Red PandaThis month seems to have flown by. With the trip to Dublin I don’t seem to have achieved as much as I had hoped but does it really matter?

What’s the rush? I can feel myself slowly settling into self-employment. There is bound to be a bit of a learning curve and as long as I am bringing in enough to pay the bills there is no desperate need to start pushing out into new uncharted areas quite yet.

I am getting much more organised but there is a backlog of stuff from the many years of being unorganised… My photo collection is a prime example of this. I have digital photos going back over 4 years that still need editing and organising. There are also boxes of older photos, negatives and even slides that I have come across that I have promised myself to digitise.

I also feel that I am starting to become a lot more productive which is a very good sign for things to come I just need to get this backlog under control first…

Having said all that though I didn’t do brilliantly with my goals for this month…

Progress

Create Additional Income Stream

I had hoped to create some other form of income this month. Well I didn’t manage it.

I was looking at the idea of a niche website and I have been following the Niche Site Duel. The basic idea is to create a website focused on a very specific area, or niche, which then hopefully leads to some form of income from the visitors to the site.

There are lots of ways you can make money from a niche website. You could simply add Google AdSense or some other form of paid advertising to the site, set up a membership site that only gives access to certain information if the user pays a fee on a regular basis or you could even create some sort of product to sell yourself like an eBook or a computer program of some kind.

One other popular method is to just link to an affiliate product from a site like ClickBank or E-Junkie. You then take a cut of any sales that come as a result of viewing the product from your site, sometimes as much as 75% of the price! The basic idea sounds OK but I wouldn’t feel great about trying to sell something that I hadn’t at least read/used and approved first. This means I would have to check out the product first which would cost me both time any money…

Then the big issue is getting traffic to the site. The whole process seems a bit tricky, trying to edge your way up the Google search engine results for the specific keywords you are trying to rank for. The idea being that this will eventually get some decent traffic to the site from people simply searching for your keywords. This is the bases of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and is something I need to learn to help get some traffic to any websites that I produce but this is a long process and to even stand a chance you need to have some decent, relevant content on the site…

Anyway to sum up this may be a possible income stream for the future but unfortunately this is not a five minute job and so it will have to wait until I have a bit more free time on my hands. Instead I have decided to create a product of my own to sell so that can be my focus for now instead of trying to sell someone else’s stuff.

Lose Some Weight

I managed to lose 2 pounds. At least that is a start but I didn’t manage the 4 pounds I was hoping for. I need to step this up a bit but I do understand that I must be in this for the long haul. I think I need to keep this goal alive so I am going to stick this one back on the list for the coming months.

Write Something About Canada Trip

This one I achieved with flying colours. I wrote the post Bears, Whales and Mountains in Canada about our trip to Canada last year. It ended up being my longest post yet and has even had some very positive comments about the photographs Shirley and I took.

It is great fun reliving such wonderful memories so I plan on doing a few more posts like this from other trips I have taken over the years… And hopefully all the future trips Shirley and I will be going on…

Goals for October

Lose Weight

After a bit more thought I think it’s time I set myself a target weight as well as a monthly target. This way I can see how much further I have to go. I think I was avoiding publishing my actual weight as I was a bit embarrassed but I now feel that that embarrassment may be the extra fuel I need to actually get on and do something about it…

Right then so I am currently weighing in at 20st 9lbs (which is 289lbs or around 131kg). This puts me firmly in the Obese range for my height of around 6′ 3″ (which is about 1.91m) and it is about time I do something about it!

So my target weight is 18st (which is 252lbs or 114kg). This may still sound a bit high. I just checked and this doesn’t quite bring me out of the official Obese range. Let’s put this into perspective the top end of my ideal weight would be 14st 5lbs (201lbs or 91kg), I weighed about 15st 7lbs (217lbs or 98kg) at age 16 and I was still growing! No-one would have even suggested that I was overweight back then. Anyway let’s just aim for something reasonable to start with and see what happens, after all that’s still over two and a half stone to lose!

I had hoped that being at home would naturally make me become more active, taking long daily walks for example. I started off brilliantly but already this has started to fade. This is at least partially due to the change in the weather but even so it’s not helping. It’s time I started becoming a bit more creative and working myself a bit harder. So this month I am going to try and up the ante a bit and aim to lose 6 pounds. Fingers crossed…

Decide on a Product

As I mentioned earlier I have decided to try and create a product of my own to try and sell. This month I simply want to decide on exactly what that product is going to be. I need to have a fairly good idea of what sort of user and platform I am trying to target and hopefully a pretty detailed idea of what exactly the product is going to contain. The wording of that last sentence is deliberately vague as I am not sure which direction I am likely to go in.

Ideally I want something that is going to be fairly small to start out with but has potential of making a small income when completed. This could then either be extended or improved upon down the line if it gets any traction.

Another bonus would be something that I could whip together in a fairly short amount of time. I do not want a monster 6 month project for my first product as this is more time that I can allow myself to devote to one project right now.

One last restriction is that it needs to be in one of my areas of interest. That way I can really get into the project knowing that when I’m finished the product should be of use to me. Hopefully if I find it useful then so should others…

Cross Something Off My Bucket List

Time to really start reaching for my dreams. There are a few items on the list that should be within my reach so lets see if I can take a step in the right direction and persuade myself to complete one of them.

Image: Pete O’Shea

7 comments

Gary Crompton

Hi Pete,

Good blog as usual. Just an idea, have you thought of creating Apps for the iPad or Google Android? Don’t know what’s required but could be a good start if you know how to do it. Having had a look at some of the apps on the market, it would seem that people will download all sorts of stuff these days!
Or maybe produce interactive games/programs for the education system. There’s a lot of emphasis on technology in schools with iPads, Netbooks, interactive whiteboards etc.
Or possibly some sort of online teaching, e.g. http://www.khanacademy.org/ as recommended by Bill Gates.
Some useful websites we use at work you may or may not have heard of.
http://prezi.com/
http://goanimate.com/
http://www.xtranormal.com/

Just some ideas. Hope they’re of some use.
Cheers
Gary

    Pete O'Shea

    Thanks Gary,

    I have an iPhone and so have thought about developing apps for iPhone and iPad but there is the small problem of having to own a Mac to do the development. That is an expense that I don’t really want right now. Maybe down the line when my business starts making some money I will look into it a bit further. Android would be much easier to get started with but I haven’t got anything to try it out on. May be worth a look though…

    The links are interesting. What do you use these programs for at work?

    Cheers,
    Pete

Shirley

Good luck with the weight loss love u as you are very good post again.x

    Pete O'Shea

    Thanks for the encouragement, Gorgeous…

Michael Ludgate

Just in case you wanted extra support in your goal…

Weight’s a tricky beast, doesn’t correlate with fitness or strength. Want to lose more, but tend to be happier not doing so. Read about a guy who got stabbed in the stomach, he was told the extra fat saved his life! Official statistics don’t make much sense to me, I join you in the ‘technically obese’ category @ 88kg for 5’10”. Not about to lick the bacteria of lettuce for 3 meals a day. Upping your goal in-spite of realisation for this month is bold, there’re plenty of other reasons why increasingly less will shift with time.

Is having people notice the goal helpful, even if they post unhelpful comments?

    Pete O'Shea

    Michael,

    Any comment is helpful as it shows me that people are reading what I write. I felt like I need a bit of a kickstart to get back into shape. If I keep trying to lose a pound or two here and there it may work over time but if I really make an effort at the start then this should build up a bit of momentum that should help me keep going a bit longer. That’s the hope anyway…

    I have been on a few diets in the past and usually lose a reasonable amount. After a while though you just get bored of the restrictions that the diet forces on you and so you slowly slip back into the bad habits and the weight creeps back. I think I already eat a reasonable diet, there are the occasional bad days but they are fairly rare nowadays.

    So my new plan is to try and lose the weight by upping my activity levels rather than changing what I eat, although I will try and think about my food a bit as well. This can be quite tricky when you are sat in front of a computer for at least eight hours a day… I have tried going on walks throughout the day. Although I do feel slightly energised it doesn’t seem to be achieving anything much, and it can take up so much of the day. So like I mentioned above it’s time to really get myself going and hopefully the first few pounds should burn off fairly easily. I know it will get harder but the main thing right now is to just get started.

    Thanks,
    Pete

Michael Ludgate

Oops, got this wrong. I’m just in the middle of the overweight zone (hadn’t checked since a doctors visit many years ago). Goes to show, you wont be happy after losing the weight (another helpful comment).

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