I’ve always seen myself as a ‘regular guy next door’.
I keep myself to myself but I’d never turn a neighbor away from the front door if they needed to ‘borrow’ a cup of sugar.
So when that knock on the door came a couple of months after I moved into my new home, I was happy to invite ‘Baz?’ in while the sugar ‘loan’ deal went down.
(‘Baz’ of course is not his real name – you’ll see why I’m protecting their real identity in a moment.)
“You want a coffee Baz” I asked him out of politeness.
“Sure, why not Nick” he eagerly replied.
The usual small talk ensued while I put the kettle on until Baz noticed a copy of the book I’d just written on the table.
“OMG, is that you on the cover of that book – have you written a book?” he asked.
“Yeah I wrote that” I said rather self-consciously.
(Still feels a bit weird saying I’m an ‘author’.)
“How to make six figures a year in info publishing” he said as he read the cover of the book out aloud “… so what’s it about then?”
And before I had chance to answer he followed up with another question …
“Six figures … that’s like a hundred grand right?”
And I swear he didn’t even say that in a Homer Simpson voice.
I resisted the urge to respond by asking him if he wanted half a dozen donuts to go with his coffee and instead said …
“Actually Baz it can mean anything from $100,000 all the way up to $999,000 a year”.
“Woah” he exclaimed “and people actually make that kind of money every year do they? I mean I know that CEOs of massive companies make that kind of dough but I didn’t think every days Joes like us could do that?”
“Yep, thousands of people have done that and some of us even bring in seven figures a year” I replied.
“So, this ‘info publishing’ thing, that’s how you’re managing to drive an Aston Martin? … and the Range Rover? … and that monster of a motorhome? … and is that how you’re paying for all of those exotic holidays?” He asked, pointing at the photos on the wall of me and my family on safari in Africa and scuba diving in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Zanzibar.
“We’d all assumed you had won the Lottery” he said “you know, seeing as you don’t seem to have a job and you just hang out with your wife at home all day … and you’re obviously way too young to be retired.”
I waited a couple of seconds for a ‘just kidding type of smile’ to show up on his face but it didn’t come.
Instead he just gave me one of those ‘I’m waiting for an explanation’ type of stares – you know the dead pan look a police officer uses on you after he’s pulled you over and he asks you if you know why he’s pulled you over (or is that me and another story for another day?!)
“Well, yeah it is” I said as the realisation dawned on me that the whole neighborhood had obviously been talking about me (trying to guess my ‘dodgy career choice’).
“The ‘info publishing’ business has been good to me Baz. I’ve banked over $16,000,000 since I started a few years back and you’re right it’s not like having a job. Two or three hours and I’m done most days” I said trying not to sound smug as I heard back how ridiculously good that sounded.
“Hey Baz do you fancy giving ‘info publishing’ a go yourself?” I asked him.
“The book shows you exactly how I’ve built a ‘work’ from home business that brings in more money each month than most people make in a year. You could easily do the same yourself if you simply follow the instructions in the book. Here, take this copy” I said as I handed him the book.
And that’s when it happened …
He took a last gulp of coffee and said “Nah, I think I’ll pass on that Nick … I’m not much of a reader you know.”
“Anyway, thanks for the coffee and the sugar” he muttered. “Gotta get off, my lady will be wondering what I’m up to over here hanging out with a guy like you! I’ll see myself out. And good luck with the book buddy.”