So a lot of you guys have been writing in asking me
Joel! Where have you been these past few months? What’s with the lack of posts? Have you given up on blogging?
We aren't interested in just "being more productive". We're in this for the end goal of building an awesome life. Being extra productive is great, having muscles is great, being well hung is great, and doing nofap is great, but nothing has the power to change your quality of life more than money - and the right kind of money.
The right kind of money is money that comes to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you're awake or asleep, working or relaxing. In other words, passive income.
In my opinion, making $50,000 in passive income a year as an entrepreneur is a hell of a lot better than making $120,000 a year at as an accountant or an engineer for two reasons
A) It gives you total freedom of time and freedom of location.
B) Every dollar in entrepreneurial passive income takes you further than every dollar of 9-5 income because you won't be getting taxed out the ass on it.
Freedom of Time and Location
Imagine having the freedom to do whatever you want, wherever you want, on any day of the week without having to worry about how you're going to pay your bills. Whether its in a hotel in Thailand, in a house in Tampa, or in an apartment by the beach in Santa Monica, the choice is yours. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you're good to go.
Sound too good to be true? Plenty of people are already taking advantage of it. Do you have to be a genius to pull it off? Hardly...
Its not "hard" in the sense that its difficult, but it is "hard" in the sense that it takes a lot of effort and creativity.
I could wake up tomorrow morning in a log cabin in West Virginia or a hotel in Colombia and this blog would continue to make me money regardless.
Freedom from Servitude
Whether you love your boss or hate your boss, at the end of the day, he's still your boss. You still have to do as he says, try your best to make him happy, and play the silly political games to move up the ladder in the organization. Even if you do everything right, there's no guarantee you will move up or get the position you're shooting for. It might happen in 10 years or it might happen never.
No matter how hard you work, ultimately, your destiny lies in the hands of your superiors. If you piss off the wrong person, or don't kiss up to the right people, your career and your dreams can be effectively cut short, irrespective of how much you've dedicated to the organization.
Even if everything is going well, there is a hard ceiling on how successful you can be. You can only rise as high as your superiors will allow you to. If they don't want to compromise their own power, or they're incompetent, or there's no pressing urge to allow you to skyrocket your career, you'll stay right where you are.
The best you can hope for are some promotions over the course of decades in small increments. You can hope all you want for a huge promotion that would totally change your standard of living, but there's no way to effectively plan for such an event. On top of all that, there's no guarantee that your company will still be in business 5 years down the road. There's also no guarantee you won't be replaced, outsourced, or take a pay cut when the company is in a slump.
The bottom line is this: Your success as a worker is not a direct function of your time and effort. There are too many important variables that are outside your control. On top of that, there is a very low ceiling for which you can aspire for.
You can aspire for a 10% pay raise next year, but you can't aspire for a 150% pay raise next year. That's completely out of the question... as a worker.
When you turn the tables and put yourself in the position of an owner, a 150% boost in profit is not at all unreasonable. And more importantly, there's significantly less outside factors that would hinder you.
Since your only real boss is the market, they will continue to pay you indefinitely as long as you continue to give them what they want.
Lets take a step out of the abstract and dive into a real life concrete example to get my point across.
Case study - Blogging
As a blogger, my success is directly proportional to my time and effort. There's no outside political factors that place a ceiling on how popular I am or how successful I can be year after year. The only outside factor is how many people I can get to stay interested in the content I have to offer.
Is that within my control? To a large degree, yes it is. There are a number of ways I can make this happen.
I can pour more hours and work into creating good content, my audience will grow and more people will come.
I can launch advertising campaigns and give away lots of free stuff and benefits to readers and subscribers.
I can launch a new product, like a book or a service, which my readers would benefit from.
As a blogger, I can significantly raise my income year after year by *MUCH MUCH* wider margins than I would ever be able to as an employee, all while putting in the same amount of work and dedication.
Significantly Lower Taxes
The tax code in western countries is structured in such a way that employees bear the biggest burden (at least on income tax). As an employee of a corporation, you pay the highest percentage in taxes and you have barely any leverage with which to minimize your burden. More than likely, your tax money is subtracted from your check before you even get paid. Other than stashing away a tiny amount into a 401k or IRA, its practically impossible to get out of shelling out nearly a third of your income to the tax man.
As an entrepreneur, this is not the case. Rather than being taxed on gross income, you get an opportunity to write off as much as you can in operating expenses, depreciation, and business expenditures. For example, if you need to get a new laptop or a new iphone to record videos with, those can be written off. Likewise, if you're taking a friend out to dinner to discuss a potential business deal, that can just as easily be written off as "wining and dining a client". If you need to fly to a certain city to seek out a new opportunity, your tickets and hotel reservations can also be written off as travel expenditures. And all of this isn't even including other credits that may apply to you.
See, this kind of leverage is non-existent as an employee. On top of sacrificing 5 days a week of your precious time and being chained to a fixed geographic location, and living in an eternal state of servitude to your employers, the W-2 employee is burdened with the highest tax rates out of anyone and is left with very few tools to do anything about it.
This is hardly shocking news to anyone, but most people fail to see how ridiculously unfair and rigged the system is against them because they've come to accept it as "normal". They rationalize it as, "well these rules suck, but everyone else has to live by them, so oh well."
That's where you're wrong. Everyone does not live by those rigged rules. Most people do. Perhaps all of your friends and family do. But not those who were smart enough to place themselves in the position of an owner.
While the super rich are able to manipulate the tax system to a much larger degree with their foundations, overseas shell companies, "research and development", and various semi-legal money laundering operations, normal independent entrepreneurs are able to game the system as well, albeit to a much smaller extent.
Although we can't get away with paying close to no taxes like the ultra rich, our burden is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller than what we would be paying as a W-2 employee. No doubt about it.
This is precisely why even if you're making slightly less income (in dollars) as an entrepreneur compared to your regular job, you'd still be better off because you end up keeping a larger percentage of every dollar you earn.
Sounds good, but what's some practical advice on how I can start?
Now that I've sold you on why you'd be a million times better off living as an entrepreneur, the next logical question is, where do I even begin?
Even if you're never owned or operated a business, you probably have some vague idea of common examples.
Common mainstream ideas include...
- investing in real estate
- owning a brick and mortar retail store or restaurant
- coming up with some genius idea for a brand new product and begging investors for hundreds of thousands to millions to fund your startup
- renting out office space and hiring a bunch of employees right off the bat
What do all of these things have in common? They all require a high degree of financial risk, have a high cost of failure, and are extremely hard to maintain. Even if they do have good potential for success, they're still a huge pain in the ass and definitely less than ideal for an entrepreneurial beginner who doesn't have tons of free time and money to spare.
Forget what you've read in the magazines and popular self help books. Forget everything you know about "writing a business plan" for a startup. I'm going to keep things nice and simple and narrow it down to 2 different ventures that are simple, low risk, profitable, and have stood the test of time.
I'm going to show you how its done the ModafinilExpert way.
There are 2 roads you can take...
1) Start a blog and sell digital products
2) Create an e-commerce store sell a physical product
1. The business MUST be Internet driven and NOT location driven. Which means brick and mortar stores, real estate, and any sort of business that resides in a fixed geographical location is completely out of the question. It must exist solely on the Internet, be accessible to anyone with an Ethernet connection, and have no physical maintenance requirements whatsoever such as buildings or tons of equipment thats difficult to move.
2. You must be fairly confident that there exists a market with enough demand for what you have to offer.
3. The business should have a high potential for passivity and profitability. The more passive, the better. And obviously, the more profitable the better.
Let's go over each requirement in detail...
Internet Driven vs Location Driven
Those who fail to stay up to date with the technology of their era are inevitably doomed to fall behind. How many people do you know that still use a horse and buggy to get around? Unless you're Amish, the answer is NONE. They were pushed to the brink of extinction long ago. By the time cars were being mass manufactured and widely available to the public in America, you can bet there were still a whole lot of people who were adamant about sticking to what they've been using for years - their trusty old horse and buggy. They failed to take advantage of the technology of their era and those of us living in the 21st century would consider them morons for making that choice when they had a far superior alternative available to them.
The greatest invention of the 21st century for self made entrepreneurs is without a doubt the Internet. With very few exceptions, if your goal is to be a self made entrepreneur, you would be a fool to even consider messing around with a brick and mortar storefront type business when you have such a far superior alternative - the Internet - available to you.
A brick and mortar store that is physically tied to a geographic location comes with a ton of liability - real estate costs, utilities, maintenance, staff, insurance, licensing and permits, and chains you down to that location. If that weren't bad enough, it gets even worse... It can only be open during the day, Monday through Friday, and can only be available to the people in the surrounding area. The more populated the area, the higher the cost of the real estate will be. Every single day, whether you make a sale or don't make a sale, you will be spending money just to stay up and running.
Why an Online Presence is Superior to Physical Real Estate
What's the difference between selling products through your website vs selling them in a store? Let's start with the obvious. With the exception of the
$15 it would cost you to buy a domain name ($0 if you go through these guys) and the $4 - 10/month you'd have to spend on hosting costs, an online store costs NOTHING to keep up and running. Instead of being limited to your hometown during business hours only, anyone around the world can access your store 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to view your content/inventory and make a purchase without ever leaving the comfort of their home.
A website allows you the luxury of selling both physical inventory and digital inventory. Digital inventory is any electronic file that can downloaded and sold over and over without having to be stored anywhere in the real world. Examples include audio files, video courses, podcasts, e-books, powerpoints, and software. Suppose you have a blog on the Internet that sells a video course product. While you're asleep or awake, dead or alive, anyone anywhere in the world can access your site, download your content, and pay you electronically without you ever being aware of it. Every dollar that comes in is pure 100% profit since it doesn't need to be filtered through employees, maintenance costs, insurance, and a million and one other bills.
Even if you do have physical inventory, the same mechanics apply. You could wake up one morning, spend your day preoccupied with something else, tally up the orders at the end of the day, and ship them out to your customers. Or you could be a part of an affiliate program and recommend someone else's product. In this scenario, a viewer would click a link to be redirected to a vendor who they can buy a product from. The vendor will take care of shipping, orders, and everything else and send you a check at the end of the month as commission.
Regardless of what route you take, the possibilities are endless and your operation can be scaled upwards indefinitely with only marginal increases in expenses.
Be Certain that a Demand Exists
What's the #1 rule of business? If people have a desire for what you're offering, they will be willing to open their wallets and give money in exchange for the product or service that they want. Sounds basic, yet so many people overlook such a simple rule. They're so fixated on "how to make money off the Internet" that they completely forget about this rule. They litter their sites with Google ads, are willing to peddle anything they think will sell, regardless if its legitimate or not, and generally speaking, offer nothing of any real value to anyone.
I knew that ModafinilExpert would be successful before I even got started. I knew intrinsically that a large number of people on the Internet would be drawn to the topics I talk about on this blog and would want to hear the truth from a real down to Earth guy who's honest and not trying to push crap on them just to make a quick buck. If I were to come up with a simple formula for creating an effective blog, it would go something like this...
Step 1: Talk about topics that already have an existing demand, that you have a lot of personal experience in, and that you can offer a unique perspective on that sets you apart from everyone else online.
Step 2: Start like a professional and have your website setup correctly from day 1. Even if you're a beginner, its important to look like a professional, not some scrub with a poorly designed .blogspot or .wordpress site. Get an actual domain name, get professional hosting, and look good from day 1.
Step 3: Allow your personality to shine through and put your own unique, quirky twists on everything. If someone is reading a post made by you, it should be obvious that it comes from you! Infuse your own unique personality and energy into it. Don't fall into the trap of looking and sounding like another robotic, nameless writer on eHow or The Washington Post that nobody cares about.
Step 4: Consistently upload content and diligently follow up with your audience. Respond to every single comment, every single email, and Always Be Creating more content. Quantity is important in the beginning stages, but it should never come at the expense of quality. Its better to publish something amazing once every week or two than mediocre garbage on a daily basis.
Step 5: Market yourself well. Start building an email list from day 1. Offer attractive affiliate programs that incentivize other bloggers to promote your products. There's a lot that goes into this topic and I could write an entire book on it... The most important concept to take away from this is, if you look good and you're offering something of value, people will find you through search engines and through word of mouth. Your audience will naturally grow over time as your content grows, provided you're doing a good job of following step 1.
Walk the Fine Line between Passivity and Profitability
Passivity is basically a measure of how much work (or lack of work) you have to put into a process or product in order to profit from it. For example, if someone clicks on an Amazon affiliate link and makes a purchase, that's an example of 100% passivity. It requires absolutely zero effort on your part. If you have an ebook that can be digitally purchased and download, that would have 80 - 100% passivity depending on whether or not you continue to market it. If you sell some sort of fitness program that requires you to stay in close contact with your clients and diligently track their meals and their progress, that offers very little passivity.
Just because something is passive, doesn't necessarily mean its profitable. Sometimes, the most profitable path will require a lot of work on your part (like running an online store). With that being said, you always want to strive to achieve as much passivity as you can get away with, without compromising too much on profits.
If you want to be successful at this a year from now, you have to start yesterday
If you've been at this for a grand total of 2 months and have yet to see the bank rolling in, don't waste my time asking when success is going to fall into your lap.
That depends entirely on you.
How badly do people want what you have to offer? How many hours are you willing to put into it? How dedicated are you to perfecting your craft?
All of these factors are entirely in your control. I can give you all the great advice in the world but ultimately, I'm not going to be standing behind your shoulder and following up with you on how well progress is going.
This is a very profitable road that gives way to an amazing lifestyle that wouldn't be otherwise possible, but its also a lonely road. Don't be surprised if you receive no moral support from anyone or if all your friends think you're stupid for even trying something like this.
It doesn't matter if anyone else believes in you. They have no control over your success. If you believe in yourself and you put yourself out there, you will learn, adapt, and succeed over time.
Put in the work, pay your dues, and join the club.