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Formula For Being Broke

I get a lot of interesting emails. Here is one of them.

This guy is trying to share a “business opportunity” with me but I declined (for now) because I’m too busy with my foreclosure mess. I did enjoy his letter though.

Keep in mind, I have nothing against “a job” in the traditional sense. Every entrepreneur needs a “base income” of some sort to launch their risky ventures from. I am very grateful for the jobs I have had throughout the years. I learned valuable skills and made a little bit of money to hold me over. So I am not a “job hater”:

  1. If… you love your job
  2. If… you are happy with the level of income you’re making
  3. If… you have a plan for retirement

… that’s great! You’re further than most people. Stay were you are! The rest of us are lacking in one of those areas and that’s why I have always been looking at additional business opportunities.

With that said, here is the letter:



  1. The primary rule is to fear getting of your comfort zone, so you can justify making excuses to remain exactly where you currently are.
  2. The second, most important, rule is not to have any guaranteed residual income. To follow this rule, one must do the following:
    1. You must be dependent solely on a job as your primary source of income. Remember, it’s not the money that counts but the social environment of meeting and being with the same people every day. Minimum wage, or a low starting salary, until one gets lots of experience is better than nothing at all. Everybody should be away from home working 10 hours a day and, most likely, working for somebody else. (We can lessen the number of hours per day, for a while, if you are a student.) It is also important to remember that the primary objective of getting an upper level education is to learn how to work for somebody else or to take a great financial risk by investing thousands of dollars to get started in a career. If you are strictly trading time for dollars, don’t know how to compound your time, and you are a real superman, you can get up to 16 hours of work in a day. If you work 30 or 40 years, you can always depend on an investment portfolio, a pension, or social security for income to keep you secure in old age.
    2. It is important, when on a job, never to “rock the boat” or cause any dissention among your team. If you are a good employee, you will likely get a promotion (which will justify having you spend more time away from your loved ones), a raise (never mind the extra deductions that automatically go along with this raise), or you can always count on landing a better job. Your employer will, very likely, give you a small percent “cost of living” increase to account for inflation, based on the consumer price index for necessities. Remember, gasoline nearly doubled in price over the last two years, so your employer has some feelings toward his employees If you get fired, laid off, your job goes overseas, or the company goes broke, it is always your fault that these things occurred. Like me, you don’t have the skills to get along with other people. You probably come on too strong and your personality is overbearing. Perhaps
      you are also incompetent to do your work. If you are lucky, your employer will show you some mercy and give you a 90 day performance improvement plan before taking any of the actions I described above.

    3. If you start your own company, your own skilled trade or skilled service and possibly hire employees, it is important to be sure that income will stop coming in on any day that you or your employees are unable to work. Gasoline stations and other services need to be open on holidays so you are very noble when you perform holiday work. If you are a sales person, be sure that you do not get a commission on any day that you do not sell enough. Competition is also unimportant. Constant travel away from your family is very acceptable and remaining single is an extra bonus.
  3. If you know a “financial genius” or a professor who teaches entrepreneurship, it is very important to make sure that this individual has to be included in the rush hour commute with you and goes to work every day, like anybody else. Remember, birds of a feather must always flock together.
  4. If you want to endorse your business, merchandise, skilled trade or service, IT is important to be sure to print out many business cards and use radio, TV, and newspapers as your sole source of advertising. Remember, that the internet did not exist when the baby boomers were growing up and that many of them are still hostile to using computers. Resumes, newspapers, and not personally knowing somebody from a reputable organization in your chosen field are the best ways to land a good job. A well written resume will always “sell you” to a prospective employer and endorse your skills
  5. It is socially acceptable to start life thousands of dollars in debt from student loans, a car, a house, starting a new business, and the expenses that go along with having a new baby. Remember, you were not likely born into a wealthy upper class family. How many people have the luxury of being able to afford a house and a car and pay cash for them, and not have to save up for years to help their kids get through college? If you work hard for 30 or 40 years, you may have earned the luxury of being able to take a nice vacation, if your health is up to it. It is socially acceptable to wake up to an alarm clock each morning, have to rush the kids to school or day care, and have both parents work. Remember, the teachers and employees of a school and day care have been certified and fingerprinted, so they always know what is best for your child. They will do all the work and take all the responsibility while you “climb the corporate ladder”. Your kids will also understand why mommy and daddy cannot spend a lot of time with them, as mommy and daddy are sacrificing their time to provide them a better future. If your kids get into any kind of trouble, the schools are entirely to blame, for shirking their responsibilities. Divorce is always an easy way out when things go awry. 64% of all marriages do end up in divorce.
  6. Now if you cannot “keep up with the Joneses” or your job does not give you enough income to make ends meet, why not take on a second or third job? You can also “buy on credit”. Get as many credit cards as you can. It is important to establish good credit ratings with Experian, Equifax, Trans Union, and Innovis. If you get enough credit cards, you can always borrow from one credit card to make the minimum payment on another credit, and keep them all going. As long as you make payments on time, Experian, Equifax, Trans Union, and Innovis will give you A1 credit ratings, in case you need a loan in the future to buy a better car or to remodel your house. If you feel you are getting into financial trouble, you can always work
    overtime on any of your jobs or get another job, as I have previously indicated. You often get time and a half or double time for working on holidays. In the worst possible scenario, there are always chapter 13, chapter 11, and chapter 7 bankruptcy laws to protect you. You can always
    get financial advice on how to become “judgment proof”, as the bankruptcy filing laws have gotten tougher.

  7. Be sure to invest in stocks and a house and never invest in income producing property. Remember that stocks are always guaranteed to go up and houses are guaranteed to increase in value, if you hold onto them long enough. An October 1929 “black” Friday can never happen again, as we now have too many “checks and balances” in our economy. If necessary, our overnment can always print more paper dollars, should there be a “run” on any of the major banks. Never sell your house to capitalize on the value increase. You will be paying higher property taxes when your property value increases. If you have trouble making mortgage payments or need money to improve your house, be sure to rent out every square inch of it and sleep in the closet or garage, in the worst possible scenario. If you play the lottery or gamble in a casino, remember that somebody eventually has to win the lucky jackpot.
  8. It is important never to learn how to buy anything from yourself. The people who manufacture products and produce food always know what is good for you, so they deserve all the profits. Because America is lucky enough to be one of the food producing countries of the world, it is OK for more than two thirds of the American population to be overweight. If you acquire any health problems, the latest modern medical technology and new drugs will eventually cure you of all your ills. If you take time to clip out coupons, be sure to waste gasoline going to several stores to save 20 cents or a dollar here and there or buy one get one free. Shopping at Good Will, the Salvation Army, or receiving handouts from donations to the local food closet in your town is always a solution.
  9. If you want to “get rich quick”, you can always join one of those “multi level pyramid schemes” and become a “filthy rich Crum” by conning your way up to the top 2% who will have all the money when “America goes broke”.

By the way, I do not endorse the business opportunity associated with the letter. It may or may not be good. I am just giving James a little credit for writing the letter.

I liked the message because it describes the reason why we entrepreneurs and financial-freedom-seekers are the way we are.

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