4 Amazing Lessons I Learned When I Lost Everything

 

Early on in 2006/2007 I found myself in the middle of the economic boom. Literally in the right place at the right time with the right set of skills. Money came quick and easy and for a 24 year old who grew up in a lower middle class Pastor’s family – I had no clue how to handle it. Everyone was so focused on themselves – buying stuff and having a good time. ( I cringe looking back at what a waste of life that chapter was).

I decided to build my own business in the same niche I was doing well in. So I Invested a ton of money on credit, but I ignored basic business principles and went at it completely over leveraged. As they say, I “bet the farm”. I also had an untouchable ego to boot.

Then the economy tanked and the recession hit.

From there everything just got worse and worse. Business died, payments mounted up, debt collectors started calling, had 2 cars repossessed. On top of that I had no income coming as I wouldn’t even consider getting a job because I couldn’t make what I was making before (stupid). The IRS audited me and I owed a grip of cash with interest that was compounding daily. I was a rock bottom and it felt like when it couldn’t get worse, it did. That year I had married the love of my life and I felt guilty as she was a part of all this struggle even though they were my bad decisions. It was a painful, hopeless and dark season of my life but looking back it was the most valuable thing that has ever happened to me.

Here are the 4 life lessons I learned through all this:

Humility

Going from having everything you want to not having what you need is a very humbling experience. It makes you realize that everyone is an inch away from losing it all. I had gone from what I felt was the top of the mountain to the bottom of the valley- very fast. It completely put my character and ego in check. In fact, my first job after I finally humbled myself to go find any work I could find ( we were so desperate) was making $7 an hour doing construction and I drove 80 miles roundtrip to get to the jobsite each way in a new car with expired registration that was behind on payments.

I love this quote – “From humble beginnings come great things.”

Thankfulness

When you truly have nothing you are thankful for anything. There was a night my wife and I didn’t even have food and no money to buy any. I felt so trapped with no options. As we sat there with no idea what we were going to do, there was a knock on the door. A lady from where my wife was working had just randomly decided to bring us a bag of canned goods and food. This was such a miracle for us. I’ve never been so thankful for a can of salmon in my life! If you are thankful for the little things, your life will be rewarded with constant positive perspective and joy.

It Gave Me A Heart For Those Who Are Struggling

Those who have gone through something identify with those going through that same thing. You can feel the same emotions and understand the same thoughts and struggles. My heart now just breaks for those who are struggling and I’m committed to making a difference. That was not the case before all this happened.

It Taught Me More Than Any Measure Of Success Could

Pain is a great teacher. When we touch a hot stove and get burned, we learn not to not do it again. Successfulness unchecked can falsely prop up our expectations, egos and blind our perspective. The lessons I learned from losing everything has made me a better person, husband, father, businessman, friend and more. Still it took me 8 years to correct all that happened in this season and it was painful for a long time.

In the end I wouldn’t change anything. I’m better today because of it AND I won’t make those mistakes again:)

 

meme

[activecampaign form=7]

HOW TO SETUP A WORDPRESS BLOG IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS

How To Setup A WordPress Blog In 10 Minutes or LEss

women blogger

Are you passionate ABOUT SOMETHING? DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE? Do you have a story that needs to be told? Do you want to generate passive income for your family?

Starting a blog might be your answer.

Blogs are no longer just for the “professional writer”. They are for the thinker, the designer, the mother, the craftsman, and the teacher.

In 2014, I decided to start blogging and building my personal platform. It’s now become part of my full-time career and it has allowed me to make a living from the things I am most passionate about.

Sadly, I see many people not chase their dream because their either don’t know where to start or the “setup process” is too complex.

But its not. Below I have outlined an easy step-by-step guide to getting a domain, setting up hosting, and installing WordPress in 10 minutes or less.

There are many ways to setup a blog but you will get the most control by using self-hosted WordPress blog. This is what most serious bloggers use. This is what I use here at DalePartridge.com

IMPORTANT: The first step for setting up a blog is buying a domain and setting up hosting. If you are not sure about the difference between hosted and self-hosted WordPress, I found this helpful infographic that explains it well. My verdict… stay away from WordPress.com. It’s limiting and does not allow your blog to scale well.

To Get Started You’ll Need 3 Items:

1. A Credit Card ( Average startup costs can be around $50 – sometimes less and sometimes a little more depending on upgrades)
2. A Domain Name
3. Setup Hosting
4. WordPress
5. A Theme To Install

Step #1: Buying A Domain Name

The domain name of my blog is MovingMountains.co. That’s where people have come to find me on the web. Choosing a good domain can be tough. Your domain can either be your name or a branded domain like MovingMountains.co. Luckily, the hosting company I will recommend in step #2 provides you a free domain when you sign up.

Step #2 Setting Up A Hosting Account.

This is where your blog will “live.” This is a server in the cloud (i.e., a remote computer), where you will rent space to install the WordPress software and manage your blog. It’s far easier than it sounds. Stick with me.

There are a hundreds of hosting services available. However, based on my experience and research, I recommend Bluehost. I believe it is the best option for most people for the following several reasons:

  1. Bluehost is large and well known.
  2. They offer excellent customer service (located in the US).
  3. Their packages are highly affordable and include domain names. Way less work.
  4. Their service provides extremely fast page load times.
  5. Bluehost is very easy to use.

ACTION STEP: Click HERE to buy your domain and signup for hosting with Bluehost. I have provided a visual guide of the steps below. 

BLUEHOST STEP #1

Visit This Link (the same as the one above) and Click “Get Started Now” button.

step1

BLUEHOST STEP #2

Choose your plan.
step2

BLUEHOST STEP #3

Choose your free domain name or bring over your current domain. Both are very easy processes.

bluehost-domain

BLUEHOST STEP #4

Place your order and pay for your plan.

step3

BLUEHOST STEP #5

Once you’ve logged in, you will be taken to your Bluehost dashboard where you can install WordPress (the software that runs your blog) in a few simple clicks.

step4

BLUEHOST STEP #6

Click the the green install button.

step5

BLUEHOST STEP #7

Choose the domain you just registered or the one you brought over.

step6

BLUEHOST STEP #8

Check the “Show advanced options” box and fill in the title, username, and password. Your title will be the name of your blog (mine would be Dale Partridge). The username and password will be what you use to login to the backend of your blog (your WordPress dashboard).

IMPORTANT: Save this information somewhere where you won’t lose it. You will need it for step #10

step7

BLUEHOST STEP #9

Bluehost will install WordPress on your server and let you know when it’s complete.

step8

Click the “View Credentials” button on the top right.
step91

BLUEHOST STEP #10

Click on “Admin URL” (located below the green box) and enter your WordPress login credentials from step #8. This will take you to your WordPress dashboard. Your WordPress dashboard is where you will do almost everything on your blog. From writing articles to changing design.

step10

step11

FINAL STEP

This is your WordPress Dashboard. You can either begin blogging or upload a new theme for your blog. I would recommend purchasing a new WordPress theme at Themeforest.net. At ThemeForest, in the navigation go to “WordPress” in the upper left section of the page. Then choose your theme type and begin exploring thousands of themes. After purchasing your theme from Themeforest, you will return to your WordPress dashboard and click “Appearance” > Themes > Upload a New Theme. Here you will upload the .zip file of the theme your just purchased.

Lastly, you will then follow your theme’s setup features provided by the person who developed your theme. This is where you will upload your logo, change colors, add pages, and more.

Congratulations! You have officially setup your blog. This is only the beginning of an exciting journey for you. BIG THINGS!

 

 

 

5 Signs You Are Absolutely Taking On More Than You Should

working pic

 

Being seen as successful is something that drives nearly all human beings.  From birth, we’re taught to take on more, and more responsibility because it’s a way to show the world we have our stuff together.  However, what happens when you’ve found yourself taking on too much?  Are you even aware that you could possibly be taking on too much responsibility, already?

We find ourselves in this position because it’s simply so hard to say “no” to people.  It’s much easier to say “yes” when someone asks us to do something for them, because we don’t want people to think about us as being unreliable, or unable to help them with their problems.  There are a few warning signs you can use, if you’re aware of them, that will help you identify when you’re taking on too much responsibility.

1. Your Little Voice Is Warning You Of Impending Doom

That little voice in your head?  You should probably listen to it.  It’s the voice of reason, and it knows you better than you know yourself.  If you hear the voices in your head telling you that you’re taking on too much, it’s probably time to stop and listen.

Since you know yourself better than anyone else, you need to pay attention to what’s going on around you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.  It may be time to take a step back and analyze your life, to figure out what’s holding you back, what’s actually necessary for you to move forward, and what you’re currently doing that can be dropped without noticing any differences.

2. Short Breaks Just Make You Even More Anxious

One easy way to tell that you’re overwhelmed is when taking short breaks just won’t work to help you relax anymore.  If you’re finding yourself looking for longer, and longer breaks, or wanting to take naps throughout the day, you’re probably overworked — and overwhelmed.  If taking a short, 15 minute break doesn’t help remove your anxiety, you’re taking on too much.

The best way to get around this issue is to make sure that you’re sleeping well at night.  Often, when short breaks throughout the day won’t work to help re-energize you, your sleep schedule is to blame.  It’s easy to give up sleep, though, when you’ve got so much going on.  If this sounds like you, look into how well you’re sleeping at night — as well as your mattress, pillows, and even the blankets you use to sleep with.

3. You’re Starting To Make Mistakes, And Forget Things

After your sleep patterns start to become out of whack, you’re going to notice other physical changes that manifest themselves throughout the day.  When was the last time you found yourself doing something, only to stop halfway through and wonder exactly what it is you started out doing, in the first place?  If you’re overwhelmed, it probably happens more often than you’re realizing.

Making small mistakes in your day to day routines means that you are spending time focusing on too many things, and not enough time on the task at hand.  This can be a dangerous situation, especially when you’re involved in activities such as heavy lifting, driving, or caring for small children.  If you’ve found yourself constantly forgetting, and making mistakes, it’s probably time to take a step back and maybe even consider a vacation.

4. Exercise, Eating Habits, and Hobbies Have Become Forbidden Words

If you look at the life you once lead, do you see things like eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis, and actually enjoying a few hobbies every now, and then?  If you used to do those things but have found yourself not being able to find the motivation to enjoy your hobbies, or that your appetite has begun to suffer and you’ve adopted unhealthy eating habits, you’re probably overloaded with too much, right now.

Regular exercise is one of the first things to go when you start finding yourself getting bogged down.  It’s only natural that it happens.  When it comes to your to do list, exercising starts to feel like you’re taking valuable time away from something else that should really be getting done today.  And then it happens.  You tell yourself that you’ll exercise tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

5. Your Family Said So.

The people around you know you and your routines, and will be able to let you know when you’re looking a bit worn down and possibly needing a break.  If your family and friends have begun asking certain questions, digging into what’s going on in your daily life, they are probably starting to become concerned about you.  This is especially true if they’re consistently bringing up your health.

It’s easy to get addicted to making money online, and the thought of finally being able to make all of your dreams come true.  This addiction is something that you have to become aware of, because it works just like any other addiction — robbing you of your health, motivation, and the ability to actually move forward — instead of continuing to dream about what you could achieve.

How To Make Money Blogging From Home

If you’re like me, you’ve seen a lot of headlines about making money blogging from home. Who doesn’t want to make additional income doing something they enjoy that is time and location independent, right?

But is it for real? Yes. Very real. I am doing it.

What can you do with this extra money you are making on the side?

-Pay off student loans

-Pay off debt

-Save for a home

-Pay for a private school for the kids

-Buy a new car

-Travel

The opportunities are endless.

Before we go any further I promised proof that I know what I am talking about so below is a screenshot from one of my Adsense accounts in regards to a site I recently launched. Below is the launch and 90 day earning summary for one site I launched last year that focused on food:

Screen shot adsense new site

What would it feel like if you had an extra few hundred per month?

I’ll tell you. It feels awesome.

We live in a great time in history. The internet can work for anyone.

If you get a blog setup and are willing to put in the time and effort, it can become some serious income. Many bloggers we work with make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. (Here is another example from SuperMommyClub.com).

Here we go:

4 Key Steps in launching your own blog :

1. Setup A Blog With Hosting

To setup a Blog you need a host (where the site lives) and a domain name.  Setting up a blog nowadays is super easy and costs very little – especially with the host we use – BlueHost (To help I’ve put together a more thorough step by step walkthrough here: How to setup WordPress Blog on Bluehost :) )

For Your Domain Name – Pick something easy and memorable. This doesn’t have to be a premium one word dot com but it does have to give people an idea of what you are about when they look at it.

Check what is available here:

Plus, right now BlueHost has a ton of specials on setting up a website.

Hosting- There are a lot of hosts out there but I’m a big fan of BlueHost. They are super affordable (like $5.95/month) and have great support. A host is where you website and content will “live”. It’s where the actual files are located that people will access – articles to read, images,etc.

With Bluehost you are going to be able to install WordPress ( a blogging platform) at no additional cost. The reason I recommend WordPress is because it is so easy to learn and there is a lot of documentation online and on YouTube if you get stuck or need training. Plus you can find amazing themes already prebuilt for around $50 on ThemeForest.net instead of spending $2,500 to have someone build it from scratch.

(To help here is a technical link I put together to help you step by step the entire way: How to setup WordPress on Bluehost :) )

2. Signup for Adsense

Adsense can be a gold mine for bloggers because as soon as you get signed up and approved, is starts running advertisers. All you need is a gmail account, personal info and a bank account.

You can sign up here: www.google.com/adsense

The key for Adsense is placement. Remember a lot of people are browsing on their mobile phone and ads on the top or sidebar don’t get shown. Make sure you put ads in the middle of your web page like this:

 

I have found one of the best performing zone sizes on blogs is a square adzone.

3. SIGNUP FOR GOOGLE ANalytics

This is a free Google tool (you can signup here )and extremely powerful. It is how you will measure exactly how many people are going to your website. By using this tool you will know how many people are going to your blog, where they are coming from and what they are reading plus a ton more data. Use this to your advantage – if you know people are most interested in your blogs on home improvement, write more home improvement blogs, etc. The more you provide that your readers want the more they will read. Below is a screenshot from one of our sites that has over 1 million visitors per month.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 7.02.10 PM

4. Find a social platform that has an audience you can write to.

Just a heads up, these tactics are for advanced users. Those who have setup their blog, have content and are ready to go.

A lot of websites and individuals write content (blogs, articles,etc.) and publish them but have no idea how to put them in front of people who will actually read them. They just go out online and get lost in web space. I’ve found a lot of success in finding a niche that you understand and can be an authority in – moms with toddlers, car enthusiasts, adults with ADD,etc. and use that as your starting platform.

The next step is to then find people that would most likely be interested in what you are writing. Social media is a perfect tool for finding potential readers. Here are some of my tips for the ones I use:

Facebook 

-Join Facebook groups who have individuals that would be interested in what you are writing about and share your articles there.

-Reach out to Facebook page owners with topics and followers that would be interested in what you are writing about and try to get them to share your content across their pages.

-Start a Facebook page and start running “like” ads to build up your followers. (Great info from AdEspresso here). We believe in this – we currently have 80 Facebook pages we run with over 8.5M fans! (Link to pages).

Pinterest

-Look for group boards you can join that have followers that you can pin your content too.

-Create a Pinterest profile and pin high quality content that will attract the type of people that would love to read your blog. We have over 200k followers for our site LifeAsMama.com that caters to moms and I currently have over 996k followers on my personal profile of people that are into the stuff I am.

Bonus: I want to support your next steps. If you take initiative, set your blog up through BLUEHOST and email me, I’ll promote your first blog post to my social media followers. (I have close to 1 million) :)

What are you waiting for? Its your time.

————–

Next Steps? Follow My Step by Step Walkthrough (Literally takes 10 minutes) by clicking here:  

HOW TO SETUP A WORDPRESS BLOG IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Come Up With Great Ideas For Blog Topics

image b&W

When you’re away from your computer it seems like ideas for amazing new blog posts come to you left, and right.  Once you get to sit down to work, though, it’s a completely different story.  Those amazing ideas that were once overwhelming you seem to have completely disappeared.

This is a common problem that happens to just about everybody at some point in time.  The more you struggle with forcing an idea, the worse the problem gets.

The first step is to RELAX. Don’t stress. Just get comfortable – ideas tend to flow when you are unrestricted and peaceful. Find your “zen” place.

Second, there are lot of great online tools that I and other bloggers use to come up with new ideas. You can use these simple tools to help get your creative juices flowing if you happen to find yourself struggling for what to write. Here we go:

GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER

The Adwords Keyword Planner or Google Keyword Planner, whatever you want to call it, is a tool from Google that will help you come up with some ideas to write about on your blog.  You’re also helping set the foundation for your blog to receive increased search traffic by including keywords that people are searching for.

This strategy works to help break through your writer’s block by showing you what people are searching for, related to your blog, and how often they are searching for it each month.  That information gives you an easy way to see the topics you should be covering with your blog, and helps let Google know what your blog is about — helping you tap into your share of that coveted search engine traffic.

All you have to do is write a blog post around the keyword, solving the problem or providing the answers that the searcher is looking for, and let Google take care of the rest. Link is here.

BUZZSUMO

BuzzSumo gives you ideas for blog posts to write about, but also gives your social media marketing campaign a head start.  This tool gathers all of the blog posts and articles related to the keywords you enter and sorts them based on the amount of social shares they’ve received since they were published.

As you read through the results that BuzzSumo returns when you enter your keywords, you’ll start to gather ideas about what you should be covering with your blog posts, and how to write in a way that your audience will respond to.  This makes it a lot easier for you when you actively start promoting your blog on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Link is here.

QUESTION & ANSWER SITES

Sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers are chock full of new blog posts ideas waiting for you to dig through.  These two sites, and others like them, allow users to submit questions that the general public are able to answer.  The answers that other users leave for the original poster are then rated, and sorted by the best answers first.

Having data that’s easily accessed and sorted by outside users gives you both the idea for the problem you need to solve, provided by the question that was originally asked, as well as what other users consider the best answer — giving you an idea how to angle your blog post for the most effect.

FORUMS & SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media platforms, or forums where your customers and readers hang out, you have probably already seen the sheer volume of questions that get asked on a daily basis.  If you’re not already active in the communities where your potential readers and customers are at, you need to find them and get active.  You can search for forums on Google, and communities on Facebook.

When you see the same question coming up on a regular basis, instead of providing a short answer in the group you’re a part of, or on the forum that you’re active in, try providing the complete solution to their problem in the form of a blog post.  This will introduce your blog to a new group of readers, reinforce your message with the reader’s who have already seen you, and give you an increased presence in the communities you’re hanging out in.

ASK YOUR READERS.

If you already have a foundation of readers on your blog, one of the best ways to come up with new topics to cover is simply to ask them what they want to see.  Sites like SurveyMonkey will let you create surveys you can send to your audience to find out exactly what they think, and learn a bit more about who they are.

If you don’t already have a list of email subscribers, or a steady stream of visitors to your blog that would make giving a survey worth your time, there is one more method you can use to figure out what your readers and customers want to see.

CHECK WITH THE READERS OF LARGE BLOGS.

Find the biggest blogs in your market that you can and make a list of them.  This is going to be a wealth of information for you to dig through.  After you’ve gathered a list of say 10, 15, or 20 of the bigger blogs in your niche, start pulling them up one, by one.

Most blogs will have a popular posts section, or widget, that you can use to sort all of the posts on the site by the posts with the highest comment count.  After finding the most popular posts on the blog, read the article and then start looking through the comments.  Pay attention to what the readers are saying and how it relates to the article.

This will help give you a better understanding of exactly who your readers and customers are, and the ability to help better serve up the types of blog topics that they really want to see.

We hope this helps! If you are just starting out blogging and don’t have your very own blog and domain but want to get started, here is a link to my article step by step walkthrough on setting up a blog: How To Setup Your Own Blog In 4 Easy Steps