Over the last six or so years, I've built up two active income streams: Speaking Fees and Consulting Fees. They require constant marketing and sales, and then time consumptive delivery. I spend hundreds of hours on planes and in dingy hotel rooms each year in order to fulfill my promises. While I'm young, I guess it is sustainable, but at some point, I'll need to stop trading my time & body for cash. It's a losing game against mother nature and father time.
Sure, I've have some investments and a retirement plan, but as we all know, they don't provide cash flow to offset the pressure for me to drive more active income. They are also not a sure thing anymore, be they stocks or real estate. About 15 years ago, I read Rich Dad/Poor Dad, and my eyes were opened to the concept of passive income streams. Ten years later, when I read The Four Hour Workweek, the concept was updated for the 21st Century entrepreneur...me. The idea was pretty simple: Create products that half a long tail of income earnings that I receive part or all of. Build enough of them, and eventually, you can cut back on active work (travel + time) and live a truly creative lifestyle.
In my case, I have built up a stable of passive products including four traditionally published books, a DVD, a video series distributed via Skill Soft and and an email training program. The books and videos have built up some annual money I can rely on, so far, around 20% of what I need to make. Not bad for a start. But it's been really hard to cobble these deals together via my 'stone knives and bear skin' approach. The question is, how can I scale my creativity to achieve 100%? I've grown tired of the underpromise-overdeliver nature of consulting, which drains my energies and leaves me little time to market or sell the next engagement. Same goes for speaking or any other one off services. While I love them, they are all time for money, and time is my most precious commodity. My way out is Massive Passive. And either as a co-founder or a user, Net Minds will do that for me.
It's likely you are going through this too, providing your services to publishers or authors in an "in-this-economy" environment of pressure on your fees and prices. You see publishers and authors building up their Massive Passive, yet all you get is your fee and maybe a referral at some point. What you'd really like to do is invest your spare time (unsold) into building up passive income streams that allow you to think more about what you are building, than about how much money you are having to hustle for.
We Are Building A Massive Passive Machine
Net Minds was founded with the idea of creating long term financial opportunities for authors and their project team mates. When freelancers get involved in our projects, in almost every case, there is a profit-sharing component to the deal. The author, sometimes lacking the up front capital that a publisher offers, puts together a hybird or "all in" deal with his editors, designers, marketers, translators or media realtions partners. In some cases, editors have received 15% of the book's net sales receipts, which for a typically priced non-fiction eBook, will bring in around $1 per unit sold on our system. Several of them will be participating in a second project early next year - on the road to building up a portfolio of assets on Net Minds they can add to over time.
One designer is doing a project for 5%, another is taking a portion of his normal up front fee and receiving 3% instead. It's a fun, dynamic and fair process where all parties play around with our Royalty Calculator to figure out what kind of deal makes sense to them. In the future, I can envision us adding innovative opportunities, such as the Project Producer (think acquisitions editor meets literary agent), managing the product and team building process for 10-15% of the book's net receipts over time. Publicists will likely bring scalable services to our authors, taking a sliver of cash up front and a point or two of dozens or hundreds of projects every year.
Since one of our core values is transparency, in the future we'll provide all Net Minds participants a dashbaord view of their long-tail assets, along with a steady stream of new opportunities and ways for them to develop a reputation on our system. It's very exciting for me as an entrepreneur and publishing geek. We can't wait to roll out all of thes products for you over time. If you are ready to get involved in a book project, the lightest/easiest passive income product around, join our freelance network so you can bid on working on one of our Net Minds Select projects. Think of it as your first step into your future.
Tim is a bestselling author and former Yahoo! executive with a mission to disrupt the traditional publishing and self-publishing industries and share knowledge with authors looking to publish and market high-quality books.Follow @sanderssays