Monday, July 04, 2016

EU Brexit in doubt as demonstrators take to the streets of London

Britain's exit from the EU could be stalled or kicked into the long grass, as the main political parties deal with internal splits and resignations. In the meantime, it's business as usual for the average person who must get on with running our own 'economy'

Following Britain's historic referendum in June, when 17 million people voted to leave the European Union, there have been mass protests in London at the weekend and petitions signed by millions of people calling for a "second vote".

The EU referendum has divided the nation and split the country into two camps – leave/out and remain/in. Just over 50% of voters opted to leave the EU, but that still left 16 million unhappy people who wanted to remain.

Immigration is again high on the agenda, as those who voted to leave have been branded xenophobic racists.  They would argue that the main reason they voted 'leave' was to return control of the country from Brussels to the democratically elected UK government. There have been sporadic reports of racist attacks, mainly in the form of ugly verbal abuse, against migrants since the referendum.

The tide appears to be turning against the leave voters, with warnings of a UK recession and the loss of its triple A credit rating. This could result in higher borrowing costs for the UK. The gloom and doom talk of post-EU job losses does not help the leave camp’s case, with multinational banks threatening to move their headquarters to Paris or Frankfurt.   

Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned following the referendum, has refused to invoke article 50, which would officially start the exit process, leaving the door open for a reversal of the peoples’ democratic decision.

Mr Cameron's successor looks increasingly likely to be the current Home Secretary Theresa May, who was firmly on the side of remaining in the EU. Although the referendum vote is not actually binding on the government and would have to be ratified in Parliament, it would be difficult to ignore the wishes of 17 million voters. 

However, with many leave voters suffering from buyer’s remorse, there is no doubt that a second referendum could swing in favour of a vote to remain in EU, especially if previously absent younger voters turn out.  

This story is will run and run. UKIP leader Nigel Farrage, who arguably forced Cameron into promising only the third referendum in English history, has quit today. The opposition Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn is facing a coup and Scottish Leader Niciola Sturgeon is taking advantage of the chaos and calling for another independence referendum.

Former London Mayor and leave campaign front man, Boris Johnson, dropped out of the race for the top job last week to the surprise of his supporters who saw him as a future Prime Minister. Perhaps he does not want to be seen as the man who actually took the UK out of the EU for good.

In the meantime, ordinary folk like you and me have to leave the politics aside and get on with our lives running our economy. The stock market and pound may go up and down, the Governor of the Bank of England could cut interest rates to stimulate growth, but the average person has to carry on earning, spending and saving.

Are you happy in your job?

UK workers tend to work much longer hours than their counterparts in France and Germany, and our labour laws are more flexible. Large numbers of workers are now on so-called zero-hour contracts, which offer no guarantee of how many hours will be offered on any given day.

Whilst most are grateful to have any kind of job, it does not follow that they are happy with the daily grind and drudgery of work. Unlike their parents or grandparents who accepted the status quo, many younger people are looking for something more out of life – they actually want a life and are not prepared to work for 40 years doing a job they hate in the hope that they can enjoy their life in retirement. They want to take the steps to retire young and rich!

Even if young people do their time and reach the magic retirement age, the chances are they will have little to look forward to in terms of a pension. The previous baby boomer generation had the luxury of full employment and final salary pension schemes, which are now almost exclusively only available to public sector employees. The country is facing a ‘pensions time bomb’, where millions of people will be unable to retire due to lack of resources even after earning money throughout their working lives.

You can save into a private pension (the benefits of which are not guaranteed), but with wages being forced down and the cost of housing reaching record levels due to a population boom, most ordinary workers will never be able to save enough to live on during a retirement which could last as long as their working lives.

What’s the solution? To start with, remember two things:  'JOB’ stands for 'Just Over Broke' and employees are someone else’s leverage to get rich.

You may be able to get by in a job, but unless you reach the dizzy heights of senior management, you are unlikely to prosper or become wealthy. Those who do make it to the top of the corporate ladder are often so burnt-out by the long hours and pressure that they are unable to enjoy the fruits of their labour. 

Small business owners or the self-employed suffer the same fate of trading their lives and time for money and being stuck on the treadmill working 12 or more hours a day.

I have experienced working in the corporate world and running a small to medium size business. Whilst both had their merits and served a purpose, I would not want to go back to either situation regardless of how much money you paid me. I would rather work from home and have time freedom even if it meant earning less money.

Running a business had greater financial rewards, but the sacrifice in terms of time and energy was far too costly. I also discovered to my cost that small businesses are particularly vulnerable to market forces or changes to government legislation. They can literally be crushed and put out of business overnight.

Robert Kiyosaki's and Sharon Lecter's best selling book, 'Rich Dad Poor Dad', introduced us to the 'Cashflow Quadrant' where most people fall into one of four categories:

  1. Employee - you have a job and are someone’s leverage
  2. Self Employed - you own a job or have bought a job as in the case of most franchises
  3. Investor - you own investments, such as businesses, stocks or property
  4. Business - you own a money making system, which leverages others

Employees and the self-employed or small business owners work hard for their money trading their time (life) for money. Larger business owners, or those with a system using the leverage of employees, and investors make their money work hard for them, earning residual income from the efforts of others.

In other words, the poor work hard for their money, the rich make their money work hard for them.

Through the story of the author's two 'dads', one rich and one poor, the book outlines how the western education system is designed to train people to become employees and teaches us to work hard, study go to university and get a steady job. This model has worked well during the industrial age, but is now failing millions of people. The author writes:

"In preparing for the Information Age, you must change the rules on how you manage your money. You can no longer blindly accept the idea that your job is secure, that your hard work will be rewarded.."

To find out more about the cash flow quadrant and other ideas, read any of the books in the rich dad poor dad series or check out Robert Kiyosaki's website.  

So what are the alternatives to employee or self employed? 

If you are in a situation where your J.O.B. is barely providing you with enough to keep your head above water, you may want to consider ways of earning extra money to save for your future or pay for those luxuries like a new car or house.

For those who lack the capital to become an investor, and do not want to ‘buy’ a self-employed job, you could try joining forces with a large business with a sales system which can help you earn new and residual income. 

There is nothing new in this idea. People have been selling products on a part-time or full-time basis for direct sales companies, such as Avon, and network marketing companies like Amway for decades. Selling cosmetics and detergent to their friends and family may not suit everybody, but some, such as the late author and speaker Jim Rohn, became millionaires using these very systems. 

In recent years, the digital age has provided us with multiple opportunities to earn money online, from the comfort of our own home, by selling our own products or other people's products through affiliate marketing schemes. Some are household names - Amazon and EBay – and offer ready-made platforms to help anyone with an internet connection the chance to earn money online.

I have found that the drawback with the majority of these schemes is that you need an above average level of technical knowledge to set up websites and databases. The commissions are also very low, which means you have to sell a lot of products before you can fire your boss!

Having researched hundreds of companies and schemes I found that most lacked the basic attributes which I consider are essential to long term success:

  • Ready-made systems or turnkey business structure
  • Built-in automated follow-up system
  • Ongoing value-based product range
  • Residual income stream opportunities
  • Tracking systems
  • Training and support for affiliates

There were companies which had excellent systems, but low-ticket one-off products or offered no training and support. Most had no training or support and left it to you to build your own systems. Others put up barriers, such as restricting sales to certain countries or even banning the use of pay-per-click marketing!

After searching for 5 years and through trial and error, I finally a company that ticked all the boxes offering stay-at-home digital entrepreneurs who want to escape the rat race the opportunity to earn affiliate commission - without the need to set up websites or possess geeky levels of technical knowledge. The company trains their students online taking them through a structured series of modules at their own pace, backed up with webinars and live support and mentoring from real people.

What I really liked was the fact that the initial video training, reports and information is downloadable and totally free and without obligation. To find out more on how to escape the 9-5 life sentence, join the new rich and live the laptop lifestyle check it out by clicking here.


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