3 Reasons why money is the cause of your stress

Everyone is going to experience financial stress at some point. Some aspect of finances are out of our control, but typically our problems are self inflicted. Is your relationship with money causing excessive stress in your life? Read these 3 reasons and let me know if any of them apply to you.

You are trying to impress others.

Many people start buying items to impress others and create a false sense of luxury in their lives. It could be a new kitchen table, a couch, designer jeans, a fancy bedroom armoire or a list of many other items.

We justify these purchases based upon the perceived wealth of someone else. We see that a friend purchased something and we work out a justification model in our own heads. We justify how we can purchase something similar, or even a step up. We want to appear to be in the same income bracket as those in our social circle. 

It’s not that we are trying to impress just our friends and family. We attempt to impress ourselves. That’s where things begin to take a turn for the worst. If you are constantly working to “one up” yourself, you are going to dig yourself into financial hole so deep that bankruptcy is the only solution.

You value money over time

You will always wish for more money. It doesn’t matter how much you make there will always be a drive to want more. There are low stress and high stress methods to obtain more of it.

The majority of people have accepted the social conditioning that money is earned by working more. This leads many of us to take a second job, or have our spouse return to work after having a child. The bottom line is we invest more hours into working, rather than experiencing life. We surrender our spare time in exchange for money that will barely cover the cost of increased medical bills, fuel, child care and shitty fast food. It’s tunnel vision and it prevents the best of us from seeing another solution.

On the other side of the spectrum we have those that can see outside of the tunnel. These people see that money can be generated through a system. Once a system is in place, it requires minimal maintenance. Of course every system requires monitoring and a little bit of maintenance, but it’s a fair trade off.

Here’s an example:  Currently by wife is a stay at home mom. This has been her job for the past ten years. We have hit tough times throughout these years and we thought about having her find a part time job. It’s easy to see how it would be tempting, until you look at the big picture.

Childcare is going to cost anywhere between $800 – $1400 per month. Getting to and from work creates an additional expense as well. Easily $100 a month in fuel. There is also a vehicle maintenance fee that must be calculated. An oil change every three months is going to cost $50. You will need new tires, brakes etc every year so you must amortize these amounts.  If we add up these numbers we can expect around $1500 per month in expenses for her to leave the house

Now let’s assume she finds a job for $18 per hour. At 160 hours per month, she will make a gross amount of $2,880 per month or $720 per week. Running this through a calculator on http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/hourly/result shows that the net amount will be $645.48 each week.

At the end of the month the net amount is $2453.16. Subtract the cost of her going to work and we are at $953 extra per month for her 160 hours of work. This means less than $6 per hour when you look at it from this perspective. Not only is this measly amount of money, she now has to deal with time schedules, traffic jams, stress at work etc. 

Personally I would rather spend 100 hours creating a product, online service or web based training. Then spending 60 hours of time to develop a marketing plan and sales funnel. Sure it’s a risk, but fortune favors the bold. 

The couch calls your name

Here’s a tip. Get out of your house and do something. I don’t care how hard you worked all week. Who cares how many hours you put it. If you waste your time, it’s only going to cause more stress. Oh, what’s that you can’t leave the house? You don’t have the money? The money you worked so hard for is gone? 

Excuses, excuses, excuses. 

Walk to the park, ride a bike, sit downtown and people watch, find a free museum tour, etc. There are so many free things to do it’s not even funny. It often takes a bit of creativity to make something free exciting, but it’s part of the adventure. Adding an element of creativity makes the moment far more exciting.

A few years ago I spent three hours of my Saturday morning making up stupid games with a friend. One of use would kick a rugby ball as high as possible into the air. The other person was to throw a football and hit the rugby ball mid air. Do you have any idea how difficult this is? Try it sometime. It took about two hours to figure out the timing of everything before either of us scored a point. Stupid game, great memory.

It’s time to change

I say all of this from experience. I’ve been in a bad financial situation in the past when I allowed money to control me. I sold a ton of items, I paid off bills then lived in the most minimalist way possible. For nine years I didn’t have any furniture in my bedroom besides a basic bed. We went without a car payment for five years. We stopped paying for extras luxuries like cable TV. We didn’t even own a flatscreen TV until five years ago. While everyone else was buying 70+ inch TVs we purchased a 27 inch. People made fun of our tiny TV, but it wasn’t there to impress them. I stopped caring about that a long time ago, and so should you.

Can you create passive income through drop shipping? Let’s find out.

I’ve heard about people using drop shipping to create a semi-passive income stream for years. I wanted to find out if it’s all hype, or if there is actual money to be made.  As usual I like to dive in and discover things first hand.

First of all I need to find a “Guru” or method to follow.

Method 1 : The Anton Method (https://www.dropshiplifestyle.com/)

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Blogger, Entepreneur and world Traveler JonnyFD raves about this course. This method seems to focus on finding a specific niche and selling products targeted to them. Sounds like a reasonable method to follow. There are many niche markets out there. In fact I know someone that owns a company that sells crawfish traps! She knew nothing about the business until someone in her family gave it to her as a gift.

The course from Anton requires significant investment. From what I can find it runs somewhere between $795-$1500 depending on discounts and other spiffs.

At the current time I don’t want to put forth that level of investment. I am working on other streams of income and need to find something more cost effect.

Method #2 – David Dang Vu’s Udemy Course

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Udemy recently changed their price structure and doesn’t allow courses to cost over $50. I picked this up for only $18. Prior to the change in pricing structure this course was sold for $299. Looking at the 14,353 students and a 4.7 rating this course seemed like a steal for $18.

This course is packed with good material. David explains retail arbitrage and how thousands of people use this method to create an income.

He then shows you step by step how to setup your eBay and Paypal accounts. Once you have these steps taken, it’s time to start listing items. David explains how to optimize item descriptions for better SEO rankings on e-bay.  He also provides a number of helpful links to optimize your title, and search for UPCs which are now required on e-Bay item listings.

The other sections of the course teach you how to process orders, manage inventory and deal with customer issues. There is also an entire module on tips and tricks to maximize profits and production.

Sounds easy enough.

E-Bay Store Creation

I followed David’s course and created my eBay store. I went to a number of suppliers or “source” sites and started to list various items. Sadly my account is new and e-Bay only permits five items and / or a total of $500 to be sold. I will need to call them in a few days to request a bump to my seller limits.

Here’s the list of items that I am trying to sell. I listed these earlier today, so it makes it interesting to see a few views on them already.

e-bay drop shipping - passive income

Now we wait.

I will review these items and monitor the number of views. If any of these are very lower performers, they will get the axe to make room for other items to experiment with.  Once my limits are increased I will max them out, then ask for another increase. I know that sellers like David have 2,000 + items in their eBay stores. It may sound like a lot to manage, but I’m told that once you build to that level it’s not that difficult to keep on top of. Especially if you hire a virtual assistant to help run the day to day tasks and customer service follow ups.

Until next time –

Keith

Passive income is exhausting but worth it.

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The concept of passive income draws in a lot of people. Having the ability to make money in your sleep, travel the world, and live life as you desire.  You must admit it sounds appealing. There are thousands of “Gurus” on the internet that make it appear so simple. A lot of these individuals picked up “The 4 Hour Work Week” (4HWW) then started what Tim Ferris describes as a “Muse Business”.

Quote from the 4 Hour Work Week

“Our goal is simple: to create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time.  That’s it.  I will call this vehicle a “muse”…Muses will provide the time and financial freedom to realize your dreamlines in record time, after which one can (and often does) start additional companies to change the world or sell.”

I purchased The 4HWW in 2013 not knowing what to expect. I remember walking into Barnes and Noble and glancing over the top sellers in the business section. Most of the books in the section have extremely simple covers. They list the title of the book in bold letters with the author’s name at the bottom.

In contrast The 4HWW is begging to jump into your hand. The bold red and yellow colors that paint a scene of a lone character sitting in a hammock. The sun is setting directly between two palm trees that almost create a happy face. Then you have the sub title that reads“Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join The New Rich”.

Prior to picking up this book I had no clue who Tim Ferriss was, who the “new rich” are, or how someone can only work four hours per week. I’ll admit, Tim’s testing of titles pulled me in and converted me into a “Ferriss bot”.

I purchased the “Expanded and Updated” edition. This version had success stories from individuals that followed The 4HWW principles and started traveling the world. Some of the “Muse Businesses” (passive income sources)  mentioned blew my mind.

You have people making $20k / month on over sized Yoga mats. People selling audio clips and stock photography images. Here I am working my tail off for 40+ hours per week and someone is making more money than me on giant yoga mats. I think this really pushed my buttons because I dislike Yoga. I’d rather spend 4 hours lifting weights than 20 minutes of Yoga. Yoga looks so easy, until you do it. You quickly realize you are not as strong or flexible as you originally thought. 

I was impressed with all of these stories and the “comfort challenges” that Tim issues throughout the book. These comfort challenges lead me to join a Toastmasters group which was the real beginning of the new me. As for creating a “Muse Business”, this was far more difficult that I had planned. I wanted passive income and I wanted it NOW!

Here are the ideas I came up with in June of 2013.  I first started with what I am an expert in, then tried to associate these with products.

I am an ‘expert’ in:

  • VOIP
  • SIP
  • MPLS
  • Cisco
  • Python – ( related to Networking / automating basic tasks)
  • Gluten Free
  • Living with Stomach Issues
  • Creating Budgets (Website called Envelopes?)

Ideas:

  • E Book: How To (not) Fail in Business
  • E Book: How to start an Arizona Business
  • E Book : Raising HyperChildren
  • Product : Create an envelop binder (budgets)
  • Video : Cisco MPLS Training
  • Video:  SIP Training
  • Product: kids lunch instructions (laminated pages showing how to make a packed lunch)
  • Product: Adult Acne Treatments
  • Product : Paleo protein powder
  • E Book: $100k blueprint – A guide for taking new engineers to the six figure level
  • Training Course : Learn Broadworks?
  • Speech evaluation company
  • Online relationship coaching

I had big plans. I wanted to do all of them! This would be my path to passive income!

The idea was to start with a Website that focused on network and telecom training material. I purchased the domain “www.networkengineertraining.com” and quickly started working on content. The goal was to have a full course on SIP available on January 2nd 2014. A course about MPLS would launch a month later.

By December 2013 I was able to make one module for my SIP course. I was running a Linux computer at the time, and I did not like any of the video editors I found. I used this as my excuse to not get any real work done. I would start recording then make an error on my verbal script. This was the perfect opportunity to blame the computer and video editor.

If you want to see the 11 minutes of video that took me seven months to create, here it is.

I found myself on January 2nd, 2014 banging my head against the wall. I advertised on my technical blog that a course would be available. Nah. Just kidding everyone, no course here!

My dreams of creating passive income went down the drain until April. I had been going to Toastmasters for almost a year and I fancied my self a decent speaker. I thought I could make a website where people will learn to become more confident and break out of their comfort zones.

Geek2great.com was born that day.

I created a course that would give subscribers a new challenge every day for a month. These tasks where not fun at all. Most of them involved talking to strangers on the street, making a fool of yourself in public, and getting rejected in various scenarios. The content and challenges seemed like a great idea.

I made Youtube videos of me speaking in an attempt to draw traffic to the site. The ultimate goal was to get someone to buy the course for $79.

A year went by and I had one individual sign up for the course. This was after I gave him free access to it.

Again I was slightly discouraged. I made my mistakes and tried to learn from them. I kept this site up until April of 2016 hoping that traffic would magically appear.

In August of 2015 I met an interesting couple.  Oddly enough the first time I met them we attended a Yoga class. Both of them used to have jobs in corporate America. The male was in the IT industry and owned a successful business a few years earlier. Nowadays they write ebooks, run a blog, create podcasts and travel for three to four months of the year.  They abandoned the concepts taught though social conditioning and follow only the path they pave.

Hearing their stories ignited the passive income fire in me once again. Maybe “ignited” isn’t the best word, however it made me start to think again. Thinking caused the wanderlust in me to flourish. All I could think about was finding a way to visit Europe.

I made a plan.

I was taking my family to Germany in October of 2015. It was finally going to happen. I remember sitting at my desk getting ready to order the tickets for our flights. That’s when I told told that a major platform upgrade at work was going to be delayed and rescheduled. Of course the reschedule date was when I planned to be in Germany.

Being an ultra reliable employee I cancelled my travel plans. My advice to you; don’t do that!

My passive income plans once again went out the window. I was too busy with work. I was too busy with life. “Busy with life” really meant watching Netflix, sleeping in on Saturdays and hanging out with friends until 4am. It all summed up to more excuses.

A few months later I started thinking about Yoga again. Those that practice and put forth the effort make it appear so simple. They perform every technique slow and gracefully. They have far more strength than what you see from the outside.

Around this time I read “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene. Law #30 is to “Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless”. All of these online passive income “Gurus”, they play this law to their advantage. Just like the experienced Yogi’s. They make it appear effortless because they have put in the time. They have put in the sweat equity and made their mistakes. Only after trial, error and failure are they able to see the forest for the trees.

I knew it was time to start working on a passive income source again. It was time to finish what I had started. I was going to finish my course on SIP. I made this my single goal. I dropped every other goal I had for the year.

Over the next 30 days I spent roughly 40 hours in my spare time creating content. Once recorded and edited everything was trimmed to just under four hours. I was a bit disappointed about this, but it’s better to have four hours of learning, than 40 of pointless filler material.

“Things will be different this time.” I told myself.

In my previous attempts I knew absolutely nothing about copywriting or the role of content marketing. In fact I didn’t tell anyone about my passive income projects. I had the “If you build it, they will come” mentality. I can say with 100% honesty, that mindset is garbage. Do not fall into it.

I ordered a new domain and redirected all of my blog traffic to the new site. I started working on content marketing material that others can benefit from. I started emailing people in the industry offering them discounts or free access to the course.

I found myself putting 40+ hours into marketing tasks before the course even launched. “For this being “passive income” I am putting a lot of hard work into this” I repeatedly told myself. I knew that it would be worth it in the end.

I released the course on udemy.com and started making sales within 24 hours. It was the greatest feeling in the world to wake up and see that I made $40 sometime in the middle of the night.  Passive income, here I come!

What I want you to take away from this writing is a simple concept. Ready for it?

Creating passive income requires A LOT of work upfront.

You will most likely come up with a handful of ideas that you lackadaisically follow through with.  Yeah, don’t do that. If you want to create passive income, be prepared to put forth more hours than you ever imagined possible. Once you are generating revenue you will need to start developing systems to keep it all on auto pilot. Once again, this will require even more work! Hooray!

I never imaged I’d see the day that I am creating multiple revenue streams. I create online courses, I blog and create content marketing, I drop ship through eBay.  By no means are these streams causing a flood of money to come in (yet). It does however provide an extra cushion while I am on sabbatical.

Until next time,

Keith

P.S.

I made a free course about how I made my first $100 on Udemy. Click on the below image to check it out.

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