Fifteen years ago, after a series of bad decisions I was broke. The kind of broke where I’d lost my job and my family and I were being evicted from our home and having our last automobile repossessed. I didn’t have a cent to my name and that year my income placed me below the U.S. poverty level.
Fast forward to today and things are very different. In the last decade-and-a-half, I’ve earned more than $7.7 million. I’ve made my money while sipping champagne in an internet cafe beside the Mediterranean in Sorrento…from La Galerie Lounge at the luxurious George V hotel in Paris…from a five-star resort at the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls in Zambia…and lots of places in between.
Even all these years later, I still wake up some mornings pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
It wasn’t a miracle or magic trick that took me from the U.S. poverty level to having my passport stamped regularly…I only had to do one thing right: Create a dependable, ongoing source of income that didn’t stop coming in when I wasn’t working. And preferably one I could manage from a laptop.
I did that 15 years ago this month and it was simple.
One night while I was mindlessly surfing the internet I happened upon an advertisement for a book that promised big bucks from selling “information.” I read the book through in one sitting (it wasn’t very big) and while reading it the proverbial light bulb came on.
The idea was really simple: using e-books, especially “how-to” and information books, to build an audience and then an income.
But I didn’t have a book, didn’t have any ideas for one, and frankly wasn’t sure I could even write one.
So I took one from the public domain—meaning no one owns the copyright and it was free.
That first book proved to be immediately popular. I grabbed several more public domain books. Then the money started to come in. At first, it was just a couple of thousand dollars a month, but by the end of the first year I’d made a six-figure income.
When I saw the beginnings of the e-book revolution started by Amazon and Apple, among others, I realized that another huge opportunity was in the making. I immediately began to churn out my own books—along with books that I hired other writers to produce (sometimes for as little as $300 a book)—and sold them on Amazon.
All of my travel last year was paid for with royalties I received from those simple books on Amazon, Apple, and other e-book retailers.
Today I have a laptop business that gives me a laptop lifestyle.
Image © iStock.com/lechatnoir
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