January 28, 2016

There. The date is in big, bold print (actually Headline 2 for you tech geeks).

This is the day that I decided what I want to do when I grow up.

Oh, I was born before 1960, so there’s probably hope for you, too. 🙂

I first became aware of the fact that one could make money online via a small business back in 2003. But I’ve been happy working in a job as I buy various business and marketing courses. I’ve learned a lot and made a lot of great contacts, but I didn’t do much with what I learned about business.

Then I happened to stumble across something that Steve Pavlina wrote back in 2012.

Steve Pavlina is a self development “professional” (I hesitate to call anybody an “expert” or “guru”, including myself) who has had a blog since about the time that I learned that you can make money online. He’s written some very good stuff. He’s also written some stuff that I’ve chosen to ignore as I focus on the stuff that has been helpful to me. I think it’s important to focus on what you have in common with others instead of nitpicking over the little things you can’t quite agree on.

The series of blog posts he wrote in 2012 is about earning a living making passive income online. You can get started in Steve’s passive income series by clicking here, then moving forward through the posts (it’s the link at the top right of the blog post, at least at the current time).

Business By The Blech

Oh, goodness, I’ve just made mistake #1; I sent you to somebody else’s site. And not just anybody’s site, but a site that is full of great posts written by somebody with a great deal of education and experience in his field.

I’m OK with that. If Steve’s site holds a greater attraction to you at the moment, that’s fine. Please go there, learn, implement, and then come back here when you’re ready. Or not. It’s up to you.

You see, a lot of things I’ve learned about business just don’t suit me, but thankfully people like Steve Pavlina and Pat Flynn have put this crazy idea in my head that abundance is out there and it can be done by giving away value. This interests me because pursuing wealth isn’t my style. Instead, I want abundance, a lifestyle where I can do what I want without having to worry about how to pay for it so I can focus on other things. Like helping others (and sleeping in until 7:00 AM!).

I dislike people that say stuff like:

  • You’re leaving money on the table.
  • Give people the “what” but not the “how”.
  • You have to have a sales funnel with 17 upsells after a 45 minute video sales letter.
  • Hammer your list until they unsubscribe, then get more leads and repeat. Churn and burn, baby!

Ugh. Not my style.

Granted, that may mean that I’m not going to succeed with this new effort. I’m aware of that, and by hitting “Publish” on this post, I’m accepting that risk.

What’s the worst case scenario for me? I continue working as a certified computer security pro in a job until I’m no longer able to work or until nobody wants me to work for them. I also have an Army pension (or 58% of it; long story), enough retirement money to give me a couple thousand a month for as long as I want, and I’ll be able to draw Social Security in a few years.

Fear

In other words, I don’t really have to fear anything. And that’s one of the big keys to deciding — finally — what I’m going to do first.

Really, what is there to be afraid of? I write. I like to write. I don’t make any money from it. I still have a roof over my head and food on the table. And I still have that commute to work every morning and afternoon (it’s not so bad where I am).

What’s the big deal? What’s to fear?

And if I do succeed… Well, I won’t succeed if I don’t get started. That commute won’t go away if I don’t at least try. Being able to send my wife to visit her mother in Europe when she feels like it won’t happen if I don’t get started.

The only thing I really have to fear is not getting started!

The Plan

I’m going to give away high quality content on one of my security blogs (The Business Protector) while writing about it here. I’ll sell some things and make money in other ways, but I want all of my stuff to be freely available to anybody that wants it in some form. I think that security is too important to hide it behind a paywall.

I also want as much of my income to be passive income as I possibly can so I can focus on creating more content that helps people.

And since I’m a certified computer security geek, computer security is where I’m going to start. To be specific, I’m going to start with WordPress and cPanel security as I teach the true core of security, which is risk management.

(Incidentally, cPanel is a trademark of the cPanel people. I’m not them and this isn’t their site. If they ever read this page, they will probably roll their eyes, let out a deep breath, and mutter something about yet another of the unwashed hordes trying to teach their stuff. But hopefully it’ll make you buy web hosting that is run by cPanel so they make some money. Ah, legal disclaimers…)

As I like to say, there are a zillion people (OK, probably not that many, at least on this planet) that can show you how to make money online, offline, etc. Truth be told, I could probably do that if I wanted to.

But what I also see is a lot of confusion about what security really is and how to do it in the context of a business. I hope to be able to change a little bit of that.

And in the process of creating value, I expect to get value in return. That’s the way the universe works. Keller Homes here in Colorado Springs didn’t give me a free house, so I have to pay the mortgage every month because wireless connectivity isn’t that great when you live in a cardboard box under an overpass.

Value for Value. Don’t be a Value-sucking vampire.

The Passive Income Series

Getting back to the subject at hand, here are a few things that I’ve learned from the passive income series so far that has changed my mindset:

  • Having a job is active income. It’s also a bit selfish in a way since the value you create is, in most cases, only consumed by one person or entity. Personally, I’d argue that my job helping to defend military networks helps a lot of people but I do concede that…
  • You only get paid once for what you do. If I go to work and write a report about some group that’s trying to hack into military networks, my paycheck will show up on Friday, right on time, just as it has for the past 2.5 years. That’s nice. But I can’t take that report home and sell it on my web site because I’ve already sold it and no longer own it. For that matter, I never owned it in the first place.
    • If I don’t write a report, my paycheck will still show up on Friday. That’s not always good (although a large part of my job is to herd cats and smile pretty when high-ranking people ask tough questions).
  • Since I can’t sell my reports to more than one person, I can’t make more money by selling it to several people. In fact, because I’m a salaried employee, my paycheck rarely changes, regardless of the hours I work or the amount of value I produce.
  • Somehow, I’ve always accepted all of this as “normal”.
  • Steve Pavlina, if he knew me, would probably think I’m not normal because I have a job.
  • I want Steve to think I’m normal. LOL…

Incidentally, that last linked article was one that got my brain going when I read it this morning.

And it’s what made me decide to just create value and act as if the abundance I want is already there. And to be honest, I know it is; I just have to open my eyes and see it and realize it.

Give You, Give You, Give You

So I’m going to give it all away. I have some ideas about how to make passive income from it but that will come a bit later. For now, I just want to create helpful content that provides value and helps small-small business owners and solopreneurs better protect the assets they’ve worked hard to create.

One other thing. After a long-ish day at the office, I don’t mind coming home to work on my stuff, but I have to work on stuff that interests me, stuff that gets me excited. Writing for my website does that. That’s another reason why I decided to pursue this model.

If my model interests you and you want to see how I’m doing with it, I’ll post here to let you know what I’m up to and how it’s working out. If you’re just interested in the security stuff I’ll be teaching, I’ll include the link in an upcoming post. If none of this interests you, that’s OK too; there are billions of other pages on the Internet and one of them should make you happy.

Hope to “see” you again soon.