Knowledge And Locality Tests – County Durham

To access my detailed blog on becoming an Uber driver in the UK please make sure you have checked out blog 1, HERE 

Well, that was an eye opener. 

Yesterday I sat my Locality and knowledge tests to move forward with my application to obtain my private hire licence. 

With my hands held high, its safe to say I completely messed it up. 

I’ve recorded a short video on this, however, if you prefer to read the blog then feel free to skip the vid.

So, yesterday was a major bump in the road and a real eye opener. 

Its fair to say that yesterday proved it’s not an easy ride gaining your private hire licence, needed to drive with Uber. 

Firstly I will admit I didn’t study enough for the tests and I only have myself to blame for not passing. 

At the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world and I will be re-booking the tests, confident I will pass 2nd time around. 

A Little Rant  

I will get a little rant out of the way first….. 

The tests, in my opinion, were complicated to say the least.

Firstly I sat a 45 minute locality test.

The locality test has a 100% score requirement to pass and is based on your ability to use the A to Z guide. 

After driving for nearly 20 years I have not once needed to use an A to Z guide. 

Living in a world of satellite navigation, why do we need to demonstrate an ability to use an A to Z guide?

To be fair, I was made aware this was part of the test and did get acquainted with using one.  

Clearly, I didn’t study enough and will need to “get busy” if I have any hope of obtaining my private hire licence. 

Before the knowledge test, I had the opportunity to have a chat with 8 other people who were also trying to gain a private hire licence.

Out of the 8 people I spoke too, 3 were sitting the test for the 2nd time.

3 were 100% sure they had failed the locality test. (awaiting results)

The other 2 weren’t sure how it went. 

As one of them stated, the council will make a nice little wager out of failures, due to the requirement of paying every time you take the test. 

One of the guys I spoke to mentioned a friend who gave up trying after 5 attempts, as he simply got so nervous and couldn’t afford to keep throwing money away. 

 If you are thinking – ” well, the guy must have been a complete idiot” – he had worked for nearly 10 years as a furniture delivery driver.

Can’t of been that much of an idiot to hold down a driving job for 10 years.

Locality Test

So, as I have already stated this test is based on your ability and understanding, using the A to Z guide.

The test is 45 minutes long and is broken up in to 2 stages.

Stage 1

You will be required to find the page grid reference for 8 places.

Stage 2

Using the A to Z you will need to explain the fastest route for 4 different journeys.

My lack of experience and lack of learning how to use one properly was my only problem here and I only have myself to blame.

Whether I think the test is a joke or not, is irrelevant.

These are the rules and if I want a private hire licence I need to pass this.

Knowledge Test

The knowledge test is a written paper and is based on the highway code and private hire legislation.

I cant stress enough to study upon your knowledge of the highway code.

After 20 years of driving, passing last weeks driving assessment (which included highway code questions) and spending time studying up, I was confident I wouldn’t have a problem.

In truth there was 2 signs on the test, I cant recall ever seeing.

The rest of the test is specific to private hire legislation

Please download the most recent information here (yes, all 55 pages! Don’t shoot the messenger)

Driving With Uber Uk

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years you will no doubt have come across Uber. 

My decision to start this blog on my personal experience driving with Uber UK is down to the amount of conflicting information I have received.

Its safe to say that there are a number of hoops you need to jump through before you can hit the road as an Uber driver in the UK.

I hope to shine some light on the subject of becoming a partner with Uber and what you need to do in order to make money as a driver, using the Uber driver app. 

Before I go any further – I am not yet on the road as an uber driver. 

Moving forward I intend to document my journey and hopefully offer some help to those considering, signing up as an Uber Partner. (driver) 

Quick Navigation 

Why Uber?

Not to “beat around the bush”… I’am not good with taking orders from a boss. 

The attraction with Uber is that providing you have a smartphone, drivers licence, and a decent car, there is an opportunity to earn a wage, driving. 

The flexibility of being able to use an app on your phone to give people a ride, whenever you want, has got me intrigued. 

I am under no illusions that driving for Uber will be easy money, however, Iam keen to see for myself what this potential income stream is all about.

As I currently spend a lot of time online, learning the ins and outs of online marketing and education, I hope that driving for uber will give me a decent income to allow me to continue and grow my online business. 

As the early days of online business don’t come with any guarantees an additional income is a must and this particular opportunity interests me due to its flexibility and potential earning potential. 

Getting The Ball Rolling 

Before you even consider driving for Uber there are a few things that you need to be aware of. 

  • Car – To drive and earn as an Uber partner your own car is a must. If you don’t have a suitable car there are schemes to rent a car, however, the offers differ across the UK. Check suitable car requirements for your area here 
  • Licence – You will need to apply for a private hire licence (PVH) in order to drive for Uber. My advice, before you do anything else is to contact the licencing department of your local council as they should be able to steer you in the right direction and will email you relevant application information. 
  • Insurance – You will need a specific type of insurance policy referred to as – hire and reward. Prepare yourself to be hit with some pretty big quotes, especially as a new private hire driver. Some insurance providers who offer this policy can offer it on a weekly basis. 

Uber Ignition Program 

The Uber ignition program is in place to walk you through the process of obtaining your private hire licence and to get you on the road earning money. 

For me, this was the first stumbling block.

Due to a limited number of sessions in my region, I couldn’t get an appointment.

After trying every day for weeks I got in touch with uber support for further advice. 

My first contact was via Twitter and I received a reply within an hour or 2 informing me that my query had been passed on to the relevant team. 

I was later emailed some instructions of the actions I could take myself in order to obtain my private hire licence. 

Timeline Of Actions 

  • 1/10/18 Applied for Enhanced DBS check – (cost – £57)
  • 15/10/18 Medical completed with GP (cost – £98)
  • 14/11/18 Meeting with the local council to check all documentation is in order and to book relevant tests which are necessary to gain the licence. 
  • Currently waiting for knowledge, locality assesments and child sexual exploitation course.

Meeting With Local Council 

If you can’t get booked on to an ignition session or you are simply happy to get the ball rolling yourself, I strongly advise a phone call to the licencing department of your local council. 

Unlike the action I took, you don’t need to do anything before you speak to the council licencing department.

Its safe to say that I jumped the gun a little which wasn’t necessary as the meeting I had with the council explained the process I should have followed and my overall experience dealing with them was 1st class. 

During the meeting you will be booked on to the relevant tests which are made up of 

  • area knowledge test 
  • locality test. 
  • child sexual exploitation course 

as well as this you will also be instructed on how to book a mandatory driving assesment. 

To be honest I wasn’t expecting to sit a driving test, however I cant see this being an issue and it certinly shouldnt be a concern if you are serious about driving for uber. 

DVLA Group 2 Medical Standards

councils can differ in the criteria needed to gain a private hire licence and as the form filling process can be a bit of a headache it’s a good start to make sure you are on the right path. 

For example – On my initial contact to Uber I was sent a link to download the relevant medical forms to be completed by my GP. 

The forms sent were for Newcastle council and as I will be driving primarily in the Durham area I will be obtaining my private hire licence through Durham county council.

The medical questionnaires between councils are significantly different and as there is a cost involved to obtain a medical, its a good idea to get it right the first time out. 

Next Steps

I’m currently booked in to sit my locality and knowledge tests with Durham county council 

The tests were booked during my first meeting with the council and are only scheduled on certain days of the week. 

from the date of the meeting there has been a 4 week wait to sit the tests needed to move forward with the application. 

 Driving assessments are not carried out by the council. 

↘↘↘A list of driving assessment providers can be downloaded here ↙↙↙

Once you have passed the driving assessment you will be issued a certificate required to complete your application for your PVH licence

Start-Up Costs  

It should come at no surprise that you will incur some costs before you get on the road driving for Uber. 

Below are details of my costs to date.

Depending on where you live in the country these costs can differ, however, from what I have seen whilst doing my research there shouldn’t be a huge difference in start-up costs across the UK. 

  • DBS Enhanced Check – £57
  • Group 2 Medical Check – £98
  • DBS Update service (this simply gives the council access to your criminal records moving forward and essentially means your DBS certificate will last a lifetime.)  – £13 (renews annually) 
  • PVH licence fee – £68.50
  • Knowledge and locality test. – £34.50
  • Driving assessment – £78 

                       Total – £349 

With the exception of the update service (£13 annually), these are all one-off costs. 

Obviously, none of the above costs include anything to do with a vehicle.

 Personally I have been in the fortunate position of being able to purchase a decent car which meets the uber criteria and that will be comfertable to drive. 

I appreciate that not everyone will be in this position, however this blog will document my journey as an owner driver. 

I have briefly looked into rental costs if you don’t own a car which, at first glance seem quite high, however, this is something which would need a great deal of consideration if that is your only option to move forward. 

Standby For Updates

That pretty much brings us up to date.

The process is quite long winded and drawn out, however, its important to remember that these things can take time.

If you are keen to try out Uber for yourself then please be patient and keep organised with your application process. 

Please stop by for updates as I fully intend to document my own personal experiences as an Uber driver. 

Watch this space people and hope I have helped……… For now. 

Update 13/12/2018 

Driving Assesment 

Driving assesment for private hire licence

So, Yesterday I had my driving assessment on the road to gaining my private hire licence. 

I have done a short video on this, however.

If you prefer to read the blog rather than stare at my ugly mug for 5 minutes, I’ve updated this as well. 

I’m pleased to say I passed and just as I thought, the assessment was nothing to worry about. 

The assessment is simply in place to make sure you are an experienced driver and have the confidence to safely carry passengers. 

The assessment was made up of some highway code, cabology questions. (Cabology was a new one on me, will explain more soon) and a 40-minute drive.

The highway code questions to expect should be self-explanatory.

Get on YouTube and brush up on your road signs.  

The questions and answers you may get on Cabology are:

Question. As a licensed taxi driver what must you carry with you at all times?

Answer. The taxi drivers licence and badge (displayed in a conspicuous place)

Question.If you found an item of property left in your taxi, what would you do with it?

Answer. Hand it in at a police station within 24 hours

Question.What is the minimum legal requirement of a tyre tread depth?

Answer. 1.6mm

Question. If the tyre pressures of the vehicle you are driving are 35psi (2.5 bar) at the front and 40psi (2.8 bar) at the rear, what would you consider the correct tyre pressure for the spare tyre to be?

Answer. 40psi (2.8 bar) because it would be easier to deflate to the correct pressure than to inflate the tyre at the roadside.

Question. As a taxi driver what is your main responsibility?

Answer. The safety and comfort of your passengers.

Question. How would you show consideration for passengers alighting from your vehicle?

Answer. Stop close to the kerb and avoid proximity to any obstruction.

The Drive

I don’t need to go into much detail here as the driving assessment is nothing more than a drive, in your own car with the assessor. 

Its only natural before any kind of test to be nervous, however. If you are serious to be considering making money as a taxi driver then this should not be a problem for you.

Why Am I Doing This To Myself?

Its easy for anyone, on any sort of journey to encounter times when impatience and negativity creep in and threaten to derail, well-intentioned plans and for that little voice in your head to ask – why am i doing this to myself?

I regularly come across some real gold nuggets on a daily basis and recently a video I stumbled across really struck a chord.

You may be familiar with the very popular entrepreneur/influencer; Gary Vaynerchuk.

I watch a lot of his content as his positivity is infectious and his honest, politically incorrect approach to influencing people in the modern world is as engaging as it gets.

Recently I watched a video where Gary compared building a business and the following of your favorite sports team.

To be honest, I usually share or save video’s that stand out, but for whatever reason, I didn’t on this occasion, and Im struggling to find the content in question. 

Being a huge fan of a team that has had a huge fall down the leagues in the last few years, this struck a chord with me and I instantly could see what he was getting at.

Supporting my team is in the blood.

In It For The Long Haul

No matter how bad they are doing or what league they play in I just can’t stop following their progress in the football world.

Why is this?

Why as humans do we get pleasure out of putting ourselves through disappointment, pain, and suffering to get behind a team of highly paid individuals, some of which you don’t actually rate?

I believe the love I have for my – underachieving team, is the sense of belonging.

Holding on to the hope that one day you will witness the euphoric success and bask in the glory, rewarding you for years of support and encouragement.

No matter how bad we have played on a Saturday afternoon or how many goals have been scored against us, I soon get over the disappointment and look forward to the next opportunity, to play better and work on why we were so poor in the last match.

My team has recently dropped down to the 3rd tier of English football following back to back relegations after nearly a decade in the biggest league in world football.

Obviously, it has been heartbreaking to see our demise, but the passion and hope for a better future are as strong as ever for me and I still count down the days to matchday – whatever that may bring.

Looking at things from an entrepreneurs perspective, the correlation between supporting your team and building your own business, in my opinion, is very similar. 

Being a fan of your team and building/running a business draw the same sort of emotions. 

  • Excitement 
  • Disappointment 
  • Joy 
  • Nervousness 
  • Despair 

Still fresh in the world of online business, I see on a daily basis many individuals who are not enjoying their journey and are constantly seeking shortcuts with only one thing in mind MONEY.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with being driven by the freedom, money can provide, but if everybody were to enjoy what they do and embrace the journey that little bit more, I believe more people would see success in their life.

Getting back to the sports analogy, something i’ve always failed to understand are “glory supporters”

Those “fans” who latch on to the successful teams with the big money and the best players, just so they can be seen to be following the best.

Most glory fans will know very little of the clubs history and the real passion will not exist for them. 

As soon as the going gets tough they easily switch off and don’t have that gut-wrenching feeling of disappointment and heartache

I acknowledge that the wording used here may seem dramatic to those who are not into sports and don’t follow a team – I will assume that if you are still reading – you get it.

I find the comparison between entrepreneurship and “Being a fan” fascinating. 

At times I want to tear my own hair out with frustration – BUT I LOVE IT!

On many occasions my optimism is shattered – BUT I LOVE IT!

There have been many occasions when I have “wasted money” – STILL, LOVE IT!

I have muttered to myself on numerous occasions – Why am I doing this to myself?

The Journey Is What Its All About

Are you enjoying your journey – whatever that is?

Do you have a “job” which you are getting something out of?

Do you have a “career” where you are constantly driven by the next promotion and higher pay grade?

Are you currently traveling after years of saving and is it all that you hoped it would be?

The reason I ask is that for many of my earlier adult years I wasn’t enjoying my “journey” and felt as though I was simply – going through the motions.

Looking back on my earlier adult years the days of the week just seemed to roll into one and I just couldn’t fit in to the 9-5 world. 

Being brutally honest with myself I was partly to blame for the years wasted in  jobs which gave me absolutely no desire to progress and move up the ladder.

Before I realized what was happening I was a married 30-year-old with a young son, mortgage and mounting debts, accrued due to simply – “not cutting my cloth to fit”. 

Although my earlier adult years were not the most sucessful I don’t look back with any regret as I believe they have shaped me to the person I’am today. 

Now, that doesn’t mean I am now a massive success. Nowhere near to be honest, however. 

I have learned to embrace the day to day and now being involved in something which interests me and can provide anyone with the same opportunities, is exciting and keeps me ticking. 

Glory Supporter vs Loyal Fan 

Similar to the mindset of the “glory supporter” I found that the work I was doing as an employee, just wasn’t lighting a fire under my backside. 

I didn’t really care about the overall success of the massive company I was working for and was only showing up for the Paycheck at the end of the month so I could pay my bills and debts. 

At the end of the day, I was just a number which could be easily replaced and I felt genuinely resentful to the company which was stealing my precious time away.

I acknowledge that to many this mindset and attitude will come across as lazy and obnoxious, but I know that many people feel the same and struggle to stay positive living this sort of life. 

My current path in life is one which gives me similar emotions to being a loyal fan. 

Although the journey is far from perfect and at times I question my sanity, I’am excited by the future and what may lie ahead.

I’m under no illusion that it all could come crashing down and I could end up back at square one.

However, these days I tend to focus on what could go right, over, what could go wrong.

I find that trying to build something which is my own is rewarding in itself, and the possibility of a future of financial freedom is an added bonus at this point in my journey.

Anything Can Happen

Like being a fan of your team, building an online business can throw up absolutely anything, at any time. 

I never stop learning and looking back on when I first started 9 months ago to learn and build a website which can help others, I have come along way. 

Like my team who over the last couple of years have gone through a massive transformation and rebuilding plan, sticking with your journey and taking the good with the bad is vital to gaining momentum and keeping the dream alive. 

For me the unknown is exciting and the education I am gaining online is fundamental for success and to help others like me who may have lost their spark. 

Time To Re-ignite your spark

The website you are reading this article on is less than 1 year old and before a single line of content was written, I didn’t have a clue where or how to get started with an online business.

In truth when I was researching the possibility of working from home and hopefully one day being able to make a living from it, I was sceptical it was actually possible for someone like me to build and sustain an online business. 

The reality is, anyone who is prepared to learn, and stick with their journey through the bad and good times can see some success.

If you a curious to learn a little more on the opportunities the online world can give you, please take advantage of 7 days FREE access to the platform I use on a daily basis to learn and grow my online business. 

If you decide to check out the platform please drop into my profile


Please feel free to ask me any questions or even just stop by for a chat. (Promise to stay away from football if it’s not your thing) 😉

How Do I Get People To My Website?

Understanding Keywords

If you have made the decision to have a crack at building your own website, whether it be for a bricks and mortar business or an online business, you should have asked yourself the question – how do i get people to my website? 

When it comes to marketing your business online, the understanding of keyword research plays a huge part in getting your message noticed by the right audience.  

Imagine a car salesman unleashing his polished, professional sales pitch, only to realize that his/her customer was wearing an earpiece throughout, listening to another sales pitch from his competitor – who he/she then goes on to buy from.

Pretty sole destroying right…

Keyword research is fundamental to search engines such as Google and Bing, noticing you and what you have to say.

Using strong, researched keywords can be the difference between your post showing up on page 8 of a google search or page 1

What Is A Keyword 

This is a search phrase you type into a search engine such as Google, E.G –

What is the best cell phone to buy?

How do I wire A plug?

who can service my car in my local area?

Try some keywords for yourself using the FREE tool below. ⏬⏬⏬

Don’t Worry If you see some information which you don’t understand. Take a look around then come back to this post for some simple explanations to what it all means.

What’s It All About 

Jaxxy Dashboard 

The image above will be what you are presented when conducting your keyword research. 

Avg – This is simply the overall monthly traffic this search term is getting worldwide. It is good practice not to use a keyword phrase with less than 30 searches per month – The higher the better.

Traffic – This is the estimated amount of traffic you will get monthly if you rank on page 1 on google, using the chosen keyword. 

QSR – Known as quoted search results, this is the exact number of results you are competing with using your chosen keyword. In other words this gives you an insight into how much competition you have, using your chosen keyword. 

As a rule it is advised, especially when starting off with your website, to keep your QSI below 100. 

However, the lower the better with this number as the less competition you are up against the higher your chances of ranking higher in the search results. 

As your site develops over time and you start to gain some authority with Google, it is fine to use higher scoring QSI results, keeping it under 200 is advisable.

KQI – This is known as the keyword quality indicator and will simply indicate if the keyword is great, OK, or poor. 

Its also good practice to make sure you keyword makes grammatical sense 

an example of what not to use would be 

“I need lose weight” 

This may seem very trivial but this can have an impact with your results as this phrase is missing the “to“, so it should read –

“I need to lose weight”

Gaining Authority With Google

If you are in the process of setting up your first website, for whatever business or interest you may have, it’s important to understand that gaining authority with Google and other search engines take time and effort.

Google has a very clever, constantly evolving, programming system known as “Google bots” which essentially scan the content of your website and decide whether or not your article is worthy of being seen in their search results.

When a person types in a search phrase to google, it’s in Googles best interest to make sure they are sending people to relevant, genuine and informative posts which will give the best user experience possible. 

As a rule it is good practice to always aim for a post with no less than 1500 words, however, the more the better, especially if you are competing with a keyword, where other posts are very high in detail and have a high number of words. 

Research Is Key 

Research Research Research !!!

When choosing a keyword to run with for your post, it is always a good idea to do a google search on that keyword and check out the posts which show up on page 1 of Google so you gain a better understanding of what you are up against and what you should be looking to achieve when creating your article. 

The more posts on your site the more traction you will gain with search engines and consistency will result in your posts ranking faster and higher in search engine results. 

Realistic Expectations With Your Site 

The following expectations are taken from what I have learnt from the wealthy affiliate platform and are based on real-world examples. 

Your results are based on the actions you take and the effort you put in – nothing is guaranteed when building any kind of business, however, the following accomplishments are realistic if you are prepared to learn and work. 

Month 1

  • Website set up 
  • S,E,O (search engine optimization) set up 
  • Initial framework of content live on your website. 
  • Indexed in Google, Bing, Yahoo (search engines now know you exist and are ready to monitor your site and the content you post.)
  • You have 5-10 posts on your website. 
  • Earning potential – Consider yourself lucky if you make any money from your site so soon. Its very early days. 

Month 3

  • Your content is starting to get ranked in search engines 
  • You experience some big breakthroughs in your keyword research 
  • You realistically could have made a sale or two
  • Traffic to your site is starting to grow. 
  • search engines are starting to give your site “authority”
  • You have 30-60 quality posts on your website. 
  • Earning Potential – You could be seeing anything from $0 – $500 per month in sales from your efforts so far. 

Month 6 

  • Traffic is really starting to flow, you could expect to see 100 unique visitors to your site daily. 
  • sales start to grow and you expect to see them increasing weekly
  • Search engines start indexing your site at a higher rate.
  • you have 70 – 100 quality posts on your site. 
  • Earning potential – Sites at this stage have seen a full time monthly income coming in every month

Year One

  • Google is giving your site some serious authority. 
  • Companies and others in your field start to reach out to you and connect, potentially making surprising offers which could grow your business further. 
  • Traffic is really flowing now. 500 unique visitors per day are not uncommon at this stage of your site development. 
  • Earning potential – Your finances could be very healthy at this stage. there are individuals making $5000 + per month at this stage of their journey. 

Year Two 

  • You have a thriving business online. 
  • Search engines are ranking your posts now, within 24 hours of being posted. 
  • You should now have 200-300 posts on your website
  • You are now generating enough money to consider yourself financially independent. 
  • Earning potential – 2 years of consistency could see you earning $10,000 – $20,000 per month 

Year Five

  • You are now an established brand in the industry
  • Search engines trust and rank your posts almost instantly 
  • You are now in a position to use your earnings to promote your business through paid advertising. 
  • You are now building a team from your business, writers, designers, researchers. you are now delegating more work and turning your attention to other ventures. 
  • Earning Potential – The sky is the limit. many individuals at this stage in their journey are making a life-changing monthly income from their online business 

Worried You Don’t Have What it Takes

If you have read this far then I would assume you are keen enough to learn and develop the skills needed to build your own business online. Maybe you have already started your online journey but have hit a roadblock and possibly need a new direction.

You don’t need to be an experienced writer to build your own website and create content to captivate an audience. 

The website you are reading this post on is less than 6 months old and has been put together by following training and support from one online platform. 

Before I stumbled across the “wealthy affiliate platform” I had zero experience with building a site from scratch, SEO (search engine optimization), Keywords and writing. 

Having access to a structured training schedule with video tutorials, literally walking you through the process of how to build an online business has been a real eye-opener as to what can be achieved this day and age. 

There’s No Quick Fix 

Hopefully, it is now clear that building a website and attracting the right audience is not easy and can take a lot of time and effort, however the rewards for your efforts are unlimited and consistency will bring the results you want to see. 

Try out the wealthy affiliate platform for FREE and see for yourself what is on offer from this educational and service providing platform. 

Please drop into my profile and feel free to ask any questions you have. If I don’t know the answer I will do what I can to find out. 

Why Cant I Get Motivated To Lose Weight

My last blog post was one of optimism and positivity on the subject of losing some weight and essentially aiming to feel and look better. So, why is it that I allow my mindset to shift so suddenly and why can’t I get motivated to lose weight. 

This update is not an early submission, however, as I have promised myself and the people who take their time to read this complete honesty I need to say, I am struggling to make even the small changes. 

I’m not one for making excuses, however, I will list what’s going on in my head to try and unravel why –  like many, I struggle to gain momentum when it comes to losing some weight. 

Can’t Say No

Whether its one of my mates, dropping into the whats-app group with a request to meet up for a few beers, or the sister ringing on her way over for a play date with the kids, suggesting she bring some goodies for lunch – I just can’t seem to say no.  

I obviously question my willpower, then I somehow manage to flip it around by telling myself – 

  • I enjoy food
  • I’m not that fat really
  • who cares what people think
  • life is short, just enjoy every day

Then, I will catch my reflection in a shop window and alarm bells will start to ring and I’m back to feeling sorry for myself and searching for answers and motivation. 

Finding A Sustainable Exercise Routine

This one is simple – I’m Lazy. I know how good exercise can make me feel as I used to really enjoy the gym back in the day. I just can’t seem to get started and get that “exercise bug” back. 

I blame not having enough hours in the day, not being able to afford a gym membership, I could go on with excuses, however, this is all they are – excuses. 

I’m well aware that 1 hour of exercise every other day will be great for my health, however, as the day’s tick by I just simply don’t get round to it. 

As I write this, I’m tempted to hit the delete button as I feel like I’m just moaning and need to just get on with it and be more disciplined in my efforts. 

Why am I making this so hard, its all in my head, just eat better and go for a walk a few times a week, its simple? 

If it were easy to me, I wouldn’t have spent most of my life overweight. 

It’s All In My Head

I associate food with a feel-good factor, and I view exercise as a chore. If only I could flip the 2 around – but can I?

As I ‘ve mentioned in my vlog, I’m seeking out some good books to get my teeth into around the psychology behind my relationship with food. 

I recently listened to Russell brands book – recovery, and although I’m a big fan of the man, this book just felt a little extreme for me and I soon lost interest.

I have recently downloaded a few audio books for the car and will update later if they have done anything for me and helped me to gain a better understanding as to where i am going wrong in my approach to becoming healthier. 

Watch this space people. who knows, there maybe a little more if i get my act together. 

Can I Really Make Money Online?

After over 6 months learning the ins and outs of building an online business, one of the questions which I hear more than any other is “can I really make money online?”

This was a question I asked a few times myself in the early days of research and navigating through all the rubbish, from people promising the next best software or method of making money from home.

After 6 months of learning and taking a small amount of action, the realisation of what is needed to make even a small amount of money online becomes more and more clear by the day.

Along with developing my knowledge around the online business world, I have recently started a blog about my journey to lose weight and become healthier. 

Although my vision for an online business had nothing to with the weight loss market it is obvious that both, losing weight and building any type of online brand/business require exactly the same mindset and attitude to achieve results. 

  • Dedication
  • patience 
  • acceptance of change
  • self-discipline
  • Goal setting 

The list could go on, however, I’m sure those 5 simple points stand out as essential mindset traits to work on in both – building your business and becoming a healthier version of yourself. 

Now, just because I believe that doesn’t mean I have got this nailed down and I am on a guaranteed path to looking great and living the laptop lifestyle… If only!

As far as building an online business goes I’m confident that I’m on the right path, however, I know I need to work harder and increase my efforts. In regards to losing weight, this has been a personal struggle of mine for most of my life. Don’t worry, I’m not expecting the violins to start and I’m certainly not about to start making excuses for myself.

My unhealthy weight all boils down to a bad relationship with food and a lazy approach to exercise, it’s that simple.

How Long Is A Piece Of String 

In case the penny still hasn’t dropped, it is impossible to answer the question “can I really make money online” simply because it all depends on the person asking.

To be clear – I’m not talking about intelligence or experience, I’m talking about attitude and a desire to learn and take action.

In little under a year of learning how to develop an online business, I find it fascinating how many paths you can go down to build your own highly profitable business, however, it’s understandable why so many people quit after a few months of getting started.

  • It can be noisy online –  there is so much information and different methods you can use to build a business, it sometimes feels like you are in a crowded room and everybody is screaming at you. It’s sometimes easier to just switch off than it is to bring order and work out whats for you.
  • Who And What Can Be Trusted – This is the internet – some bad shit has gone down on the internet. How can you know what is legit and what is nothing more than a scam? 
  • No Patience – People work hard, put the hours in, maybe even invest a small amount of money every month and nothing happens. 
  • Self Doubt – alongside the information overload comes the doubt you are capable of doing it. Not smart enough with a computer, don’t understand instructions, too much work to commit to.

All of the above are valid reasons to be put off with pursuing making money in the online world, however, each reason can be quickly overturned if you have a genuine desire to learn and the patience to see it through…

  • Sure, it’s noisy, make the decision to embrace the noise and take your time. We live in an era where answers and education are literally in the palm of your hand. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed and take time to fully understand a subject you are keen to pursue. 
  • Trust. Having confidence in a method, person, or product to help you on your journey is essential for you to turn your learnings into actions. Again, research is key here. Don’t leave any stone unturned. If you are not 100% confident in the actions you take then, in my experience this will slow you down and potentially derail your efforts. 
  • Patience really is needed to get anywhere when it comes to earning money from the internet. Sure, if you are selling physical items then you may be able to see a quick buck hit your PayPal account, however, when it comes to establishing yourself as a brand, building a sustainable business which can generate you a passive income while you sleep, takes time, effort and patience. Be prepared to make mistakes, prepare yourself for days where you feel lost and ready to throw in the towel. Those days come and go, stay focused and remember that any business takes time to grow. 
  • Self Doubt can really be a motivation zapper. So many people I have spoken to, currently on a similar path to myself, have had moments where they question if they are wasting their time. when starting out in entrepreneurship, it can be a very lonely place. You don’t have someone over your shoulder to keep you on track to give you the confidence you are “doing it right.” Friends and family members who don’t understand what you are doing may think you are deluded and that you need to get real and stick to a 9-5 job. You truly need to get comfortable with yourself and make sure you are open-minded and prepared to learn.  

Open Your Mind – Think Outside The Box 

So, what’s your number 1 hobby? What are you interested in? What do you have a passion for? 

Are you aware that many people are making a small fortune simply creating content around something they love talking about and feel they know a lot about. 

I’m talking literally anything goes here.

When talking about content, this can be anything like, a blog – like the one you are reading now, to a video posted on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or twitter.

There are over 3 billion active users on the internet worldwide. The question is – are you ready to take your piece of the huge online pie?

whether you like the thought of talking to a camera about your passion/hobby or writing about it, there really is no limit as to what is achievable online if you are prepared to stick with it.   

Best Place To Start

In my honest opinion, having a base to learn and develop your knowledge can have a huge impact on gaining momentum in building a sustainable business online. 

The use of 1 platform to host your website, build and learn from has been instrumental in my journey and although I could have achieved more in 6 months if I had put in more time, I am grateful for the tools and support available to provide me with a genuine education to grow and build my confidence moving forward. 

However, I acknowledge that everyone is different and people learn and absorb information in a number of different ways. 

If you can answer honestly – Yes, to the following questions then there really is no reason you cant build your own business online. 

  • Do you enjoy, or could you see yourself spending hours in front of a computer or laptop?
  • Do you follow structure and instructions well, in either, written or video format?
  • Do you fully accept that any financial reward for your efforts can take time, no matter how hard you have worked?
  • Can you develop the right mindset to commit for the long term?

If you can genuinely answer yes to all of the above then you are on the right path and where you go from here on out, is up to you.

Free Training

So far on my online journey, there hasn’t been a lot of products I have been happy to put my name too, simply because there is so much rubbish which promises everything, but delivers nothing.  

In my younger years when I was trying out an mlm business, I was very nearly scammed out of my hard earned money to buy some useless, lead generating software.

Being thorough in my research saved me from losing out, but I was taken in by a very clever sales pitch and to this day that experience has stuck with me and made me cautious in my approach to promoting anything. 

If you have got this far reading this and you keen to learn more and make a start on your own journey then please take advantage of this platform where you can sign up for free (NO credit card info needed) and start learning more on what I have covered in this blog. 

Still Confused About Which Direction To Head In?

Ask questions, even if you are embarrassed. The platform I use has a growing, thriving community of people on the same journey as myself. 

Sure, some have been at it for years and are making a lot of money month after month, others are just getting started and are clearly still a little lost, not sure where to go with their vision. This is all normal and people on the platform enjoy helping and being part of your educational journey. 

Good luck and please get in touch if you have any questions whatsoever. 

Check out my additional blog on my 6 – month experience with wealthy affiliate

Experience With Wealthy Affiliate

After just recently passing the 6 months mark as a paying member with this educational and service providing platform, I feel I am now more qualified to share a more detailed experience with wealthy affiliate.

As my vision to build a brand where transparency and integrity are at the top of the pile, I will leave nothing out for my own benefit and hope to be as detailed as possible, so you can make an informed decision as to whether or not this platform is for you.

I stumbled across this platform after engaging with an Instagram post which caught my attention at the beginning of the year. I was drawn in by the word “university” as at the time I was really keen to expand my knowledge of the online world in the hope it could lead to me realising a dream, of living life on my terms, whilst providing value to others. 

Ever the sceptic, as someone who has had run-ins with some very shady characters online, I proceeded with caution at first and didn’t even set up my free account for a week or so. During this time I scoured the net for feedback and reviews on this platform and it didn’t take too long to have full confidence that the platform was legit and I had a green light to try it out for free. 

Free Account Set up

Firstly I want to stress that to use this platform you do not require any experience with affiliate marketing as the courses teach you everything you need to see results. Sure, you will need access to a laptop or computer and a basic knowledge of how to use it will help, however, this platform is newbie friendly and if you do get stuck there’s always someone to ask for help. 

Setting up the free account does not require any bank/credit card details whatsoever and I had full access to my starter account instantly. At first, I was a little overwhelmed as to where to start as there is a lot of information on the platform to sink your teeth into. I decided to take my time and have a good look around the site and took advantage of the live chat facility and engaged with other users.

What is Wealthy Affiliate All About?

Wealthy affiliate provides you with an abundance of tools, training and support, to walk you through, the building of your very own online business.

As a member for 6 months, I have barely touched the surface with the training available to me. I admit I could have achieved more in the last 6 months if I didn’t allow my head to be turned by other programs and methods to try and accelerate my success. 

As the day’s tick by it becomes more and more clear that if you are serious about building a business online you need to be patient and be prepared to learn – reading, watching video tutorials, listening to advice from experienced affiliate marketers should be embraced if you are to see success from this platform.  

There are a number of directions you can choose when it comes to affiliate marketing and wealthy affiliate can support you on whichever path you choose to take.

Maybe you already have an idea for a website but don’t know where to start, or you are just desperate to live life on your own terms creating your own personal brand, sharing your ideas, vision and providing value to the online world

Affiliate Marketing Explained For Newbies

Ok, so what exactly is affiliate marketing and how can it make you money?

Affiliate marketing gives anyone the opportunity to get a slice of the online pie, by essentially pointing online users in the direction of a product or service they are interested in purchasing. 

Most companies these days have an affiliate program which essentially gives you your own tools to sell their products and be paid commissions on everything you sell via you affiliate link. 

This can be physical products or digital products such as computer software and educational training modules.  

Now, its important to understand that its not a simple case of plastering your affiliate links all over Facebook and hoping for the sales to start rolling in. 

The idea behind affiliate marketing is to create engaging, helpful content online, worthy of your audience attention which results in them buying through you. 

How Do I Create “Content”? 

In 2018 there are more ways than ever you can showcase yourself and develop a personal brand you can use to generate passive income.
  • Blogging – Setting up a blog, like the one you are reading now can be an engaging, entertaining way to captivate an audience and gain trust in your market space. 
  • Vlogging – Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself to be a writer. Although this is something you can develop and get better at over time, you may be more confident in front of the camera, creating videos and setting up a youtube channel to build a following. 
  • Write an Ebook – You may have the knowledge in your chosen niche to write a book which educates or entertains your audience, again, potentially resulting in healthy commisions hitting your account on a monthly basis. 

This day and age there is so much opportunity to build a personal brand and showcase yourself to a worldwide audience.

The training and support needed to learn how to do this is all at your disposal within wealthy affiliate. 

Don’t Bother If You Are Not Prepared To Learn 

On speaking to a few people outside of the wealthy affiliate platform, who were once members and quit after a few months, it soon became clear they simply weren’t prepared to put in the work and learn, continuing to search for that (non-existent) get rich quick method. 

This platform provides you with the training, support and tools to develop and grow your own online business, the only catch is – you need patience and a desire to take action on your learnings.

we live in an era of massive opportunity but nothing will ever be handed to you on a plate. If you are moaning about your job and detest living in a 9-5 world then you need to be willing to take advantage of the education available to you, which you can embrace from the comfort of your own home. The question is, are you committed enough to see it through?

Have I Seen A Return On My Investment yet?

Not yet. I was talking to someone online recently who was asking questions about wealthy affiliate and the first thing she asked was “have you seen a return on your investment?” In truth, I decided to stop thinking about money months ago simply because I still consider myself to be on a learning journey. 

Sure, I hold my hands up, I could have made more progress if I had worked harder and created more content. There are many members who are making A substantial monthly income months into their membership, then there are others who have been members for years and make very little.

The bottom line is, it all comes down to you. How fast you start to see results all depends on the work you are prepared to put in and the desire you have to shape your own future.

If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later

Richard Branson 

Everything In One Place

Something which stands out for me with this platform is the fact I have everything I need to learn and build my online business in one place. When first starting out as a newbie, I was surprised how quickly into the journey I was actually building my own website – all of which is done right within wealthy affiliate.

Even if you are unsure which direction/niche you choose to pursue, setting up the initial framework of any website is a great place to start and will give you the momentum and drive to keep moving forward and progress with your vision. 

The video tutorials literally walk you through the courses and you can pause and rewind as many times as you wish, should something not sink in straight away. 

For me, after about 3 months as a member I did find myself straying away from the teachings in wealthy affiliate, however, looking back all this did was to derail my progress and I always found myself back on track within wealthy affiliate.

Sure, I have made connections outside of the platform which has helped me on my way, but I see wealthy affiliate as my base to continue learning and as the main hub for my online journey.  

Is Premium Really Worth It?

Being a member for 6 months, of course i’am going to say I believe its money well spent, however, depending on how you choose to approach this and what your expectations are, the question is do you think you can afford not to have access to unlimited training and support?

If you have read this far then I’m assuming you are not looking to “get rich quick” as hopefully, I have been clear that using this platform – even in the correct way, will not provide over-night success. 

In reality, to further your education and achieve any qualifications you must be prepared to face costs along the way. In my honest opinion, I believe that the premium option to this platform is worth more than the $49 per month I continue to pay. Saying that it’s not for everyone and being able to try the platform for free gives you the chance to make an informed decision on where you go with your journey. 

I Need To Lose Weight Badly

Let’s face it. The chances are if you are reading this post you are one of the many who at least, several times a week mutters to yourself “I need to lose weight badly.” 

The burning question is where do you start and can you sustain a new healthier lifestyle?

Before I go any further I NEED to stress: I am not part of the fitness/weight loss marketing world. I am simply a 37-year-old bloke who has always struggled to maintain a “healthy” weight.

I have made a decision to document an attempt to start living a healthier lifestyle and essentially, to look better naked. 

In the last 5 years, I have gained around 4 stone in weight. No excuses, I have simply over indulged and not taken proper care of myself.

I’ve always struggled with my weight. Back in school and into my early adult years I was always a fat lad. My appetite was, and still is quite sizable and for as long as I can remember I have always taken pleasure from food and drink.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not yet at a weight which causes me massive problems, however, I believe if I keep going on the same path, it won’t take long for me to be in a really bad state.

My relationship with food has always been an issue for me. 

  • portion size 
  • fatty processed rubbish
  • finishing the kid’s meals (not liking to see waste)
  • not realizing when I am full  
  • My love of a few too many pints of lager. 
  • not being able to say no if offered something tasty.

Can you relate to any of the above?

My decision to try and document my journey to a better me is something I have thought of before but never had the nerve to get started.

  • What if I fail?
  • What will my friends and family think?
  • Will I look stupid?
  • whats the point?

The more I thought about it the more it made sense to just take the plunge and try a different approach to losing some podge. Whats the worst that can happen? 

  • People may not find my journey interesting.
  • I might get some “nasty” comments
  • I may not lose any weight.

Then there is the positives to look at –

  • It will motivate me to keep going 
  • I will enjoy the journey 
  • I will inspire others to get healthier
  • I may find inspiration from others to keep going.
  • I will be able to look back in months to come and see how far I have come.
  • I will end up feeling and looking, better than I have for years.

It’s safe to say that for me the positives in trying this far outweigh the negatives and I am looking forward to seeing what happens.

As I have stated in my vlog, I am not going along with any fad diets, fitness plans or magic pills. My intention is to simply be more mindful of what I consume on a daily basis and to be more active. 

As a man who is nearly at the 20 stone mark, I will be starting off with some fast-paced walking and simply be building on that. I haven’t ruled out joining a gym as before I was married and had kids I really enjoyed the gym and managed to get down to a decent weight and felt pretty good, however, in the early days of this attempt to get healthier I’m going to stick to the streets. 

Why Have I Always Struggled To Stay Trim?

Looking back as far as i can remember Its safe to say I haven’t been eating well. I struggle to stomach most vegetables and although I quite enjoy lots of different fruits i simply don’t eat enough. 

For me, I believe that portion control has been a key factor in my chunky frame and my enjoyment of what I am consuming has overshadowed the fact I have had enough. Some people may call this being a greedy fucker, I wouldn’t disagree. 

One key target I am setting myself is to avoid the feeling of being bloated after a meal. That feeling which makes me say “I am never eating again” has to stop. Eating so much that you feel you are going to burst has been a common trend for me all my life and I now believe I have confused that feeling with a sense of satisfaction.  

In my opinion losing weight and keeping it off is all down to your mindset. We are all wired differently and some people will be more prone than others to gaining weight. 

Don’t get me wrong – I am not getting into genetics here as I am in no way qualified to start down that path. I simply believe that some people are wired to approach eating and exercise a lot different to others, however, this doesn’t mean you can’t “re-wire” your thinking and change your habits for the better. 

If That’s What I Believe Then Why Am I Still Fat?


Over the last few years, I just haven’t cared enough to make a change and have convinced myself that I enjoy eating rubbish food and don’t care how I look… BULLSHIT.

I have a wardrobe full of clothes that would probably cut off my circulation if I tried to get into them. I avoid shopping for new clothes as I don’t want to spend money on XXXL sizes as deep down I don’t want to accept that this is my default body shape and weight.  

Keeping It Simple

So whats my plan? 

My full intention is to not restrict myself and be simply more mindful of what i consume and the amount of activity I partake in. The key changes I have already started to make moving forward are as follows:

  • Water intake. – my first drink when I wake up on a morning is a pint of water, and during the course of the day, I will repeat this 4-5 times. Your pee should be clear and not smell strong. If it does you are dehydrated and this will make you feel rubbish and not help in losing weight.
  • Exercise at least every other day for at least 45 minutes. – How much exercise you can manage will depend on the individual. For me, I intend to get the earphones in, select my chosen motivational playlist and hit the streets walking as fast as I can. I’m confident that, as my fitness improves my pace will increase.  
  • Stop eating BEFORE I feel bloated and uncomfortable – This will be all down to portion size. I intend to eat slower and be more mindful of when I’ve had enough. Finishing the kid’s dinner or going back for seconds will become a thing of the past 
  • Reduce alcohol intake – I believe that my overindulgence with beer over the last few years has contributed massively to my weight gain. I’m not alcohol dependent and can go a week without having a drink, but when I do get going its safe to say I can sink more than I should. 

For now these are the 4 main lifestyle changes I will be making and I am more than curious to see how i get on. 

Please feel free to follow my journey here and via my youtube channel and reach out for a chat. Hopefully, we can help each other.

All the best with your journey and I hope you have taken something from this. 

P.S. If you like the sound of putting together your own blog just like this one, then please check out my review on the wealthy affiliate university.

Learn from home at your own pace from scratch. Experience is not necessary.