Home » Interviews » Don’t try doing something just for the money: Ali Hale

Don’t try doing something just for the money: Ali Hale

Ali Hale

Ali Hale is a blogger and writer currently living in London in the UK. As well as her online work, she writes fiction and is taking a creative writing MA at Goldsmiths College. Her interests range from cross stitching to thrash metal (sometimes simultaneously). She firmly believes in getting the most from life, and writes about that on her blog Aliventures(aliventures.com/). You can also find her popping up as a paid or guest blogger on many other sites.


Q.: What according to you is creativity?

Wow, that’s a big question! For me, creativity is our ability to dream things up and to actualize them in the world. Creativity means using the stuff that’s in your head to make something unique and new – something which would never have existed without you.

Q.: In your ‘About’ page, you’ve said “why we get motivated and fired up for new projects only to abandon them days later.” What exactly can be the answer for this question? In other words, how one should realize that among the bunch of ideas that are striking their brain, which one to pick up and apply action to it?

I don’t think there is an easy answer to this one, though I have attempted to address it a few times (see my post Meeting Your Goals #1: Getting Focused for example). I find that it helps to let ideas simmer for a while – instead of jumping into something new straight away, I try to wait and see if I’m still excited about it after a few days.

Often, the decision about what idea to go with depends on both internal and external factors. By internal, I mean things which are inside us – so, perhaps our enthusiasm for a particular topic. External factors might include the practicality of the idea, or whether it’s likely to find an audience or market, and so on.

Q.: When it’s about personality development or positive thinking or anything of that sort, there are thousands of books, dvds, audios are available to preach the youth. But still, it doesn’t solve up the issue. What’s your take on such books and dvds that claim to be success in few hours?

I’m always very skeptical about anything promising instant success! I’m afraid that life just doesn’t work like that. If you’re really going to change and grow as a person, it takes a fair bit of time, patience and perseverance.

You can waste a lot of time and money chasing “magic” solutions – or you can knuckle down and do the real work which is going to take you where you want to go.

I think one of the reasons that there’s a lot of different personal development advice is because people are different! Sure, there are some methods and techniques which will work for most people – like attending to important matters before they become urgent – but other advice is really quite dependent on your personality and temperament.

Q.: What’s your inspiration for writing on the subjects which are very close to human interests?

You’ve pretty much put it in the question there, I think: I write about interests, and concerns and preoccupations which many people have. I got interested in personal development when I was a student, and I realized that it was just another way of expressing my desire to make the most of my life and to help others get the most out of their lives too.

Q.: Money is one of the major issues of today’s youth. Would you like to share some of the interesting and cool projects/ideas/business modules that can earn them money?

Is money really a more major issue today than it has been in the past? I think we’re at a wonderful position today, actually, where there’s a lot of freedom for small entrepreneurs: almost anyone can start up a business and make money without much initial outlay.

As I mentioned above, I’m no fan of “magic bullet” solutions: I can’t give you a step-by-step business plan because it’d bore both of us and probably wouldn’t work for you, because you’ve got different skills and talents from mine.

However, I’d suggest that some good steps towards starting up your own money-making project or business are:

– Start with your interests, passions, hobbies – whatever you want to call them

– Find a way to turn these into something which is useful to other people – that’s how you make money, by providing value

– Read books like Jonathan Field’s Career Renegade (I’ve written a review of it here) for lots of ideas on how to do that!

– Get advice and help from people who’ve done something similar before – then you can learn from their mistakes rather than having to make too many of your own…

Don’t try doing something just for the money. Go with what you enjoy first and foremost. I’d much rather have less money and more time to do what I love – which is exactly what I do have. J

Q.: Does your blog help you earn money too? Do shed more light on it.

Most of my income is from working as a paid blogger on various sites (Dumb Little Man, Pick the Brain and The Change Blog are the personal-development related ones that I write for at present.)

Aliventures makes money in several ways:

* I have a shop page where I link to an ecourse (The Staff Blogging Course) and ebook (The Blogger’s Guide to Effective Writing) that I sell
* I have one (!) advertiser
* I review various products and services which I use and love, and I make affiliate commission on sales of these

Q.: What tips you would like to share with freelance copy writers / article writers who wish to make a fortune with their writing skill? In other words, they’re good at writing, how can they earn money with it through freelancing?

I’ve done the occasional piece for magazines – but most of my consistent income has come through blogs. It takes a bit of looking around to find editors who pay a good rate, but I’ve been very happy with the blogs that I work for.

There are lots of sites which can help you get started as a freelance writer – I’m particularly fond of:

* Men with Pens – writing and business advice
* Freelance Writing Jobs – loads of great tips and job listings
* Freelance Folder – general freelancing advice
* Freelance Switch – also general freelancing advice

If you want to go down the paid blogging route, my Staff Blogging Course is a step-by-step guide (and only $19).

Q.: People do like reading good stuffs. You’ve written some of very inspirational articles in your blog. Do you feel that, apart from just making people feel good, they’ve helped them in reality?

I really hope so! I know how easy it is to read a blog post and feel all fired up and motivated by it … only to forget it completely in minutes. But readers often stop by and leave very thoughtful comments, or send emails, and this lets me know that they’re getting a lot out of what I write.

Most of my posts on Aliventures aren’t about handing people a few tips and tricks – they’re about encouraging readers, or helping them to feel less alone, or getting them to think a bit about the way they’re approaching life.

Q.: What are your goals and ambitions?

I’d love to see Aliventures grow in popularity – I’m having a lot of fun writing there, and the feedback I’ve had from readers has been fantastic.

Beyond that, though, my real passion as a writer is fiction. I’m working on a novel at the moment (as part of my creative writing MA), and I’m very keen to get that published. I think that fiction is a lot more challenging than non-fiction writing – but it can also be more rewarding.

I said above that it’s easy to read a blog post and forget it … well, a novel can really get into people’s heads and stay with them for years. I’m sure you can remember stories you read as a child. That’s one of the reasons I’d like to be successful with my fiction writing as well as my non-fiction.

In other areas, I’d like to do some speaking and possibly some teaching in the future – again, that would let me make a deeper connection with people than blog posts allow.

Q.: What special message you would like to share with SpeakBindas readers?

I’d like to encourage everyone reading this that they’ve got some amazing skills and unique interests which really let them stand out. I know it often doesn’t feel that way – we tend to underplay the talents which we have – but it’s always true. You can always make a positive contribution to the world.


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

One thought on “Don’t try doing something just for the money: Ali Hale

  1. Previous comments:

    Devang Vibhakar March 10, 2010 at 10:49 am

    “I’m always very skeptical about anything promising instant success! I’m afraid that life just doesn’t work like that. If you’re really going to change and grow as a person, it takes a fair bit of time, patience and perseverance.”

    I absolutely feel like giving you a clap for your above realistic phrase. I mean, one should really understand that everything requires time, patience and perseverance. What the so called ’success in 24 hours’ kind of books gives a message, leads to frustrations at the end, as there is no quick and instant way to success. Of course, there are lucky individuals who could achieve something real fast, but those are the exceptional cases. It took years for Gandhi to liberate INDIA.

    Ali, I see a future motivational speaker in you. I am sure you know about yourself better.

    Suhasini March 11, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Well some very nice points said by her, I read the whole interview and this is just amazing and tweeted too.

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