Why You Need to Start Now by Nadia Chaudhry

If you had a grenade in your hand and pulled the pin, what would you do with it? Would you keep holding it? No, unless you’d like to have you hand blown off? Yeah, didn’t think so. Would you have any hesitation at all to throw it? Absolutely not, again because you don’t want your hand to be blown off. So tell me, why do you hold onto your ideas when holding onto them gives you just as little as a blown off hand?

It’s time to get serious and start getting stuff done. The only way to do that is starting right now. Let’s change the way you think of your ideas.

We all have that one juicy idea, that one thing that we’re hoping is going to make us a whole bunch of moo-lah and catapult us into stardom and success. Well, let me tell you something. Most people don’t get rich with just an idea. In fact, people usually go through a few ideas before they reach a successful one. Hate to burst your bubble, but ideas aren’t worth anything. That great idea you have, it’s zilch, zip, nada, nothing. However, if you act on that idea, then it can be worth something. I can give you a way out of the madness by creating a little insanity. Don’t think of your ideas as ideas

Start thinking of your ideas as a grenade

Get the grenade. Get an idea, it doesn’t have to super developed. In fact, it shouldn’t be super developed at all. Think of a solider reaching for his grenade, how much foresight does he have before he throws it? Not very much, because he’s acting on instinct based on the circumstances around him. He just tears it off his belt. Do that with your idea. Imagine you’re in a war zone and yank that idea into a basic form. This means deciding what you want to do.

Have that grenade in your hand and pull the pin. When a solider pulls a grenade off his belt, he’s almost immediately ready to bite off that pin. Immediately take action on the idea! This gets the ball rolling.

Let go of the grenade! Throw it out into the world and let it do its thing. Watch for the reaction. Now, reach for another grenade.

I held a live grenade for 6 months

I got a secret. I didn’t use this tactic with the launch my blog, NadiaChaudhry.com and I regret it so much. It took me 6 months to decide to pull the grenade off my belt. I pulled the pin and wait another 6 months before actually throwing it. Now, imagine if it’d really had been a grenade, I’d be blown to bits!

Now, I’ve learned to treat my ideas as grenades, to just pop that pin and throw it! You learn way more from experience than twiddling your thumbs like a school girl!

Here are some actionable tips to help you:

  1. Start quickly and start cheaply. It’s possible. If you sorta, kinda want to start blogging…? Just do it! Start off by trying a WordPress.com site. Now, do it. It’s free. If you want to sell your crafts, try Etsy. Business come in all shapes and sizes, figure out which method can get you up and at ‘em this week!
  1. Get an accountability group. Get 3-4 close friends and let them know EXACTLY what you’re up to. As humans, we care about what people say to some degree, so use that to your advantage and get the power of guilt working for you. I’ve done this and my productivity has skyrocketed. Specifically, tell them your plans and give them a solid deadline. For example, I’ve told my accountability group that my new free action e-book on starting a business online is coming out December 6thGiving yourself a deadline is when you pull the pin on your grenade. Brag and boost about what you’re going to do, because if you don’t, you’ll look like a tool and it’ll blow up in your face.
  1. Create a time chart. I have a time chart in excel with these columns: “What I Did,” “Time I Spent,” “What I got out of it,” and “What it meant.” This shows me whether or not my action steps are giving me the results I want or just time wasters. So, if you’re constantly brainstorming, record exactly how much time you’re spending (or wasting) only thinking about it. No matter how much time you spend thinking, it won’t GET you anywhere. It should be an eye opener!

Now over to you, imagine your idea as a grenade. Tell me, in the comments: What’s that great idea you have? Decide to pull the pin and throw the grenade. Come up with 3 things you can do today to get it out into the world. Who knows what can happen? I’ll reply back and give you advice/references!

Nadia Chaudhry is a clever and mischievous freelance writer and entrepreneur dedicated to female solopreneurs.  She holds secret powers to amping up a business’ personality through storytelling. She also re- kindles love between people and their long-forgotten or hidden dreams turning them into an inspiring and bold business. Click here to subscribe. Oh and she loves a game of dare or DARE, check it out.

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Mini-Entrepreneurship and Crafts

Many internet people have heard of Etsy correct? If you haven’t where have you been, seriously?

Young people that are just striking out on their own have so many tools today to become micro-entrepreneurs. With just some time, effort, and an internet connection you can make some cash and get your feet wet in the world of online sales.

I first started in high school. I had a friend that was addicted to bidding on Ebay, specifically on car parts, that didn’t really interest me. However, I saw that I had a lot of old books, clothes, and trinkets lying around my room. I got in the habit of reading many Minimalist blogs such as Zen Habits and The Minimalists, I thought to myself what do I need all of these things for? Someone might have a better use for them than how I let them collect dust.

I cleaned out my room and took pictures and posted them up on a very simple and free Ebay account. No bells or whistles, but in a month I did manage to make $100. Yes, I know that doesn’t seem like a lot for a month’s work, but for high school – that seemed like a lot of money to me.

Etsy came on the scene and it was like Ebay, only so much better. You could sell handmade crafts, zines, and clothes, as well as “vintage” things! I’m still running a little Etsy shop where I sell my zines. There’s something special about getting something in the mail. Yes there’s the other world of online affiliate marketing, ebooks, and information sales. But for young people that are just jumping in to make a few extra dollars, it’s a wonderful opportunity.

Hope you’re living a BellaVie!

Living and Learning on a Budget

I came across Joshua Murphy’s great blog post on “How to Sustain Yourself White You Train Yourself.” Something that I have learned in the process of self-education is how to budget. He covers topics like living in your means, not depending on credit, and splitting your costs. Since I decided to forego the dorms, I have saved $10,000 in extra expenses.

Tools, Resources, and Experiences are the categories that Joshua separated his learning budget.

  • Tools – Drums to learn how to drum, a camera to learn how to shoot pictures, or a wok to learn how to make gourmet stir-fry. It all depends on what you want to learn!

 

  • Resources – Finding a coach, private lessons, community college classes, buying books, or tangible things that will help you gain the knowledge to implement the tools.

 

  • Experiences – Airplane tickets, networking events, cultural experiences, festivals – why spend a lot of money on material possessions when you can have shared experiences and memories that are worth a bunch more?

How do you separate your expenses and learn? Do you have a good way to organize and manage how you learn? Leave a comment below!

Hope you’re living a BellaVie!

What options do you have in a world ruled by old ways of thinking?

How do you gain the knowledge to access your education without any debt? We’re seeing higher and higher tuition hikes, investments in football stadiums and luxury dorms – but less investment in tangible skills that students (us) can take advantage of.

For people that do decide to strike it on their own, it can sometimes be lonely. I know I feel like that sometimes:

“Am I doing the right thing?”

“Maybe I should get a degree in this or that…”

“How will I be able to support myself?”

America is really talking about the way education has to change. Just last weekend over The Time Summit on Higher Education took time to see what changes can be done to reform education (I on the other hand think there just has to be a whole revolution and change made). The top three themes came to be

1. Competition Creates Higher Cost

2. Innovate or Die

3. To Improve Higher Education; build better K-12 schools

These are all things that young people know. But what about actions?  What are some tangible answers that they are giving students. During the Presidential debate education was touched on and both parties said “We want to get you jobs.”

Yes sure, but education isn’t preparing us for jobs. Technology is changing the way we interact and do business, there are jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago, and we’re seeing more of a freelance mobile slasher career popping up for us Millennials.

This is why I share classes, schools, and resources that will help you learn skills that you can actually use today. In a world ruled by old thinking, let’s bring in the new and the change. With elections upon us, let’s not wait for change but take advantage of the tools and communities that exist to create our own change.

Hope you’re living a BellaVie!

Adventures in Publishing and Education

Well it’s been 3 months into the school year so this means new ventures for the BellaVie Project. The free version of the documentary available online here, has brought to attention many questions and thoughtful discussions with students from around the … Continue reading

What the heck am I supposed to do with my life?!?

It’s that time of year, students have returned to classes, the mid-drifting begins from

I’m going to rock this year! I’ve got all my supplies, I’ve got my organizer, bring it!

to

I hate this class. Maybe I want to switch my major? But I’m paying for this… What do I really like to do.. ahhhh!

*Enters rabbit hole of no answers*

My favorite vlogger made an amazing video that sums up what I have learned. After having many breakdowns along the way – and still figuring things out – I’ve come to a level of relative contentment after watching it.

Why are we asked what to do for the rest of our lives when life is not something that can be so easily planned out? What if you like one thing but not the other? What if you thought you liked something, but after having some experience doing the actual work… was it what you imagined? Maybe, maybe not.

But don’t settle. Keep your options open and surround yourself with people that will support you, and create stuff. I’m currently working at 3 different places – I am learning a lot about myself, and about what kind of work environment I like.

I feel like I can’t be working for somebody else on their projects. I have to have my projects – speaking of which big things are in store! Pun intended. I’ve moved my bigcartel store to Etsy where I have my zines but I’m in the process of book writing. Yes, I know – one at a time. But I’ll update you more on that soon. I’ll be having a pre-order soon for independent copies and what exactly it will entail.

Hope you’re all living a BellaVie!

What is Experiential Learning and Where can I Learn that Way?

Hello fellow learner,

Happy Monday! I hope that this start of the week is beginning well in your learning adventures. Today I have  schedule set on learning more about videography (through vimeo), herbalism, and holistic health (through work and library books).  However, I wanted to share some experiential learning opportunities tips and resources because I feel that learning by doing is one of the greatest ways an individual can learn.

What is experiential learning?

It is literally what it sounds like! Learning from experience. Today in school we read about history, social issues, but what really makes a difference is when we are there fully using all of our senses. Sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing! 

You can see an actual diagram of this process through David Kolb‘s Cycle of Experiential learning. Through an actual concrete experience, we consciously observe it and reflect. It is a continual process, and in our time post-experience we have time to create an abstract conceptualization in our minds through this experience, and afterwards (because all of our senses have been part of the original experience) we actively experiment and create our own way and understanding of doing things.

Why is this a great way of learning?

According to Keuka College:

  • It gives students confidence in whatever field they happened to be learning about
  • For students that would like to be employed in certain jobs, it gives them a competitive advantage over students that have just “studied” the subject

Of course in a traditional school setting there are different requirements that need to be met – journals, classroom discussions, and papers – which can definitely be helpful in completely absorbing the information. However, when these things become the main goal of the classroom rather than the material itself students tend to get bored and see it as a chore.

How can you get some experiential learning opportunities?

After experiencing China and teaching English there I really have the travel bug. But for people that are not interested in travel specifically there are many experiential opportunities. 

These are some of the sites that I have used and stumbled upon for experiential learning opportunities. There are more on my resources page above. Experiential learning can be as local as connecting with a business owner in your community and offering some of your time, while learning a craft. To flying halfway across the world to get actual teaching experience.

Hope you’re all living  a BellaVie!

 

 

Natalie Hammerquist: Herbalist, Activist, and Life-Long Learner

1. What were you like in high school? I had a tendency to throw myself at things with 100% tenacity and passion, and a hunger for the truth. I was adamant about doing things my way. I declared myself a … Continue reading

Legacy Leaving and Connections

So yesterday I attended Chris Guillebeau’s $100 StartUp book tour. He was stopping in Chicago so naturally I ran after work to go to the meet up. It was so inspiring to see everyone blogging, creating their own living and helping people. One of the questions that Chris writes about in his book “The Art of Non-Conformity” is:

What legacy do you want to leave? 

That question has stuck with me and perhaps I don’t feel like I have all the answers, I actually definitely know that I DON’T. But he does mention legacy building, contributing to others, and making time for freedom. Because isn’t that what we want? Connecting with others and contributing to others. For those of you that haven’t checked out his work – from travel to business… I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite authors that led me on the path of non-conformity.

I’m currently working on a project that I hope to have available for my blog readers next month. There’s been awesome questions and links shared since the documentary has been released. And I hope to expand on that.

Until next time. I hope you’re all living a BellaVie!

University of the People says “free higher education for all!”

Always keeping tabs on higher education tags and resources I came across something that blew me out of the water. It’s called University of the People, sounds quite nice doesn’t it? Currently they offer a Master’s and Associate’s degree in Computer Science and Business management. They have students from all over the world and are working on their accreditation.

But the opportunity to connect with professors from all over the world sounds quite exciting, and getting a bachelor’s degree for free at the same time with networking availabilities? Sounds like an exciting opportunity. You can check out this article from the New York Times with a little more of the backstory of UoPeople. And you can check out their website here.

Hope you’re all living a BellaVie!