How money changed my life

Me: “I just lost 4,5k…”
Mum: “Oh Max, you know you shouldn’t tell me that.”
How’s it come so far? Well….

I always had a strange mindset towards money. From an early age on I felt like I never had enough to get or do the things I want to do, I think a lot of people have this. So I tried to figure out ways to get money. I also always knew that I never wanted to work 40 hour workweeks for the sole reason of earning money. Being one of the people that did a job they hated always detested me.
Reasonable enough so, I always tried to look for a quick fix of my money problem. 
For example, when the bitcoin wasn’t as high as it was now but was at 10 € I owned 100 Coins. So what did I do? Selling them at 20 € because that doubled my money. Who could’ve known that soon they will be at 100 €.
I made a nice profit of it so I tried to do the same thing again. When the bitcoin was on the rise and hit a mark of 200€, I invested 9k of my hard earned money, just to see that when I came home from the bank the price was adjusted to 100€, having lost almost 5k.
And again, having no experience in investing at all, I did the biggest mistake one can do – I sold at a low. Nobody knew then that they would hit 800€.

Fast forward 3 years, I stumbled upon something called HYIP – High Yield Investment Programs. I thought I found the golden pot at the end of the rainbow. I came into the scene by an email I received, telling me about pokeram. I did my research about it and found it legit. So I invested about 200 € in it, just to see it die 2 months later. Well played I thought. Then there was this program called Betshare, where you would have a ROI of 7% each week. All the money I could find I invested in it and it went well… for a while. Being greedy as I am, I never really made payouts but reinvested everything, taking it so far to taking a credit of 2k just to invest in it. Suuuuper stupid I know, but being this smart guy I am (^^) for me it was a no brainer, I mean what should happen? When investing there are three rules, which are:

First: Split your money and never only invest in one program only
Second: Act based on logic not emotion.
Third and most important: Never invest money you don’t have.

I broke all three. It came how it had to come and the program went offline, leaving me with a loss of about 3,5k. Again – Well played.
I wasn’t super pitiful about it though, as I somehow always knew it could happen but never wanted to acknowledge it actually will. The influences wouldn’t be so big I thought. Well – they kind of are.
I don’t have to live on the street now neither do I have to starve. But it was one decision maker for leaving NZ and it’s the reason I have to live on a super tight budget now. The good thing is, it also opened me up to so much things I normally wouldn’t have done.

I now very rarely take the public transport in Berlin, instead I ride the bike EVERYWHERE. It’s healthy, ecologically and money saving. A good part is also that you get to see Berlin from a whole different angle and perceive it coherent, meaning that you develop a sense of ‘what-is-where’, giving you the freedom to ride by intuition instead of having to look at Google Maps all the time.

Cooking now is a super creative and funny experience. Not having the money to buy fancy stuff I have to make the best of what’s around and what I can get my hands on. I used up so much stuff we had at home and created delicious combinations out of it that I now more and more think that this is the way cooking has to be. It has to be a process where you just use what is around and make the best of it – of course going into the supermarket or onto the markets is eligible as well, as long as you stay in season for the most part. You become so tinkery in your kitchen when doing so, because you are forced to be creative when you never have recipes nor different ingredients. For example I recently made a dish were I used the greens of cauliflower, some carrots and salted peanuts to make a veggie rice dish with peanut sauce, tasted delicious. It’s amazing how big the yield of the greens were, something that I would’ve thrown in the rubbish normally.

I also engage more into foodsharing now. Something sooo valuable yet so many people don’t know about. It’s a concept where people offer food they don’t use up anymore or have saved from elsewhere, e.g. they cooked some stew but cooked too much and now have leftovers. Or some people saving a bunch of rolls, breads and sweet stuff from a bakery that would’ve normally thrown away the goods and now share it with the community. The cool thing is that everybody can become a part of it. To become a ‘consumer’ you only have to sign up and you can text people with the, so called, food baskets. To become a ‘foodsaver’ you have to take a test about responsibilities and else and if you pass you are allowed to go to supermarkets, shops, bakeries and ask for food in the name of the community.

Not having money also forced me to think about how to make money and actually there were quite some things that came to my mind. The one I am working on at the moment is called “eBay Dropshipping” and involves me building an eBay store. I am grateful to have found this option and even more I am proud of myself for actually putting work into this. Even if this doesn’t work out in three months or so I have at least tried it out. But until then I put all my sweat in there. Now some could think that it might be a stupid idea investing time into something where you don’t know if it yields fruits but to those I would say: “What about watching TV series?” Investing time in your business or watching TV series – what’s more beneficial? I think everyone would agree that it’s the former. So I will continue doing this until I think it’s not worth investing anymore time in it. The good thing about it is, that the work you put in once, stays in there. The products stay listed, whether you do something or don’t, so every sale you make after ‘quitting’ is almost passive, you just have to order.

And having passive income is my long-term goal. Ever since I was introduced to the idea of passive income by Steve Pavlina, I became hooked. Steve owns a blog and makes a more-than-decent income from it. The idea of passive income is to put value out now, so you earn the benefits later. The good thing about it is, that value you once put out, stays – for example on a blog. Everything you do from there onwards just adds up to it. So eventually when you wrote enough – if we stick to the blog example – you’ll have enough content to monetize on and make an income on autopilot, because you already invested the time to write all the articles on your blog.
For me, that is a way more intelligent way of acquiring money than by trading your time for money. I see it in all the jobs I do that, you rarely get paid for the value you provide, but for the time spent at the workplace. Whether that’s a restaurant, a shop, an office or a building site doesn’t matter.
Where this might make a little sense in an occupation such as a labouring or waiting, it doesn’t make sense at all in areas like offices, where the value of work is directly linked to the profit of the company. That said, I’d always opt for an option of passive income, even if it’s just secondary at first. 
It also allows you to become independent from such things as the pension system. Things that, let’s be honest, one shouldn’t rely or plan on getting money from when old, because if I look at the situation in Germany at the moment and the projected amount of pension we would get, it’s a joke. Even the people that get their pension now get so little that it’s hard to get by and it won’t get better. So you’re better off creating a passive income stream that will allow you to live the good life even when you’re old or maybe even especially when you’re old.

Coming with the freedom of not having to work 40 hours a week for a normal income comes the ability to pursue your dreams and do voluntary work you normally couldn’t have done due to money shortness. Things like helping in a retirement home, learning languages or becoming an origami expert. Everything you’ve ever dreamed of and wanted to do for so long can now be done because you have the spare time and headspace for it. You can immerse totally into anything and everything, be present in the moment and have fun just because you’re emotionally unattached to worries about money now. Sounds like a live worth living right? Is that something you’d like to have?
Then let’s get out there, do your research and act on it. That’s the most important yet (or maybe therefore) hardest part of them all – the action-taking. You can read as much as you like but as long as you won’t get started, nothing will change.

So take action and don’t go for perfection!

Some resources to look into:

Timothy Ferriss – The Four Hour Work Week*
Although this hasn’t been the first book opening me up to the topic of creating a lifestyle business it has been an idea-giving and informative one nonetheless. Tim offers insight on how to set up your business, outsource and dreamline – a term he coined for becoming aware of your dream and writing down steps to achieve them – and much more. He also has a blog with lots of resources about different topics such as language learning, advertising and many more. Check it out at:

Steve Pavlina, the man that got me into personal development and exposed me to the idea of passive income. He as an amazing blog where he offers a gigantic amount of articles mainly covering the topic of personal development that can almost be read like an encyclopedia. Everything from A as in awareness to Z as in zzz (sleep) is mentioned on his blog. He also tried a lot of experiments on himself and offers insight and detailed diaries on what happened and what he learned from them.

I stumbled upon Johnny’s blog by accident, now being happy that I did. Johnny lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand and operates a dropshipping business from over there. He was the one who introduced me to eBay dropshipping. He shares a lot of personal things but also business related things and writes in a very readable manner. A thing I’ve never seen before is, that he shows monthly income reports where he breaks down everything detailed, from different income streams to what he spends.

These were my go-to resources for now, if you have any questions or remarks, please feel free to comment. 
My question for you: Have you heard about passive income yet and if so, have you made any efforts to establish a passive income stream?

Until then,

Yours Max Müller

*The link provided is an amazon affiliate link, where if you buy it, I get a small percentage provision for that sale at no larger cost for you.

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