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Hitting The Ground Running – November Income Report

in MvD Updates, People & Products, Rants

Hey, everyone!

In case you are new, the first post of every month I take time out to share a transparent glimpse into my business here at Man Vs. Debt.

I share my full income and expenses (along with sales) and talk about issue around what I’m working on. Last week, I talked about learning to leap. This week, I wanted to talk about hitting the ground running (and being a hypocrite).

First, hitting the ground running…

Last month, I talked about how consulting and speaking was a blossoming passion of mine. It’s something that felt right and made logical sense – but I was scared.

I was scared what people would think. I was scared what you would think.

But last month – in that update post – I decided to take two huge leaps. I decided that I was going to move forward with consulting (basically make public what I was already doing for businesses) and I was going to fully commit to a side project called Only72.com.

I’m glad I took the leap.

This past weekend I soft-launched (read: sneakily put up) my consulting page here on the site. Without mentioning it, I’ve already received several emails from potential future clients I had never met before.

And, here’s the thing – I’m no longer scared. My fear has been replaced by confidence. I enjoy consulting and I’m pretty darn good at it.

Actually, I’m really good at it.

Actually, I’m freakin’…. just kidding.

How can you build confidence?  Serious question for you.

It took me way too long. What can you do that’ll start building it – right now?

Moving on…

I talk about personal finance. I encourage people to spend less than they make. I even try to do that myself at times.

I also talk about not buying physical crap. About rejecting consumerism, if you will.

So am I a hypocrite for making a living off a business that sells products?

Or as @ChrisGuillebeau may say:

Interesting point, especially on the heals of my own complaining about Black Friday on Twitter – and then coordinating a massive Cyber Monday sale myself.

Note: For those interested, the Only 72 launch went unbelievably well. No really, hard to believe it happened. I’ll share the income and statistics in depth in my “end of the year” update – it should be interesting to see reactions. Short version: 1900+ copies sold, over $30k to Charity: Water, several dozen affiliates made thousands of dollars, and Karol and I made a (decent amount) after expenses.

It’s year another example of taking a leap when you know something feels right…

Back to Chris Guillebeau and hypocrites…

I’m not sure how to answer Chris’ question. I absolutely abhor Black Friday craziness and stampedes and fights over barbie dolls (happened in neighboring town). I’m going to rant about all of this – and share the thoughts of others on the issue – on Monday in fact.

But do I have any right to abhor that? Isn’t that the same type of buzz I shoot for when I launch a new product or offer a new service?

Yes and no…

Consciously, I will sit here and tell you:

  • It’s different because I’m not selling something physical – that adds to clutter.
  • It’s different because I’m selling something that’ll let people make money off their old junk.
  • It’s different because I’m selling something that’ll help their finances – not hurt it.
  • It’s different because people are paying me to help them improve their income streams.
  • It’s different because I only tell people not to spend on stuff that doesn’t add value.

But aren’t I just playing a semantics game?  Aren’t these just excuses?

Couldn’t anyone – including Matel – make these same (or similar) claims?

When do we actually cross the line between hero and hypocrite?

Not sure. The internet makes this really blurry at best.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

On that note….

November’s income/expenses…

Net from UYF Sales:  $239.14

  • Total Guides Sold (Nov):  19
  • Income (less Paypal fees):  $307.14
  • Affiliate Payments:  -$68.00

Net from SYC Sales:  $1460.98

  • Total Guides Sold (all versions):  39
  • Income (less Paypal fees):  $1754.36
  • Affiliate Payments:  -$293.38

Additional Income:  $3897.09

Direct Expenses:  -$719.80

  • Design work:  -$410
  • Blue Yeti Mic: -$96.01
  • Website tech work: -$75
  • Aweber:  -$49.00
  • Transcription: -$39.96
  • GoDaddy:  -$19.89
  • E-junkie:  -$10.00
  • DropBox:  -$9.99
  • VodBurner:  -$9.95

Net (Income – Expenses):  $4877.41

Over the last 9 months of monetization, this brings average to: ~$2350/month

Note:  If you have any questions about the list above, leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to clarify them.  :-)

*****

December and beyond…

December is going to be about planning for me. I won’t be doing any major promotions or launches. I’ll be resting for the most part.

Courtney and I are aggressively plotting and planning the next phase of our life – and I’ve been putting off helping with that for too long now.

If we are going to be hitting the road in early January…

Wait did I just say that?

Um…

Well, let’s put it this way. I have a post planned for the 13th with all the juicy details. It takes a lot of planning and coordination – and I want to ensure we get everything lined up before I make any big announcements or changes!  :-)

Until next time…

Xoxoxo,

-Baker

image by JB London

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Colin Wright December 2, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Can’t wait to see the numbers on the Only 72 project..such a great idea, and you and Karol did a fantastic job running the thing.

Looking forward to your other announcements, too! Keep up the great work!

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Thanks, Colin – appreciate your support and contribution to it! :-)

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James Clear December 2, 2010 at 2:10 PM

That’s really awesome man. I’m happy you’re seeing so much success. Good luck with the December planning!

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 3:00 PM

I appreciate it, James. I’m looking forward to what you’ve got coming up, as well. Hope we chat again soon.

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Rog Law December 2, 2010 at 2:17 PM

I gotta agree with Colin here – getting such a great grouping of products at a steal of a price AND people able to help charity? Pure dopeness.

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Thanks, man – I saw you got your hands on it too. Looking forward to seeing more video coming out of you over there! :-)

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Early Retirement Extreme December 2, 2010 at 2:26 PM

“One man’s treasure is another man’s …” so I don’t think you can nominally deem one category “crap” and another category “remarkable”.

Being in the business of helping people save money is a different standard than being in the business of showing people how they can have fun traveling around the world [presumably spending money].

In any transaction both parties should end up with better value. The seller should end up with money and the buyer should end up with a product that is better to him than the money he parted with.

The moral here is that obviously one can’t charge $100 for a product that teaches someone how to save $50. That would be a loss to him. If he already knew most of the methods and only learned how to save $5, even worse.

The higher the price and the more well-informed the customer, the bigger the risk.

I think where it gets iffy are the cases where a product gets the hard sell and is overhyped or there’s a use of other psychological methods to make the sell. Marketing is great insofar that it lets people know about products they might otherwise not have heard about, but it turns evil when it’s used to sell products to people who would otherwise not have bought it or who will shortly regret buying.

I think in this regard a money back guarantee doesn’t absolve the situation. Most people will be too polite to ask for their money back e.g. “I think your product sucks, but you and all your friends seem so enthusiastic about it so maybe I’m wrong.” To wit, I once paid $40 for two books about simplicity which turned out to be ~50 page brochures. I felt cheated and I’ll probably never buy such a product again, but I didn’t ask for my money back.

Then again, I’d never pay $500 to hear some guru talk for an hour and I know some will, so maybe I’m in the wrong demographics for such products.

Try before you buy is probably a good way to take the sell-pressure off. One think I often wonder is whether “freebies” are representative or whether the stuff that costs money is better.

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Jacob, great comment.

A couple additions to your points. I think that we’ve all got to define what “business” we are in. I’m not sure you have to either choose “save money” or “have fun traveling the world” as I think a bigger message allows both.

In fact, I respect your message so much for that very same concept. :-)

I enjoyed where you talked about value, the tough thing for me is – I think it’s difficult to measure “value” in most things you purchase. What if some buys a product for $200, but then only makes $100 – how do you put a value on the lesson, the trial, and even the experience of buying itself.

It’s possible, but difficult to understand the real value – and most of us (at least me) aren’t great at evaluating it.

I also agree that most people won’t ask for their money back, but can’t fathom why you would not in that situation. Is it not worth your time to ask?

On the flip side, I’d gladly pay $500 (or much more) to hear someone talk – if I thought that the experience or information could lead to an idea, lesson, or motivation that would allow me to make $10,000.

I spent well over a grand going to book tour stops and Blogworld within the last 60 days – and those experiences made me exponentially more. But I agree that’s its such a tough line to evaluate!

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Early Retirement Extreme December 2, 2010 at 3:44 PM

It may be a personality thing. If, say, I pay $50 for a restaurant meal which is said to be the greatest culinary deal since sliced bread and it tastes no better than a $1 meal, I wouldn’t ask for the money back. Maybe it was just my expectations that were overblown and after all, I did eat the meal. In other words, I did get some value, but I did not get full value.

Both sides have that problem. The seller is doing a calculated risk in terms of returns (cost of sales) that everybody won’t simply read/use the product and then return for a full refund.

The problem (and I’m part of it obviously) is that consumers don’t do a similar calculation because they are “too nice”. This allows companies to get away with bad products.

Normally a company then has a certain reputation among consumers which can prevent this from happening. This is where marketing plays in. Bad reviews get drowned out by good reviews. Such a marketing effort can let new “suckers” buy into the product because they don’t get a balanced or critical view.

How to determine value? One metric I use for written material is to compare word-counts. If we take a typical ebook of 120 pages of 250 words per page, that’s 30000 words and say it sells for $60 which is not unrealistic. That’s 500 words per dollar. A typical book would have 250 pages with 400 words per page, which is 100000 words and it would sell for $20. So here you get 5000 words per dollar.

On that metric the ebook is 10 times more expensive than a real book. This means that the ebook needs to have 10 times as many ideas or 10 times as good ideas as the book. So a buyer would have to gauge ex-ante whether that’s realistic.

Such a calculation only determines whether to buy the red hat for $10 or the blue hat $100. The ultimate question is whether the hat (regardless of color) kept the head warm. Again, say, you have a product which costs $10 but people consistently fail to make more than $10 value with it .. that product has a negative expected return of investment and is worthless. Conversely, if you have a $1000 product that people consistently make $2000 with. There the ROI is high and that product is worth a lot, maybe even $1500.

So two questions to determine value …
1) Can I get a similar product for much less?
2) What is the expected rate of return using this product for the typical customer?

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Tyler Jorgenson December 2, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Baker,

I don’t think you’re a hypocrite at all. I think you under priced your guides and they are in fact clutter-free items designed to help people live better lives. I think you actually believe it will help them.

One question in regards to “Over the last 9 months of monetization, this brings average to: ~$2350/month”

Can you live on this amount? I live in California and have 4 kids, so that just doesn’t seem possible. What is your income/month goal?

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Early Retirement Extreme December 2, 2010 at 2:55 PM

@Tyler – We’re two adults, aged 34 & 35 respectively, in the San Francisco Bay area living on $1100/month, so it’s certainly possible. I doubt 4 kids would double that number. Of course a consumerist lifestyle would be impossible on that amount.

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Tyler Jorgenson December 2, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Amazing! I thought rent and/or mortgage in that area would be over $1100 alone. I can see food and entertainment, etc being under that.

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Erica Douglass December 2, 2010 at 4:33 PM

What? How do you live in the SF Bay Area on $1100/month? I had a 1BR condo in Pleasant Hill (35 miles east of SF…the cheaper part of the Bay Area!) and its rent was more than that. Owning a house would run at least $300K (for a dump in Richmond) or $1M+ (for a small, trashy, old apartment in SF + $300+/month “maintenance” fees.)

-Erica

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Early Retirement Extreme December 2, 2010 at 5:04 PM

@Erica – It’s all about optimizing expenses and thinking about one’s personal finances from an asset and return on investment point of view. I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

I agree it’s absolutely crazy to buy a house around here right now. They’re still grossly overvalued and need to come down by another 50%. However, you should also stay away from the condos/apartment complexes. These are just the “easy solution” and they have too much overhead. Typically with some footwork you can do way better than the advertised options.

Go to craigslist and type in $200-600 for apts/housing and there’ll be a huge list. You can work from that. I typically use google satellite to check out the neighborhoods and see if they’re walkable relative to shopping and work (for those who have a job). Then check it out in person. Some will be duds, but 1 in 5 will be great.

Or you can get more creative. One of my friends got a 4 room apartment in NYC. He’s renting the other rooms out at market rates so consequently he pays $125/month net in rent.

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Tyler the Curious December 2, 2010 at 5:14 PM

@ERE – You really don’t think that a family 3 times the size of yours would be about twice as much to house/feed? I did your search on the bay area craigslist site and found two things in that price range. 1. Rooms for rent 2. Spam/Phishing posts.

I like your zeal, but I think I’m not interested in sharing a house or living in the hood. I must be a consumerist.

Early Retirement Extreme December 2, 2010 at 6:14 PM

@Tyler – When I do the search, I get 148 hits. Living expenses don’t scale, so the more people, the cheaper it gets per person. For instance, 6 people living together don’t need 6 kitchens, 6 living rooms, or 6 bathrooms.

So yes, I could do it, and I have examples from several people who are doing it.

It’s just a matter of choice. Choosing not to is fine by me, but that doesn’t make it impossible or even difficult—just unconventional (which is probably the biggest challenge).

Erica Douglass December 2, 2010 at 8:17 PM

That didn’t really answer my question, but I clicked through to your site and see you’re living in an RV right now, so that answers part of it. Did you buy some land for the RV? Most parks in the Bay Area don’t allow people to actually live there full time without renting a space, and from what I understand, spaces in the parks run $500 + utilities per month. (Feel free to correct me on pricing.)

The $200-$600 are shares, not your own place. And usually for that rate you get a room or two. In 1999 in San Jose, I paid $950/month for a share that included 2 rooms, a separate entrance and laundry privs but NO kitchen privs. And that was a sweet deal for 1999. I bet it would be a bit cheaper now, but not much.

I don’t think this is realistic for most people, especially if there’s more than 1 of you. Sharing when you’re a couple is hard. Nearly impossible if you have pets as well.

-Erica

Early Retirement Extreme December 2, 2010 at 8:58 PM

@Erica – Long term RV spots in the bay area are $400-500/month. We got one of those. You can, however, get similar to slightly bigger apartments (300-600sqft) in the $200-600 range, so the RV is a sufficient condition but not a required one (big difference!). We just wanted to try it.

Yes, many of listings on craigslist are shares, but if you do some sorting, you’ll find actual apartments in there too. You also have to sort out the resort/hotels which list weekly rates (very annoying). Obviously some “footwork” is required. Also consider that the good deals rarely stay up for more than a day or two (use an RSS feed!). Finding a good housing deal is no different than buying a used car or a used table. I spent 15 minutes and found two worth checking out. You do need to spend some time though.

We’re 2 people + 1 (small) dog on 289sqft. We get along splendidly. It probably depends on personality. With less space, things (including people) have to integrate better to avoid clutter (including the social clutter, that is, people have to be more considerate of each other). There’s probably a learning curve for this, but it ain’t hard. Just imagine what couples do on a boat when cruising long-term (something we’ve talked about doing). Here you could have a family of 5 on what amounts to 100sqft. Most people are fooled by square-footage, however, in small spaces, space is much more efficiently utilized.

The rest of the money goes to health insurance (HDHP+HSA) $92/month (look it up if in doubt, that’s for 1 person — again, most people pay four times more because they just go with the default option). Food (<$200/month). Car (ugh!) (<$200/month). Most capital assets are ~$0. You buy a table for $100. You sell again for $100 when you don't need it. Someone probably paid $500 for the very same table at "0% interest for 36 months in some supposed 'furniture sale'".

So to repeat. The biggest challenge is that it's unconventional (not just a buzz-word … really unconventional!) and thus most people discard it outright. Yet it's not difficult. There simply is a learning curve.

Early Retirement Extreme December 2, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Saying it’s not realistic is a bit like saying it’s not realistic for everybody to be able to do 100 push-ups.

From a practical stand-point that’s true because most people can barely do 20. From a theoretical stand-point it’s false. With six months of training, most people would be able to do 100. Will they? Probably not, because it does require some persistent effort to reach that point.

But for those who do reach 100, doing those 100 will feel as hard as untrained people will feel doing 20. I’m as happy now as when I spent much more money.

It’s the same when it comes to spending money.

Wandering Mike December 2, 2010 at 9:42 PM

@RetirementExtreme. This is a bit off topic, but the idea of living in an RV is not too unconventional anymore. I guess it is pretty much a niche. I live in a 22 Foot Class C motorhome. I am in the desert near Yuma on BLM 14 day land. No fees at all. It is a pretty “green” lifestyle too. My hot water heater is 6 gallons and I only turn it on when I need it and I try and move the RV during the year to stay in the “sweet spot” of no heat and no A/C. But you probably know this stuff. For others, there are sites out there such as RV.net and Escapees.com that focus in part on this lifestyle. I try to avoid cities myself and get away from the RV Parks to state parks and national forests, but stay close enough so my air card works. Again, sorry this is off topic, but it is sort of a hot button with me and can be a lifestyle that is very frugal and simple (or conspicuously consuming if you want). For me, the TV is there but not used, but I refuse to give up the generator and microwave.

Tyler Jorgenson December 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

@ERE – I see your point now. I didn’t understand from your initial post that you were living such an unconventional life. It seemed to be that you were saying you survived on $1100 a month in the bay area while still living in a home and following relatively normal social trends. I agree that through unconventional means one can survive on much less.

I don’t know if Man vs. Debt is about being that radically unconventional which is why I asked Baker if they could support the family on the amount he was currently making. I believe in elimination but I’m not quite ready to load up my VW Bus and live with the trees.

All the best! – Tyler

MossySF December 3, 2010 at 11:34 PM

Shrug … look to the left, look to the right — there is always somebody living on less than you and someone on more. San Francisco is a magnet for new immigrants — surely you don’t think they’re spending $5000/mo with their busboy salaries in a Chinatown dive? All you need is 1 person living at an expense level and that proves it is possible. (I’m 1st generation immigrant so I know from experience.) You may not *want* to live that way but that’s a choice.

Baker December 2, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Tyler, we’ve squeaked by on those numbers early in the year – and Courtney also worked off and on as a teacher to help (a.k.a. pay the bills) while I worked on building it up.

Our current rent and utilities are between $500-600, but they haven’t been that low all year. :-)

My goal this year has been to get to $4-5,000 per month. A lot of my income comes in spurts though, so you have to look at it over several months to be fair.

I’ll likely set a goal earning much more than that in 2011.

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Tyler December 3, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Baker – I hope you hit those numbers and much, much higher. You’ve got some great skills and I see you hitting 10k/mo if you want to. Keep it up!

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Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog December 2, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Baker:
As for the consumerism thing, It’s a difficult path to walk, but I feel like what you mentioned earlier left out one of the most important aspects of personal finance (and what many, many PF bloggers preach): value. I don’t do much black friday shopping (I usually go from 11-Noon) and the crowds are usually gone – which I like and I still get good deals (also like) but there are some people that really value everything that others hate about black friday (save for the fights/violence/deaths): they love the deals, they love the craziness, they love all the people around, the excitement, etc. If they value all of that, then why are we going to tell them that their values are lame.
You sell things that don’t add to physical clutter, but you do sell things that can clutter up hard drives. Hard drive space is cheaper than buying a set of shelves to put doo-dads, widgets and tchotchkes on, but clutter is still clutter, correct?
I agree, that most of what you do is to help people earn more, overcome fears to make themselves into people they’ve wanted to be, or put them on the right track to do so.
You tell them not to spend money on things that don’t have value, but what if they get great value from black friday?

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Obviously, if someone receives great joy, value, or passion from Black Friday shopping – I think they should do just that (with restraint obviously).

I don’t think the far majority of our culture (including me – I’m not immune to this at all) gets value in those circumstances. In other words, I think you are a pleasant exception to the rule – which I love!

On this issue of clutter – you couldn’t be more correct. There is digital clutter, mental clutter, emotional clutter, etc… Nothing will be perfect, but my primary fights are against our debt and our physical clutter – which has held us back from fully living.

Thanks for the great perspective!

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Erin December 2, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Congratulations on an excellent month Baker, and I’m sure next month will be just as good with the 72hour sale income.

As someone who also doesn’t buy much stuff I can understand your concerns about selling things. I think the fact that they aren’t physical products makes a big difference – your products can help change people’s lives and not just clutter their house and tie them down.

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Thanks, Erin – yeah next month will be interesting to see what people think – it’s going to be *really* good. But we’ll cross that when we get there. :-)

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Rachel aka the minimalsit mom December 2, 2010 at 4:23 PM

First, congrats on a successful month!
Second, loved getting my first Affiliate payment from ManvsDebt. If I was into mementos I would have printed it out and framed it.
Third, I am excited to hear where you are headed next.

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Haha, Rachel thanks for helping as a partner on the products! Glad to have you as an affiliate. :-)

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Hannah Marcotti December 2, 2010 at 4:40 PM

love the openess and authenticity.

I thought the 72 was a brilliant idea. I did not buy it because I knew having that many things at once would completely paralyze me, and I’ve got a great forward momentum going right now.

I love that you acknowledged what you are great at. Such a hard thing for people to do, but why not own it. Be great at what we do, that can only make the world better.

Thank you for sharing all the details, it really helps those of us trying to get out of debt to see that there is a way, a chance, a hope.

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Hannah, that is brilliant! I totally respect that decision and one of my keys to keeping momentum is NOT to kill it with too many ideas. :-) Brilliant.

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Wandering Mike December 2, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Sorry Mr. Baker, I have to fall on the side of the sales efforts as getting closer to being a hypocrite…or at least necessitating a revision to some of your stated goals elsewhere on your site.

A spammer selling a guide on how to sell your stuff on ebay can make all the same arguments you made. Same goes for any service. From a mechanic to a hotel to netflix. A service may not be material, but like material goods, the offerings and use of the services can add to the clutter in people’s lives. Clutter that eats away at happiness potential because of the mind effort that goes into dealing with it, even if it is done in a debt free way. Sorting all the non-material clutter can still cause a lot of stress. Having only one hard drive with 10,000 mp3′s may be a bit simpler materially than having 1000 CDs, but the effort to manage the music is still there.

I encourage you to take a deep breath and don’t forget your original goal of simplification notwithstanding the opportunity to make money. With making money comes the corresponding complexity. Consulting will add all kinds of costs and expenses and stuff, both material and non-material to your life. That’s OK if you consciously choose that. Quite honestly if you choose to do so, you can easily justify adding some debt to grow your consulting business. Maybe you will borrow money to buy an RV to travel to your consulting engagements. Will debt make sense for you? Maybe it will given the situation, you will decide whether you want and value the increased business enough to tolerate the additional complexity.

I do very much enjoy your writing, even if I differ here. Good luck with your chosen direction in life.

Mike Lindroos
Debt free, living and consulting about 1/4 time in a pretty “green” way from a small RV. (boondocked on BLM land in the CA desert at the moment)

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Tyler December 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM

@Mike – The CA desert is nice this time of year. I don’t see any issue with Baker selling guides as a way to make money. I’ve seen his work and he puts serious heart and LOTS of content into his guides. The value is there if the buyer chooses to extract it. But, hey what do I know. I mean, I live in a house, have cable and shop at the supermarket without coupons. :)

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Mike, thanks for the insight! :-)

We do disagree on several things, but I appreciate your perspective! If you have example of goals on the sight where selling digital products conflicts with them I’d like to know – so I can revise them if needed.

You bring up a lot of the same questions I tried to and I think this makes for a great conversation – we think I fall on different sides of it – but it’s a great conversation nonetheless! :-)

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Wandering Mike December 2, 2010 at 9:33 PM

@Tyler and @Baker. I certainly do think selling digital stuff is OK and doesn’t conflict at all in my opinion in theory with the website and basic premise. Packaging a whole bunch together is what struck me as a bit over the top in that it would clutter the mind. There is certainly a need to bring value. And I very much believe that you do.add value. I think as long as you are having the questions, you are on the right path. The questions will come I think as you try to grow your business with consulting and such and need to finance receivables and need working capital for interim periods between payments and such. Very few businesses grow at their full potential without some debt. That will start to make things less simple and the basic premise of Man vs Debt less clear cut. Sometimes debt is OK and necessary. I do think you are on the right path over all. I very much think the idea of opening your numbers is a point that truly sets you apart and in a very good way.

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Ah, I get what you are saying – very good point. We’ll be doing our best *not* to finance our lifestyle, but we aren’t against it in every situation. :-)

I think the chance to cloud Man Vs. Debt with consulting is very real – and I’ll be paying attention to that. :-)

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Janet December 2, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Very inspiring to see your business take off. Congrats on selling all those copies & thanks for giving back!

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Thanks, Janet – I feel the same way. ;-)

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Christine December 2, 2010 at 5:35 PM

I keep hearing ‘this January’ and Corbett tweeting that its really cool to hear what you are doing. The suspense is killing me! okay, not in a literal sense. I look forward to hearing the juicy details.

As always…you’re doing great. If its any consolation, Baker… I think your are doing great because you’ve always been true. People can trust doing business with you. You’ve built a great relationship with your admirers/readers. :)

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Really appreciate such kind and detailed words, Christine! :-)

I promise it’s coming, I just want to ensure all the details are worked out – it’s a detail intensive endeavor we are taking on!

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Brett | Investing Part Time December 2, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Hey Baker,
I have been checking out your blog for a little bit now, and I’m excited to see how things continue going for you! Good job this month :)

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Thanks, Brett – I hope you’ll stick around!

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Satya Colombo December 2, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Consulting page looks really good! Love that point from Chris (always the contrarian view :)) – the only 72 sale was truly epic… Keep rockin’ into 2011 my friend!

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Appreciate that Satya – I hope to keep up with you in 2011! ;-)

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Sherri December 2, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Hey Adam,
The picture in the sidebar cracks me up! It’s awesome.
That is all. ;)

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Whoo-hoo! :-)

I wanted to have a little fun with it – I didn’t want thing to be too serious or new age markety. o.0

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Shaun December 2, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Great to hear that the only72 launch went so well, and even better that you are putting yourself out there with the consulting. I like this direction and I’m sure it will work well for you.

Keep doing what you are doing mate, it obviously suits you!

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Thanks, Shaun – glad to have your support!

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jeff December 2, 2010 at 7:02 PM

baker

thanks for sharing info on your income and expenses from the internet.
i don’t know any else who does this,but it really puts the possibilities of an online business in perspective along with credibility. of course, we all know the so-called “gurus” who proclaim to make “6-figures in 60 days” but i am not talking about the scammers. its good to have honest people sharing insight instead of b.s.

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Rock on, Jeff. Your feedback means a lot. Glad you get benefit from the updates!

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tanyetta December 2, 2010 at 7:03 PM

I am fascinated with your blog. I would like to know your thoughts on the Oprah show about her favorite things she gave away!!! :)

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM

HAHAHA, funny you bring this up – I actually talk about this in Monday’s post! Stay tuned – my thoughts won’t surprise you! :-)

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Jenna December 2, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Congrats on your “soft launch”! Can’t wait to hear more about your next adventure!

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Baker December 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Hehe, I was being sneaky. i can’t wait to reveal it!

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Kristen Sloan December 2, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Congrats on the success of the 72 hour sale. That was an amazing set of resources at such a low price. Can’t wait to hear more about your future endeavors!

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Rock on, Kristen. It really was a great bundle – looking forward to more myself!

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Ouida Vincent December 2, 2010 at 11:50 PM

OMG! I wonder why selling something always equates to being a hypocrite. I was taught about value versus cost in the world of business specifically the world of Network Marketing. Dexter Yeager, one of the icons i the industry once said that we take our money, something of relatively little value, and exchange it for something we value more. That is the essence of sales…the essence of commerce. There are words, and most of them not particularly kind, for people who value their money most….I can hardly call a person who advocates financial responsibility and de-clutterig one’s life a hypocrite for selling guides that help people do exactly that. People on the same life path and who value the information will buy. Those who aren’t and don’t, won’t. Adam, keep selling…ya gotta eat. We’ll keep buying when the information resonates.

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Nice, thanks Ouida – and don’t worry – I’m gonna keep at it! :-)

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Dominic December 3, 2010 at 12:09 AM

Congratulations on the launch of your consulting pages… you’ve inspired me to get my act together on launching my own.

I’d be keen on hearing your experience and tips about how it has gone with this. A future blog post maybe?

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Dominic, nice – get it up!

I’ll definitely write more about it, however, it’ll likely be limited to these once monthly updates (as some of my audience doesn’t care to know what I think about consulting). :-) This is a good place for me to reflect on the business and consulting aspects of the site!

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Kitt Mulcahy December 3, 2010 at 4:54 AM

Hi Baker,
I just want to say thank you so much for The “Sell Your crap” series of e books. I started selling my crap 3 weeks ago by following your instructions and so far I’ve made $2300.00.
I’d often wondered how ebay worked as well as Craigs list. You made everything so easy to understand, so I am becoming Crap free & making some bank!!
So, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I highly recommend your books to anyone that wants to lighten up their load. It sure feels good.
Have a Great Holiday,
Kitt

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Wow, Kitt – thanks so much! Whenever you take the time (good or bad) to leave feedback on one of the guides I really appreciate it. I’m stoked that Sell Your Crap could have such a positive impact on you!

Whoo-hoo!

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DoNotWait December 3, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Being hypocrite can be good! :-P No, seriously, I think nobody can judge others “needs”. It so much depends on one’s values and goals that the only thing you can really do is doing something that makes YOU feel good. If it’s helping people with their finances than go for it! So many persons can benefit learning from you that it would just be hypocrite to keep it for yourself. Yes, as many (if not all) bloggers, the best results we could have with writing blogs, ebooks and to promote it all is to living better with (or from) it. But the starting point will (and must) always be doing what we like and trying to help others from it.

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Good point – it *can* be good. I think there is a line, but I don’t feel like I’ve personally crossed it (which is why I’m o.k. bringing this up and discussing it). :-)

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Edward Heming December 3, 2010 at 2:54 PM

I totally agree that the value of the product is what makes all the difference in the world. We need less dishonest, wasteful, and unnecessary products. But that doesn’t preclude the need for amazing, inspirational, life-changing, money-saving, products that deliver priceless value.

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:41 AM

You are preaching to the choir, Edward! Now the challenge is to ensure that what you create falls in the latter – I hope mine do for most people! :-)

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Steve @ the real debt solution December 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM

First congratulations are in order! I might have missed it in one of the comments listed but I’d like to comment on your statement that ” you’re not afraid anymore.”

Most of your readers may never understand what you really meant by that statement. Maybe when we speak we can talk about that, it would just cause problems if I tried to explain here.

I’m seriously thinking about your consulting program, I had some decision making questions first how should I ask them.

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Yeah, unless they’ve been there – it may be hard to understand what I meant!

I’d love to help, Steve. The best place to send questions is Baker@ManVsDebt.com :-)

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Financial Samurai December 4, 2010 at 4:22 AM

Good stuff Baker! Very close to the 5K!

Just doing back of the envelope calculation, if $30,000 was donated to charity water at $5 donation a sale, doesn’t that make it 6,000 sales instead of $1,900? Or perhaps more donated.

I hope you pulled in $10,000+++ from the organization of the 3 day online resource guide sale. $5 commission to you per sale sounds reasonable!

Good to take a break. I took a well needed break in November and am ready to do some recharging for Dec.

Cheers, Sam

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Sam, we donated just under $10,000 and Chris Guillebeau (who donated his whole commission on his sales) raised over $23,000. Essentially we donated almost $84 of the $97 on his sales – and as your calculation can show you – he sold a BUNCH.

For me, I’d side on the +++ part of your hope. ;)

Hope you have an amazing December over there!

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Todd | Todd's Wanderings December 4, 2010 at 6:47 AM

Great Job Adam. It’s really nice to see things picking up for you. And I really love the idea of the 72 niche sale, and of course now have a lot of reading to get through myself.

I also don’t think you are a hypocrite, just like I don’t think businesses are evil by nature. We all have to work to survive and thus earn money. It is all about how we do it and you are upfront, honest and transparent. 3 things that internet marketing is sorely lacking these days.

Good luck and can’t wait to see the Dec figures from 72 sale.

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Thanks, Todd – I know how you feel – there were at least 3-4 guides in that package I haven’t fully gotten through. :-)

I appreciate your kind words and I’m excited to share the Only72 numbers next month!

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Freedom | Rethinking the Dream December 4, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Baker, you are a constant source of inspiration. I really appreciate your transparency. You give me hope for all that I hope to achieve in my own life.

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Thanks, man… or woman… ;-)

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Brian December 4, 2010 at 12:13 PM

I’ve been interested in doing some vids then transcribing them to make posts out of them – any advice on this? I see that one of your expenses is transcription – what service do you use and how do they charge you? per minute/per word/ etc…

Recently found your site, and enjoying what I read here!

Brian

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 10:49 PM

Brian, thanks for calling into the radio show today! Hope the contact I sent can help you out!

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Vic Dorfman December 4, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Baker,

You deserve every penny brother!

Just hanging around your site was enough to get me to sell my car and a lot of other stuff that made my apartment close on in on me.

Only72 was a great buy (I got me one!) and you guys did some honorable charity work through it while legitimately exchanging value.

Keep inspiring Baker, you da man.

Good Vibes~
Vic

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 10:49 PM

Nice – glad I could inspire a bit of the motivation to sell, sell, sell. :-)

Thanks for your kind words and support!

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Ashley O'Neill December 4, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Seriously well done on raising all that cash for charity. An the fact that you did it by selling something that is useful to people’s lives and doesn’t involve clutter,

Awesome idea.

Well Done!!!

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Baker December 4, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Thanks, Ashley – that’s what I’m trying to do! Love that you are along for the ride. :-)

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Janus Gyan December 12, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Kudos all the way from the Caribbean Baker, I Congratulations on your very positive journey. The world needs more people like you to share and inspire. Keep writing I am a major follower of your great tips.

Janus

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