Yap Money: A Weird Story About Money

What follows is an incredible story of a well developed economy based on giant, round, immovable stones.

A small island called Yap held an indigenous population that was untouched by civilization until the 1800’s when Spanish colonizers discovered them.

What they found so interesting was that despite their primitive nature, they had a very advanced and well-developed system of money.

They used these large, round, thick stone ‘wheels’ with a hole cut out in the middle in which they could insert a pole to help with its transport.

When I say large, I mean as large as 12 feet in diameter!


Even though they could be transported, they rarely were. They merely offset transactions against each other. Any outstanding debts would just be carried forward in expectation of some future exchange.

Some transactions were large enough to involve a price of an entire stone (called a Rai). But even these Rais were RARELY moved. The acquirer of the Rai was happy to leave the stone in its original location undisturbed on the previous owner’s premises.

My favorite part of this story! —->

There was one family whose wealth went unquestioned despite the fact that the Rai the ‘possessed’ had never been seen by anyone, including the family itself!

This was because during its transport it had fallen into the sea and sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

Everyone agreed that this unfortunate incident shouldn’t change the fact that the family still owned it, despite the fact that it was separated by a few hundred feet of water.

So the purchasing power of that stone remained as valid as if it were leaning against their house.

Why I love this story:

It seems so strange to try and imagine how this system could even work. Only then do I realize that we have the exact same system today.

Our stone ‘Rai’ are merely gold in a storage facility somewhere.

Or they are the ‘cash’ in a bank that I never see while I am transferring digits on a computer or iphone from one person to another.

Eventually the cash we use might disappear completely, and the numbers on our computer screen will be backed by agreed upon beliefs which have been the basis of economies for centuries.

Why I Can’t Stop Investing in Facebook:

I Can’t Stop Investing in Facebook:

Almost a year ago to the day, I published my first book How to Leverage Your Real Estate Business With Facebook. Before I started researching for my book, I was already an avid user of Facebook. I considered myself a late adopter of Facebook, as late as someone could be who was in college during the college-only years of Facebook.

Half-way through writing my book I made my first investment into Facebook. The more I read, and the more I wrote, the more I invested.shut up and take my money

Today it is by far my largest holding. No, it does not pay a dividend. But for someone like myself (early 30’s) who is investing for the next 10-50 years, Facebook has a LOT of benefits. Imagine being able to invest in Google 10 years ago. That is where I see Facebook today. Much like Google, who began as a search engine, Facebook is much more than just a place to stalk your highschool exes.

The Biggest Misconceptions Regarding Facebook:

Facebook is just for teenage girls looking to share photos:
This is the hurdle Facebook faced during its first 3-5 years of INSANE growth. In addition to its incredible user acquisitions, its ability to monetize these users has been even more impressive.

Teenage girls are no longer using Facebook:
What once was considered its biggest problem, critics now maintain the opposite to be true. But hey, critics gonna criticize.


All the young people are using Snapchat now:
Snapchat Snapchat Snapchat. AKA: Tha Facebook Killa. Except that its not. The biggest threat Snapchat poses to Facebook is that its attracting all the young people. When I tell people I am investing in Facebook over the next 10-50 years, their biggest concern is always Snapchat.

Tell me honestly, do you really think Snapchat is going to destroy Facebook and make them obsolete? Myspace is the common reference here, but remember who won that battle. I have mentioned previously why I think Instagram Stories is not a Snapchat killer, but still poses a threat to its growth, so I won’t touch on that here. (Don’t forget who owns Instagram)

What it all comes down to is this: The world is big enough for Facebook AND Snapchat. Much like the world needs Coke, Pepsi AND RC Cola. If you could go back in time to the invention of Soda, which one would you bet on?

If it isn’t clear by now, I feel that Facebook is Coke. Or using the television analysis, I think Facebook is CBS. Snapchat is currently MTV, but they are trying to become NBC. Will they? Maybe. Will it affect CBS value? I don’t think so.

If your argument against Facebook continuing to become a successful company is the existence of Snapchat, then I suppose you shouldn’t invest in any company ever, for fear of a competitor putting them out of business.


Facebook isn’t cool anymore.
So what? Neither is Microsoft. Neither is Apple. What companies are cool anymore? What companies can stay cool from one generation to another? Is Snapchat going to be cool in 5 years after it monetizes its users, seeks rapid growth, and creates unique partnerships like its recent deal with NBC to stream episodes of The Voice?

The hardest thing for any company to do is monetize its customers without alienating them. Even the people who claim to hate Facebook still check their accounts 3x an hour.

What I love about Facebook:

REAL ESTATE– As someone who cut their investing teeth in the real estate business, I will always have a soft spot for this industry. Today, I believe the most valuable real estate in the world is the home screen on your smartphone.

How many apps do you have on your phone? How many do you actually use? How many do you use daily? How many are there on your home screen?

This is like being one of the first 3 channels on your TV. Can you put a value on this? Ask CBS, NBC and ABC.

Right now, Facebook owns 3 of these channels- err, apps on your home screen. Maybe not yours, but globally, Facebook occupies three of the most used apps: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram. Facebook messenger is also growing rapidly and soon they will allow money transfers through your account.

Thats like owning three huge blocks of prime real estate in the world’s fastest growing and most valuable city.


GENIUS– Is it safe to call Mark Zuckerberg a genius yet? Yes, yes it is. In fact, one of the smartest things I think he has done is surround himself with any and all of the other geniuses he can find. Either by hiring them, or acquiring them.

When Facebook buys a company like Instagram or Occulus Rift, he isn’t just buying the company. He is buying the people. These are some of the smartest people in the world.

Then, he gives them unlimited resources and more smart people to interact with. This may not always lead to optimal results, but over time will lead to more positive returns than negative. I am literally willing to bet on this.

SMART GROWTH- Zuckerberg, and Facebook, understand the growth model better than anyone. They wrote the book on it.

Step one– Acquire users through exclusivity (college kids only)

Step two– Age up (grow with that demographic and then acquire older users)

Step three– create so much value for users that when you monetize they are too addicted to change.

Step four– grow grow grow.

Facebook and Instagram are both in step four. Most competitors don’t make it past step one. Some make it to step two and start to get offers from Facebook (as part of their step four). Snapchat is a unicorn currently struggling with step three (after turning down offers from Facebook).

I personally think Snapchat will succeed. I think they will find unique ways to monetize and will occupy a space on your home screen for many years.

But I don’t believe this is a zero sum game affecting Facebook. I would be more worried if I owned a television studio like NBC, ABC, CBS. Sure, they held a monopoly on your attention for several decades. But so did Radio and Newspapers.

In the battle for customers, clients and audiences, the fight between Snapchat and Facebook is all for show.

The real fight is for space on your smart phone home screen. Facebook and Snapchat are already there. While other media conglomerates are slow to realize this shift in your attention, companies like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube (google) and Facebook are solidifying their positions and investing in the next ones: Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Oh, and did I mention that Facebook owns Oculus Rift? Currently the biggest name in this space?

What do stocks at “all-time highs” REALLY mean?

What do stocks at all-time highs mean for you?

MarketWatch was careful to cover all bases this morning. Take a look at these three headlines that they posted all within an hour of each other:


MarketWatch 13667788_10104734385096147_5455058271198162375_o 13613207_10104734385345647_5265477481214828524_o

Stocks at all time highs are either:

  1. The Best Thing Ever!
  2. The Worst Thing Ever!
  3. Just a thing, proceed with caution.

So what does this mean for people like me and you? First, don’t cater your investment strategies to headlines. If you read enough articles you will find many that agree with you or believe the exact opposite.

I like MarketWatch a lot, but their job is to get clicks. Your job is to make money.

If you don’t have enough time to read everything, then it can actually be better if you read nothing. Or else you might get caught up in headline porn and do something irrational like sell an investment you were supposed to hold onto for 20 years.

Great piece of advice comes from Charlie Munger’s investing checklist:

Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean.

This means if you invest based on headlines and follow the crowds, the best you will every achieve are mediocre returns.

So don’t get too high on yourself when you see green and don’t get too low when you see red.

Top Companies Throughout The Years: List of Top 10 Companies and their Decade

List of Top 10 Companies Throughoutt The Years:

I have been having a lot of fun reading Poor Charlie’s Almanack this week. One of the many things that has stuck out so far was the mention that Charlie Munger keeps a list of the top 10 companies from a specific decade to remind himself how difficult it is to stay on top.

When Munger and Buffet make their investment decisions, they plan to hold onto them forever. This is a good exercise to try and imagine what companies around today might still be on this list in 10, 20 or 30 years from now. Better yet, will they even be around?

This struck my fancy, so I did a bit of research.

  1. Apple*
  2. Alphabet (Google)*
  3. Microsoft*
  4. Amazon*
  5. Berkshire Hathaway
  6. Exxon Mobil
  7. Facebook*
  8. Johnson & Johnson
  9. General Electric
  10. Wells Fargo


  1. PetroChina (China)
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Microsoft
  4. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (China)*
  5. Apple
  6. BHP Billiton (UK) *
  7. Wal-mart
  8. Berkshire Hathaway
  9. General Electric
  10. China Mobile (China)*

*Three Chinese companies, 4 total foreign companies. 

  1. General Electric
  2. Cisco Systems
  3. Exxon Mobil
  4. Pfizer
  5. Microsoft
  6. Wal-Mart
  7. Citigroup
  8. Vodafone (UK)
  9. Intel Corporation
  10. Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands)


  1. Exxon Mobil
  2. General Motors
  3. Mobil
  4. Ford Motor
  5. Texaco
  6. IBM
  7. DuPont
  8. AT&T
  9. General Electric
  10. Amoco


  1. Exxon Mobil
  2. General Motors
  3. Ford Motor
  4. Texaco
  5. Mobil
  6. ChevronTexaco
  7. Gulf Oil
  8. General Electric
  9. IBM
  10. ITT Industries


  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. General Electric
  5. Mobil
  6. Chrysler
  7. US Steel
  8. Texaco
  9. IBM
  10. Gulf Oil


  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. US Steel
  4. General Electric
  5. Esmark
  6. Chrysler
  7. Armour
  8. Gulf Oil
  9. Mobil
  10. DuPont

Interesting Notes:

  • High number of Automotive Companies from 1955-1975
  • Brief couple years where China was prominent on top 10
  • Number of tech companies that didn’t even exist in 2000 that are now top 10 companies in the world.

Author’s Note: This research was done very quickly searching through the archives. These numbers may not be exact, and some were listed on a quarterly basis. When this was the case, I chose Q1 results for my list. Definitely an interesting exercise that I suggest you try some time.

What are some uncommon ways to work smarter not harder?

Work Smarter Not Harder

This post originally appeared as an answer on Quora HEREquora

  • Take the first parking spot you see. Period.
  • When vacationing with kids, order supplies like formula and diapers from Amazon and have it delivered to your hotel so it’s waiting for you when you get there.
  • Buy a new car with a warranty: the poorest people end up spending the most money on  cars when they purchase the cheapest one they can find that constantly needs repairs. $500 here, $1000 there. Sometimes trying to save money costs you too much.
  • Starbucks mobile app when you are 2 minutes away. Or even waiting in a long line. As soon as the order comes through its added to the queue, and skips the line you are standing in.
  • Services like Trunk Club that do your clothes shopping for you, sends you a trunk, try 2zLQAV1Pon what you like and return what you don’t like by returning the trunk. UPS deliveries it and picks it up from your house. Not a necessity but MUCH better than going to the mall. IF you do have to go to the mall, take the first parking spot you see.
  • Automate savings and investing. Whether it’s a pay check or other income source. Set up automatic transfers or withdrawal into another account for Future You. Set it and forget it (but maybe review it once a year and reallocate where necessary)
  • Don’t worry about trying to make a quick return on investments, instead focus on DCA or Dollar Cost Averaging. Be the tortoise, not the hare.
  • Never stop learning. Turn your car into a university on wheels. This means no more talk radio, instead replace it with audio books.  Or better yet download AUDIBLE and subscribe to get discounts and 2 free books Audible – The Cash Flow Lifestyle
  • If you don’t drive then do this on your work commute. When you walk the dogs. When you work out. Be more efficient with your time. Never waste time.
  • If you aren’t handy, hire a handyman. Whatever you do in life to make your money you are better at than trying to fix the toilet or repair an outlet. Spend your hours doing your thing so you can afford to pay others to do theirs.
  • Wake up early. Exercise. Meditate. Eat well. Take care of your body. Be nice to others. Stay humble. Work hard even if you are smarter. Everyone I know who does these things are happier people.

Fun Passive Income: Turning A Hobby Into A Passive Income Source

Turning a Hobby into a Passive Income Source.

There are so many ways to monetize your passions and create passive income.

It may not seem like it immediately, but it’s true. If you have a hobby that you’re passionate about, there are so many ways you can use the internet to turn it into a monetized passive income source. All you need is passion and patience.

Usually, passion comes first. Often, patience never comes. 

Let’s say you love to read books.

Or, more specifically, you have a passion for reading books about a certain topic. It could be that Game of Thrones has turned you on to fantasy literature, The Walking Dead has made you explore the world of independent comics, or your frustration with cookbooks has given you a strong interest in how to teach skills through writing.

These examples aren’t too important. What is important is that you want to share your love for your reading with the world. You can create a group on Facebook, or just join an existing one, where others are reading similar books. There, you would share your thoughts and build relationships with your fellow group members. If you want to learn more, you would join multiple groups.

As you build relationships and participate in group discussions, keep reading.

Review these books.

Write reviews about other books.

Summarize a series or write an article about a theme in an author’s work. You could even film yourself talking about these books and create a YouTube channel. Create a blog or website where you share all of your book reviews there as well.

Once you build your page as a source of information, start building your email list. Offer exclusive or premium content that is not available on your website currently. Perhaps you include reviews or summaries of newer books and then later add them to your website and YouTube channel.

The idea here is to create value for others on a topic you are passionate about.

If you like something, chances are other people do, too.

Others will want to discuss these books with you because they want to share their opinions or get their questions answered. Most of all, they want to connect with others like them.

So be the connector!

Okay, I’ve created value. Now what? How can I turn this into passive income?
Once you’ve developed an audience about your passion, there are many ways you can monetize it. However, none of them will happen quickly. (Remember that patience part from earlier?)

Passive income isn’t quick or easy, and it only works if you provide legitimate value.

Additionally, do NOT try to sell to the people in the Facebook groups you join or on your YouTube channel. Just provide value to them and build relationships.


Create an Amazon affiliates account and link books in the descriptions of your YouTube videos and within the content of your blogs.

Remember that this is a passive income. You aren’t trying to sell these books or advertise them for purchase. Instead, you are making it easier for your audience to find out more information on these items or to easily purchase them should they decide to do so.

If they do, then you get a small percentage.

This is a long game, but if you can film 3 videos and write 3 blogs per week while always providing value and engaging with this audience online, that’s over 150 videos and blogs in just one year.

If that sounds like a lot of work, thats because it is! Which is why you should share your thoughts about a topic you are truly passionate about. Additionally, you will get better with every blog and video you make. This means your quality will improve over time increasing your ROI per piece of content.

Work ROI

As you can see, when you begin there is a lot of work involved for a little return. But as your work continues and you improve, your ROI grows while your work level goes down.


Keep Building Your Email List:

They will be your best target audience for premium products. Perhaps you write an e-book about the 10 best books in your favorite category. You could do this once a year by re-purposing your blog posts into one concise and easy to read e-book.


When your passive income exceeds your expenses, you are free to live the life you choose.

It’s possible. Just don’t get distracted when it gets hard, and don’t get frustrated when you don’t make much money in the first 12-18-24+ months.

If you keep your spending low, then you can live a very fun life on very little passive income. Even if it’s just a little bit at a time, enough of these months add up and then it just hits you like a tsunami!

And remember, this is just one of the many ways to grow your passive income.

Self Publishing an e-Book: Is There Any Money To Be Made?

Is Writing and Self-Publishing an e-Book an Easy Way To Make Money?


There are many reason why writing a book is a great idea. As for being an easy way to make money, not really. If you already know your nicheand have a good book idea ready, writing a book might be a good way to establish yourself as an expert, or even to make some money, but it isn’t easy.

Think of it this way:

Writing a book isn’t easy;

Writing a good book is hard; 

Writing a book that people will buy is REALLY hard. It’s not impossible, but it’s a lot of work.

If you are a great writer and love the process of researching, writing, editing, re-writing and editing again then writing your book’s content might come easy to you. What you may not have thought about yet is your book cover design, page/font design and ensuring your book is formatted correctly to be ready by the right programs used by each of the various platforms.

Of course all of this can be outsourced very easily, but it’s not free. If you’re only concerned about the writing, you should still hire an editor, which will cost you around $2000 for a freelancer, depending on length of your book. On top of that, after you’ve outsourced your designs, formatting and editing, you’re looking at an investment of around $2500.

Writing a book isn’t easy; writing a good book is hard, and writing a book that people will buy is really hard.

Typically, eBooks sell best at prices between $0.99 and $4.99. You could raise the price, but will sell many fewer copies if you do. On the high end of this range, around $5/book, you will need to sell 500 books to reach your break-even point of $2500. If most of your sales come from a platform like Amazon, that number will be slightly higher, as the platform takes a cut.

The hardest part about selling a book is getting people to buy it.

How big is your market? How much are you looking to make? Are you planning on writing multiple books?

Iam not trying to talk you out of this idea. I think writing a book is awesome. There is nothing like it. You will learn about yourself and your ideas, you will share a bond with other authors and everybody else who helps you along the way.

Just don’t do it only to make money, because the money from book sales, even for many successful writers, is very slim. On the other hand, it is worth considering additional ways your book can help you monetize your ideas and your expertise.

Public speaking engagements are huge. They will help you build yourself as the expert in an area, and this will be validated if you have also written a book. Public speaking is a great way to test how well you know your stuff, and your Q&A can even help give you ideas for your next book.

It’s also important to develop a digital presence. For eBook writers, it’s important to have a website that your book readers can go to and get more information, or a discussion board for others. Today, you can even manage this using Facebook groups, but do not ignore the importance of growing an email list. Once you build an email list, you can mail out upcoming books or other promotions.

There are many great outcomes that result from self-publishing a well-written e-book. Some of these outcomes can even greatly increase your income. Just don’t expect the sales of your first book to be one of them. I am not saying that it won’t happen, but rather do not let that be your driving force.

Warranty Plans are Bad, But Only If You Do This:

Why I Don’t Buy Warranty Plans:

The $10 Bad Habit:

You have heard the story before, but let me summarize:

Woman: “Do you smoke?”

Man: “Yes”

Woman: “How Often?”

Man: “About a pack a day.”

Woman: “What does that cost?”

Man: “I guess about $10 a day, so around $300 per month.”

Woman: “Did you know that if you took that $300 per month and invested it at 3% interest that after blah blah years and blah blah return you would have enough money to buy a Ferrari?”

The Man responds: “Do you smoke?”

Woman: “No, I do not.”

Man: “Then where is your damn Ferrari?”

 Warranty Plans

The Warranty Myth

The warranty plan, whether its for your iPhone or you new car was NOT designed to save you money. We can all accept that, right?

No, it was created as an additional revenue stream for the corporation who designed it. It was designed to make money. Not for you, but for the seller.

Of course this only works if there is actual value behind it. Security, or at least the perception of security, has value. That is what they are selling.

Spending $600 on a new phone? For another $100 you can buy a warranty plan in cases something happens to it.

Except, when something happens to it, the warranty plan has either expired, doesn’t cover what happened to it specifically, or requires 8 hours on the phone to India and shipping your phone across the planet hoping to get a replacement sent back in 4-12 months.

Yes, I am being a little facetious here. But only a little.

The reason we are willing to spend that little bit extra for a feeling of safety is because of how much we dread paying that initial cost in the first place. We HATE spending that $600 up front, but we actually like the feeling of being able to justify it for only another $100.

On its on, $100 is  a lot of money. But in comparison to the entire purchase its only 1/7th of the cost.

Warranty Plans

Where is Your Damn Ferrari?

The reason I am able to sleep comfortably at night, knowing I do not own a single warranty plan on anything, is because I am my own warranty plan.

My global warranty plan is my Ferrari.

This started over a decade ago. And I will be the first to admit that it is much easier to follow today than when I started simply because my warranty plan is well funded.

Consider this: If warranty plans are such good business, why not get into it yourself?

What this means: Anytime you are going to purchase a big ticket item, fund your own portfolio as your insurance plan.

Here is what I do:

Step 1:
Don’t buy anything that you can’t afford two of if you had to pay cash. This is a big thing for me and I am always so nervous when I hear other people buying $75,000 Chevy Tahoes with $600 in savings. I just can’t fathom that. This is a good rule of thumb to keep you from overspending. Develop this habit early.

Step 2:
Don’t buy the warranty plan that the salesman tries to upsell to you. They will be shocked, disappointed in you, ashamed, I have seen it all. Who cares?

Step 3:
Fund your own warranty plan portfolio. For me, this is my e-trade account. I mostly buy dividend paying stocks, and I do this every week. It used to be every quarter, then month, now week. Start wherever you need to, but definitely start.

Step 4:
Watch it grow. Re-invest your dividends manually or automatically, but reinvest them nonetheless.

Step 5:
Continue to add to this portfolio with your primary income. Always be adding money to this. Always.

Margin Accounts Explained

You may or may not have heard the term margin before. Margin just means borrowing. If you have $100,000 in your e-trade account that owns Dow Jones stocks, then you can margin or borrow 50% of it anytime you need at about 8% interest.

If you own riskier stocks, then your limited to 25% or sometimes even less.

Margin is a great tool that can be used for good and for evil. You should use it for good.

Easy Example:

You own $100,000 of a stock paying 4% dividend, or $4000 per year.

You want to borrow $50,000 to buy a rental property. The 8% interest you pay to allow you to borrow against your portfolio instead of sell your stocks is also $4000 per year.

What the what?

You can borrow from yourself with no borrowing costs? You don’t have to sell your stocks and pay taxes on any gains or fees for the trade?

Someone should write a book about this! (Yes, I am writing a book about this right now.)

Back to Reality:

If you haven’t started yet, then this scenario is a few years down the road. But that’s ok.

But remember: If you are going to give up smoking, don’t you want to end up with a Ferrari?

I understand that everyone has heard a great warranty plan story about how the company saved the day. And that is great. This isn’t for everyone.

Mostly because too many people that give up smoking (no warranty plans) forget they need to save and invest in order to get that Ferrari. This is a multi-step strategy and involves more than budgeting. Its a lifestyle.

But what if every small, day-to-day decision you made, was shaped by this lifestyle? A cash flow lifestyle, if you will.


How To Deal With The Negativity:

How Do You Deal With Online Negativity and Mean Comments?

Have you ever heard the saying: “The boos come from the cheap seats”? This implies that the people who boo the opposing team, or referees at sporting events, come from the cheaper seats, meaning the higher class people sitting in more expensive seats do not boo.

After spending the last 2 seasons court-side for the Phoenix Suns, I have learned this is not always true.

In the last 6 months, I published my first book, started my YouTube channel, began regularly writing on the website Quora.com where at the time of this writing have over 700,000 views, and was published in both Inc.com and MarketWatch.com, the ladder being as a regular contributor.

What have I learned in this short time? The old saying referenced above is based on some truth. People sure do like to boo.

Boos are Louder Than Cheers

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 7.59.34 AM

This was one of the first comments I received on Quora. It caused me to doubt many things, including myself and my choices. How dare someone like me wake up at 4am and spend 60 minutes every day answering questions I have been asked based on my own personal experiences.

I read and re-read my answer and really wanted to respond to this guy. My biggest complaint after re-reading my answer several times was that my initial answer didn’t say any of the stuff he was implying. Its easy to cut and paste whatever you want to help make your argument. I realize this now, but this guy already knew it.

Yes, anything can be taken out of context. This is the reason Tim Ferriss only does interviews by email under the condition that you print his response entirely, or not at all.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 8.16.29 AM

This paragraph above can be taken out of context. You can also take one sentence out of it and remove even more context. Whatever helps your argument I suppose.

My post received over 18,000 views and 78 people were kind enough to up-vote it. But boos are louder than cheers. 


Just Get Over It

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 8.24.32 AM

Oh Janice. I don’t even know where to begin. Oh wait, yes I do. How about the fact that next to your review it actually says “Verified Purchase”?

This one star review dropped me down to 4.3 average. In the world of e-books, this is sort of a big deal.

75% of my 16 reviews were 4-5 stars. Why can’t my brain focus on those?

Recent YouTube comment I received: “Only a moron would think that!”

What sucks is that I can’t even find the video this was for anymore. But I still remember the comment. Our brains are wired this way. Those who strayed from the herd getting eaten by wolves.

Or get called morons.


What Does It All Mean?

What is holding you back from trying something new? Stepping outside of your comfort zone?

I can tell you that fear stops more people than failure ever does. 

Fear of what? Fear of rejection? Fear of criticism? Fear of embarrassment?

I won’t sit here and tell you that non-constructive criticism doesn’t suck. It does. But, like anything, it sucks less and less. You get stronger, and you also get better. Maybe you go through and edit your post a second time before publishing. Maybe you add more disclaimers or pre-justify your views and opinions. Maybe you just stop giving a shit. 


What Have I Learned?

Creators don’t criticize. I have never read a negative comment on YouTube by a person who has uploaded a single video that they created. I am sure they exist, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Coaches don’t criticize other coaches. Directors don’t criticize other directors. Authors don’t criticize other others. The reason is because they know how hard the job is. The process. The focus.

There are many variables that cannot be controlled.

Creators understand the process. Criticizers envy it. 

We are naturally inclined to hear the boos over the cheers. But we can also reprogram ourselves to either enjoy the praise more or just care less about the criticism. Some are better than others naturally, but anything can be reprogramed and improved on.

A lot of times I am wrong. I make a lot of predictions and base a lot of my advice on my personal experience. This can include things I have done, or things I have read about or learned from others. Everything that has happened to me has shaped me and my thinking. You are a different person. What has worked for me in the past or what might work for me in the future may not work for someone else, at a different time in a different place.

If you read something I wrote about Facebook 6 months ago, there is a good chance that information is outdated.

When the Phoenix housing market crashed so hard that you could buy properties for LESS than what they cost to build, my advice on buying as much real estate as you could made a lot of sense. Times change. Strategies change.

Fear stops more people than failure

My Advice To You:

If you want to create something, do it. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you. Something bad might happen. Who cares? More good things will happen, so focus on that.

If you follow a creator, be sure to tell them that you appreciate them. Everyone is reachable on social media these days, so if you are a fan of someone let them know. The world needs more praise.

Whatever you do, don’t listen to anything I say. We are just a flash in a pan, on a planet spinning around one of the billions of stars that existed long before us and will exist even longer after us and in 100 years (probably less) no one will remember your intentions or feelings, but they might remember something that you created.

But what do I know? 

“Only a moron would think that!”


Success Can Be Learned, It’s Just Rarely Taught

Success isn’t magic. There is no secret. As the creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams will tell you “It’s generally the product of picking a good system and following it until luck finds you.”

Wise words.

So why is there such a misconception about success? Mostly because it is never taught. Our school systems were designed to prepare children for the workforce. How to sit still, do what you are told and raise your hand to go to the bathroom.

The problem is that the workforce no longer exists like it once did. The future of the workforce is serving coffee, repairing robots and mixing drinks behind a bar. Yes, this is a generalization, but that doesn’t make it any less accurate.

Prior to the industrial revolution, most of what would today be referred to as the workforce were actually entrepreneurs. Many studied under masters of craft as an apprentice, learning important skills to one day take over or start a new business entirely.

In fact, we as humans are much more entrepreneurial historically than we are worker bees.

But thats not what they teach us in school.

If you think about it, the average kid spends essentially no time around highly successful people. The only success they might ever be around comes from movies and television. They see the 18 year old kid get drafted to the NBA or the start-up founder ringing the bell at his IPO, but they don’t see the years spent in the gym shooting jumpers and the many failures and sleepless nights that every entrepreneur endures. Success can be taught


The More Skills You Have, The More Chances You Have For Success

If you aren’t working hard to improve yourself and your situation, then how can you ever expect a change? It’s ok if you haven’t thought about it like this before, but its not ok if you don’t do something about it now.

What no one told you before is that the act of learning is actually a skill you can work on, develop and improve. The more you learn the more likely you are to achieve success.

Its like buying a lottery ticket that never expires and the numbers are called constantly. Every skill is a new lottery ticket in hand that could cash in at any time. If you are just sitting on one ticket, your odds are still poor.

Successful people keep adding tickets. All of the time. Even when they become successful.

Nothing comes to those who wait. Good things come to people who work their asses off.

You don’t even have to be an expert!

You don’t need to master these skills. It helps, but mastering one skill has a law of diminishing returns. Consider someone like Curt Shilling who mastered the skill of being a baseball Pitcher, but never developed business acumen. He was very successful at one thing and very unsuccessful at another.

Now take someone like Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. He is admittedly ok at a few things that equal great success. For example: ok at business, mediocre at drawing, ok at marketing, ok humor, incredible work ethic and master of learning. This has made him a very rich and famous person.

Success can be taught

Some skills are more valuable than others. But every new skill learned makes you better at the skill of learning new skills. (Read that part again. Its important)

If there is one great skill to master, its the ability to learn new skills. Just learning how to code won’t make you the next Mark Zuckerberg, but learning how to code, brand yourself on social media and how to speak a foreign language could REALLY open up a lot of opportunity for you around the world.

Being good at multiple things can trump being excellent at one thing. For example, speaking conversational Spanish and knowing how to create a website might be more valuable than only mastering Spanish or only knowing about websites.

How do I become a better learner?

That’s easy! Start with things you like and enjoy. Then expand from there. Set yourself up for success from the beginning.

Going from 0 to 100MPH for someone who has never driven a car before is just silly.

Set out to learn one new thing in the next 6 months Devour it completely. Then move on to something else.

You are NOT to busy. You are NOT too old. You are MAYBE too lazy, but that can be fixed.

Step One: Read Scott Adam’s book How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win BigSuccess can be taught

Send this post to someone you think needs to hear this. 

This Is The Most Difficult Thing to Learn and Accept About Life

I recently answered this question on Quora.com, and it has since been viewed nearly 300,000 times (as of February 5th, 2016). Click here for original post. 

I thought I would share it with my readers here and see what your thoughts are regarding my answer. I appreciate you!

Question: What is the Most Difficult Thing To Learn and Accept About Life?


1. People usually aren’t listening. They are either thinking of what they are going to say next, or something else entirely.

2. Everyone is insecure about something, it’s not just you.

3. You are going to die no matter what.

4. Your kids will experience hardship.

5. The bigger an organization is, the harder it is to make a change even if the need is so obvious.

6. Some people are bad and have bad intentions.

7. Many people (not all) will steal $100 from you today even if it means missing the opportunity to earn $1000 from you next week.

8. You will never be 100% sure about decision ever. But always make a decision because it’s better to go back and fix it than to never make it at all.

9. There is ALWAYS someone who makes more money than you, is more fit, has a better looking spouse, has an easier life, good things happen to them. Usually more than just one.

10. How you react to an event, problem, emotion, or anything, is more important than the actual event, problem, emotion or whatever. You cannot control your emotions, you cannot control others, all you can control is how you are going to react. Sometimes it’s easy but usually it’s really really hard.

The biggest negative reaction I received in this post was regarding number 10. 

However, the responders typically missed my point. When I wrote: you cannot control your emotions, many took that to mean there was nothing you could do about it.

This is not my point at all. My point is that you cannot control how something will make you feel. Thats it. Exterior forces and events will happen that might piss you off, make you sad, humble you, break you, knock you on your ass and then kick you in the teeth while you are down. 

But just because you feel a certain way doesn’t mean you have no control. You choose how you will react. You don’t choose your feelings.

He who angers you conquers you.

I have done many stupid things as a result of my emotions. Many of which I regret. Through self reflection, meditation and studying emotional intelligence, I find myself reacting to my emotions less and less every year.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed and strengthened. But like any skill, it is only achieved through dedicated practice and awareness.

Wim Hof Method: 10 Week Journey of Cold Showers, Ice Baths, and Heavy Breathing. WHY?!

Wim Hof Method: AKA “WTF???”

If you have subscribed to my YouTube channel or follow me on Snapchat (@skyler_irvine), then you already know: I have embarked on a 10 week journey known as the Wim Hof Method.

This is Wim Hof. The “Ice Man”. I first heard about him from Tim Ferriss. Then he went on Tim Ferriss’ podcast for an interview. He sounded crazy. I was intrigued.

Then I came across him again randomly (I think it was random) surfing YouTube. Kevin Rose, another Tim Ferriss connection, shared a video describing the benefits of the Wim Hof method that he had achieved in only a few weeks.

The last time something kept popping up in my life I ignored it far too long. It was meditation. To me, meditation was for hippies and yogis. I believed this despite many successful people, whom I admired and respected,sharing their stories of their success with meditation.

So I finally gave in. But not really. I tried it and it didn’t work for me and I chalked it up to my original perception that meditation is for hippies and yogis.

But then I tried it again. Only this time I committed. Combined with my Miracle Morning SAVERS, I downloaded the HeadSpace app and began the ten minutes for ten days free guided meditation.

Game Changer. 

I will never be the same.

This is why when the Wim Hof Method popped up in my life more than a couple times I decided not to hesitate. I signed up for his online 10-week course before I really did any research on it. What did I need to research anyway? Just an excuse not to do it of course.

Briefly explained: the Wim Hof Method so far comprises various breathing exercises involving holding your breath as long as you can, but only after exhaling all of your breath. My first attempt I lasted over 30 seconds.

Not bad right?

Soon after I passed one minute.

Holy crap!

Like any muscle, training improves strength. So this makes sense. But the fact I saw such a drastic improvement so quickly is very interesting to me.

After the breathing, there is stretching and mild exercise. I am told the exercise increases in intensity as you proceed through the program.

Concluding the routine is a 30 second cold shower. Because time is relative, this 30 seconds is much longer than merely holding my breath the first time around.

In just three days I have to acknowledge that the greatest benefit of this method so far is its similarity to meditation.

I still struggle with meditation. I think I am too busy, I have too many thoughts and I just don’t have the time.

Yes, I even struggle with this KNOWING that mediation helps me.

With the Wim Hof Method, just a few minutes into the intense breathing exercises I feel the same amazing clarity that usually takes a lot longer with simple guided meditation.

I do not believe its a complete replacement yet, because its slightly different.

I am the best at meditating when I am exhausted. This is why I fell in love with Sumit Yoga. 90 minutes in intense heat knocks me on my ass. When this happens I stop thinking about stupid stuff and really find myself in the present. The Wim Hof Method does this also.

The deep and continuous breathing keeps you busy and gives you focus, preventing your mind from wandering.


Wim Hof Method = Speed Meditation. (So Far)

10 weeks from now I expect to be swimming under the ice in the Arctic catching fish with my mouth, but until then I have to admit there are many benefits to the experience even if cold showers aren’t pleasant.

Why Would You Put Yourself Through This Willingly?

Right now my life is as perfect as I could ever have imagined. I have a beautiful family and a wonderful house. I love my businesses and have many freedoms.

Our minds, unfortunately, need a sense of balance. You can’t have the good without the bad. If everything in your life is good then your brain will find something wrong. It has to.

Sometimes its anxiety or depression. Sometimes its picking a fight with your spouse or getting very angry at other drivers on the road. Sometimes its buying stuff you don’t need because its newer and better than the stuff you have.

I have found the best way to continually appreciate all the good things in my life is to remove certain advantages every once in a while.

Stoics, Buddhists and minimalists have very similar beliefs.

Additionally: “Why the hell not?”

Trying new things is fun. Life begins when you step outside of your comfort zone, and the more uncomfortable situations you get yourself into the better you become at dealing with them.

Concluding Thoughts:

What are some things in your life you think you can’t live without? What are some changes you could make, even temporarily, that would make you appreciate what you have.

Examples of things I have tried or heard others try:

  • Using only public transportation for a week (bigger deal in some places more than others)
  • Wearing the same clothes 7 straight days (washing them of course!)
  • Getting rid of one thing every day for 2 months (Closes, objects, clutter)
  • Spending less than $50 total for food in one week
  • Not eating meat for 30 days (trust me, you will end up going much longer!)
  • Unplugging your cable for one month or canceling it all together

There are a lot of things you can try. The best part is, no one is watching you. No one cares whether you do it or not. Because of this, you learn a lot about yourself.

Most of our problems derive from the fact that we cannot sit alone, quietly in a room for more than 10 minutes.


Do Your Worst, First!

Do More = Be More

Eat That Frog.

Eat The Brussel Sprouts.

Simply put, just do your worst, first. Trust me.

Stop putting off your least favorite tasks towards the end of the day, week, month, or forever. Instead, do those items first thing in the morning.

Usually those items include working out, making that phone call to that client that hates you, or worst of all having to tell your spouse you are sorry. (Just kidding honey. I love you. Sorry I said that)

Brian Tracy calls it “Eat That Frog” in his book titled, yes Eat That Frog. The premise: What if every morning you had to start the day by eating a frog. Wouldn’t the rest of your day look pretty nice knowing that was behind you?

Yes Brian Tracy, it would!

I have heard others use the phrase: Eat the Brussel Sprouts first, then your pork chop will taste much better.

True again!

But in addition to doing the worst first, you are also doing what is most likely the MOST IMPORTANT first.

Paraphrasing Tim Ferriss: Your success is determined by the number of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.

Often, this involves stepping outside our comfort zones. Most people hate leaving their comfort zones. Unfortunately, real life begins outside of your comfort zone.

Action Item:

At the start of your day, write down your three most important tasks that need to be finished. Then, do them first!

Sounds too easy? It is, and it isn’t. You will have so many excuses NOT TO.

And as the day goes on you will find even more. There is a reason those items have been on your list all this time. So from now on, do your worst first.

Take the three most important items, or the three items you LEAST want to do (they are usually the same thing), and just do them first.

The rest of the day is yours. You will have more clarity throughout the day and your sense of accomplishment will remain with you even if you end up leaving the office early. Focus on completing tasks.

Busy is not the goal. Busy means you have no clarity.

Productivity is the goal. Production leads to success.

And if that doesn’t work, I can have Brian Tracy mail you a couple frogs.


A New Year, SAVERS and The Miracle Morning

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you enjoyed yourself and indulged a bit. Its good for you. Really, it is.

2015 was an incredible year for me personally.

I wrote a book. My 2nd child was born.

I got really sick, stayed sick, but then got better. (Doctors are still unsure what it was, but says my blood work is ok now.

My company Myriad Real Estate tripled our business from the previous year (mostly due to Facebook which I wrote a book about.)

I also discovered The Miracle Morning. I’ll be honest, the original book is not amazing. The concept is incredible, but for someone who reads a lot (me) it wasn’t the best writing.

I do recommend this book, which is a sequel to this book. Here’s the scoop: Michael Maher wrote a book called 7 Levels of Communication. It is fictional story told in a novel format about a character who develops and learns great sales techniques. I recommend it for anyone in sales even though this book is about the real estate business.

Hal Elrod wrote The Miracle Morning, a true story about his life, and then teamed up with Michael Maher to co-write a sequel to 7 Levels of Communication based on the principles taught in The Miracle Morning. Confuse yet? No? Ok good!

Conclusion: I took the lessons learned from The Miracle Morning and applied it to my own life. For those who are familiar, there is a technique called SAVERS and the idea is to wake up early and start your day with SAVERS every morning. Win the morning, win the day.

Savers means:

Silence: Meditation or actually just sitting in a room silently for a bit. I struggled with this for a while and really took a leap when I download the app Headspace on my phone. There were 10 free days of guided meditations an I loved it so much I bought a year subscription.

I used to be against meditation merely because I thought it was lame. I was so naive. I still am I suppose, but at least I meditate now.

The problem is, I don’t do it nearly enough. I never feel like I have time which is my least favorite excuse about anything. On days I meditate, everything slows down for me. There is less confusion and more clarity. I compare it to when Keanu Reeves as Neo in the Matrix finally discovers his powers and is able to not only dodge bullets but stop them. You should try meditating.

There are many different types of meditation. I have found that guided meditation works best for me. It might work for you too. If it doesn’t, I wouldn’t give up trying other methods.

Affirmations: This means clearly defining your goals and what you want to achieve. A complete affirmation would be something like: I am going to write and publish my first book by July 1st and I will accomplish this by dedicating 2 hours every day to writing and editing until completion.

Do you see how this is different than: “In 2015 I will write a book.”

If you start each morning reading and writing these affirmations, then you will set yourself on the right path to achieving them throughout the day.

Visualization: What does the perfect day look like? Visualize it. Your commute to work, your meetings throughout the day, what you will say to your boss, everything! This essentially becomes a practice run of your entire day. As you continue to implement this you will have much better control of your thoughts and emotions throughout the day. Very powerful stuff.

Exercise: This doesn’t have to be an intense gym session. Just something to get your heart rate up. You can still hit the gym later in the day if thats your style, but the morning exercise wakes up the brain, gets your blood flowing and will result in you drinking less coffee throughout the day.

Reading: No, not Twitter or Facebook. A real book. A self help or motivational book. Get your mind stretched out with some positive and potent thoughts. Its like a morning workout for your brain. Even a chapter at a time or just 10 minutes is enough to set you off in the right direction.

Scribing: Just means writing, but scribing starts with an ‘S’ and that better fits the acronym. Journaling is very underrated in our society. There was a time when all the bad ass members of society kept journals. Today, it mostly consists of teenage girls. I hope this changes.

My Results:

I was SHOCKED how much of a difference the meditation would make. I was also SHOCKED with how much I not only enjoyed journaling, but how much it decreased much of my anxiety. I would go back a month and read some of my entries only to see that 30 days ago I was really stressed about something that today I didn’t even remember.

How often does that happen to us? I’ll tell you: a lot! We spend way too much time worrying about things that never will happen. Try it. Start journaling and then look back every few weeks and reflect on how far you have come.

I never write more than 2 paragraphs. Often just one paragraph. Things I am thinking, things I have to do that day, things I love and things I don’t love.

During this time I also lost over 3o pounds.

Maybe I should have started with this?

It started for me just by waking up earlier. If I wanted to get up before Penelope (my new born) I had to wake up at 4am. If I didn’t, she would wake me up at 4:30. I found that when I took control and got up on my own, my day improved and I didn’t resent her for not letting me sleep (parents know what I mean).

If I wanted to wake up at 4, then I had to get to bed by 10. This meant watching less TV at night, but also less drinking alcohol. It was hard at first, but then I began to really look forward to my mornings. I spent time with just Penelope, which is hard to do with a toddler and a business.

So now I wake up at 4am, give my daughter a bottle, she falls back to sleep, and I spend an hour or so doing SAVERS. Then its 5am and I have a coffee and feel incredible. The sun is still asleep, my family is still asleep and I am wide awake and focused. Now I either start writing (working on my second book) or answering questions on Quora.

By the time 8am rolls around I have already accomplished more than most people do all day, including me only a few months earlier.

Its ok if you aren’t a morning person. I wasn’t either.

Its ok if exercising early sucks. I still don’t like it. (I just like how I feel after)

Its ok if you don’t want to improve your life and feel good all the time. It doesn’t matter to me either way.

All I know is I am far from perfect and even I do not follow SAVERS morning every day. But the days in which I do I enjoy much more, so I am just trying to get a little bit better every day.

How about you?


You Will NEVER Time The Market Perfectly.

You Will Never Time The Market Perfectly… And that’s OK!

Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but you are never going to time the market correctly. Someone will. That is just how these things work. But it won’t be you. Ever.

And here’s the thing: “That’s ok!”


When it comes to investing and building your personal wealth empire (yes, you need to call it your empire because we don’t think small anymore), it is important to remember that you are not searching for perfection. Instead, you are searching for improvement.


Steph Curry is the best basketball shooter I have ever seen. Even he doesn’t make every shot.


Warren Buffett is the greatest investor we have ever seen, even he loses money on some deals.


Perfection is not the goal because perfection is impossible.

Improvement is the goal.


Seeking perfection leads to paralysis by analysis. You need to stop worrying about the decimals and start focusing on the commas.


Afraid to buy a house because the market might go down? It might. But over time it always goes up. So just plan on holding onto your house for a long enough time and you are improving your odds of a positive return.


Same thing goes for stocks. Not every stock goes up in perpetuity. But over time, most do. Rarely do stocks of well-known companies go to zero. It happens, but not often.


You don’t need to buy a company’s IPO in order to make money in their stock. You don’t need to be the seed investor in a start-up in order to make money during its lifetime. You don’t have to buy at the bottom to see a positive return.


Quick question: 30 years from now, do you think Disney will be more valuable or worth nothing?


What about Apple?


What about Facebook?


What about Exxon Mobile?


How much risk tolerance do you really have? If your investment falls in value 15% are you going to panic or buy more? What if it goes down 50%?


The people who tell me they are waiting for prices to come down further before they buy (a house, stock or anything) are the same people who panic when prices do come down. Whatever you expect to happen, will happen, because you will only focus on the events that support your expectations.


“See! I knew stocks would fall!” Well yes, they always fall. Warren Buffett refers to this as “the market is on sale.” But even he doesn’t buy at the exact bottom. And you won’t either.


But you can buy today. And a little next week. And a little more after that. And if you do this little by little every week you will see up markets and you will see down markets. But like climbing a set up stairs you will continue to rise above where you are today.
Getting just 1% better every week will have incredible results. But I am sorry to be the one to have to tell you that you’re mother was wrong. You aren’t perfect and never will be. And that’s ok!
( Are you subscribed to the Cash Flow Weekly? If you like things like this, take a look at what you are missing out on here: http://eepurl.com/bFd5z5 )

The Death of Website Traffic

The Death of Website Traffic is Here: Are You Ready?

The era of the Website is coming to an end. You could probably blame Facebook if you needed someone to point a finger at, but its not all their fault.

Consider this: How do you spend your time on the internet?

If you are my dad you have a long list of bookmarks (I am talking hundreds of bookmarks) that you check on a regular basis looking for information that interests you.

If you are like me, and people like me, you are on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, maybe even sites like Quora or Medium.

And if you are just a couple years younger than me, or just more hip, you are on SnapChat, WhatsApp and probably a bunch of other stuff I haven’t heard of yet or can’t pronounce.

Trends always come and go, but technology, and especially the  internet, cause trends to start and end at a much higher and faster rate than ever before.

My sister, a few years older than me, didn’t technically grow up with the internet. AOL entered our house after she was 16 meaning she was out driving with her friends while I was starting an online Sports Cards Training business out of my bedroom.

Timing is everything.

But now I am 30, and I am too old to try and undestand SnapChat. Maybe just too busy. Maybe both.

But I do understand trends. And I REALLY understand Facebook. And when I say I understand Facebook I mean that I understand not just what they are today, but what they are also becoming.

(Author’s Note: I am long $FB. I am also the author of How To Leverage Your Real Estate Business with Facebook)

Why do I mention my father and sister? Of the three of us, my father is the least technoligically inclined, followed by my sister who is half and half, and then myself. A few decades separate my father and I, and only a few years separate my sister and I.

My Father doesn’t want to learn Facebook or Twitter, just like I don’t want to learn SnapChat or whatever. He refers to his list of bookmarks and searches the websites directly. This is how we all used to search the internet for our content.

But that trend is ending and the new trend has already begun.

Website Traffic is No More

The fact that you are reading this article on this blog is a miracle. I already understand this. In the future, possibly months or a couple years, this will be even more of a miracle.

Whether it is ‘Breaking News’ or just good content, the media is changing mediums.

Consider this:

Most of my traffic comes from Facebook. Some comes from a combination of other social media like Twitter and Pinterest, and some comes from search engines (mostly google).

If you are searching google for an answer to something, you are most likely going to find that answer as a link to a webpage.

But if you are using Twitter and Facebook, especially from a mobile device, you are highly unlikely to want to leave that medium. So unless the content I am trying to share with you is right there on that medium, the future of my content won’t have much of a future.

Facebook is rolling out insta-articles and Twitter is rolling out ‘moments’. Apple just launched ‘News’.

All thee of these roll outs allow you to read updated content and breaking news directly on their platforms without having to leave the site. Trying to convince someone to click on your link and wait for a new page to load is asking a lot from your viewers and potential customers.


What is the Solution?

Well, for writers and content creators like me it could mean the end of blogs as we know it. Trying to get a Facebook user to come to my website to read an article is already a big hurdle.

However, if I copy and paste my article onto Facebook directly, whether in a post or the Notes section, then more people on Facebook are more likely to read it.

Now, this won’t work on Twitter obviously so it is important that I treat Twitter (as well as my Twitter Audience) differently. This might include sharing a few tweets in a row summarizing the best tidbits of my article in addition to linking to the rest of it. If the tidbits are enticing enough, you may click.

What will not work, however, is the current trend of ‘click bait’. For those who aren’t aware of this term, it simply means giving an article a title that sounds very enticing, or baiting you to click on it, only to find out the article is either made up or doesn’t even discuss the topic for which you clicked on it.

If you are an individual or a brand, you will piss off your audience and they will stop following you all together.

If you aren’t providing good content, the same thing will happen as well.

If you are providing good content then people will share it with their friends and your audience will grow.

This sucks if you run a big website or newspaper, but this is great if you are an individual trying to grow your own book of business, whether you are a writer or entrepreneur.


The Death of Website Traffic 2015

If you make money from website traffic it is time to really rethink your strategy. I make very little money from my actual website, but I do make money when new clients find me through my website and I am able to serve them.

Because of this, I can upload my content to many different places and still be ok.

The same can be said for all those Grantland.com writers who were just fired or suspended or whatever ESPN just did to them. 

In the past, you needed ESPN or the New York Times more than they needed you. They were the brand and you were just a small name beneath the titles of some articles. But today, with Twitter, Facebook, cheap or free blown sites, the individual creates their own brand.

Sure, those big companies are a huge help and sometimes pay well, but the trend is already shifting.

If you are in sales, or a writer, or an entrepreneur, or somewhere in between, the solution is clear. Keep providing value.

Whether this means creating good content or answering the tough questions or being very transparent about your business, it doesn’t matter whether or not people are visiting your website.

But if your income depends on ‘clicks’ and ‘website traffic’ then I am sorry to break the news to you, but pretty soon your only traffic might be from my dad.

(I love you dad!)

QUORA: I’m 16 and I’ve started a business that earns $3,000 monthly. What should I do with it?


I’m 16 and I’ve started a business that earns $3,000 monthly. What should I do with it?”


Here was my Answer:


Passive income is the way to go. You can either create it (start a business) or buy it (dividend stocks, rental properties , bonds etc. )

Or you can do both.

I spend my time and energy creating businesses that don’t need me around. Then I take the money earned and invest it into more passive income.

Now you have your business and a passive income investment (2 streams of income!)

Passive income gives you freedom, especially freedom to travel. When you have more passive income than expenses, then you are free to live the life you choose! (I call this The Cash Flow Lifestyle)

I really knew this was real when I began to invest money I earned from rental properties I purchased in my early twenties and invested into dividend stocks (Reits and boring Energy companies mostly)

One month I had to replace an AC unit so the property management company just used my rental funds to pay for it, so I would not receive any income that month. However, that was also the first month that my dividend payouts were more than my monthly rents!

I realized then that it wasn’t just talk, passive income is real and if you focus solely on increasing it and adding new streams while keeping your monthly expenses low (rent a boat instead of buy, own a home you can afford or don’t buy one at all and travel instead) then you truly can have the freedom you eread about in books like Four Hour Work Week.

Lastly: congrats on your early success! Just stay humble.

Why Facebook is More than Just a Safe Investment

I Began Researching Facebook for The Book I Was Writing: Before it Was Published I Found Myself a Facebook Investor:

Facebook was born while I was in college. At the time, I was considered a ‘late adopter.’

I fought it, you could say. First, it captured all of the girls. (Smart).

Soon after, most of the guys trickled in.

Eventually it was my entire campus. Actually, it was all of the campuses.

Facebook began as a ‘college-only’ social network, meaning you needed an @.edu email address to sign up. Then it opened up to the public. Then the world.

Recently, Facebook achieved one billion active users in one day. ONE DAY!

Facebook also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus Rift, after several billion dollars worth of purchases.

Many said they paid too much for these companies. Many of those people are silent today.

I recently wrote a book on how to effectively use Facebook for your real estate business. It is really a book for  anyone in sales looking to effectively utilize the power of Facebook.

I started researching and writing earlier this year. Before long, I made my first investment in Facebook. Soon after I made another. Additionally, I plan on purchasing at least two more blocks before the year is over.

I am not a trader. I am an investor. I usually prefer to invest in income streams (ie. Cash Flow). But there are many roads that lead to wealth.

For example:

I can invest $100 every month into a dividend paying stock and grow that income stream over time with dollar cost averaging and appreciation. (I do this too).


I can buy a stock for $100 that does not pay a dividend, but instead has the potential appreciate at a much faster rate than a slow growth dividend paying stock. When that happens, I now have a larger sum of capital with which to invest in an income stream.

You see, my end goal is the same: Passive Income.

These are two examples of ways to obtain it.

As I stated above, Facebook is more than just Facebook (Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more…) So in a sense, Facebook owns the present (anyone in High School and Older) and the future (Tweens using WhatsApp, Instagram and eventually Virtual Reality).


Facebook’s Secret Sauce:

But Facebook also holds a secret sauce in it’s grasp. In fact, in addition to all these other reasons I love Facebook as an investment, this aspect might be the safest bet that Facebook is more than just a safe investment for the years to come. Simliar to why cigarette companies were such a great investment.

Or why Coke and Pepsi dominate both Warren Buffett’s portfolio and refrigerator (He owns Coke but drinks Pepsi.) Cigarettes were proven to be addictive. Despite many current claims, studies also show that sugar is addictive. Both of these substances provide the brain with pleasure, despite the fact that almost everyone knows they are bad for you in the long run.

I recently heard someone call Facebook and Twitter ‘dopamine snacks’. I wish I could remember where I heard it because it’s brilliant. Facebook and Twitter are the reason its so hard to read books any more.

We get bored very easily. Reading short bursts at a time actually provide our brains with a pleasure sense, or dopamine snack.  People either love Facebook, or they hate it. But almost everyone still uses it. What does this sound like to you? Addiction? I am not arguing that Facebook is healthy for you any more than I would argue that sugar water and tobacco are healthy for you.

I do believe that you can use Facebook for good, and it can be a great tool to grow your brand and market your business. Additionally, there is no better way to stay in contact with everyone you have ever met and will meet (even those you don’t like.)

What I am arguing is that Facebook is a great long term investment. The upside potential is incredible, and the downside risk, in my opinion, is extremely low. It is so well-positioned to succeed that I do not think one bad step would hurt them like it would another company.

Could it survive a Volkswagen like scandal? Possibly. It has the tools (the company purchases listed above) and the people (Zuckerberg, his team, and now the team of people who founded companies like Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus) and has already proven it has the process. (Somewhere Marcus Lemonis is nodding) But sometimes things happen faster than I imagine.

The last time I felt this way about an investment was with housing in 2009. I mention this because I knew housing was a great investment at the time, but my time horizon was 10-30 years. Housing bounced back much more quickly than I expected, but I was also not surprised when it did.

Now take special note: I do not mean to say that I think Facebook is where housing was in 2009. Instead, I get the feeling that Facebook is where Google was around 1999. Facebook also has the advantage of learning from Google’s playbook, with both its successes and failures. I expect Facebook to be a very great investment in the many years to come.

I would not be surprised if Facebook doubled in a couple years. Maybe it will take 10 years. Facebook is not my only investment, and I feel confident investing in an appreciating stock like this because I am also well-invested in many cash flow producing investments.

Of course, I could be completely wrong about all of this. It wouldn’t be the first time I was ever wrong about something. But I am willing to put my money behind this belief. And if I am wrong, then please buy my book. I will need the sales.   

If You Want To Get Going, Get Rid of “Going”

If You Want To Get Going, Get Rid of “Going”

I am sitting across from would-be entrepreneurs in a setting that is eerily similar to a combination of Shark Tank and Speed Dating. They told us the pitches would last 5 minutes and then the bell would ring.

Ding Ding.

The would-be entrepreneur across from me stands up and is soon replaced by another. A new pitch begins. Again.

We repeat this dance for nearly two hours. I hear a lot of pitches. I give advice and my recommendations to all of them. Some of them listen. I think.

Most of them don’t. I don’t blame them. Its not that I don’t know what I am talking about. I do. I have been in that seat before. Maybe not literally, but I used to be like them. I used to know nothing.

I am the first to admit I don’t know everything. But I know some things. I even know some things about starting a business.

It doesn’t matter though. I soon realize this is more about perfecting their pitches than changing their business model as I tell them their product or idea isn’t ready, well-thought out, or even good. In their minds they just didn’t pitch it well enough.

While I am explaining to them the hurdles they are facing and ways to streamline processes and systems, they are staring at me with a blank face re-wording their pitches in their heads.

Maybe not all of them. But some. Maybe most.

One person even sits down and immediately asks me what I have to offer them. Despite the fact that I am donating my time to mentor these would-be entrepreneurs, I immediately break into my pitch.

What the hell? I didn’t even know I had a pitch. But there I was, pitching myself to a would-be entrepreneur. It wasn’t half bad either.

Get Rid of “Going”

My big take away from this event? Your idea doesn’t matter. Some people had good ones and some people had better ones. The right person with a good idea is going to succeed. The wrong person with a great idea will not.

I didn’t always think this. I used to think the idea was everything. I used to think I needed one big idea and then everything would work itself out.

I now know that the ‘work itself out’ is the magic part of this formula. The unfortunate truth for these would-be entrepreneurs is that this ‘work itself out’ part consists of a lot of really hard work.

If you tell me you are going to do something, I will not believe you.

I am going to lose weight.
I am going to raise capital.
I am going to work out more.
I am going to start writing.
I am going to start reading more.

Then I am going to call you a liar. Maybe liar isn’t the right word, because you aren’t lying. You might actually believe yourself. But I don’t.

Tell me if you see a difference here:

I am losing weight.
I am raising capital.
I started working out more.
I started writing.
I am reading more.

The difference is in the “going”. If you say you are going to do something, why haven’t you started doing it already? Is tomorrow easier? Next week? Did you get too busy today to start?

I am not perfect. I used to have to go to the Nike Store and buy all new workout gear before I could start my next phase of dieting and working out. A few weeks would go by and then life would happen. Maybe I lost some weight during this time, but it always came back.

“I am going to lose weight,” I would tell people.

“I am going to lose weight,” I would tell myself.

Today? I am losing weight. Right now. I am burning calories as I write this. My mind is focused on it and all of my decisions throughout the day are helping me achieve this goal. I am not going to do anything. I am doing it.

Do you see the difference? Its ok if you don’t. I used to not. I used to be sitting on the other side of the table too. Pitching my great idea to someone hoping they would tell me how great I was and do all the work and give me money.

I really thought this.

“I am going to start a company that will-” No you won’t.

“I am going to create an app-” No you won’t.

“I am going to raise capital to-” Nope.

Some people make things happen while others hope things will happen. I learned long ago that hope is not a strategy. I also learned that you can become whatever kind of person you want to be.

“I am not a runner.”
“I am not a morning person.”
“I am not a writer.”
“Good things like that never happen to me.”

The truth is, you can actually be any type of person you want to be. The first step is deciding who it is you want to be.

The next step is becoming that person. Just don’t say you are going to become that person.

I am a runner!
I am a morning person!
I am a writer!
Good things keep happening to me!