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…
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.
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.”
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 when I’ve talked about ‘pain avoidance’ in the past?
So have you done this simple task?
Expenses, then. I suspect a fair amount of that is debt. Each week 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, 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.
Okay, so they’re the two alternate endings to this week’s newsletter. The choice is yours. Which one will you choose?
Speak to you next time, and take care until then…