Your Passive Income Goal

As we transition into the how-to aspect of passive income creation, let’s begin by having you set a goal for what you want to accomplish here.

Let me suggest a simple meta-goal for starters: By the time you’re done reading this post, set a clear goal for what you want to gain from this series.

Do not close your browser window or move on to something else until you’ve set a clear and specific passive income goal.

No feeble excuses. No vacillating. No “I think about it later” B.S. And please no lame ass “I want more money” vague answers.

Whatever excuse you come up with as to why you can’t set a clear goal right now, we both know it’s stupid, so let’s not even go there. Not setting a goal is a waste of time.

If your actual desire is to create a new stream of passive income, then let’s make sure your goal includes 3 aspects:

  1. How much money you want to earn per month from your next stream of passive income (specific dollar amount)
  2. How long you expect that stream to last (number of years)
  3. Your deadline for receiving your first month’s income from that stream

This isn’t your ultimate goal we’re talking about here. It’s the goal for your first (or your next, if you’ve done this before) stream of passive income.

If you have something different in mind that doesn’t really fit the parameters above, then by all means set the goal you feel is best for you. At the end of the year, when other people are enjoying their new streams of passive income, you can see how your own goal worked out.

The idea is to set a goal that’s motivating but that’s also believable for you.

If you’re telling yourself that you can’t earn any passive income because it’s too much for you, then your imagination needs work. You could put $100 in a free savings account and earn a trickle of passive income each year for decades. So don’t be lazy here. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Set a goal.

Goal setting is a skill that takes practice. If you fumble this initially and set a goal that’s too big and unbelievable for you, you won’t achieve it. If you set an unrealistic deadline, you’ll blow the deadline. How do you know what’s realistic? You calibrate with practice, just like you learned to walk and talk.

I don’t expect your goal to be perfect. That isn’t the point. The goal is just the first step to get you moving forward and taking this seriously. And the ultimate goal is to get good at setting achieving your goals. This means you have to risk making mistakes in the beginning.

As the saying goes, There never was a winner who wasn’t at some point a beginner. So begin by setting a goal.

My First Passive Income Streams

Other than earning interest on my savings account, my first real experience with long-term passive income was when I wrote and self-published a computer game for MS-Windows. I think I released it in 1995. It was a simple side-scrolling shoot-em-up game. I did the programming and artwork for it myself (I wasn’t much of an artist though), and my girlfriend at the time did the music and helped out with the sound effects.

The game didn’t sell particularly well. I put it up on my website, by my website had virtually no traffic. I also uploaded it to a bunch of free download software sites. I had a free demo with a couple of levels, and then people would get more levels if they bought the full version. Initially most of my sales came from people finding the demo on a game download site, and the demo would refer them to my website to buy the game.

I opened a Post Office box and started receiving mail orders for the game. Later I got a merchant account, so I could take credit card orders. Then I started accepting online orders. Eventually I set things up so that orders could be processed and fulfilled automatically.

On average I earned about $75 per month from this game. I didn’t do much in terms of marketing, other than posting it on my website and submitting it to those download sites, which was a one-time effort. Once the game started selling, I moved on to other projects.

This was a Windows 3.1 game with a fixed 640×480 resolution. It was strictly 2D, so there were no fancy 3D graphics or anything like that.

A year after I released it, the game was still earning about $75 per month.

Five years after its release, it was still earning about the same.

Ten years after its release, it was still earning about the same.

I varied the price of the game over the years, testing $9.95, $14.95, and $19.95. It earned roughly the same amount of money regardless of the price. I could sell 10 copies for $10 each or 5 copies for $20 each.

The game was initially available on 3.5″ diskettes, then on CD-ROM. More than 90% of the customers bought the instant download version.

I also did some licensing deals for this game with LCR publishers (LCR = low cost retail). These publishers found me as a result of finding my game on some download site. They’d put together collections of cheap games and sell them on CDs for under $10. I didn’t earn much money from these deals, but they gave my game wider distribution, and every copy included a link to my website.

Occasionally the game got some special attention, and there was a surge in sales where it might do double sales for a month. So overall it probably earned in the range of $10-15K over its lifetime.

It took me about six months to write and release this game. I had a lot to learn, so it was slow going. I got much faster as I learned and practiced. Writing a similar shoot-em-up game in 1998 only took me about 2 weeks, including the design, programming, artwork, and sound effects.

Eventually I released three more games at about the same level of quality. And again, each of these added another $75 month in passive income, so with 4 of these titles, I was up to $300 per month.

Finally I got smart and spent 6 months creating a much better game and put more effort into marketing it. It did $500 in sales its first month and was up to $2K per month a few months later. I kept building it up from there with two expansion packs and a deluxe version that sold for $24.95. The game did very well and dwarfed the results of my previous games. I also did more licensing deals for it, including one that had a minimum guarantee of $5K per month just from that one source.

I developed this hit game with a $0 budget. I did the design and programming, the artist worked for a percentage of royalties, so I created a passive income stream for him.

Then I went on to license and republish games from other developers, which created new passive income streams for them and me. Eventually I built up a suite of about two dozen games, which means two dozen streams of mostly passive income. Some streams were pretty good. Others were just a trickle.

In 2006 I finally took my games off the market when I shut down my games business. By this point I was earning so much more from my website that I didn’t want to divide my focus by keeping my games business going. But the passive income stream from these games helped me launch my personal growth business. My games income covered all my expenses while I got the site up and running.

While you ponder that, be sure to check this out.

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The Beauty of Passive Income

Passive income is money that comes to you even when you’re not actively working, such as royalties, investment income, and revenue from automated business systems.

I started earning passive income in the 1990s by creating, selling, and licensing computer games. Once those deals and systems were established, I continued to earn money from those products year after year.

This approach soon became a habit. Consequently, most of the money I’ve earned during my lifetime has come from passive or semi-passive income source, not from a salary, wage, or hourly rate.

It took me many years to figure out how to make a living this way, and I went bankrupt along the way, but eventually I learned what I needed to learn. It works, and I definitely appreciate the benefits of it.

The truth is that it’s much, much easier to earn passive income today than it was when I first began on this path. There are such ridiculous opportunities out there, especially online, that if you’re at least halfway intelligent, you can surely do this. There are ways to earn money online now where you don’t even need your own website, nor do you need to have a lot of money to start earning passive income.

Earning passive income is not difficult. The how-to part — the actual doing of it — is fairly straightforward.

The difficult part is wrapping your head around it, unloading a lot of false conditioning, maintaining a constructive mindset, and shedding illogical fears. The challenge here is your own self development… to grow into the man or woman who won’t block themselves from doing this.

I prefer to define passive income fairly broadly as revenue you earn even when you aren’t actively working. Another name for passive income is residual income.

By contrast active income is money that stops coming to you when you stop working. If you get paid a salary and you quit your job or get laid off, most likely you’ll stop getting paid. You may get a severance package to help you transition, but your boss won’t keep paying your salary unless you keep showing up for work.

Similarly, if you do contract work for clients who pay you, and if you’ll stop getting paid if you stop doing this work, that’s also active income. You may have more flexibility with contract work, but you still have to do the work to receive your payments.

With passive income, you would keep getting paid whether or not you do any meaningful work. You may do a lot of work up front to get the ball rolling, but eventually you reach a point where the passive income stream gets activated. At this point you can essentially stop working on this income stream if you so desire, and more money will keep flowing to you through this stream regardless what you do or don’t do.

Passive income doesn’t mean one-time lump sum payments such as an inheritance or the sale of an asset like your home or some stock you own. Passive income is a source of income with some sense of continuation over time.

Passive income doesn’t mean permanent income. Some forms of passive income may last a few years. Other forms may keep going for decades or even for centuries across multiple generations. But all forms of income eventually dry up for one reason or another.

Passive income doesn’t mean 100% secure income. As Helen Keller wrote, “Security is mostly a superstition.” Some forms of income are more secure than others, but there’s always a risk element. For any income source, there’s a non-zero probability that something could destroy it. This is one reason it’s often wise to create multiple streams of income, so you can reduce the risk that all of them will fail simultaneously.

Passive income doesn’t mean perfectly 100% passive with no maintenance required. With any income source, you may need to do a little maintenance to keep it going. Sometimes this is really easy and only involves checking your mail and depositing checks. Sometimes it’s even more passive when the money is deposited directly into your bank account every month. But then you may still need to report this income and pay taxes on it.

Passive income is really a spectrum of possibilities. Some income streams are very passive. If you do essentially no maintenance on them for years, the income will keep coming. My book royalties are one example of this. Regardless of what I do or don’t do, most likely my publisher will keep selling my book, and people will keep buying it. Even if I shut down my website and go incognito for some reason, my book can keep selling online and in bookstores. All I need to do is deposit the royalty checks. I don’t have to process orders, interact with customers, or do any ongoing marketing.

Other income streams are semi-passive. You may need to do some work to maintain them even if you’re not working for a salary. For example, if you own a house and rent it out, you may earn passive income as rent payments from your tenants. But you may also need to invest some time, energy, and money to maintain the property, to find new tenants when the place goes vacant, and to handle the mortgage, insurance payments, and property taxes. If your tenants get ornery or become delinquent, you may need to do even more work. You may delegate much of this work to someone else, but then you have a business partner or employee to manage instead.

Passive income doesn’t mean it’s passive for everyone. There may be other people with regular jobs who do some of the work that enables you to receive passive income. You may also leverage technology to do a lot of work for you. The level of passivity is perspective dependent. One person’s passive income is another person’s active income.

I also want to distinguish passive income from what I’ll call moocher income. Moocher income is what people try to earn when they succumb to a get rich quick mindset. This is an undisciplined attitude that seeks to get something for nothing. The idea is to find a way to mooch money from people or the economy without providing any meaningful value. It is possible to generate income this way since markets contain plenty of inefficiencies, but it’s not an approach I recommend. I don’t personally define passive income to include moocher income, but there is a spectrum here where some forms of passive income deliver more value than others.

The goal here is to create passive income in a way that generates good value for others. This is more sustainable in the long run, and it’s better for everyone. Fortunately there are lots of ways to create value.

While you ponder that, be sure to check this out.

YOUR TICKET

The Parable of the Talents

The Parable of the Talents is one of the stories Jesus told to teach a moral lesson.  Although the word “talents” in the story refers literally to money, you can obviously extend the meaning to other areas.  It’s interesting to read it using the common definition of “talents.”

Here’s the story:

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.  Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.  “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents.  See, I have gained five more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

The man with the two talents also came.  “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Then the man who had received the one talent came.  “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.  See, here is what belongs to you.”

His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant!  So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

– Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

This simple story makes some interesting points that are applicable to the pursuit of personal development.

First, we’re all given a different starting position.  Some of us are born into abundance (five talents).  Others are born into scarcity (one talent).  But what matters isn’t what we’re given — it’s what we do with it that matters.  So Jesus acknowledges the unfairness of life, but he also suggests that our starting conditions are irrelevant.  One person earns five talents, another earns only two, but both are congratulated equally because both achieved a 100% gain.  (I’d sure like to know where those servants invested their money!)

This is also a good lesson in how to deal with other human beings.  Deal with other people based on their starting positions, and evaluate yourself by your own starting position.  If you happen to be one of those who receives five talents, don’t pat yourself on the back that you’re already above average.  If you have abundant talents, you should expect even more from yourself.  Similarly, there may be times in your life where you only have one talent and do the best you can with it, and even though your gains appear small from an external standard, by Jesus’ standard you’ve still made a notable accomplishment. 

Another interesting aspect of the parable is that our talents are entrusted to us, like a master putting money into the care of his servants.  We are stewards of our wealth, and I define wealth very loosely here, well beyond material possessions.  For example, if I can write and speak fairly well, those are talents entrusted to me.  I can bury them in the ground out of fear, or I can push out of my shell and strive to create increase for all.

One thing I wonder about the parable is this:  What would have happened if one of the servants who invested the money realized a loss instead of a gain?  There’s a clue to how Jesus would have answered this because of how the master addressed the third servant:  “You wicked, lazy servant!”  Later the master refers to that servant as “worthless” and has him physically thrown out.  That’s pretty harsh language considering the servant still gave the master all his money back.  Is Jesus saying that inaction is wicked?  Yes, I believe so.  In other words, if you do nothing with your talents… if you hide them in the ground and hoard them, you are choosing to be wicked, lazy, and worthless.  You are supposed to invest what you’ve been given.  Don’t be lazy.

Another clue is how the first two servants are praised.  The master praises them for being “faithful.”  Very interesting.  It would have been different if the master praised them for being shrewd or effective or profitable.  But the praise is given for their faith, not for their results.

Given the language (and hopefully my points still work with non-English versions of this scripture), I conclude that if one of the servants had invested money and lost some or all of it, they would still have been praised for their faithfulness.  However, given that Jesus doesn’t directly address this condition in the parable, he may also be suggesting that faith itself is the path to success — a common theme in his other teachings.  So perhaps if you use your talents faithfully, you aren’t really going to lose.

Another notable quality of the parable is the lack of competition.  The servants aren’t competing with each other for their master’s favor.  It’s not a zero-sum game.  The first two servants both contribute something of value to their master’s estate.

What’s the ultimate reward for the faithful servants?  Although Jesus doesn’t explicitly say it, it seems obvious they don’t get to keep the money.  The two successful servants aren’t even working for their own increase.  It’s not their money.  They’re working for the increase of their master, and they share in the increase to his estate.  Their true reward is to share in their master’s happiness.  So happiness is the reward, and happiness comes from serving others.

I know from experience that if I undertake some action to create increase only for myself, there’s very little energy to it, and it doesn’t usually increase my happiness.  But if I focus on creating increase for others (such as by helping people grow), then I feel great joy in doing that, and it ultimately creates increase for me too.

But there’s more to it than that.  Happiness is a quality that I inject into my work, not something I derive from it.  When I work only for myself, I’m looking for happiness outside myself.  Trying to achieve happiness that way doesn’t work.  But when I work for others’ benefit and turn off WIIFM for a while (What’s In It For Me?), I tap into the deep wells of happiness that are already inside me.  Instead of trying to achieve happiness, I happily achieve.  Happiness flows outward from me and into the work I do, so I experience it as an outflow, not an inflow.

Happiness is something you exhale, not something you inhale.  Are you one of those people who must say, “Yes, Senator, I had a supply of happiness in my gut, but I did not exhale?”

As Jesus implies in The Parable of the Talents, creating abundance requires you to move beyond fear.  If you’re too fearful or suspicious or distrustful, you’re going to bury your talents.  And this leads to “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” i.e. sorrow and depression.

You might think that fear and suspicion will keep you out of trouble, but really they’ll just cause you suffering and pain.  You don’t need fear to avoid being a gullible idiot; for that you just need common sense.  To live a life of abundance, you must ultimately move beyond fear and work to create abundance for others.  Otherwise you’ll ultimately be cast out as worthless.  Jesus doesn’t pull any punches here, youse bums.

Serve to create increase for others, and happiness is your reward.  Bury your talents, and you get “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  The choice is yours.

While you ponder that, be sure to check this out.

YOUR TICKET

How to Manifest Money (Part 2)

People often get confused about the relationship between desire and detachment. Aren’t they diametrically opposed? How can you have both at the same time? Isn’t desire a form of attachment?

No, these aren’t in conflict. They coexist perfectly.

Let me ‘splain.

Desire is about what you wish to create. You could describe this vibe as passion, excitement, or even lust. It’s a delicious pool of emotions you summon by focusing on a new target. The stronger your desire, the better, so amp it up!

Detachment, on the other hand, is about how those desires ultimately manifest for you. When you become too attached to when and how your desires show up, you screw up the manifesting process. Instead of holding the vibe of playfulness and abundance, you start sending out signals like concern, worry, and stress. Don’t do that!

Would you become stressed and worried if you couldn’t find enough coins on the ground? Would that vibe improve your performance? No, that would only lower your performance.

When you notice that you’re getting frustrated, pause, breathe, and go back to the desire side. Hold that vision of the creation you wish to experience, and wallow in the positive sensations of being there in your heart, mind, and spirit. Know that physical reality will soon catch up, as long as you keep holding the right vibe.

When you feel moved to take action from a place of passion and excitement, not stress, then go ahead and let those actions flow through you. It will seem to be more work to stop yourself — you’ll feel like you’re chickening out and holding back if you stay still. Follow your impulses. But don’t worry about the immediate results of those actions. There may be some twists and turns along the way.

Power

When manifesting money, it’s especially important that you don’t give your power away to money. This negates your creative ability, and the money probably won’t arrive if you do that. This is a VERY common mistake.

You can’t effectively wield the power of manifestation by believing that you can manifest something you desire (i.e. money) while simultaneously believing that something you desire has power over you (i.e. money).

If you want to manifest money, you CANNOT believe that money is a power source. Money cannot give you wealth or abundance or happiness. It really can’t give you anything. Money just sits there — all the power comes from you. If you believe that having more money will give you any additional power at all, then you’re actually holding the vibe that says, “I’m too weak to attract money.” You’ll have to get a job instead. 

Think of it like this. If you want to manifest money, but you believe that money is its own power source, then deep down you’re giving money the power to say no to you. If money has power, then it can refuse to show up.

Instead of this crazy wrong approach, in your mindset and heartset, you must KNOW that you’re completely 100% dominant over money and that money is completely 100% submissive to you. You’re in total command of it. If you order it to show up, it must obey you. It has no power of its own. It cannot refuse you.

When you manifest money, you are COMMANDING it to come into your reality. You’re the CREATOR. Money has no choice but to obey you, but only if you wield your true power. If you give your power away to money, then you empower money to deny your requests. Money will say, “Well, if you’re letting me decide, then no, I’m staying over here.”

If you approach money like a power source of its own, then by trying to manifest it, you’re really trying to overpower it, and in such a contest you’ll usually lose. That contest, however, is completely internal — and pretty much insane. It’s like trying to arm wrestle yourself. How can you win? It’s a false reality you’re projecting because you aren’t ready to fully wield your own power yet.

Remember that money is nothing but a number. Or it’s pieces of metal and paper. How could it possibly be more powerful than a conscious human being such as yourself?

If you think that once you have money, you will become stronger, you’re crazy. Absolutely deluded! More likely — if you actually did manifest money from that kind of vibe — you’d grow even weaker. This would be a bad outcome for you, even though it seems like what you want. You’d be a weak-minded, weak-hearted person with more money, and you’d still see the money as more powerful than you, even while it’s in your possession. You’d then become attached to it and afraid of losing it because you’d still mistakenly see it as a power source. It would become a source of security for you, a constantly vulnerable one. The more money you had, the more paranoid you’d become about losing it. This would really mess you up big time. So be very, very glad that you naturally attract less money when you think of money as a power source. If you invite money into your life from that crazy frame of giving away your power, then money will become your Master, and you will be forever its slave. Don’t even go there!

If money has no power, then why manifest it at all? In truth, you don’t need to. But if you wish to manifest money, then do it as a game. Money is a toy you can play with. Get excited about the experience of manifesting money, but don’t put any attention into what you’d do with the money once you have it. It’s merely a number.

If you desire something you think money will give you, then focus on that desire directly, not on the money you think you need to get it. Money may or may not be part of the manifestation process.

Only focus on manifesting money directly if you’re capable of seeing the money as a plaything, like a video game score. It’s only something to manifest for fun, not something to get all worked up and stressed about.

Once again, do NOT give your power away to money. You must know that money is completely powerless. All the power is within you, never out there.

Upgrading

When manifesting money, start small and work up to larger amounts. See it as a score you’re aiming to increase, but don’t put larger amounts on a pedestal by assuming they’re more difficult to manifest.

I started with manifesting pennies in the Summer of 2006. Then I graduated to nickels, dimes, and quarters. I focused on quarters for several weeks. Then I progressed to dollars to $100 to $1000 to $10K to $50K. Overall it took less than a year to go from manifesting pennies to manifesting $50K. After that point I become more interested in non-monetary manifesting and had some especially fun times with manifesting in my social life — friends, mentors, and other yumminess. In fact, I honestly feel that manifesting money is a bit boring compared to all the other cool stuff you can manifest. It’s like playing a video game and obsessing over the score. That can be fun for a while, but eventually you want to focus on more interesting aspects of the game world.

If you can get good at manifesting coins, you can manifest larger sums too. The process is the same. Only some limiting beliefs of yours may stand in the way. But as you gradually upgrade to larger sums, you can collapse those false beliefs.

Once Emily gets good at manifesting coins and feels comfortable and confident with it, I’ll start challenging her to manifest larger sums. She may not find money on the ground as often, but it will show up in other ways.

Money comes to you through the filters of your beliefs, but you don’t have to change your beliefs radically. You just have to open enough of a portal in your beliefs to allow different sums to come to you.

Coins may be found on the ground while you’re walking around. Bills will sometimes be found on the ground too. Larger sums may manifest in the form of exchanges, business deals, inheritances, inspired action, and other ways. Assume that those larger sums are right in front of your face, staring at you and screaming at you to notice them. You just have to tune your vibe to the right frequency to pick them up.

I’ve noticed that as I’ve shifted my vibe to manifest larger sums of money and to manifest new experiences in other parts of my life, I seem to fall out of resonance with manifesting smaller sums. I’m not as good at manifesting coins as I was in 2006. That’s because my vibe isn’t tuned in to the coin manifesting frequency as much. These days I’m spending more time using the LoA to manifest cool social connections and travel experiences. I’ve tuned my vibe to focus on that part of the perceptual frequency. I also feel more excited and playful about manifesting in these other areas as opposed to adding to my financial score.

Congruency

Every relationship in your life contributes to the overall vibe you’re putting out. This includes all the different ways you relate to money.

For example, if your job sucks and doesn’t pay you very well, and you try to manifest money on the side, that probably won’t work so well because each time you go to work at your job, you risk re-triggering the vibe of feeling financially under-appreciated.

This is where lots of people get stuck with the LoA. They put out conflicting vibes every day. They may visualize having more money and feeling abundant and grateful, but then they go to the grocery store, and they buy cheap, low quality food because in the back of their mind, they’re saying to themselves that they can’t afford the good stuff. And that naturally cancels out the vibe of abundance, so the result is no change.

If your current circumstances cause you to emit conflicting vibes, then even as you go through the motions of acting in accordance with a scarcer financial situation than you’d like, keep your vibe focused on that of abundance. The best way to do that is by holding the heartset of gratitude. So even if you buy cheap, low-quality food, hold the vibe that you’re grateful for it and that you appreciate it. Feel appreciative that such food exists and that it’s within your budget. And then look at the high quality stuff, and emotionally invite it into your life. If possible, find one way in which you can splurge for higher quality items, like buying a few organic apples, and feel grateful that you can do that. And when you eat those apples, really enjoy them, and intend to receive more of the same.

But do NOT beat yourself up for not being able to afford what you desire. That will only lower your vibe.

Do like I did with Emily when she kept finding bottle caps and smudges. Praise yourself for succeeding at what you’re already manifesting, and then command your senses to adjust to a more abundant part of the spectrum of reality. Be patient with yourself — you’ll get it.

Whenever you start feeling bad about your financial situation, see that as a form of feedback. Let it become an immediate trigger to refocus on your desires. Say to yourself, “Okay, obviously I don’t want this. So what do I want instead?” Then think about happier alternatives; allow your mind to go there, and let the resulting new vibe flow through you.

Manifesting money is a fun challenge. It’s definitely doable if you approach it from a place of playfulness, knowing, and power. It does involve some discipline, but the discipline is mental and emotional, not physical.

You aren’t going to let a 10-year old girl kick your ass at this game, are you?

While you ponder that, check this out:

http://www.americandream4me.com/powerwave

How to Manifest Money

The most important aspect of manifesting money is to approach it from the right heartset. Think of your heartset as the overall vibe of your relationship to the activity of attracting money. How would you describe that relationship? Is it greedy, needy, excited, hopeful, etc?

If you approach this process from a place of neediness, clinginess, scarcity, or too much seriousness, you’ll most likely fail. That’s the right vibe for attracting nothing — or for making things worse by attracting unwanted expenses — but it’s not the right vibe for attracting money.

So if you come at this from a place of saying, “I really need $1000 to pay my rent next month, so I’m going to focus hard on manifesting it via the Law of Attraction,” well… good luck with that. But I’d bet against you.

A slightly better vibe is that of hope, but this is still a pretty weak vibe. Hope won’t get you very far.

A much better vibe is to come from a place of curiosity and experimentation. Go into a state of childlike wonder. With this vibe you may begin to generate some interesting results.

An even stronger vibe is to generate feelings of playfulness and excitement. This is a great vibe for manifesting money. In the next section, I’ll share a story to illustrate how I do this with my daughter.

Knowing

When you want to manifest money, it’s important to know that it’s already there. If it’s hidden at all, it’s hiding in plain sight, waiting for you to notice it and pick it up. This applies whether we’re talking about cash found on the ground or opportunities that will generate cash.

Know that the cash and the opportunities are right in front of your face. You just have to adjust your “eyes” to see them. You do this by shifting your vibe — your frequencies of thought and emotion — to one that’s capable of detecting the money.

It’s fun to think of this vibe-shifting process as shifting dimensions, as if you’re tuning in to a different perceptual frequency spectrum. That other reality was there all along. You just couldn’t see it before because you were tuned in to incompatible perceptual frequencies, frequencies that made the money invisible and undetectable by your senses. Maybe you were stuck on the red part of the spectrum, while the money was hanging out in the blue part.

Obviously your senses pick up a lot as you go about your day, but you only notice a puny fraction of all that input. In order to manifest money, you need to tune your senses to bring to your attention useful input that you’ve been subconsciously dismissing as irrelevant background noise. This tuning process takes some time, but you can definitely do it.

Lately I’ve been teaching my daughter how to manifest coins. I do this by turning it into a game. When we’re out walking together, I challenge her to see if she can find more coins than I can.

The first time I did this, she was really bad at it. I found several coins during our walk together, often coins that she walked right past without even noticing. Instead of finding coins, she didn’t notice anything. The coins didn’t register within her perceptual reality.

Later on she began noticing things that were close to coins, but not coins. She found bottle caps, paper clips, scraps of paper, and coin-like smudges on the floor — everything but coins. I kept pointing out to her that there are coins everywhere, but you have to tune in to the “coin abundance frequency” to see them. Each time I found a coin and showed it to her, I could tell it was gradually helping her tune in to the right perceptual frequency.

One reason she was bad at this game was that she was tuning out the possible existence of coins everywhere she walked. She just didn’t think there could be that many coins hiding in plain sight. By demonstrating to her that the coins were indeed there and that she was simply failing to notice them, I helped shift her beliefs. She stopped thinking of the game as something outside her control (relying on luck or chance), and she began thinking of what she could control (her open-mindedness and attentiveness).

At first when she would walk past a coin, and I’d pick it up and say, “Look at this, Emily. There was a nickel there, and you walked right past it! Your eyes definitely saw it because you were looking in that direction, but the coin didn’t register in your mind. You still need to adjust yourself to the right vibe. Remember — the coins are everywhere! You just have to command your eyes to notice them.”

Initially this surprised her. She could dismiss it as luck… or as some kind of trick… or as a momentary lapse of her part. Then when it kept happening, it began to frustrate her. I helped her shift that frustration to amusement by pointing out that she was really good at finding bottle caps and smudges, and we had some laughs about that. She just needed to adjust her mind a little bit more to notice the coins.

Finally she began to accept that yes, there really are coins everywhere, and she only has to notice them. It seemed like she was beginning to tell her eyes and her mind to get with the program and start noticing the coins.

Emily has a competitive side, so I played to that by challenging her to find more coins than me, which boosted her motivation and desire to get good at it. She knows that technically it’s a fair game, and she even gave herself an advantage by walking in front of me, so she could be the first to spot new coins. And since she’s only 4’9″ inches tall, she’s a lot closer to the ground than I am.

Gradually she got better at the game. We went out yesterday and played again. In an hour of walking around some hotels on the Vegas Strip, she found 46 cents: 1 quarter, 3 nickels, and 6 pennies. In that same time, I found only 6 cents. She won the game for the first time and was pretty excited about it. And of course I gave her lots of accolades for it, so as to encourage her to keep improving.

I dare say she’s probably better at finding coins than I am now. She now knows there are coins everywhere, but she also really gets into the playful and competitive spirit of the game, which is much more exciting for her than it is for me. I think partly she likes knowing that it’s a fair game that either of us can win, and there’s no reason she can’t be at least as skillful as I am.

When it comes to creating a vibe of playfulness and excitement, children can easily be more masterful than adults. This is the same vibe we need to recreate as adults in order to manifest whatever we desire.

It may sound silly to do this as an adult, but it’s a game worth playing. When you’re out with friends sometime, have a contest to see who can manifest the most money. You may not get too excited about finding coins, but you may generate some excitement about trying to best your friends in a silly contest. That silliness will actually help you get the right vibe, thereby improving your ability to manifest money.

While you ponder that, check this out:

http://www.americandream4me.com/powerwave

Create and Deliver

How do you know if you’re creating and delivering real value?

Ask yourself these questions: If you stopped doing what you do, who would care? Who would object loudly? Who would revolt?

If you’re creating and delivering genuine value, and you suddenly stop, people will notice. People will definitely care. Your contribution will be seriously missed. There will practically be rioting in the streets.

Such people may not even credit the value to you directly, especially if your contribution remains somewhat anonymous, but they’ll soon detect that something important is missing from their lives. Even if they don’t know your name, the removal of your ongoing value creation and delivery will have a definite effect.

If, however, hardly anyone cares that you stopped, that should tell you something. It means that people just didn’t value your creative output… not really. What you were doing was either unnecessary or easily replaced. You weren’t yet living as a conscious, self-actualized human being. You held back from shining as brightly as you could have.

You have a choice of whether or not you want this to be your fate. You may have been conditioned from a young age to view your life path in terms of getting a job and making money. Go ahead and live that way for a few years if you think it’s intelligent. You’ll soon see what a pointless, soulless dead-end it really is.

When you finally begin to hear that subtle inner voice screaming at you, “This is just so wrong,” realize that it’s still possible to live a life of fun, freedom, and fulfillment — and still make plenty of money and not starve. But in order to get there, you have to focus on doing what really matters. You must clear your head of all that socially conditioned nonsense and stop doing what everyone else is doing.

Start living as a conscious human being, not a mindless minion. Focus on expressing your child-like creativity on a daily basis. Stop thinking so much about making money, and focus on connecting with people and sharing your creations with them instead.

Create and deliver. Create and deliver.

The correct focus for financial abundance is so simple it’s ridiculous. You learned it in kindergarten.

You: “Hey, look at this picture I made!” (Value created)

Adult: “Wow. That’s awesome! You made my day!”  (Value received)

My five-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter pretty much have it figured out. If they just keep doing what they naturally like to do, they’ll be able to enjoy financial abundance as adults too.

My job as a parent isn’t so much to teach them something new in this area — it’s to prevent them from being brainwashed into thinking like everyone else.

It doesn’t matter whether or not my writing generates income for me. I don’t think about it like that. I just know that if I keep creating and delivering value, I’ll continue to enjoy financial abundance, and I’ll feel really good too. Money is basically a non-entity. It doesn’t motivate action, nor does it serve as a reward. It’s just something that recedes into the background while real life is unfolding.

I’d love for you to be able to enjoy similar benefits if this is something that appeals to you. It all starts with the choice of where you focus your attention. The more you pursue your own creative self-expression, the less you’ll have to fuss over money.

The irony is that this is probably what you tell yourself you’ll do when you finally have enough money, but that sort of thinking is a trap that will only keep you stuck. The way you would live if/when you’re enjoying financial abundance, start living that way now, for that’s the very strategy that will produce the abundance you seek. And when you begin to experience financial abundance, you’ll realize that you never needed it to begin with. You just needed the courage to start expressing the real you under the conditions you find yourself in this very moment.

While you ponder that, check this out:

http://www.americandream4me.com/powerwave

Hey Dude, Can You Spare a Bailout?

Personally I think that economic recessions, including the current one, are a good thing. Recessions help to weed out the crappy companies that aren’t creating and delivering value people want. Many of those companies were doing a good job at one time, but they failed to keep pace. As our values change, our companies need to adapt. Companies that can’t do that deserve to die off, and the jobs they created should be eliminated. They’ll eventually be replaced by new companies that have a better sense of people’s current needs and desires. Company that just don’t “get it” will be replaced by companies that do.

Consider the notion of bailing out the failing U.S. auto companies by having the taxpayers fund them. Is this a good idea? It’s okay except for one small problem — it’s STUPID! It’s one of the dumbest things our political reps could possibly do with our tax dollars. An auto company bailout is definitely not in the best interests of our country, nor is it in the best interests of the auto workers themselves. It’s totally short-sighted. And FWIW I think the whole financial bailout was just as dumb.

I have family members who used to work for GM for years (not in the automobile division of the company though). If they were still working for GM today, I’d sooner see them lose their jobs and have to find new work elsewhere than encourage them to live under the illusion that their company should continue doing business as usual. As I mentioned previously, I bought a Japanese car in 2006 even though I could have gotten a great price break on a GM model. I just didn’t like any GM cars.

During a recession some companies are going to die off. That’s a good thing. To artificially prop up the proven market losers is just dumb. Sure, it will have some rippling consequences. But those ripples are necessary. We need that sort of self-correction to prevent bigger problems down the road. We need to send a message that if you fail to create and deliver value people genuinely want, your business will ultimately fail, and no amount of political lobbying will save you. Of course we get the opposite result when too many people think that the point of life is to chase dollars, especially our politicians. Can you blame them though? Have you ever been known to fall into the same trap?

It’s better — and much more compassionate — for millions of auto workers to lose their jobs and be re-integrated back into society, where they can start doing socially useful work again instead of wasting their time doing work that simply isn’t needed anymore. If it takes years, it takes years. There are other companies that are doing a better job of providing what people want and adapting to the planet’s changing transportation needs. Giving more money to the losers is a stupid strategy.

Similarly, if you work for a company that is falling out of sync with creating and delivering value that people want, you should indeed lose your job. It’s better to retrain yourself to do more meaningful work elsewhere than to waste your time doing work that isn’t needed. Becoming obsolete is a trap that can be avoided. Even if you’re an employee, you still need to make sure you’re contributing to the creation and delivery of real value. If you fall away from that, it’s only a matter of time before you get the axe, so don’t be too surprised when it happens.

While you ponder that, check this out:

http://www.americandream4me.com/powerwave

There’s More to Life Than Money

Of all the things I do as part of my “work,” making money plays only a small role. Despite having written some popular articles on the subject, I spend little time thinking about money these days.

I don’t even bother to set financial goals anymore. That seems totally pointless to me.

Sometimes months go by, and I don’t even know how much money I’m currently making. I just know there’s always plenty and that I’m earning more than I’m spending. The gap is wide enough that I don’t need to do any special budgeting or fussing with figures.

The reason this works for me is that I focus on creating and delivering value. I know that as long as I keep doing that, I don’t have to do anything special to try to make money. New opportunities just keep showing up. It’s not that difficult to maintain.

I remember when I was at a conference in 2004 where Dr. Wayne Dyer was speaking. He said that people would come up and say, “You know, Dr. Dyer. Some people say you’ve made a LOT of money.”

Dr. Dyer’s response was, “They would be right.” 

He went on to say something along these lines: “It’s not my fault! I just keep doing what I’m doing, and there’s always plenty of abundance there.”

At the time it was hard for me to relate to this mindset. It seems a bit too unrealistic and exceptional. But still… I wondered what it would be like to live at that level, where you could just assume abundance and it would be there for you. No striving or struggling. It took a few years, but I’m finally grasping what that sort of mindset feels like.

I’d say it’s not really a complete mindset by itself though. I doubt very much that Dr. Dyer focuses a lot of attention on trying to make money. I think most of his attention is elsewhere, wrapped up in the material he writes about. And that’s exactly where it should be.

Having written about two dozen books, it’s safe to say that Dr. Dyer has internalized the concept of creating and delivering value. I have it on good authority that his books sell quite well too. (We share the same publisher.)

Incidentally, I finally had the chance to meet Dr. Dyer in October at the speakers’ dinner for the I Can Do It! Conference. We only spoke with him for a few minutes. He was very warm and friendly.

This whole abundance mindset might sound really annoying if you’re dealing with financial scarcity right now. I can totally relate. I’ve been there, and I’m sure I’d have been equally annoyed if someone said this sort of stuff to me back then. I’d have been vehement that making money was NOT easy because I tried very hard to do that and failed big at it. Ironically the real problem was that by focusing on making money, I was making a huge mistake.

The key is where you focus your attention. If you focus your attention on making money, I can virtually guarantee that you’ll have a long and difficult road ahead of you, filled with setbacks and disappointments. If money is really what you seek, good luck with that. All you’ll do is give more and more of your power away, and you’ll end up living a pretty empty and shallow life.

Another corrupt form of thinking is to focus your attention on attracting financial abundance. Law of Attraction promoters often present this as a good idea. I once thought it was a good idea too. Now I realize it’s a dead end. It will just run you in circles. The irony is that in order to enjoy real financial abundance, you want to be thinking about money as little as possible.

I know it sounds like focusing on money is the right idea. I assure you that it’s a mistake. If you need to take several years to figure that out the hard way like I did, be my guest. But you’ll be really pissed that you could have saved yourself all that trouble if you simply let these ideas sink in a bit deeper. I hope that on some level what I’m saying strikes you as common sense. But I know I’ll be getting emails five years from now from a few people who went the other route. I hope you aren’t one of them.

Try to recognize the truth that focusing on CREATING and DELIVERING value is the smarter, more sane approach to long-term financial abundance. You may start out a bit slow at first, but eventually you’ll learn how to get good at both pieces of this puzzle. Once you have both aspects working reasonably well, it’s awesome. Just plain wonderful. And it leads to a really fun and exciting life too. Lots of freedom. Lots of joy. Plenty of cash. And yet the cash doesn’t even matter.

The nice thing about having plenty of money is that you can largely ignore it. You can focus your attention on doing more important, more interesting, and more enjoyable things. The funny thing is that it’s this sort of focus that creates financial abundance in the first place. Then you come full circle and realize that you never needed money at all. You just needed the courage to go after your dreams full steam ahead, even when you were dead broke. You needed to stop hiding behind a lack of money as an excuse not to live your best life.

If I could learn and apply this lesson while going bankrupt and having less than $100 in the bank, surely you can apply it today. I learned that I could create and deliver value even when I had no money and few resources. It wasn’t the greatest value in the world mind you, but at least it was something. I focused on creating something people would like and enjoy. Then I got it into their hands and made sure they enjoyed it. Back then it was a simple computer game. Today I do pretty much the same thing with blogging. The content is different, but the overall strategy is the same.

The DELIVERING part needn’t be complicated. If you just create something and share it online, other people will spread it around if they like it.

If you’ve been putting your value out there for months and months, and you haven’t been able to generate much interest from others, that should tell you that your mistakes are on the creative side. The feedback is that people don’t care for what you’re producing. You think you’re creating value, but the world is saying, “Not good enough; we don’t need or want this.” So you need to adapt to that feedback and use it to improve. Let it encourage you to go deeper within yourself, so you can be more genuine and authentic. Become more real and less phony. Keep working at becoming a more expressive creator until people start to take notice. Then you’re golden.

While you ponder that, be sure to check this out.

https://bluewave.putwalletaway.com

Keeping Your Focus

Once you develop the habit of creating and delivering value, it’s pretty hard to fail. However, it’s very easy to get distracted along the way. Distraction is perhaps your biggest obstacle.

You can’t get sucked into every money-making scheme that crosses your plate. Getting sucked into a job, where you have to trade hours for dollars, is just as bad. These are dead ends you should avoid by any means.

You have to stay focused on creating and delivering value. Everything that detracts from this focus should be viewed as an expense, obstacle, or just plain evil.

This is so important, but most people just don’t get how important it is.

Getting a job is such a bad idea if you want to enjoy long-term financial abundance. The odds of success on that path are so low, it’s not even worth considering.

Seriously, you are better off being broke and homeless, so you can focus on creating and delivering value from that place. You’re much worse off if you have to waste day after day showing up to work for someone else. That won’t move you closer to financial abundance. It will only distract you further.

If I had to choose between being homeless and getting a full-time job, I’d go the homeless route. Having a job would be 10x worse. As a homeless person, I could stay hungry and focused on creating and delivering value. I might not have the means to produce much value at first, but at least I could get out there in front of people and deliver something. It would be a good start on the right path.

A job is just a monstrous distraction. In many ways it’s a modernized form of slavery.

Homelessness is a huge upgrade from traditional employment. Have you ever talked to a homeless person? Some of them find the idea of having a job insulting — it represents a loss of freedom. Sure you smell better and can get a nicer place to live, but you lose your humanity in the process. Perhaps such people realize something you don’t.

Employment is the ultimate form of destitution.

Fortunately, employment is an easy problem to fix. If you have a job, just stop showing up. The rest will take care of itself. Pretty soon you’ll feel some motivation and drive to start creating and delivering value, especially if you happen to like eating.

Genuine opportunities are based on creating and/or delivering value. If you see something that looks like a new opportunity, and it doesn’t require you to create value, and it doesn’t require you to deliver value, then it isn’t an opportunity. It’s a total waste of your time.

Is creating and delivering value harder than getting a job? I would say no, not at all. Having a job is a lot harder. With a job you still have to provide some form of value usually, but all the residual benefits you produce turn into residual income for someone else. So you’re already doing most of what needs to be done, but you aren’t enjoying any of the benefits. In the long run, you’ll probably have to work much harder if you have a job, but the bulk of the rewards will go to someone else. On the one hand, that’s generous, but on the other hand, it’s quite dumb.

I could get a job as a writer and get paid a certain amount for each word I write. But then someone else owns my work, and all the residuals from that work go to them. Alternatively, I could write articles for my own website and retain the freedom to republish them as books someday, use them to generate traffic (and thereby income), license them for various publications, use them to promote my book, etc. The correct strategy is a no-brainer really.

Trying to make money is itself a distraction. When you focus on making money, too many things will catch your eye. You’ll run around like a chicken with its head cut off, chasing down all sorts of things that look like opportunities. You’ll waste a lot of time and energy if you chase dollars.

Creating and delivering value is simpler. This focus is well-aligned with truth, love, and power.

When you create and deliver value, you can be open and honest about what you’re doing. You get to spend most of your time doing stuff you’d naturally enjoy. It’s pleasurable to hone a craft you’re passionate about, whether it be writing articles, composing music, or planting gardens. It’s much harder to do boring, non-creative work day after day. It’s also very empowering to share your value with others and to see that you’re making a positive difference in people’s lives.

Once you make a habit of creating and delivering value as your primary career focus, you won’t want to go back.

That’s it for now. While you ponder that, be sure to check this out.

https://bluewave.putwalletaway.com

Turning Value into Income

So how does one generate income from creating and delivering value? Can’t you run into a problem of creating and delivering lots of value and making no money from it?

As it turns out, making money is the easy part. If you can create and deliver value to people, the income opportunities will literally come to you. People will practically line up with ways for you to make money. I’m serious.

Here’s how this works.

If you get good at creating value, you can connect with other people who are good at delivering value. They deliver your value, such as by selling it, and they pay you a royalty, commission, or licensing fee.

For example, Hay House offered me a book deal last year, so I wrote a book and it was published in September. I received an advance for the book, and I’ll also receive ongoing royalties based on sales. I might even receive royalties from this book for the rest of my life, especially since the content is timeless. Also, writing a book has lead to other opportunities, such as paid speaking engagements. So in this case I created the value (the book), but others deliver it.

Now suppose you get good at delivering value. In this case you can generate income by plugging other people’s value into your delivery system. For example, my blog is great at delivering value. It’s a very efficient medium for that. But since I give my value away for free, it doesn’t generate income directly. However, I can generate plenty of income by promoting other people’s products that I like. Then I split the profits from sales with the publisher. I earn six figures a year just from doing that. The product publishers come to me. I get way more offers for this sort of thing than I can handle. It doesn’t require a lot of work to do this. Once you have a system for delivering value, you can plug other people’s value into it and generate lots of extra income.

If you have the means to create AND deliver strong value, you’ll have so many opportunities it will be totally ridiculous. First, you can plug the value you create into other people’s delivery systems, so you can earn ongoing royalties and such. This is easy residual income. I’m still getting checks every month for deals I entered years ago.

Secondly, you can plug other people’s creative value into your own delivery system. You pay them a royalty on the sales, or they pay you as an affiliate. Once again you generate ongoing residual income. As long as you’re selective about the products you promote, doing your best to ensure that they provide strong value, everyone is happy, and everyone wins.

Thirdly, you can plug your value into your own delivery system. Strangely, this is something I haven’t done yet with my blog, although I used to do it all the time with my computer games business. This is something I intend to explore in 2020. It simply means that I could create and sell my own products direct. Many other bloggers have already done this with great success, releasing e-books, audio programs, DVDs, etc. They create the value and sell it directly to their visitors.

A big chunk of the income I received in 2019 was from work I did in previous years. I could do no work for all of 2020 and just live off the residual income I know is coming. That’s a nice situation to be in. It’s no accident though. Years ago I decided that this is how I wanted to set up my financial life, and then I focused on creating and delivering value to make it work. There’s no reason you can’t use the same strategy. It isn’t trademarked. 

That’s it for now. While you ponder that, be sure to check this out.

https://bluewave.putwalletaway.com