Choosing to live your life by design
Work smart, not hard

Choosing to live your life by design

There are two ways to live your life: by design or by default.

This blog encourages you to set a goal to live your life by design where you work towards passive income that will sustain you.

Are you stuck in a rut, thinking you have to follow the old pattern of living your life and earning an income as it has always been done? Or are you ready to strike out with a bold vision of what your life could be, and what it could mean with a passive income?

Living your life by default means you coast along and passively accept what life offers you. This doesn’t mean you necessarily like it; it just means that, though you complain about your life and the static salary you struggle to get by on, you do nothing to change the situation. Days, weeks, months and years go by and you find yourself at a destination you didn’t intend to be at. You regret the lost years of not taking control of your circumstances sooner.

Living your life by design, on the other hand, means you make plans and take action so that those plans can materialise. It means acquiring new routines and habits aligned to goals you set for yourself that reap rewards. It means following strategies that will give meaning to your life and the world around you. Live your life by design: work towards passive income that will sustain you.

Four ways of income generation

Robert Kiyosaki is well-known for his “Cashflow Quadrant” or the four ways of earning an income / making money. Fundamentally, he suggests that there are four financial or income generation options. Two of these require you to work long hours to earn an active income (living by default); while the other two use systems or money to earn a passive income (living by design). It is important to accept that no one is going to take care of you financially. YOU need to take responsibility for this. This is the only way to improve your finances.

The Cashflow Quadrant - 4 ways to earn an income

Let’s talk about the four income generation quadrants

Employee Quadrant

This is most likely where most of you reading this blog are, and where I’ve been for a large part of my working life (but don’t want to be any longer)!

You have a job working for a boss and earn an active income for the many hours of hard work you put in. No matter how hard you work, however, your income is always capped. You have very little time for yourself and your family as a result of full-time work. In addition, many employees in more and more organisations work after hours and over weekends as a result of easy connectivity via mobile phones and the internet. Despite what you may believe, there is no security in the job, as you could be fired if the business is down-sized or fails.

Self-Employed Quadrant

You trade your hours for money, just like the employee does – earning an active income. When you work, you get paid… and no work means no pay. I am in this quadrant now, and believe me… it’s often worse than being an employee! In the early years while I was setting myself up as a consultant, I found that I most often didn’t work from 9 to 5… I ended up working 5 (am) to 9 (pm) most days – and weekends! This quadrant isn’t much different from having a job. You’re generally tied down. There are many obligations which you have to take responsibility for. You can’t just pick up and go as you please (unless you’re willing to take the financial cut for the time out or holiday). And oftentimes the remuneration isn’t quite what you expected.

Business Quadrant

You want to journey towards THIS quadrant! In this quadrant you own or buy into / join a system (or well thought-through recipe) that works to increase your passive income / cashflow. You leverage off other people’s time and energy, so you have much more freedom financially and time-wise. Instead of you personally working long hours, you now have other people contributing their hours collectively towards achieving an end goal. John Paul Getty is famously quoted as saying: “I’d rather benefit one hour from the efforts of 100 people, than work all 100 hours myself.” This is what we want to aim for!

Investor Quadrant

Investors use money to create more money. They don’t have to work because their money is working for them. They source assets such as real estate, foreign currency, stocks, mutual funds and cryptocurrency that provide a steady income in the form of passive cash flow, and they often use other people’s money to attain those assets. This quadrant may be a difficult one to enter into immediately, as large amounts of funds are needed to start, one would need to study how investing works, and connect with master investors to learn the tricks of the trade from them.

Moving to the Business (“B”) Quadrant … to live a life by design

The Business Quadrant offers you the opportunity to earn a passive income. The aim is to work SMART, not hard. Passive income means you earn an ongoing income whether you’re awake, sleeping, or on vacation. How do we get there? What would we need to know or learn? And what businesses out there are helpful to tap into? Very few of us are able to purchase a business or, for that matter, have the know-how to run one! Franchising is an option, but generally out of most people’s league financially. For example, the estimated set-up costs for a Wimpy franchise in South Africa is 2.2 million ZAR and an initial franchise fee of 114,300 ZAR (excluding VAT)!

Network marketing is a viable alternative business model

The industry is very similar to purchasing a franchise, but allows you to start your business at a fraction of the cost to obtain the system*. In addition to comprehensive training and minimal start-up costs, network marketing offers you the choice of either full-or part-time work, and a work-from-home option. You have very low overheads, as the business is generally conducted by word of mouth, as well as online. The advantage is that it offers all the aspects of being a fully-fledged business owner and the opportunity to earn a passive income.

The industry of network marketing has, over a number of years, generated more millionaires than any other profession. To this day it continues to give more people an opportunity to grow a business; it offers a system, training and a like-minded community; and it sustains more families than any other business. Now that’s worth talking about!

So how does network marketing work?

People have the ability to build what is known in the industry as downlines within network marketing. You register with a company to promote their products, while being a customer as well. Consequently, you become an affiliate of that company which pays you for referrals and for duplicating yourself. You then share information about the business / products with people and invite them to join you in it. Now you teach them to do exactly what you’re doing, and in so doing you leverage your income by using their time and energy to duplicate your efforts. The result is that you (and they) get rewarded monetarily. So now you’re no longer trading time for money. You and your team benefit from collective effort to increase your passive cashflow. That’s the power of network marketing – because you get paid a commission on members in your team across a number of levels! You begin to live your life by design by working for a passive income.

Robert Kiyosaki recommends that you ask the following questions to determine whether the company you decide to work with is workable:

  • Control – Do I have a protected system that belongs to me?
  • Leverage – Can I train other people to work for me?
  • Creativity – Will the business allow me to be creative and develop my own personal style and talents, while ensuring that the brand is retained?
  • Expandability – Can my business grow indefinitely?
  • Predictability – Is my income predictable if I do what is expected of me? If I am successful, and keep expanding my business, will my income increase with my success and hard work?

How do you retain a strong team in your network marketing business?

If you’re more concerned about earning an income in network marketing than building relationships and developing your team, you may as well not start this business. Network marketing is all about building relationships and trust within your team. It’s about helping people develop and supporting them along their journey.

FIRST invest in your team, train them, help them get established. The end result is living your life by design where you earn passive income that will sustain you for years to come.

7 ways to be a great Networker:

  1. Be the first to reach out.
  2. Give more than you take.
  3. Choose kindness over clever.
  4. Be present.
  5. Talk less, say more.
  6. Learn people’s names.
  7. Be authentic.
Invest in your network – it’s your net-worth!!!

Ready to move from living your life by default to living your life by design?

Now that you understand how to move into the Business Quadrant through a very simple system, what will you do about it? People with no degree or formal education; people with severe health issues; single parents and people with obvious language handicaps have excelled in network marketing. What’s stopping you?

Thank you for reading the blog. I welcome any comments and questions.

Wendy Arendse

* Note that Mema does not require you to pay a registration fee to join the company, start your part-time or work-from-home business and benefit from using its system to earn profits when you successfully share information about the company with others and help your team to grow their business.

(I would like to acknowledge Robert Kiyosaki and Jan Janzen for their comprehensive teachings on the subject. I researched their and other network marketing professionals’ work to write this blog.)

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