Don’t Let It Get The Best Of You!

By Jerry Lambert

Hello and welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club.  This week I want to talk to you about a topic I have put off writing about for a long time: Procrastination.  Ba-dump-bump! Thank you, ladies and gentlemen!  I’ll be here all week, don’t forget to tip your waitresses!

is09ak00dSeriously though, there is no subject that will derail your dreams and goals faster than Procrastination.  Not knowing where to begin and putting off projects, can lead to getting nowhere fast, but it can also lead to severe psychological problems.

I was inspired to do this article because of a “Hoarders” episode I saw recently.  Watching this show makes me feel like Adrian Monk by comparison. This particular episode was about a guy who had tons of junk on his property outside (not to mention the colossal mess on the inside).  The city was getting on him to clean it all up.  Something he said struck me.  He said that the reason that he had all this junk was because he had “projects” for all of it.

How many of us can relate to this guy?  Not the hoarding, but the fact that many of our projects never get past the planning stage and move into the action stage.  Many of us go through life this way.  We are struck by Divine Inspiration, but the project never gets off the ground, because we just don’t know where to begin.  Or, we are drowned by the responsibilities of day-to-day life and never to get to the stuff we really need to work on.

For people who are still working the 9-to-5 grind, this can be especially distracting.  You ask yourself, “Why is it I don’t get ahead in this job?”  Maybe you’re doing too much of the stuff that doesn’t matter and you don’t have the guts to go after the really tough stuff!  I know I have been guilty of this.

is09ak2rnWe’ve all been there.  How can you get ahead, when you feel you are constantly spinning your wheels?  Wikipedia defines Procrastination this way: “Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  This subject is addressed in the Time Management classic, “Eat That Frog!”  I know, it’s a weird title, but it makes sense when you hear it in context.  Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

600-02055770That’s the premise of Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.  It’s a book that introduces a list of Time Management principles that will help you Eat That Frog, and finally get somewhere with your projects!  Click on his name above for a short YouTube video where he explains the concept and how it can help to change your life!  (Skip the initial ad.)


Tracy states that the three biggest principles of ETF are:

#1: Eat your frog first thing in the morning.

#2: If you have more than one frog, eat the biggest and ugliest frog first.

#3: It doesn’t pay to sit there looking at it, gulp it down!

The whole book is pretty much summed up in those three statements.  The rest of the book goes into greater detail about why you should follow these three principles and introduces the ABCDE concept as well as other ideas that will help you, in your quest to become an experienced “Frog-Eater”.

For me, procrastination comes down to two things: lack of knowledge and the inability to make a decision.  There is a third factor, the pain-in-the-butt factor.  However, if you manage the first two items, the third one becomes a non-issue.

In this day and age, lack of knowledge about a particular problem is no longer an adequate excuse.  Hell, you can practically learn how to do open heart surgery on YouTube, although I wouldn’t recommend it!

This blog is an example of gaining knowledge, in order to eat a frog.  I knew that I wanted to create a website with WordPress, but all I had done before on WP was to create a simple blog.  I put off getting this website off the ground for quite a while because I didn’t know where to begin.  I bought a book on WordPress, learned what I needed to know, and now I am thinking about creating another website as well.  All because I gained the knowledge necessary to get the job done!

Once you have gained sufficient knowledge or skill in a certain area, making a decision is much easier.  The important thing is to decide to decide.  Even if your choice isn’t perfect,  many people are paralyzed into inaction because they want the end result to be perfect.  If you make a decision and it doesn’t work out, simply make another decision!  Once you have gained the knowledge and made the decision, you’re 90% of the way there.  The other 10% are tweaks that may need to be done, but then you’re done with that project and it’s time to move on to the next frog!

Tropical Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas)Brian Tracy describes the endorphin rush that you get by eating an ugly frog.  You know that feeling when you finally finish a project that you have been putting off for a very long time!  Doesn’t it feel great when you finally have it done?!  That’s the rush he’s talking about!  That feeling can become addictive, in a very good way.

Although this article has focused on dealing with Procrastination, the other side of that coin is Discipline. Discipline is the character trait that will enable you to go after your ugly frogs and KEEP going after your ugly frogs, day after day after day.  My next article will go into that topic in greater detail.

I hope that this article has inspired you to go after the ugly frogs in your life.  Don’t be a “Mental Hoarder” of a bunch of great ideas that never get off the ground, simply because your life is cluttered up with too many tadpoles!

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

Disclaimer: Advertisements that appear on this website are posted by WordPress and not by the author of this website.

The Work From Home Chronicles: Episode 1

Can You Earn Decent Money From Home?

By Jerry Lambert

Hello again, and welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club.  Well, here it is, as promised.  My first list of WFH Jobs that don’t suck.  Hopefully.  I have decided to turn this into a featured part of my website, hence “The Work from Home Chronicles” title.  I’ll probably turn this into a page of its own, depending on how it goes.

Female sitting outside with laptop

Anyway, I have researched several WFH opportunities for you to have a look at.  I admit that I haven’t signed up for any of them yet, but I am leaning towards a couple of them pretty hard and I’ll let you know which ones they are.

Most of these jobs I found reviewed on the Dream Home Based Work website.  This is a terrific website run by Lashay H.  She has done much of the hard work for you, by researching and recommending companies that she trusts.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but if I have, it bears repeating.  You have to be extremely careful when signing up with a work from home company.  Since you will be working for them, they will more than likely want some of your personal information.  I can only imagine the number of scams that are out there, trying to collect your information so they can suck your savings account dry and run up huge credit card charges in your name!

I signed up for LifeLock a few years ago and I don’t regret it.  It gives you peace of mind, and that is hard to come by these days.  Plus, if you are signing up for WFH Jobs, this gives you a layer of protection you wouldn’t have otherwise.  If you sign up for LifeLock, use the promo code 10Now to save 10%.  If this code has expired, just click on this link for current LifeLock promo codes.

is09an5qdJust one more thing.  All of the jobs that I will be listing will be using PayPal to pay you.  That means that many of these jobs will pay you almost instantly, which is a very nice perk.  Some of the jobs I looked at take up to 4-6 weeks to pay you.  The heck with that!  There are plenty of jobs that payout using PayPal within 24-48 hours.  You can’t beat that!  Click here to get your own Personal PayPal account!  The only drawback is that PayPal will take a small cut out of each payment you get.  That is the price you pay for safety since you probably don’t want to give these companies your bank account number, even if it’s just for deposits.

Enough of that, you say, what about the jobs?  I have looked at a wide variety of jobs.  Two of them are phone-related.  Since I spent the last 3 years on my previous job fielding calls in Technical Support, that is the LAST thing I want to do.  However, these jobs seem like a good way to earn some extra income, without having to sell anyone anything.  That’s hard to beat.  Here are the jobs.

Intelichek: This phone job is what is considered a “Mystery Shopper”.  What the job entails is providing quality assurance checks for automotive suppliers.  You call a company and ask for a price on a specific part or parts.  That’s it.  It pays .90 per call.  That doesn’t seem like much, but when the average call takes no more than 5 minutes, that translates to $10.80 per hour.  Not bad.  However, this job has a 10 hour per week work minimum, so keep that in mind.  You can set your own hours between 8 am and 7 pm.  You get paid bi-weekly by check, as opposed to the PayPal option.  It’s worth checking out if you don’t mind being on the phone for a few hours each day.

Call Center QA:  Another phone job in the “Mystery Shopper” category.  This looks like a good opportunity to make some decent money.  You get paid $5 per call.  If each call and survey take about 15 minutes, that’s $20/hour!!!  Plus, you get paid via PayPal within 7 business days, so that’s cool!  There is no minimum number of hours, but you do have to make your calls during business hours.

Humanatic:  This is a Call Reviewer job.  You know, when you hear the message, “This call is being recorded for quality assurance”?  You’re the one reviewing the call!  This seemed interesting.  You listen to recorded quality calls and answer some questions based on the call.  Plus, they have a link to PayPal to sign up for an account!!!  However, I just checked and it looks like this only pays between $1 and $4.50 per hour!  You probably want to skip this one!  I included it here so you have an example of doing your homework before signing up with one of these companies!

UserTesting:  I know what you’re thinking, “What gives?  Where are the good jobs?”  This might be a good one!  This is a quote from their website.  “How it works.  Get $10 via PayPal for every 20-minute video you complete.  UserTesting pays you to visit websites or apps, complete a set of tasks, and speak your thoughts aloud.”  I’m no math whiz, but I think that translates to $30/hour!  Now there may be downtime in between, but this seems promising and appeals to my IT background.  I am definitely going to check this one out!

Clickworker:  For those of you with an office / clerical background, Clickworker might be for you. They help companies by breaking down large projects into bite-sized pieces.  How much you get paid varies on the job being done and how quickly and accurately you get it done.  You are paid via PayPal, though the time period seems a little fuzzy.  It starts at 7 days but can go up to 21 days.  However, if this is the sort of work you are used to doing, it might be right up your alley.

Well, I think that’s enough for this week.  Hopefully, I’ve given you one or two jobs you will want to check out!  I plan on making this a regular feature.  I will continue to write articles on Side Hustles (not necessarily Working from Home), Productivity, and Lifestyle.

DisclaimerI am not affiliated with, or compensated by, any of the companies I have mentioned.  They just looked promising to me and I thought I would pass them along.  That’s all.

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

Disclaimer: Advertisements that appear on this website are posted by WordPress and not by the author of this website.

Active vs Passive Income

What’s The Difference?

By Jerry Lambert

During your search for ways to earn extra (any) income, you may have come across the terms Active and Passive Income.  I will try to explain the difference between the two in this article and why it’s important to know the difference.

Man sleepingI have to admit, I went down many paths that turned into nothing, pursuing the elusive “Passive Income Stream”.  Otherwise known as, “Make Money While You Sleep!”  The pitch sounds great, “Earn $5000 per week from home, doing nothing!”  This definitely appealed to my lazy streak.  However, the promise and the reality don’t really cross paths.

From personal experience, many of these “opportunities” turn out to be a way to suck what little money you have into their “System”.  I also fell for “This one sucks, but maybe the next one will be better”.  Nope.

The one overriding pitch seems to be, “Make Money Online!”  What this comes down to more often than not is what is known as “Affiliate Marketing”.  This is an industry that has sprung up as a way to run ads on websites.  The theory is that if your website is popular enough, you will be able to make money from it by running ads.

If you are reading this article on a tablet or phone, you may be seeing one of these ads.  Let’s face it, they’re everywhere.  They are counting on the age-old sales formula that 1%-3% of visitors to your website will click on these ads and earn you some money.

Businesswoman sitting on chair with digital tablet and blackboardThe problem with that theory is that you need a website, like TBPC.  However, if you don’t have a website, you may have to pay to “rent space” on somebody else’s website to run your ads.  I looked into this whole process and it gets very confusing, not to mention expensive.  And let’s face it, you want to make money, not spend more money you don’t have.  However, the old business adage is true, “You have to spend money to make money!”  Not too encouraging if you don’t have any money in the first place.

I did sign up for a couple of programs that promised all sorts of passive income if I would only cough up a small amount of money.  What they don’t tell you is that once you sign up, you will be approached by someone offering to “coach” you in your new online business venture.  When you finally nail them down to the costs, you’ll find out that this “coaching” will cost you over $1000!  Thanks, but no thanks.

Based on my experience, people are out there selling “air”.  They approach you with a solid sounding “System” that will enable you to make money online running ads.  However, the only money that is being made is by the people selling you the “System”.

Now don’t get me wrong, all you have to do is visit any website and you will see tons of ads for everything under the sun.  So SOMEBODY is making money doing this.  I’m sure there are people pumping hundreds of dollars or more into ads.  Not a lot of people have that kind of money lying around to blow on advertising.

Saw cutting a hole around a piggy bankOk”, you say, “I just have to make sure it’s not a scam”.  The “Scam” come-on is the oldest trick in the book.  Say you want to learn about ABC-123-XYZ-LMNOP Online Marketing* and you do a search to find out if it’s legit, or a scam.  You will see a bunch of results that say something like, “Is ABC-123-XYZ-LMNOP Online Marketing a Scam?”  If you’re lucky, you’ll click on a link that will be a genuine review of the system.  However, more than likely, it’s just a ruse to take you to their website, where they can sell you their own system!!!  It goes around and around and around!  *(There are so many of these companies that I had to come up with that ridiculous company name just to make sure I didn’t accidentally mention a real one!)

If you do feel compelled to try out one of these systems, don’t accept the offer right away.  More than likely there will be a video telling you about all the money you can expect to earn by using their system.  Once the video finishes playing, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the window for more information about how much the system costs.  Then hit the “X” to close the window.  Attempting to close the window will launch a barrage of, “Wait, there’s more!” windows that will gradually reduce the price down to almost nothing.  I was going to sign up for a system once that started at around $50 and it eventually went down to $7!  I guess they figure $7 is better than nothing.

Young woman carrying stack of jeans in clothes storeI have talked a lot about Passive Income in this article because I want you to be careful when you look into buying a system that may cost you a lot of time, money, and energy.  The flip side of Passive Income is Active Income.  Active Income is, “get off your butt and earn some money”, income.  Admittedly, this income is a lot less sexy than supposedly logging into your checking account every day and seeing money being deposited, but that’s not reality.

As I mentioned in my last article, now that my full-time Uber & Lyft career is over, I am really focusing on Work from Home income.  I have come across some very promising income streams that I will be covering in the upcoming weeks.  As I mentioned in last week’s article, my goal is to get 2 or 3 of these WFH jobs to replace, and hopefully exceed, my driving income.  I hope to do just that with some of the jobs I have found.  I am going to evaluate them over the next couple of weeks and I’ll report back with what I find out.

None of these jobs are going to pay you $5000 per week for sitting on the couch binge-watching “Scandal”!  However, they are jobs that companies need done, and they are willing to hire you to work from home to do them!  If these jobs pan out, all I can think about is how much my buddies down at the oil change shop are going to miss me!  Please come back next week and I’ll have some WFH jobs for you to check out!

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

Disclaimer: Advertisements that appear on this website are posted by WordPress and not by the author of this website.

Working From Home or Flexible Hours?

Is It Possible To Have Both?

By Jerry Lambert

Hi, and welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club.  I have a confession to make.  I have been settling.  I have been settling by driving for Uber and Lyft as my primary source of income.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I have been driving for both of them since November, 2015 and I am ready for a change.

is09an5qdSo far, my one and only adventure with a different side hustle has been signing up for Shipt, and I told you how that turned out.  So, I am making a belated resolution for 2017.  Effective today, I am retiring as a full time driver for Uber and Lyft.  I may occasionally pick up some fares when my funds are running low, but the morning and evening shifts are over for me.

Now that I have that out of the way, what the heck do I do now?  I made it a goal earlier this year to find a job (or jobs) that would get me back to roughly half of my previous full time income.  This will be a large achievement if I can pull it off.  I am going to be completely honest.  I have become addicted to the semi-retired lifestyle.  Being able to determine what days and times I choose to work is a major benefit, one that I am not willing to give up.

That said, I now have to come up with a Driving Income Replacement Plan or DIRP.  It sounds like a government program.  Anyway, I have decided to pursue a career in the “Work from Home” field.  Uh huh, you say, just how do you plan to do that?  I have no freakin’ idea!  I am going to pursue this new position (or positions) with the same drive and effort I used to find a job, when I first was laid off.  That job turned out to be in a Call Center and I quit in two weeks.  Hopefully, this time I’ll have better results!

Man planning for new house and carIf you do an Internet search for “Work from Home & Flexible Hours”, you will come up with no end of leads to do just that.  However, from past experience, many of these offers are scams that are just trying to bilk desperate people out of whatever money they have left.  Pretty sick, actually.  Upon further research, I hope to find at least one legitimate Work from Home (WFH) job per day.  I will employ this plan Monday through Friday, until I find the job, or jobs (hopefully no more than three) that will get me to my goal of DIRP.

Now, I am finally getting to the title of this article.  Work from Home or Flexible Hours?  Are they mutually exclusive, or can you have both?  Most of the WFH results I see on the Internet have Flexible Hours as part of the summary.  However, I believe that you can have one without the other.  Being a Virtual Assistant for instance.  In the article I wrote about this side hustle, you can work from home, but your hours may be determined by your client.  This will give you the flexibility of working from home, but not the freedom of setting your own hours.  Trust me, after a year of setting my own hours, having a “Boss” tell me when I have to work is not what I am looking for!

If you type in “work from home vs flexible hours”, a quick search of the web brings back a range of results.  Two of the results piqued my interest.  The first is the job search site Indeed.  I remember liking their website quite a bit, back when I was job hunting full time.  They seem to take a “No BS” approach that is quite refreshing, compared to other job search giants like Monster and Career Builder.  However, when I just did a search for “work from home”, I came up with results for all three headhunters.  But, I digress.  Getting back to the original search I did, “work from home vs flexible hours”. Indeed came back with a list of 4,897 jobs!!!!  WOW!  I like those odds!  Plus, since these jobs are WFH, it doesn’t matter if they are from Chicago, New York, Boston, etc.

Female sitting outside with laptopI also noticed another item that came up in my search.  There is a company called Flexjobs that appears to specialize in exactly what I am looking for.  Legit jobs, by legit companies that will enable me to hit my DIRP goal.  However, it looks like this is not a free website ($14.95 / month).  I generally avoid pay websites like the plague, since I subscribe to the early opinion that most of us tech weenies had. Everything on the Internet should be free!  However, sometimes you’ve got to pony up some cash to get some good results.  I will see what kind of results I get with Indeed first, but it’s good to know that Flexjobs is there as a viable alternative.

Well, I’m glad I came clean!  Putting this out there will help keep me accountable to myself and to you, my much appreciated reader.  I plan on putting my hits and misses on this website every week, so you’ll know which jobs may be worth looking into and which ones you should skip.  Hopefully, I’ll have some promising hits to share with you next week!

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

***Disclaimer: Advertisements that appear on this website are posted by WordPress and not by the author of this website.