New Year and 3 New Opportunities for Side Hustles

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had an enjoyable holiday season and brought in the new year on a good note.

Now that the holidays are over and life is returning to somewhat normal, it’s time to get back to work. I’m enjoying writing for my 3 blogs, and am having fun creating new planners, colouring pages, and activity books.

The frost on the trees makes it look like a winter wonderland; so very pretty when it’s thick. The snow and frost are sparkling in the sun today. We had several days where it was overcast and didn’t get to enjoy the sun at all. (It’s days like those that my energy level goes to shit.) I’m very much a “need sun” girl. After spending a few November days in Vancouver several years ago, I realized a coastal home is not for me. I’ll take the minus 40 and sun any day.

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I know I haven’t talked much about side hustles for awhile, but with the beginning of a new year I’m going to give you a few ideas for them. I do have to say, one of my best resources is Printables by Number (John & Suzi Whitford). I have purchased courses and templates, and am very happy with the information that they provide. If you’re interested in creating a printables business as a side hustle, I highly recommend them.

If you’re not interested in starting a printables business, you can start with a blog. Blogging has been, and will continue to be, a lucrative side hustle. The key, however, is to stay consistent. If you want to know more about starting a blog, Suzi has a great free beginners course. The link is for an ebook, which I suggest you print out for offline reference. (I’ve been blogging for awhile, and I still refer to my copy.)

In addition to creating printables and having a blog, you can use your knowledge to create courses. The nice thing about a course is once you create it, you can almost set-it-and-forget-it. It doesn’t have to be a long course, and your lessons should be bite-size. In my experience as a student of online courses, I would rather have more lessons of shorter duration than one or two an hour or more long each.

Notice I said almost? Even if your course content is evergreen, you’re still going to have to do some updates over time. In Suzi & John’s Printables by Number Course they updated from the 2.0 to 3.0, just since I became a student. They realized they needed to include more information, and any existing students got the new version at no extra cost. (New students will get the updated version, which includes all of the updates.)

I’m partway through a course on Systeme.io and am learning so much. My next step is to create my own, but I’m torn on which niche (printables or yoga) I want to start with. I have invested in the software and accessories to create; now I need to make my decision and actually do it.

And yes, I know I’ve talked about printables, blogging, and courses before, and they’re not an opportunity you haven’t heard about. But, any one of them can be a new opportunity for you. And with the cost of living on the rise, and the expense of Christmas weighing heavily on many, it’s the perfect time to invest some time in yourself.

Don’t wait until you’re in dire straights and need thousands yesterday. Take the steps now to start building something for yourself. Whether you want to retire early, start an education fund for grandbabies, or just take a few more vacations a year, investing in yourself is never a bad thing.

I recently invested in some software to create activity books and puzzles, and have created my first. I’m still learning the ropes on the platform I’m using, and would love your feedback. Click on the photo below (or the Activity Book in the sidebar) and let me know what you see. I’m not sure if my funnel system is set up right; so if it isn’t I want to know so I can fix it.

Once again, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year! And may the year ahead bring you happiness, joy, and prosperity. Enjoy each day and be grateful for the good it brings.

Thoughts and Advice on Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, stress levels go up tenfold. It doesn’t have to be that way.

It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, or buying. You do what works for you and your family, and don’t spend more than you can afford.

Yes, I know it’s easier said than done. Just remember the toys and other gifts will be forgotten as time goes on. It’s the memories made that last a lifetime.

And for those of you who are giving Santa gifts, please remember to keep them within an average price range. It’s heartbreaking for kids that get a doll or toy car when their classmates get an iPad or some other expensive gift. Have you ever had to explain to your child why they got a doll or toy car instead of a laptop?

Leave the more expensive gifts to be from parents and grandparents, not Santa.

Also keep in mind it’s not all about the gifts under the tree. Take some baking to a neighbour who has helped you through the year, or a meal to a neighbour who will be spending Christmas alone. Teach your kids and grandkids it’s more than just a day for presents. Christmas is also about helping those less fortunate, and doing something for someone else.

At the end of the day, we can all be a little nicer and considerate of others. In all reality, the good deeds shouldn’t have to wait until Christmas. By being kind and considerate throughout the year, you’ll find yourself to be a happier person. Do things to help others just for the sake of it; not expecting anything in return.

Now I’m going to set aside some of my Christmas baking for my neighbour who has taken it upon himself to clear the snow from my driveway twice this month. I’m the new kid on the block, and my new neighbours have made me feel welcome. (And in a rural area like mine, the closest neighbours are half a mile away.)

I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’ll see you in 2023!

Moving forward in life and venturing into new territory.

Winter has arrived here in Alberta. I’m not ready for it, but Mother Nature doesn’t care. It’s here and I can either embrace it or complain. (Chances are I’ll do the latter more.)

The home renos are coming along nicely; only two more rooms to do the flooring in. My office is going to be the last one because it is the smallest and has the least amount of things to be moved. I’m thankful for the built-in bookshelves; no need to empty and move them.

At the end of this month the arborist is coming in and taking out several trees that have lived beyond their years. I presumed them to be healthy but when the leaves fell I realized just how unsafe they are. I don’t like to have trees cut down, but when they become a hazard it’s time. I will end up with some nice firewood at the end of it all though, which is nice.

Plus I’ll be able to plant some fruit trees in their place come spring; which I’m looking forward to. I know they’ll do well in that spot because they’ll have all the sunshine they want, yet be protected from the west winds by an existing hedge.

Now that life has settled for me, I am able to pursue something I have wanted to for a long time. It’s going to take time and work but I’m so excited about it!

For those of you who are authors or information product creators, you know how hard it is to get your work seen. And it’s even harder to earn a living from it. (For those of you who are earning a full-time income from your work, kudos to you!)

At the end of October I bit the bullet and started my own publishing company, Birchbark Publishing. Right now I’m concentrating on ebooks and information products, with the intent to expand to other digital formats (audio and video). Digital is faster to distribute, easier to fix errors, and can be read on any device (as they’ll be in PDF).

For those with an artisitic flair, I’m also accepting submissions for colouring books. The beauty of PDF is these can be printed by the buyer and coloured in the traditional way, or opened with a note-taking app and coloured digitally. Portability at its finest.

Fiction or nonfiction. Novels or short stories. Kids books too.

I know there’s going to be a learning curve, but I’m going to do my best to not have any screwups.

You can read my latest blog post on my publishing site here, and let me know what you think.

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