February 2015: I didn’t know what Product Hunt was. Now, fast forward to Saturday, July 25, 2015: I was invited to be a “Product Hunter”, or Hunter, by Product Hunt moderator and former Community Manager, Nichole (thank you so much!!!)
This article is the first in a series of articles discussing the productivity tips that have worked for others and that I have implemented into my life.
Before I discuss one action that has helped me increase my productivity, I’d like to first define what productivity means to me. Productivity is the concept of creating an impeccable system of habits that we live by in order maximize the time we have, and multiply our results so that we constantly move closer towards our personal and professional goals. By creating a system, we not only achieve more today, but we also create more time tomorrow. By this definition, I don’t mistake productivity for being busy.
For the past 8 months, I’ve been a student of productivity and general self improvement. While learning from my life-success mentors and implementing what they teach, I’ve been able to make this the most productive and fulfilling year in my life, and we’re only 6 and a half months into the year!
As we all may realize, there’s so much we want to achieve and work towards in life, but we can’t achieve more unless we change our habits. We’d be insane if we kept trying to do the same thing over, and over, and over again and expected different results.
Miracle Morning #69
Date: Tuesday, 6/9/2015
Time I slept: ~10:00 PM
Time I woke up: 4:30 AM
What’s up everybody! This post is the third in the A Software Engineer’s Journey to 7-Figures series, where I share my personal and professional journey towards a 7-figure income. To read my previous post, see below:
As I share my journey with you, I aim to be as authentic and transparent as I possibly can, in order to make it more enjoyable for us and so that we all realize what massive effort, struggle, and time it takes to gain extraordinary results. In fact, in order to achieve as much transparency as possible, I made an account on Complete last week. Feel free to give me a follow if you’d like to keep up with the tasks of my every day life as a software engineer, gamer, otaku, WWE fan, baller… and tons of other titles I like to give myself!
Before I begin, I’d like to repeat that at the end of each post, I will share a resource for you to take away and learn from. Each resource will be one that has had an impact on my personal and professional life. If you check the resource out, I would love to hear your thoughts about it! Feel free to post a comment with anything from your thoughts, to the best tip(s) you took away from it.
Anyways, here is where I (finally!) brief upon passive income.
Imagine a lifestyle in which you earn money 24/7. A lifestyle in which you no longer trade time for money. A lifestyle in which you are home with your loving and supportive family. A lifestyle in which you are with your beautiful significant other, playing together with your kids at their favorite playground. A lifestyle in which you enjoy vacations to Japan, or Hawaii, at any time. A lifestyle in which you can invest in your current or future children’s educations, in cash. No credit cards. No debt. No financial worries. A lifestyle in which you generously invest in those around you and their dreams, dreams that are or aren’t like yours or mine. A lifestyle in which you live life on your own terms.
Imagine your bank account growing as you’re driving home from your office (or in many cases, taking public transportation like I am). Imagine it growing as you’re laughing with your family at the dinner table. Imagine it growing as you’re sleeping!
To me, that’s what passive income is: earning money through one or more streams that don’t require your time. It’s that simple.
Of course, if we look at this concept with a critical eye, there’s absolutely no way we can believe anybody who says “you can make money without having to work!” Technically, that person is right. But realistically, that person is wrong.
Here’s what I mean: in order to achieve a passive income, we have to invest an extraordinary amount of time. But we must understand that it’s exactly that time investment that will create not only more time for us in the future, but more money via one or more streams of income. Through extraordinary time investments, we can focus on building one stream at a time that will net us a constantly increasing passive income. The trick here is to invest our time into our work now, so that we don’t have to invest our time into work for the rest of our lives.
Here’s are some simple examples, all of which can be accomplished before and after our day jobs:
For my fellow developers: let’s invest the next 12 months into making that app, so that we can send it to the App Store/Google Play and passively earn money through app/in-app purchases.
For my fellow writers: let’s invest the next 12 months into writing that book, so that we can get it onto Amazon and into stores and passively earn money through book sales. And realize, we can also publish an eBook and record an audiobook. That’s already 3 extra streams of income for us!
For my fellow gamers: let’s invest the time now to learn how to earn money for playing video games. (Twitch, YouTube partnerships, starting a blog, etc.)
For my fellow anime watchers: let’s invest the time now to learn how to earn money for watching anime. (YouTube partnerships, starting a blog, etc.)
For the rest of us: let’s invest the next 12 months into that idea we have in our heads now (after thinking it through!).
There are countless opportunities for generating a passive income. And I realize that we might not all have the mindset to “work” towards a passive income. But I want to challenge our thoughts a little bit, just in case I can spark a fire within us.
Why not pursue at least one more stream of income? Why not earn money through what we love to do outside of our day/night jobs? Why not earn more money so that we can later provide the best for our families?
If we do it right, we won’t have to view the journey as “work”, or another “job”. If we do it right, it becomes much easier to work on building something out of what we love to do. And if we do it right, we won’t have to allow it to interfere with our family, friends, hobbies, and current jobs. In fact, if we do it right, it will be enjoyable! If we’re smart with how we manage our mental and physical well-being, and how to invest and multiply our time, we can still make time to do what we love to do the most. So, what I’m trying to say is, we can strive for a goal like this while still enjoying the life we currently have.
To achieve a passive income, the only thing we have to invest right now is time. But as I said, if we invest the time now, we don’t have to invest the time later.
In the next two posts, I will share my “Vision Wall” and my 10-year life plan towards a 7-figure income and a fulfilling life. I will also brief over the best productivity tips I have learned from my mentors (and best-selling authors!) Peter Voogd, Hal Elrod, and Rory Vaden. Stay tuned on Twitter, and until the next post, have a good one!
P.S: If passive income interests you, there’s no better person to hear it from than the man who’s been writing and speaking on passive income for years: Pat Flynn. I am sharing below a podcast episode between him and Hal Elrod, both whom I really admire from afar. Share in the comments below what you took away from it, and what ideas you have for generating a passive income! I’d love to hear about what’s in your future!
Also, if you’d like to ask me a question or get in touch with me for anything at all, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet me @JourdanB21 #AskJourdanB, or leave a comment! I always get back to my followers! After 5+ questions, I will compile a blog post for each series of questions and shout each of you out, if you give me permission of course :).
This post is the second in the A Software Engineer’s Journey to 7-Figures blog series.
Today’s Miracle Morning:
Time I slept: 10:00 PM
Time I woke up: 4:30 AM
I want to thank you so much again for following my blog! This is the second in a series of blog posts that I am, for now, calling A Software Engineer’s Journey to 7-Figures, where I will share my personal and professional journey towards a 7-figure income. As I share my journey, I aim to be as authentic and transparent as possible when I write about everything that I do, in order to make it more enjoyable for you and so that we all realize what it takes to aim for extraordinary results. Always know, that unless you win the lottery, extraordinary results don’t happen overnight :).
I really want to make a commitment at contributing to this blog series at a regular point in time (the first Saturday of every month, or something), but that’s difficult considering that I may want to write multiple times each month.
With that being said, I am making a commitment to post at least one article in this blog series every month! I’ll aim for each of them to be as short as possible, but I also intend to provide as much insight/value as I can for you. If you follow my blog, you will get an e-mail every time I post, so you will never miss anything.
As I mentioned in my first post, I wanted to cover passive income and share some ideas that I have to accomplish that. But as I’m writing this post right now on my way to work, I’m thinking: would it be better to first write about how I even came across that concept, and how I became ambitious enough to strive for it? I’m not sure what the best answer for you is, but to me it doesn’t make sense to go over my passive income strategies without explaining my story behind it. I have the gut feeling that it would be better to start with my story first (hopefully, lol). So, let’s save passive income for the next post, and briefly go over my story.
I was always an ambitious young kid. But the problem I faced, like most people, was that I never did anything about it. I was also a huge pushover, always. For example, one dream that I’ve always had was playing in the NBA (and looking back, I hate that I used bullying as an excuse to not pursue it). As unrealistic as that was, there are NBA players like Isaiah Thomas, who are under 6’ tall and making millions. That could’ve been me, right!? At the very least, I could’ve played for college. I mean, come on, I would play basketball for several hours a day back when I was in school.
But no, I didn’t go for it. After making the basketball team during my sophomore year of high school but being bullied off the court (and even crying at one point), I chose not to play high school basketball again after that season ended. I tried out for my new high school during my senior year, but because I was afraid of being bullied again, I stopped going to tryouts.
I was mentally weak.
I was too hesitant to negotiate my job offer.
Then, it was Thanksgiving 2014. My family and friends usually make an unnecessary, but fun, big deal out of Black Friday. Hurray for crowds, huge lines, and discounted (?) products at 3 AM! I went to Amazon.com and bought a Paperwhite Kindle for $169 (not including the leather case and a 6-month subscription). And I’ll jump straight to what really matters so that I don’t keep boring you with all this text. I finished reading a personal growth book and found a recommendation at the end to read “6 Months to 6 Figures” by Peter Voogd, who holds many titles: serial entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, best-selling author, podcaster, leading authority for young professionals and entrepreneurs, and many other titles that he grew into.
I read Peter’s book and he gave a lot of valuable wisdom and advice; much of it coming from his experience when he was broke. After finishing his book, I subscribed to his audio series that he generously gave to his readers. My favorite audio was the one where he talked about Vision, and you can find that audio below:
Note:Thank you so much Peter, for allowing me to share this audio with my readers for free!!!
While listening to his audios, my mindset shifted in a way that I had never experienced before. I listened to them over, and over, and over again, and I became so inspired that he helped me realize how much I wanted with my life. He lit a fire in me.
I then found out about his Game Changers Academy, which is the premiere mastermind community for young professionals and entrepreneurs with the goal of taking their lives, businesses, and results to higher levels. And long story short, I interviewed with Peter in January 2015 and convinced him to make me a Game Changer.
And that’s where it all started.
Now let’s fast forward to the present, right now. I have transformed physically, mentally, and professionally since I became a Game Changer. I’m more knowledgable, influential, mentally tough, physically fit, and know what I am worth and am capable of.
Letting someone bully me? That’s a reflection of how insecure bullies feel about themselves. They’re the losers.
$55,000 a year as a software engineer? No way, you don’t find many software engineers who actually go out and meet people, who respond well to their teammates, who constantly grow, who get the job done, and who come in to work before 8:30 AM.
Obviously, I’m not yet where I envision to be because it requires time and effort, but I learned so much and have had more accomplishments than I can count during my time as a Game Changer. Some of the biggest accomplishments are:
Established an early morning success routine in which I wake up at 4:30 AM
Learned how to maximize my time and energy in order to fit my hobbies, side projects, exercise, and workouts into my schedule
Grew my Twitter following from less than 50 followers, to over 350
Created a Meetup group for Web Developers in my local town
Personally networked with start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, software engineers, and countless other like-minded people
Mapped out my life plan for the next 5+ years, in order to get to where I want to be
Found a new position as a software engineer and negotiated the salary offer to meet my expectations
Interviewed with top companies such as Google, Facebook, and AngelList
Made a habit of mastering personal growth content every-single-day through mentors, podcasts, and books
Established a much healthier diet to further help me trim down a bit 😉
The list goes on and will continue growing. If you want to check out the Game Changers Academy, check it out here! If you have any questions about it or about my experience, please don’t hesitate to comment, tweet me @JourdanB21 #AskJourdanB, or send me an e-mail at email@example.com. No matter what stage you are in life right now and how you’re feeling, you will learn a lot and gain extraordinary results if you are accepted into the community. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or someone who wants to grow into the Next Level You.
To wrap up on my story, I’d like to share some wisdom that I learned from one of my mentors, Hal Elrod (best-selling author, speaker, life coach, hall-of-fame business achiever):
Motivation comes from action. You have to act your way into feeling, not feel your way into action.
Always remember that. If you workout regularly, you know this concept very well. If you need the motivation at all, it won’t come until you check out the website, apply, and see where you go from there!
And that’s where I can begin writing on the concept of generating a passive income. How great would it be to passively make money outside of your day (or night) job? How great would it be to passively make money while you’re out with friends, playing video games, or even sleeping? How great would it be to make money 24/7?
I don’t want to sound like I’m a greedy mofo, but if you think about it, money buys you the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Money buys you the freedom to spend quality time with your friends and family. Money buys you the ability to not stress over bills and finances. Money buys you the resources you need to invest in yourself, and even invest in others. Money gives you the ability to invest in something greater than yourself.
Simply put, money buys you extraordinary opportunities, so why not have more money?
As you might imagine, though, it takes a lot of work, discipline, and sacrifice to get to the point of financial freedom. But for me, I’m determined to get to that point, while still making time for myself, my friends, and my family.
I can’t wait to share my journey with you! In the next blog post, I will cover (for sure, this time!) passive income, and my strategies for accomplishing passive income. At the end of each of my future blog posts, I will also share a personal growth resource with you (in the form of a book, article, podcast, or other medium). Be sure to share my blog with your friends if it might be of interest to them!
Do you have any questions for me, or want to say anything? Anything else you want me to write about? Comment here or tweet me @JourdanB21 #AskJourdanB! In addition to replying to you personally, for every 5-10 questions I get, I’ll make a blog post dedicated to answering your questions, and shout each of you out :)!
P.S:In an effort to be as authentic and transparent as possible, I want you to know that I began writing this blog post on 5/22/2015 at about 7:00 AM while on the Caltrain to San Francisco. However, as I am finishing up this blog post, it is now Thursday, 5/28/2015, 7:30 AM :). Writing takes time, people. Anyways, this blog post will be posted today!
Back in November 2014, Black Friday to be exact, I made the decision to purchase a Kindle Paperwhite through Amazon.com. It was a painful $169 (plus a $59 6-month membership and $31.99 leather cover) but I was determined to view it as an investment in my future, rather than an expensive, well, expense.
One of the first books that I read was 6 Months to 6 Figures, written by my mentor Peter Voogd. Did you catch that? My mentor. There’s many things I can and want to say about how mentors benefit me and really how they could benefit anyone, but let’s save that for another post.
Peter wasn’t my mentor when I found and read the book; but after reading about what it took for him to go from dead broke to 6 figures, I was just so inspired to make the most out of my life! I subscribed to all of Peter’s content that he gave to his readers, and joined his Game Changers Academy in January 2015.
Ever since then, I haven’t looked back.
That’s where I begin this series of blog posts, in which I call A Software Engineer’s Journey to 7-Figures. I may title it something else if I come up with something better hahaha, but for now we’ll use that.
For any new readers of my blog, it would probably be best to first introduce who I am. My name is Jourdan Bul-lalayao and I currently work for 99Gamers as a software engineer. I’m a recent graduate of the University of San Francisco (class of 2014!!! Go Dons!). I majored in computer science and found my passion in software development after my junior year. The reason why I chose computer science was because I was so fascinated by the possibility of creating video games that millions of players around the globe could play (you know, just like how millions of players play Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, and the like). I struggled with my major early on and almost dropped it because of poor grades and no motivation to do the work.
But I stuck with the major, and eventually found my passion in software development after creating my first web application in the Summer of 2013. Although I didn’t have the best major GPA (hint: it wasn’t even a 3.0), I proudly and emotionally graduated with my friends and classmates, and knew that I would do great things with this degree.
I received my first job offer at AuditFile in June 2014, but very quickly became unfulfilled because of my salary. Software engineers in the San Francisco Bay Area typically get paid around the 6-figure mark, right? What am I doing working for a small start-up with a salary that WASN’T EVEN CLOSE to that?
And here’s the thing to note: no matter how hard I work, I will always get paid the same exact amount.
No matter how hard I work, I will always get paid the same exact amount.
And that’s where it hits me. My work isn’t in direct proportion to how many hours and how much effort I put into my job. I wasn’t fulfilled with my current salary, so how can I have that full satisfaction that I want? I can’t make more money with my current job, because like most jobs, I have a fixed salary.
If you haven’t guessed already, I want to earn a 7-figure income, just like many other people! But the only way I can do that is to leave my comfort zone and pursue a passive income on top of my day job as a software engineer. And as I pursue a passive income, I want to share my journey with you.
This blog series is written for fellow software engineers, entrepreneurs, college students, and others who want to pursue a passive income on the side and go on a journey with someone who wants to do the same thing. In this blog series you can expect stories of what I accomplish on a daily-to-weekly basis and follow what I do as a software engineer in order to pursue my first passive income opportunity. I’ll even share a lot of wisdom that I have learned from my mentors.
In the next post, I’ll define what I think a passive income is and explain what ideas I have for accomplishing that. And by the way, most of these ideas aren’t related to programming. If you’re a software engineer, I hope that sparks your interest! There are many ways to create income besides creating mobile and web apps!
Be sure to follow my blog to subscribe to updates, and feel free to follow me on Twitter @JourdanB21. If you tweet me that you found me through my blog, I’ll follow you as well! I would love nothing more than to personally connect with you and share our journeys with each other!
Until my next blog post, make it a fantastic rest of the day, and I can’t wait to share my journey with you!
Hello to my followers and the rest of the web community!
It’s been an awesome year and a half since I started my blog. I remember when I began, I was an inexperienced and sheltered 20-year old who didn’t know what the real world was nor what my future was. One day during the summer of 2013, I decided to make this blog. I paid for a domain with the little money I had, and was thrilled with the fact that I could write about my stories and hobbies for the rest of the world to read about. I saw it right then and there: anime, video games, programming and other shenanigans!
I started off by writing about my personal goals, my anime and video game statistics, and reviews. As the weeks went by, I slowly but surely gained views and followers. I was pretty happy that my blog was getting around, but I had an epiphany and realized that I could do just a little bit more to spice up my blog.
I wrote my first few HTML/CSS tutorials, and suddenly the amount of views I received on my blog skyrocketed. From the United States, to India, to China, to Bangladesh, my blog was being found around the world every day. It was at that point that I began focusing on writing more code and software tutorials; and the hits and views kept coming everyday in bunches. I was very happy when I hit the 1,000 views mark, super excited when I hit the 5,000 milestone, and am ecstatic to hit 10,000 soon.
While over 9000 (lol) views isn’t all that impressive, it’s a significantly large number to me and it’s helping me realize what I want to do with my life. One of my personal goals is to connect with others and help young and/or inexperienced students discover their passion, improve their skills and carve out a successful future.
Why not take a step towards that goal by using my blog?
Proper guidance and help is something that I really wanted and needed as a young student at USF, and while I was being prepared for career/life success (thanks, SDS fam :D), I didn’t quite get the help that I needed in order to succeed as a student majoring in computer science. I am very proud to say that I just took the first step in accomplishing my goal by reaching out to my college network to request for help with a website. I’m extremely excited to be speaking with a student who’s interested in gaining experience and taking the lead on the design!
With all that being said, I am writing this blog post to request for your help too.
I want to continue connecting with others and am eager to start writing new content for my blog again. For my current followers, I will continue to write about the topics that interested you in the first place (such as personal stories, anime and video games). I’d love nothing more than to continue networking with you and building awesome relationships. However, I’d love the continued support as I decide to focus more on writing content that would be helpful for programmers and inexperienced students world-wide.
Some of the new content I’m pondering over are things that any programmer and inexperienced student would benefit from and even love. This would include anything from my own podcast, to tutorial videos, to written tutorials, to start-up stories, to personal stories, and user-recommended content. I would very much appreciate if you took a moment to think about whether or not someone in your network would benefit from my blog. If so, I encourage you to share my blog with your network, and you will have my eternal gratitude for helping me connect with those who want to hear stories and want some guidance.
Stay tuned to your e-mail and/or my blog for my next posts, as I will be discussing what I have planned for new content and asking for feedback.
Feel free to connect with me through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail!
Do you want to become a better developer? Do you have a side project in mind? Are you trying to figure out if programming is for you? Do you need to spice your resume up?
I challenge you to grab a buddy and build something.
It was the end of my junior year at USF. No software engineering positions lined up. No internships. Nothing. Another summer of video games and anime, hurray!
Then I met a gamer on Facebook, who was looking for a web designer to build a video game blog.
At the time, I was just a web designer. A really inexperienced one. I knew zero about building websites besides basic HTML/CSS. I commented on his Facebook post because I wanted to build this website. I love video games, and if I really wanted a job as a developer after graduation, I needed something to put on my resume. So, why not?
After going back-and-forth with him, I realized that it was going to take a lot more than just HTML/CSS to build this website. He wanted every single feature that any other user-driven website had: forums, private messaging, article comments, Google ads, and a content management system for him to write articles without digging into the code. We set a deadline for mid-August, so I had only three months to not only design, but to build an entire website from scratch.
By the August deadline, I was able to flesh out a fully-functional web application, where we both wrote reviews and guides for video games like Saint’s Row IV and Final Fantasy XIV.
While working on this web application, I was able to:
Evolve into a knowledgable full stack web developer
Discover my passion in programming
Teach myself basic SQL and how to use databases
Hone my skills in HTML/CSS, and coding overall
Practice reading other code and modifying them to suit my website’s needs
Research search engine optimization techniques
Research techniques and statistics on social media marketing
Practice project management skills
Learn how to manage my time and priorities
Add a significant project to my resume and LinkedIn profile
As you can see, there’s definitely a lot to learn and improve on when working on side projects. Although our website stopped being maintained because of school priorities (and thus, eventually vanished off the face of the earth), I’m proud to say that I built a large-scale project and learned various skills that helped me land interviews with countless start-ups, and finally a full-time job offer as a software developer. If you have any side projects in mind, I encourage you to invest some free time in figuring out how you can make them happen, especially if you are a young and inexperienced.
Any general advice or stories that you’d like to share with fellow developers? Any questions about the work I did while building my web app?