How to Build Lasting Income

Besides being an entrepreneur I am also an ordained Christian minister. When I began serving at my first church as an associate pastor I determined to build a lasting ministry, one brick at a time, no matter how long it took.

I’ve carried this same goal into business. I want to build something that will last—something solid.

So, how do you build lasting income?  I’m glad you asked.

1. Harness the extraordinary power of compound interest

You’ve probably heard what happens when you double a penny for 30 days. However, in case you haven’t I will explain.

If you double a penny every day for 30 days, you will end up with over 5 million dollars on the last day ($5,368,709.12 to be exact). If you don’t believe me, there’s no reason to take my word for it; you can try it yourself.

jcurve-doubling-penny copyIt’s important to realize that this isn’t magic; it’s simply the power of compound interest at work.

Note the “J curve.” Days 1-21 are pretty boring. There is little to no growth. However, things really start to change in the last week! If this were your penny, you wouldn’t even have $100k on day 24, but you’d have over 5 million six days later.

Now, what if these were months and the investment were MLM?

I wonder how long the average person stays in MLM before quitting. 6 months? 12? And how much would they be making after 12 months of hard work if their business were like a doubling penny?

Only $20.48

I think that explains why a lot of people quit MLM and say that it doesn’t work, but the sad fact is that they’re giving up too soon!

Of course, there are several things which make for an unrealistic comparison. First, MLM businesses do not grow at a flat-rate (50%), continuously. There will always be fluctuations in any business or investment.

Second, I bet that the average person stays in MLM longer than they actually work. There is no doubt, it is difficult to maintain a constant rate of marketing for 12 months straight. It’s a struggle for all but the very best among us (read: sales robots).

The point is that there are confounding factors which make success in MLM much more difficult than our penny experiment. At the same time, it is the main principle of the doubling penny (compound interest) which enables a person to earn an incredible income through MLM—it really is possible!

Sure, most will never make 5 million annually in MLM (though some do) but you can earn an extraordinary income by it if you’re willing to work hard and allow the compound effect to kick in.

Think whatever you want; I’ve seen it. I know way too many honest people making ridiculous amounts of money in MLM to believe that it is just some flash-in-the-pan scam. MLM is the single best model of compensation I have ever seen because it harnesses the power of compound interest.

As humans, we are prone to giving up far too quickly. We start a blog and no one visits, so we abandon it. We start a business and don’t make any money, so we call it a scam and move on. Just remember this: success takes time.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. You have to give your financial portfolio time to mature too.

2. Take calculated risks

There is risk in everything. Some risk may be considered negligible but it is still risk. The only thing you and I can do is manage our risk wisely; it can never be eliminated entirely.

Once you accept this truth, it will change you for the better. You no longer have to waste time looking for a risk-free investment beacause it is a fool’s errand—it doesn’t exist.

While meeting with one of my mentors several months ago I asked him whether or not he thought a certain investment (about $700) would be a wise financial decision or not. He shared a story that sent me away stunned and laughing.

He told me about how he lost over $100,000 with a certain investment several years ago.

Hah! And here I was worried about my $700!

The thing that really freed me up was seeing how he lives today. He has a beautiful home with no mortgage, his car is nothing fancy but it is reliable, a newer model, and he doesn’t owe anything on it either.

So, how can someone lose $100k and not be absolutely destitute? The answer is that they have wisely managed the risk within their financial portfolio.

So, stop trying to eliminate risk and just start managing it wisely. Furthermore, remember that risk is almost always proportionally balanced with reward (i.e. “high risk, high reward”). Please understand that this doesn’t mean being stupid with your money, it means loosening your purse strings long enough to make some worthwhile investments.

So, get out there and take some calculated risks!

3. Buy things that make you money

Most people buy stuff that is going to cost them more money in the future. Such things are typically labeled “liabilities,” while things which are destined to make you money in the long-term are designated “assets.”

Obviously, you want your assets to outweigh your liabilities whenever possible. So, start thinking in these terms on a regular basis. When you go to purchase something ask yourself whether or not it is destined to earn you money in the future. If not, how much could it end up costing you in the long-term?

Let me give you an example.

DSC01766Some years ago the engine in my car seized (I changed the oil, seriously!). Anyway, I needed a new car, so I scraped together $2,000 and purchased a small, used pick-up truck. The car seemed to drive OK with a few minor issues. I decided to fix those issues when I had the money. The only problem was that what I thought were “minor issues” turned out to be more extensive.

I spent about $3,000 fixing that little $2,000 truck up and it still had problems. I sold it for $1,500 awhile back.

Was that truck a good investment? I don’t think so. It got me where I needed to go but it wasn’t overly reliable (or comfortable). Furthermore, I spent $5,000 (initial purchase + repairs) and couldn’t even sell it for the original purchase price.

That truck was a huge liability.

In contrast, opting for a seller-paid home warranty policy on our first home was a big winner.

We paid nothing for the policy (the seller took care of it) and ended up receving a brand new dishwasher and oven (both broke in the first year while the policy was still active). We paid $100 for a new $300 dishwasher and $60 for a $1600 oven. So, not only did the policy save us a ton of money on the cost of kitchen repairs but it also raised the value of our home (at least theoretically).

As mentioned in my previous point about risk, none of us are fortune-tellers. Sometimes the line is blured between an asset and a liability. That’s just the nature of investment altogether.

The trick is to begin thinking in terms of assets and liabilities. You don’t have to choose correctly all the time. A perfect batting average is every kid’s dream but it isn’t necessarily a realistic goal. Just start to evaluate things as either assets or liabilities. Weigh the pros and cons. Calculate the risk and if it seems like a good deal, go for it!


If you will utilize these things: compound interest, calculated risk, and assets which exceed your liabilities, then you will be on your way to producing a lasting income whether you decide to join my team or not.

That’s the great thing about everything that I’ve shared here; it applies to every form of business and investing.

What would you add to this list for producing lasting income? Leave a comment below.

Cody Ray Miller
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Cody Ray Miller

Entrepreneur & Really Cool Guy at Zurvita
Cody is not really into referring to himself in third person. He does enjoy tinkering with computers, playing guitar, writing, working from home, learning new things, looking at the stars, inventing things, and oh so much more...
Cody Ray Miller
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