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.

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.

2016:
  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

*Tech

2010:
  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. 

2000:
  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)

1985:

  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

1975:

  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

1965:

  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

1955:

  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.

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.

Monetization:

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.

 

But…why?
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.

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.

Win:

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.

 

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!
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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!)


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).

Or:

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!

 

16 Things I Learned While Writing My First Book!

16 Things I learned from writing my first book.

I recently published my first book (Available on Amazon)I have wanted to write and publish a book for quite sometime, but starting tomorrow always seemed much more convenient than starting today.

And then tomorrow came.

And then another one.

Eventually I knew I had to try something drastic if I really wanted results. So I made an announcement:

“My new book is set to be released August of 2015!”

I shared this in an email to everyone I knew. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.

It was now out there. The only problem was that it was March of 2015, and I hadn’t written a single word yet.

On Thursday, September 2nd, 2015, Amazon published my first book. I missed my self imposed deadline by a couple days. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. To achieve something big, accountability is crucial. I announced my new book to everyone I knew. They didn’t know that I hadn’t started, and to be honest, were pretty busy with their own things to even notice. But being the narcissistic person that I am, I felt that I couldn’t let everyone down. They were expecting a published book by August of 2015 and it was up to me to deliver it!

 

2. Writing a book is hard. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. In fact, I always wrote ‘too much’ when it came to school assignments growing up. I would just get carried away and a 3 page paper would turn into 10. Teachers didn’t like to grade 7 extra pages. (Did I mention I didn’t do too well in school?)But nothing compares to writing an entire book. You tell yourself “I need a beginning, middle and an end.”

And then you start writing and realize every chapter needs a beginning, middle and and end. And then you write your introduction and it needs a beginning middle and an end.

And then you read everything you have written and none of it makes any sense.

Perfect.

 

3. Doing much of anything, including writing a book, with a newborn child at home is really difficult!

 

4. Finding an impartial and 3rd-party editor/proof reader is a MUST. It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself when you give a rough draft edition to a friend or family member because you WILL get defensive when they give you edits or advice. Better to outsource this to a professional, and then listen to what they have to say.

 

5. Write every damn day. I was given this advice when I started by more than one author and I thought it was good advice. And then I went one day without writing and then another. By the time day 3 rolled around and I got back to it, I might as well have started over from the beginning! The mental hurdle of getting back into the rhythm and also trying to pick up my train of thought was much too daunting. Even if its just a little bit, write every day.

 

6. Don’t tell anyone what your book is about until you are finished. All it takes is one small comment from a friend, family member, or even a stranger, all of whom are most likely not your target audience anyway, and you will feel deflated. Writing against your own self-doubt is challenging enough, so don’t add anyone else’s to the process.


7. Delegate the parts you suck at.
If you want to write a book, then just focus on the writing. I delegated my cover design to 99Designs.com and have a kick ass cover. I decided to do the e-book formatting myself and now my formatting sucks.If you want your book to look like a real book, focus on the writing and delegate the rest. (www.elance.com , www.freelancer.com , www.fiverr.com , www.99designs.com are all great resources to find exactly what you need for items like editing, proof reading, cover design, formatting and more)

 

8. Give yourself a deadline. If you don’t, then tomorrow will always seem much better than today. But in the end, do remember that it is your own self imposed deadline. I grew very depressed when August came and went and I didn’t feel that I was anywhere close to having a completed version prepared. But in hindsight, if I didn’t create this deadline in the first place then I most likely would still be trying to finish it now!

 

9. Write in Rythm. Try and write the same time every day, and also write every day. Rhythm is great, and even if you are just writing a little bit one day and a lot another day, the pattern and habit you are creating is crucial to completion.

 

10. Be Passionate. You must really enjoy what it is you are writing about, or else you will quit or your eventual reader will wish that you had.

 

11. Provide as much value as you possible can in the least amount of words possible. In our Twitter and Facebook age, its really hard to finish an entire book. This is also because the traditional book is too often 100 pages too long! In order to justify the costs of cutting down the tree and publishing a bunch of books for $19.99, the publisher feels a book should be a minimum of 250 pages.Even if the book should only be 100 pages, or maybe even less!

Don’t feel that you have to fill up pages, instead just focus on providing a lot of value in as few pages as possible.

 

12. Read up on other authors in your field. Whatever you are writing about or whatever you style is, research other authors that have done similar books that you are attempting. By understanding that they also struggled with the process but eventually produced a good piece of work will encourage you to stay on point.

 

13. Only take advice about your book from people that have written a book. I have found that the people who have achieved the least usually have the most advice to give me. Be cautious.

 

14. Know your audience and decide early on if this is a book for you or for a specific audience. Then write your book accordingly and continue to remind yourself of your answer.

 

15. Don’t worry about trying to sell 100,000 copies. Instead focus on trying to sell 1000 copies. By targeting a smaller niche, your book can specify its theme to a smaller audience, thus providing a closer connection with your readers. This will provide you with the opportunity to write more books with a built-in fanbase. And if you try and please everyone you won’t please anyone.

 

16. Good today is better than perfect tomorrow. It will be really hard to finally submit your book for publishing. There is always one more edit you need to make or one more read-through. If you focus on providing a ton of value, then its easier to submit to the fact that your book will never be perfect. Publish it and move on to the next one. Besides, you can always publish a revised edition a year from now!

 

Buy my new book How To Leverage Your Real Estate Business With Facebook on Amazon:

Brief History of Money

Brief History of MoneyHow much do you know about money? Money is a beautiful thing. Mostly because it isn’t even real. Its a belief. Its a faith. It could even be considered a religion.

Since the creation of the idea of money, it has existed through generations and cultures around the world. It has evolved, spread and become ingrained in society… much like some religions.

I love money, and you should too! Money is not the root of all evil. If you think that, then you will never have any. Or if you get money, you won’t have it long.

If you give bad people money, they will be bad people, but with money. If you give good people money, they will be good people, and have money. Money is not bad. Money is freedom.

How is money freedom? Well, what is the price of your free time? How much do you sell your time for? Do you work 40 hours per week? Do you trade 5 days of work for 2 days of freedom?

Is this a good return? How much do you make? In terms of time you are on the losing end: Selling 5 days and getting 2 days in return.

While the amount of money you receive will vary , the simple fact is that the answer is money. You sell your time for money, and you probably don’t even know why.

Because your parents told you to? Society? Our educational system?

Again, don’t get mad at money. I like money, a lot! So I ask again, how much do you know about money?

I present to you, an essay: A Brief History Of Money


 

Introduction:

The history of the development of the human society from the hunter-gatherer societies to the modern worldwide global community, is highly intertwined with development of money.

What is money and what is debt? Moreover, how can paper have so much control over our lives?

Money could be anything from livestock to sacks of grain or sea-shells, precious metals, gyms…etc. that can be considered by the general populace to have value and can be exchanged for goods or services.

Aristotle, in Politics I, argues that money has inherently two natures: a means of exchange and a means to an end.  Although he deliberately ignores explaining the second nature, his work on money is most important since he was one of the first to document the development of money and its rise to power in modern society.

The essence of his analysis lies in the fact that value of money is directly related to the trust and value given to it by the people who exchange them; and that fact has never changed across the centuries.


 

The Barter System:

The hunter gatherer societies of ancient man could be a model of what closely resembles a ‘communist utopia’. Every member of the tribe did the particular task that was assigned to him and the wealth of the tribe was combined and distributed equally (with more going to the chief or best warriors of course.)

It was believed by several historians, philosophers, economists; including Aristotle Adam Smith in his book “Wealth of Nations”, that as the tasks of society became more specialized, a system of bartering was developed. The barter system essentially involved an exchange of goods or services with other goods or services.

The system involved, for example, a grain farmer in need of purchasing fruits. He  exchanges his grains for fruit with the fruit farmer. However, the barter system was fundamentally flawed due to the coincidence of wants.

If, for example, you produce cheese and you need grains, you can only trade with the grain farmer if he wants cheese. Another problem with the barter system is the inability to break the currency fairly. This was particularly a problem for people who traded in livestock. Trading a cow for a kilogram of grains is unfair, but killing the cow to cut into pieces for fair trade might sound reasonable but also devalues the remaining cow. It is from these predicaments that Aristotle and Adam Smith assumed that need of money existed and hence evolved.

The problem with this theory; argues anthropologist David Graeber in his book “Debt the First: 5000 Years”, is that it lies more on personal experience rather than fact. The barter system never died out and today people still use it, even in advanced societies.

Graeber, therefore, claims that ancient societies used to trade on a trust based debt system and gift economies. The system was based on societies that were small enough so everyone knew each other and potential consequences so chances of someone defaulting become low. He argues that in a society like this, if you wan


 

The Rise Of Money:Brief History of Money

The Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent is a region of land stretching from Asia Minor through the Middle East and into Egypt. The Fertile Crescent was host to humanities earliest civilizations. These included the likes of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Sumerians and Phoenicians.

In their early stages, none of these civilizations had a currency in a form we understand today, but they did have a centralized government with taxes and they often traded with each other.

The earliest records of currency usage was traced back to livestock and livestock products like manure, then eventually grains and other plantation were used.

In 4000 BC, the Egyptians are known to have used gold bars as a standard of value. This is important as it set a specific standard when traders went to exchange good. For example, if 100 pounds of manure was worth one gold bar, and 150 pounds of seed was worth one gold bar, then traders could determine that 100 pounds of manure was worth 150 pounds of seed.

Mesopotamia followed the same path and later created the ‘Shekel’, which was a standard set by silver bars.  This same concept was eventually implemented by Great Britain with the British Pound; where 1 pound valued 1 pound mass of silver.

The Mesopotamians, however, were also among the first to use clay tablets as a form of payment and debt collection. Clay tablets were used to keep records of debts between trading interactions.

Lydia

In 600 BC,King Alyattes of Lydia (now part of Northern Turkey) was the first to ever establish a gold minted currency. The coin was minted with a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver known as electrum. The coins were engraved with symbols of animals such as owls and snakes, which denoted the value of the coin and what  it could purchase.

This allowed trade to flourish in the region and was soon adopted by neighboring empires. However, due to its growing wealth,  Lydia drew the ire of the Persians and eventually fell to the Persian Empire.

China

Although they were not the first empire to develop a currency, China’s secluded location meant that most of its developments were of its own innovation.

Around 1100 BC, metal weapons and daggers were miniaturized and being used as currency. Over time, they were rounded, for obvious reasons, and a hole was added in the center so they can be tied together using strings. Eventually, merchants in China started to create ‘debt papers’. Because these ‘debt papers’ were so well documented and supported by the people, these papers eventually became a currency themselves.

As the Chinese organized military grew in numbers and strength, requiring payment through coinage became very inconvenient. The paper currency idea seemed intriguing to the Chinese Government Officials and was eventually instituted.

In 1200 AD, Marco Polo visited China and saw transactions with paper money first hand. Impressed, he was first to bring the idea back to Europe.

Africa

The first currency to develop in Africa was cowry shells and it remained the  dominant source for centuries. In fact, Mozambique was still using cowry shells as currency during the colonial times, even with precious metals and gems available.

Europe

The use of gold coins was transferred from Lydia to the Roman Empire around 500 BC. Before that, metals such as copper and its alloys, particularly bronze and before that obsidian, were being used as currency.

The introduction of gold coins was particularly useful for fueling the colonial desires and conquests of the Roman Empire. Soldiers were now being paid in gold, instead of bronze and plunder.

Since gold is a rare metal, when governments faced shortages they often chose invasion of other nations, or colonizing less developed nations for plunder and to enslave populations to mine for more gold.

 


IOU and Debts:

An IOU, which is the prequel to bank notes, surfaced in times where gold and precious metals used to make coinage was scarce. It was customary then for merchants with safes to store the gold and issue a paper with the value of the gold owed to that person.

Since it was easier to divide the value of paper by issuing new paper than it was to smelt down the gold into smaller denominations, IOUs or ‘debt paper’ rose greatly in popularity.

IOUs became incredibly popular after the foundation of the first official government banks in Ptolemaic Egypt. They were used to make daily payments and most wealthy people kept their savings in the bank. Archeologists have discovered records of these transactions occurring on a daily basis!


Brief History of MoneyDevelopment of Banking:

The fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 9th century gave rise to the Italian City-States that survived. Living on the remnants of their previous glory, the Italian City-States remained an important center for trade in Europe.

The word bank is actually derived from the Italian word “ banca” which means ‘table’, which the money lenders used in order to conduct their business. During this time, Europe, following Christian Doctrine, banned Christians from usury. or the implementation of interest on loans.

However, Jews were exempt from this law, not being Christian and all, and they were the only ones capable of loaning money with interest. They were not viewed upon positively by Christians, but were the only sources of financing since even the most generous of Christians didnt want to lend money to someone with no upside and all down side. Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”, touches on this negative view towards Jews and money lenders.

During this time, several currencies were being used throughout Europe and their value was being calculated based on their gold and silver content. Additionally, this  usually changed based on the current state of the issuing government. Lastly, the Roman Numeral system was being used by many , further complicating most of the calculations required for money conversion and interest calculations.

Liber Abaci

In 1202, Fibonacci, also known as Leonardo of Pisa, published his book “The Liber Abaci”, or “The Book of Calculation”. This offered the first solution to many of the European currency issues. The book was meant to demonstrate the superiority of the Hindu-Arabic numerals, to the conventional Roman numerals. It also included several concepts of interest and debt calculations, money conversions and many other concepts that will be later incorporated in modern banking. This coincided with the return of Marco Polo advocating for the use of paper money.

The Medici

The Medici were a prominent family in the Italian City State of Florence. There were several prominent members, but the most important Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (c. 1360 – February 20/28, 1429). Giovanni set the foundation for modern banks.

Since usury was still illegal for Christians, and the current money-lender industry  had a business model that was highly prone to customers defaulting on their debt, Giovanni reinvented the business. He proposed that he will run a currency exchange business where a small fee would be paid as a percentage of the total transaction which wouldn’t be considered usury.

He also proposed the use of his vaults as storage for deposits from wealthy kings and the Pope. He could then use these money deposits to finance other money transactions as well as return an interest fee to the depositor for using his.

These ideas revolutionized banking in Europe and subsequently made the family incredibly powerful and prominent. The Medici banking network extended throughout all the city states and was highly reliable.  Eventually, it collapsed due to high risk debts where the debtor defaulted. Nonetheless, the business model remains as ghost within modern business models.


Inflation and The Spanish Empire:

In the mid-15th century, the Spanish colonial empire discovered a literal mountain of silver in Bolivia. Using slaves acquired from the indigenous populations of nearby regions, the Spanish empire was capable of producing 160,000 tons of silver between the 16th and the 18th centuries.

This sudden influx of silver gave the Spanish empire extraordinary wealth and turned their country’s currency into a de facto currency in the world. So much so, that the Spanish- Chinese silk trade greatly enriched China with silver and caused them to reform their entire tax system, requiring their citizens to pay taxes with silver instead of what was historically used: grains and labor.

The lack of economic understanding by the Spanish government and their inability to reform taxes due to the huge influx of silver lead to a great inflation in Europe, and even reaching and impacting the Chinese empire. This inflation, coupled with the expulsion of the Jews and the Moors from Spain, eventually lead to several revolutions in the Spanish Empire and their eventual defeat by Elizabeth I of England.


 

Brief History of MoneyBank Notes and The Gold Standard:

Throughout history, the idea of “paper currency with a standard of value tied to gold” was continuously sought for myriad of reasons. The ease of use, the potential to travel and store wealth, and breaking down barriers of trade are just a few.

Although first used by the Chinese as a an attempt to counter their inflation problems, Bank notes soon became popularized in Europe, with much help from Marco Polo. The first bank note was used in Sweden in 1661 by a commercial bank. Following the Spanish inflation, the effectiveness of this idea grew and several other commercial banks began to adopt the concept of issuing paper currency backed by precious metals, gold or commodities.

This was essentially an advanced form of an IOU where a bank pledges to pay the value of paper to the holder in gold. What made this system more advanced than a mere IOU was that whoever was holding the paper could receive the gold, not just who the debt was issued to. This meant instead of trading gold, you could just trade the paper and any government would back its value.

Several measures had to be set where banks should have enough gold reserve to give gold to all bank note holders in case they want to withdraw their gold. However, due to investments and lending mass induced panic have several times threatened to shut down the system as people lost faith in the paper and attempted to withdraw the gold.

In the 1900s the United States also adopted the gold standard. The value of the dollar was tied to gold, meaning at any time you could trade your dollars in for actual gold.

After World War 1, most of the countries had to abandon the gold standard due to the economic depression. This was the result of owing more money than gold reserves. The United States, instead, devalued its money by slightly decreasing the value of the dollar vs. gold. This meant that it now too more money to by the same amount of gold before the war.

Eventually, the gold standard  in the United States was also dropped during the Vietnam War in the 1970s when President Nixon ordered the Federal Reserve to abandon in order to induce a temporary inflation to support the war costs. The intent was to return to the gold standard following the completion of the war.
(For more on how this one decision changed your money for ever, read: What Would You Do With One Million Dollars?)

Fiat Currencies

Most currencies today are known as fiat money rather than commodity money. Contrary to commodity money which is usually backed by precious metals or goods, fiat money is a worthless object that is widely accepted as payment method. Worthless in the fact that other than trading it for goods and services with the belief of value, there is no other use for the currency. For example, if you couldn’t buy anything with your dollar, what could you do with it? Burn it for 30 seconds of heat possibly?

The value of the money is determined by several factors, but it is for the most part determined by the issuing authority and government that guarantees its value. Fiat currency can lose their value under several conditions such as; the populace refusing to accept it, the issuing agency fails to guarantee the value or the destruction of the government. Historically, the biggest factor remains to be the trust of the people and whether or not they believe in their governments ability to back its value.


 

The US DollarBrief History of Money

The history of the US dollar can be traced back to the 1690s, before the United States was officially established. The first Colony to implement paper money was Massachusetts, which used it for financing military expeditions. Soon, other colonies followed. There were British restrictions imposed on the colonies paper money and in 1775 non-British currency was banned when the American Revolution began.

The Continental Congress then introduced the continental currency which did not last long due to insufficient bank support and rampant counterfeiting. This led to the charting of the first national bank in Philadelphia, The Bank of North America, in order to aid government finances. In 1785, the dollar was to become the currency of United States.

In 1792 the Coinage Act helped organize the monetary system of the states as it introduced gold, silver and copper.  In 1861, the Greenbacks or the green paper note was introduced to finance the civil war. Several techniques such as treasury seal was used to combat counterfeiting.  In 1863, the national banking system was drafted by congress in order to allow the US Treasury to oversee the issuance of National bank notes, which in turn, made it easier for banks to distribute money and purchase US bonds.

The Federal Reserve

In 1913 The Federal Reserve Act was issued which established one central bank and organized a national banking system that could keep up the ever-changing financial needs of the States. The board issued a new Federal Reserve Note in 1914 in the form of a $10 bill.

Confederate Money

During the outbreak of the American Civil War, the confederate government in the south issued the Confederate States of America Dollar. It was one of the first perquisites of fiat money as it wasn’t backed by any assets, only simply the promise to pay those who bear it after the South wins.

The faith in the currency started to diminish as the war tilted in favor of the North. Inflation followed, and by the end of 1863 it was worth 6 gold cents and kept on declining. Now the Confederate dollar, also known as “Greyback” is a prized collectible item with many versions.


Electronic Currency:

Today, economic transactions regularly take place electronically, without the exchange of any physical currency. Digital cash in the form of bits and bytes will most likely continue to be the currency of the future.

The problem with concepts like Bitcoin, however, is that they are truly fiat currencies with absolutely no value behind them ever. There is no government willing to go to war to defend its value, and no way to store it other than electronically. This leaves it open to many security issues.


 

Conclusion:

If you have made it this far, congratulations. I appreciate you. This is important stuff. You should study the history of the things you want, and I want money. You should too.

But remember, money is just an idea. And inflation is a small parasite that is constantly eating bites out of your savings unless you are continuing to grow it.

How do you grow it? Income Producing Assets.

These pay you money every month, and also increase in ‘value’ as inflation grows. If you want to build wealth, this is your path.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it!

Brief History of Money

Siddhartha: A Must-Read Novel for Entrepreneurs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FKi_egWMnA

Siddhartha- A Must Read Novel for EntrepreneursIf you want a book review or synopsis for this book, they are easy to find and I will include some links for it. But I am summing it up for you in a different way.

I read a lot of books but rarely read fiction. There are a few mentors of mine that have really pushed 2 new tactics on me recently that they consider very important.

1- Read more fiction.

2- Meditate.

So I am starting with #1, and will let you know if I ever start  #2. I mean, I will start #2 as well (words are powerful).

For reasons unknown, Siddhartha was a book that kept popping up in my life, but especially recently. I had previously read it in middle school, maybe high school, and I believe possibly in college.

I remember it being about a Buddhist searching for enlightenment, but as I will often explain to people, a lot of what you get out of a book depends on where you currently are in life.

As a 30-year-old entrepreneur and father of 1.95 kids (wife is due with Penelope any minute now) I received much enjoyment re-reading this novel. With the internet today, you can learn whatever you want about anything in only a few minutes, but I do encourage you to read this book for the following reason:

“I want to learn from myself. Want to be my student. Want to get to know myself. The secret of Siddhartha.”

Nice touch using a book quote in my explanation, right?

If it isn’t self explanatory, the main reason is that you can only learn so much from other people. Whether its a religion or new business. If you really want to know how others live, you have to live like them. In the case of Siddhartha, he came from a family and community where everyone knew that he would be successful, but he needed more. He needed to know what that really meant.

For him, it meant trying new things. Experiences.

I read this book in just over one day, and really wanted to do a deep dive into what other people thought about this novel. When I tried to do more online research , most of what I found was crap.

This also included a lot of biased information of how the author is just trying to convert you to Buddhism. Maybe he is and I missed the point. But maybe he isn’t and I got everything out of this book that I needed.

As you know, there is a section on the website titled Recommended Reading. For years there have been only 10 books. These were the 10 books that most changed my life from my early 20’s. They helped me get out of debt, start my first company and invest in my first property. I still highly recommend these books and there will always be a spot for them on this website.

However, since then, I have read countless books. Maybe a few hundred? Maybe a thousand. There are some books I keep coming back to and there are many books I take notes on and write myself book reports.

I do this because it helps me get more out of the book. And I also do this because when I re-read the book a few years later I enjoy also reading what I thought about the book when I was younger.

To take a page out of another mentor of mine’s book (pun intended), I am going to start to publish these notes, reports, summaries on this website with links including more information and/or video conversations and discussions.

This will include both fiction novels and also business books. If you have a recommendation, please tell me. But don’t just tell me the book, tell me what it means to you, or what it meant to you when you read it.

The reason most book clubs don’t work out long term is because they are too structured. One book a month? What if the book sucks? What if I read 2 books a week?

At the very least, this is an experiment to see if anyone else out there is interested in this concept. Think of it as access to an infinite book club with no boundaries to time.

In combination with YouTube, Facebook, and this website, I will provide as much value as I can regarding the books I find most valuable.

If you are looking for good books to read, you will find them HERE.

If you are looking to ask a question about a book, you can ask it HERE (Facebook Page)HERE (YouTube Channel), or HERE (Twitter).

I love to read. I have an intense focus on self improvement and when it comes to reading good books I simply cannot read enough.

The fact that someone has dedicated so much time to one topic, lesson, idea or whatever, and then decides to share it with me so that I can learn in a few hours what it took this person month or years to learn is just incredible.

In conclusion to this post, I am going to present a very powerful quote from Siddhartha without comment:

“When you throw a rock into the water it will speed down on to the fastest course to the bottom. This is how it is when Siddhartha has a goal.”

“He is drawn. He lets himself fall. His goal attracts him because he doesn’t let anything enter his soul which might oppose the goal…

This is what fools call magic…

Everyone can perform magic. Everyone can achieve his goals.”

To join the conversation and never miss a book recommendation or post, CLICK HERE to sign up!

To Purchase Siddhartha on Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1LAODI3


Back When I Was Lucky: Unemployed, In Debt, And Living With My Parents

I look around and I don’t think I have ever met anyone as lucky as me. Yes, I was born in America, so I already won the lottery, but it gets better!

I was born in 1984! Why is this important? Because this meant if I followed societies expectations, I would graduate high school in 2003. And I did!

Stay with me…

Because I graduated high school in 2003, this meant I began college a few months later in the fall of 2003. Despite spending a few quarters (University of California Schools are on the quarter system, not semesters) on academic probation (including a personal letter I had to write to the Dean begging to keep me enrolled), I managed to graduate in 4 years, meaning I entered the workforce in 2007!

Do you remember 2007?

In real estate history, 2007 is not looked upon as a positive year. In fact, most of our economy doesn’t look back on 2007 fondly.

You can trace back the peak of the housing market to between 2005-2006, depending on which part of the country you are looking. Prices kept skyrocketing… until they stopped.

Think of 2007 as Wiley Coyote from The Looney Toons cartoon. Prices are about to collapse, but as long as nobody looks down, everyone can buy themselves a few more seconds of ignorance and stability.

So here we are, it’s 2007 and I enter the workforce! Corporate America here I come! How lucky am I?!

I am hired as an assistant marketing consultant for an environmental consulting firm. Sounds pretty neat right? It wasn’t.

But lucky for me after I returned from a 2-week training program in Indianapolis (I was based in Newport, California) only to discover that the boss who hired me had left the company!

How lucky!

So now I had several bosses! Thats cool right? And no ‘real’ job description any more. Thats sustainable, right?

Here’s the thing. I hated my job. I hated my job more than you have ever hated a job. I don’t need to go into details about how I travelled 25 days a month, worked 60-80 hour weeks for extremely low pay while living in a very expensive city that I barely saw except when I was flying into and out of John Wayne Airport, LAX or Burbank (depending one whichever was cheapest or involved the longest layovers).

It is very possible that the greatest attribute any entrepreneur can have is a complete disdain towards working at a job. I consider myself very lucky to have this attribute.

Did I mention I was a coward?

Maybe coward is too strong of a word, but maybe it isn’t. I absolutely despised working at this job. My friends saw it in me.

I was terrible to be around, and any free time I had was usually filled with a lot of alcohol. It went on like this for WAY longer than any sane person should allow.

I was completely unappreciated and at any time I could have put a stop to it.

(My wife and I are currently watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, and all I can compare it to is voluntarily getting up every morning and driving to prison for the day, only to do it all over again the next day.)

So why would I do this? We already established that I was a big fat scaredy cat.

Was it fear of the unknown? What would I do for money?

What would my friends think if I was unemployed?

What would my parents think if I quit my first job?

What would my mom think if I no longer had health benefits?

Whatever it was, it was strong enough to keep me doing something I despised for quite a while. But good thing I am lucky!

By the time the recession reached the west coast, my company had seen at least 3 rounds of layoffs before it was my turn.

I have touched on this before, but I was legitimately “Up in the Air”d.

It wasn’t as bad as getting fired over the computer, but it was a 3rd party company doing the dirty work.

So its 2008. Mid-Recession. I am 24 and unemployed, so I moved back in with my parents! How lucky!

All of these things were happening to me, (for me), and I had no control over them. I was too afraid to quit a job I hated, but was eventually fired! How many people get to experience this level of good luck in their lives? I assume not many.

But I did!

2008. Crazy recession going on. Living at home with my parents, back in Scottsdale and out of California where all my friends and “business connections” resided.

All of my biggest ‘fears’ had come to fruition. How lucky!

Do you know how freeing it is to be so afraid of something, and then to experience it?

Its pretty hard to be afraid of hitting rock bottom if it means moving up a level.

Armed with my only attribute of “never wanting another job again”, I decided I would never have another job again. What was the worst that would happen? I’d end up at home with my parents at 25 instead of 24?

So I took a risk. And then another. And then another. Now these were very calculated risks. In fact, they weren’t really even risks.

After studying Robert Kiyosaki for a few years, I was well aware that he made  lot of money in real estate after the savings and loan crisis of 1987. In fact, he did it in Phoenix. Phoenix is where I was, and there was a new crisis. How lucky!

I begged, borrowed, and stole all the money I could find, in order to buy single family homes in Phoenix. People told me I was crazy to be buying houses. Today, they tell me how lucky I am.

I tell them, I know!!!

I was born in America in 1984. The way the American education system is aligned, this meant I graduated from college after 4 years in 2007. There was a global recession underway that I had no control over. It didn’t start earlier, it didn’t start later.

I was fired from a job I was too afraid to quit.

At age 24, unemployed and a complete failure, I moved back in with my parents.

No one is luckier than me!

In the following years; several companies founded, many houses bought, rented and sold, websites developed and books in the pipeline, a loving wife and beautiful family. All because I am nothing but a big scaredy cat. At least I was.

And no one is luckier than me.

 


10 Business Ideas Where You Can Make Your Own Hours

10 Business Ideas Where You Can Make Your Own Hours

As many of you know, I am a big fan of James Altucher and his “Become an Idea Machine” concept. Its fantastic. If you don’t know what it is, here is a quick break down:

Write down 10 ideas every day.

Pretty easy right? Wrong. Can you come up with 10 ideas a day? 3 or 4 maybe, yes. But 10! 10 is hard. By the time you get to 7 you are really sweating, working that brain muscle of yours! Then 8, 9 and FINALLY 10. Wow, time for a nap.

Only you won’t want a nap. You will be energized! That’s why I encourage this for the first thing in the morning. It’s better than a cup of coffee!

I will expand more on the concept of 10 ideas a day later on, but I wanted to address a question that I am often asked, especially recently.

“If I want Passive Income, what’s the best way to start?”
The thing about passive income is that it’s not easy. It’s actually the hardest type of income to get. It takes the most work, and the most brain power. But once it’s generated, its forever. That is why it’s so important to focus on passive income early on.

Earned income, or the income you get from your job by selling your time, is the easiest income to get. Its why the most people have it and why it’s taxed the most.

To generate passive income, you either need capital to purchase income streams with like rental properties or dividend stocks, or you need to create and sell your ideas. Never in the history of the world has it been easier to reach more people. If you can create content, you can reach people with it.

If your idea of living the Cash Flow Lifestyle means choosing your own work hours, then here are 10 ideas for you that I came up with a few weeks ago. Maybe some of them exist, maybe they don’t? Who knows? Can you come up with 10?

10 Business Ideas to make your own hours

– Handyman service, always in demand, no organization
– E-book author
– Realtor
– Organize high end golf trips, test our courses, blog reviews, write off trips
– Travel blogger: how to do X with only Y dollars
– YouTube content creator, target new parents, we buy anything
– House manager in high end neighborhoods: manage supplies and schedule service appointments and let people in or out of house for working families
– If you live in city, have people deliver packages to your apartment for them to pick up after hours. Work from home and charge small fee based on size.
– Distribute a monthly e-newsletter for a very specific high demand topic: brainstorm ten topics. People sign up $4.99 for the year? Month?
– Create Amazon affiliates account and blog product reviews, sell products on site.

1. Handyman Service:
Good Handymen are very hard to come by and are ALWAYS in need. If you have handy abilities, and basic organization, congratulations, you are a rare commodity! Very easy to promote, and very important to take care of your clientele, but before you know it you will be turning down business. You don’t need a website, just start a Facebook and Google Plus Page, make it searchable. Print out 250 business cards from vistaprint and start networking. Extremely low cost to start up.

2. e-Book Author
“The definition of an expert is someone that knows more about a specific topic than you.” What do you know more about than anyone else? What are you more interested about than anyone else? What two topics do you really enjoy that you could combine into a new category? Congratulations, you are halfway to being an e-book author! There are plenty of books on the subject of self-publishing e-books and I can even recommend a few. Write when you want, publish on Amazon, and then write the next one. Learn as you go and improve. Best advice is to also start a blog to develop those writing skills and habits.

3. Realtor
Becoming a Realtor in most states has a very low barrier of entry. That is why there are so many Realtors. But there are not many GREAT Realtors. This is why the top 1% in every state make more than the other 99%. If you want to turn it into a business, you have to work your ass off. There are plenty of great Real Estate and Sales books I can recommend, but just because you can make your own hours doesn’t mean you can live the high life working 4 hours a week.

4. Golf Blogger/Consultant
I don’t know if this even exists, and if it does thats awesome and if it doesn’t even better! Do you like golf? Then turn it into income! Become a golf blogger, travel the country or even the world playing all the best places. Take photos, start an instagram account and blog about everything you see. The courses, the culture. Hell, this is starting to sound pretty good to me.
There are people that organize all sorts of travel trips, so start organizing all inclusive golf trips. Negotiate with the best courses and nearby hotels and restaurants, get discounts and charge for your service. Test out products and blog about that too. There are no limits here.

5. Travel Blogger
Don’t like golf? Then become a travel blogger. Do all of the same things but with no limits to just golf. Teach people how to travel to Bali on $30 a day or you tell me how much it costs since you are the travel blogger. If you don’t have a house or apartment, and you sell all of your stuff, how much money do you really need to travel? Read Vagabonding or 4-Hour Work Week and find out that the answer is not that much!. What is stopping you?

6. Youtube Content Creator
Like I said, there are so many ways to reach people all you have to do is come up with the content. Start a youtube channel, for free! Add content. Target new parents like me, my wife and I will buy anything for our kids. Hell of a market there.

7. House Manager in Upscale Neighborhoods
My wife and I are both working professionals. We don’t have a lot of free time, and the free time we do have we don’t want to waste it on house management. I always thought I would pay for a service that would handle these tasks for me and bill me at the end of the month.

I can order most of my supplies on Amazon so I can avoid going to the store ever, but sometimes I need more. If there was a service that could manage all my household bills, or dry cleaning 2 times a month, making sure landscaper is paid etc. There is an opportunity here.

How much could you charge? Several hundred dollars a month? More? How many homes would you need to sign up before you are making a few thousand dollars a week?

8. Package Receiver
I don’t live in the city, I have a house. When I order something on Amazon it’s delivered to my house, and if no one home it sits in the courtyard. If I lived in an apartment I wouldn’t want it sitting in the hallway.

If people work during the day, have them deliver packages to your place, and hold them for a fee until the person picks it up. Maybe you work from home during the day, or have a roommate that stays up all night, it could work, maybe?

9. Create a Monthly Newsletter
Find a very specific topic that people are interested in. Maybe something new like Tesla’s new home battery. You would be the first to have a newsletter about it. People that are interested in that batter would be interested in your newsletter. Charge a dollar a month, or $30 per month if it’s good. You don’t need to be an expert yet, start it and become the expert.

10. Create Amazon Affiliates Website
Start writing about products you love, or hate, and have links to purchase them on amazon so you get a cut. Create an amazon affiliates account today. It’s easy. I have one because I read and recommend a lot of books. If you can get a big enough and loyal audience, you have a business.

Conclusion:

Here are 10 ideas. They are just ideas. They can become businesses, but they obviously will take a lot of work. All good things take work. The Cash Flow Lifestyle isn’t free, it takes a lot of work. But the work doesn’t have to FEEL like work. It can be fun, it can be adventurous, it can be scary.

Would a professional golf blogger/consultant feel like work? Sometimes I imagine yes that it would. But what a cool title on your business card!

And whatever path you choose, just remember to take some of all the income you make and invest it into your self first. Start that passive income stream and keep investing in it, every month, forever. Whether you acquire rental properties, dividend paying stocks, or new businesses, just keep adding to it.

Can you come up with 10 ideas? Feel free to steal any of these, or combine any 2 or 3 to make a better idea, just let me know about it!

What did you think? Like this? Hate this? Let me know!


How To Get Rich and Skinny in 30 Days!!! (But Not Really)

How To Get Rich and Skinny in 30 Days!!! (But Not Really)

If you want to lose weight you need to exercise more and eat less. Its really that simple. You can argue all you want about carbs, gluten free, vegan, whatever, but it really comes down to exercising more and eating less.

 

But people like complexity. People like to know more. People like to learn something from somewhere so that they can tell someone who hasn’t heard about it yet and say “You haven’t heard about…….????”

 

If you want to get rich you need to save more and spend less. Its really that simple. You can argue all you want about derivatives, option trading, IPO’s, whatever, but it really comes down to saving more and spending less.

 

But people like complexity… You can see where I am going I’m sure….

 

So why isn’t everyone rich and skinny?

We all know what we should be doing. Why don’t we do it?

 

Well, one reason is that we all don’t really know this. Or rather we do, but we convince ourselves it isn’t true. We argue about carbs and gluten free and then convince ourselves its too complex and difficult, and since we will never lose weight we should argue about how a “A Vegan Diet Really Isn’t Good For You” or “Running Is So Bad For Your Knees”, over a cheeseburger, large fries and a “diet” coke.

 

Same thing happens with your money. You are bombarded with the jargon, get rich quick schemes, “Don’t Miss Out on This Hot Stock!” articles, and of course my favorite: “Sign up now and I will teach you the Secret that Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know” seminars.

 

But really, just save more and spend less, every day, forever.

 

But forever is a long time.

 

30 Days

So why not just do it for 30 days?

 

Don’t budget. Budgeting sucks. Even financial experts that charge you money for their advice don’t keep budgets.

 

Just go one month. 30 days. Don’t do anything drastic, just spend a little less and save a little more.

 

Maybe cook dinner instead of going out? Or if you go out, just drink water instead of soda or alcohol. Or if you are at Starbucks, ask for a large cup of ice water instead of a bottle of water.

 

There are a lot of things you could do throughout the day. For 30 days.

 

Just spend a little less, and save a little more.

 

What? Does it sound too easy? Not complex enough? Well, if you want to invest in the complex stuff we can talk about that. But if you want to invest, you need to have some money. So spend a little less, and save a little more.

 

One Choice At A Time

By enforcing one small but positive habit that is easily manageable, you will start to notice the following:

1. Its not that hard.
2. What if I had started sooner, where would I be?
3. Your good habit muscle will get stronger, and you will expand it into other parts of your life.

 

Maybe spending a little less and saving a little more means going out to dinner less often. So instead you start to cook. Maybe you research some recipes and find you like cooking. Maybe you drink less alcohol and start to wake up earlier and feel more refreshed. Or maybe you go 30 days and end up fatter and in more debt.

 

Who knows? Its only 30 days.

 

Anyone can do 30 days.

 

Can you do 30 days?

 

You Don’t Need To Be An Expert To Get Started, Just Get Started

So don’t make a budget. Don’t worry about forever. Just worry about the next 30 days, one day at a time. Every time you are presented with a choice, remember your goal today is to spend a little less and save a little more. Remember, every single decision should have this goal in mind.

 

Just choose the option that allows you to spend just a little less. How little? Depends on how rich you want to be someday, or how soon you want to be rich.

 

Don’t worry about what you are going to do with the money either. Just spend less of it and save more of it.

 

For 30 days.

 

Anyone can do 30 days.

 

Starting today.

 

 

Jim Carey’s Commencement Address: Overcoming Fear

“You can fail at what you don’t like, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.”- Jim Carey.