You know what I hate? People trying to sell me crap that I don’t need, will never need, and don’t care for.

You know what’s even worse? When these people refuse to give up and they keep on hassling me.

What makes all of this even worse? When this person is someone I have to see in my regular life!

You charlatans can all kiss my ass. You give legit freelancers a bad name. Go attend a positivity seminar or something.

Are you looking to finally make money on your own? Are you excited about being self-employed? Are you sick of your current job?

Yes, yes, and yes. Obviously!

You’re not here to find out about my week or to waste time. You’re here because you want to learn from my successes and my failures.

You want to get into freelancing. You want to make money. You want to use your skills to make extra cash.

I get it. I was in this boat a few years ago. I wanted to make more money. I didn’t need another motivational quote. I needed a ruthless plan to make a damn dollar.

What’s my secret for getting started as a freelancer?

I guess it won’t be a secret after you read this. Here’s the formula.

Think of a service that you can offer. Make it very specific. Think of someone that would be interested in buying this. Find one paying client and charge a random price. Collect the payment, over-deliver on the service. Get the job done exceptionally well. Ask for a referral. You officially have a business my friend!

Why do I call this The American Pie Strategy? Well, as you may recall, in the first American Pie, the goal for everyone was to lose their virginities at prom night. They just wanted to get it in quick. They wanted to get it over with. They wanted to lose their labels.

This is what I want you to do. I want you to become a real freelancer and not someone that fantasizes about it. You can apply The American Pie Strategy right now or you can keep on making excuses.

[Don't forget our post on how-to go from dreamer to doer!]

Some key 411 that nobody else will drop on you about getting paid $$$…

I have a few final points that I need to share if you’re looking to get paid without becoming a charlatan.

Qualify your leads.

Please qualify your leads before pitching.

It also helps to ensure that the person your pitching has the ability to pay you.

Please don’t pitch to broke people.

Don’t waste your time bothering people or dealing with folks that will never have the ability to pay you.

Quality your leads.

Do NOT sell to friends.

I had to throw this in here. Please don’t make things awkward with your friends. Don’t spam them. Don’t try to sell to them.

I actually get offended when my friends buy my products to “support” me. I don’t need support. I need more readers. I need readers that will apply my material. Not friends to buy products they don’t plan on using.

Stop trying to sell to your friends. Leave them alone.

Stop blaming your finances on everything!

I conducted an exclusive interview for you guys on how you can start a business for $100. Some of you took this advice to hear and applied it. Others, read it and moved on. Which camp are you in?

You don’t need more money. $100 is enough. It’s cool if you have less than that.

What’s next?

You need to get your hands on my book from Amazon! If you don’t think it’s for you, then just check out the reviews. This is the best investment that you could make today (unless you marry that girl you buy a drink for).

The ball is your court, my friend. Are you going to finally get paid or will you keep on loitering? You can modify everything as you go through it. Life is all on-the-job-training.

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The millennial generation’s youngest members have officially entered adulthood, and they’re forging a unique path for themselves. Half of them consider themselves politically independent, and 29 percent say they have no religious affiliation. Only 26 percent of millennials are married compared to 65 percent of the generation that lived through World War II. Additionally, 43 percent of millennials are non-white, making them the most diverse generation in U.S. history.

Millennials are also digital natives, and their digital connectedness is shaping the future of banking. Thanks to millennials, banks are being forced to improve their mobile offerings and their online banking security measures.

Demand for Mobile Banking

By 2017, millennials will make up 50 percent of the nation’s workforce. Their entry into the workforce makes them banking’s most important customers. To cater to millennials, banks are working overtime to enhance their mobile offerings. Some initiatives that they’re taking include:

  • More mobile banking options. Many banks are working to create tools that take advantage of mobile technology, including mobile cameras, geo-location capabilities and social network connectivity. Many have adopted mobile check deposit. Bob Graham, senior VP of banking and financial services for Virtusa Corp., predicts that 2014 will be the year of mobile bill pay.
  • More mobile wallet offerings. Mobile wallets are apps that store non-money items, like loyalty cards, and credit cards on mobile phones. By 2017, Parks Associates expects mobile wallet use to have grown 183 percent, meaning that 43 percent of mobile users will utilize mobile wallets. Some banks are presenting their customers with exclusive offers from retailers, which provide incentives to use mobile wallets.
  • More opportunities for mobile payments. Although Americans have been slower to adopt mobile payments than residents of other countries, particularly Japan and Canada, Forrester Research predicts that by 2017, the mobile payment market will grow to $90 billion per year, up from 2012 levels of just $12.8 billion per year. Although fewer than 10 percent of mobile banking customers in the U.S. pay with their phones, millennials will lead the charge in paying from an app rather than paying with a check or debit card.

Demands for Better Security

Along with increased usage of online banking come increased security concerns. Financial crimes investigators, or FCIs (visit this page) to learn more about protecting your identity from a university that offers an FCI certificate program), have noted a substantial increase in stolen financial identities. There are about 18 global victims of financial cybercrimes every second, and 556 million victims of financial cybercrimes every year.

As millennials take advantage of digital banking, banks will have to address these security concerns. Some innovations on the horizon include:

Chip and PIN cards. Before mobile banking becomes widespread, U.S. banks will ditch magnetic stripe cards and convert to chip and PIN cards. Mag strips store personal information about cardholders, and that information gets stored on retailer payment systems.

Debit or credit chip and PIN cards are inserted into a card reader; the reader scans the chip, and the user types in a PIN. This type of card eliminates signature-based purchases and keeps attackers from stealing mag strip information and using it to clone new debit and credit cards. Users can change their PINs anytime to keep attackers on their toes.

Alternatives to passwords. Passwords, because they rely on humans for creation and maintenance, are a fatally flawed authentication solution. One lost online banking password can allow an attacker to empty someone’s bank account. Multiple initiatives are underway to eliminate passwords entirely, including authentication technology upgrades from the FIDO Alliance.

Secure mobile payment infrastructure. Mobile payments are more than just a cool banking offering; they’re a vital security initiative. The Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches that exposed tens of millions people to potential identity theft have created new demand for secure ways to make payments both in-store and online.

Big payment processors like Visa, MasterCard and American Express are offering incentives for retailers to improve their mobile payments infrastructure. Already, more and more retailers are equipped with scanners that can read mobile barcodes.

Better Technology for All

Millennials are pushing the envelope and ensuring better banking technology for everyone. Their demand for digital will shape the future of banking for years to come.

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You know what the world needs less of? Delusional dreamers that are never going to do anything.

You know what else the world needs less of? Supposed “experts” giving generic advice about following your passions and being passionate about passion. Shut up!

Stop dreaming!

I’m going to piss some people off today. I’m also going to change a few lives forever. Please don’t read on if you’re not ready to take action. If you want to keep on dreaming, then go read another blog.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

I heard this over and over this past weekend at the World Domination Summit in Portland. I was pretty surprised to be honest. I expected more folks to be in the process of doing something.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast reconnecting with old friends and meeting all sorts of new characters. I was just confused about the lack of action from some. The good news is that there’s nothing wrong with being lost. I’m here to help you.

The goal of Studenomics is pretty bold — financial freedom by 30 without missing out on life in your 20s. This means that we’re going to pay off our debt, save up some money, go on a few trips, drink vodka, and make some wise investments.

That statement can come off as a scam. I totally get that and it’s cool if you don’t agree with this goal.

Here’s the thing though…

I’m not going to let you become an information junkie.

After reading this article, you’re going to go from dreamer to doer with whatever goal you’re serious about. You obviously can’t accomplish 20 things at once. You can however stop dreaming and start doing in at least one area of your life.

I wrapped up the Dream Catchers Series a few weeks ago. I recommend you check those articles out if you’re a dreamer.

How do you go from dreamer to doer?

This is the exact process.

Figure out the goal that you want to pursue. Cut out every single excuse to pursue it and go at it relentlessly. Find someone that has accomplished something similar. Ask them for help. Do whatever they tell you to do. Don’t give up until you accomplish this goal. Enjoy the results.

That’s how you go from dreaming to doing. I’m going to break the steps down so that you can start taking action right now.

[Take a moment to read the cure for boredom if you happen to be feeling lazy at the moment.]

How do you prepare to conquer your goal?

This is the toughest part because you have to actually put some work in. The fun dreaming ends and the work kicks in. This is where you might be up late at night, stressing about what to do next.

Step #1: You have to absolutely figure out what you want to tackle.

What goal do you want to conquer? What do you want to do?

Some common examples are:

  • Learn a new language.
  • Get in shape.
  • Start a business.
  • Quit your job.
  • Get better at meeting girls.
  • Become a better pro wrestler (maybe that’s just me).

What’s your goal? Write it down! Only one goal. Don’t make a useless list with 8 things that you’re never ever going to even try.

Also, please don’t make general goals like, “save the world,” or “become a better person.” It has to be specific.

Step #2: Figure out who can help you.

Who do you know that can help you? Think of your friends or those in your social circle.

Don’t know anyone? No problem. Do whatever it takes to meet the right person. You can attend a conference, shoot out an email, ask for a friend for an introduction, or just cold approach.

Can’t find anyone at all? Worst case scenario is you study someone from afar. Read their blog, check out their Twitter, and read their biography if they have one. Then mimic the steps they outline.

Who do you know that has done what you want to do?

Don’t even try to waste my time by telling me that you can’t think of anyone. That’s not true at all.

Step #3: Ask/beg/please for help.

Throw your pride out the window and ask for some damn help.

I’ve asked for help in the following areas in the last year:

  • Real estate. My buddy helped me with renovations on my rental property. I bribed him with vodka and good stories.
  • Pro wrestling. I asked a friend for help and extra training. We get in the ring sometimes and train together.
  • BJJ. When I attend BJJ class, I train with the best because I want to get to their level. Everyone was a beginner at some point, so most training partners are more than willing to help out and beat me up.
  • Weight training. I’ve reached out to friends to critique my eating/training. They helped out because they want to see me get in shape so that they can use me as a case study.
  • Business. This I do every single day. I ask my peers for feedback and direction. I’m in a mastermind group where we meet up to bounce ideas off each other.
  • Life. Here I have many older friends that I turn to when I’m stuck on something. Sadly, this happens a bit too often.

Stop wasting time and ask for help! If you’re a bit intimidated, don’t be. Most successful people are pretty excited about selectively helping others. They might be too busy to give you their full attention or they might just not have time at the moment. That’s okay. There has to be someone out there that can help you.

Step #4: Accept the help and start doing!

What advice did you get? What did they tell you to do? What did you learn from studying them?

Write it all down. Jot everything down. Make sure that you have a clear path. Ensure that you’re actually going to see this goal through. Don’t just carelessly move on to the next task, until you complete the project at hand.

Now you’re ready to get going. That wasn’t so bad, right?

Wait a minute Martin — why would anyone want to help me for FREE?

Again, that’s just how successful people roll. They may not be able to help everyone, but they can definitely help someone out. You might be that someone. You might not be. Ask around until you find help. Ask lots of questions. Be relentless. Be annoying.

How do you get started with the doing?

You just have to move forward. Seriously. Any small step in the right direction beats reading another damn blog post.

At this point you should probably make a public announcement. You need to do something to ensure that you’re held accountable to actually seeing this goal through. You don’t want to end up just reading more blogs.

When I started pro wrestling class, I shared it on my Facebook. All of my friends saw this on my wall. I had no choice but to continue, unless I wanted to publicly look like a failure or a quitter.

Follow up or die.

You have to follow up. You can’t keep on letting those plans disappear while you create new excuses for yourself. You have to put the work in on a daily basis.

For example, if you want to start a blog, you have to at least be willing to write a little bit every single day. If you want to get in shape, you have to do something each day (cut out crappy food, do a few extra pushups, or cook a meal).

I’ve helped many readers out. I love hearing from them. I love to help them destroy their self-doubt. I love seeing results. It makes me feel good.

On the flip side, it absolutely pisses me off when someone asks for help and then does nothing. You can kiss my ass for wasting my time. So please don’t ask for help if you’re not ready to do something.

If you want to keep on reading blogs, attending conferences, and listening to podcasts, while you do nothing, then enjoy.

What’s next?

Start taking small steps in the right direction. I’ve outlined the whole process for you. I had to figure this stuff out the hard way. I’ve made a fool out of myself and I’m sharing the steps with you for FREE.

Wait up — there’s a small catch…

You MUST be ready to teach and become a mentor after mastering your goal. This is the only way that the cycle will continue.

You also can’t be afraid of investing in yourself. You might have to spend some money on coffee meetings, vodka shots, conferences, courses, or even coaching. If you’re serious about your goal, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Your mission is simple if you choose to accept it.

The world needs you to stop dreaming and start doing. Take 15 minutes today to start the process. I won’t finish off with a motivational quote because I’m sure you’ve read enough of those.

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“You don’t want to turn 50 and regret not giving it your all because of someone else or something that got in the way!” — Rip Rogers, legendary pro wrestling coach.

This past weekend I got to main event a pro wrestling show for the first time. I also took part in a few seminars. Long story short: I learned a lot about life.

“You have to be a douchebag once in a while if you want to get ahead.”

I dropped these words of wisdom on a younger friend after he told me about some recent relationship struggles. Save lots of money

Where am I going with this? Just stick around for a second. I’ve found a few definitions of “douchebag” online:

  • Someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and asshole.
  • An obnoxious or contemptible person, typically a man.
  • Generic insult for someone.

Don’t run away just yet. I believe in my systems, tricks, and tips 100%. I don’t care to promote to everyone. I only seek out certain readers. Most readers and long-term students usually end up finding me. They find Studenomics through a friend, they check out a few articles, like it, and stick around.

The point of this is that Studenomics isn’t for everyone. I don’t give unsolicited advice to strangers and I don’t go looking for debates. I’m not here to convince you of anything. I share advice that has worked for me and you decide if you want to test it out. It’s your life.

This is why today I’m going to share with you a special system that won’t work for everyone, but those that do apply it, will see phenomenal results.

What’s the douchebag system for making more money, better decisions, and never wasting time? In a nutshell, let’s try to summarize it before we go into greater detail later:

Save money where you can, seize opportunities by conquering fear, never settle, always do what’s best for you, and don’t be afraid of going after what you want.

Before I give you the juicy details…

Why should you even listen to me?

I first started this website because I used to give advice to my friends on financial issues (from drinking to graduating college debt-free).

Then I realized that I hated repeating myself. Why not just write it out once and share these ideas with people that are seeking them out? So then I launched Studenomics in late-2008.

Since then, I’ve been all over the place and I’ve helped out readers just like you! Check me out on the news:

What are readers just like you saying?

“Martin Dasko is a modern day hero. He spreads the truth and enlightens you with a proper perspective on life. I went from having a penny pinching paycheck to paycheck lifestyle to now having a four figure bank account and living out my dreams. Thank you. The world was offered and I took it.” — Jesse Fernicola

That’s what I like to see!

“As a student I was able to shatter all stereotypes of the typical broke student. I was able to save and stay out of debt while still having a social life. As a freelancer, Studenomics helped me create my business model for my 2 business ventures. I learned many new ways to advertise online.

Before Studenomics I was flyering in my community, then I read an article through Studenomics about advertising online. I also purchased the book Start Freelancing Now through Studenomics and my business as a freelance music teacher increased substantially.

It was through Studenomics that I got the idea to monetize my website so customers can purchase digital music content directly from the website, the web hosting and all the tools within were all recommendations from Studenomics. So many of my great ideas came to me while reading Studenomics articles. A push in the right direction for sure! — Justin Sousa

Awesome. Enough bragging. Time to get into the tips!

These are the direct steps that I want you to use if you’re confused about your money, your financial situation, and your overall life situation right now and want to turn things around.

What is the douchebag system? You have to do what is best for you. You have to be selfish. You have to break away from the mold. You have to put yourself first.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” — Aristotle

How do you apply the douchebag system?

  • Always do what’s best for your situation. It depends on which area of life we’re looking at. The trick is to always take care of yourself. When I was in school, I always worried about remaining debt-free/doing whatever it took to get strong grades. I wasn’t bothered with what others thought or wanted me to do.
  • Pay yourself first/take care of your money. This is my go-to tip. You have to put money away first. Then you spend the rest guilty-free/pay those gimmicks in the mail called bills.
  • Take risks that will help you. Don’t be afraid to burn the ships (read the story here). As long as you don’t hurt anyone in the process, you shouldn’t be afraid of risks.
  • Piss everyone off. This is key. You’re going to piss everyone off with this system because you’re taking care of your situation. You’re only going to be worried about your goals. You’re going to become ruthless. You’re going to become the person that your friends with they could be. I took the month of June off from drinking and missed a few parties. Guess what? I didn’t miss any life-changing events and I was able to take my training to the next level.
  • Don’t be afraid to go after what you want. When you’re bold with your goals, great things happen. Always go after what you want and who you want.

These are the tricks that readers just like you have used to turn their finances around. Of course, the trick is to not really be a douchebag.

You should always be kind to everyone and the best possible friend to those close to you. You’re just going to appear to be a jerk from the outside because you mainly care of yourself. That’s okay. Your real friends will know that you’re there when it matters most.

You might miss a few parties or make a few decisions that everyone won’t agree with it. ###

What’s next?

You need to join the exclusive Studenomics Cartel!

Awesome stuff you won't find on here. You in?

Join my private email list where I share content that you won’t find on here. You also get immediate access to a few secret gifts that you’ll receive within the first email.

You can’t be afraid of doing what’s best for you.

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There’s a whole different world on the other side of personal finance. Once you crush your debt and save up a decent amount of cash, life totally changes. This side definitely doesn’t involve listening to your parents. It’s more about figuring out what’s next in a noisy world.

The other side of money definitely exists. This is the side that you get to after you’ve put the work in to get what you want out of life.

What to do after college

Josh wrote in with a great comment on our post on what to do after college:

“Great article. I graduated 1.5 years ago and I’m in a weird situation. I have actually travelled a lot and it’s not because I had a lot of money, or came from money or had my parents pay for college. I just went to junior college for a few years, then a small university near me in the midwest, and I lived at home, and I worked part time at a hospital, and graduated debt free because of some scholarships. So actually after graduating I have lived 9 months in Spain and 6 months in Lithuania. I’m currently in Barcelona, but I’m starting to feel pangs of urgency.

I like teaching, but not for the rest of my life, and I feel like my intelligence and other things are being under-utilized. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have had the time of my LIFE living over here, learning Spanish, traveling to visit friends in Portugal, Italy, and Franc. So all in all I’ve enjoyed it.

Now I feel a bit stuck about what to do with my psychology degree and I’m just kind of in a rut.

In a fun, exotic on-the-barcelona beach in summer-rut, but still…”

I can relate.

When you’re in debt, the process for getting out is actually pretty simple: JUST HUSTLE!

All you can do is hustle and work all of the time to pay off your debt and save up some money. Once you cross sides, life is a little different. You have more free time, less stress, more friends, and more to do. Yet, it feels like something is missing. You can’t put your finger on this…

What should you do on the other side of personal finance?

[Martin's hint: Don't worry if you're not on this side of finance yet. You'll get there. You work with me and I promise to get you there. Stick around to the end.]

Find something worth pursuing.

What to do after college

That’s me having a complete blast doing pro wrestling (and winning the match — all modesty aside!).

I have friends that went straight to work and all they do is work. When they’re not at work, they’re relaxing or getting ready for the next day of work. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m assuming that you came here because you want to live a little bit.

The first thing that you have to do is to find something worth pursuing. You need to become addicted with something, a new skill, a new talent, or just something.

You won’t read this anywhere else because everyone wants you to play it safe. Screw that. Find a new hobby and go all in. Become a complete addict. I’ve done this with pro wrestling and BJJ with no regrets. I love it.

The next point is just as important as this one…

Do NOT listen to your friends or family.

Seriously, your family just wants you to find a stable job, get married, buy a house, have kids, go on one trip a year, and wait until retirement. Screw that!

Please do NOT listen to your parents. Do whatever you want. Your parents and friends will call you crazy. That’s okay. When they finally get it, they’ll apologize for doubting you.

“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.” — Frank Zappa

Help someone out.

I can’t articulate why this works or how it works. If you’ve saved up money and are in a decent position, you should strive to help someone out.

You can help out in any of the following ways:

  • Become a mentor.
  • Give time.
  • Become a coach.
  • Start a blog where you share your ideas.

Get out there and be useful!

Find a way to make money and stay busy.

It’s important that you find a way to make money and keep yourself busy.

You can start an online business, get into freelancing, or just try out a few new jobs. I really don’t know what to say because it will depend on your dedication and level of success on each venture.

This is a time in your 20s where you get to try out different ideas and look for what you want to do with the rest of your life. There’s no reason to ever feel stuck.

This leads to…

Don’t get stuck in a full-time job that you hate.

This is obviously the most ignorant thing that one could write, but this is an article on the other side of money afterall.

Turner wrote into the aforementioned article with a great thought on working after college:

“The difficulty I encountered wasn’t about following my passions, as I didn’t know what those were. I find that you need to have experiences to know what you really want out of life and you aren’t going to get those working insane hours during the best years of your life in a cubicle.”

Brilliant. Thanks Turner.

I’m not sure how to put this. So try not to get stuck in a crappy job that you hate just because your parents think it’s a good job. It’s okay to quit the “perfect” job to try out something with less pay.

But Martin — How do I get to this side of personal finance?

Let’s get there right now! Why waste time?

I’ve tested out every single strategy, failed, failed again, made a fool of myself, failed again, and then finally figured out what works/what never works.

How You Can Destroy Your Debt >> The first step for you is to destroy your debt. You need to find the plan that will work for you and stick to it!

How I Graduated College Debt Free >> This might be too late for some of you. However, I share how I graduated from college without any debt. Boom!

How-to Save $25k by 25 >> The specific tips that I implemented to save a decent chunk of change by the time I hit 25. If it worked for me, it will work for you. You going to be outdone by a long-haired jerk?

The Guide for Financial Freedom by 30 >> The only framework that you need for saving huge money in your 20s and getting ahead while your friends stay behind.

You owe it to yourself to get to the other side of finance. Then when you get there, you need to find something worth pursuing to keep yourself busy. I can’t give you all of the answers. I just hope that I opened up your eyes to a whole new world today.

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