Floating on my back in warm crystal clear seas, I look back on the white tropical beach at our basic cabana. Just metres from the shore, Jane is swinging gently on a hammock stretched across a timber balcony. There are half a dozen other cabanas and a rustic shelter posing as a laidback bar restaurant staffed by laidback locals. Large broad-leafed trees provide dappled shade in the middle of the day. As the sun sets over languid seas we smile and chat to two other backpackers over a cold beer.

Swinging in the hammock

Swinging in the hammock

At the time of our stay there was a small English run scuba and snorkeling business operating there. I took part in some offshore snorkeling over some coral reefs teaming with small colourful fish. The business closed down, although things may have changed since then. Kayaks for hire also passed the time. This place lives up to the cliché of paradise and yet it was actually an afterthought. We were in Sabah, Malaysia to climb Kinabalu, at 4000 metres, the highest mountain in South East Asia. We had a bit of time after a big dose of altitude so what better place than a beach to chill out. Flicking through a Lonely Planet Book featuring Malaysia, we found our patch of paradise. Apparently, an American was staying here and kept postponing his departure date saying mañana, and the name has stuck. To get to Manana Borneo Resort, we caught a taxi from busy KK (Kota Kinabalu). The winding drive took about an hour, followed by a 10-minute boat ride to the resort. Although not an island, there is no public road access to the private beach. By Sabah resort standards, prices are very reasonable. Our cabin featured a mosquito net, comfortable double bed and flushing toilet and cold shower. We spent 3 nights here and nearly fell under the Manana spell. How about another night Jane?

Residual Income

We are travellers so imagine knowing you could travel the world, knowing that a certain amount of income was coming in every week, every month and every year. Game changing!

June for us is residual income month. We are lucky enough to receive weekly and monthly residual, but there is nothing like a big yearly cheque (direct transfer does sound as sexy).

There is nothing like residual income to bring a smile to your face. That is because the hard work we did for it years ago still brings in income today and every year to come.

The thing that people may not understand about residual income is that because we did the original work, the income comes in whatever else happens. The concept of what residual income means is worth investigating.

We are used to being paid wages or salary but residual income is more like having money invested and being paid interest or dividends.

When we reframe what our residual income is worth to us, it is worthwhile looking at this chart of investment. At the current really low interest rate what we need to have invested to receive our current rate of residual income?


The brilliance of residual income is that we would need to have over $5 million in the bank to accrue our current residual income. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that is real.

Do you remember Linda Evangelista’s comment about super-modelling?

“I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.”

Well residual income is a bit like that.



Live Life Now

So here we are at the end of May. I have been banging on about turning 50 (on Facebook) for about a year and so I decided to share why. It isn’t just a midlife crisis.

Ever since my dad died just before my 10th birthday I have that burning need to live life to the fullest. You see my dad died when he was 42. He never got to be in his 50s. I find it hard to imagine not having the last 8 years of my life. He didn’t get to see his daughter (me) grow up. He didn’t get to travel. I don’t think he had even been in a plane. He didn’t get to retire. So many things he didn’t get to do.

Live Life Now

On a similar note my friend Paula’s anniversary of her death was a few weeks ago. She died of the same thing as my dad and didn’t get to be in her 50s either. Paula didn’t get to see their children grow up. She didn’t get to retire.

I am passionate about everyone living his or her fullest lives. Not when the kids leave home or when you retire or as soon as we pay off the mortgage. What if you don’t get there? So my intention is life to the fullest today in my 50s.

I can’t imagine not being able to live our travel lifestyle that we have designed but it does take a concerted effort, choosing priorities, living by our values, making the choice every day. What choices are you making?



Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom = Bliss


At this time of year (Christmas and New Year) many people are on holidays whether they are chosen annual leave, enforced annual leave or public holidays. Isn’t it just a lovely feeling waking up knowing that you have:

  • Slept in,
  • Got up early to go down to the beach
  • Spent all day with the kids
  • Taken a leisurely lunch with your partner
  • Gone away to your favourite holiday location
  • Insert your Christmas holiday routine in here.

The feeling of doing this is bliss. For most people it is annual leave and there will come a day when it will end and you have to go back to the coalface. (Sorry about having to highlight the inevitable)

Many people where we live have big incomes. They are also tied tightly to the riggers of that job or business. Would you answer yes to any of these questions?

  • Do you have four weeks annual leave a year?
  • Are you not able to leave your business for short or long periods of time?
  • If you are not at work, there is no income (after AL or sick leave)?
  • Do you spend one, two or three weeks away from your family on FIFO?
  • If you are retrenched (a fairly common occurrence at the moment) and can’t get a job quickly, what will happen to you and your finances?

Financial Freedom is not having a huge wage or salary. Financial Freedom is more than being able to buy stuff when you want it. Financial Freedom means being able to

  • Do what you want, when you want it
  • Travel whenever you want to
  • Not set the alarm clock
  • Spend time with the people you love

Many people don’t understand our lifestyle but I am going to have a go at explaining it for those interested, looking for something different and willing to make a change.

We work from home or on the road as essentially travel writers and photographers, resulting in lots of travelling. However we also have some financial freedom to do the list above all year round if and when we wish to.

How does that work you may be asking?

Over the last 15 years we have created the travel lifestyle we have by having residual income. In the last 15 years we have written over 80 books that provide some of that residual income. We do understand that we have a particular set of skills and personal circumstance that allowed us to create that. But if you understood residual income, you would walk through a brick wall to get to it.

Residual Income

What residual income means is that work is done initially and you keep getting paid for weeks, months, years to come. We have become serious addicted to Residual Income, so we have been looking for another source because we understand it gives us financial freedom.

This time we have found a source of residual income that anyone, and I mean anyone can do. There are no education requirements, no unique skill levels, no huge financial investment and can be done in the pockets of your life. In fact the better your lifestyle, the better it works.

I know many people look at our life, tell us we are living the dream and then assume they cannot do it. I can tell you that what ever excuses you have for not doing it, we have seen people in exactly the same situation create financial freedom:

  • A brood of kids
  • Busy jobs
  • Retired seniors
  • Hectic mums
  • Single parents
  • Living in small country towns

So what is it, I can hear you saying? There are many names for it and most people will runaway screaming when I say it is Network Marketing. I know how you feel, I was one of those running away screaming until I found a product I was enthusiastic to share. Network marketing, direct selling and multi level marketing are all the same thing. The thing they are not is a pyramid scheme. Firstly pyramid schemes do not have a product and they are illegal. A pyramid is a system where the person at the top is earning the most while all the layers below are doing all the work, not unlike the company you may work for currently.

We spent 15 years learning how to write books, a huge learning curve. Now we are learning network marketing. Like any learning curve you can’t expect to be an expert immediately but we are willing to learn. Especially when we receive our Tuesday morning residual income payment and we get messages from the people whose lives we are changing. No better feeling than that.

2015 – the best year yet

Many small business owners start their own business to have more flexibility, time off and work life balance. For us, as one of those small business owners, the time before Christmas and New Year is often a time of review and professional development (if they are not involved in the post Christmas sales).  During a Business Success Blueprint training, we were asked to read the E-Myth revisited. What a revelation this book is, business and life changing.

Michael Gerber, the author, suggests that there are three stages of small business:E-Myth Revisited

  1. The Infancy
  2. The Adolescence and
  3. The Maturity

These also relate to the characteristics of the entrepreneur:

  1. The Technician
  2. The Manager
  3. The Entrepreneur

Gerber’s words rang very true that most small business owners start out of technicians. They know their the skills of their business really well. So well they decide to start a business. If they survive that phase, they move onward to the manager stage. What often happens is that small business owners cycle between technician and manager; infancy and adolescence until they realise that their business really has become a job that they cannot leave.

Our realisation is that we too have a business that depends on us. We have a certain set of skills and do all of the work. We are not saying we don’t love what we. It provides us with a travel lifestyle that we love. We can work from anywhere, anytime. However we do have to do the work. We are the technicians.

2015 is the 15th anniversary of our business. In that time we have created over 80 books that give us residual income. We write articles, speak publicly and run workshops about photography and publishing. bid vs ask We also help other people to write their own stories in book form.

So our goal for 2015, in order to move into the entrepreneurial realm and maturity,  is to create a business that is duplicatable so we are not the ones that have to do all the work. We are doing this to create our ultimate vision: to travel the world whereever and whenever we want and to help other people to travel the world as well.

So stay tuned, 2015 is going to be the best year yet.



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