Monthly Archives: March 2014

Using the Right “Wealth Filters”

I published the following message in one of the “Investips” email messages that goes out to our subscribers. I decided to re-post it here for a couple of reasons. I am hearing many people developing business idea and plans that don’t “filter” well through what I’ve come to view as critical green lights for proceeding with an idea. If these filters are ignored, you may still find yourself in a profitable business, but you may find yourself working 80 hours a week to and regretting you ever started.

Use these filters to judge whether the idea you are thinking of is worth it from a time and wealth point of view. (not just a paycheck to paycheck point of view!)



It is important to run your business ideas through the right set of “filters” as you make business or investment decisions. Almost any idea can sound good and almost any business can be profitable if it is run well. I’ve found in my personal business experiences that even if it makes money but does not give me freedom away from it, I’m not sure that it’s right for me.  SO, I’ve developed 3 basic filers I use to evaluate a business idea.

1. Does it make money? – If the idea fails this filter there is no point going any further. And it doesn’t just have to pass my optimistic view of it. It has to pass my worse case scenario version (or at least the “close to worse case scenario”)

2. Will it make money while I am asleep or on vacation to the beach for 3 weeks? – This implies that I can walk away from it for days, weeks and potentially even months and the income will not decrease. My real estate investing and on-line marketing both are this way. Many other things I’ve tried were not this way. I don’t do them if they don’t have the ability to make money in my absence.

3. Can it be reproduced or duplicated? – This is more of a wealth building filter than an income generating filter. Wealth creation requires the component of multiplication. If you do one thing, your income is connected to that one thing. If it is successful AND if it can be replicated without adding to your work load, then yes it passes the filter. Again, my real estate investing and internet marketing pass this filter so they continue to work for me.

These filters would have kept me out of a lot of bad business ventures. On the bright side, since using them, my wealth creation journey has ben MUCH less frustrating and MUCH more effective.


If you would like to subscribe to our FREE daily “Investips” messages go to Millionaire on Deck and fill out the Investips subscription form.

There’s a First Time for Everything

Even complicated things become somewhat routine after doing them enough times. I began to understand this after we had purchased a dozen or so properties. In fact, purchasing a piece of real estate has become easier to me than purchasing a used car. Ironically, getting financing for a $70,000 property is easier for me than getting financing on a $15,000 vehicle. That may sound weird, but it’s true.

I say this because stepping into an unknown arena for the first time can be very intimidating. It’s true with anything. I remember doing the first tile job I had ever done. It kind of looked like the first one after I was done. But I learned probably 80% of what I now know on that first job. When asked “have you ever done that before?” Well, no, but there’s a first time for everything. Same was true when I laid stone on a fireplace for the first time, when I did a synthetic stucco job for the first time and countless other firsts.

In real estate investing, the biggest “First” by far is the first property purchase. Even if you have bought a home before, an investment property just carries with it so much more anxiety. Why? I’m not completely sure other than you have committed to a business venture at the same time that represents risk. As risk is understood and mitigated, the process becomes much less scary. In fact it can become so routine that it can feel as normal as going out to eat on a Saturday night.

Even after conquering the fear and anxiety of real estate investing, you will always have opportunities for other “firsts” that will take you right back to first base. This is happening to me right now and I’m just now understanding it. All of our investing deals have been roughly between $40,000 and $80,000 with a few to either end of the range. They are typically a 2 -5 week process. As I approached 5 month mark in this recent acquisition, and had to fight off frustration and aggravation all along the way, I realized that I was going through a new “First”! I had never done a real estate deal of this magnitude or scope. Plus, besides the real estate, we were essentially buying a fairly significant business to go with it. Funny I just figured that out.

So even when you expand your range and find a new comfort zone. Beware, sooner or later you will be compelled to push those boundaries out even further and take a first stab at something new and bigger. Pretty soon your new “First” will be in excess of $1,000,000 and it will require a deep breath along with some patience and perseverance as you work your way through a new learning curve. Don’t fight it……….Embrace it!

Another Blog Income Update – Success or Failure

I’ve done several updates over the past year about the blogging for income thing we’ve been doing. This one is a little more interesting I think because of what proves about the power of internet marketing. (And I need to admit right now that I only really understand some very basics about that)

Going into the fall and winter last year, I really wanted to spend some time on building up the income from the marketing part but really wasn’t able to commit any time to it. Here’s what I found to be amazing. Even though I had spent almost no time since October, I still get income notices every single Friday afternoon. That means that there is still money showing up from work I did a year ago in some cases. Why is that?

Well, I think it’s mostly because of the nature of the internet. The blog system that is the foundation of this program has material included that teaches some basics of marketing. If used, it will produce results. It produced results for us both in income from the blog PLUS it created results for us in our other businesses where we applied the techniques. We found it to be valuable enough that we purchased other training programs and put those to work as well. So far, we’ve utilized probably only 5% of the educational material we have access to and produced enough income results to almost triple our investment.


The education must be applied before it can work.

When we were only operating with the basic blog, we made sure to apply what we learned. We posted 100 blog posts in 100 days. We used search engine tools to make our posts easy to find and guess what……….people found them. Guess what……people STILL find them. After a year, we still get new members who link in from some of our old postings.

When we started applying more advanced techniques, we picked up more new members. and even after not spending virtually any time in the last five months, they keep coming.

I can’t say it’s been a raging success for us. but it has produced income well in excess of our investment and still continues to do so every week. But more important, It’s taught me a new marketing skill that I can apply every day to my traditional businesses that engages more and more customers. Let’s see if it works……..

tree houseOne of the businesses we are currently working on is a Tree House Resort. If that sounds fascinating to you then click the following link: How to win a FREE NIGHT IN A TREE HOUSE. (By the way, there is no obligation to this. We just want to give away a FREE night to someone in our first tree house!)

If you are interested in learning how to market your product, service or idea, this is a pretty good place to start. If you are the type that is determined enough to follow directions, you can earn a nice income (that continues in a residual way) by simply following the training material provided with the various marketing tools.

Success or Failure? We’ve definitely seen success by using the knowledge we’ve gained and applied it to our businesses. We haven’t been consistent enough on the income marketing to be wildly successful but is continues to send us a check every Friday even though we have done almost nothing since October (5 months now)

I’d say success.


Time or Money

When reading anything related to wealth, most of us automatically think in terms of money. To me that has been true at times, but I have viewed wealth as a time issue almost from the beginning. I can remember vividly how I would lay awake at night almost dreading the need to get up and go to work. I did not hate work. I hated the fact that I had so many other things I wanted to pursue and work just consumed all my best hours. My work now still consists of work, but its work I enjoy which is also building my wealth which is also creating more free time to do other things I enjoy besides work.

Does that make sense?

One of my favorite authors said; Wealth is measured in the number of days, weeks, months or years you can maintain your lifestyle if you stop working today. For some, that may only be to the end of the week. For others, that could be infinity. It all depends on what kind of wealth machine you’ve created for yourself. If your wealth machine is a job that pays $20 per hour, then your wealth is probably measured in weeks, maybe months.

So to me, time isn’t just money. Time is more valuable than money. At a modest lifestyle, our wealth is now indefinite. Of course if I were to increase our lifestyle to some degree, my wealth (time) could potentially have limits again. This is a valuable way of viewing wealth and one that should be considered. The reason it’s so important is that time is the one commodity that is limited.

Wealth is not about the size of the bank account as much as it is about the size of the “options” list. Wealth creates options. For me, the option of waking up in the morning excited about doing what I love to do is the greatest benefit to wealth.

Don’t Say You’re Serious Until You’re Ready to Show It!

Almost every week I get a call or a message from someone who is “Ready To Get Serious” about their financial future. Almost every time I also get a request to mentor them. Let me let you in on a little clue! If you aren’t really ready to get serious, don’t ask me to get serious for you! Been there, done that!

Actually, I am very committed to teaching and mentoring. I’m just not interested in wasting my time with those who fantasize about their financial future but aren’t willing to step up to the plate and take a swing at it for themselves. Let me explain how I know. After years of just assuming that people were being serious with me, I’ve finally come to realize that most of them have simply gotten themselves into a financial crisis. A crisis that gives them the inspiration for change that lasts for usually about two weeks.

My standard yard stick for measuring ones seriousness is two-fold. I now ask the prospective wealth creator to read 3 books and subscribe to one or more of my automatic email series. Why? First of all, almost EVERYONE starts out with either a broken or non-existent sense of what wealth creation is all about. They need some basics to operate from and without those basics, I just don’t have the time or patience to get them off the bottle (so to speak). There are easy to read and understand books that will do that in a matter of a couple of weeks (assuming they are serious enough to read them) The second tool for “pre-mentoring” is the automatic email subscriptions I recommend. These daily messages take about 2 minutes to read and have profound truths in them. The cool thing is that once you’ve subscribed, the messages automatically deliver to your in-box every day. The problem is that I can tell EXACTLY who opens them and who doesn’t!

The Problem Is………I can tell….. EXACTLY………who opens them and who doesn’t!

If you can’t check your email messages and read a 2 minute message (something that I believe changed my life when it comes to financial freedom) then don’t tell me you’re serious!

If you want to learn the key to financial freedom and wealth creation, then be serious with yourself first! If you want my help, all you have to do is commit to yourself first! You can start with one of my email subscriptions. You will find it at:

Subscribe to “Investips” part way down on the home page.

If you are serious about learning wealth creation or financial freedom, you can contact me through this blog or through one of the Investips messages. If you want to know the 3 books I send beginners through, I’ll share the titles with you.

Never Under-Estimate the Power of a Dream

canopy walkFor those of you who know us, or have followed this blog series, you should know that we believe in the power of dreams. Once a dream has “taken root” in your life, very little can dissuade you from attaining it. For a couple of months now we, along with some partner friends, have been putting the pieces of a dream together involving a Tree House Resort. It’s a dream some 15 years in the making for us. It started with a chance encounter with another tree house resort and the idea stuck. Three years ago, it took another step forward with the purchase of some resort cabins meant as a family retreat project. (learn more about that at “Creating the Family Retreat“) Or, at the Cabin website at

Three years ago also marked the first time we looked at the property we are now in the process of purchasing for our Tree House Project. Three years of on again and off again research into the next step. (plus the 15 years prior to the last three.) Now the dream is almost a reality.

I remember seeing a sign once that said “If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You, They’re Not Big Enough!” To me that has become a way of life. Life is too short to commit to wimpy dreams. A dream that you can accomplish in a weekend is not a dream, it’s a distraction. I spend weekends getting away from the business of the “Dream” when I need a break. Too many of us, myself included for many, many years, are too afraid of dreaming big. We let our “reality” determine our boundaries and our comfort zones. Dreams are meant to be bigger than we can hope to accomplish without planning and strategy and help from others and encouragement and even the occasional fail. Dreams make you vulnerable. They take you to places where failure is an option. It can be a scary proposition to believe in something that you have yet to prove to be successful.

Our Tree House Resort project still has all kinds of things that can potentially go wrong. It’s completely pre-mature to even be discussing it openly. After all, as of this moment, we still have not secured the funding for it. Does that matter to me? No. I am a dreamer and can’t wait to get started. What if I can’t bring the deal together? who cares! the WORST thing that can happen is that I’ve spent a few thousand dollars and a few months of effort to see a dream come true. Any embarrassment that may result in me getting ahead of myself is inconsequential. Why? Because I’m pursuing my dreams and whether I succeed or fail, the fact is I am engaged in what I believe and what I want to pursue.

The power of a dream will give you the ability to not worry too much about what other people think. The achievement of a dream will give you the satisfaction that you committed to live your life pursuing that which inspires you.

Live your dreams! and remember, If they don’t scare you……..They are not BIG ENOUGH!