Kenny Soto Getting Paid to Read

An Entrepreneur Mindset: How I Made $70 Getting Paid to Read

Anyone can be an entrepreneur.

When we think about entrepreneurs we often picture the daring innovator creating the next big platform to solve a major problem. This is mainly because of how the media portrays the mainstream entrepreneur (i.e. all entrepreneurs are like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs). Personally, I believe being an entrepreneur is something much simpler than that. An entrepreneur is someone who can identify an opportunity and tackle it. Below is how I saw a potential opportunity getting paid to read, seized it, and succeeded.

I have been unemployed for over a year because I choose not to work in an environment where there is no growth or learning. However, many of my family members and peers urged me to go and search for a place of employment. After months of struggling nothing seemed to fit, I was either under-qualified for the positions I was applying to due to lack of experience or I was over-qualified. This is because my resume shows that I am someone who only works well when having the opportunity to lead a team (which doesn’t happen often working retail).

I then stumbled upon a wonderful freelance application called TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit allows you, the professional, to work on your time for a pay you decide. And, best of all, you carry out tasks you choose; not arbitrary tasks that have nothing to do with your skill—unless of course, you’d like to.

Waiting on line and turning pages.

My personal favorite task on TaskRabbit is Waiting on Line. A client hires you to wait on line for an item they simply don’t have the time or effort to do and you, the Line Waiter, is compensated for their time. The opportunity I saw in this was that I needed to find a way to stay productive while getting paid to do something boring. What I decided to do is create a reading list that I would literally “crush through” while doing this specific task. I am essentially getting paid an average hourly rate of around $15-20 an hour to read books I love and simply deliver a ticket or wait until someone contacts me. This is how I plan on paying for my college textbooks next semester. However, I would have never been able to do this if I sought out that traditional 9-5 or part-time job to cover myself. Instead I saw an opportunity and created value by gaining revenue and learning at the same time (and reading is so much fun for me).

I  believe that we have the potential to do the things we love such as reading books and be able to also make money on the side. The only factors stopping our entrepreneurial mindset are our fears of taking risks, being different by thinking outside the box, and just trusting your imagination. Who knows, maybe I’ll figure out how to make revenue by having others read books and summarize them for me. I am certainly content with spending my summer getting paid to read.

If you want to do something similar to this you have to get out of your comfort zone. The world is changing at an exponential rate, meaning that there is an abundant amount of opportunities just waiting for you to grab them. You just have to get up and try something new. If you fail figure out why and try a new approach, it is just that simple.

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kenny soto successful meetings post

The Two Essential Parts of a Successful Meeting

Meetings can be a chore but, they are necessary.

Regardless of what you do for your business, eventually you will have to conduct or be a part of a team meeting. I have attended meetings in multiple school clubs, so my experience is limited. However, if there is one thing I have noticed is that, not all meetings are productive. 

After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there are two aspects of a meeting that can make it, so no one is wasting their time: an agenda and meeting minutes.

An agenda is your Gandalf, leading you to Mordor.*

When I became the secretary for my fraternity I didn’t have much training, so I had no idea what was expected of me during the first executive meeting. It was a daunting experience, one that doesn’t seem as scary now. I realized however that I would have a significant impact on how our team would be organized very early on when the president of our team asked me to start writing the agendas. 

Now first and foremost, I am still debating over whether or not one person should ultimately decide what is on the agenda for any meeting. But, at the end of the day, there needs to be a directed discussion about something. No matter what your team’s overall objectives are, they have to be organized to save time. 

I have witnessed meetings that lead to nowhere because we either have too much oversight on important topics that need to be covered or because we didn’t have enough time in the meeting to discuss it. I personally have adopted the Steve Jobs way of conducting meetings: if there is no agenda, please do not waste my time. 

Agendas are not the end all be all; there also needs to be some flexibility for discussion on topics not on there if circumstances come to it. However, keep in mind that an agenda should consist of the essential items that need to be addressed by the team to move forward (all other items should be secondary to the team’s goals). An agenda helps meetings go smoothly and saves a tremendous amount of time.

The time that can be best spent doing what is supposed to be discussed during the meeting.

Write minutes. Then read them!

We can discuss what constitutes a successful meeting for hours but, if there is anything I am convinced of is that to keep a team coordinated, it has to be writing meeting minutes and ensuring the whole team reads them after. The importance of well-constructed meeting minutes is underrated. Minutes allow for those team members who couldn’t attend the meeting to stay informed and allow for your team to better organize reports for your customers and the entire staff.

One key factor to a team’s success is communication, and you cannot achieve that if there aren’t any meeting minutes that can be reviewed at any given time. How can you follow up on action items? How can you ensure that everyone is doing their part? 

Minutes are not just to keep a record of all team discussions but, are also a good indicator of how productivity over time is cataloged and assessed (in a qualitative manner). One of the secretary’s greatest responsibilities is to ensure the team’s minutes are accurate and well-organized. And meeting minutes can only be useful if people read them!

As an involved teammate, you should never be caught dead in a meeting that doesn’t have an agenda set at least 24 hours ahead of time. Also, you have to make sure that someone is ready to take the minutes for the meeting. Everyone’s time will be wasted otherwise. And then you have to ask yourself, “Why did I even add this to my schedule in the first place?

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*Lord of the Rings reference, I hope you didn’t need to read this to know that.
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