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How to fly for free using travel hackingOne Sunday back in July, I booked two tickets that would have cost more than $20,000 total, but only paid $362.80. I’m also flying first and business class to Sydney and Bali on one of the best airlines in the world, including one flight with our very own suite.

I can’t wait!

You too can be flying for cheap and even in first class if you want. I’ll tell you how in this post.

Booking this ticket was one of the more spontaneous things I’ve done. That morning I had no plans to book a ticket, but by the end of that day, I had two tickets for next February.

However, I had begun preparing for this kinda of opportunity just about a year ago when I found my favorite new hobby.

If you’ve ever thought about taking your dream trip or traveling the world for free and in style, you’re going to love this post.

Cashback = Not the best deal

I knew about earning miles while flying as long as I’ve been flying, but didn’t know too much about earning it from credit cards.

I’ve had credit cards and I thought I was getting a great deal getting 1%-5% cash back. I thought if I spent $1000, getting $10 was awesome!

Better than nothing, but not maximizing the opportunities out there.

Last year, I started reading about people booking free airline tickets, often in first and business class, all over the world with points from huge credit card bonuses. Trips that would have cost thousands of dollars. That’s the type of award I wanted to get. Not cash back.

I love to fly. I like just being in an airport. I get exciting knowing I’m flying somewhere.

However I’m not a millionaire, so I can’t pay full price for first class seats. I had learn more about travel hacking.

I realized I used my credits cards often, but instead of cash back, I could be getting so much more out of them.

That’s when I began to learn the world of collecting points and miles and I’m loving it.

My First Airline Credit Card

Last year in August, I signed up for my first airline credit card, the Alaskan Airlines card that gave me 40,000 points and a certificate for a companion ticket for only $99. I just had to be approved to get the benefits.

That means I could book a ticket anywhere Alaskan Airlines flies and my companion ticket would only be $99! That ticket could even be to Hawaii! Who wouldn’t love to go to Hawaii for $99?

That’s the kind of deals airlines are giving away if you sign up for their credit cards.

Since then I’ve signed up for eight more credit cards, done mattress runs and have earned easily over 500,000 airline and hotel points which I have used to redeem for free hotel night and airline tickets.

In July, Eleanor and I went to California for 10 days and 9 nights. We started in Santa Barbara and drove the Pacific Coast highway to San Francisco. We spent four nights on the road and then five nights in San Francisco.

We only paid for one night in a hotel the whole trip.

The other nights I used hotel points I had earned to redeem free nights in different hotels. We stayed at the Hyatt Santa Barbara, which was right across the street from the beach. In Monterey, we stayed at the Marriott with views of the ocean.

In San Francisco, I used points to stay at the Radisson at Fisherman’s Wharf. When I checked in, they upgraded us to a room with a courtyard view and standing on the balcony, got a view of Alcatraz.

How we booked the Radisson Alcatraz for free

I can almost swim there

The last two nights, we stayed at the Le Meredien in San Francisco. Since I have gold status with Starwood, I got upgraded to a room with a view of the city and bay. Two nights there would have been $900. I used points from signing up for their credit card. First year no annual free.

How to booked the Le Meridien San Francisco hotel for free

View from our room

I added our hotel stays and we saved at least $2,000.

I’m definitely not an expert in this area. There are many more people out there who know the system better and how to maximize the number of points they can get.

However, I learned enough to be able to get free hotel stays and airline tickets and I know you can too.

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I’m in Blog World New York this week as a first time conference attendee. I love New York City so it’s a great place for my first conference.

I’ve been searching online about how to best prepare for Blog World and came across some great posts by Kristi over at She’s been to a couple and wrote great recaps and advice for first timers.

One advice was to prepare my blog for any new visitors to my blog and for the people I’ll meet this week who might stop by.

So I’ve put together a list of the most popular posts on Get Busy Living based on Google Analytics. In order of views.

Famous People Who Found Success Despite Failures

7 People Who Found Success Starting in their 30’s

My $4,739 iPhone App Weekend and 11 Lessons to Help You

50 Ways to be a Loser in Life

34 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 34 Years of Living

How Bad Do You Want It?

Choose to Live an Epic Life

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways

Life as App of the Week and How Much I Made

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Scream and Shout

It’s May now! Where has the time gone?

A quarter of the year is already done. The bad news is you can’t get that time back. The good news is that you have eight months left to make this your best year ever.

It’s a great time take a moment and think if you’re heading in the right direction with your goals.

  • How much progress have you made this year?
  • Are you putting in just a little effort?
  • Did you stop and haven’t started back up?
  • Do you need some tough love to make these last eight months ten times better than the first four?

Today’s post is going to get you pumped up. It’s a time to reboot.

We all have different goals we want to achieve. Some will succeed. Most will fail. If you’re in the slow lane, I want to help you to start moving with some more urgency.

Here comes the tough love.

It is not hard

Don’t you dare say it’s hard. Beating cancer is hard. Chemotherapy is hard.

Disarming land mines is hard. Running into a burning building is hard.

I bet whatever you are doing isn’t that hard.

No one is going to sympathize with you when you say, “Losing weight (or insert whatever you’re working on) is so hard.”

Come on! That. Is. Not. Hard.

Sitting in front of your computer, with the AC on and a cup of coffee next to you is not hard.

What you may think is hard is finding the time or just getting the work done. You’re not going to get any sympathy for not having enough time, when your one hundred Pinterest boards look perfectly neat.

It’s not hard to cut out the distractions if you’re really serious about it. If you still have too many, it’s cause you don’t want it bad enough. You just don’t care enough to make changes.

No one is going to sympathize with you if you complain it’s hard to lose weight if McDonald’s knows what you want when you walk into the door.

Is it too hard to start your business cause you don’t have money? Read the $100 Startup for inspiration (aff link).

You have NO excuse for not doing what you need to be doing.

We only have one shot at this life. How important is it to you to get it right?

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How bad do you want it? Just do it running.

That’s commitment

“I’m here to tell you, number one, that most of you say you want to be successful, but you don’t want it bad. You just kinda want it. You don’t want it as much as you want to party.”

“Some of you love sleep more than you love success! If you want to be successful, you’ve got to be willing to give up sleep. How bad do you want it?”

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”

Some of my favorite quotes by the narrator in the video “How bad do you want it”.

Whatever your bigger goals are in life, what are you willing to do achieve it? Are you willing to make sacrifices? Work when others are sleeping? Eat only ramen noodles? Breakup with a girlfriend/boyfriend who is holding you back?

You may think you want it so bad, but do you really?

Any area of life where you want success isn’t going to happen overnight. If you think it’s going to be easy, this post will be a waste of time for you.

If you’re trying to run your first marathon, or build a thriving business, both will take commitment. There’s no quick fix. No pill. No secret in a $29.95 infomercial at 2am.

In the book The Element, author Ken Robinson recalls a story that put into perspective his level of commitment. After listening to his brother perform in a band one night, Ken complimented the extremely talented keyboard player named Charles.

Then I said that I’d love to be able to play keyboards that well. “No, you wouldn’t,” he responded. Taken aback, I insisted that I really would. “No,” he said. “You mean you like the idea of playing keyboards. If you’d love to play them, you’d be doing it.”

Charles practiced every day for three or four hours in addition to performing. He’d been doing that since he was seven. That’s why he played so well. Suddenly, Ken felt that playing the keyboards that well didn’t seem so appealing.

Liking the idea and being committed are two completely different things.

People who like the idea of blogging, just read about blogging. Committed ones put what they learn into action. The idea of a business sounds good to many. Committed ones live and breath their business. The idea of losing 20 sounds great. The committed ones actually do it. Continue Reading…

Photo 365 app of the week

First, thank you to everyone who read my last post, left a comment, sent me an email, and/or shared it!

I loved reading how it inspired people. I got so many emails from people telling me their story and goals.

It’s been life changing up till the time of my last post. Little did I know, life was going to surprise again me three days after that post.

I published the $4,739 iPhone app week post on a Monday. The next afternoon around 4:30pm, I get an email that said this:

My name is (name removed), and I am writing on behalf of the App Store Marketing Team to request art assets for a potential upcoming promotional opportunity on the App Store.

The team here is excited about Photo 365 – Remember Your Year One Photo at a Time, but we want to be clear that we cannot make any guarantees about promotion on the App Store.  These art assets are necessary for our Design team to have on-hand should App Store featuring for your app be selected by our staff.

For consideration, we would need to receive your artwork no later than 9am PST on Wednesday, August 24th.

I realize this is a extremely short turnaround, but if you are able to accommodate us, please email all artwork to…

Oh….my….goodness. Oh…my….goodness. Oh my goodness!!

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(If you’re looking how to develop and outsource and app, check out my course App Academy)

Number 3 in the Photography Category

Let me explain how I got there…

(Be sure to read part 2: Life as App of the Week and Earnings Report)

This weekend has been on the craziest weekends of my life.

Since Thursday night, every morning has felt like Christmas. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t wait to get up.

Seven months ago, I knew I had a great idea and I wanted to make money from it but didn’t realize how much money I would make.

It seems my idea and hard work paid off in ways I could not imagine. I’ll explain soon.

Back in the Old Days

For years I have tried to make money online. I have tried PPC, making niche sites and starting blogs. I dreamt of making money online, however, after a few months each of those ventures ended with me quitting.

I got frustrated I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see. I had doubts if I could really do it. I lost interest.

I hated my job and constantly thought of what else I could do. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I kept coming back to the idea of doing something online.

Last October 2010, I had my breaking point after a horrible night at my miserable job. For the past five years, I’ve wanted to do something I loved instead of working in the family restaurant business. I hated it so much. I hated what I had done with my life. Instead of doing something about it, I just thought about it and watched lots of television to forget about it.

In the car ride home that night, I felt upset at myself. For too long I hoped for a better life but that’s where I made my mistake. I was hoping and not doing.

That night I came home and wrote a note to myself to stop living like this. I needed to start finding what I wanted to do with my life. I needed to do that every day until I did. No more complaining. No more excuses.

I taped that note to my bathroom mirror and above my desk where I could be reminded it of it every day.


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