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The First Step To Earning More Money

It’s the first month of the year. You have a money goal (hopefully an attainable one), you have your steps outlined, and you’re ready to launch. You’re aiming for one thing: more money to fund your dreams. After all, it takes money to make [some of] our dreams come true.

There’s a crucial first step that you need to take in order to earn more money. Most people immediately look for a second job, start applying to new positions, or pick up additional hours at their current job. Others will start having yard sales, falling into MLMs, taking paid surveys, or running to the local plasma center to generate some extra cash.

If you thought that the first step to earning more money is to work more, then you’ve probably spent a lot of time spinning your wheels and making little progress. Yes, you can absolutely earn more money by working more or working harder, but that is rarely a sustainable solution. Your energy and time are finite, and using more of both can leave you depleted.

I propose a gentler – but still effective – way to start on the path to higher earnings. It’s an oft-mentioned step, but I don’t think anyone emphasizes it as the best step to take before taking additional action.

Start your money making journey with two things: a skills audit and a values assessment. Most of the missteps that happen with side hustles, second jobs, and increased work hours involve leaning upon weaker or nonexistent skills, or, even worse, in scenarios where there are value mismatches. Knowing your skills and your values will ensure that you won’t pursue money-making opportunities that leave you frustrated, exhausted, or unfulfilled.

Is making more money supposed to be a fulfilling experience? Yes, absolutely! If you are having a miserable or even a lackluster time, then it’s not the right money-making option for you! There are so many ways to make money that are fun, fulfilling and enjoyable: you DO NOT have to suffer through miserable jobs just to make extra cash.

So, before you start the job hunt, or sign up for extra shifts, write down all of your skills, and determine which ones you most enjoy using. Then, get clear on your values, write them down, and only accept jobs or opportunities that resonate with both of these lists. If you’re tired of suffering to make money, or if you need help with getting a clear understanding of your skills and values, check out this page for support.

Have you ever done a skills audit or values assessment? Let me know about your experience in the comments below!

How Ditching Your Money Resolutions Can Make You Successful

Happy Tuesday! Did you all know that today – January 17 – is annual Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day? I didn’t know this was a thing until last week, and, I have to admit, I found it humorous, considering most people end up ditching their resolutions right around this time of the month. In the spirit of this lighthearted “holiday”, I thought it would be good to discuss something in a similar vein.

In my humble opinion, ditching money resolutions can be the first step to financial success.

Now, before you all think I’ve lost my mind, please let me explain. I, Tia Delano, absolutely adore New Year’s Day, and all of the traditions involved with it, including making resolutions. But I’m also aware that the pressure of starting a new year can make us hard on ourselves, and can cause us to view our previous missteps with a much more critical – and less understanding – eye. We often use the New Year holiday to lean into our tendencies to view ourselves much more harshly than we view others. And, the truth is, looking at our choices without giving ourselves grace is a recipe for frustration. That frustration leads us to overestimating what we can do in one year (credit to Bill Gates for this quote).

The end result of harsh self critiques is astronomically ambitious goals that require supernatural focus, drastically increased resources, incredible luck, extraordinary commitment, and a host of other underdeveloped and uncontrollable attributes. With these sorts of goals, it’s very difficult to accomplish what we set out to do, because we lack some (or most!) of what we need to be successful. That’s why I propose that you ditch the big money resolutions and, instead, commit to incremental actions that can be completed easily and build momentum in service to your big goals.

If you recall, last week, I posted my big, dreamy financial goals. But, you may have noticed that the goals were ambitious, but not dramatic. I didn’t choose goals that would set me up for failure: I don’t overestimate what can happen in 2023, nor do I encourage anyone to set goals that will require exhausting, unsustainable action in order to achieve them. If you set a goal, it should stretch you, not snap you in half.

If you’re unsure if you have an exhausting goal, try breaking down the steps to complete it: break it down by quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily actions. If the daily actions involve more than two or three steps, each day, for 365 days, it’s safe to say that this goal may be larger than what you can manage at this point. I advise anyone to only commit to one small action a day (preferably taking less than 15 minutes) until you have created a habit that can be expanded in small, manageable increments (3-5 minutes per increase). If it takes more than two small daily actions to reach your goal, then maybe your goal can be revised to be more manageable and attainable.

The objective of any of this is to experience success, and if you lay down those big goals, you may find yourself creating success faster than you could have ever imagined!

Planning Your Financial Year

As we draw closer to the end of 2022, there is a feeling of hope in the air: tomorrow always holds the potential for us to be better, happier, and more successful than we were yesterday. One of the biggest advantages of embracing hopeful energy is that it motivates us to plan and prepare for the future we desire. With hope on your side, anything is possible!

With that in mind, I’m excited to share with you some easy steps for planning your financial year. It may seem daunting at first, but it’s surprisingly easy and quick to plan a financial year that will bring you joy instead of tears. The key to planning anything is breaking it down the big goals into smaller, more manageable pieces. Then, once those pieces are defined, take action daily in order to make your dreams come true. I’m getting ahead of myself: let’s start at the beginning.

Ask yourself, What do I want? Vague goals get vague results. Get specific and stop excluding yourself from your desires: eliminate the word “can’t” from your vocabulary. If the goal feels so huge that you doubt that it can happen, then take it down half a notch, but never make it so realistic that it doesn’t excite you. Your goals should light you up: if it feels lackluster, it isn’t big enough. Big, dreamy, specific goals are what you need to keep you motivated throughout the year.

Ask yourself, What will it take to get what I want? Break your big, dreamy goals into smaller, specific steps. If any part of your goals rely on luck, specify that, but also focus most of your attention on the actions that are within your control. If you identify a step that feels a bit overwhelming, then break that down into a much smaller, more manageable sub-steps. The objective of this exercise is to make your big goals feel obtainable (because they are!)

Ask yourself, What can I do today to get closer to what I want? Consistent, daily action is what takes a dream or plan and turns it into reality. The biggest problem I’ve seen people encounter on the path to their goals is believing that they need to take grand actions in order to make progress. If you wait for the right time to make big moves, you’ll find yourself frustrated, stuck, and feeling like a failure. Rarely do we get a “perfect” time to take big actions: we either sneak up on our goals or we hope for the stars to align before we make moves (I don’t recommend that you do the latter).

I’m still thinking of my big, dreamy financial goal for 2023: once I’ve identified that goal, I’ll share it here, and give you all my process for achieving it. Look out for those posts in the next few weeks!

I’d love to hear what your financial goals for 2023 are: please let me know all about them in the comments below!

5 Income Sources You Can Create For Yourself Now

Happy Finance Friday! I hope you all had a great, prosperous week. If not, then I hope this post gives you some ideas for turning your money story around, and for majorly upleveling your finances.

Many of the discussions around money center around making more (which is what I’ll be talking about today) and spending less (to be discussed soon). These are the cornerstones to creating financial freedom, so the quicker you can implement them, the better your results. But when it comes to quickly implementing money-making strategies, there is usually this looming sense of overwhelm and a lack of clarity regarding where to start first.

Never fear: here are 5 income sources that you can create quickly, so you can start making more money NOW. I’m keeping it simple, giving you links and sources that you can explore right now, to start making money quickly and to give your finances a boost.

Tutoring – There are many online tutoring platforms, but I recommend Cambly for its ease of use. Once you’ve signed up and your profile is approved, you can sign up for Priority Hours, which guarantee that you will get priority student placements (basically, students are routed to you first) and you are guaranteed to receive partial payment for the hour, even if you don’t get any students routed to you (this is rare, but it can happen). It pays about $10 per hour, so it won’t make you a millionaire, but if you do one hour a day, that’s $300 per month that you can use to treat yourself, knock out debt, or invest in your future.

Make printables – if you’re creative, this is a fabulous way to make money without having to keep a bunch of physical inventory. Design cute templates and printable documents using free online software (like Canva), then upload the designs to your own website or to another platform (like Etsy). You can be making money within a few hours, if this interests you.

eBay store ownership – Sign up for an eBay account, take pictures of your stuff, then upload and set your price. Yes, there’s a little more to it (writing out descriptions, figuring out what has to happen once the items are purchased, etc.). However, this is one of the quickest ways to make money with what you already have.

Personal assistant work – Fiverr, TaskRabbit, and Upwork are just three of the platforms where you can advertise your skills as a personal assistant. Yes, even TaskRabbit has options beyond yardwork and furniture moving: you can find gigs for errands and clerical tasks. Once you set up your profiles on these websites, you can start making money.

Host virtual cocktails – This is great if you’re social and want to quickly monetize your popularity. Come up with a fun cocktail idea, set up a FB event page for it, work out the Zoom (or other meeting platform) details, then start selling tickets. Yes, it will take a few moments to set up a way to receive your payments, but that’s what PayPal, Zelle and CashApp are for. If you’re a fabulous hostess, you can make a memoral event happen from the comfort of your home.

These are just a few ideas for generating money quickly so you can start hitting your financial goals. Look out for another post in a few weeks, discussing 5 ways to spend less money, so you can hold on to more of what you earn. Have a great weekend!

Tracking The Good Stuff – My Results

The past several weeks may have been difficult for you (I certainly felt the energy of difficulty and frustration). Last week, I mentioned that I would be focusing on all of the good stuff that came into my life. Keeping a Goodness Log is a great idea if you need to turn your mind away from frustrating topics and to put your attention toward what you prefer to have. Given the overall negative slant of most of the information that we’ve been getting, a Goodness Log can be just what you need to get your mindset back to where you want it to be.

I noticed that I experienced SO MUCH goodness last week: actually, there were too many good things to capture them all in this post. So, I’m going to share some of my highlights. Here’s some of the goodness that came my way over the past week:

  • I had a luxurious dinner with my lovely daughter at Hondo’s
  • I saved quite a bit of money on a few of my food delivery orders
  • I received a free set of candles to review on one of my YouTube channels
  • I got some fabulous instruction regarding which direction I needed to go in my businesses
  • I had wonderful conversations with some of my dearest friends
  • I got some great resources that will help me fill the gaps within my daughter’s educational program
  • I found some information that I needed to complete a chapter in my upcoming book
  • My schedule had a lot of restorative free time (much needed)
  • I saw increased channel and blog activity

The goodness is coming in, everyone! This exercise really helped me to get back to the positive mindset that I prefer. I’m hoping that you all felt an energy shift from keeping a log, too!

5 Reasons Why We Don’t Earn Enough Money

Hi friends! I have a little bit of a surprise coming in a couple of days, but before I can unveil that, I have to cover a topic that I know has been on a lot of minds, and that seems to be discussed more and more in public forums as the economy goes through its ups and downs.

Many of us work hard, do a good job, and yet we still don’t seem to earn enough money. This is a problem that I had personally for years, until I made some crucial changes that helped me to turn this around (more about those changes in a minute). There are at least five common reasons why we don’t earn enough money, and I’d like to discuss these with you, as well as point you in the direction of some support for turning these reasons around.

  1. We didn’t do skill audits when needed. A skill audit is a deep dive into our knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs, for those that are familiar with federal job terminology). Listing our skills then having a deep appreciation for what we’ve mastered is critical to understanding our worth in tangible measurements. Without this knowing, it’s nearly impossible to be adequately compensated for our work. After all, if we aren’t clear about our value, how can we appropriately price our labor when interacting with clients and employers?
  2. We undervalued our skills. Even when we’re crystal clear about what’s in our skill set, we can still under-price ourselves. Many of us believe that timidity, and being the “lowest bidder”, will ensure that we get the clients or the jobs that we want. And it’s true that doing this may get us jobs and clients, however . . . We often find that undervaluing our labor means that we work harder, get burned out faster, and earn less over time. Please don’t let the current conversations about the desperation in the job market discourage you: there are enough positions available at every income level to satisfy your earning desires, and you don’t have to undervalue yourself just to secure employment.
  3. We have outdated money beliefs. Once upon a time, we believed that telecommuting and virtual work environments were only available to the few lucky people that happened to stumble upon progressive employers. Then 2020 happened, and we found out that a lot of employers that previously found telework to be “infeasible” and “unsustainable” could now operate with 100% virtual teams. I mention this example to illustrate that our money beliefs should be constantly shifting because our realities are always transforming. For that reason, we have to ask ourselves honestly whether we believe that we can actually earn more, that employers and clients are willing to pay what we ask, and that there are environments that will support the kind of work we wish to do. Only after considering these things can we remove this block in our earning potential.
  4. We accepted principle over profit. This is probably the only reason that may remain even after going through the other points. Sometimes, we choose work that is underpaid but rewarding (education and farming are two fields that come to mind immediately) because we’ve decided that the emotional rewards outweigh the financial gain. It is possible to have abundant income and deeply purposeful work all wrapped in one, but if our main motivation is principle, we may not seek out more lucrative opportunities. The goal should always be adequate or abundant income, coming from meaningful work. We should never have to choose between the two and, if our financial gain means that we have to compromise our values, then the opportunity isn’t worth it.
  5. We’re paralyzed by fear. This is probably the biggest one, because it’s the only thing that requires constant monitoring and addressing issues as they arise. It’s also the only point that can’t be easily corrected by introducing objective information. Our fears can convince us of monsters in teh shadows and can keep us from taking leaps of faith. However, it’s key to note that we are always larger than our fears, and we can always choose to be brave. Our future selves require us to be courageous and take one step forward, then another, even when we don’t know exactly where it will lead us.

I’ve personally gone through each of these reasons for underearning. I didn’t understand the breadth of my skillset, I did work where I was grossly underpaid, I believed that my dream salary wasn’t possible due to XYZ (insert lots of detrimental thinking here), I engaged in meaningful work that didn’t pay much, and I’ve been so scared that I wouldn’t even apply to certain jobs. I’ve tackled each of them one by one, in order to dismantle my money blocks and earn more money than ever. Now my work is simultaneously interesting, full of purpose, and well paid. I also got to tap into one of my core values – flexibility – since I now have a position where I can choose my work schedule based on my needs.

I’m here for you all if you need help with reason #1 – identifying your current skill set. I am currently offering a skills audit package on my Services page, so you can see my approach to quantifying your KSAs. It includes a telephone/zoom conversation with me, as well as a beautifully formatted document that you can use when seeking new earning opportunities, and you can customize it as you add new skills to your toolkit. It’s perfect for helping you get clear on your depth of expertise and how to position yourself to earn what you want and deserve. The skills audit will also help you overcome any of the five reasons that may be blocking you from earning more money, as well as any skills gaps, and recommend how to address these gaps in the most affordable and efficient way.

Those are my top five reasons why we may not be earning enough money. Look out for more insights in upcoming posts! Take care.

This Week in Tax & Finance

Here’s a quick rundown of the most interesting tax and finance articles I’ve read this week:

Special taxes for soda? Well, Mexico implemented a 10% soda tax, which meant that any sugary, carbonated beverages costs consumers more than the price of a bottled water. According to the article posted by Wired, the US could learn something from how the Mexican soda tax was implemented. Berkeley, California already has a version of this tax, but, without nationwide uniformity, the effects of a soda tax are limited. The researchers remain hopeful about the US implementing something similar, but I remain a skeptic. I know how Americans, in general, feel about any tax. They also believe it is their right to guzzle toxic products, so long as said toxic product tastes good.

The takeaway? A soda tax is highly unlikely in the US, where personal freedom reigns over collective wellbeing.

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Kids are benefiting from “drugs” (marijuana sales) in Colorado. The Cannabist reports that the 2015 excise taxes collected on marijuana sales totals $3.5 million so far, with numbers expected to increase over the upcoming months. The funds are being used for school construction. There is some additional proposed legislation that will help facilitate the continued use of the excise taxes for school, but it’s very likely that the proposition will pass.

The takeaway? Since marijuana purchases in Colorado mean school funding, purchasing cannabis is now a civic duty.

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Do you find that, at the end of the month, you always end up with more month than money? Well, that seems to be a national epidemic, as the federal government managed to overspend its tax revenue by $313 billion dollars. According to CNS News, the feds collected nearly $2.5 trillion dollars in tax revenue over the past 9 months, and still managed to overspend. The largest tax collected came from individual income taxes, followed by payroll (Social Security and Medicare) taxes, then corporate taxes. Despite so many tax streams, the government still spends too much. Let’s hope that this fiscal mismanagement gets under control.

The takeaway? Bouncing checks is a national trait, and it’s detrimental on any level.

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That’s all for this week. Look out for another post this week!

This Website is One Month Old!

I’m so excited to announce that this website is officially one month old!

I’m still learning so much, as I have never worked on WordPress so extensively. I have found myself accidentally submitting blog posts when what I meant to do was save them as drafts (that has happened more than once, and actually happened earlier today)! I found out- the hard way- that the beautiful colors I’d selected were only available under Premium accounts. I learned about email forwarding, sharing on social media, and the amazing convenience of scheduling posts.

Working through the details of a business, then going into the creation of a website, was quite the undertaking. I’m just glad that I’m finally on this path. I look forward to sharing more valuable information with you all in the future! In the meantime, I will be celebrating this one month anniversary!