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As if payday loans weren’t bad enough to worry about, now there’s this thing called daily sports betting. The two monsters in the room right now are DraftKings and FanDuel, and though they acknowledge that it’s really gambling, their position is that it’s a legitimate franchise to be in because it’s supposedly a “game of skill.”

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Not so fast says both Nevada and New York. Both of those places have already banned the process in their states, though Nevada’s ruling is based on a different standard than New York’s.

Both of the companies above are planning on suing New York state on the grounds that what they do is legal and pretty much the same as any other fantasy sports betting sites. However, there are over 20 other states contemplating banning these sites as well. So, it’s going to be an uphill challenge.

Why sue New York, because supposedly there are nearly 600,000 people from the state playing on these sites; yeow! Also, FanDuel is based in the state, and DraftKings has a large office in Manhattan.

Still, what’s the general take on sites like this?

Instead of a fee to join, what you decide to bet is what your fee is. They have both free and paid games, which is how it used to be with online poker. When you decide what you want to play you get so much in credits that acts like money in the game. Depending on which sport you select, you see what the players you want are worth and pick your teams. If you’re in a league you’re playing against other people, which means players you like won’t always be available.

The highest fee I’ve seen is $30 for a daily game. However, they have major events as well, and some of those can go as high as $5,000 or more to play. The payouts are bigger, and all winners can immediately download their winnings to their Paypal account. Those are games played online in advance of an upcoming event. For instance, you could start selecting your team on Monday for a full slate of Saturday college football games.

In this regard, it’s player beware. The more you pay the more you get in credits, but there are no refunds. Once you’re money’s in you’re obligated to either do something with it or lose it.

Can you win money? Absolutely; that’s what got these companies in more trouble than they expected. An employee with one of these companies used the knowledge he gained from research there on the other company’s site and won $350,000.

At this point any employees of gambling sites like these are banned from playing on any other sites but that might have been the catalyst towards trying to ban them. It almost smacked of insider trading, and at this point, although there’s no proof and it seems almost impossible to do, it got some people wondering if the system was rigged.

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I’m not going to take a position as to whether or not sites like this should be legal or not. Instead, I’m going to point out the worries about playing sites like this on a daily basis if you’re going to spend your money, and I’m going to use online poker as a comparison, since I used to play that and, for the most part, it got banned.

The first comparison is the question of skill vs pure gambling.

In many circles, poker is considered a game sport. After all, it’s on ESPN, and they always show the World Series of Poker main championships. Most of the winners are people who have played for years, studied the game, and make a living at it. Sure, sometimes an unknown slips through, but even those people have played the game for a long time.

Fantasy sports is another matter entirely. I’ve never met a single person playing fantasy sports that knows anything about the offensive lines of every college football team in the nation, or even the type of defense a team plays. At best, some people might know who the starting quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are. They might know a few defensive players as well. Maybe they know who’s injured or not.

Outside of that, it becomes more of a guessing game than a skill. The reason a site can pay people off quickly is because the site is the actual winner every time, and what they pay back out to people is minimal by comparison. So, the skill level is debatable.

The second comparison is the money aspect.

This is the big one. I once paid $5 to enter a regional poker tournament with almost 5,000 other players. I lasted 7 hours before busting out and didn’t win a cent. It was the only time I put my own money on the table, though I’d gotten pretty good. I used to win money on the site as a free player, and I then used that money to play in other tournaments.

With sports betting in general one hags no real control over the outcome. Look what happened in the MMA this past weekend when Ronda Rousey, a 2000-1 favorite, lost. Is it a real skill to bet on Leonard Fournette to be a game changer when his efforts the last two weeks haven’t been what they were earlier in the year against better opponents?

Sure, there were poker players who put money into a site more than once a day, but the numbers don’t come close to what’s going on in fantasy sports betting. If you’re a player strong enough to only play $3 a day for fantasy sports then there’s probably no issues. However, I worry about the people playing even $25 a day gambling on something they really have no idea about and no real knowledge of what’s going on other than the fact that players are playing the games. Is it worth $150 to $200 a week on a wing and a prayer?

If you’re going to play I’d recommend setting a weekly budget up front and putting the money aside for it… figuratively of course since you have to put it on your credit card or Paypal account. If you play within your means and this is something you love, then go for it.

If you’re all over the board, don’t seem to be very good, and keep going into your necessarily money to fund you play… leave immediately and stay away. Always take care of your bills and life first.

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On this blog I not only try to help people save money but, when I can, I offer tips on how to make money, as well as warn of scams and such when they crop up. In this case, I want to address the topic of making money online because it’s a major industry.

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Let’s get the first question out of the way; can you make money online? Yes you can. Let’s address part two of the question; can you make enough money online to live on? That one isn’t so easily answered.

There are basically 3 ways people can make money online, which I detailed a bit more on this post on a different blog. Those 3 ways are selling stuff, selling services or accepting advertising. There are nuances for each of these, but those are the specifics.

The majority of people who decide to try to make money online will do so; just not very much. For instance, I make between $100 and $500 a month online, though most of the time it’s towards the lower end. I make the bulk of regular income via one of my other websites and Google Adsense. The “regular” up and down part comes via advertising on this blog.

The “rare” part, which I didn’t detail with a dollar figure, comes when I’m contacted for consulting or speaking services of some type. When that comes it amounts to a big hit, then it’s over and I fall back on my normal process.

Let’s go back to that Adsense money for a quick moment. It took me 18 months to hit $100 the first time around. Then when I created the website that was bringing in better money, I was averaging between $500 and $700 a month from it. Not livable income but not a bad part time job at the time. However, once Google put out Penguin and Panda, my income dropped precipitously. Still, $100 a month isn’t bad; I know people who’ve been running Adsense for years and haven’t hit $100. It pays for my web hosting & domain names; that’s a start.

Let’s look at this from a high level. No matter who you are, if you’re living in the United States you probably need to be generating at least $2,000 a month at the lowest sustainable level of living. It’s hard getting exact figures because most people not making money don’t want to say and the ones making it are going to tell you if they did it you can. So, for a good comparison let’s look at athletics.

In the United States, there are around 3,000 athletes in the major leagues of the 4 major sports. If we look at colleges, there are nearly 500,000 players of those same 4 sports at all levels. If you take the percentage of pros to those that don’t make that level, you’re looking at 5/1000th of a percentage. That’s only men’s sports. If we include the women… well, I think you get the point.

Can it be done? Absolutely. Are the odds great? Nope. I gave the three ways people can make money above. For two of those, you need to generate a lot of traffic to your online sites. It’s estimated that for every $100 you make you need at least 5,000 visitors coming to your site. Of course that doesn’t flow into every area. For instance, if you write on something specific and you have your niche crowd that loves you, then you won’t need as many visitors. However, for advertising or direct sales, you’re going to need the numbers to show your worth and make any real money.

There are companies that travel across the country telling you that you can make a lot of money creating online stores. My wife talked me into going to one of these many years ago. One lady said her page made $15,000 a month selling cat toys that she didn’t make herself. Another guy said he was making $12,000 a month selling sports paraphernalia. Folks, these kinds of companies are scams, preying on the greed of consumers who think all they have to do is put up a site and the visitors will come; they’re not coming.

A secret to making money online
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There are also companies that sell people things like travel sites, credit card sites and the like, telling them they can compete with the big boys. Trust me, after you’ve gone through your friends and family, without a compelling marketing plan, it’s not going to work and you’ll be out of thousands of dollars.

If you still want to give it a try, I recommend a few things.

One, don’t give up your job to do it.

Two, if you decide to buy some books on the subject don’t buy more than 3 before attempting to start. So many people get bogged down on different systems and suddenly become inactive.

Three, don’t spend more than $500 to get started. That’s on the high end; anything more and they’d better be giving you a guarantee (which they’d be stupid to do unless the contract contained some of that fine print language).

Four, learn how to write compelling sales copy because that’s what it’s going to take to entice whatever visitors you get.

Five, take at least one online course or read a book on marketing and sales. There are a lot of good ones, and if I’m asked I’ll recommend a couple for you.

Six, find one or two people online who you know are making real money and read whatever you can from and about them.

Seven, have faith in your process but be judgmental and cautious with whatever you decide to try. If it feels wrong, don’t do it. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

That’s all I have for now. If you want more resources I can provide some for you.

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I’m about to drop some serious knowledge on you that you might not like. You know how much you get paid? Sorry to tell most of you but that’s exactly what you’re worth.

Monopoly Justice
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If you’re making $8 an hour working at a fast food joint you might not like reading this but it’s true. If you’re a teacher making $35,000 a year, you won’t like hearing it either. This isn’t meant as a condemnation; instead, it’s meant as a wake up call.

There are careers that many of us look at and say “those people should be paid more for what they do.” There are others, like athletics and entertainment, where others will say “They’re not worth that much money.”

In actually, both sides are right and wrong at the same time… but more wrong than right.

The work teachers do… arguably some of the most valuable work every country in the world needs. The same goes for the military, law enforcement, scientists, etc. Yet they get paid what they get.

The work athletes do that benefit mankind (since that’s how people like to look at things), or what entertainers do… their overall value depends on how your eyes view their importance in the scheme of things… and many of you don’t view it with the same eyes.

If that’s the case, why is there such a disparity in pay and worth?

It’s all about who’s doing the paying. Who pays teachers? Many would say we, the taxpayers pay them. So, if we think they’re worth more than they get, why aren’t we willing to pay more in taxes to give them what we believe they’re worth?

What? We have our own bills? Taxes are high enough? In other words, when their value is compared to what’s coming out of your pocket already, their value isn’t high enough anymore? I see… The same goes for law enforcement, the military, fire protection, roads, health care… you name it, if there’s something coming out of our pockets suddenly it’s not worth it anymore in your eyes.

What about entertainers? Indirectly you’re paying them when you go to their concerts, but when you’re buying their music it’s not actually coming out of your pockets anymore. Music studios, production companies and the like pay entertainers, and if you’ve noticed they all get paid at different rates, based on whatever someone assumes is their value. That one’s out of your hands.

The same for athletes. Does a guy deserve to make $2 million a year to sit on the bench and maybe play 5 minutes a game, if that? It does to the people paying that athlete. Indirectly some of the money comes from you as a fan when you go to the games, but overall it’s the owners who decide how much money goes to which player, and that’s doled out based on how valuable that player is perceived to be to the team. Most of that money comes out of TV and radio contracts, so even though you have your piece added to the pie, it’s once again out of your hands.

Who needs a car!
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Let’s look at you and what you’re worth, based on what you’re being paid. Think about yourself for a quick minute; are you doing everything you can to be worth more? Have you educated yourself, whether it means going to college or taking a course or immersing yourself in the job you do to maximize your knowledge so you can be perceived as more valuable?

Have you taken the precautions to think about your long term financial position, so that your using your money to help build wealth and protect yourself when you’re older? Have you thought about new ways to generate more income, either by working a part time job, working for yourself or switching jobs and careers?

As an independent consultant, one of the hardest things to figure out is what you’re worth, what you deserve to be paid for your knowledge. Without getting too deep into it, I get paid what I’m worth based on what the client’s situation happens to be, and whether I decide to accept it or not.

Without giving much away, I’ll tell you that as a consultant I’ve been paid between $50 and $150 an hour. It depends on what type of project I’m doing, the financial stability of the client, the size of the client and the length of the project. I get to decide my worth, and then the client gets to decide if what I perceive my worth to be is compatible. After all, I know that my financial life is on me, so I have to not only be aware of my needs but be flexible enough for my clients where necessary.

For this blog, I don’t accept guest posts, but I do accept sponsored posts, which I write, and I charge $100 per post. For some that might seem high, but the rate has been established by those who have paid me to do it for them, and by those who have asked to add a link to previous posts. Once again, I’ve determined my worth based on my track record, and my ability to deliver what a potential client might need. If they don’t want to pay, I move on; once again, I get to determine what my time is worth.

If I get to determine what I’m worth, then everyone gets to determine what they’re worth. What we don’t all get to do is determine what someone else thinks we’re worth at all times. So, if you’re working at a job where you’re getting paid $15 an hour and that’s pretty good money for you, no problems. If you’re getting $15 an hour and you think it’s low… ask yourself what you’re willing to do to change your circumstances.

Life choices aren’t always easy to make. Trying to be successful not only isn’t easy, but it’s not guaranteed either. Still, for the most part you get to decide what your worth is based on the choices you decide to make in your life and career. If you’re living comfortably and you’re good where you are, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you want more… now you know what you need to do. :-)

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

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