How to Survive Tough Times

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(Part I-Finding Work)
> By Homesteader
> 04 September 2004
> Someone once said . . .
> Tough Times Don't Last-But Tough People Do!
> There are times when each of us may have to tighten our belts a notch or two.
> Whether due to loss of income or other forces outside of our control we may sometimes be hungry, cold, thirsty, scared or frustrated.
> What can we do to tide us over until times are a little bit better?
> First, let us talk a little bit about human nature. Realize that our desires are almost infinite in number. When we are hungry, we may desire food. When we see an attractive person of the opposite sex, we may crave loving. When we feel lonely, we may desire companionship. When we are bored, we may desire stimulation. When we are wronged we may seek revenge.
> And this circle of desire and gratification of our desires usually lasts our entire lives. As soon as one of our desires is fulfilled, one or sometimes multiple other desires will arise to take its place.
> And if our desires are not fulfilled, we may experience frustration, anger and helplessness.
> Most of us have heard of and understand Maslov's hierarchy of Needs. We know that in order to ensure our physical survival we need air, water, food and protection from the elements. We need to have our emotional wants satisfied and we all desire some type of fulfillment.
> But when times have gotten really tough, you need to look at the foundation of the pyramid and concentrate on physical survival; for without that basis, everything else becomes much harder to attain.
> So when things have gotten a little bit tough in your life, it is going to be your job to discern whether these desires that seem to hit us from all sides are real needs that you must have to ensure your physical survival or merely wants or 'glamour' which have nothing to do with the current situation at hand.
> This takes work, discipline, maturity and courage to do, but it is possible as many others have demonstrated.
> In our present day and age, most of our physical needs can be solved by either bringing in more money, keeping more of the money we do possess and/or spending less of what we do bring in.
> And please note, that this may not always be the case; there may come a time in our generation when money won't solve our physical needs and we may have to rely on other resources to ensure our physical survival.
> But for the present time we will look at ways we can both increase our cash flow and decrease our expenditures.
> There are as many ways to increase the immediate cash coming in to your life as there are people if you are healthy and willing to work. Some ways are easier and smarter than others; sometimes you don't have much of a choice over what you can do. But you can bring in small and large amounts of cash in a variety of ways.
> 1. You can trade your time, energy and skills to others in exchange for money or other items of value
> -Each of us has 24 hours each day that we can use as we desire
> -Everyone who is in good health has energy with which to perform work
> -Everybody has had different experiences and learned some skills in their life
> These 3 items we each posses are a valuable commodity for trading purposes. The trick is to find other people who are willing to trade their money for your time, energy and skills.
> The first thing you need to do is a self-assessment. What skills do you possess? how long and how hard can you work? Take out a blank sheet of paper and list your daily routine. What actions do you perform every day which other people may want you to do for them? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Hobbies? Occasional tasks? Other resources at your disposal which others may want to use? Specialized education or skills? Get a good guide and prepare a proper resume. >
> Most people have basic skills sets; we can read; write; perform mathematical calculations; make basic decisions; answer the phone; communicate with others; perform physical labor; etc.
> And with these basic sets of skills, and the right methods and attitude, we can always find someone who is willing to pay us for using these skills.
> Always!
> Does this mean that you have to find someone or some company which has a so called job?
> By no means!
> Many people get stuck by looking for a job in the classifieds and unemployment office, etc.
> Remember, what you are looking for is WORK and someone who will pay you to perform that work!
> (though sometimes a job is the easiest way to go about this, and if it happens to be something you like and are especially skilled and educated for, so much the better).
> Remember that you have something they need-they have something you need and an exchange can be worked out if the two of you can be brought together in some way.
> So when the chips are really down, how can you find someone who has work?
> First, you can check the normal channels like the classifieds, unemployment office, job dbases or temp services because this is where people who need someone usually go. Use your network of friends and associates to see what they know-let them know that you need work.
> But if you don't have any luck this way, then don't let this stop you.
> Prepare your list of the skills you do have (or resume) and target your work market. If you have a specialized set of skills, knowledge, tools or equipment, so much the better.
> Now go to your local yellow pages and find the companies that might be able to use your skills. (No one in your local yellow pages? then go to the library or internet and look in the phonebooks for different cities).
> Make a list of each of your prospective targets and their addresses. If they don't have a physical address listed, call the company and use your social engineering skills to get a physical address.
> Make a list of at least 100 companies and don't stop until you have at least 100.
> The next morning (or in your spare time if you already have a job), dress appropriately and with resume in hand start hitting the streets. Make it your goal to visit 20 of the names on your list each day. Never call asking for work-always visit your targets in person.
> Now this can be a very scary thing to do. Why? Because it is a form of sales and you are cold-calling on your prospects and always risk being rejected. It is a numbers game and most of the people you visit are going to say no.
> So how can we make this a little bit easier and maybe even fun and earn some extra cash in the process?
> When you first walk in the door or approach the workplace be observant. Notice what people are doing that you may be able to do also. Look around the area and see what needs to be done which no one is doing. Use your imagination. Make sure you pick out at least one thing you can do immediately.
> This does take practice, so you may want to make a habit of it wherever you are at; there is always work that needs doing-it's just that sometimes we don't see it unless we are specifically looking for it.
> Walk up to the receptionist or one of the workers and put a pleasant smile on your face and say "Hi, do you have any work I can do for you?"
> Now 99.9% of the time they are going to say no or direct you to someone who can answer your question. Occasionally you may get lucky or they may ask you to fill out an app or for your resume which they will put on file and immediately forget about.
> So what now? You are going to screw up your courage and say "Man, I'm really desperate for any kind of work. I have a wife (or husband) and 3 kids to feed and we are going to lose our house if I can't get some money today. I noticed that you needed your windows washed. . . I'd be happy to do that or anything else for a buck or two." (or trash taken out or parking lot swept or lumber piled or etc-remember to be observant when you approach). >
> What happens next is sometimes amazing. Sometimes they will have you do the work and pay you out of their own pocket; they may call the boss in; other times they will still say no, but you have definitely made an impression and the next time something is available or even if they hear about some work someplace else they may give you a call.
> What you have shown them by this approach is that 1) You are someone who actually needs work 2) You are someone who is willing to actually do work 3) If you have dressed appropriately, are polite and have some skills they need that you are someone they might actually like to hire sometime in the future or recommend to someone else.
> Is it slightly demeaning? Yes and it does take courage to do, but remember . . .
> Tough Times Don't Last-Tough People Do!
> You can get used to it and can even become an expert at it.
> But use the words exactly as I wrote them. Why? because they work! Write them down and rehearse them in front of a mirror to get the correct timing, sincerity and tone of voice.
> 1. Smile pleasantly as you approach.
> 2. "Hi, Do you have any work I can do for you?" (notice I didn't say a job)
> 3a. They say no, not right now
> 3b. They say please fill out this application.
> 3c. They say What can you do?
> 3d. Let me check or go talk to the boss
> 3e. Doesn't matter what they say-move on to step 4.
> 4. "Man, I'm really desperate for ANY kind of work. I have a wife (or husband) and 3 kids to feed and we are going to lose our house if I can't get some money TODAY. I noticed that you needed your windows washed . . . I'd be happy to do that or ANYTHING else for a buck or two."
> 5. Wait-Look them in the eye and don't say another word until they respond, no matter how long it takes. (this is a very important and crucial point-even if they go about doing something else, just stand there, don't say a word and look at them-even if it takes 5-10 minutes or longer-wait until they respond in one way or another and stand your ground!).
> 6. If they still say please fill out this application, take it, fill it out and write in HUGE handwritten letters at the top-I'M DESPARATE AND WILL DO ANY KIND OF WORK!!!
> 7. When turning it in, say "I'm on my last legs; isn't there anything I can do for you RIGHT NOW???"
> 8. WAIT for a response.
> I, myself used this technique plenty of times as a kid still in High School, with no special skills or opportunities and was never without either work or money.
> The first time I tried it was when all of the Mines, which were our primary industry were shut down and unemployment hovered above the 10% mark. I had applied at all of the job openings I could find and the competition was cut-throat with more than 100 prospects showing up for one of them. There supposedly wasn't a job in town and people were desperate for any kind of work.
> I made up a small resume and hit every small business in our small town and 2 or 3 construction sites in 3 days of prospecting.
> My first day I made around $25 in extra cash, was referred to 2 other people who might have work (they didn't), and got a job painting a woman's bathroom and cleaning up 1 mans yard.
> The second day I made around $20 in extra cash and had a part-time job offer which I accepted as a laborer on a construction crew.
> The 3rd day I made around $40 in extra cash and got some week-end work as a maintenance man at 2 businesses, got some work cutting and hauling 2 cords of wood for 1 man (who later referred me to 2 others), some work cleaning up 1 woman's garage (I kept some items she was throwing away and re-sold them later for more than $100) and some work insulating an attic.
> I was later hired full-time by the contractor, obtained 6 contracts for week-end yard maintenance at businesses, had 8 more jobs that people wanted me to perform around their own homes, was referred to 3 other people who might have jobs and was offered 2 jobs at a later date. >
> And this was during tough times when there was supposedly no jobs to be had (but notice, that there was WORK)
> And for a total time investment of 3 days (better than sitting around moping and watching the tube).
> And I still have calls occasionally from some of these people who want work done (and this is more than 25 years ago!)
> I have been thinking about writing a small series of articles like this for a while, so Facta Non Verba, I decided to put it to the test in today's clime. Maybe I was just a young kid and they felt sorry for me (partly true). Maybe times have changed. Maybe it wouldn't work in the big city.
> So last week, I went to the nearest big city just to see if it would still work. (I couldn't really do it where I live; I am way to busy and can't take any more work and people know me and would probably think it was just a joke or another one of my crazy ideas; not to say that if I really needed to, I surely wouldn't let pride stand in my way).
> So here I am in the big Metropolis. I had previously made up some one page resumes which had a local phone number and address and listed my skills as someone with a High School Education with previous work as a convenience store clerk, carpenter, security guard and painter.
> I picked one street which had a lot of small businesses and activity on it and decided to test 20 places. No targeting or anything else.
> Unfortunately, the first place I stopped, a gas station convenience store wanted to hire me right away, so I had to skedagle out of there.
> The next place was a book store and they were pretty rude and basically told me not on your life.
> The 3rd place was a small group of offices and the receptionist had me wash the windows and water the plants and paid me $10 out of her own pocket.
> The next place was a doctors office and they took my resume and put it on file.
> The next was another small office building and one of the businessmen made an appointment with me to do yard work the next Saturday and they had me sweep the sidewalks and parking lot and paid me $5.
> Next was a credit union and they made me fill out a job app and put my resume on file.
> Next was a woman's clothing store and after accusing me of being a pervert they showed me the door :)
> Next few were some other small offices and they took my resume and put it on file.
> Next was a small music shop and he had me pick up around his trash bin and do some other general cleaning and paid me $5.
> Next was a small body shop and when they found out I didn't have any skills they said no.
> I decided to stop after this one as it was already starting to get a little late in the day and I had to be heading home. And I just wasn't that motivated. All in all the experiment had gone OK. Total cash earned was $20, picked up 1 part-time job, was offered 1 position and had faced a little rejection (which was good for my soul :)
> So will it still work?
> I firmly believe that I could make a full time living of doing this if I ever needed to and have way more work than any one person could ever do.
> I don't care who you are or where you live. If times get tough and you need money you can always get work if you are healthy, willing to work, actually get out there and talk to people and be willing to face your fears.
> Now I must admit that I have learned plenty of other easier and more profitable ways to get some extra cash over the years, but just remember that . . .
> Tough Times Don't Last-Tough People Do!
> (to be continued in Part II with . . . Creating Your Own Work).
> (Part II-Harvesting Wealth)
> By: Homesteader
> 06 December 2004
> We have already talked a little bit about Basic Economics and How To Find Work when you desperately need it.
> Now we will talk a little bit about how to Harvest Wealth and Trade it to others for a portion of their wealth.>
> Remember, in this series of articles, when we talk about wealth, we are talking about things we can use ~ things that will help us survive or increase our standard of living.
> (food, clothing, homes, cars, books, jewelry, cd players, computers ~ Things).
> What do we mean by harvesting wealth?
> Kind of cryptic - but I titled it that way because we are building a foundation and that is the simplest concept I could come up with.
> There are a myriad of ways we can harvest wealth.
> --Cut some firewood and sell it
> -Raise a garden and sell the produce
> -Raise some chickens and sell the eggs and or meat
> -Drill a well and sell the water
> -Find some gold and extract it
> -Start a greenhouse and sell some flowers
> -Control a stream bed and sell some gravel
> In other words, using our time, energy and skills to . . .
> 1. Harvest and sell a natural resource
> We are harvesting wealth.
> As I demonstrated in the previous article, anyone who desires to badly enough can find work. Maybe not a job, but that extra cash that you sometimes may need.
> After we have flipped burgers or worked as a clerk long enough we may see that there might be a way to increase our incomes and improve our lots through creating or acquiring wealth.
> Let us now examine the steps needed to harvest wealth.
> 1. Harvesting and selling a natural resource
> This is where we actually harvest or raise something from the Earth-A natural resource, whether it be petroleum, silver, food, firewood, sprouts, eggs or what have you.
> What do we need in order to do this?
> It is a good idea to see if others want or need this resource before we get started.
> Is there a market for it? Will others pay us cold hard cash for this resource or trade us something of value for it? Will people pay us enough money to make it worth our time and energy to harvest?
> There was a time when we had 23 Emu's out here at the old homestead. There are a bird like an Ostrich. Their oil can be used for things like Arthritis and they have a very low-fat red meat.
> Billed as the meat of the future-but unfortunately the market never really developed for them, at least in this area.
> And markets can also be cyclic-we currently have some low grade silver and gold claims that weren't worth it to mine in the past, but that time may soon be changing.
> So before you harvest wealth, look into whether people really want it; sign up your customers ahead of time if possible, before any money or much time is invested.
> So you have found a resource that people want or need (or you can develop a want for it in some way).
> Next you will need the actual resource itself. Whether it be plant, mineral or animal.
> Do you have it in abundance? Is it easy to harvest? raise? transport? market? legal?
> There may be a large market for weed/pot, it may be easy to grow and transport, but is it worth it to have years of freedom taken away because it is illegal?
> Next you will need the knowledge to harvest this resource; whether it be guard dogs or water.
> Once you have an idea of how to harvest it you will need to acquire the tools necessary.
> Then you need to actually get some experience/skills in harvesting it and taking it all the way to money in the bank.
> In short, the steps are . . .
> -locate a market
> -locate your resource
> -learn how to harvest it
> -get the tools needed
> -harvest it and gain some experience
> -sell or trade it for something of value (wealth)
> I will now actually take you through a couple of examples that we have actually done in the past.
> Firewood
> In our part of the country I'd say more than half of the population has a wood stove, so I definitely knew there was a market for it, not much competition and I could sell it for a decent price.
> We live right on the National Forest and wood used to be plentiful and cheap/easy to acquire.
> I had been wood-hauling all of my life so I already had the knowledge needed and most of the tools.>
> Basically all I had to do was throw my tools in the truck, get a firewood permit at $10 a cord from the Forest Service and drive out and get a load of wood.
> I'd then go into either the Post Office or K-Mart parking lot and hang a big sign on the truck which read "Firewood-$120 Will Deliver" and sell all I could get.
> Now I actually used to do this when I was a kid and I did learn the value of actual experience while harvesting this wealth and the value of 'cookie-cutter' systems.
> I definitely learned it was a lot harder work than it looks-especially when you do it day after day.
> I learned that I needed to maintain my tools properly. I eventually ended up getting 3 chain saws and extra chains for each that I would take with me as back-ups. When one got dull or had a problem I would fall back on a spare and when I got home at the end of the day, the very first thing I would do was clean those things and sharpen each chain. And I'd also maintain my truck religiously and take extra everything.
> After losing 3 or 4 days of work and having to go back to town empty, you learn.
> I learned the value of contacts, networking, referrals, up-selling, add-on sales and customer service.
> Nearly 1/3 of the time I'd deliver wood to someone they would want more. I learned to actually ask them if they wanted any more and if they didn't did they know anyone that did. If they didn't know anyone, I was sometimes able to look around their place as I taught in the first article to see what they did need help with that might actually earn me a buck or two. And if I provided excellent customer service, I had usually made a friend and valuable contact for life.
> And I also learned a little bit about the advantages and disadvantages of expanding your enterprise. It wasn't long before I was running classified ads and had way more business than I could handle and was taking on friends, partners and no-accounts to help me out until we had a crew of about 15 of us going out every day.
> Now this can be a real eye-opener, especially for a kid. You get to learn all about managing employees and solving various daily conflicts. Sure, the money might be better, but so are the headaches.
> And if you are really lucky like I was you get a first-hand introduction into our legal and tax systems in this great country of ours. Once the Forest Service found out that we were an actual commercial enterprise, the cost of our firewood permits went up (and nowadays you have to look at environmental impact statements and much more).
> Then when our competition saw what was going on, it wasn't long before I learned all about tax ID numbers, payroll taxes and various other fun things. Great experience-yes; but it wasn't long before I was back to a one-man operation.
> I also learned the value of saving and re-investing money in your business. I found out that if I didn't save at least 25-40% of my profits, I wouldn't have the operating capital needed and I was back to square one. If I drank up and partied all of my profits away, I would have to re-establish my foundation.
> Just some things to consider.
> A pretty simple example of harvesting wealth, but it employs all of the steps we have discussed.
> A Wholesale Sprouting Business
> Another example of a way to harvest wealth was our sprouting business.
> We had this when people were becoming more health conscious and wanted something extra with their salads.
> First, we determined if there was a market.
> The groceries stores were selling alfalfa and bean sprouts and a few of the salad bars around town had some alfalfa sprouts. So I got my handy-dandy clipboard and went around to various establishments asking the managers a few questions.
> Would they like to offer sprouts to their customers? Who is supplying them now? What is it costing them? How often would they like delivery? Do they have any special requirements? Are there any other type of things they have a problem obtaining?>
> Now when doing your market research, it pays to know a little bit about your product beforehand so you can discuss it intelligently. In some cases it might even pay to have some samples available.
> But your main goal should be to see if people will pay you for your product, service, etc. If they actually want it-Great! Time to do some more research.
> I learned a few valuable pieces of info from this research. I learned that most of our sprouts came in from Mexico every Monday and by the end of the week they were bad. I learned the various prices they were paying. I learned that they definitely wanted more sprouts of a better quality and variety and were willing to pay for them.
> Now I didn't learn these facts all in one place or even all at one time. But I took different clues and used them at the next place, payed a few bribes to employees and eventually learned everything I needed to know in one way or another.
> So we knew we could sell them.
> Next I had to determine if we could sell enough of them at a cheap enough cost to be worth our while. Price of raw materials (seeds in this case) and initial equipment, operating costs of our sprouters, packaging materials, time needed for harvesting and deliveries, business expenses, etc.
> We calculated it all pretty close and found out that it would take us half a day for this part-time enterprise, we could out-price our competition and still make a good profit if we got and maintained around 25 accounts.
> Next stop was the local Health Department to see what rules and regulations pertained to this business. And in those days, it was mainly just a cleanliness of our operations inspection and periodic spot-checks.
> So we decided to give it a shot.
> The first thing we did was build some very simple sprouters out of some plastic clothes tubs, built a shelf to hold them and set up an automatic misting system for these trays.
> Basically just a water supply hooked up to a small automatic pump and timer that went to some plastic hose I secured to the top of each tray with plastic tie-downs. The hose had some mister nozzles on it like you can get at your garden shop. The pump turned on for about 5 minutes every four hours. Holes in the bottom of the trays for good drainage.
> If I remember correctly, it took me a couple of days and around $100 bucks in materials to set it all up. We started off with alfalfa sprouts, since they were the most popular at the time.
> We started off growing two tubs a day filled with alfalfa sprouts. And the next day, I'd start two more trays, etc. As one was ready for harvesting, we'd be starting another one. Our packaging at first were just gallon zip-lock bags and two trays would give us around 20 bags of sprouts.
> After we had packaged, I'd get into the truck and drive around to our accounts early each morning. We only had 8 accounts to start with and were losing money in the beginning, but we were eating pretty good :)
> We eventually built it up to around 47 accounts for alfalfa, built more sprouters, got better packaging, expanded into other sprouts and a few garden vegetables and had a pretty good sideline business going for half a day of work and some pretty easy labor.
> Eventually a large local greenhouse undercut us and we moved on to something else, though we probably still could have done it through better customer service and variety, etc. but it wasn't really worth our time and we were kind of tired of it.
> A little bit more complex example, but once again our steps still apply.
> -locate a market
> -locate your resource
> -learn how to harvest it
> -get the tools needed
> -harvest it and gain some experience
> -sell or trade it for something of value
> Harvesting Wealth-A great way to create some wealth if you follow the above steps and do your homework (and the barter system definitely applies-you don't have to do it for cash).>
> As we talk about these various wealth-generating ideas in this series we must discuss another aspect of wealth-building, which is our Foundation.
> Our Foundation is in whatever ways we currently meet our basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.
> Each of us has found a way to satisfy these needs, in one way or another or we wouldn't be here. Whether it is through our parents, partial self-sufficiency, Government handouts, a minimum wage job, a small business, as a skilled professional in the workforce or a combination of all of the above.
> If we do need or want to generate more wealth for ourselves, it is important that we organize our daily activities so that we have the extra time and energy needed to generate more wealth without destroying the foundation we currently have.
> Sometimes a lot easier said than done, when we work an 8-5 job and come home beat and all we want to do is sit in front of the tube.
> But where there is a desire and a will/self-discipline, there is almost always a way to find the energy and time needed to reach a certain goal.
> That choice is entirely up to you.
> Which is also one reason why I covered harvesting wealth first.
> It may help you improve/re-establish your foundation or replace your current one with very little out of pocket expense when you are harvesting the resources of the earth.
> In many cases all it takes is a few tools, your knowledge/labor and some time.
> Market - - ->Natural Resource - - ->Knowledge - - ->Tools - - ->Experience - - ->Marketing - - ->Wealth (all over a period of time)
> So take a look around you at the true wealth of the universe and I'm sure you will find many ways to harvest some resources and generate some wealth.
> NOTE: Some resources are better than others; some are renewable and some are not; there may be laws, rules, ethics and regulations governing your resource of choice; you may need to grow and automate to generate significant wealth; it all depends upon your locale, the market and your needs.
> Look around! Find a Market! Make it easy and repetitive! Combine resources, markets and ideas!
> ANIMAL
> eggs
> milk
> cheese
> meat
> seafood
> pearls
> pets
> trained work animals
> display specimens (parrots, exotic animals, purebreds)
> internal organs as health extracts
> external parts like hides, fur, hooves, horns, tusks, feathers, marrow
> manure
> earthworms
> honey
> butter and oils
> laboratory/scientific animals
> PLANT
> sprouts
> seeds
> vegetables
> grains
> hay
> herbs and extracts
> flowers
> wood (for burning or building)
> sawdust
> bark
> sap and syrups
> nuts
> fruits
> mulch
> seaweeds and corals
> grass for lawns, coverings, etc
> decorative plants
> MINERAL
> precious metals
> precious gems
> gemstones
> minerals
> water (in all of its states)
> rock (building, gravel, decorative and collecting)
> clays
> dirt (adobes, etc)
> (Part III-Creating Wealth)
> By: Homesteader
> 06 December 2004
> We have already talked a little bit about Basic Economics, How To Find Work when you desperately need it and how to Harvest Wealth from Natural Resources.
> Now we will learn how to CREATE Wealth-seemingly out of thin air!
> What do I mean by Creating Wealth?
> Remember that you can Harvest Wealth from nature.
> You can Create Wealth though the intelligent investment of your thoughts, time and effort.
> Through the use of these seemingly intangible things, you can create wealth beyond your wildest dreams!
> -if you spend the time and effort, you can learn a skill and be highly paid for it, if there is a demand
> -if you spend the time and effort, you can invent, develop and market a needed product for others
> -if you spend the time and effort, you can learn to paint and bring beauty to others and if there is a demand and proper marketing create great wealth
> -if you spend the time and effort, you can do just about anything you can imagine within your physical and mental abilities >
> The problem that most of us have with investing time, effort and thinking is that we are lazy. We want something for nothing. We want life to be easy.
> One thing that will help is to realize that time is relative - if you are currently working at a dead-end job and it will only take you 6 months to break into something new, go for it.
> If you had this desire 6 months previously, look where your inaction has taken you.
> If only! Time's a-wastin! Where will you be 6 months from now? 1 year? 10 years?
> When we create wealth we are using our time, thoughts and effort to build something.
> Whether we are building our skills, a house, a product. We are taking an idea or thought in our head and turning it into something others may want or need and in return getting paid for it.
> What steps are necessary to create wealth?
> Once again, it would be very nice to find out first if others would really give us some money or something else of value for this creation.
> You may decide to build your skills and be the best buggy-whip maker the world has ever seen. But you may not make very much.
> Or you may decide to build a half-million dollar private residence in the slum of a major city. But you may have a really hard time selling it.
> Check your markets to see if people will really pay you for what you create, whether it is skills or an actual product.
> Next you need to take this idea or thought you have in your head and make a plan on how it can be made into a real physical thing that others will pay you for.
> Planning can be both an art and a science itself and there are many resources available which will help.
> Basically, you need to ask yourself, what will it take me to make this idea real?
> What are the orderly steps, I need to take to turn this dream into reality.
> What resources will I need to make this happen? How much time will it take? Who will I sell this to? Will it be worth the investment of my time and effort in the long run?
> After you have a plan you need to put in the actual effort-the work of which we are all so afraid of, to turn this idea into something real.
> And as you are putting in the effort, you will be seeing your results in the real world. If for some reason it isn't taking you closer to your idea, you may need to readjust your plan.
> And you finally trade this idea to someone else for a portion of their wealth.
> You have just created something out of nothing! (or so it seems :)
> So the basic steps in Creating Wealth are . . .
> -Get an idea
> -See if there is a market
> -Make a plan
> -Put your plan into action
> -Use feedback to readjust your plan
> -Market your idea
> -Receive Wealth
> Creating a marketable skill
> (for both young readers and old)
> The world needs all sorts of skills; everything literally from apple growers to zoo keepers. And it is guaranteed that there is a skill that is just right for you, though it may take much thinking and exploring to find it.
> So the very first step is to decide on what skill you would like to develop-you need to get the thought or idea first before you can do anything else.
> And I consider this to be a major fault in our current educational system. We don't teach kids early enough to decide on the one major skill that they are going to perform in this world.
> We teach them the basics and we may ask them what they would like to be when they grow up, but any serious thinking and exploring is usually saved until they are Juniors or Seniors in High School, or worse yet in College. And then, many of them decide on doing whatever they think is going to bring the most money, what others want them to do or what is currently popular, without ever really thinking hard about it.
> If we had a hard-hitting program that would spend a lot of time in skill exploration, we could actually tailor educational programs around each area of skills. >
> So you have finally decided upon a marketable skill you would like to build or create. You have spent exhaustive research and know that people will pay you for it, now and hopefully many years to come (though that is always a gamble, but you can increase your odds through research).
> You know that this skill is something you want to do because you have tried it and been exposed to others doing it. You find it Exciting-Thrilling and know that it is exactly what you want to do with your life. The big thing is to make a decision and stick to it, even when things get rough, so take your time and choose wisely (not your whole life :)
> It doesn't matter what the skill is, as long as people will pay you for it and there is a healthy demand. If it is something that you love to do, I guarantee you can make more money at it than even the highest payed professionals if you do it right.
> Two of the very most important decisions you will ever make in this life is what skill you will perform for a living and whom you will marry. They are life-changers!
> So you know where you want to go.
> Your next job is to find a way to get there. Your plan.
> Many skills have formal education involved. You go through a course of study in our higher educational system or trade schools which will teach you these skills.
> Others are not so simple; there may be no formal education around, but there are others who are currently performing them and may be willing to teach you. There may be books and other knowledge sources you can turn to.
> 95% of the time there are already others performing this skill and getting paid for it. Your job is to find out how they got there. How they learned this skill. Find out everything you need to do to learn this skill, whether it is through the people performing this skill, school counselors, etc. Step 1. Step 2. etc.
> Now that you know what you must do to learn this skill, you need to get more personal and figure out how you personally can get there.
> What will it take? Money? Time? If you really want to learn this skill badly enough you will use your imagination and other resources to overcome these obstacles. If not, go back to step one and choose a skill that is right for you and makes you truly Excited!
> Write it all down on paper and make your plan detailed-the more detailed the better. Read and study it daily and mark off each step as it is completed.
> Now that you have formulated a plan, it is time for action. If you formulated your plan correctly you know exactly what first step you need to take. If it seems too big, break it down into easier steps and take that step. Once you get started, your desire and momentum will carry you through and if your actions aren't taking you closer to your goal, then you need to re-adjust your plan.
> After you have finally learned your skill it is time to market it or get others to pay you for performing it.
> In many cases, this may be through an actual job where others pay you a wage or salary. In other cases, it may be by going it on your own or in the company of others as in a business.
> If getting a job look into one of the many resources on how to do this from the location of potential employers, to the resume, to the final interview.
> If you are starting a business, you will need to wear many hats and learn entirely new skills to help you along your path.
> Now this may seem simplistic and most of us know all about this already, but I wanted to cover it for those who may not have thought about it before and as a background for what is coming next.
> Skill Mastery
> Most of us perform a skill of some sort to stay alive in this world. Whether it is as a semi-skilled worker digging ditches, a highly trained professional in the workforce or as a skilled harvester of natural resources.
> The next step you must take to increase your wealth is skill mastery. >
> This is accomplished through both knowledge and experience.
> Some skills may take years to master-the more you work at it the better you become.
> And there is always something more you can learn about it-whether through formal education, trade journals or other sources.
> Why are we stagnating, bored and complaining, when we could be learning more and improving our skill? Have we reached our comfort zone? Then don't complain about lack of wealth.
> If you are at the semi-skilled level, you may need to choose a higher payed skill you love and then make a plan to get there. You may love digging ditches, but I guarantee there is always something more you can learn about it and ways to do it better.
> In the ditch diggers case, you may want to learn more about the principles of leverage to make your work more efficient. You may want to learn to shovel with the other hand. You may want to learn about which type of bar or muck stick gives you the most results with the least amount of effort. You may want to learn how to operate a back-hoe so you can dig them faster. You may want to become a General Contractor and learn why you are digging ditches in the first place. You may want to go to Engineering School to find out more about the physical laws of dirt and other materials.
> If you are a clerk in a convenience store you may want to learn more about the buying habits of your customers. Why are they buying one product and not another. How does the cleanliness of the store, your appearance, lighting, colors, promotions, what you say, your speed and efficiency, etc effect their decisions.
> How can you cut down on shoplifting and employee/vendor theft. Are there certain products that sell and others that never do. If I was the owner, what could I do to create more profit and reduce losses. Is there a way we can turn all of our inventory in 30 days. How can I go about owning one of these stores. Where would I put it. What do I need to do it. Money. Credit. Contacts. Imagination. Whom would I hire. Where do they get their inventory. Are their any trade shows or journals for this industry. Which vendors would I have to talk to.
> In other words Skill Mastery.
> The better you are at doing something, the more Wealth you can Create.
> And for most of us the only thing that is stopping us is laziness, no plan and lack of action.
> Sit down and do it today!
> Many people in skilled positions have some sort of investment plan. I'll put this much into my 401K, this much into my IRA and see my broker on Monday.
> Well I'm here to tell you, that IMHO, you're investing in the wrong things. Yes, you need insurance. And yes, you have to worry about retirement and college educations.
> But you're putting the cart before the horse.
> Until you reach an income level that you are totally and completely satisfied with, you need to be investing in yourself, the tools and materials of your trade and future consumables. (though depending upon how much you earn and how soon you will need some things, you may have to strike a healthy balance-guns vs butter, etc).
> What you really need to be looking at is the return on your investment.
> If I am getting a healthy 10% per year from my investments by investing $5,000, but I could have also spent that $5,000 on more education which will bring me a 10-fold increase in salary, which would be better long-term?
> A question you will have to calculate for yourself.
> Something you absolutely must understand is . . .
> When you master your skills, your rate of production rises.
> When your rate of production rises, you create more wealth.
> When you invest in paper profits, you aren't investing in real wealth and therefore become prey to market cycles, thieves and other forms of loss.
> How about if I spent that $5,000 on the tools of my trade that will only increase in cost in the future and allow me to finally strike out on my own? >
> Or how about spending that $5,000 for that plastic I know is going to increase in cost that is used in my plant?
> Or how about spending that $5,000 on an emergency food supply or other items which I know I will need for everyday life in the future?
> When you invest in this fashion, you are protecting your wealth (as long as you take proper storage and security measures).
> You earn cash - you buy things (wealth)
> Most wealth we harvest, create or acquire in present-day society is in the form of cash-paper, which we then exchange for real things we need for living.
> When you invest in real wealth (which I keep telling you isn't money or paper~It is 'things') you are accomplishing a couple of things . . .
> 1. If it is buying items for future use, like food, tools, materials, etc you are totally and permanently insulating yourself from inflation. This is a total and complete hedge against inflation. Forget what your investment counselor is telling you about this or that. No matter how much these products increase in price in the future, if you have a proper storage and use plan, you are protected. (if for some reason there is deflation, your income usually decreases also).
> 2. You are avoiding paying any extra tax on inflationary increases to these items.
> 3. You are avoiding any and all risks that always accompany paper. If the dollar drops in value, so what. You already have the real wealth.
> 4. When you invest in real wealth, you are becoming more self-sufficient.
> 5. You are cutting off the source of funding which is used by the many thieves in our society.
> Now I'm not trying to discourage anyone from investing-it is a great thing and we will cover it in a future article, but what I am saying is to invest your money in real wealth/goods until you feel that you are at the point that you can play.
> Now this article is getting pretty dang long already, but I do want to briefly cover a few other ideas about creating wealth, for it is really a lot more than just building your skills so you can get a J.O.B.
> Remember the steps needed in creating wealth are to . . . -Get an idea
> -See if there is a market
> -Make a plan
> -Put your plan into action
> -Use feedback to readjust your plan
> -Market your idea
> -Receive Wealth
> Besides developing a set of skills you can trade to others, there are also many other levels in the Creation of Wealth.
> On the most basic level, you get an idea to either do something for someone or make something for someone and then you turn it into reality and receive wealth in one form or another in return.
> You need to ask yourself why do people really want things and are willing to pay for them?
> What it comes down to is pretty much because we need these things in order to survive or for gratification of a desire.
> We can create or build all sorts of things to fill these needs-the sky is the limit.
> Look around you right now and see all of the many items you have bought. Why in the world did you buy it? To fill a need or satisfy a desire.
> Now ask yourself how did they come into being? What made them real?
> They were all an idea in someone's mind that they thought someone would buy and they formulated a plan and took action to make it real.
> Now here are few examples of what I mean about levels in the Wealth Creation process. . .
> -A guy gets an idea to build a birdhouse and sell it to someone; he buy materials, plans and builds some and sets up operations on a street corner or eBay.
> He takes this idea and moves through each step of the creation process himself.
> -Someone else gets an idea to build a birdhouse and sell it to someone. They form a company, hire someone to develop plans, hire a team of carpenters, design their own plant and sell it in their national chain of 'Birdhouses Are Us.'
> They are using other people's time and effort to make their idea a reality, although at a price. >
> -Someone else gets an idea to build a birdhouse and sell it to someone. He patents his idea and then either licenses it or sells it to someone else who produces, markets and distributes them, while receiving a portion of the wealth for each one sold.
> These are what I like to call Levels in the Wealth Creation Process.
> At the lowest level you either produce and market the idea yourself or perform a skill for someone else who does it and get paid for it - Whether it be flipping burgers or as a Trial Lawyer in a large corporate firm.
> Look at what you are currently doing right now to create wealth. If you go high enough up the food chain, so to speak, you will find the person who originally had the idea and is truly profiting from it.
> And if you notice, the further away you are from actually touching this final form of the idea, the easier it is for you and generally the more Wealth you can Create.
> And the beauty of this is that you don't even have to have the idea or produce the product/perform the work.
> All you really have to do is control it which we will learn about more in the next article . . .
> Acquiring W
> (Part IV-Acquiring Wealth)
> By: Homesteader
> 12 December 2004
> What do I mean by acquiring wealth?
>
> Sounds like a much easier way to get wealth than by creating it yourself (through harvesting natural resources, trading your time and skills, inventing, building, or actually making and selling a product or service).
>
> By acquiring wealth I mean you are getting some form of wealth that has already been created by someone else through legal and moral means (not theft).
>
> In other words, you are not the person doing the creation of the wealth-you are using something you have to get this wealth that has been or will be created by someone else.
>
> Now why may this be a good thing?
>
> It saves us some time and effort. The value is already in place when we acquire this wealth-we don't have to spend our time harvesting it, making it or even learning the skills that are necessary to create this wealth in one form or another. All we have to do is control this wealth.
>
> What kind of things can we use to get this wealth?
>
> -Money
> -Credit or other promises we make
> -Other forms of wealth (and remember in this series of articles when I talk about wealth, I am talking about Things)
> -Non-material resources you may have at your disposal (time, energy, etc)
> -Other peoples money, credit/promises, things or resources
>
>
>
> Now there is a funny thing about wealth that we need to understand.
>
> Whenever wealth is originally created and sold, it is normally sold at something called fair market value. Meaning at a price that people are able and willing to pay for that wealth in the free and open marketplace.
>
> -When I go out and get my load of wood, I can come back to town and sell it for $120 a truckload.
>
> -When I learn the skills needed to become a carpenter, I can sell them to someone else for $10 per hour.
>
> -When I grow tomatoes, I can sell them for $20 per case.
>
> If I try and sell them for too much, nobody will buy them - if I try and sell them for too little, too many people will buy them and I may run out. This is the free and open marketplace.
>
> Now the funny thing is after that wealth is originally sold, it is possible for it to either increase or decrease in value in a short period of time, due to a variety of factors.
>
> We have all heard the story that as soon as you drive a brand new car off the dealers lot, it loses value - or in other words if you were to turn around and try and sell it to someone else the next day, you wouldn't be able to get the price you just paid for it.
>
> It has depreciated in value.
>
> The reverse may also be true.
>
> You may sell your skills as a carpenter for $10 per hour to a General Contractor who builds houses and he may in turn sell the home you just built and earn $20 per hour for his efforts.>
>
> The skills, time and energy you used in creating a product for someone else have appreciated in value for that person who controls your skills, time and energy.
>
> And this wealth (or things) is now off of the open market and valued by the person who owns it at a certain price.
>
> The person who just bought the new car may value it at exactly what they paid for it, but in reality if they were to try and sell it themselves, they may not be able to get the price they are asking.
>
> It is now used and they may not have the experience and resources of the car dealer.
>
> What does this mean for us?
>
> It means that all wealth that has been created and then sold has a value that may be different than what it was originally sold for on the open marketplace.
>
> The value the owner of this wealth places upon it may or may not be what they can sell the wealth for.
>
> And we can take advantage of this fact when we consciously go about acquiring wealth.
>
> (NOTE: and depending upon a variety of factors, even when the wealth is originally sold it may be worth more or less than its creation value, as in the case of sales, special offers, etc).
>
>
> Enough theory-how can everyday people like you and me interested in surviving tough times take advantage of this fact?
>
> In pursuing this means of wealth generation, we need to be spending our time and energy looking for things of Value.
>
> Forms of wealth that we can acquire within our means that are worth more on the open market than people are willing to sell them for.
>
> And once we acquire this wealth, we turn around and sell it for its fair market value.
>
> We are deal hunters, taking cash (or other means), turning it into wealth and then turning this wealth back into cash (and then using this cash to buy the things we truly need).
>
> Cash - - - > Wealth - - - > Cash
>
> How can we find things of value that we can control or own and then turn back into cash?
>
> First of all, we have to know the value of something on the open marketplace-we must know what we can actually sell it for.
>
> And how do we do this?
>
> By becoming an expert through research and experience.
>
> Can we be an expert at everything?
>
> No way, no how (and believe me, I've tried it and lost my shirt a few times :)
>
> What forms of wealth should we become experts at?
>
> Things that are readily available, within our means or ideas and that we can re-sell easily and still make enough profit to make it worth our time and effort.
>
> Markets are constantly changing, supply of certain items increases or decreases and there are many factors which may effect our decision.
>
> Here are a few examples of forms of wealth that you can become an expert at, buy for below their market value and resell at (or just below for a quick sale) market value.
>
> -small appliances
> -books
> -large appliances
> -furniture
> -musical instruments
> -antiques and collectibles
> -used cars
> -single family homes
> -raw land
> -patents
> -licenses
> -financial instruments (stocks, bonds, etc)
> -chemical formulas
> -software
> -trademarks
> -copyrights
>
> And the list could go on and on and on.
>
> So if you are interested in Acquiring some Wealth, look around you and find something you like, think you can afford to buy and then re-sell for a higher price.
>
> All it really takes to get started is some cash or some ideas and a little bit of time and effort on your part.
>
> Now once you have studied, gained some experience and become knowledgeable about the source of Wealth you plan on acquiring you need to locate it.
>
> While doing your research, you probably came across some sources already.
>
> Here are a few starting places . . .
>
> -classified ads
> -yard sales
> -auctions
> -government sales
> -storage locker sales
> -contacts in the industry
> -contacts in related industries
> -news sources and related industry knowledge banks>
> -your own ads or letters
>
> The next step you need to take, is to determine the value of the wealth you have found.
>
> Value can be determined by . . .
>
> -condition
> -price being sold for
> -price you can re-sell it for
> -terms being sold for
> -other factors, such as location, liquidity, etc
>
> Once you have found something you believe you can resell, it is time to either control or acquire it.
>
> -learn how to negotiate for a good price and/or terms
> -if you don't have the cash, control it through non-financial resources, promises or others resources/things
>
> And once you either own or control it, you need to re-sell it in the quickest time possible to turn your wealth back into cash.
>
> -getting wealth ready to sell (repairs, etc)
> -good marketing and sales techniques
>
> And then once you have the cash from the sale, it is a must to keep some of your profit for re-investment.
>
>
> So the basic steps in Acquiring Wealth are . . .
>
> 1. Become an expert at a form of wealth that is readily available and you can resell easily
> 2. Locate that wealth
> 3. Control or own the wealth
> 4. Get the wealth ready for resale
> 5. Re-invest some of your profits
>
>
> All of these articles have been kind of hard to write for me since I am trying to distill what little experience I have into the very basics. Something that anyone can read without too many technical details and then hopefully go out and apply.
>
> And I know I ramble a little bit (or a lot at times), but each article does contain what I consider Laws of Wealth hidden within.
>
> To make it a little bit more down to earth, here are some things that we have actually done in acquiring wealth.
>
>
> Bought and re-sold personal property, antiques and collectibles
>
> -Became good at evaluating different things like small appliances, tools, furniture, large appliances, books, pottery and glassware, sterling, coins, stamps, antiques, etc.
>
> -Places we located these items
>
> yard sales
> classifieds
> storage locker sales
> personal estate auctions
> library sales
> our own ads
> a junk hauling service (cleaning out peoples garages for them, etc)
> pawn and thrift shops
> consignment sales
> overstocked merchandise
> sales at retail establishments
>
> -How we usually acquired these items
>
> cash
> credit cards
> work
>
> -How we got these items ready for resale
>
> repair
> cleaning
>
> -How we sold them
>
> classified ads
> yard sales
> pawn shops
> dealers and retail establishments
> consignments
> flea markets
> eBay
>
> Used Cars
>
> -places we located cars
>
> classifieds
> dealer auctions
> wholesale from dealers lots
> driving around and looking
> government auctions
>
> -How we acquired them
>
> cash
> credit
> personal notes
> trading other cars
> trading personal property
>
> -How we got them ready for resale
>
> mechanical and cosmetic repairs
>
> -How we resold them
>
> classifieds
> dealers
> consignment
> display of car in prominent locations
> auctions
> eBay
> personal notes
>
> Single Family Homes
>
> -Places we located them
>
> real estate agents
> multiple listing service
> classifieds and legal notices
> driving around looking for them
> auctions and foreclosures
> ads and letters to out-of-state owners
>
> -How we acquired them
>
> cash
> credit
> notes
> personal property
> other peoples resources
> trading work for equity
>
> -How we got them ready for resale
>
> repairs and cleaning
>
> -How we sold them
>
> classifieds
> real estate agents
> eBay
>
> Chemical Formulas
>
> -How we located them
>
> industry journals
> letters to chemical companies
> inventor resources
> back magazine issues
>
> -How we acquired them
>
> cash
> credit
> other peoples resources
> agreements
>
> -How we re-sold them
>
> licensing to chemical companies
>
>
>
> Now this article is getting pretty long and I have only touched on the very basics of acquiring wealth. The main thing is to find something that you can re-sell and then either own or control it, by using either cash or ideas.>
>
> Pick one item you like and can afford and try it out. Use the cash you make off this one area, to expand your buying and re-selling. Make contacts. Know where you can immediately re-sell that item for a profit.
>
> I bought a Chevy wholesale from a Ford Dealer once because he didn't like Chevies on his lot. Drove to the Chevy Dealer and resold it for $150 profit. They gave me a ride back to the Ford place. Took me about half and hour.
>
> When you buy, buy to re-sell. Keep your headaches to a minimum. Look for things that only need a little cleaning or cosmetic repairs to sell and the sellers don't want them for one reason or another. Look for items that are easy to transport-ideas, copyrights, patents, etc are the easiest.
>
> Be aware that some items may require special permits to re-sell, or there may be rules and regulations governing their sale-do your research.
>
> And if possible, learn to acquire wealth which will bring in income for many years to come, whether you work or not.
>
> Which leads us into part V-Generating Capital and Cash-Flow.
>
> (Part V-Generating Capital and Cash-Flow)
> By: Homesteader
> 15 December 2004
> Finding Work
> Harvesting Natural Resources
> Creating Wealth by building something or selling your skills
> Acquiring Wealth by owning or controlling wealth created by others
>
> What do all of these have in common?
>
> In just about all cases, once you stop working, so does your income.
>
> No Productivity = No Wealth Generation
>
> What a sad state of affairs. You mean to tell me that I will have to continue working all of my life to receive wealth or the income needed for my survival?
>
> Not necessarily!
>
> There are certain forms of wealth you can have which can generate capital and income for you, so you don't have to work.
>
> The fields of investing, cash-flow generation and capital creation can be highly technical and befuddling.
>
> Hard assets, stocks, bonds, IRAs, 401Ks and everything else under the sun, compounded by technical charts, advice, opinions, stock symbols and heresay.
>
> Which direction should you turn?
>
> First of all, let me state that I am no expert in these matters nor in anything else you are reading in this series of articles. I feel I have learned a few lessons in life the hard way, have a few opinionated ideas and am trying to share some of this info with you for your entertainment and consideration.
>
> For any and all financial advice, legal advice, or any and all other advice you should always rely on a trusted and licensed professional in that field.
>
> What I would like to do, is share a few of my own personal thoughts about investing your money in order to receive a pretty much hassle free income and capital when you need it.
>
> Please take it with all with a grain of salt.
>
>
> Many of you are lucky, in that you are/have worked for a company and have a nice little retirement package or have finally reached the government retirement age and are receiving your Social Security Check, etc.
>
> Free Money! Coming in whether you work or not. I guess there is a God after all.
>
> Now no offense intended to anyone, but let's examine this so-called Free Money for just a minute. Where does it come from?
>
> For most of your working life, you have been paying a small percentage of each of your checks into these various programs. You may remember that first paycheck stub you received and wondered who the hail this fica guy was that kept getting a part of it. You give them your money in the hopes of a return at a later date (and usually because you have to).
>
> Now without getting too technical, you can add up all of those paychecks stubs for the last 30 years of your life and find out just how much you paid into that particular fund. Wow! quite a sum-I can draw on this money I paid in just like it was my personal savings>  account for the next 8 years if I live that long. And they also give me great medical benefits. Well, I sure do deserve it-they owe me big time.
>
> But you just happen to live for longer than those 8 years and still keep getting these regular checks. What a sweet deal. I guess when George died after being retired for only 1 year they divided all of the money he had paid in and put a little bit in everyone elses savings account. Or I did such a great job for this company or was such a good citizen, they are making extraordinary profits and finally giving me my due. Or the financial wizards that were in control of this giant pile of cash really knew what they were doing.
>
> Enough kidding around-this extra money you keep receiving has to come from someplace and it usually isn't from the sources listed above. If you believe the Government has done such a wise job at managing the money you paid into the Social Security Fund and is profiting immensely because of your good citizenship, you are only fooling yourself.
>
> In our introduction you learned that Wealth is the by-product of Human Effort or work. This so-called Free Money you are receiving isn't really free at all. It has to come from someplace. And that someplace is ultimately the producers of wealth. It is being stolen from them, in one way or another and given to you. (and this goes for many other free money traps).
>
> Now am I suggesting you have a conscience and stop accepting it? Get real :) But what it is ultimately doing in the very long run is decreasing the standard of living for everyone.
>
> Remember that people work for the reward it will bring them. Less reward = less incentive to produce. Less production = less wealth. Simple.
>
> You studied and practiced for years to become a top surgeon. People pay you for your skills. Due to various factors mostly outside of your control you have to raise your prices. The consumer complains to the Government about your high prices. Government steps in to protect the consumer and passes a law that says you can only earn $50,000 per year. You lose your incentive to produce. The standard of living for everyone goes down. And so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
>
>
>
> Getting Wealth that will actually give you some more wealth in return without working for it can be a tricky business.
>
> I believe we are quickly approaching a time in this generation where the old ways of buy your stocks and hold onto them forever needs to be looked at (not that it was ever that good for the common man anyway).
>
> First of all, what can we, as normal everyday middle-class producers do, which will give us the best return on our investment dollars (especially in tough times)?
>
> We briefly talked about this earlier, but let's get a little bit more detailed.
>
> 1. If you aren't earning at least enough to survive on comfortably, you need to be spending your money on yourself in improving your abilities in the fields of harvesting, creating or acquiring wealth.
> 2. At the same time you need to be spending your cash by investing in future consumables like food, water, a saferoom and other items (there aint no better insurance policy around-read the articles on this site).
> 3. You need to get completely out of any type of consumer debt you may be in, except for maybe a home and a vehicle.
> 4. If you have a home and a vehicle, you need to get and keep insurance on them.
> 5. You need to either get medical insurance or find a way to handle major medical expenses.
> 6. You need to invest in the tools of your trade.
> 7. You need to invest in you own land and home (and IMHO in a rural setting).
> 8. You need to get at least burial insurance, if you have a family.
>
> These are the basics folks. Personally, I wouldn't even dream of trying to put my money to any other use (especially any type of paper investment, unless you really know what you are doing) until the above are covered.>
>
> This is the Foundation upon which you can build.
>
>
>
> Now as you are improving your abilities in harvesting, creating or acquiring wealth, you can also be looking for certain types of wealth which will generate either capital or income to speed you along the goals listed above (this is the tricky part I talked about).
>
> What types of wealth?
>
> There are many ways and once again many levels where Wealth can spin off more Wealth.
>
> When you can acquire something through your specialized knowledge and experience that can be sold for more than you paid for it, you immediately have a built-in equity in that wealth.
>
> When you harvest or create something through your blood, sweat and tears, you also have a form or equity.
>
> What is this equity thing?
>
> Basically, it how how much you can sell this wealth for minus how much you paid for it (or still owe on it sometimes).
>
> When I go out and get my load of wood that I can sell for $120 a truckload, It has cost me a certain amount of money, time and work.
>
> $10 for a permit, $2 for some chainsaw gas and oil, $10 for truck gas and 6 hours of work.
>
> $120 minus $22 equals $98 worth of equity.
>
> This is what is called sweat equity-you have used your thoughts, work, experience and tools to create it.
>
> Or in the case where I find a used car I can buy for $1200, fix up for $300 and re-sell for $2500, I have an equity of $1000.
>
> In this case you have used your cash, knowledge and experience in the used car market to find a deal.
>
> In whatever way you get some wealth, whether it is through harvesting, creating or acquiring it, you need to be on the lookout for wealth which has built-in equity.
>
> (note that the above examples are simplified; your time and equipment, etc are worth something and it may not be the classic financial definition of equity, but you get the idea).
>
> (When you work for a living and borrow money you are Giving your time and work equity to someone else).
>
>
>
> What can we now do with this equity?
>
> -we can sell it for all cash to generate some capital to pay off a credit card
> -we can sell it to someone on payments of $100 per month to help us increase our cash-flow for everyday living expenses
> -we can trade it for some other form of wealth
> -we can use it as collateral and borrow money against it (if we also use this borrowed money to help us reach our goals and not for consumables)
>
> Learn how to use your imagination when you have equity in some form of wealth!
>
> When times are tough, ask yourself if you have wealth sitting around your home right now that can be re-sold because you no longer use or need it? Household articles, jewelry, used vehicles, a portion of your land? Find ways you can either sell it for capital, write a personal note on it for cash flow, or trade it for something else.
>
> Used car for sale. $1500. $100 down/$100 month. Owner will finance at 10%.
>
> You have just created a cash flow of $100 a month for around 13 months.
>
> Do this ten more times and you will have $1,000 a month in cash flow.
>
> Now this sounds easy to do, but it really isn't because I know from experience. I could always find the deals, but sometimes my cash was limited. (though your ideas aren't). If you do attempt it full time I'd recommend to:
>
> Make sure you do credit checks, keep a spare set of keys, make sure they are insured, get a really good collection agency to handle all of it, find a repo man to do any dirty work, get a good mechanic and detailer so you can spend your time locating the deals, have some people pay every payday so they don't spend it, check your state laws on how many you can do without becoming classed as a dealer, etc. Basically do your homework and get some experience (even if it is bad :)
>
> I still do my alloted 6 per year, but I find anything else pretty much makes it a full-time business (though it can be a pretty good business if you do it right).>
>
> You can create this type of cash flow and capital with just about anything . . .
>
> -large appliances
> -furniture
> -electronics
> -tools, guns and machinery
> -antiques and collectibles
> -jewelry
> -vehicles, boats, planes
> -other peoples time, energy and skills (as in employees)
> -other peoples resources (like cash)
> -real estate
> -raw land
> -natural resources
> -tools and knowledge
> -paper investments (stocks, bonds, mortgages, etc)
> -chemical formulas
> -licensing
> -patents
> -copyrights
> -computer software
> -trademarks
>
> Just take one area of choice which fits you and your situation and become good at it. After you have established the good foundation we talked about above, you can use it as actual income to live on and give up that job which you hate. And remember in many cases it is easier to deal with things that are more 'idea' related than actual products which are heavy to move and take up space to store.
>
> A small plan for those with limited time and cash
>
> 1. Maintain the foundation you currently have-don't go out and quit your job; if you don't have a job, learn how to harvest, create or acquire some wealth to support yourself
> 2. Start reading the classifieds every night and going to all yard sales, auctions and flea markets every weekend to see what is selling and to give you an idea of 'value'
> 3. Decide on a few product areas you like, are readily available in your area and think/know you can re-sell
> 4. Find out what these products are worth new retail
> 5. Find out the average selling price on the used market (classifieds, pawn shops, thrift stores, flea markets)
> 6. Save up or sell something for $100 cash
> 7. Use this very small nest egg to start acquiring products for resale
> 8. Learn to Re-sell these products for cash and build up a nest egg of $5,000-absolutely don't spend it and realize that this can take some time to do
> 9. Start looking for more expensive products which you can acquire with a built-in equity and you can re-sell for cash flow
> 10. Strengthen your foundation and then live off the income
>
> And if you are more interested in the idea end, you need to be asking yourself where can I find idea related products which might be for sale?
>
> Or what kind of tools or machinery can I use to harvest natural resources with the sweat of my brow that will have built-in equity?
>
> Or where can I buy or acquire products wholesale from which have a built-in equity that can be re-sold in my store or even at flea markets?
>
> Or in what ways can I employ the skills, time, money and resources of other people?
>
> The above plan may sound simple, but it takes imagination, work, time, discipline and experience to actually do and there is risk involved, no matter what you choose.
>
> In its simplest form it is what business is all about. Buy low-sell high.
>
> And just so you know that I'm not the smartest person in the world, or even very good at the above yet, we have actually been in this position twice in our lives. Once we had an income of more than $6,500 per month coming in from used cars and real estate and had to declare bankruptcy because I was overextended credit wise and buying things for resale that I hadn't properly done my homework on.
>
> The second time we were making more than $3,000 per month from products we acquired and licensed and the market just dried up.
>
> Where are we today? On the long road to recovery, pretty much following the same plan or forms of it. But it is easier.
>
> The only real disadvantage of some of these ways of generating cash flow and/or capital, is that they have a limited life span and there may be more management headaches involved.
>
> Once the equity is used up, you need to create or acquire more equity to keep going. There is limited growth and always risk involved.
>
> But this doesn't mean you can't develop a diversified income that won't last for a very long time (if not your entire life) and management headaches can always be solved in one way or another if you have the income to do so.>
>
>
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> Only after you have strengthened your foundation, payed off your home and vehicles and have some type of income you have generated to live on, can you start looking into other areas. Just keep building your cash flow until it is possible. And it sure does beat Social Security.
>
> Now being the survival type person that I am, the next thing I feel you need to be looking at is real wealth in the form of trade goods and materials/supplies needed for any businesses you may own.
>
> In our introduction we talked a little bit about money. We saw that its primary function was to make it easier for us to trade for certain forms of wealth.
>
> Here is one of the best explanations I have ever seen on exactly what money is and what it can do . . .
>
> "Without money, if people want to exchange goods and services, they barter. "In exchange for filling my car's gas tank I'll work for you for an hour." In most cases this simply wouldn't work because party A doesn't want what party B has to offer in exchange. With the use of money as an intermediary (or go-between), a wider variety of transactions become possible, increasing the chances that more people will satisfy their needs.
> To facilitate exchanges of goods and services, it helps if we have a sense of the worth or value of things. I might value my time at $15 an hour. In that case, if someone offers to pay me $15 an hour or more, I would consider working for him or her. If offered less, I would probably decline the offer. Similarly, I might value a loaf of bread at $1. Money as a unit or measure of value helps us to make better economic decisions. In the absence of money it would be much more difficult to make sensible economic and financial decisions. How things are currently priced by most people provides indispensable information for guiding economic and financial decisions.
> The store-of-value function of money makes an important dimension to economic and financial life much easier. It enables us to produce a surplus in the present, to save the surplus, and to "move" it to different places or into the future. Money makes it easy to transfer value from place to place or present to future."
> Basic Money Skills <http://www.bigbooster.com/business_opportunities/money_skills.html>
> Frederick Mann
> So as you can see, money isn't really wealth, except when it is used as a store of value and sometimes this value may decrease if you hold on to it or don't put it to intelligent use. You can't really use it in the things you need for everyday living. It is mainly used to trade for real wealth-things.
> So what types of trade goods and why? There are many articles on this site which go into more specifics, but just pretend to yourself that maybe everyone's money is counterfeit and nobody will take it anymore. You go down to the grocery store to buy some food and the clerk says "I'm sorry, but we don't accept cash, credit or checks." Well then "What will you accept?"
> If people won't accept money for what they are selling, they still need to sell it. The farmer who grows food still needs to have his other needs met. He spends all day long growing food and still needs things like clothes, tools, etc and ways to maintain these items. He may be addicted to nicotine or alcohol. His wife may need some needles and soap. His kids may cry because they don't have any candy.
>
> Now why may this happen and could it? As a person on the low end of the totem pole, we may not have very much influence on the current political or economic affairs of this world. That's not to say that we can't make a difference in both small and big ways. It just means we may wake up tomorrow and find that some of the Asian Countries will no longer accept US Dollars and will only take Euros or that the price for a barrel of oil has gone from $50 to more than $150. And if you do a little bit of reading and research, you may find this this is entirely as far-fetched as it may sound. We may in truth some day have have counterfeit money that is unspendable.>
>
> And If we do have all of our money invested in paper which is based on the US Dollar, it may be completely worthless. And you sure can't eat paper. So after you have a good foundation, paid off all of your debts and have some cash flow coming in, consider getting some trade goods, tools/supplies/knowledge/materials to make products as they did in the old days and materials/inventory that you may not be able to get for your business if the economy is in shambles.
>
> Now just a small note on metals and how they may come into play in your investment plan. Even if paper dollars are no longer being accepted, it doesn't mean that the economy is going to come to a standstill.
>
> Even in very Tough Times people are still going to need and desire products. And straight barter systems are still going to be clumsy. So eventually some form of money is once again going to be used. And hard assets like gold and silver have the advantage of history and use behind them. Just make sure that inexperienced people you are trading with can recognize it for what it is. When a silver coin reads 1oz of silver right on it, there usually is no doubt.
>
> A lot of ideas in this article that you can think about and hopefully use.
>
> -Build and maintain your foundation
> -generate some cash flow
> -invest your money in real forms of wealth
>
> Next time we will look into how we are being stolen from, how we are really still brainwashed slaves in this economic world and what we can do about it.
>
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