The filter supplier was a pleasant fellow. He stood in our kitchen and admired the harbor view. "You'd never want to work with a beautiful view like this," he said.
This was his annual visit to replace the water filter under our sink.
Now, this was something I could easily do. But if you remember from my past posts, I always prefer to support local businesses wherever I can. And paying $20 extra for a house visit from an expert to install the filter under the sink is a small price for the convenience.
So he chatted about our house and the spectacular views. And as so often happens with visitors and trades people who come here for the first time, he asked me, "So, what do you do for a living?"
That question is quite common. They ask when they see how an able bodied person seems to have all the time in the world in a luxury setting - while the rest of them are working hard day in and day out.
His curiosity was probably aroused when he had to earlier visit our garage downstairs to turn off the house water, and get round the Bentley Continental GT and Range Rover (formerly the private vehicle of the owner of the biggest car dealership in the country) parked there.
I told him what I did. In turn he said he had just bought a Forex computer program. Forex is currency trading, and already he had made $160.
Hmmm. I thought that tiny amount would be the most he would make a month - knowing what I do about the worth of these programs. But he was enthusiastic, and that's a good start for anything.
Making money - by that I mean enough money to Have It All - is exceedingly tough. There are exceptions, and I'll come to that in a minute.
If you want to build a business, you need both Inspiration and Perspiration. And after years of work, you may lose it all.
It's rare that any small business makes money. Most make just enough to keep the owner happy and striving. As the proprietor of a couple of newspapers many years ago, I had the inner circle view of hundreds of retail and service businesses. I discovered very few gave the owners any sort of extra fun money.
These were decent folk who had spent often tens of thousands of dollars to buy or establish the business, but had few skills to run it properly or build it up.
Often their only return was when they sold it several years later, and the sale money paid of most of the debts. If they were lucky.
If I don't sound enthusiastic about bricks and mortar businesses, then I'm even less so about internet business. Today you'll get nowhere fast unless you put in the Perspiration... the days of an easy automatic income stream are over. If you own a list, you're better off by far... one of our affiliates made over $80,000 in a couple of weeks from selling my system this way.
So what's the answer? If you are coming up to retirement age and dread living off a tiny pension, what do you do? If you're younger and need extra cash to build your family's resources, should you start a business?
Yes and no.
Yes, if you have an interest in the business and are good at what you do, including marketing. In fact, you'd better be putting at least 60% of your activity into marketing every day, because it's that essential to success. And if you sell something risk-free like my system, you'll do very, very well.
But no, if you want certainty of income. A job will bring that with far less trouble and effort.
The best return for your money, as I've said before, is winning the lottery. As crazy as that sounds...
- You spend a fraction of the amount you get back in a major win. Nothing else beats it.
- You spend virtually NO time on it at all. That never happens in a business.
- You can do other things while you wait for your tickets to produce $ for you.
Of course, I've left out the biggest factor - winning the lotto is just as uncertain as building a business, because you don't know WHEN you'll win.
But UNLIKE a business, you invest a tiny fraction of what you would need for business. And you do no work at all - unless you count walking down to your local lotto store every week!
And there's no risk if you only spend the money you can afford to lose.
Winning is easy. Waiting for a win is the hard part. But many have done it:
Hi Ken, I bought your system about two years ago, and I have been a constant winner since. To date I have won $33,675.00! My last win was this past Wednesday when I knocked off another $1,370.00!
J.M.R. (name and email supplied)