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Letter sent on Aug 8, 2016

I was losing money for 3 years every single day…

When I quit my job in 2013 I didn’t really have a clue about how I would be able to sustain myself. I had the idea of writing a book, selling it and then basically replacing my current income with the income that book would generate.

Passive income and multiple streams of income was my answer to everything. Needless to say it didn’t really work.

Looking back, quitting my job and hoping my book would be a success was probably not such a good strategy. Hope never really is a good strategy. And the book wasn’t a success. Which isn’t really such a big surprise. Because back then I had no audience, no one knew me and no one had ever heard my name before.

I was able to make a some money with it. But the biggest problem was that it took me more than 10 months to write it. And I didn’t really have a backup plan for a scenario where it wouldn’t work out. So the money I’ve earned was nice. But it was a one time thing. I had to find ways to generate recurring revenues.

And the magic passive income formula like they tell you about all the time just doesn’t work. It never works. Especially not when no one knows who the hell you are. Barely anyone bought that book in the next couple of years.

Sure, I could have offered it for $0.99. That’s what all of these e-book course gurus suggest you’d do. After you’ve given it away for free for a while. But who can buy food selling 99 cent ebooks? Not only this. Because it’s too cheap, Amazon will take 70% of it.

That means you’d only make 30 cents a copy. Which is even worse. So you’d have to sell 10,000 copies a months to replace an income of $3,000. And that’s before tax! So you’d probably have to sell around 50,000 copies a month…

I was pretty much screwed. And the only thing that helped me was that I saved around $20,000 over the past 27 years of my life. That’s what really saved me. And not some passive income and multiple streams of income mumbo jumbo.

So over the years I had to find ways to somehow be able to pay the bills. I had to figure it out. As fast as possible. Otherwise I’d go broke. I was losing money every single day. For the past 3 years. I’m now able to live comfortably and can afford everything I need. I can now live everywhere. But it took me quite a while.

So whenever someone asks me how I was able to push myself over and over again, even though my world and the world around me was falling apart, I told them that story.

That when you go to that ATM and you see that the number on the screen is getting smaller and smaller every single day. Then that’s your motivation right there. That’s your inspiration.

A while ago I read a great book called The Power of Broke. And you know who wrote it? Daymond John. The guy who does Shark Tank in the US. He’s the exact same guy who started FUBU, one of the most popular clothing brands in the 90s. He started it with $40 in his pocket. And then he grew it to a 6 billion dollar business. With just $40. And now he’s a billionaire. And a superstar investor. And you see him every time you watch Shark Tank.

And this book was one of the best books ever written. What he basically says is that when you’re up against the wall, when all you can do is win, you’ll win. When you’re cash strapped you’ll be a lot more creative than everybody else. You’ll be a lot faster than everybody else. You’ll do things that no one else would do.

“Because if you’ve got to succeed to survive, you will. Trust me on this.“

That’s one of my favorite quotes in the book. Luckily, it didn’t get that bad for me. I was making some money. But not a lot. And I guess it’s true. The more you’re up against the wall, the more you’d have to succeed. And the more creative you’ll be.

So the pressure got bigger and bigger for me every single day. I had to become more and more creative every single day. I had to keep pushing every single day. Because I didn’t have a paycheck sent to me at the end of each month. And because I started hating ATMs.

I had to adapt The Power of Broke mindset before I even knew it existed. Before that book even came out.

Looking back at what I did and how I did it, I have to admit that I made many mistakes. Probably way too many. Stupid mistakes. That I could easily have avoided. But luckily I’m still around. I survived. After many ups and downs. Well, mostly downs.

And I guess one of the biggest mistakes I made was that I didn’t want to listen to other people who’ve done similar things like me in the past and succeeded. I wanted to learn everything by myself. It’s like I wanted to see myself fail. Over and over again.

But also because I couldn’t afford to and didn’t really want to pay hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars for online courses or material from some of the folks who’ve successfully done it in the past.

Even more importantly, it probably took me more than a year to figure out who was legit and who wasn’t. Who was trying to scam me and run away with my money and who was real. It’s hard to figure out who’s legit and who isn’t on the Internet. If you’re in doubt, then in 99.9% of the cases your doubt is justified and it’s someone who wants to scam you.

So over the years I’ve read many, many books and mostly copied the techniques other successful people were using by signing up to their newsletters and getting all of their free stuff.

It took me a while, but in the end I made it out alive and am now able to live the life I want to live. A life where I can live wherever I want to. A life where all I need is an internet connection, where I just need to pop up my laptop and am ready to go.

But it took me a lot of time. Probably too much time. Way too much time.

And if I had to start from scratch today, how would I do it?

I don’t know. Things change. But here’s what Nick Loper, an online business genius pointed out to me just the other day.

How to build a real online business from scratch today.