About The Author
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. Since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he has written four books (1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Sharpening the Pencil: Essays on Writing, Motivation, and Enjoying your Life, and Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job), several plays (Something from Nothing and Chekhov Kegstand: A Dorm Room Dramedy in Two Acts) and he was the head writer for an un-produced Web series (Covenant Coffee). His writing and motivation website Build Creative Writing Ideas has had over 100,000 visitors since it was founded in December 2008. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @buildcwideas.
You Are Your Own Investment
By Bryan Cohen
Have you ever dreamed of making millions of dollars a year? If you did, do you think all your financial problems would be over and done with? Recently, hundreds of professional football players, many of whom earn six and seven figure salaries, have come very close to losing their 2011 income due to a still-pending NFL owner lockout. I was astounded to hear that some of the players had considered taking $15 an hour plumbing and labor jobs because they still had bills to pay. Hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and they didn’t have the funds to wait out a year-long strike? Is this a matter of poor saving or something else?
Warren Buffett once said something along the lines of, “I would rather have a $10,000 company making 10% than a $100,000 company making 5%. I have other places I can put the money.” Imagine that you are one of these companies Buffett is talking about. Most people in the world are growing 0% or a negative percentage from year to year. How do you become a 5% or 10% growing individual? Will a raise help? Perhaps a second job? If these millionaire football players are any indication, a raise or a second job will not be the solution. The answer according to many of the wealthiest people in the world is earning passive income.
Passive income is the money that comes into your life at any point of the day whether or not you’re working. Sources of passive income include investments like IRAs and real estate, owning part of a company that you don’t directly work in, and coming up with a creative work like a song or a book. I don’t know much about real estate or owning companies, but I am learning new things every day about the passive income of writing books.
Creating a book for self-publishing purposes takes a lot of time at first, potentially hundreds or thousands of hours. Once it’s completed, aside from time spent on promotion, you can put it up for sale. If anybody buys this book you receive money whether you’re cooking dinner, hanging out with your kids, or driving in your car. While I have not reached the income levels of self-published authors like Amanda Hocking, John Locke, and J.A. Konrath, I am still in the pool of many authors earning a healthy second income (that is quickly on its way to becoming my top source of income). I rest easier knowing that even while relaxing and sleeping, I am still making a few bucks an hour, twenty-four hours a day.
I have not quit my “day job” of freelance writing for several websites, but I could see myself scaling back considerably by the end of 2011. If I spend less time on my freelance and more time on my passive income-earning books, theoretically I could be setting up income for myself in my 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. I don’t recommend abandoning everything for creative endeavors or investments, but if million dollar football professionals are looking for a job like yours, isn’t that a cue to try something new?
Bryan Cohen is giving away 100 personalized writing prompts to one giveaway entrant chosen at random during the blog tour. Personalized prompts are story starters that cater specifically to a writer’s subject matter, strengths/weaknesses, etc. Cohen will create the prompts to cater exclusively to the winner. He is giving away free digital copies of his book The Writing Sampler to everybody who enters, which includes excerpts from each of his four books on writing. The book contains essays, writing prompts and tips and tricks to enhance your writing skills. In addition, for each of Cohen’s books that reach the Top 500 on Amazon during his blog tour, he will add a $50 Amazon gift card to the drawing (up to six $50 cards in total)!
To enter, simply post a comment to this blog post with your e-mail address. Entries will be counted through June 2nd, 2011.