When we do work, we expect to be rewarded for it. Usually, that reward means being paid or making money.
Aren’t being paid and making money the same?
Well, not necessarily. The way I see it is like this:
The way I see it, using the words “being paid” means that you are working for somebody else, they will make money from the work that you are doing, and you will be paid for your work. In other words, you may receive a salary or an hourly wage.
Making money, to me, means that you are more of an entrepreneur, somebody who is creating something of value, and selling it. Perhaps you are hiring employees to do the work, you are making money when your product or service cells.
Anybody could argue either way, making money and being paid could be considered the same, but in my mind, they are not. If you feel differently, that’s okay, no problem for me.
Being an Employee
If you are an employee, you generally are paid either a set salary or an hourly wage. If you create a product that sells 50 pieces over its lifetime, you will generally make the same amount as if the product it sold 50,000 pieces. Assuming you did the same amount of work. If you were manufacturing the product and had to work for every piece sold, of course, you would make more as more pieces sold.
Being an Entrepreneur
On the other hand, if you are an entrepreneur, and create a product, you wanted to sell as many pieces as possible, because that is how you get more money. The ideal situation is when you create something which can be reproduced many times without the need for a lot of work. Then, you can sell your item over and over again without much cost involved.
A perfect example would be something like an e-book, a video, or some kind of digital product. Let’s talk about an e-book. You just have one digital file, and if you sell one copy you send a copy of that file to the person who bought the book. If you sell 10,000 copies, you just send out 10,000 copies of the file. It really doesn’t cost you any extra, unless you want to get technical and argue that you have to pay for the Internet connection every time or something like that. But, in general, the cost of extra units being sold is very marginal.
The Strategy Are an Entrepreneur
So, if you create a product which is easily reproduced, and at very little cost, you really want to maximize your sales. You can use advertising, word-of-mouth, or however you can spread the word. However, one very important thing you should do is to take advantage of selling your item on multiple platforms.
If again, you have an e-book, you can sell that on your own website. You could take the same e-book and sell it on Amazon as a Kindle book. You could take the content of the book and use it to make paperback books. Those paperbacks, again, could be sold on your own website, on Amazon, or through other methods. There are lots of places where you can sell books, electronic or paper. Use them all.
In each example, you only had to write the book one time. Even though a paperback and an e-book or two different types of products, you still had to do the basic work only once. Yes, when you created the paperback you had to do a little bit of extra work making a cover, and doing other such things, but the big part of the job, the writing of the book, was a one-time thing.
All of this really comes down to a simple strategy: do the work once, and sell it many times.
On the Other Hand
On the other hand, let’s say that you are a painter, an artist. If you make a painting, you can only sell at one time, then you need to paint a different painting to sell that one. Oh, you can do prints and such, but I’m talking about originals. See, you can only sell your product once. But the previous example I was giving was that you could create the product one time and sell it over and over again.
Residual income means income that keeps coming in, even though it is for work that was done a long time ago. This applies in the example that I’m talking about. If you write the book one time, you will still produce income for years to come, even though you are not doing more work.
Let’s say that the book becomes dated, is old-fashioned, or the information is out of date. In such a case, your residual income would slow down to a trickle. But, you can still take advantage of the work you have done in order to bring the income back to the level that it should be. Update the book. All of the information that has become out of date can simply be updated with the current information. Then, you might retitle the book, adding the year that it is published, so that people know is new and up-to-date.
If you do an update like I outlined above, you may get a huge rush in sales. People who bought the earlier edition of the book might buy the new edition so that they will keep up-to-date. I’m not really talking about a novel now, I’m talking about an informational book, nonfiction. So, in addition to having new buyers, there is a good chance that you will also get repeat buyers of basically the same book because they want the newest and most up-to-date information.
Taking Advantage of Platforms
I gave some examples earlier of using different platforms, like selling on your own website and also selling on Amazon but, you can go way beyond that. List your items on eBay. Take advantage of every platform you can find where products like yours are selling. You’ve already done the work, so selling through additional providers is only getting paid more for the work you have already done.
This Is All Very Basic
Everything I’m saying here is very basic, especially for somebody who is an entrepreneur. However, there are also a lot of people that a thought like this would never occur to. If you have not been entrepreneurial in the past, and this is not clear to you, not something you would’ve easily thought of, this type of mindset is what you need to be aiming for. If you just write an e-book and start selling it on your own website, you are probably losing the bulk of the money that you could be making.
Keep in mind, this also does not only apply to e-books.
Here is a non-e-book example. About seven or eight years ago, I put together an online course. I set up a website where the course was sold and people would study online, watching videos, and reading the textbook. For many years this is the only way that I sold the course. It did well, and people paid monthly subscriptions for the course.
However, I always wanted to sell it on Amazon, because I knew the market there was huge. However, no matter what I tried, I always came upon one stumbling block. Amazon does not allow you to sell an online course on their platform. What could I do?
After many years of trying to figure out how I could sell the course on Amazon, I came across something that struck me. I figured out a way how I could sell it on Amazon. The key is very clear. Amazon does not allow you to sell an online course. Please note, I did not say that Amazon does not allow you to sell a course, I said an online course.
Since I had already put in all of the time to create videos and text for this online course, I figured, why can’t I take all of the work I’ve already done and made it a course that is no longer online? So, I got going, made a course that would not be online, and I’ve been selling it on Amazon ever since. I still sell my online course as well. I also sell my non-online course via mail order, e-commerce, and using multiple platforms. Because of this strategy, I have experienced a huge rise in the amount of business that I’ve been able to do with this course. Still, all of the work that I did was done one time, and that was years ago. I continue to reap the rewards for my work.
So, what do you think? Would you rather do a lot of work and get paid one time, or do a lot of work and figure out multiple different ways to sell it, and keep the income rolling in for years to come?
I think the answer is pretty clear.