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Ah, passive income, the Holy Grail of entrepreneurship! Just thinking about it conjures up images of red sports cars, lavish homes, and lazy days on sandy beaches. Oh, the fantasy of never having to work again! It’s the kind of daydream
we have while stuck in traffic on our morning commute.

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It’s the mental place we go when our boss is yelling at us.
But it’s also the excuse we give our spouses for wasting money on seminars that never quite give us all the information we need to replicate the results of their guru speakers.

Although the pursuit for reliable passive income streams is admirable – and
I believe essential – we never get what we think we deserve. Instead we find ourselves caught in the minutiae of empty promises and lost dollars spent on books that claim they are not get rich quick schemes. I have news for you.

A lot of those self-help books, members-only clubs, and life changing seminars are, in fact, specifically designed to get someone rich. Unfortunately, that person is probably not you !

These are what I refer to as snake oil scams.
Snake Oil Scam.
The term ‘snake oil’ goes back hundreds of years. It is an American idiom reflected in pop culture as characters like the ‘man behind the curtain’ in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

It is a modern day TV trope that instantly conjures up images of con artists peddling fake cures for every ailment.These charlatans pray on people’s hopes and can rake in a little dough while doing so.

But thanks to karma, they can’t make a sustainable living by cheating people
by adding no real value to their lives. Although they have moments of success, in the long run they have to move on to another town where people don’t know they are peddling fake products.

Snake oil is a metaphor for passive income strategies built on false promises and unrealistic expectations. Don’t get me wrong: passive income is a real concept. It is the secret of the ultra-wealthy.

Unfortunately, learning how to apply it in your life requires separating the snake oil scams from the real opportunities. Scam or Opportunity:
How Can You Tell ?

It can be hard to tell the difference. You exchange your hard earned money for a book on how to make money while you sleep, only to find yourself working even harder and sleeping less.

They advise you to create niche websites, dropship on Amazon, build your brand, create a series of informational products and eventually outsource all your tasks. What an exhausting way to earn so-called passive income.

They are only telling you half of the story.
Why do they fail to mention the other half ?

Because they are snake oil salesmen who make money on the backs of people who have a burning desire for financial freedom. They are not invested in your success. What’s worse is that following the advice of these imposters can inadvertently turn you into the snake oil salesman !

Before we organize a firing squad, let’s try to see it from another perspective.
On the flipside, one could argue that every bottle of snake oil could actually cure something. There is, of course, a potential placebo effect caused by our deep belief that it will work.

Throughout our pursuit of wealth, we can certainly come to believe many things. That passion for a better life can motivate us to do tremendous things but it can also make us susceptible to those who prey on our dreams.

If all you need is sympathy and encouragement, then over simplified ideas made to sound like highly classified insider secrets, may suit your needs. If that’s all you need, then snake oil will work perfectly for you.

The problem arises when you try to apply their teachings to build a sustainable source of long term income that does not require working an additional 30 hours a week for years to come.

The concept of building passive income channels is not so you can have another job. If all you need is a little extra money, then getting a second job may solve your problems.

But just like snake oil scams, another job will never lead to real wealth.
Let me phrase it another way. You will never earn your way to financial freedom.

Not on your own. Even if you make a lot of money and live below your means, financial freedom will only happen once you can roll that income into an interest-paying portfolio. Someday when your interest income pays you enough to live on,
you can quit your job and never work again.

This is the standard work-now-to-retire-later model. And it certainly works.
But, unfortunately, it can take more than 30 years to get there. If you don’t start
when you’re young, you probably will never be able to save enough from one
source of income.

Scared and unprepared for retirement, the United States now has at least two generations in trouble. As a result, snake oil sales have skyrocketed. Praying on our fears and insecurities they fuel our dreams for a modest price.

A snake oil salesman says, “I can’t make you billions of dollars, but I can show you exactly how to make one million dollars. I’ll take you by the hand and demonstrate how to do it using my top secret formula and it’ll only cost you $1.” You figure what the heck it’s only a dollar, right ?

Low investment, low risk. So you hand him a dollar. In return he hands you an envelope, tips his hat, smiling as he vanishes into the crowd. You eagerly open the envelope. Pulling out a card, you read, “Thanks for the $1.

Now it’s your turn. Follow my example to the letter. Then repeat it 999,999 times.”
You read it over and over again, hoping that you are just missing the point and not being scammed. Is this a scam or a real opportunity ?

Sometimes you can’t tell if something is a scam or not until you’ve paid for it.
If you didn’t realize that all you need to be a millionaire is to get a million
people to give you a dollar, then perhaps this lesson had value to you.

I suspect that, like most people, you were hoping for a little more information. Perhaps you wanted to hear a new idea or process that would inspire or inform you. My motivation for writing this book came after I scanned the list of best-selling books on passive income.
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I saw mostly hyped-up books that contained lists of ways to get people to give them money. I’ve read most of them over the years. They’re like that card in the envelope, with a list of generic ideas.

They have chapters with a list of one hundred ways to make a fortune in
passive income. They tell you to sell your stuff and then outsource someone
to take over selling your stuff. They suggest you take pictures and sell them online. They imply that your financial freedom is only one just-add-water website away.
I find books like this very frustrating.

Firstly, most of their ideas are not actually passive sources of income.
Secondly, they are hype dressed up in ideas that are not likely going to work for you. If you’re a professional photographer, you probably already thought of selling your photos to online photo libraries.

If you’re not a professional, it would become another job and you would have to master skills in order to make money. Either way, it’s not passive income. Those lists just get your hopes up as most of the suggestions won’t realistically work. Some of those books contain nothing more than a list of snake oil scams.

Trust me when I say you’re not missing the point. What If ?
What if you could see through these imposters ?
What if you could tell from a list of passive income strategies,
What exactly what was involved if you chose to do it ?
What if you had the other half of the story before you started ?
What if you had a customized strategic plan that once put into place would take you from where you are today to your financial goals within the time frame you set for yourself? What if you were Jenifer ?

The Tale of Jenifer Although Jenifer’s name is not real, her story is.
When I met Jenifer she owned a store that catered to a specific niche.

It was a brick-and-mortar retail store that she and her husband ran together.
They scraped and saved to open it, ditched their 9-5 jobs and built it up.
Eventually, it provided them with a steady income that supported their
family of six.

They were certain that owning their own business was the path to financial security. Her children grew up stocking shelves, chatting with customers and counting back change. Ten years into it, they knew all too well that the grass was not actually greener on the entrepreneur’s side of the fence.
The store was doing okay, but they were still living hand-to-mouth.

Most of their income was tied up in inventory, and they had to close the store whenever they wanted to leave town. This meant not making any money because they weren’t there. Jenifer originally came to me for advice about increasing their profit margins and hiring a store manager so they didn’t have to work so much.

As I got to know her and her family, I realized that this was not actually what they really wanted. This was not why they had gone into business in the first place. During the eight years I counseled her as a business advisor and a personal friend, I developed the foundations for this book.

As soon as I told her about passive income she was onboard.
She committed herself fully and rearranged her entire life to do so.
She tried several different ways of generating additional income.
We quickly learned what worked for her and what didn’t.

The internet was still young and online shopping had not yet gone mainstream. However, we were able to use it to contact customers and provide them with free information, thus building a trusted brand.

We started a mailing list, created a newsletter, wrote reviews, held contests, taught classes, spotlighted experts, created affiliate-like exclusive relationships and built a community of people who shared a passion for her store’s products.

This lead to a wide range of income-producing activities, including hosted events, side businesses, an entire line of informational products, and several secondary streams of passive and semi-passive income.

The store’s sales grew exponentially and later her online store became the top site for her niche, with sales exceeding triple what the brick-and-mortar store was doing. The best part is that Jenifer saved her money.

In less than six years she went from making ends meet by working a 90 hour week to complete financial freedom. You could say we tried all the suggestions in this book, doing them in the real world before taking them online.

My Promise to You  Having been raised by a world-class skeptic, I learned at an early age to scrutinize opportunities. I built a career on my ability to determine feasibility, develop strategies and spearhead their implementations.

I’ve had the privilege of working with more than 20 start-ups and numerous established companies. I’ve watched people go from food stamps to six figures; from two million to 10 million; from 100 million to 1 billion; and almost everywhere in between. I know the strategies in the book work.
I’ve seen them work time and time again.

But it takes more than just hard work. It may require you to grow up, financially speaking. You may need a complete change in mindset. In commitment.
In behavior. For decades, I helped others make and manage millions.

However, I was like a doctor who smokes cigarettes.
I didn’t take my own advice, even though I knew better.
It wasn’t until much later in life before I grew up, money-wise.
Concerning my own funds, I was what I call financially immature.

This book will give you what you need to create your own personalized path
to financial freedom. That I can promise. But only you can put your plan into action. Creating Income-For-Life  Mind the Gap Although I am an American,
I have lived in many, many different places.

I have moved so many times that my friends and family complained they ran out of space in their address books. Thank goodness for smartphones. I recall the first time I lived in the United Kingdom.

Fresh off the plane from central Europe, I felt a sense of relief to see signs written in my native language. The funny thing about British English is that it’s not the same as American English.

It was secretly deceiving because I recognized all the words,
but quickly learned that I often did not understand the context or meaning.
In the London Tube – which is the British subway system – there are signs
that read, “Mind the Gap.”

Of course, I now know it means “Watch your Step”, but the first time I saw this sign, the combination of its size and location caused me to pause as I contemplated its meaning.

This led to me not seeing the actual ‘gap’ it was referring to, losing my balance and falling into said gap. As embarrassing as that was, I found myself falling into the gap on several occasions.

Each time I was slightly startled at the wording on the sign, causing a brief moment
of hesitation and break in my stride, just long enough to trip over the gap. See the sign, pause, trip, stumble, and stagger back up.
I must have looked drunk.

I got over it soon enough, but for a moment in time I could see the beginning
of a practiced behavior loop that would not have served me well. Fortunately only my ego was hurt. This is a good analogy for evaluating passive income opportunities.

The pursuit of wealth can be a never-ending loop.
We crave money because we think it will give us things we want, freedoms we don’t have, and a life we deserve. So we commit to doing something about it.

We buy some snake oil, muster up the strength to give it our best effort, work our butts off, but fail to get the results promised us. Filled with disappointment, we give up. We chastise ourselves, saying,

“All I had to do was follow the instructions – why couldn’t I do that ?”
We end up feeling worse than we did when we started.
After sulking for a bit, we find a new snake oil on the market.

Quietly encouraging ourselves,
“This time will be different. I’ll work harder, I won’t give up!”
So with big dreams of financial freedom we commit to something new, buy some snake oil, muster up the strength, work our butts off, fail to get stunning results, give up in despair.

If we continue this pattern, we can easily look back on a decade or more of the cycle of new hope- hard work- despair- new hope- hard work- despair. Ironically, this often acquaints to having done the same amount of work as if we had held two or more jobs but still no closer to our original goals.

Do you really want to work that hard and end up exactly where you were when you started ? It is as if there is a gap between what we are actually doing and what we need to be doing in order to make progress toward our ultimate financial goals.

What is missing in order to break this cycle isn’t more commitment or better snake oil. What we really need to do is learn how to Mind the Gap. We’ll explore this metaphorical gap in a moment, but first let’s take a 10,000 foot aerial view
of our goals.

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Building Wealth:
A Simple Overview  Creating and implementing your own highly customized plan for job-less income is like a game of strategy. Like when we play chess,
we need to take a look at the whole board.

A Simple Overview Figure 1.1 Over the course of your lifetime, you will make money and you will spend money. Everything you don’t spend can be saved. Everything saved can earn more income in the form of interest, dividends,
and so on.

When the amount earned from savings exceeds what you earn from work,
you can quit working. Income from savings is a true form of passive income.
I’m sorry that it’s not more complex than that. I think the simplicity leaves some people completely dumbfounded.

The complexity comes in how we increase our earnings, how we motivate ourselves to save, how we determine how much we need to save, and how we invest those savings for better passive earnings. Most seminars, books, and videos about passive income focus on more ways to earn money from work.

Well, it’s actually more like trying to earn from doing extra work.
They claim that you can make money by doing what they suggest.

They claim you can outsource everything and you’ll have a lifelong source
of passive income. Maybe these methods could bring you a little money.
But those income ideas might not work for you, and they will always need to
be watched and managed.

Unless you save every drop of the money you earn from extra work, you will never turn it into an earned-from-saving income and thus it will never be an income for life.

So buy the snake oil if it helps motivate you or gives you ideas.
But don’t be deceived by their foggy, hyped-up, rags-to-riches claims.
To reach your dreams there is only one clear path and that road is well paved and well-traveled by the ultra-wealthy.

One Clear Path
My goal for you is that by the end of this book you will have created a strategy that you believe is best for you. You will load yourself with useful information, select your vehicles for change, and take your first steps down the road toward financial freedom.

Every person will have a different strategy but we will all be on the same path because there is only one clear way of doing this. GAP Money Figure 1.2 If you take your income and compare that to your expenses, then you can clearly see a GAP between the two. If you live hand-to-mouth, this gap will be very small.

If your expenses exceed your income, you’re either increasing your debt every month or you’re lying to yourself. Either way this is not sustainable, even after bankruptcy. You’ll need to take immediate action to correct this, likely extreme action at that.

This GAP is commonly called your disposable income. However, this money is not disposable at all. In fact, it is your only source of fuel as you work toward your financial goals. Let’s reframe and rename this.

GAP Money Each month you scrape, save and make sacrifices so that you can buy things that offer conveniences to make your family’s life a little easier. Easier for today, that is.

Many Americans are short-sighted when it comes to how they spend their GAP money. Perhaps this is partly cultural, but Americans love spending money.

It’s enjoyable. It brings us happiness. It provides the foundation for epic stories we will tell for years to come: tales of cool cars we owned, amazing trips we took, and those perfect gifts we found for others.

It is unfortunate that we live in a society that encourages instant gratification.
There are now several generations of Americans who have been raised this way.

I was no exception. I witnessed the introduction of personal computers and the development of the internet. Today I can get almost anything delivered to my doorstep with a few keystrokes and a credit card.

The first time my grandson saw a commercial on TV he cried, not understanding why the show had stopped. How could he have known ? He was raised with on-demand everything. This behavior is not exclusive to children.

Plenty of adults throw temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want.
Trust me: I work with millionaires. Delayed gratification is a form of Immaturity.

In relation to money, you could say that not saving for things you will want and
need later, is a form of financial immaturity. You may be a fully grown and a very mature-minded person, but if you still spend with no regard for your future, then
you are demonstrating financial immaturity.

It might not be your fault, but it’s still your responsibility to fix.
When you’re ready to shift your thinking, and commit to creating wealth for later in life, you’ll have a chance at actually achieving it. When you do this, the day-to-day sacrifices will feel more like triumphs. Perhaps you are already there.

You’re not financially immature at all.
That’s awesome! But if you’re still having trouble saving, then in many ways I hope this book will help you do that. I want to see you turn over a new leaf and start realizing that your extra money each month, no matter how large or small, is not disposable. This financial GAP is your only hope for long term security.

Anyone who wants to break their bad spending habits can do so.
They just have to decide to do it. The only exceptions that I’ve seen are those who spend for reasons of addiction and larger emotional problems. If that’s the case for you, then get help. Otherwise bite the bullet, grow up, and start saving for your future. It’s harder to do this alone, so don’t try.

Get your spouse on board.
Teach your children to jump for joy every time you have GAP money and save it. Make a big deal out of it. Your kids will thank you later. Conclusion In this book we will take a systematic approach to determining exactly what passive income strategies will work for you.

We’ll look at different types of incomes such as active, semi-passive and portfolio.
I’ll help you nail down what your real goals are, so we can match the right income types to reach and sustain them.

Most passive income streams are not so passive at all – at least, not at first.
It takes a lot of effort to learn about your options and analyze your opportunities.
You need to be brave and take a leap of faith to get started.

However, if your venture is going to stand the test of time, it must have real value.
It shouldn’t only be valuable to you, but also to those who pay you.

For example, when you watch a video you get the value of its contents while contributing to someone else’s passive income stream. When a bank pays you interest, you are giving them value by parking your money with them so they can use it while they contribute to your passive income stream.

The element of value keeps all parties happy and thus enables a world
where anyone who can create value, can generate passive income.
There are several ways to generate secondary income sources.

These instruments can be broadly categorized by the foundations in which
they are built. This book breaks down income into three categories. Using these,
I show you how to lay the foundation for actual long term passive
income and I’ll try to do so in an honest and transparent way.

We’ll start with a breakdown of income strategies for those who have specialized talents, skills, or knowledge. Then we’ll look closely at building
an income network based on adding value to other people’s passions.

Finally, we will examine the tried and true income techniques that are
commonly used by the wealthiest people in the world. You’ll figure out how
to set achievable goals, evaluate your options and create the right mixture
of solutions.

You’ll learn to shift your focus from get rich quick to securing your long term financial future with self-sustaining income streams. Have you been missing your GAP ?
Are you still tripping over it ?

Knowing this is essential for building a bridge from where you are now to
where you want to be. Therefore I’ve included exercises to help identify the core elements you’ll need to be successful. There’s nothing wrong with snake oil if that’s what you’re shopping for.

I want to be clear that I am not discrediting all self-improvement materials.
After all you are reading one right now.

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And if you purchased this book, then you are contributing to one of my semi-passive income streams. And I hope that you’ll do the exercises, and think through the process. I don’t want anyone walking away feeling like they are left holding a bottle of useless oil. Types of Income


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