Create Your Own Trust Fund

The most powerful machine ever built: the Saturn V rocket.
The most powerful machine ever built: the Saturn V rocket.

I always laugh at the word “trustafarian” which is roughly defined thusly:

…privileged kids who subscribe to the hippie lifestyle (because they can) since they have no worries about money, a job etc. They can then devote their lives to eating organic, following Phish, and wearing dreadlocks (no need for job interviews)…
Frankly, I think a lot of us would like to be trust-funders, not because we’re Phish fans, but because of the freedom.
Freedom. Let me roll that around on my tongue for a bit. Freedom. Freedom in my mind is the ability to say “no”. If you don’t have to have a job, saying “no” becomes so much easier. But more valuable is the ability to say “yes” to all the good things. Yes to an interesting life; yes to a healthy life; yes when answering the question “Are you financially independent?”; yes to creating a legacy. When you are relieved of the drudgery of having to spend time each week just to pay the bills, suddenly there’s a lot more to say “yes” to.
My emphasis on the time spent working to pay bills is important. Most of us spend most of our time to pay other people. First we pay government, then shelter. Then we pay for utilities, then for food, clothing and transport, and by this point most of us are at the end of our money. What we have become is intermediaries, selling our labor and brains in order to transfer that money to another entity, whether it be the power company or the supermarket.How much better would it be to pay ourselves first, and then pay all the other stuff.
That’s out of reach of most people, but it’s the starting point for those of us who are beginning the path to our own virtual trust fund. I have my current job, and then work my sales job on the side. The money from my sales job goes directly towards savings and investment, in other words, paying myself. My day (night!) job goes to paying all the bills.

Over time, the sales job checks will increase. Gradually, the fly-wheel effect of more and more customers will begin to get going, so that eventually, the sales commission will be greater than my job earnings. That’s the point at which I can look upon my efforts as having created my own trust fund, enabling me to quit my job, and spend whatever time I want to working my own business.

That’s the essence of  financial independence. That’s what I’m working on. That’s what you can do with me.

Dad, Can I Have…

Remains of the day.
Remains of the day.

Adult children staying at home seems to be a trend. In a healthy economy, you post-teen offspring would have no problem finding a job and moving out. With a regular paycheck, why would a twenty-something not want to make their own way in the world?

The answer to that question is that it’s hard work. If you have to work, study, cook, clean, exercise and maintain a social life, there’s not much time left in each day. Being an adult, of course, is all about accomplishing all of these things, as well as perhaps starting a family when you meet the right person.

So staying at home is easier. Your mother will probably do your laundry and keep you fed. She’ll clean your bathroom and leave the light on at night. And if you need some help with your car or money, dad’s there, at least to ask the question. Hell, if my parents were that nice, I might never have left home either.

My work friend Tony has two daughters who live with him and his wife. I imagine he’s a brilliant father; supportive and loving. But I sense that he’s thinking that at some point his progeny need to fly the nest. There comes a time when the nurturing is over and everyone’s next life stage needs to begin.

My business is one that would be ideal for both him and his family to start. Not only can it be hugely rewarding financially, but as your life situation changes, it’s one you can turn on and off, depending upon how much time you have. It’s an ideal enterprise for anyone who would like ‘work’ that doesn’t involve sitting in a cubical, and is completely self-directed. You’re utterly self-directed, free to sell to any person  you are prepared to approach.

And it’s a business with huge stickiness. The customer retention rate is more than 95%, meaning that once you have a customer, they are overwhelmingly likely to remain that way. That translates to regular, repeatable income. The benefit of that, especially to a younger person, is that it relieves the pressure of finding income. If you are studying and working, making the work component much more flexible and not hours-based gives you way more time.

Time to find a place to live and move out of home.

 

An Actual Education

P&G G550 1

What I can tell you is that England was invaded many times, had many kings and queens and at one point had a feudal system. Fascinating stuff, eh? Oh, and I learned how to calculate the volume of a sphere. Just in case a) I have a sphere filled with something and b) I need to know how much something there is.

You’re probably the same. Everything you were taught in school is either wrong or useless. The stuff you really need you must learn at some point after and away from school. How to start a business, how to save for retirement, the right way to manage your savings – none of these skills are taught, not even alongside the ways of measuring the acceleration of a free-falling object. Hmmmm. Can’t think of the last time I did that.

So here’s my point: the basis of a stress-free, successful life is knowing how to make money, spend it wisely, multiply it, and ultimately, have enough to live without working. I can’t think of a more calm way to live than knowing I’m independent of a job and can live my life without referral to anyone else.

Yes, I’m being deliberately narrow with my definitions here. Of course, relationships, family, children, experiences, learning, spirituality and all the other good things that make us people are important. But if you can’t get up in the morning and feed, clothe and house yourself, all the rest are moot.

That’s what I’m doing here. Finally putting the important education I’ve gleaned into practice, and helping you do the same.

 

 

The Case for Quality

Quality in the air.
Quality in the air.

A culture for quality doesn’t mean everything you buy and everything you do should be the most expensive. Cost and quality can be correlated, but it’s not necessarily a strong link.

There are some very clear examples where quality is unquestioned, and they tend to exist in super-luxury categories. Louis Vuitton is an example. Price is almost irrelevant when it comes to this company’s leather and travel goods. Gulfstream business jets would be another. They’re cases of unquestioned world’s best, and if you need to ask the price, you aren’t really hip to the point.

Back here in real life, the mass market for almost everything other than bizjets and French handbags operates on a cost-first basis. This is the race-to-the-bottom, three-cents-cheaper-than-the-other, stack-em-high-get-em-sold school of marketing, where the only consideration is that the product does the job and the tab isn’t too high. It’s the WalMart way of doing business, which is enough to tell you how pervasive it is.

More astonishing is the rise of the Family Dollar and the like store; undercutting the Behemoth of Bentonville is the name of their game, to hell with any notion of quality. If it says ‘laundry detergent’ then that’s good enough.

There is a middle ground, however. You can see it bubbling underneath the surface of consumer culture, trying to break through the crust of cheapest at all cost thinking. We can see it in Chipotle, for example, where fast food isn’t necessarily low quality. (Still enormously calorific though!) American-made Japanese cars, too are amazingly good quality for the money. And, of course, there are the products from my company.

Let’s get real; most people don’t give their household and personal products much more than a passing twitch at the supermarket. Folks have their brands, they know – or think they know – what they’re getting, and, because the whole thing’s a chore, and just want it over with. That’s the kind of thinking I am here to modify, if only slightly. I sell products that are of higher quality, are better for you, and cost at least the same (and oftentimes less) per use than supermarket brands. As an additional incentive, you can avoid wandering the supermarket aisle searching for them; they come to your door.

Because I saw the change in myself when I began using my company’s products, I know for sure lots of other out there are looking for the same. The quality of culture exists. Now I need to go find it.