Are You a Student of Life?

As a 46 year old, it’s only been the last few years that I have really taken stock of my life and realised what is important, and what isn’t.

If I’m facing any kind of struggle or dilema I ask myself these questions.

‘Does this really matter?’

‘Will this matter in a year or two from now?’

‘Will this matter when I’m on my death bed?’ (Hopefully many years from now).

Usually, the answer is ‘No’.

  • – We get consumed by so many things in life.
  • – We argue with those we care about.
  • – We get embroiled in drama.
  • – We spend far too much time worrying about things and being anxious.
  • – We stretch ourselves too far financially, buying flashy things to impress other people we do not even care about.

The list goes on.

Over the last year I have directed my energy into aspects of my life that will ‘enhance my life’ and make me a better person.

For me, it’s all about personal growth. We never stop learning, and nor should we.

Instead of worrying about the things I don’t have, I’m grateful for the things I do have.

My family, good friends, my health – and the health of those I care about. The sun on my face, fresh air, and long walks with my dog.

Every day is a blessing. It truley is.

It’s not all about having the latest gadgets, cars or a flashy life-style.

When you start to live a life of gratitude, and are thankful for all the good things you do have in your life, it’ll make you a much more fulfilled, happier person.

Having goals is one thing – But forever chasing ‘stuff’ will distract you from what’s right in front of you, right here, right now.

Never Stop Learning From Others

I love learning about mindset, happiness, relationships, gratitude, forgiveness, business, and life in general.

Two Podcasts I have been listening to lately are ‘School of Greatness’ and ‘Super Soul’.

They include many interviews with some exceptional, inspirational people. I recommend you have a listen to those.

Question: Do you listen to Podcasts? If so, which ones do you listen to?

Feel free to drop a comment below and share your favourite Podcasts, and why.

That’s all for today.

Wishing you health, happiness and success.

Andy Black

Why We Should Be Moving to a 4 Day Work Week

Did you know that in the 1930’s, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that ‘eventually’ people would be working a 15 hour week.

His analysis shown huge leaps in technology, production and automation.

However, his prediction was wrong – and in modern times the average person works 5 days per week, equating to 37-40 hours of their life, each week, engrossed in work.

Do you know why? Consumerism.

After the 1930’s technology advanced and cars, computers, TV’s and electrical gadgets were in reach of the average person – almost.

People wanted stuff and ‘keeping up with the Jones’ became a thing. People wanted the house, the car, the electrical goods – and that all came at a price!

But here’s the thing – Humans aren’t biologically built to work long hours. In fact, humans are generally productive for around 2.5 hours per day – with regards to work.

Meaning that the rest of the time we are less productive – yet glued to our desks, work stations or place of work.

Over recent years there has been a movement. Groups of people who are campaigning for a 4 day work week – Giving people more time with their friends and family, and more time to live their lives.

After all – That’s the whole point of living, right?

So, what’s the thought process behind the 4-day work week?

Studies have been carried out that proves we can work less hours, and still achieve the same level of work (or even more).

In fact, trials for the 4-day work week were carried out in Iceland with overwhelming success.

People in Iceland had their work days reduced down to 4 days per week whilst getting paid the same, but for shorter hours.

Productivity remained the same for the majority of workplaces, and in some cases it even increased.

The reason for this is because working less results in less stress. Freeing up that extra day to spend as you like increases happiness, productivity and focus.

People found that due to the extra time off work, they were able to effectively compress their workload into a 4 day week.

Their work didn’t suffer, and their life was improved. Sounds like a win / win situation, right?

Over the last month or two I have been researching this, as this is something that I want to move to myself. In fact, my goal eventually is to move to a 3-day work week. Work Monday to Wednesday (and be extremely focused) and free up Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to do as I please.

Hike, explore, and live my life whilst I’m able to.

My business is VERY flexible as it is, and if I want to take time off, I do it. However, it would be good to make this a way of life, rather than a ‘spur of the moment’ whim.

Would you like to work less and LIVE more? Do you think you can find a way to do it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so feel free to post a comment below.

Remember, you’re in charge of your own life, and if you want to make changes in your life, you have the power and will to do so.

It’s simple – Formulate a plan and then execute it.

We have one shot at this thing called life and it’s your responsibility to create the life you want. I know I am.

To your success

Andy Black

When You Re-evaluate What’s Important in Your Life

Well, it’s been a long time since I have posted on my blog – but that’s about to change.

As we’re nearing the end of a difficult period (globally), there’s been a lot of lessons learned.

Probably more realisations than lessons, but this pandemic has certainly changed the way I think about life, in a good way.

Here’s why.

Since a fairly young age I used to have big dreams. I was never sure how I would reach those dreams but it was surely fun to focus on them – and hope that one day I would be living them.

Dreams of a big house with a pool. Sports cars. Designer clothes. Exotic holidays. Everything that ‘many’ people strive for, or want.

Well, that is what I thought I used to want – and for many of those things – I achieved it.

However, even though my dreams were always big, my core focus was always on creating more freedom and flexibility in my life.

Since March 2020 when the first lockdown happened I started to change my perspective on life. My thought processes changed, and as everything that I ‘sometimes took for granted’ was taken away from me, I started to appreciate the simple things in life.

The free things – Such as long walks with my dog. Fresh air on a lovely Spring morning.

Travel was off the agenda. The pubs and bars were closed. Restaurants were shut, and the social amenities that were once accessible on a whim, were closed for business.

The usual things I could spend or squander my money on were no longer in arms reach.

As the reality kicked in I started to realise one thing. I didn’t NEED many of these things in my life. I mean, they were nice additions – sometimes. But I didn’t need them.

That got me thinking about how much money I could have saved if I weren’t so frivolous – and how that money could have been put to better use.

More importantly – It got me thinking how much time I could free up if I didn’t burden myself, or my life, with expensive – unnecessary hobbies, habits and past times.

As I started to enjoy the simpler things in life and valuing my natural surroundings more, it made me want to make real changes in my life and how I live it.

One of the things I now love doing is going hiking in the local hills, moors and countryside. Except for a little fuel money – It costs me nothing. Yet the rewards and benefits are immeasurable.

(Above are just a few photos of these fun outings!)

I now also value my friends and family more too. I always did value them, but I’m talking about a ‘higher level’ of appreciation. Really appreciating the moments I get to spend with them.

I always say – You don’t need many friends. You just need good ones.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about removing ‘stress’ from my life, and even downsizing.

Cutting out the clutter from my life, getting rid or giving away stuff I don’t need – and just living a simpler life.

I’m not talking about extreme minimalism. Just streamlining my belongings and removing things that will hinder my life moving forward. Generally speaking – Consumerism.

Many people work towards retirement. It takes them years because of the financial commitments they make and the lifestyles they lead. Keeping up with the Jones costs money!

For me – It’s about creating the kind of life you don’t need to retire from. That’s now paramount to me.

I want to live my life now, enjoy my life now, and for it to be on my own terms – Rather than grinding for years, hoping that I’ll reach the age that I’ll finally retire. An age where physical illness is more likely to rear it’s ugly head.

Keep an eye out for my next blog post which is going to be about ‘working a 3 or 4 day work week’, and WHY people should work towards that.

I‘d Love to Hear Your Thoughts and Feedback Regarding this Post

Has the pandemic changed the way you live your life? Has it shifted your mindset in anyway?

I’d love to hear your thoughts – So please do drop a comment below this post.

To your success

Andy Black

Jumping on Opportunities When they Present Themselves

So, today I wanted to write about something “pretty interesting” that has happened to me recently.  The whole point of this post is to emphasize HOW important it is to jump on opportunities when they present themselves.  Believe me, opportunities will present themselves to you often.  You may just not see the signs.

Anyhow, about 4 months or so ago I noticed that I was starting to get quite a lot of web traffic to one of my software sites.  It’s a site that I setup back in October 2014 to sell a software product.  Since then I have done very well with that particular product however, this post isn’t really about that.

The traffic to this site was pouring in daily and I couldn’t understand WHO these people were.  There was no way that this number of people will be searching in Google and the other search engines for my software.  As my software is very niche and not mass market.

One day I stopped what I was doing to investigate.  What I found was rather interesting.  A small-time game developer had decided to use the exact SAME name for a new game of his as my software.  His game had started to go viral on Youtube and social networks and soon lots of people turned to Google to search for this game.

Of course, with me buying the domain name back in 2014 it was solidly ranked in Google for the name of my software (and this game).

This means when anyone searched for information about this game my site was near the top on page 1.  Boom! Instant traffic.

So, I checked my sites analytics (visitor stats) to find that a few hundred thousand visitors had passed through my site.  I never made any money from these because my site wasn’t “monetized” for it.  I have nothing on my site that was remotely to do with this game.

Essentially, I was LOSING lots of money.

So, I quickly looked at ways I could turn these website visitors onto money.  The were a few options but the simplest method was “ads”.

I decide to quickly re-purpose the site by creating a few content pages, added some relevant Youtube videos and written some content for each page.

I also added all the required legal pages to the footer so that I was safely within the ad networks guidelines.

After setting that up it was around 11pm at night.  I was tired but thought I’d place the ads on the pages and see what happens.  After about 2 minutes I refreshed my “stats” in the ad network.  It shown $0.00.  I thought, ok… maybe people don’t click ads anymore.  I waited another few minutes.  When I clicked again it shown around £5.00.  I was taken back.  I refreshed the stats again 12 minutes after placing my ads and it shown over £12.

I knew I was onto a winner.

This is nearly a month ago and since then I’ve made nearly £8,000 ($12,000) from those ads and every day brings in a few hundred pounds.

This is automated money from FREE, organic traffic.  I do not have to do anything else to earn this money and it is extra to my usual income.

The reason for this post is… seize the moment.  If any opportunity arises within your business then jump on it.  Don’t hang around as you never know when that door will close.  I wasted over 3 months of traffic and after working out that number in terms of “income”… damn… I don’t even want to post it.  It’s painful.

Keep your eyes peeled… as sometimes in life good things can happen.  If you blink, you’ll miss it.