Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

Accelerating Passivity

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iniartworksmallWith part of our 3 year goal moving forward to August I am exploring ways to accelerate the passivity of my business.

Hey guys, Ryan here from Instructions Not Included. The series about me, Ryan McLean, as you guys follow my life and me trying to make a decent living online. I kind of already make a decent living, but I don’t have the complete lifestyle that I want.

So I’m still working towards my goal. In the last episode, I think I talked about On Property and talked about the things that I wanted to do with that in terms of making half of the income from my own products and making half of the income from recommending Ben, the buyer’s agent.

Made some progress with that. I was talking to my wife, talking about offering – rather than doing a yearly subscription, just offering a one-off pricing. I offered that, had a whole hundreds of people visit my sales page and no one signed up at that price. So I decided, okay, let’s try something else.

That didn’t work, so let’s try something else. So I tried shifting it to $29 a month. Just $29 a month to join up and no other options, no annual options or anything like that. Sent out an email about it and got a whole bunch of people that signed up for it.

So the goal with On Property is to make about $40,000 to $50,000 for my own products, $40,000 to $50,000 from recommending Ben, the buyer’s agent.

I went through all my subscribers, which I have 150 members, which is what I’m actually going to cap my membership site at because that’s going to deliver my income goal. So I worked it out because people have different pricing tiers from the past and things like that.

And I worked out that I’m set to make – if all things stay the same, which obviously, they change. But based on the current members, I make about $45,000 a year from my existing members. Obviously, I got expenses and stuff on top of that, but that was my revenue goal – was $40,000 to $50,000 from my own products and so I’ve got $45,000 coming from my own product, anyway.

What I’m going to do is probably cap the membership at 150 people. Because that way, I have some scarcity. That way, I don’t have too many customers to deal with and I’m still going to hit my income goals for On Property by doing that. And then, once I fill up, then I’ve got the freedom to experiment and to recommend other products that I sell and things that. So that’s the plan at the moment – is to have just 150 members and that is going pretty well at the $29 per month. So we got a few people signed up at that rate. So, hopefully, we can keep that going and it works well.

I was talking about where I want to be in 3 years and something that me and my wife have been about was to buy a camper van and to be able to go on holidays and stuff like that.

We don’t want to live in a camper can or anything, but we love to have what we’re calling the “adventure van” to go away on weekends and things like that. So the plan with that at the moment, it has kind of been fast tracked from 3 years to maybe in a couple of months because I do have some commissions coming through in August, which would give us enough money to buy the van. And we’re looking at different options.

It’s difficult because we have 3 children. So we want to be able to sleep 5 people and seat 5 people inside a camper van. So it’s not a very easy thing to do. It’s not easy to find campers that do that and the ones that do, anything we can find within our budget of about $10,000 have done 300-400 kilometers. So probably in its legs of its life, so not something that we really want to invest in.

So our plan at the moment is to buy a van, probably something like a Toyota Hi-Ace that is just a van. It’s not a camper van. That way, we can get something that’s newer and we can get it in better condition. So buy that, we’re then going to get child seats installed, which you can do for around $2,000-$3,000 and so, looking at a budget of about $10,000 for the van with the seats installed as well and we would then sell our second car, which would probably sell for around $5,000 or something like that. Overall, to get the van just with seats, no camper or anything is going to cost us around $5,000 or something like that.

So that’s kind of the plan at the moment. That would be phase 1 and we would then probably put in probably some mattress in the back. Spend $100 or $200 on a mattress in the back. And it will just be super basic that we can take for a day, not even to stay overnight to start with. But we can fit all the kids in and we can also hang out in the van if we need to. So that’s kind of phase 1 and then, we’ve decided that we’d probably do it up ourselves and add things along. So that’s kind of the plan at the moment.

Part of being interested in the van is we’ve been looking at and watching other people who do live in their vans and what works well. We watched a couple of things last night. One couple who had a camper van with a kitchen and all this sort of stuff and they seem pretty miserable in their van.

There was another couple who did what we were talking about and they had just purchase one, done a couple of modifications to it, living a very simple life and they seemed a lot happier in that and that’s kind of what we want to do – simple modifications and only use it for the weekends.

But something interesting came out of watching that. It was me and my wife were talking about, what are the things that we accumulate that we would keep and the funny thing is, if you can see behind me, if you’re watching the video. I have a whole bunch of old TV’s. I play Super Smash Brothers Melee, we play them on these old TV’s behind me and I’ve sort of started collecting them because I really like them.

I’ve got a set designed behind me, which we’ll be adding tables to to raise it up today so it looks a bit better. But I have 12 TV’s so that is a lot of TV’s. And so, what I was thinking when my wife was like, “What would you keep?” and I was like, “The only things I would keep is I would keep 1 TV that would work in the van so I could still play Super Smash Brothers, so that was on the list. I would have a laptop for work. And then, a hard drive with pictures on it.” I think that was it.

There was nothing else that I could really – oh, and have the phone. And then, I’d be happy with that sort of stuff. Of all that stuff that we’ve accumulated, all the stuff that I’ve accumulated, I’d be happy with just 3 things – a TV with the Super Smash Brothers setup, so that involves a Wii and a controller. So, TV, a laptop and a phone is all I would need and all that I would want. And my wife had similar, she only had a couple things that she actually cared about.

It’s interesting to think that you spend so much time accumulating things, spending your money on things and then at the end of the day, if you had to pare down and you could only choose X number of things to take with you, it becomes so clear so quickly what things you actually value in your life and it just makes you see things really differently. So that’s been exciting to watch that and to see things very differently.

The fact that we’re moving the van purchase forward, the fact that we’ve been watching these things and talking about what 3 things would you keep if you could keep things has given me a new perspective on my business.

The fact that I run my business on a 27″ iMac rather than a laptop. The fact that my business does involve a lot of day-to-day upkeep and things like that has just made me want to accelerate the passivity of my business. So to have websites that I can just work on with a laptop, that I could go to a cafe, spend a couple of hours, write some articles and that could be my day.

It’s really got me starting to think differently about my business. Started to think differently about the types of websites that I’m running or the types of websites that I plan to start. How I plan to make money from them and stuff like that.

It’s been really good to do that. I don’t know how I’m going to simplify it if I will or what’s going to change, but I’m glad that On Property is setup again. I’m working closely with Ben to drive sales there and referral fees there. I’ve got my 150 members, so I just need to maintain that. I don’t need to really grow it. And then I’ve got freedom of time to explore other things and other websites.

So that’s where I’m at at the moment in terms of my business. Things are going pretty well, I’m pretty happy and I don’t have money stresses at the moment. I did almost run out of money because we bought a second car, but we’re kind of back in the green. So I’ve had some good product sales of my own, some good referral sales from Ben. And so, the buffer fund is building up again, which is great. So no stresses there.

So now I’ve got the freedom to think about, okay, where to we want to drive this business moving forward? How can we get it to a passive situation faster than I may would have otherwise done.

So that’s where I’m at. That’s kind of what I’m thinking about at the moment. Haven’t created a lot of content lately. Something that I need to get back into because I think that’s probably one of the best things that I can do and it’s one of my core strengths. So something that I need to get back into doing.

I don’t know why I haven’t done as much content lately. Just haven’t felt inspired. But, hopefully, this episode of Instructions Not Included is the warm up that I need to create content for my other websites. I wish you the best of day in your business. I hope that you have a great day. I hope that you move things forward and until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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