by Gary North
You have money lying unused in the ATM in between your ears. In this report, I'm going to show you how to make some withdrawals.
You know how to do things. You have learned this over many years. But you don't give a lot of thought to the things you know how to do that others would like to learn how to do.
If you can show people how to do them, you can make money. You may make money directly by selling the information. Or you can give it away, thereby creating trust and respect for what you know. This can later be converted into money.
Think of teachers in the public schools. The things they know! Yet they sell this information year by year, class by class, to one school district. What if they sold this information to the general public?
If you can teach math, or auto repair, or cooking, or almost anything else, you can find buyers. You can create a side business that will support you in your retirement, so called. Do it in your spare time.
One of the ways to do this is to start producing home-made, low-budget or no-budget videos.
If you doubt the marketing power of homemade videos, consider the investment YouTube. Two guys under age 30 started YouTube with no money a year and a half ago. They just wanted a way to post their own home-made videos on-line. Google just bought their venture for $1.6 billion.
Google had started a similar video posting service. But YouTube's approach was more open and it drew far more traffic. Google wisely ponied up a little spare cash and bought its superior rival. "If you can't beat ‘em, buy ‘em!"
I will show you in this issue how you, too, can cash in. I plan to do so early next year and from then on. In fact, I have revised a plan I have been working on for 45 years in light of this new technology. I take it very seriously.
I had wondered how the developers paid for the bandwidth costs. Videos take a lot of bandwidth. The developers went to a venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital, which put up $11.5 million, November to April. Sequoia's share of the deal: $495 million. Not a bad return on investment in less than one year!
Sequoia also backed Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo, and Google. Here are the details.
Smart guys, obviously. They saw what the next wave is: video. They were right.
You can ride the wave for practically no money.
You can even do it for no money.
IT'S DIRT CHEAP TO GET STARTED
The great thing about video on-line is how cheap it is to get started. Basically, it's free.
If you have a web site ($4/month: www.1and1.com), all you need to do is upload your video to YouTube. Then you use the code that is automatically created by YouTube in what is called the Embed box. Copy and paste this code to your web page. Presto! You get the YouTube screen right on your page.
Take a look at the page I wrote in March on the kid with the guitar. This video gets about 40,000 hits per day, day after day, and has for months. But I didn't use the Embed option in March. Either it wasn't there or else I did not know what it was. Now I have used it. My page looks great! See for yourself.
If you click the Play button in the middle of the image [ > ], the video plays on my page. If you click on the image outside the Play button, this takes you to the YouTube site. You still see the video. They don't miss a trick.
Google pays for the video's bandwidth. It costs you nothing. A video adds value to your site.
The Web is great for distributing how-to videos. A friend of mine has created an entire Web site of how-to videos. Take a look.
He hires real experts in a dozen fields to produce handy videos on specific topics. He pays them a little money for a series — not much, but something. They can promote their services on-screen. They can also link their videos on their own Web sites. It works exactly as YouTube does: there is an Embed code to copy & paste on a page.
If you own a camcorder, you can get started today. It's best to have one that allows you to hook up a $25 lavaliere microphone. This dramatically increases the perceived quality of the recording. You also need a cheap tripod.
But what if you don't own a camcorder? Don't worry. You can create a useful video in a few minutes with a screen-capture program.
What is a screen-capture program? It is a piece of software that lets you create a video of whatever is on your computer's screen. You can move your cursor anywhere on the screen to point to this or that. You can also narrate your story.
Here is a great example of how a screen capture program works. The video was created by Bill Myers, Mr. Guerilla Video himself. He offers ten tips on how to use this technology. He uses Camtasia, an excellent program that costs several hundred dollars. But you can download a very good screen capture program for free. First, however, see how this technology works. As you view the presentation, think: "How could I apply this technology in my business? My church? My service organization?"
Once you have seen this technology in action, you ought to be able to figure many ways to use it. You can include a low-key sales pitch during your narration. You can add a screen at the end that tells viewers their next action step. If you provide useful information, people will find out about your video. Word of mouse will then take over.
I have located a very good screen-capture program that you can download and start learning in just a few minutes. It does the basics, and it does them well. Try it. Get competent using it.
You will figure out new ways to use it as you practice. If you get really good at using it, you can buy Camtasia. But it's better to get started with a minimal tool than to pay hundreds of dollars for the best tool, and then never use it. Go here.
Put the program on a CD-ROM. This would make a great Christmas sock present for a digitally skilled relative.
By now, you know the reality of the Social Security/Medicare program. It is going bankrupt.
What are you going to do about this?
The correct answer is "work longer."
As most people get older, they get tired. I think this has more to do with getting bored than physically decline. Warren Buffett isn't tired. He surely isn't bored. Yet he's 76.
There are old people out there who make a few dollars an hour as Wal-Mart greeters. They must have much stronger feet than I do.
Instead of selling your physical strength, which becomes more difficult as you age, sell your experience. You have a lifetime of trial and error in your head.
It is becoming easy for people with experience to sell it. There is the Web. There is guerilla video. There is the DVD disk. You can convert experience into digits and then sell the digits.
You can convert experience into digits and give the digits away. If you know how to position yourself, this lets you convert digitized experience into trust. People will buy specific advice from people they trust. Trust me. They do.
Are you converting after-job time into future income streams? Are you seeking ways to transition from your present career to your post-gold watch career?
Have you ever sat down and watched "About Schmidt"? Talk about depressing! Here is a guy who labored in obscurity all his life. He retires. To what? He wants to be useful, but he is disposed of by his company almost as it disposes of the papers he filed over the decades.
Yet the movie can be motivational. It warns us: Don't wait until the gold-plated watch dinner to make plans for your transition.
For people who work with their brains, the World Wide Web offers hope. But now, because of YouTube, the Web offers equal hope for people who work with their hands.
On this let me quote the author of Proverbs:
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12).
There is a role for a Wal-Mart greeter. I hope it is not my role. I don't have the feet for it.
What is your role today? What would you like your role to be after the retirement dinner — the dinner where they say, "We'll sure miss you!" and think to themselves, "There's a job opening that should have been made available 15 years ago"?
Make your own job opening.
Use digits to clear your path.
When it comes to computer screens, we have revised the old phrase — "Don't just sit there. Do something." — to:
"Just sit there. Do something."
You are sitting there. What do you intend to do?
What is your deadline?
November 30, 2006
Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com