More People are Working from Home
(I have liberally edited this video to make myself sound clearer and more intelligent.)
Recently a friend asked me for some help with escaping his 9-to-5 job. He’s a young father with two little kids. He does the cooking and doesn’t have a lot of time for earning money. But with two little kids, his family really does need an extra income.
Working from home means you can work on your own terms. It’s not get-rich-quick. Working from home is hard work. You can set your own hours, your own prices, and get paid again and again. These days, most people work from home on the internet instead of writing a book.
We sat down for an interview and he asked me some questions. We made a video of this so he could review the information later. Part of that video is shown below.
But first, let me give you some of the highlights. He asked me what I do for an income that doesn’t take a lot of time.
I think this is an important question
Q: I think this is an important question. A lot of us who are working, and don’t have a lot of business are trying to get out of the 9-to-5 jobs that we tend to do. We want to find a starting point of how to start a business. So maybe you could expand on that.
A: Yea. I’d be glad to. Thank you for the question. Most of the people who have made (real) money, have done that by working for themselves, instead of somebody else.
Trading Time for Money
Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with trading your time for money, but there’s a limitation to that. In other words, if you stop working, the money stops.
And, most people have found that if they can start something where they can do the work once, and get paid again and again and again, even if it’s a little amount. When they stop working, the money keeps coming in. The trick, of course, is to have that become higher and higher amounts.
In the old days, people like Warren Buffet, even when he was in high school, started out – by saving up. He had a paper route. (We’re talking about when newspapers were made of paper and delivered to your door. And that was a ‘job’ job. You had to get up early or in the afternoon.)
When I was a kid we had both a morning paper and an evening paper delivered to the door. Most people chose one or the other. The choice was the morning paper only had yesterday’s news. The evening paper had today’s news but you had to wait for it.
Pinball Wizard Warren Buffet
He (Warren Buffet) saved his money and he bought a pinball machine (like a big video game). And he put that in a barber shop. The people who went to the barber shop had money in their pocket, time on their hands while they waited for the haircut.
Or maybe they still had a few bucks in their pocket after their haircut. Maybe they played the game after their haircut before they left. So they got a little pleasure with the utility thing they were doing.
A captive market in the barber shop
So, even tho he paid the barber shop a little rent for the space for the pinball machine, he still made a little profit every week or every month. Then he had enough to buy another pinball machine and got some more profit.
Pinball isn’t popular anymore but that’s a real world, old school example of how you take a small investment and put it toward an investment in yourself. And you get a passive return on that investment.
Pure profit from passive income
At some point, Warren Buffet made back what the machine cost. And now, he’s getting pure profit over the rent. In that sense, he was successful, because when he sold those pinball machines, he sold them for more than he had paid.
So it’s a win, win, win all the way around. That’s an old world example. It can still be done today. But today the better example would probably be the internet.
The one thing you are better than anyone
Find something that you can do that people are interested in, where they will pay you for the product or service.
A good example that has been done a lot but it’s still a good idea, is to write an e-book. In the old world, you would have written a book. You do the research, plan it out, written it out, add the table of contents, made the index, put it all together and you’ve got it printed.
You can ask the questions others only think about
It’s ink on paper and it’s in bookstores, and now you have something people want. And you can still do that. Today there are even places where they will print on-demand. Which means your costs are lower. You don’t have to spend as much money to put a thousand books into a store. You can get them to print the book every time somebody orders it. The costs are higher but you can actually have a physical book.
The reason to do an e-book, or electronic book, is the costs are so low. If people are going to read it on their laptop or smartphone, anyway, then maybe that’s where they want to read it and they may not want a physical book. If they really want it printed, they can pay for the paper, and maybe they won’t mind paying for the paper.
And, there is probably something you know, better, or you can know, or find out better, than anyone else on the planet. And the trick, of course, is to find that one unique thing, that you know better, or have experience with, that you know about, that other people don’t.
How to scale your business
Q: Getting back to Warren Buffet, so after he was done with his pinball machines. There must have been a time when he wanted to go into another areas. Do you understand?
A: I think so. The world and technology keeps changing. I think it’s a good idea to keep looking for new ways to present it, or new things people are looking for, or new opportunities that aren’t being filled.
Q: There must have been a time when Warren Buffet said, ‘Now I’m ready for bigger things. I’m ready for bigger profits.’ How does someone transition from a smaller business into a bigger business?
Appreciate what you have and ready for more
A: I think it’s best to look within to find your own particular answers more specific examples, but in general, yes. I recommend that you be happy with what you have and looking for more, is really good advice. In his (Warren Buffet’s) case, he did something that was real smart, which was to sell the pinball machines as a business when it was still making good money.
I think it’s best to look at when a business is going to peak, before it starts to decline, is the time to sell it because (the buyer) will say ‘Wow, it’s making this much and I only have to pay this much.’ When they are making money every week or every month, that’s something they want. That’s something they want to do. That’s a good return on an investment.
A good example of selling at the peak, was Jerry Seinfeld. He quit his TV show at the peak of his ratings. Everybody said why are you quitting? It’s so good. He said, you want to leave on a high point.