Start Living Today (Workbook Review)

Start Living Today is a workbook to help you figure what your goals in life are and puts you on the path towards achieving them. I used this workbook myself and this is what I think about it.

Some time ago, I published a post about how to achieve anything you want in life, I shared how I had this awakening moment where I felt the need to make a change and decided I no longer wanted to be a passerby in my own life, but to live consciously and with a purpose and a plan in order to create the type of life I want to live.

And this week, I am going to share with you something that can help you figure out the kind of goals you need to have in front of you and which can help you put your feet on the first steps towards achieving them.

This post is my review of the Start Living Today workbook by one of my favourite bloggers, Vanessa C. Dias (The Wellbeing Blogger). It is “a 30-page e-book designed to help people organise their goals and life in general.”

This workbook was gifted to me to use it and share my honest thoughts about it here.

This review is more of my own reflection and my thoughts on some parts of the workbook. This post certainly does not contain all the material or all the ideas discussed in this workbook. You can jump to my conclusion here.

What does your life look like?

When reading the intro to this workbook, I couldn’t help but relate to every word. The motive behind creating this workbook was also my motive to finally stop wondering about what my life could have been like, had I been there or had I done that, and start taking actual steps towards creating the life I want to live.

“I craved real change and I was tired of reading and listening to hundreds and hundreds of inspirational messages without achieving any real progress in life.” Dias says in the intro.

This workbook is designed with the purpose of helping you take this step too. To define your goals in life and work your way through towards achieving them.

start living today workbook review. a page taken from the book: your life, your rules
A page from the workbook.

The book starts by first helping you figure out what your life consists of and what matters to you in general.

What does your life currently look like? What are the things that are most important to you?

In order to make real progress in life, you need to have a very clear and defined point of view which will help you create a plan, but you first need to know exactly where you are in life and exactly where you want to be.

Where do you want to be in life?

After you make a list of the most important aspects/dimensions of your life, the workbook helps you decide where you stand now in each dimension of life, and it then proceeds to take you step by step to see how you can achieve the progress you need in order to get where you want to be in each of these aspects you specified.

The design of the workbook itself is created in a way that helps you write down every thing. There are questions to lead you on and then there are spaces so you can go ahead and write down your thoughts.

This way you become more aware of each aspect of your life. You are able to have an overview of your thoughts on each aspect in an organized, written form, and this makes you see things more clearly.

What is the story of your future self?

Towards the end of this workbook, you are asked to write the story of your life, given that you have followed all the steps in the book and achieved all the goals set there. And this was my favourite part!

As you have documented the way you see everything in your life right now and what you wish to change or achieve. You will have a clear idea of what kind of life you would be having when you do all those steps and achieve your goals.

When writing this part, of what my life would look like, describing everything in detail and including every aspect of my life that I wish to progress in, it honestly felt incredible.

It felt real and doable. It felt like this is something that I can work through and achieve. It made me want to move and start taking more actions towards my dream life, and start taking them right now.

start living today workbook review. a page taken from the book: what you can see, you can do
Another page from the workbook.

What do I think of this workbook?

To be completely honest, when I first checked this workbook, I didn’t really feel like it could be of any help to me. I thought in my mind, “well, I already know this stuff,” and so I was skeptic that it was actually going to help me much.

But I decided to sit down and follow through and write down the answer to every question anyway, because I wanted to review it, and I wanted the review to be honest and based on my own experience with it.

After I went through all the questions and wrote the last answer to the last question.. I felt amazing! I felt happy and motivated.

There is a huge difference between knowing the answers to the questions in your head, and taking the time to sit down and write them in detail.

You may actually surprise yourself with things you didn’t even know were on your mind, or things that just slipped your mind due to the many other aspects of your life that you are juggling everyday.

The best part about this workbook, and why it is different from reading a self-help book, for example, is that it is something that actually pushes you to take steps as you go with every page.

So you’re not just sitting there, stuffing words into your brain that may or may not stick with you, you’re actually applying what you learn, and with every page you take a practical step forward towards your goal.

Final words on this:

If you already have your plan figured out and/or already took the first steps towards achieving your goals, it may still be helpful in the way that it was to me, helping me write down things I didn’t realize I had in mind, but I honestly don’t think it is mainly designed for you.

If you are someone who feels they are not living a life they are happy with, or if you feel like you need to make a change and you just don’t know how to start and you wish someone could help you and talk you through it, then this workbook will definitely help you.

It is going to help you have a closer look at your current situation and encourage you to think of different ways to make it better.

Till next week, happy days!


As explained by the creator of this workbook:

It’s may be a good alternative for those who don’t want or aren’t ready yet to work with a professional coach/psychologist and still want to improve their quality of life.

This workbook is currently available as an e-book.

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Passive Income: 5 Online Businesses That Work

Everyone is looking for ways to make money online, because who doesn’t want to be able to increase their income while sat at home.
However, there is a lot of methods out there that just don’t seem to work, in this post, I share with you 5 methods that do work.

This has been a hard post to put down because there is a crazy number of methods where you can make money online. Not all of them will make someone rich of course, but they do add up. However, I figured I better not overwhelm myself by trying to list every single one of them, but rather choose the ones that would actually have a decent return of money over time. 

I will most likely write another post later on the other little ones that do make money, but not as much as the ones on this list.

So, here we go! A list of the profitable online businesses (in no particular order):

1. Affiliate Marketing

In a nutshell, this is you helping someone else make sales and getting a cut. If there is a particular service or product you have tried and found to be of good benefit, you can sign up for that company’s affiliate program to have a unique referral link, and then start telling your followers/friends about it and every time someone makes a purchase through your link, you get a commission. 

Now I have not tried this thing yet because, well, I am just starting out, but mostly people who do make a lot of money out of this are those who have a huge following on social media websites, on YouTube, or on their own Website. So, if you do have a decent number of followers, you might start making money this way.

The most popular affiliate program is Amazon’s; you can sign up and advertise all products that are sold on Amazon and any other Amazon-linked ones like Kindle or Audible. There are some territories that may not be allowed to sign up with Amazon though. A good alternative to that is flexoffers.com, it has a similar affiliate program with variety of categories, and you can sign up from anywhere in the world.

If you want to learn more about how affiliate marketing works and how to approach this in the best way, you can check out Getting Started with Affiliate Programs For Beginners.

2. Teaching

While teaching does not sound like a “passive income” kind of method, there are ways to turn it into one. If you are experienced in one specific field, you can create an online course on a website like Teachable.com or similar ones, where you upload videos of you teaching material of a certain course and every time someone signs up to your course, you get paid.

The good thing about this website in particular (because I signed up and checked it out) is that they provide you with resources to help you make a good course; they even offer a free webinar to show you how to create a professional course to make money. But here is a list of all the other similar websites out there. 

I initially thought that to teach, you needed to be some kind of a professor or have a teaching degree, and you ought to be teaching something academic, but, in reality, you can actually teach anything, from languages to crochet or gardening to makeup, anything, literally. You just need to be good at it and also it kind of needs to be something that someone else will have the interest to learn about. Here is a helpful article on how to start, if you want to create your own course.

There is also another option, if you’re anything like me and are not very comfortable in front of a camera, you can then go for an e-book course where people can download your course as a PDF file instead. There are several platforms where you can put your e-book up for sale and they’re mentioned in this article.

If you think of going through the e-book route though, you can go for a course, or just a guide (how-to), or maybe an actual book (which I’m planning to do at some point).

3. Photography

If you love photography you can use that hobby as a means to make money. But there are 2 types of people who love photography.

Those who are like me. (Yea, I keep telling myself I need a better camera..)

Now I’m pretty sure no one will be paying money to use this photo (by me, in case it wasn’t obvious)

And those  who are actually good at it.

Someone would definitely pay money to use this photo (by my good friend Mahmoud AbdelGhany)

So, if your love of photography is anything like me, I’m sorry to say, this one is probably not for you. If you’re more of a “I-know-what-I’m-doing” kind of photographer, then please keep reading. 

Aside from the fact that you can take on events that require a photographer, as in weddings and conferences and such, which is more of an “active” thing, but from a “passive” approach, you can certainly make money  by uploading your photos on websites like Shutterstock and whenever someone wants to use one of your photos, you get paid.

There are actually plenty of other websites you can use to sell your photos, this article lists the best of them and it also gives an insight on the types of photography that sell the most.

(Side note: I’m working on polishing my photography skills a bit, so I will be sharing some useful tips later on for those of you who are like me.)

4. Drop Shipping

This one to me seems to be the most complicated one on the list, because it requires more planning and a lot of work done before it can become “passive.” It took me a while to get everything about it.

Drop shipping is you selling certain products online that you don’t really own or have. You set up a shop for people to navigate and select their desired product. You contact the supplier who actually has the products, usually a wholesaler or manufacturer, pay them for the products that the customer selected on your shop, and then they ship the product to the customer.

The difference between this and a traditional shop is that with drop shipping, you don’t have to purchase a product until you already made the sale and have been paid by the customer. So, that is less chances of losing money.

The trick with this method is deciding on the niche or the market. Because drop shipping is a widely famous business among entrepreneurs and so some markets have a lot of competition. A high competition means that you won’t have the luxury to set high prices for your products and therefore the profit margin you make may be very small in the beginning which will require more effort on your part to reach more customers. Here is an article on how to choose the products to dropship.

The other trick is choosing the right suppliers to deal with. Because they will be the ones shipping the products to your customers, so they need to be reliable and have a good reputation. The better and more professional the supplier, the stronger the business will become since this will build trust between you and the customers who try your shop and whether or not they will want to buy again or tell others about it.

There is a very informative article with some useful tips on the steps required to build this business here.

If you want a longer, more extensive read to go even deeper in understanding this business, Shopify has a free eleven-chapter guide that walks you through the whole thing. Shopify is also one of the most popular platforms where you can build this shop.

5. Online Shop

Now this is also selling products online, but with a more traditional, less tricky approach. And this one can refer to two types of an online shop: one where you actually create and ship physical products yourself and another where you use a website that takes care of the product and the shipping and everything else and you just provide the designs to print on the products. The latter is the online business method on this list that I actually tried so far and which I will discuss in my next post.

As for the former type where you would sell your own physical products, I have read this step-by-step article earlier by Nat Eliason who built his online tea shop in exactly 3 weeks. You might find it helpful as an insight on how to start one yourself. Though I’m not sure if this actually fits in the “passive income” category.

Anyway, this wraps up the list of passive income businesses you can do online. At least, this is the list of things I know can work so far. And as mentioned earlier, I will share my experience with the online shops using print-on-demand websites in my next post.

Till then, happy days!

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