The ONE Thing That RICH People Buy – That The Poor and Middle Class Don’t! (Life Changing Free Tutorial!)

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Suitcase Full Of Cash
Photo – pixabay.com (PD)

INTRODUCTION



Once upon a time, a famous wealth coach explained simply that there is one key difference between those who get rich and those who don’t. His explanation was very simple – and absolutely correct…

It is all based on what they spend their money on:

Poor people buy “stuff” – things that are not essential.

Middle class people buy “liabilities” – things that make you look rich but in fact continue to cost you money.

On the other hand, the wealthy buy assets – with an asset being defined as “something (you own) that pays you”.



Those who are on a path toward true wealth invest as much of their money (and time) as possible in assets, whereas others either spend their income on things that are non-essential or things that continue to cost them further money.

(Note that the “old” definition of an asset is that it is simply something you own, or hold the title for, that is worth money. The word derives from the Old French – asez, meaning “enough, a sufficient amount”. In Law, the term might be applied to denote the opposite of debts, or “goods sufficient to discharge or cancel debt”. In Accountancy, the meaning is slightly different, and “assets and liabilities” are listed in separate columns of a Balance Sheet. But in each case, assets were quantified as things you own with a salable value.)

In this free tutorial we are going to be talking about the entrepreneur definition of the word. This concept of assets includes the typical things people imagine as assets – such as money, real estate, stocks and funds. It also includes “intangible assets” – as mentioned in accounting – also known as intellectual property; such as patents, compositions, books, images and profitable business systems.

We are going to explain what assets really are and how they work. We will then explore ways to put them to work in your life to gain prosperity.

INNER AND OUTER ASSETS



Assets can take a huge variety of forms – and are not limited to the set of “material assets” such as money, real estate and stocks. There are many other types of asset which are not often considered, but are absolutely vital to understand.

I have expanded the concept of assets to include not just items you own or control that earn you money but inner qualities that can be “put to work for you” to earn you money – such as knowledge, reputation and skills. I have called these things the non-material assets. They are the “missing piece of the puzzle” and the “master key” to the creation of material assets that several of the writers on the subject of wealth completely ignore.

Although many will argue that Material Assets are the most important, and that they are the “real” assets, I counter this idea: It is ALWAYS from the non-material assets that the material assets are ultimately created – therefore I urge the reader to consider the Non-Material Assets as having at least as great a value – although it is often harder to quantify and measure. Non-material assets typically need to be developed first.

Both inner and outer assets, if applied in the right way, can lead on to automated income.

HOW TO ASSESS THE VALUE OF AN ASSET

People often state their worth, or their wealth, to be the salable value of the items they own. However, this “standard view” is only part of the picture – and according to the entrepreneur’s viewpoint, it’s a somewhat false way of looking at things.

A better way to look at the value of your assets might be to consider this: An asset’s real value is in how hard it is working for you, or how much money it is earning you (or how much it is enriching your life).

You might have something which is supposedly worth a certain amount on paper – but if it is “unnecessary”; bringing you perhaps “small joys”, you are not able or willing to sell it, and it is not generating revenue for you or increasing significantly in scarcity or value, then it could in a sense be seen to be worthless! It is what I will call a dormant asset.    

On the other hand, if you had a business that was generating a steady revenue of $20,000 per month, it would be working hard for you and affording you significantly more freedom than treasures that make minimal gains – or perhaps cost more in upkeep than they are generating in revenue.

Wouldn’t it be better to have that wealth tied up in something that continues to pay you? If you want your wealth to start working for you, I believe it best to do one of two things: activate it (i. e. somehow bring it to the point where it can bring in money), or consolidate it (exchange it for another asset which can work harder for you and earn you more money).

A simple example of a dormant asset which might be activated is an unfinished book that you are writing…. An example of a dormant asset which might be consolidated is a stock which is not making any real gains, or perhaps an antique that is gathering dust in the attic: It might be better to trade it in for something that will work harder for you.

YOU ARE ALREADY ASSET RICH

The good news is that you actually have more assets than you realise. Study this tutorial for insight into how to structure your assets for maximum profit and, hopefully, passive revenue.

LISTING YOUR ASSETS

You almost certainly have many more assets than you think you do. The following section will help you to consider the full “spectrum” of your assets and what to do with them. Listing them in full may help you to see new possibilities and I suggest to create a spreadsheet that can be your ongoing, private window into your finances.

ALWAYS BE INVESTING

Seek to make everything you do an investment in the future. Others have defined the path to happiness as your earnings being greater than your expenditure but I am going to tear that up and throw it in the recycle bin.

The new, upgraded version 2. 0 definition is this: The path to happiness is not only when your earnings are greater than your expenditure, but when you are investing the difference in more assets and moving towards freedom!

PART 2 – THE MATERIAL ASSETS

Chapter 2 delineates the classic set of “material assets” – as considered by so many to be the ultimate prize and true measure of a person’s wealth….

MONEY

Cash. Paper. Dough. Bread. Liquid funds. Readies. Lucre. Ask most people what one physical item they would most like and the chances are that they would opt for a pile of cash.

Good ole’ cash money is truly considered by most to be the asset par excellence… but it actually is not! This is very important to understand – and many of the truly wealthy do not consider cash as the best form of asset.

Think about this:Cash is a kind of dormant asset. In and of itself it just sits there. It does no work for you. It cannot grow unless it is invested in something; it can only shrink. And does it ever shrink!

I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep much cash, unless you are in a trading business or something similar which requires you to make instant purchases. I would recommend investing cash in other forms of asset as fast as reasonably possible – because otherwise, cash disappears. Ever notice its habit of doing that… all by itself? It inevitably gets spent! Always. A true asset should remain solid and continue to pay you.

I think of cash, in all honesty, as a kind of “feelgood” asset – one with an enormous power to pump up your emotions. Is there anything that makes you feel rich in quite the same heady way as a fat wedge of bills? Watch out for those feelings. They are a kind of comforter – but this is a poor substitute for an asset strategy.

Some will state that having liquid funds is essential to business – because it gives you the power to move when the time comes. While this is true, it also gives you the power to make impulse purchases – and as I have investigated in depth in 60 Secrets Of Wealth – most of those who have a pile of cash, burn through it quite quickly.

But don’t just take it from me; take it from one of the most financially-savvy investors of all time: The super-rich Warren Buffett, famous for his massive wealth accumulation, said in an often-quoted piece in the New York Times:

“Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn’t. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value.”

REAL ESTATE

This could be houses, land, commercial buildings. These things are assets both in the sense that their resale value can often increase over time, and they can earn money when rented out or used as business premises. Real estate can almost always be put to work and used to generate income.

Property investment is viewed today as one of the classic ways to great wealth. Huge increases in house prices in the last fifty years have seen many investments multiply enormously in value.

However, real estate is not failsafe. I know plenty of people who treated their real estate like a “cash cow”, assuming that it would keep on giving for ever, and who either sucked all the equity out of their property through refinancing, or who allowed the places to become run down through neglect or poor tenant management. Real estate can be an incredibly strong performer, but only if you do it right.

PROPERTY (i. e. belongings, not real estate)

Certain items – usually luxury goods, collections, antiques or other “treasures” can increase in value over time. A good example is the famous Steinway Grand Piano. These, if looked after, can sell for much more than their original purchase price. Not only this, but they can be a source of joy – and also possibly a means toward further income – if you are a piano teacher, musician or concert venue owner for example.

Steinway has provided surprising figures to demonstrate this increase on their web site.

One factor to bear in mind with items in this category, is that there may well be additional costs incurred in their maintenance, protection and preservation. Moth and dust do indeed corrupt! Unless you find some other way to leverage off the ownership of such items, (for example through trading, consultation or rental) I would not consider them to be a “fast track to wealth”. However, they may earn you some money while you sleep and may be tremendous long term investments if you have the wherewithal to care for them properly. Interesting collections and treasures could also possibly earn revenue if an admission fee can be charged for their viewing. Also, they can be used to attract visitors who might then spend money in other ways.

PROFITABLE BUSINESSES

Ownership of a profitable business is seen as one of the ultimate ways to get rich. A business can be an asset which can bring in enormous revenue – both from operating profits and if offered for sale. Most businesses require a period of immense hard work to get them off the ground and into profitability – but the development and sale of businesses is widely regarded as one of the royal roads to financial independence. Also, there is the possibility with some businesses of auto-pilot revenue. Of course, businesses can be risky enterprises – and it’s a common aphorism that “most small businesses fail’.

Of particular interest from the point of view of making money while you sleep are businesses which you are able to set up and then run with minimal future involvement. There are an enormous number of possibilities here – but one of the main considerations, is that the factor of diminished future involvement in a business will very often depend on whether that was part of the plan in the first place. Put simply, businesses that are going to free you will most likely need to be planned that way from the start – either that or generate such profits that you are able to sell them; or hand the baton of management over to someone else.

It is difficult to transform a business from something that requires all of your time into something that can run without you being there – and one of the paradoxes of modern business is that very often an enterprise that was set up by the founder as a means to free them, ends up enslaving them and putting them under much greater pressure than the old job they left behind to start a new life!

Internet-based businesses which have automated processes are of course one good area to investigate. As is often said, the internet is a store that is open 24 hours a day! And with the coming era of increased automation and artificial intelligence, I predict that all sorts of new computer-based businesses which run themselves will appear within the next 10 or 20 years. This has already begun.    

Another area of investigation would of course be businesses that can be run by staff / outsourced. If for example you have set up a business which profits $100,000 per year and you have found a manager who can run it for $50,000 per year, then the business is going to earn you money while you sleep.

“CLASSIC INVESTMENTS” and STOCKS

Savings accounts, Bonds, IRAs, Mutual Funds, Stocks… these are things that fall into the category of what I call classic investments. I use the word classic to differentiate them from other ways to invest money (which by the definition of this book means to spend money on assets of all kinds).    

There are many options and possible strategies for investment of this sort – and possibilities of great gains – or losses – while you sleep.

One example of an ultra-easy investment to create is a savings account. Like most others, I agree that it’s a sensible policy to have one of these. Although the money in a savings account doesn’t work very hard for you, it is one of the most secure forms of investment – and so makes an excellent place to store emergency funds. Some recommend keeping emergency funds to the value of 3 months earnings.

LICENSABLE OR SALEABLE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

This asset is a classic example of work which can be completed and then continue to earn you money for a very long time. Some examples of intellectual property might be original music, art, books and articles, studies, tutorials and research, software, screenplays, patented processes / inventions, films, photographs, graphics and videos.

Licensing is very often the key word here; and when this is considered in the light of opportunities created by digital media and the internet, there are a myriad of possibilities for exploitation of your work. (In this context, the word exploitation means simply to use profitably – as opposed to the other, more negative meaning of the word). Other things too can be licensed – such as profitable business systems – and I would go so far as to say that an understanding of the way licensing works is a vital key to making money while you sleep. A quick example – in the field of art, in addition to selling original paintings, there is the possibility not only of selling prints and cards, but of selling to others the right to use the imagery – on all things from posters to coffee mugs.

The best intellectual property can be a lifetime’s source of revenue – and of course in the digital age, costs of replication have been minimized. However the down side is that it can be unpredictable, as fashions and technologies change.

Perhaps the greatest danger in this path is that the internet has permitted the wholesale redistribution of intellectual property, often without consent (or profit) to the copyright owner! It is hard to predict how this game is going to play out and whether ‘downloaders’ will continue to run amok or whether new systems and laws will protect the owners of intellectual property more effectively.

Many people attempt to “get rich fast” in the various fields of intellectual property, and having worked for several years in this area I would say that the most common pitfalls are:

1)Composers, authors, etc. sometimes have a great understanding of their craft, but a poor understanding of the business elements of their trade. Knowing how to present, exploit and market your content is often as essential as having the good content in the first place.

2)Many concentrate on gimmicks, trick marketing or sensationalism in order to generate fast revenue – but the real money is typically made by products that are of a higher quality than the majority, and are therefore more enduring. Quality really is the key. If you for example compose better music or write better literature than anyone else of your generation, it will probably be making you money while you sleep beyond your lifetime!

3)In the information era, there is so much free information out there, that a knowledge of how to profit from intellectual property is as important as actually being able to create it in the first place.

A catalogue or body of work can be a tremendous asset. One strategy that authors and composers have used in this regard is volume and some have capitalized on the sheer amount of work they have out there.

For an example of the power of intellectual property licensing to make you money while you sleep… consider Bill Gates!

TOOLS / EQUIPMENT / WORKSHOPS / STUDIOS

These are items which can earn you money while you sleep through rental. A classic example might be that of a freelance music producer with their own recording studio. Let’s imagine our industrious producer works in their studio for 50 hours per week. This means that the studio is unoccupied for 118 hours per week! This provides a fantastic opportunity to earn money while sleeping: Already having one source of revenue, our producer might be able to offer lower rental rates than competitors and gain significant income. The same concept applies to any other workshop or studio space – there is the potential to open it to others for a fee. A classic “money while you sleep” strategy!

The above is also a classic example of a vertical business strategy – leveraging another income stream from existing assets.

For someone looking to do something like this, the “vertical” revenue potential can be a way to raise finance in order to afford their “dream studio” or workshop. The key here is to investigate tools which are in high demand, yet are financially out of reach for many, and which would also benefit your own work. Having such a facility could not only generate a passive revenue stream, but empower your own work. It is important to assess the actual demand for the kind of facility you are considering.

Another factor to take into consideration is that there will be inevitable wear and tear to equipment through additional use, and additional maintenance costs.

VIRTUAL REAL ESTATE

Put simply, virtual real estate is web sites, domain names and other forms of internet presence.

Any web site, web page or even a web 2. 0 profile can be seen as an asset if it generates revenue or drives traffic.

In many cases, web sites and domain names – especially ones which drive traffic or generate revenue, can also have significant resale value.

“PERSONAL REAL ESTATE”

Anything that you own, that is often seen by others, can potentially be used as advertising space and used to drive auto-pilot revenue. This is not everyone’s cup of tea – but it does have potential. I have called this concept “personal real estate. ”    

A simple example of this would be to attach a magnetic sign and a business card holder to the outside of your car. It will be seen by many people and can potentially generate much business, drive web traffic or even sell products through an automated online system with no further effort.

There are many other examples and possibilities here, and all kinds of ways this concept can be expanded upon.

SUMMARY

What are your existing material assets? How much money is each of these earning you? Is this amount increasing or decreasing? Which of these assets are truly working for you and which ones are just sitting there? How much effort is required to maintain them? What are your existing debts?

How much money can you save every month? How much can you save every day? Can you consolidate your debts? Can you sell anything you are not using or which is not earning you any money? Can you reorganize your assets into a form where they are working harder for you?

PART 3 – NON-MATERIAL ASSETS

“Broke is a temporary condition. Poor is a state of mind” — Sir Richard Francis Burton.

“You are your wealth. ” — Anon.

INTRODUCTION

Non-material assets do not belong to the classic set of assets as perceived by so many to be definitive. However, they are in every way worthy of equal consideration, and I contend, in fact, that they are actually more important. They are not as tangible and easily measured as a fistful of cash – but it is from the non-material assets that the material assets flow.    

You, at the end of the day, are your wealth. The things you have gained, you have created a result of your own wealth as a person… material wealth flows from you as a manifestation of your inner qualities and their value. This is not some nebulous “new age” idea – it is absolutely true – and a vital concept to understand. So, concentrate on you first – your value as a person – and all things will come to you.        

Many rich people have confidently stated that if you took away all their material assets, they could regain them all by applying their inner assets – their knowledge, skills, experience etc. Why is it that we hear this so often? It is because they know that their non-material assets will enable them to create more assets – and that because of who they are they will be able to attract investment and OPM (other people’s money) to leverage for new ventures.

This is a classic demonstration of a person being their wealth – and a perfect example of how material assets are ultimately created from within.    

One of the best things you can possibly do is to invest in you! It can be hard to do this, when surrounded by the needs of life… but it is a simple fact: Instead of going out there grasping desperately after whatever you can get, concentrate on developing and improving yourself in every way. Make yourself invaluable, useful, desirable – in expertise, all things. Learn to sell. Learn how to become valuable and how to give value to others. You will be able to command higher fees, attract new clients and hold on to existing ones more easily. You are your most important asset and your greatest leverage.

Here’s a list of non-material assets. I think I have covered it, but there may be more. See if you can come up with others!

HEALTH: The most valuable asset of all.

(Note – I am not a healthcare professional – and therefore anything I say on this subject should not be seen in any way as professional medical advice or as a substitute for consultation with a professional. )

Health enables all further endeavors; lack of it prevents them. Together with time, it is THE most valuable thing you possess, and the greatest asset you can possibly invest in. Learning about ways to improve your health and vitality can be of enormous benefit to your life.

An old, wise and very wealthy man once said to me, as he gestured towards his magnificent home with a wave of his hand, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much”. The implication was clear (although the two are not mutually exclusive): Given the choice, he would take his health over his possessions any day.

Look after your health. It’s that simple. So, follow the motto that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and take care of yourself. It is widely held that you can greatly diminish your chances of illness by eating well, reducing stress, avoiding toxins and taking regular exercise. You will not find it so easy to set up systems that make money in your sleep if you are incapacitated and paying huge medical bills!

Make sure to leave a little time for rest and recuperation. Listen to your body. If you are tired or run down, rest. If you get sick, it will knock a bigger hole in your time, and your assets. Learn your limits – and learn to love yourself!

TIME

“You can have anything except my time” — Napoleon

“Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug. ” — Jon Lithgow

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste. ” — Henry Ford.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. ” — The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam

I think of time as probably the second most valuable of the non-material assets – although there are others who give it prime importance.    

Time is an interesting and unique asset; it has its own set of rules and behaves differently to all other forms of asset. It is quintessential to learn to manage it well and use it properly.

One of the master keys to using time well is to appreciate its nature as a finite commodity. It can be cast carelessly and wasted; or invested wisely in pursuits which will yield harvest. Unlike other assets, you are born with a greatest supply of it you will ever have, and this supply dwindles as you age.

You get just one chance at any given day and then it is gone. When you look back, years later, what will be the things that matter? What will you wish that you had done? The time to start doing those things is right now.

Using your time well

The present moment could be said to be the sum total of all your past moments. Our present condition is the result of all our past choices and experiences – and the ease and grace of our lives in the present is to a great extent the result of our previous actions. Similarly, the ease and grace of our lives in the future will depend to a great extent the result on our present actions.    

Therefore, invest your time well. Choose self improvement; acquire skills, knowledge, good relationships and of course material assets – and life stands a greater chance of becoming easier rather than harder as it goes on.

Anything that saves you time creates more of this valuable asset, which can then be used for the things you want to do, and for expanding your other assets and ways of making money while you sleep. One of the fundamental principles of time management is setting up systems that will save more time in the long run than they cost to set up. In a similar manner to setting up profitable systems, good time management systems require a little time investment up front, and then continue to pay off.

REPUTATION

Your reputation is a key inner asset. An excellent reputation can work for you while you sleep, bringing you opportunities and profit galore. So how is it that reputation is to be improved? Simply by proven reliability, punctuality and honesty – in work, dealings, promises, agreements and friendship etc. Actually being faster, cheaper and better – rather than just claiming to be.

Developing and increasing reputation is a fantastic overall marketing strategy. There is truly nothing in marketing better than people saying how amazing you are. Reputation leads to the best form of sales – repeat sales – and is key to making money while you sleep. Let’s say you worked hard to make the sale for your first product. If it was great, you have a strong chance to make the second without further effort. There are writers whose work I will pretty much automatically buy when I come across it. This is not because I am a “collector”. It is because their stuff is solid – and I know that I will want it in my library. This is the key to making money while you sleep. People talk – and so very often with the most successful people, it is others that are doing their selling for them.

A fundamental part of reputation is keeping your word. This is a twofold skill – it involves consistently doing what you have said you are going to do, and being careful what you say! Guard your reputation with your life and do everything you can to improve it. I am not talking about “reputation management” – which is often a polite term for “covering your ass”. I’m talking about actually being the best – so that people recommend you.

IDEAS

“Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle. ” — Ken Hakuta.    

Many people think that “only a few people have great ideas” – but the truth is that most people have brilliant ideas; they just don’t have an idea retention strategy. Being an “ideas person” is something you can learn.

Create an ideas notebook. Or a document that always sits on your computer desktop, or get a pocket voice recorder, whatever. The main thing is, it has to be very accessible to you wherever you are. I have an ideas folder on my computer that has been growing for over 10 years – and continues to pay me back.

Get into the habit of keeping your idea record with you at all times. Ideas can strike at any moment – and very often it seems to be when you are having fun, relaxing or in the middle of doing something else. In the past I used to buy hardback notebooks, with plain unlined paper and an attractive cover. Subconsciously this has a good effect on me, it encourages me to think of my ideas as special, important, noble, something to be proud of. However, now I have an iPhone with the voice memo feature… and I just press a couple of buttons and talk into the phone – I can download it later. One of the good things about this is that it can often be done “on the run” – and people just think you are talking to another person at the other end of the phone…

Get into the habit of noting your ideas as soon as they happen… however trivial or random they may seem. You don’t necessarily have to follow it through to the end, there and then. The purpose is to let your imagination run riot and get down anything you think might be fun, creative, clever, useful, profitable, beautiful or would solve problems for yourself or others. So my ideas books contain sketches of robot devices, countless crazy imaginary inventions, names for books or songs, descriptions of the perfect sound system, graphic designs… anything and everything. I love my ideas books. They are places of inspiration and hope; worlds of color, creativity, idealism and dreams.

Just make enough notes to keep the essence of it. Wild ideas. Cool names for things. Funny sayings that would make a great t-shirt. Possible business ventures. Anything and everything which might one day be useful.

Don’t censor your ideas from yourself. Allow yourself a space to go wild… don’t limit your creative imagination in your ideas book. Very often, from pure flights of fancy, instinct and absurd imaginings, come brilliant plans.

You’ll be amazed at just how many brilliant ideas you actually have – but unless you keep an organized record of them, 90% of them slip away and are forgotten.

You’ll also be amazed at how in a few years time, you might be looking back through your old ideas books when you see a fantastic idea which you had forgotten about, and which can be put to work.

Another note – You don’t have to use all your own ideas – You can sell them, license them (see chapter #39 of “50 Ways To Make Money While You Sleep”) or pass them on to others.

Your ideas documents could be some of your best assets. But be aware that unless they are implemented, they come to nothing. Everyone needs brilliant ideas – but the most successful business people not only have them; they know how to hold on to them and how to put them to work. An idea – in and of itself – is only as valuable as the success with which it is implemented.

RELATIONSHIPS (i. e. everyday relationships as opposed to romantic relationships)

A hugely valuable asset! Your ability to conduct worldly affairs depends on them. Your ability to sell to someone depends on their level of confidence in you – therefore it is always worth investing in relationships. This can mean anything from taking a knowledgeable person out to lunch, through to going the extra mile to ensure genuine customer satisfaction. It’s worth it. Be the best! People talk. And if people are saying good things about you while you sleep…. well, you know the rest!

The most effective way to improve relationships is simply to focus on the needs of the other person. Thus it is said that the best sales people are those who make their primary intent to seek solutions for their clients rather than aggressively seeking sales.

Even if you work for yourself at your computer, you have a community – and choosing well which relationships to invest in is an essential strategy for success.

One of the most famous books on relationships of all time is Dale Carnegie’s 1936 classic “How To Win Friends And Influence People.”

NETWORK

Your network is your overall reach. It includes people you know, and also communities that you are a part of – whether these communities are local to where you live or online communities. Developing a network can be essential to some fields – and effective methods of reaching these people can be of great benefit in marketing.

FOCUS

A true warrior is not so called because they are bristling with weapons, and strike terror into your heart with their piercing glare which would suggest that they could chop you into pieces if you dared to say the wrong thing.

This is a poor, machismo definition of a warrior and has nothing to do with the kind of warriorship I am talking about here. A true warrior is someone whose battle is against their own weaknesses. A master warrior has mastered the art of self control. In other words, focus. They are a person of determination, spirit, perseverance. One of the most memorable quotes about focus, from author Carlos Castaneda, states that the supreme virtues of the “impeccable warrior” include “control, discipline, forbearance and timing”. These things will serve you well in business, as well as other fields. It’s all about focus at the end of the day.

SKILLS AND TALENTS

In the course of your lifetime, you have amassed a veritable hoard of skills, knowledge and talents. You have never stopped learning since your earliest days. You are a treasure trove! Although this might seem like stating the obvious, it should not be overlooked. An experience of youth or a simple thing learned in childhood can very often be the spark of inspiration for an entire career.

“What things might I be able to do with the skills, knowledge and talents I have? “For example if you can type, some things it could help enable you to do might be: Write a book; data entry; write articles for a magazine; create copy for web sites; write love letter templates which you can sell online while you sleep….

I encourage you to write a list of your existing skills, listing all the things you are good at, no matter how obscure. See how many possibilities you can list. Even the small, seemingly insignificant skills and bits of knowledge you have, may be of use.

Then, look at the entire document as a whole, and start to see further things you could do with your skill set.

The objective here is to uncover your special abilities. I believe everyone has them – it’s just that some people haven’t figured out what their real specialities are. It took me years to uncover some of mine. Often they are a result of combinations of existing abilities that you have, that you may not have seen previously.

For example, writing was one of my hidden skills. I was fortunate enough to have received a first class education – from both my father, to whom I am deeply indebted, and some excellent school teachers. After that I became involved in other careers which had little to do with writing. However, without ever deciding “I am going to be a writer”, I found myself naturally writing, typing, researching and studying in my spare time… and without realizing it, merely through doing my thing, I developed many of the abilities of a writer. I had a strong natural inclination towards writing. Now that I look back at my notebooks, musings, ramblings, ideas, sketchbooks – gigantic piles of paper and megabytes of data – it’s hilarious that I never realized this! And it suddenly dawned on me, after years, that I could actually make a possible successful career avenue out of authorship – not only that, but I had a great head start with the volume of material I had already written.

SELF ESTEEM

This one is subtle, yet of great value. From self-esteem comes both the confidence to think for yourself and freedom from the need for constant external validation. Free yourself from the need to be admired and envied by everyone around you, and you have lifted a great burden from your own shoulders. And you will command your other resources with greater power.

The best way to improve your self-esteem is to dedicate yourself to self-improvement. Knowledge that you are investing in yourself, and that you see your path clearly, will naturally increase your self-esteem .

If you do not respect yourself, you might constantly need to try to boost your confidence with compliments from others. And you might spend your time and fritter your assets trying to gain approval.

It is often remarked that the truly wealthy are not as ostentatious as the middle class. It is my belief that this comes from self-esteem. The freedom from the need to impress is actually one of the keys to wealth building – simply because the need to display wealth usually results in spending it, rather than investing it! Apply the following metaphorical saying to your wealth: “Talk quietly but carry a big stick. ”

You will find it a lot easier to build assets if you are free from the need to impress. Free from the need to impress, you will be able to reduce spending dramatically, and will be able to think clearly. Thinking clearly, you will be better able to see opportunities and recognize dead-ends. You will be able to move more decisively and wisely.

Not only that, but your friendships may be more true – and there is nothing finer.

KNOWLEDGE

Genuine expertise / specialist knowledge can of course be an invaluable asset.

A leading expert in any given field will typically have little difficulty in finding work if need be. There are also many other ways in which knowledge can be capitalized on – such as the creation of intellectual property or new business ventures.    

You’ll find that many of the major methods of making money while you sleep require some form of specialist knowledge. It’s important to note, however, that specialist knowledge needn’t set you up for a lifetime of toil. It depends how you apply it. Using the right methods, you can use your specialist knowledge in ways which continue to develop your other assets while you sleep – whether these are revenue, greater expertise, web traffic, acquisitions of other kinds – or other.    

And of course, applying your understanding of curves and the rise and fall of things, you can choose to study subjects which are likely to be relevant, useful and which will give you the greatest future leverage.

PART 4 – ASSET MANAGEMENT

“A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff. ” — George Carlin

INTRODUCTION

This section is of great importance, because asset management is one of the absolute fundamentals of wealth. If you are a Master of asset management, you will always be finding good ways to put your assets to work for you.

These are the five basic underlying tenets to asset management:

How much you earn.

How much you spend.

How much you invest.

What you invest in.

What you get rid of.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD ASSET MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

There are many example of people who have made – and then spent – astronomical sums of money. Earning large sums of cash without an asset management strategy is like pouring thousands of gallons of water into a sieve: It really doesn’t matter how much you earn, it will all fall through and be gone. This point is incredibly important – yet so very often overlooked. Most people really think that in order to be set up for life, all they have to do is “hit the jackpot” one time.

But there are numerous stories of lottery winners who after a few years have no more money than when they started…

The reality is that a pile of cash is not the end-point of your need for financial focus. Cash disappears – always – no matter how large the pile. Financial freedom is about your earnings being consistently greater than your expenditure, and about knowing what to do with your earnings.

I’ve seen it happen numerous times – but this story is also close to home as my own family inheritance was destroyed in this way: Two relatives of mine, “Handsome George” and his brother, were the sons of a rich industrial tycoon and inherited the family fortune, a quarter of a million pounds, in the mid 19th Century (a proper fortune in those days, equivalent to at least 30 million dollars now without any interest earned)…. and burned through it all in……. six months. The “family joke” was that they spent it on “fast women and slow horses”, and everyone had a good laugh; but as the old French saying goes I “smiled through my teeth”.

The big fix will not cure you

If you have poor asset strategies, flash in the pan methods of making quick bucks will not solve your financial problems! Everyone’s trying desperately to pull down that fast score – but they have no net to keep it in and so, even if they score, the money evaporates! A great majority – especially fledgling entrepreneurs – think that “cash injections” are the cure for their financial maladies. They are not. The cure is having good asset strategies and sticking to them.

Such asset strategies include: Good money management skills (especially in the allocation of funds into the different areas of one’s life); creating and sticking to a structured long-term plan for development of both material and non-material assets; and habitual investing as opposed to habitual spending.

Cash injections may alleviate symptoms in the short term, but they are absolutely not the real road to financial health: Don’t get hooked on them! If you have no real asset strategy, wealth creation or money management skills, you end up back where you started, no matter how big the cash injection. You need to be able to generate wealth from your wealth otherwise you will still ultimately be tied to the wheel…

FINANCIAL INCONTINENCE

Most people waste an incredible amount of money. I have done it too. Creature comforts, “toys”, luxuries, gifts, designer clothes, attractive non-essentials… the list is endless, and so is the number of possible temptations. Many people spend more time planning how they are going to spend their money than planning how they are going to make it!

Q. What happens if you have a sweet stack of cash hidden in the drawer?

A. It shrinks.

Of course it does! It always does! Why? Because having a stack of cash changes your psychology. Like a credit card. You start to think, “I don’t have to worry so much” or “I can afford it now” and you slack off a little. Suddenly you can afford this thing or that thing that you desired. You make a few impulse purchases. The next thing you know… it’s all gone!

How many times has this happened to you? It used to happen to me all the time. Just having a wad of cash seems to be almost the same as kissing it goodbye.

The solution is simple: Invest your money in assets before you have a chance to spend it. And then when the sweet stack of cash is no longer sitting there tempting you, you will be forced to devise other ways to make money. A little pressure is good, it makes you get your act together. This is what is meant by the old axiom “Stay hungry”.

Financial incontinence is a good term for many people’s financial state. They can’t contain their money – it just leaks through their fingers like water and is gone, every time.

Why are people unable to keep their money? The reasons for this are manifold:

Partly it is through a lack of good education as to the principles – and importance – of asset building, strategy and investment.

Partly it is through a perceived need for escapism, diversion or “comfort spending”. This can be seen as a kind of addiction.

Partly it is a general lack of self control.

Partly it is “The Government, the Landlord and the Bank” (see below).

Also, and I know this may be a hard thing to face, but a major reason for many people’s difficulty, is insecurity. I do not in any way wish to pay any disrespect to those whose impoverished circumstances may be through no fault of their own – but there are many who keep themselves poor – through an insecure need to spend money impressing other people.

I can say this because I have done all these things. This was me, not so very long ago. Such habits can be ingrained – difficult to see, difficult to face, and difficult to change. Yet change them we must, if we are to get anywhere.

Inability to live modestly prevents you from building capital which can be invested in assets. It is the principal enemy of making money while you sleep!

RETRAINING YOUR SPENDING HABITS

The cure for all this is actually really simple – on paper. It predominantly takes two things: mental discipline, and an understanding of investments and assets.    

Mental discipline! Do you want to be poor, weak and unhealthy or do you want to be wealthy, strong and healthy? This is where the warrior spirit I was talking about earlier comes in handy!

One thing I have observed is that life has a tendency to separate the weak from the strong. Those with self-discipline stand a much greater chance of survival and success; those with no self control seem more likely to get taken down early by life. Through my own eyes I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

So in general, you will need to re-train your spending habits. The key phrase is delayed gratification.   You might ask yourself questions such as the following:

1) Will this purchase be beneficial to my health?

2) Will this purchase increase my knowledge and wisdom in valuable areas?

3) Will this investment really make me money in the future?

4) Will this purchase cost me money in the future?

5) Do I really need this? Who am I trying to impress? Why?

6) Is there a better way I could invest this money?

I think it’s a good idea to be a little aggressive with your investment in assets. Don’t be afraid to leave yourself just a little short of spending money. It will force you not to be wasteful – and you will also then be highly motivated to work harder. This is what is known scientifically as lighting a fire under your own ass! The trick is to get the balance right: you want to push yourself but obviously you don’t want to cause yourself unnecessary suffering.

Generally, you want to spend as much money as possible on assets. Other than that, your purchases should be limited to things that are necessary for your well-being and that of your dependents.

Invest like a millionaire, don’t spend like a millionaire

Another book I recommend is Robert G. Allen’s Multiple Streams Of Income. On p. 29 he has created a brilliant list of 50 ways to save $50 per month.

I highly recommend that you not only study these 50 ways but create another 50 ways of your own. This would be a tremendously valuable exercise. Where are your money leaks? Remember, it all adds up.

The point is, to be wealthy, it really helps to be thrifty. Remember the saying A penny saved is a penny earned.     It’s true! Especially if you then invest that penny in ways to make money while you sleep! ! !

The trouble is, nowadays there’s an unfortunate negative social stigma attached to saving money. People have somehow become fooled into thinking that being rich is about spending lots of money – and so off they go, spending lots of money thinking that if they act like rich people in this way, money will somehow magically come towards them. Can you see how foolish and false this is? Not only this, but people are encouraged to frown on thriftiness – as if it denotes meanness – rather than common sense, which is what it actually is.

Let’s reframe the stupid old saying You have to spend money to make money with a much better saying: You have to invest money to make money!

And if you want to spend lots of money – the formula is simple: Invest lots of money first until your assets are earning you a lot of money – then you will be able to spend a lot more money for a lot longer…

THE GOVERNMENT, THE LANDLORD AND THE BANK

The biggest, most serious and least avoidable expenses in most people’s lives are the money they owe to the government, the landlord and the bank: Rent, taxes, mortgage, loans, credit card debt. I haven’t added all this up but I would not be at all surprised if the amount people spend on these things totals more than half of the money they earn in their entire lifetimes!    

This is the greatest way to lose money while you sleep.

Wouldn’t it be great to get even 10% of this money back and be able to invest it?

The good news is, you very often can. First of all, do NOT be ashamed to decrease the amount you spend on mortgage or rent by being prepared to live a little more modestly until your assets are earning enough for you to live more stylishly. “Lifestyle affluent” and “balance sheet affluent” are not the same thing. Buy a car that is a couple of years old, rather than one which is brand new. Decrease debt. Get rid of those additional money-sucking credit cards: They encourage bad spending habits, and also the interest rates are fleecing you. The trouble with credit cards is that they make you feel like you have more money… and this increases your spending. And your tendency to spend on things you don’t need. The best way to pay off a credit card? Cut it up – or at the least, freeze it into a bowl of water in case of emergency. And then keep making payments. The best strategy is to keep one, but pay the balance off every month.

ACTIVATE YOUR HIDDEN or DORMANT ASSETS

As I mentioned in Chapter 1, you almost certainly have more assets than you think you do. And you very likely have great dormant assets – these can be activated or consolidated.

Consolidate your assets and not just your debts.    

One hears a lot of talk about “debt consolidation” these days. Debt consolidation simply means the reorganization of your debt into a form where it is more manageable and your interest payments are minimized. However, I personally have never heard talk of “asset consolidation”.

Whether it is investments that are going nowhere, or the things in your basement… you are better off putting dormant assets into a form where they can work harder for you. This means either selling off the ones which are not working for you – for example selling things you don’t use and then buying a fast computer (“asset consolidation”), or it might mean completing that incomplete course of study (“asset activation”).

I highly recommend setting up a Paypal business account and an eBay account, if you have not already done so.For now, suffice it to say that it is worthwhile getting rid of stuff you don’t want – for several reasons. 1) You’ll make some money. 2) You’ll learn how to use eBay and hopefully gain some positive feedback – which can be immensely valuable when it comes to buying and selling further things in the future. 3) You might even clear enough space in your home to rent out that spare room, garage, workshop or office space instead of having it full of junk. Now that’s another asset activated – and another way to make money while you sleep!

You will of course want to judge what is the most valuable use of your time…

Here are a few examples of dormant assets.

The work you have already done.

Chances are, there is much work you have already done which can be capitalized on. Some examples might be:

• Articles or books you have written which can be converted into PDFs and sold online – or given away to draw traffic to your web site.

• Knowledge you have built up through study – you can write about this and encode the products as PDFs as above.

• Skills you have acquired.

• Old web sites / domain names you still own. (See the sections on Domain Age and Domaining, in Chapter #15 of “50 Ways”)

• Incomplete projects which might earn revenue if completed.

• Databases of old contacts / past clients.

• Music you have recorded which can be converted into mp3s and sold online.

Things you already own.

• Items you own which you no longer use – you can sell these (for example on eBay) and invest the resources in something which works harder for you.    

• A building i. e. stable or garage, or room you don’t use which could be cleaned up and rented out – possibly as studio space, meeting space for a group: the possibilities are endless. You may need to check regulations on permitted uses for your building.

• Businesses you developed partly but did not complete – these can maybe be sold, or you could find someone to take them on for a share in the revenue.

• Money sitting in a bank account not gaining interest. (keep your emergency fund but consolidate the rest! )

A FEW STRATEGIC IDEAS TO CONSIDER WHEN INVESTING

Each asset you acquire builds a stronger foundation which enables you to achieve greater income… which enables your to buy more assets… and on it goes. It may take a few years of persistent effort to build really solid financial foundations for your life but then, while you are making money in your sleep, you will probably look back and think that it was the best thing you ever did. It’s a long term set-up but with a greater payoff.

Spreading your asset investments vs. investing harder in a smaller number of areas.

Theories are just theories – and there are many of them. Some recommend playing it safe and diversifying in order to minimize risk; others say “nothing ventured, nothing gained. “Some theories rely on quantitative methodology, other ones suggest that you abandon this entirely. Who do you listen to?

Perhaps the best overall piece of investment advice is to network with people who are already doing extremely well and to do what is already working for them.

One of the things about investment, is that it is to some extent unpredictable. If there was one path which always worked, there would be one investment strategy that all would follow. There is no “system” which presents the entire picture. A great deal of your success will depend on your own aptitudes and the current state of play in your own field.

The classic and highly controversial text “The Zurich Axioms” by Max Gunther has an interesting take on this. It basically states that most people’s way of investing in assets brings them little in the way of real return. It says that the most commonly held theory is that all risk is best avoided. However, to avoid all risk means to remove all possibility of great gain.The Zurich Axioms fundamentally states that risk is essential – because it is necessary play for meaningful stakes – but needs to be managed well.

The time-phases of investment

Another way to develop an investment strategy might be to break it into time-phases. At the outset of investment, the goals are mostly to build solid foundations. So the first phase might involve paying debts, creating a savings account, and investing as heavily as possible in lower-risk ventures and non-material assets such as education and acquisition of skills.

As things progress, and foundations are more secure, ventures with a higher degree of risk, such as starting businesses, might be undertaken more readily.

Businesses are the field of assets that I have chosen to specialize in. Almost all of my investment has for several years gone into my businesses. I have several small business ventures on the go at any one time. Some are short term gain, others are much more long term. Most of these small businesses are web sites – “mini profit centers” – some are “real world” businesses. In addition to these things I like to invest in a small number of commodities, in particular precious metals.

One thing I invest in continuously and heavily at all times is education. I am an avid, incessant researcher. I invest as much time and money on learning as possible. You’ve probably heard the saying “If you think education is expensive, you should see how expensive stupidity is. “

I also like to balance my risks – and will invest partly in low-risk, partly in high.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET PAID

1) Resist all temptation to “celebrate” with drinks, fancy dinners or “retail therapy”. Don’t do it! From now on, instead of rewarding yourself with shopping or partying, reward yourself with assets. I can feel the resistance to this – but it’s the truth: Acting rich is not the best way to stay rich.

2) Immediately give attention to any healthcare issues and pay outstanding bills and debts that are going to cause difficulties for you if they are left unpaid. Pay these in order of importance, obviously, with the most damaging – i. e. with the highest interest rate – first.      

3) Pay all your monthly bills and expenses as soon as possible. Calculate what you will need for groceries. Instead of leaving all the money in the account and thinking “I’ll just go shopping and buy what appeals to me on the day”, allocate yourself an exact amount for provisions. This should obviously be enough to live on, but should not allow you to be wasteful. And remember – buy food for your body, not for your taste buds. Pay yourself just enough to live on – so that you will not be tempted to go to the bar, buy cigarettes, unnecessary toys, accessories or gifts. I could almost cry when I think of the thousands of dollars I wasted in the past on completely unnecessary items, which, if I had invested in assets would now be making me a ton of money while I sleep…. and I can think of many people who have been more careless than I was.

4) Immediately invest the rest in assets. Although it is a bad idea to figure out how you are going to spend your money before you have it, it is a good idea to figure out how you are going to invest it before you have it! That way, you are able to invest it immediately it arrives and therefore not waste any while you ponder what you will do with it. For the rest of the month you’ll have to say no to things that are an unimportant waste of money: because the money will already be tied up. The concept of investing first in this way is a very important one.

I think it’s really important to have a savings account. Debit the money to your savings account by standing order once per month from your bank. Try not to touch your savings. These should be seen as only for “real” emergencies and for investment in other assets. Not for holidays, etc.

Instability and the modern world

The world – in particular the world of careers – has changed, and there is often not the same stability that there used to be. Young people at college are even facing the possibility that their education cannot possibly prepare them for jobs that do not currently exist.

Getting out of the game requires that one’s wealth is sustainable: It is worth bearing in mind that certain set-ups may only be good for a few years – or less in some cases.

It stands to reason then that assets derived from businesses, especially online businesses, should be funneled into more stable long term assets and revenue-generating streams – for example real estate and other “classic investments”.

BIBLIOGRAPHY / FURTHER READING

In addition to the many links dotted around, here are a few further classic works and research sources.

The Millionaire Mind books – Thomas J. Stanley

Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad” books

eBay for Dummies

The Zurich Axioms by Max Gunther

The Richest Man In Babylon George S. Clason (1926)

A Bull in China: Investing Profitably in the World’s Greatest Market – Jim Rogers

Futures and Options for Dummies – Joe Duarte

The Wealthy Barber: Everyone’s Commonsense Guide To Becoming Financially Independent – David Chilton

One up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know To Make Money in the Market – Peter Lynch

The Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America

Robert G. Allen Multiple Streams Of Income

How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets by Felix Dennis







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