The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!
Last week we spoke about finding your assets. In the world of the passionpreneur, assets are all the things you believe, know, are, do and own that set you apart, have value, and that can be used to generate income. Assets include books, poems, ideas, recordings, mailing lists, domain names, personality traits, experiences, skills, agreements, accomplishments, articles, and even physical attributes.
From a strictly financial standpoint, an asset is something that puts money in your pocket rather than take money out. That definition is important since many people mistake their cars, boats, and homes as assets when they are really liabilities. Unless you are generating money with your car, charging others to use your boat or generating rental income through your home, these are not assets but liabilities.
In today’s column, I’ll give you little peak into my own Master List of Assets and share some ideas on how one might go about capitalizing on them. Hopefully, it might inspire you to identify some hidden assets of your own.
SPIRIT AS ASSET
As a seeker of truth on a spiritual path, I realize first and foremost that "things unseen" are at cause for "things seen." In other words, the visible world of points and edges is created by the invisible world of thought and vision.
Therefore, first on my list of assets are my word, my faith, my personality, my attitudes, my purpose and my belief in the divinity of my being.
It’s a fact that your success in any venture will require the participation and cooperation of other people. People are inspired by vision, motivated by purpose, led by trust, and empowered to their own greatest potential by their alignment with the divine in you. To know this and to offer your spiritual assets to your venture is the first step in optimal asset allocation.
WRITING AS ASSET
In my own case, I have several books I’ve written that I use as assets. I sell these on several of my own websites as well as Amazon.com and through Barnes & Noble. If you’ve got an idea, an experience or some expertise that you can put into book form, it doesn’t take a lot to actually publish and profit from a book. In fact, thanks to the Internet, many people who will purchase your book will likely order the ebook version for immediate download thus eliminating the need for you to actually print a physical copy. So, do you have any true stories, life journals, poems, blog posts or "how to" expertise you could turn into a book?
RECORDINGS AS ASSETS
Over the years, whenever I’ve done workshops, interviews on radio, interviewed others for articles, or conducted coaching sessions, I’ve recorded these and now have a collection. I’ve sold recordings of my speeches and workshops as products on my site. Again, thanks to the Internet, your own recordings could be purchased as digital MP3s or MPEGs (video files) that people simply download to their computers without you needing to create and mail actual CDs or DVDs. Do you have any recordings, or access to any that might make info-products or entertainment for others? Take a visit to YouTube.com to get some ideas.
MAILING LISTS AS ASSETS
Since I have quite a few websites targeting people of different interests, I’ve developed several different special interest mailing lists. Even without a website, you can do the same, not by selling the email addresses on your list (that would be wrong), but by selling access to the list. For example, let’s say that since diving is pretty popular here on Saipan, you, as a world-class diver yourself, have a list of friends and contacts both here and abroad who share your diving passion and are just anxious to read what you have to say. You could start sending out a weekly email of information or product offers to your Saipan Divers Email Club. Pretty soon, as your list grows, you might be able to charge other businesses diving-related a fee to advertise to your growing and influential list! Do you have access to the email or perhaps even the physical addresses or fax numbers of special interest groups (divers, tree huggers, etc.) that could be the beginnings of great mailing list?
ACCOMPLISHMENTS/EXPERIENCE AS ASSETS
This is a biggie. There is so much that you’ve seen, can do and have done that may seem unimpressive to you, but that may have tremendous value to others if you just think a little less locally and more globally.
I have a friend from China who speaks Mandarin and enough English to communicate fairly well. That skill may not seem particularly profitable among a factory filled with others who can do the same, but when offered, say, to a lawyer who deals with Chinese clients, it could be worth much more.
On my own list of experiences, I did a radio show for five years in NY; I’ve lived in Jamaica, the US and now Saipan. I did speed dating a few years ago while in NY (yes, I said it!); I’ve done workshops for the Learning Annex, and have done teleclasses. I know how to sell products online. I once had my own record label. So, if I choose to, I could tap those experiences to teach others, write books, or guide anyone who wishes to do any of those things that I’ve done. And I could do that for a fee.
The fact that you earned a diploma, moved abroad, taught, practiced medicine, dated inter-culturally, or even started a family or business overseas, could be of value to others who wish to do the same. What commonplace experiences here in Saipan might be of value beyond these shores?
SKILLS AS ASSETS
Can you draw, paint, fix things, design websites or write great letters? Can you complete tax forms, understand and interpret contracts, sew or sculpt? Can you communicate, manage teams of people, play sports, program computers, organize groups, listen well, coach others, figure things out logically or use high tech gadgets? Do you find it easy to remember the most obscure trivia? Can you spell particularly well? Can you whistle a tune? These skills are all assets that have value.
PHYSICAL AS ASSETS
Do you have a nice voice (for radio or voice-overs), a pleasing appearance (for photography, television or modeling), a great body, beautiful hair, a uniquely shaped head, small feet? Yes, even your physical attributes are God-given assets which you have every right to be proud of and for which others might pay you to share with the world.
Finally, in my own Master List of Assets I have a miscellaneous section that includes a private photo collection of about 5,000 which includes great shots of reggae artists I took while attending concerts as a radio DJ, and a comic book collection of Marvel and DC comics, both of which might just a have a profitable second life on eBay!
This is by no means a comprehensive list of possible categories, but just a starter kit to help you organize your own list of assets. When you list your assets, make the list as thorough and detailed as possible. List each poem, each book, each skill, even each photograph individually.
One single photograph has been known to change the course of history! All these assets might be products and services themselves, or, they could be used as a means of attracting attention and gaining exposure for other products and services you might be selling. In any case, categorizing your assets is an important second step in turning your passion into profit!
A FEW TIPS:
Online sites you can sell your products and services include
Sites on which you can sell photographs
4. Scoopt (sell to newspapers and media)
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Until next time, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!-Walt
Walt F.J. Goodridge is author of over two dozen books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Walt offers coaching and workshops to help people pursue and profit from their passions. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Walt has grown several businesses in the US, and now makes his home here on Saipan. To learn more about the Saipanpreneur Project and Walt’s philosophy and formula visit www.saipanpreneur.com and www.passionprofit.com)