Diverse Interests Create Diverse Income Streams

cash-moneyThe more interests you have, the happier you will be. Imagine if one of your hobbies is analyzing clouds, or cumulonimbuses for the scientifically savvy. You could step outside any time during the day and entertain yourself for hours.  There are so many things around us that our minds tend to filter things out so we can focus on more important tasks.  If we stopped to admire everything, we’d probably never get anything done!

Income diversification is important during weak economic times since you never know when one stream might dry up.  However, the funny thing is that I’ve never purposely thought about creating new income streams for the purpose of diversification until this year.  Instead, my diverse interests have lead me to have a diverse amount of income!  It never occurred to me to count up my non-job income and figure out what percent it is of total income. But, as I started adding things up, I was amazed to realize some months would regularly achieve 25% and up to 50% of my gross base salary!

VARIOUS EXAMPLES OF INTERESTS THAT CREATE INCOME

Dear Personal Trainer, You Are Worth The Money!

Ouch.  I’m so sore it feels so good baby!  I gave it a go with Meredith the personal trainer for a free 45 minute trial session and she did things to me that no woman has ever done before.  She made breathe heavily and sweat profusely!

She showed me exercises I never would have thought of doing to solely focus on getting me into shape for tennis.

45 Minute Trial Routine

* Sumo squat rope wave.  Whuh?

* Three TRX exercises to improve the quads, core, and shoulders.

* Wind sprints on the treadmill 3 minutes jog, 30 seconds sprint, 30 seconds rest 8X up to 12 mph.  I would never do these voluntarily.  Why suffer?

* Pro-roller stretches to roll out the calves, quads, IT bands and hamstrings.  Talk about pain all over.

* Side stepping through a maze for quickness and agility.

* Core training with cable pulleys three different ways.

* Four different stretches for the back, torso, and legs.

In retrospect, all the stuff I’ve been doing at the gym has been all wrong.  I was doing bench presses, butterfly squeezes, lat pull-downs, biceps, and triceps.  That’s it really.  I never bothered to do anything cardio, or work on the muscles that would help improve my serve or backhand.  I just went the easy route.  There is also 100% NO CHANCE I would have ever done any wind sprints or anything to make me sweat.  Again, I hate working out so I just focused on doing the easiest exercises that required the least amount of effort!

USING THE BLOG AND PERSONAL TRAINER TO SAVE SOME MONEY

Hire A Personal Trainer Or Get Buff On Your Own?

Working out sucks.  I hate it with a passion because I find it so wasteful to expend energy on doing nothing.  I would rather use the energy to build a house in Somalia, landscape the backyard, or play sports than lift some stupid weights.  That said, working out is also convenient because there’s a gym right across from me that I attend before every team or client dinner outing.  I figure I better pump some iron and jog a little before blitzing my diet!

One of my goals in 2011 is to win a tennis tournament.  To do so, I have to improve my endurance given I faded in both tournaments since we had to play back to back matches each day.  The season really gears up in March, leaving me with a solid two months to get in shape.  I know there is no way in hell I will be able to go to the gym 3X or more a week so I’ve thought about enlisting a personal trainer for help.

THE BIG BUCKS MIGHT BE WORTH IT

Nature vs. Nurture: How Important Are Parents To Our Success?

Yale law professor and mother of two Amy Chua penned an incredibly fascinating article entitled, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” on the WSJ.  Professor Chua is a first generation American who went to Harvard undergrad and then to Harvard Law School.  As a tenured professor teaching at the most prestigious law school in the world, I feel for her kids first and foremost!  Think about all the expectations that are put on them since her husband, Jeb, is also a tenured law professor at Yale.

Let’s say you had parents who walked 10 miles to school every day.  Do you think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that you will have a car in high school?  You might, but you’d feel guilty every time you get behind the wheel and your parents will likely remind you as well.  In the end, you’d probably compromise and either bike to work, have your parents drop you off, or walk yourself.

Here’s a non-offensive excerpt from her article where she justifies calling kids names such as “lazy”, “fatty”, “worthless”, “stupid”, and “disgraces” when they aren’t performing up to par:

“As a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child’s self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there’s nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn’t.”  Amy Chua

I agree with her quote, but I definitely don’t agree with calling one’s kids names to shame them into conforming.  The main issue I have with Amy’s view is that she pits Asian mothers against “Western Mothers” who are by default deemed inferior.  I would be incredibly insulted if I was a Western Mother because who is Amy to impose her dictator-like ways on me.  Amy talks in stereotypes all article long about how Asian children always seem to be gifted in math & sciences and music.  Amy argues that it is in fact no coincidence since Asian mothers are such master motivators and disciplinarians.

NATURE vs. NURTURE

The Best Of Financial Samurai 2010

You guys have really rocked the discussions with multiple 100+ comment posts this year!  You’d think this was a big blog or something.  I can’t begin to thank you enough for your contributions and what I’ve learned from you.  A post recap of 2010 is a good exercise to not only discover what worked best for some guidance in the new year, but to also give new readers a chance to catch up via one easy page.

There are literally 36 posts in the queue for 2011, with some of them just screaming to get out.  Why has the queue gotten so large?  Two things mainly:

1) Using a wine terminology, it’s good to give each post a chance to breathe.  Often times there’s so much discussion that to post a new post the very next day feels off.  This is the main reason why I don’t post everyday.  A topic needs to be sussed out thoroughly before we move on.  I like to respond individually to all comments who require a response.  Also, I love reading all the other great blogs out there every other day.

2) I guess I just like to write a lot.  There is always something ridiculous going on in the world that needs addressing.  If you are a blogger who is afraid of running out of ideas, don’t be.  Just read the newspaper, turn on the TV, or go out and socialize with friends.  Remember, if you can speak forever, you can blog forever!

For 2011, I probably should only have a queue 10 deep because I’ve found multiple times that I forget what I wrote just a month ago, and sometimes the topic gets stale or irrelevant.  Let’s add that to the blogging new year goal!  Happy reviewing.

TOP POSTS FOR 2010

The Comfortable Lifestyle Business or The Big Payout?

Contemplating the Lifestyle Business In HawaiiOver poker one night, we got to talking about what we always talk about: entrepreneurship.   Out of a table of 10, four work at start-ups, three are at Google, one is a high-tech lawyer, one works as a medical correspondent for CNN, and then there’s me, a hybrid.  I had just got done working on Yakezie.com for three hours after working an 11 hour day, and needless to say, I was a little bit tired.

I love going to Friday night poker mainly because I get to bounce ideas off of really smart and incredibly hard working people.  When I hear stories of one start-up player working from 7am to 3am every night for two weeks straight to launch a product offering, I get pumped.  When the Venture Capitalist player recounts his firm rejecting a pitch by Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder in 2008, I wince, but daydream in amazement.

THE LIFE AND BUSINESS QUESTION

Deep Thoughts On Twitter: Cold Food And Suffering

I clicked the 2 minute super nuke button on my microwave before leaving to park my car.  Moose was left outside after a late night of partying and I didn’t want the parking crazies to give me a lovely $70 ticket for blocking my own driveway.

Two minutes should have been enough sizzle time to keep my food toasty before I got back.  Eight minutes later (checked and read the mail too), I came back to ravish my leftover Pad Thai.  Oh, how disappointed I was and so I tweeted:

“If room temperature is considered warm, why does my food always get cold? #Deepthoughts as I ponder the meaning of life while writing.” via @FinancialSamura

My question was sincere, in the moment, and with no time to think.  I got a couple sincerely interesting responses.

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age

Making Six Figures Is NiceIf you want to make six figures, know that you can if you want to. Nothing in this world is stopping you with the right money mindset to get rich. I believe $200,000 is the income level that brings maximum happiness, so even if you are already making $150,000 a year, you still have more happiness to go.

Let’s start off with some basic necessities:

* Desire. Your desire needs to be focused. Mr. Miyagi said it best to Daniel-san, “You Karate do “yes” or Karate do “no”, you Karate do “guess so” get squished like grape.”

* Effort. Unfortunately for the lazy, you’re actually going to have to try hard at first. Maybe you’ll wake up earlier than everyone else.  Maybe you’ll network like a mad person. Maybe you’ll stop making excuses? No effort, no results.

* Knowledge. The more you educate yourself, the easier things will be. Lucky for you, you’re reading this post and likely other great financial publications as well. I spent the past 13 years working in finance, received my MBA from Berkeley, and love personal finance so you’re in good hands!

* Optimism. Optimism is what will drive you to keep going when things turn sour. Optimism will make you do great things because you believe things will improve. If you have optimism, you will always find the right direction.

* Personality. At the very minimum, it’s important to be nice. At the maximum, your charisma will make believers out of others.  People will be drawn to you and naturally want to start helping you and doing business with you. Be nice, but also be respectful.  There will be haters everywhere. Embrace them.

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s explore the many possibilities of making over $100,000 at any age. I truly believe anybody who wants to make more can make more. This post isn’t meant to be controversial at all. But, as always, feel free to share your thoughts below.

HIGH SCHOOL & COLLEGE YEARS

Sun Tzu’s Art of War Applied to Your Battle Against Debt

“Every battle is won before it is ever fought.”

This was the infamous line said by Gordon Gekko in the popular 1987 film Wall Street. Derived from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, a 2400-year-old Chinese text on military strategy, the teachings of this tactical mastermind have proven useful in various aspects of present-day life besides warfare.

Although Sun Tzu’s Art of War is studied most religiously by military commanders, political leaders, and corporate executives, the concepts are scalable to conflicts as minuscule as your struggle with debt. Like in war, where the objective is to overcome the enemy resistance, it is everyone’s goal to conquer their personal debt.

Debt is the bad guy. We are the good guys. The road to financial independence is a righteous path where we’ll have multiple encounters with debt – a merciless obstacle that seeks to consume us. Luckily, an old man from many many years ago jotted down some powerful advice that may serve the purpose of securing a victory against debt.

Universal Debt Teachings

The $300 Million Dollar “A” Yacht Owned By A Russian Billionaire

Well, well, well.  Not everyday does a $300 million dollar mega yacht stop by the San Francisco Bay Area!  The creatively named “A” yacht is owned by 38 year old Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and his lovely supermodel wife Aleksandra!  Andrey made his money in fertilizer, banking, and energy and is worth a reported $4.4 billion dollars.  Interest alone on $4.4 billion at 4% is over $178 million a year!

The “A” looks like something out of a James Bond movie.  Can you imagine all the crazy parties on this bad boy?  Wow!  I rode my bike to the very north end of San Francisco to take a look and boy oh boy is it big.

Some nice mouth watering yacht stats for all you billionaire wannabes out there!