Preparing a Platform for Freedom

Maxi-B-Front
Welcome to Stage 5, “Income”. I-n-c-o-m-e, sounds nice doesn’t it? We’ve defined, eliminated, and automated here at the life design project and it’s finally time to get serious about breaking apart creating a revenue stream. Most people would think that means picking a product right now and running face first into the brick wall of trying to sell it to others. No thanks, that’s not what I’m talking about, creating residual income is much more subtle than that, despite what those “Work from Home” Google Ads tell you. You need a platform, an idea and a voice to start, then maybe you can start thinking about money. Simply put, you need to prepare.

I’m using my IT freelancing business as a launch platform for testing easily managed income projects. I’ve hinted to it all along, but now I’ll finally spell out what I mean by that. The concept isn’t magical, so this won’t be anything new, but it will help you visualize a platform for your own passive income possibilities.

SPELLED OUT
IT Arsenal (my freelance IT business) will “front” as my IT service, web design, support business as it has all along, but the “back” will grow products etc. with two goals, creating value and generating passive income. (affiliate links will inevitably be thrown in the mix, but they should never be the focus, I’ll cover this more later) The front is what I’m passionate about, it’s whatever you love to do, this is vital, having this is the difference between being a spam link robot and someone worth listening to.


Have a “front” and “back” | Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins
All successful passive income makers have a “front” and a “back” platform to their businesses, even if they don’t know it. The “front” “back” construct will set up a continuity between skill work (or paychecks) and a sustaining passive income. Tony Robbins makes a ton of money from his talks which were derived from his life experiences and passion, but he makes even more from his audio programs and books, and he doesn’t lift a finger to earn money from them after their made. Start with passion or at least something your interested in, even if it’s just talking about it, but have a plan in mind for the “back” on how you can turn the effort your making now into a source of income later. Doing something your passionate about for income while your awake is step 1, figuring out how to do it while your asleep is step 2.

Real life example: this blog. I plan to take this blog and package up it’s most useful, commented, high trafficked information, rework it and release as a resource, either for more traffic for a bigger audience so something I do release has more consumers, or release it for a small fee.

Tim Ferriss used speed reading (link) and protein powder (link) for two of his first businesses (the speed reading product isn’t even it’s own domain, it’s just a sub page under brain quicken! and yes, those are seriously are his products), why? because he had a passion and interest for learning and fitness. His products and their success or rather failure in his instance fueled him to create and popularize the testing, automation and elimination tactics we now know through his book. His front end was working crazy hours and realizing he doesn’t like inefficient business and doing things the old way, his back end was documenting and writing a book about it. It’s now years later and he’s writing a book on gaining muscle and losing fat (Guide to Becoming Super Human), and just a few months ago posted an extensive article on speed reading. He’s still following the same method he did writing the 4 Hour Work Week, he just knows it now. Do you see the one level up repeatable process?

Realization moment for me: I never thought about creating a product before lifestyle design. I’m been a hustler and entrepreneur all my life but I was programmed to think I could only get paid once for doing something once.

IT Arsenal is really just a name for my platform, I’m sure if you like to write books, travel, develop websites, whatever your passion is, you can just as easily come up with this “platform”…your service offering is your front (a blog at the least), but the more valued passive income projects are the back and are offshoots of your front. I don’t care if you make $200 an hour consulting, what are you doing to make a passive $10 an hour 24/7 with those skills?

Systems Ready
OK, now that the platform is set, I have to take action and execute on it. There’s a ridiculous amount of information out there on how to take a niche idea and test it, so step one is to set up a workflow for all the oncoming Google Analytics, keyword testing, documenting, advertising, COMING UP WITH A PRODUCT, trial runs, website design, quick mock-ups and other tasks that will need to be fleshed out. It’s not a matter of how in my mind anymore, it’s a matter of when and that’s exciting. Now only if someone had a website filled with intelligently thought out workflow procedures to speed up the process…niche business idea anyone? Remember, this is a platform for freedom, we’re enabling passions to produce passive income.

What does your platform look like? I want to know.

Commitment to readers. I’m going to be moving into a phase of creating products and resources and my main goals as mentioned above will be to provide value and to make money. I’m committing here to my readers I will never try to prompt or pitch you an IT product on this blog. I’ll certainly be talking about my creations as I continue to test them, but I won’t be using any of you as test dummies for metrics, or product pitches. I commit to being honest about my efforts here and if you can use or want to evaluate anything that I’m working on, by all means, let me know.

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  • http://www.itarsenal.com/ Rob

    So glad this description was helpful, I really enjoyed writing this article. It gave me a great foundation mindset to understand in planning the future business or now current efforts, balancing daily work with creation work that will cash in later. Great!

  • http://analyticasystemsinc.com/blog/ John R. Sedivy

    I agree with the other commenters that your explanation of “front” and “back” of a business is excellent. Personally I have spent way too much time focusing on the front and need to start considering the passive income side – or as our CFO likes to say generating “annuities.” As we are primarily an information-based business, your example of a consulting business resonated with me. I am in the process of refining our business plan, so finding this article was near perfect timing, and has helped structure some of my ideas and conveying the differences between consulting and product development in the plan.

  • http://thelifedesignproject.com Rob

    Awesome, I've been digging your content Dragos and it's really cool to hear about someone else's experiences. So you found you needed to have both elements, I thought so…cheers on the ebook!

  • http://thelifedesignproject.com Rob

    Awesome, I've been digging your content Dragos and it's really cool to hear about someone else's experiences. So you found you needed to have both elements, I thought so…cheers on the ebook!

  • http://www.dragosroua.com/ Dragos Roua

    Well, that's certainly something that hit a point in me. I had a business for 10 years and I've been struggling a lot with the income variable. I was able to sell it last year so the income is pretty much there. But what I found is that I do need to do some work, some contribution (hence my blog) otherwise income in itself is not enough.

    And to follow your concepts: my blog is both my front and my back (I also released an ebook based on my experience as an online entrepreneur and it started to sell) but the blog really makes it ok.

  • Robert Granholm

    Thanks Alan! and Simon….more to come and I can’t be more appreciative of this wonderful community.

    Alan, glad you appreciate it, because you nailed what I have here…real life, real information.

  • http://www.the9to5alternative.com Alan

    “Real life example: this blog. I plan to take this blog and package up it’s most useful, commented, high trafficked information, rework it and release as a resource, either for more traffic for a bigger audience so something I do release has more consumers, or release it for a small fee.”

    You absolutely should. You have a knack for writing about this stuff. Very genuine. Very informative. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I continuously look forward to your progress. These posts always give me the boost of life energy I need!

  • http://www.simonvanduivenvoorde.com Simon van Duivenvoorde

    Agree with Carmen, nice explanation of the ‘front’ and ‘back’.

    One of the drivers for me to create a, information, product is that you can leverage that more easily than you can leverage yourself. It can spread itself and create value for the buyers and your resellers.

    And, as you proved with the examples of Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins, there isn’t a ceiling with the selling of products. You can sell a million books but you can’t sell a million of consulting hours (you can try to charge millions for your consulting hours).

    Good luck and keep up the good work!

  • Robert Granholm

    I agree, cashflow certainly is key…just make sure what you’re doing now can benefit you later without having to put in the same effort…cashflow at the expense of freedom is no good.

  • http://indietravelpodcast.com Craig

    Some interesting thoughts on the money side of things. For most, bootstrapping their business, cashflow is key … and $200/hour for consulting doesn’t sound too bad a start to me :)

  • http://www.nunomad.com/blog Carmen

    Nice explanation of the “front” and “back” end of people’s income sources. Definitely coming up with a recurring income stream is key in freeing yourself from the daily grind!