You Decide…

By Jim Sheridan.

Hello again, and welcome to another ‘Freedom by Friday’, and this week’s letter is unique in that it has two endings, and you can decide which ending we have!

Okay, I’ll begin with a true story…

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What’s In This Package?

I got a package the other day from a very good friend of mine.

In a plain brown wrapper with a simple note attached “watch this”.

This was something that was so straight forward and made so much sense I wish I’d thought of it…  I knew immediately that I needed to share it with you.

You really need to take a look for yourself.

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Once upon a time, there was this guy who was a health fanatic, and he saw the American population digging their own graves with their knives and forks. So he decided to do something about it by starting a health business that taught people about nutrition and exercise. You know, that crazy little thing we refer to as ‘helping people’. Or to be specific, this man decided to give people what they NEEDED.

His business went broke soon after.

So this guy scratched his head and thought to himself: “I don’t get it. I gave people what they needed. And nobody wanted it.”

Then he realized that his mistake was in the contradiction of that thought: he gave people what they NEEDED, but it wasn’t what they WANTED. He made the common and classic mistake of thinking that most people actually WANT what they NEED.

Let me give you a little example here to clarify what I mean…

People NEED to eat spinach. But people WANT to eat hamburgers.

Get it?

Yes? I’m glad you do, because 90% of most businesses and marketers don’t.

Anyway, our health fanatic guy figured this out. But it made him mad. He was angry at how stupid people could be to WANT hamburgers when they NEEDED spinach. What dumbasses!

So he thought he’d make fun of this apparent stupidity by starting a new business that went to the other extreme of healthy living. He decided to sell hamburgers, and the restaurant was called, “The Heart Attack Grill”. I’m NOT joking, this is a true story and this is a REAL place. You may have heard of it. Here’s the menu:

Gotta like the part about the government. I love this guy! And I totally admit, I WANT one of those burgers. Do I NEED it though? I NEED it like a hole in the heart.

His attempt to make fun of people has become a successful business because people evidently do WANT this, and they don’t get the joke.

At The Heart Attack Grill, the manager is dressed in scrubs with a stethoscope slung around his neck, and the waitresses are ‘naughty-nurses’. An ambulance is always parked outside. If anyone can finish the 2-pound ‘Quadruple Bypass’ burger, one of the hot nurses pushes you out in a wheelchair to thunderous applause. They slap pure lard on the burger buns. The fries are fried in pure lard, and they’re unlimited, help-yourself at the fries bar (instead of a salad bar). The ‘butterfat’ milkshakes are ALL cream. They aggressively publicize the story if any of their customers pass out on the premises (and they evidently do quite often).

I think this is more than making fun of peoples’ stupidity- I think this guy is actually trying to kill the population as retribution for his failed health business. You gotta love him!

And get this: if you weigh over 350 pounds you can eat free FOR LIFE! In an interview, one of these heavyweight customers was asked why they thought they were allowed to eat for free. And do you know what his response was (as he crammed a Bypass Burger into his face)? He replied gravely, “Well… I guess the owner doesn’t expect I’ll live long enough to make a loss on me eating free forever.”

Seriously?

Personally, this story makes me lose the will to live. There’s really no hope, is there?

So maybe I should be more like that guy and see just how silly I can be with giving people what they WANT, and not bother giving them what they NEED.

And that, my friend, is probably the most valuable marketing lesson I could ever give you. I have been on both the wrong side and the right side of this dark truth, and I know which one is more lucrative.

Excellent. So now let’s move on to the two alternative endings I promised you. You really can decide which ending wins. So please read carefully…!

Newsletter Ending 1:

When surveyed, most Americans said their plan to become rich was by winning the lottery. It’s a bit of fun, but the average lottery ticket pays 30 cents on the dollar. In fact, if you were to drive 10 miles to buy a lottery ticket, you’re statistically more likely to get killed in a car crash than win with that lottery ticket you were going to buy. It’s not a particularly good plan.

Financial freedom, by my definition anyway, is when your expenses are the same as your PASSIVE income. What’s passive income? Passive income is income that comes in without you doing any work. This might be rental income, for example, or stock dividends, or anything that comes in practically automatically. (It wouldn’t really be freedom if you weren’t free to do what you want each day, would it?)

So your objective then is to build passive income that equals your expenses, and when the two meet, it’s party time! By the way, a CPA would refer to this balance of income and expenses as a ‘profit and loss statement’.

This week, I’d like you to really have taken a REAL step to get closer to ‘Freedom by Friday’, so will you do something for me?

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side list the expenses (be honest!). And on the other, write down any PASSIVE income you have. Then deduct the expenses from the income.

Right now, that number is a negative, and we have to make it read a big fat ZERO to become financially free. We have to make a journey from A to B, but unless you know where A and B is, how the hell will you get there?

You can choose to ignore this basic step, this ‘ticket to the game’, if you prefer. It’s not a comfortable game to play, but it’s necessary. Remember what I said last week about ‘pain avoidance’?

So have you done this simple task?

Expenses, then. I suspect a fair amount of that is debt. Each Wednesday Nancy Patterson does a tremendous job of hacking away at those expenses, so let her take care of that side of the line.

Remember, the pot of gold isn’t at the end of the rainbow, it’s where expenses meets passive income!

So what we must do then is learn how to build REAL WEALTH, because real wealth is an asset that throws off PASSIVE INCOME. The best way of doing that is to listen to someone who’s built REAL WEALTH. I mean, why would you take advice about money from someone who’s broke?

So before we speak again next week, please have honestly written down your passive income and expenses, and then let’s start creating passive income for you so that you can finally retire. This is ‘step one’ to financial freedom.

If you choose this ending, then you must actually perform this step!

Newsletter Ending 2:

Don’t worry, everything’s going to be just fine. Things always sort themselves out eventually. Money is coming your way, just you wait. Seriously, you’ve made it this far, haven’t you? Somehow, something always just shows up on time.

And why NOT play the lottery? I mean, somebody has to win that, don’t they? And it really COULD be YOU. Now that’s easy wealth.

Debts? Well, I think it’s best to not study the credit card bill when it comes- just pay off the minimum that it says on the payment stub. I mean, why torture yourself with it? You NEEDED those items in the shopping mall. You have to eat, after all. It’s only to get you by until something comes along.

And another thing, how the heck are you supposed to find TIME to get out of this rat-race? It’s all very well saying “build real wealth” or whatever, but that’s okay for some who have the time… for some who don’t have 3 jobs!

The system is basically unfair. The rich keep on getting richer, and the poor get poorer. One day there will be a revolution. Or we’ll just need to tax those rich people so hard that their eyes water, and then send out that money to the low-income earners.

Listen, there’s an election coming up and that guy is promising ‘change’. You have a chance to make things different just by exercising your right to vote!

Okay, so they’re the two alternate endings to this week’s newsletter.  The choice is yours.  Which one will you choose?

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A Realistic Approach

If you’re not making any money online chances are you’re not going to start making thousands of dollars overnight.

It’s not realistic at all to expect…  But you already know that already.

However, what is realistic and surprisingly easy is making $100 in the next few days.

Here’s how.

**End Sponsored Content**

Speak to you next week, and take care until then…

Jim Sheridan

3 Responses

  1. Shekinah

    Sad, but true! We want what’s not good for us…and will work to get it.

    Also sad…been there, done that. Unfortunately, now that I know better and am working to change it – I’m so deep in the hole and have so little time to dig myself out, it seems impossible…Thank God it’s NOT IMPOSSIBLE!

    Now to teach others how not to get in the hole in the first place…

  2. Allistair

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you for your report (above).

    I could not vote on any of the alternate endings, because both are filled with some “half-truths” and a few gray (grey) areas.

    For example, there are those who are hoping/wishing for a change (even a revolution), being convinced that the USA is heading towards it’s doom (based on what they are personally experiencing in the US society day by day), while taking effective/practical steps towards their financial security (financial freedom).

    The first ending is implicitly in denial that the current system is unsustainable and will eventually collapse unto itself. (I posit that, regardless to which ending one selects, virtually everyone will be seriously affected the same way, if the Government/Banks put a freeze on all bank accounts)

    The second ending is also in denial. The person convince themselves that they are too powerless to change the situation (personally and otherwise), so they sink into wishful thinking, mysticism (religion, focusing on Jesus and going to Heaven or looking forward to the coming Kingdom of God, false hopes, etc.) and dangerous idealism.

    There is a THIRD alternate ending (i.e. thinking outside the box you set up). That third ending requires a fundamental change away from the current world economic system, and replacing it with a (popular) sustainable alternative, in which we see the end of exploitation of man by man and country by country. Also, the production of goods and services are realigned to meet the needs of society (with due care for the environment) and not to meet the profit/greed needs of a few (though reasonable profits can still be made).

    With that change, there will be no more rat race, no parasitic businesses and no more creation of “wealth” through parasitic/speculative means (rather than by producing tangible goods and services that society truly needs). Every able-bodied person will contribute to society according to their abilities, and this will in turn provide TRUE abundance and security for EVERY member of society (including the aged, the sick and the disabled).

    A wealthy/advanced country like the USA can bring into reality the change I am suggesting. What is missing is (1) a genuine concern for others (because racism, religion, extreme greed, etc., gets in the way), (2) true knowledge and understanding of the nature of the current World economic system (i.e. a system that is based on the exploitation of man by man, to forever expand capital for the relative few, and hence, is ultimately unsustainable) and (3) for many who are aware of the change needed, there is the lack of will and the courage to take effective actions to make that fundamental change away from the current economic system.

    Thank you for reading.

  3. League of Power

    Hi Allistair,

    We appreciate your comments but I think you may be looking into this a bit much. The main point being is there are two options people can take with regards to their financial future. 1) Sit on their butt and hope for the best 2) Actually get up and do something. We vote for get up and do something.

    Are there things in this world that should change? Absolutely. However those things aren’t always in our control. The only thing we do have control over is what each of us do individually. I know you’re an action taker. We hope the rest of our readers are as well


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