McDonalds Budgeting Advice – how to live on minimum wage

Here’s a link video I found while surfing through Facebook: McDonalds Helpfully Offered Its Employees Budgeting Advice. Here’s What Happened.

The bottom line is that McDonald’s showed how to do a budget but they missed some important things:

  • Even with their budget you can’t live on minimum wage, 
  • many expenses a normal person would have.

After watching the minute long video I realized that their target audience is kids in high school.  The budget was an attempt to have a more grown-up conversation, but the bottom line is that a McDonalds job, especially out of management, is NOT meant to be a career.  What is it, then?

A great entry level job to learn various things including personal responsibility, how to work with others, customer service, etc.

It could also be a great way to increase your personal income.

It could be a fine job if you live at home and don’t have full, normal expenses.

I’m not saying you should work fast food, or at McDonald’s.  I think you can make (A LOT) more per hour doing other things, like I have in 51 Alternatives to a Real Job.

Putting it in perspective, a McDonald’s job is just one more income stream.  And it might be a very good one for you.

Regardless of the bad math on the video and the audience mismatch.



How to Start a Side Project Without Quitting Your Day Job (Pam Slim)

pam-slim-esape-from-cubicle-nationPam Slim is the queen of corporate -> self employed.  She wrote the book Escape From Cubicle Nation and I’ve followed her blog for years.

Check out her article on lifehacker: How to Start a Side Project Without Quitting Your Day Job

Of her five tips, my favorite is this: Don’t over-complicate it

I’m sure she has seen this way to many times (I have).  People who want to create some revenue but they get hung up on:

- business planning

- raising money (when it usually isn’t time to raise money

- fear

- complexity of the startup,

- ????

I tend to get overwhelmed with projects.  When I was finishing my basement it came time to paint the walls and ceiling.  This was a big project and I was putting it off for too long.  Then, one day, I opened the can, stirred the paint, dipped my roller, and put up the first roll of paint.  And the rest happened from there.

Sometimes we just need to START with that first roll, even if everything else isn’t ready.

Knock on the first door, make the first call, write the first blog post… but GET STARTED.

Going to blog for money? Absorb this article!

12_types_of_content_that_spread_fastI was coaching someone last week on writing blog posts for money.  Not the crappy $15/post, but getting paid fairly for providing real value to companies that need consistent content on their site.

As I was coaching her I found this article: 12 Types of Content That Spread Fast

If you are going to write or put anything online, you need to absorb this article.  Seriously, print it out and keep it on the wall next to you.  Incorporate the things from this article and you will bring more value to your own company, or to your clients.  That makes YOU more valuable.

Watch a new startup, from beginning to … ?

michael_stelznerI met Michael Stelzner in a hotel lobby a few years back in San Diego.  Mike lives there and I was at a conference.  He interviewed me, put it on Youtube, and that was kind of the end of it.

Then, Mike’s business, Social Media Examiner, became crazy successful.  Mike did a lot of interviews on how he took his business from zero in revenue to over a million dollars in one year.  Crazy cool.  Here are some interviews:

How The Online Magazine Social Media Examiner Went From $0 To Over $1,000,000 In Revenue In Less Than One Year

How Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner Starts a New Business

How an Online Magazine Is Being Built Into a Million Dollar Business

How Social Media Examiner Made $1.7 Million in Its First Year of Business

So what is he doing now?  He started something that I’m anxious to watch succeed: My Kids Adventures.

If this were anyone else I wouldn’t hold my breath, but Michael has been there and done that and knows how to get it done. I hope this is as successful as his last one… we’ll wait and see!

If you want to learn from anyone on how it is done, watch this website.


Self-Promotion is a MUST

dan_schwabelDan Schawbel got some ink on Yahoo’s article: A self-promotion pro tells how to get ahead

I knew Dan when he was a nobody, working a corporate job with a vision to do much more. He has done much more and it’s been awesome to watch his company and career blossom.

Read the article.  Everything he says is stuff he has done.

But there is something he didn’t go into (which I’ll go into for the Ask The Expert webinar with Dan in October): interviewing people.

Dan has interviewed dozens of famous people.  I’m not talking niche, kind of famous.  He has interviewed BIG names.  And lots of them.

Dan isn’t a journalist, but he approached this project (of interviewing famous people) with a drive that I’ve not seen before.  And it has boosted his own brand to a higher level.  Getting endorsements for his books from big names?  No big deal.  He has the relationships.

Anyway, read the article.  Do what Dan says.  And join us in October (no cost).

Alternatives to a Real Job: Pool Boy

This is an Alternative that almost made it into the book, but didn’t.  I’m going to copy and paste from Quora – I can’t ask the poster permission because he is anon, and Quora might not let you see it unless you are logged in.  This is responding to jobs that don’t seem to make a lot of money but do:

I worked on and off as a “pool boy” in my younger, fitter days. I am answering this anon for a few reasons I won’t go into.

I don’t know how typical this is and I did this as freelance venture, not working for a company.

I would charge a customer $40 a week to keep their pools clean and all the chemicals balanced. This usually took me about 45 minutes a trip. I would typically only have to visit the pool once a week so I could do many pools in a week. For about 5 years I maintained roughly ten pools a day, 6 days a week for 6 months out of the year.

$40/pool x 60 pools a week= $2,400

$2,400/week x 25 weeks or so= $60,000

Keep in mind that this was for just over half the year, and not including tips.

Some of the perks were freakin awesome!

It took a lot of hours and it was much harder work than one would think, but I was making good money for an 18 year old with no college education.

So basically, if you live in the right place, you might be able to make $60k working half the year? Awesome.

Don’t “Sell Past The Close”

On a webinar this week about salary negotiation we were talking about talking too much. I shared a recent experience where my nine year old daughter felt like she had to overly explain something that had happened.  Before she started I already had decided what I was going to do (talk to one of her siblings who was “in the wrong”), but the way my daughter kept describing things, and justifying and rationalizing, she looked worse and worse.

I told her to stop, because she already made her case, and she “won,” but the more she talked, the more likely she was going to get in trouble also.

A sales professional who listened to this story said that she was “selling past the close.”

What a profound thought!  I’m sure it is a common phrase among sales people, but I had never heard it before.

I have heard things like “he who talks first loses,” and “he who talks last loses.”  I love the concept but I don’t like the idea of “losing,” since sales should be about win-win-win.

Using the term “don’t sell past the close” is cool because it is win-win-win… no one really “loses.”  But it is a warning that perhaps there is a time to STOP talking.

Or else you might just talk yourself out of the sale.

Forbes article on one-person businesses

51 Alternatives to a Real Job seems to be a dream… did I really write it?  Will it really impact and inspire people?  Is this new way of personal finances a reality?

It’s more of a reality than people want to believe.  Check out this great story on Forbes: The Rise Of The Million Dollar, One-Person Business

In the article the author questions whether they are really one-person businesses… and says that many times there are multiple contractors working on the business.  But folks, realize, that is how it goes.  If you get to big for YOU, bring help in.  And it can be with contractors!

Read the article… great info.  I was surprised by the sectors that led each income/revenue bracket.

Costco Magazine Image and 51 Alternatives to a Real Job Cover

In a twist of irony, I got an email from a Now What author (Sandy Jones-Kaminski, who wrote I’m at a Networking Event – Now What???) showing a page from the Costco magazine.  I have the magazine but I have been to busy to read it… check out this picture:


That elephant is the same elephant on the cover of the 51 Alternatives to a Real Job book.  Their take: Perfect Balance.

Unfortunately, Costco will probably not take my book since they don’t like self publishers.  Their guidelines are pretty clear and pretty strict about that.  Oh well… :(