Strong Bias in the Ecosystem

The majority of the information out there that is pushing the mandate of borrow money and buy an online business is coming from the ecosystem that benefits from the liquidity being injected into it.

I am not immune, I contemplated not posting my strong views as less liquidity could drive down multiples, the value of my businesses and the number of deals done at MotionInvest.com would be negatively impacted. 

For anyone that is selling you the dream make sure to separate out their bias… SBA lender, business broker, accountant, lawyer, seller or investor not on the hook for the personal guarantee all benefit when a deal gets done. If your source of information is someone who benefits from the transaction then do your own research (DYOR always a good principle with money to be able to avoid the worst scams like IncomeStore).

What is the Alternative

Don’t you hate people who point out a problem without a solution, I will try not to be a debby downer.

It sounds like I am saying I am not a believer in this asset class of online businesses if I don’t think they are credit worthy. That is definitely not the case, they provide an unparalleled opportunity for income scale while operating them efficiently fully remote. As an example of what is possible one of my former employees has scaled his commerce business to half a million dollars in monthly sales with reasonable net margins within ~1 year! 

What I am a believer of is finding exposure to this type of business that is a fit for your unique situation. Everyone coming to this asset class has some combination of…

  1. Capital
  2. Time & Skillset 

Based on where you sit between those 2 factors should dictate where you are prepared to start. If you have limited time and loads of money with the ability to get a manager than looking at larger deals may be the right decision. If you have <$100k but want out of your day job…make a multi-year plan and start off with what you can afford. 

Invest the money you can afford to lose (this might mean starting from zero), grow the crap out of the business then scale up to bigger sites! 

I tried to layout the landscape of the online business buying world on a graph with capital on one axis and time/skills on the other to paint a picture of where people can start their online business search. 

MotionInvest Buying Guide…

https://www.motioninvest.com/buying-websites-for-sale/

Summary & TLDR…

  • The dream of buying an online business and immediately achieving the desirable online entrepreneur lifestyle is appealing
  • Many online businesses have a single point of failure
  • The risk of an online business going to zero is NOT insignificant and CAN happen
  • ~20% of SBA loans go into default
  • There is bias in the system with most people you interacting with benefiting from a transaction occurring and not being exposed to the risk 
  • So what to do? Start with the optimal combination of the resources you have…
    • Capital 
    • Time and Skillset 

I hope this article has been helpful in presenting a different view point than the common view being shared online currently. 

2 Day Workweek – Entrepreneurs Weekly Schedule (Summer 2020)

Summer (especially in Canada) is short! So how do I optimize my schedule to maximize summer family fun while pushing the business forward? 

For entrepreneurs who have the ability to modify their schedule how do you optimize summer while still pushing the business forward?

Assuming my kids will be less interested in hanging out with me by the time they are ~15 (optimistic) given my low level of coolness I am 50% done the summers I get with my oldest. 

Maximizing summer family fun is definitely a priority. 

This post looks at some past attempts and the structure I have for this unique COVID-19 summer. 

However, despite me wanting to maximize summer I also want to make sure the businesses get pushed forward!

Past Summer Schedule:

4 Day Work Week + 2 Weeks Off

This has been my attempt in the past couple of summers to maximize family time while still making sure everything needed gets done for the business. 

The Good:

  • Predictable schedule – Allowed for a weekend quality outing planned for each nice day. With me getting home at 3:30sh we were able to go do a hike, paddle, beach afternoon etc. 
  • Lots of Flexibility for My Activities (biking) – The dedicated Friday allowed me to go for a big bike ride and each day I could squeeze in a ride if I wanted.  

The Bad:

  • Didn’t Push Things Forward – Because of the shorter days and short weeks I never felt like I was on top of things and able to make a meaningful push on any project. It was a lost couple months of me advancing anything just treading water. 
  • Didn’t Build Grit – Generally, it was a very soft schedule that never really built entrepreneurship grit

This Summers Schedule:

This summer I am trying a more extreme schedule to try and deal with the major downsides of the last schedule specifically no growth time to push a new project forward and no grit building. While increasing the amount of time we can spend at the cottage.

2 Work all Day Days, 5 Stay on Top of Email Days

Now my schedule has 2 days where I work from 8am to 11pm at the office and then the other 5 days I work 1-2hrs just staying on top of email. 

Total hours is still near full time at 40hrs/wk but highly concentrated making every weekend a VERY LONG 5 day weekend.

The Good:

  • Builds grit… 2 hard days where I set big goals for what needs to get accomplished and limited ability to recover if I have a down day pushes me to be productive. This should have me coming out of the summer more ready to tackle the biggest growth time for my businesses (fall). 
  • Big Family Time… 5 day weekends provide the ability for lots of extended cottage time and canoe trips etc. 
  • Growth Work, not Just Maintenance – From a work perspective, I can get a LOT of growth work done since it doesn’t take me long to catch up, and then I have a lot of hours for new work in those 2 days. 

The Bad – Not sure yet but could be…

  • No recovery days – if I have an unproductive day 50% of my week would be shot. 
  • Slow Cycle Time – If an opportunity comes up that I need to push along it may sit for too long, the cycle time on my communication or pushing of a project might be too slow. 
  • Frequency of Adventures – I could miss a fun adventure… today the kids and my wife are body surfing a section of a river around here, last summer I would have gone with them, this year I am doing one of my work all day days so nothing but work for me.
  • Fitness – Each day I had a window of time for me to get out and go for a bike ride or go to the gym. Now my work all day days are dedicated to work and the 5 days  

Visually what does this look like…

I am interested in hearing other peoples schedules… what do you do?