Other VanOrden Posts

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How to Safely Grow Net-Worth Now and for the Future

I’ve been distracted with too many “retirement” activities so my writing and online brand-building has suffered. I used to have seven months of Alaskan winter to write and develop my online presence. As many of you know, the two major emphases of my research for the past several years have been health and enhancing retirement income.

 Today I checked my online stats and was surprised to see that even with my absence from blogging and website development “hits” continue to increase. My son tells me that as your online activities grow you eventually come to a fulcrum point and the teeter-tauter tips and it takes on a life of its own. It appears that has happened, so now I need to honor my audience by providing new content that is accurate and useful.

 Most of our income-streams are established now that we are "retired". We are holding off on taking our Social Security since it is substantially higher if we wait for six years until our federally mandated full retirement age of 66, or we may even wait till we are 70 to maximize the benefit.

 Our investments are working aggressively with the help of our financial adviser. Our net-worth continues to grow with the catalyst being good investments and the growth of my own “business” through internet marketing and advertising income.

 All of our products are of our own making whether they are tangible or intellectual property.  People have expertise they can turn into useable products which can be marketed online.  

 Jeannie enjoys photography and uses her prints to make beautiful hand-made greeting cards. She has used them as gifts but now we are thinking about a website to sell them.

You can use your hobbies by turning them into money makers. We may need to outsource some of the technical work and things like shipping so we are free to write, create and produce our podcasts.

 If you are interested in more detail about how we have developed multiple income streams by owning our own online business you can sign up for my exclusive email group by going to the box to the left of this post. I send links for my podcasts to this secure group to protect my copyrighted material.

This winter Jeannie and I are hoping to take three classes to help us with our farmstead production lifestyle; beekeeping, organic gardening in Treasure Valley Idaho and alternative energy sources for mountainside homes.  In addition we are looking into producing our own eggs by building a small chicken coop for three birds.

 The best thing I have done in many years for my body is too lose significant weight. I am going to finish my book on weight loss as I battle my way toward 199 lbs. I am still progressing toward getting my health back to the degree possible for a 60 year old man.

We are enjoying our productive lifestyle and freedom to travel, be with family, and golf when we choose. Thanks for following along.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Using Your Own Creative Power to Double your Income

I wanted to retire so I would have more time to travel while being free to serve family and others. A few years ago I decided to learn the skills needed to build my own e-commerce business without relying on others to do the thinking for me.

I wanted control of my time, creativity, commitment, and cash flow. I was 58 years old and winding down my career as an educational administrator. The summer of 2012 I turned 60 and “retired” after 33 years with the same educational institution.

I watched friends go through this dramatic transition, and listened to their dreams, worries, and complaints. It’s tough to know exactly what your income will be, no matter how much you consult with accountants, tax advisors, and investment professionals.

Most people I know simply decide to stay with their current career rather than “risk” losing benefits and late career income. We worry about Social Security, Medicare, and health care costs. It takes real courage to make the jump and retire before reaching federal mandated full retirement age, 66 years old.

So I invested in a good computer, and started learning the ins-and-outs of the cyber world. I enrolled in several online e-commerce training courses. There are hundreds of courses available online.  I was fortunate to have my oldest son Jason as my consultant to help me choose the most useful training programs. He owns a very successful online business training company, and has a six figure income, all from his home office.

All together I have invested about $5000 in my post retirement business career, including the cost of my fancy high capacity computer. I enrolled in two training courses. I started a blog, my own website, and began creating my own “brand” by writing about my retirement experiences.

I enjoy the creative process as well as sharing my ups and downs along the way.  My online presence began to grow. My son told me this would happen. At first it was a bit ucomfortable to open up to such a diverse audience.

My Facebook friends grew to over 2800.  My blog has nearly 12,000 hits. My fear grew into fun as I learned how to be careful with my opinions and concentrate on sharing what I am learning.

I do the best I can to just be myself but you can’t control perceptions when some of your online community knows you only as a cyber personality. As time passes, more and more of your group have not even met you in person. They learn to trust you because your information has proven to be honest and useful. It’s important to never break that trust.

So the trick is figuring out how to make money from your online “brand”.  I am beginning to share how I am supplementing my retirement income by developing my very own online business.
Here are some of the computer programs I use to manage my online brand: Blogger, Aweber, Libsyn, Wordpress, Facebook, and Gmail. There are other programs out there that do the similar things, but these have proven to be comprehensive and understandable for my 60 year old brain.

I will have upcoming podcasts focused on the way I use and synthesize these programs to make money. I thought it would be too complex, but I discovered it actually helps my mental agility.

I copyright my podcasts to protect my “intellectual”/creative material. In order to gain access I invite those interested to become part of my secure email group by signing up in the box to the left of my blog posts.

I hope you will join my group. By doing so you will get direct access to my podcast, soon to be updated bi-weekly. I guarantee this will be one of the best things you do to supplement income.

I avoid online MLM (multi-level-marketing) businesses for several reasons: 1) on average 1 of 1,000 downliners make good money, 2) you don't own the "brand", and finally 3) MLM fill social needs rather than making serious money.  If you are building a social network it’s great but if you want to build personal wealth you may have missed the mark.

Learning how to find your very own personal cyber-niche is not really difficult. It's not hard to turn your own brand into ongoing income that increases exponentially. You can own and control your own destiny. The likelihood of success improves dramatically from 1 out of 1000 in MLM to 1 out of 10 if you are the creator of the business and hang in there, or in other words, your odds definately improve.