Book Review: The Six-Figure Second Income
“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” — Nelson Mandela
One of the books I’ve been recommending to friends, family, and colleague is The Six Figure Second Income: How To Start and Grow a Successful Online Business without Quitting Your Day Job, by David Lindahl and Jonathan Rozek. It’s a great guide for how to make money on the Web. It’s for anybody who wants to make a living in today’s digital economy, or turn their passions and talent into profit.
I think it’s one of the best ways to respond to an uncertain world where you can’t count on having a job.
I’ve been focused on learning how to be an effective “infopreneur.” I believe that in the information age and in a digital economy, one of the best ways to make a living is through creating and selling information products to your tribes of raving fans. It’s also the least startup cost. For example, to create and sell my book, Getting Results the Agile Way, my primary cost was my time. I connected it to my passion and purpose to help empower people with skill, and to make the most of what they’ve got. My strategy was to combine passion + purpose + profit.
What I like about The Six-Figure Second Income is that it puts it all together. It’s a simple and straightforward guide that explains how to create and sell information products on the Web. It does not hype things up or over-promise. Instead, it focuses on the basics and the fundamentals. The authors share proven practices and timeless principles that work. They also light up the book with specific examples and funny ways to look at things that put things in perspective, and really make points hit home.
It’s not the only book I’ve read to help me put the puzzle together in terms of how to make money on the Web, but it’s one of the most complete in that it puts it together from start to finish.
Chapters at a Glance
Here are the chapters at a glance:
- Chapter 1 — You CAN Get Rich — But Yes, There is a Catch
- Chapter 2 — How To Build a Quick and Profitable Product
- Chapter 3 — How To Create Content Cheaply and Easily
- Chapter 4 — Getting Open for Business
- Chapter 5 — How To Get People to Raise Their Hands
- Chapter 6 — How To Turn Prospects into Buyers
- Chapter 7 — Relationships Equal Revenues
- Chapter 8 — The Secrets to an Upward Traffic Spiral
- Chapter 9 — The “I” Factor
Here is a sampling of the problems addressed by the book:
- How to make money in the new economy
- How to start and grow a business on the Web
- How to get over limiting beliefs that stop you from taking action
- How to avoid the top barriers and threats to online success
- How to figure out your relevant audience
- How to target the right niche in the right market
- How to choose the right problems to solve
- How to generate product ideas
- How to choose an effective type of information product
- How to create your information product more effectively
- How to sell your information product more effectively
- How to get paid and keep it simple
- How to choose the right domain name to set up shop
- Why and how to use an email auto-responder
- How to get work done for you with services like www.99designs.com, www.elance.com, www.rentacoder.com, and www.odesk.com.
Here are some of the key features I like about the book:
- Simple and fun. This could have been a very dry manual. Instead, it’s a conversational guide that’s fun to read and down to Earth.
- Step-by-Steps. This is a big deal for me. I like when somebody goes the extra-mile to turn ideas into specific actions, and more importantly, a specific sequence. Sequencing actions takes experience, and having an example sequence down on paper really helps get over humps.
- Specific examples. The authors provide very specific examples of things like domain names, specific niches, types of products, etc. This makes the information a lot more actionable.
- Principles. The authors include principles for creating and selling information products. Their principles are time-tested approaches for how to make money on the Web. You can use the principles as a way to think about and act on what the authors have to say about making money with information products.
- Warnings. The authors do a great job of calling out and highlighting common pitfalls and traps that you can fall into. I especially like this feature because the authors share insight that can save you a lot of time and effort, and they help provide a better path to a profitable business.
Here is a sampling of some of the insights laced throughout the book:
- The easy, early win will best come from building an info product around something you already know well.
- Do not get all excited about creating a product without checking what’s already out there.
- Explore other variations on a proven theme.
- For fastest revenue growth, look for businesses with an existing installed base of customers.
- The more narrowly you focus, the fewer people you’ll attract but the more strongly you’ll attract them.
- The true measure of a lead-generation technique is not cost per lead but instead return on investment.
Make it One Time and Sell it for Years
One of my favorite nuggets from the book is how the authors say that if you don’t show up to work, you don’t get paid, whereas with an information product, you can sell it for years. David and Jonathan write about how you can make an information product one time and sell it for years:
“Think about the typical heart surgeon. She went to school for a jillion years to become trained and yes she does make a very nice income. But if she doesn’t show up at the hospital to perform the next triple bypass, she doesn’t get paid. That’s another way of saying the doc does piecework. It’s much more glamorous to be a heart surgeon than to be a seamstress who must report to work and swe a thousand boxer shorts to get paid a few bucks — but both occupations are piecework. The same is true for $500-per-hour attorneys and even sports stars who get paid ridiculous sums. You don’t show up to work, you don’t get paid.
Compare that to making an information product one time and selling it for decades afterward.”
Choosing an Information Product
Here is a sampling of the questions the authors use to help guide you on designing your information product more effectively:
- What problems have you solved?
- What can you demonstrate?
- What have you researched on the Web and discovered?
- What are the best resources you’ve found?
- How do things fit together?
Types of Information Products
David and Jonathan include a rough guide of more than 40 types of information products. Here are some examples:
- Boot Camps
- Consulting Hot Lines
- Getting Started Kit
- Home-Study Course
- Live Event Videos
- Membership Sites
- Special Report
It’s been one of the best books I’ve been recommending in terms of how to make money on the Web. It’s not a get rich quick guide. Instead, it’s a very pragmatic approach for building a second income on top of your day job. I think this is one of the most effective strategies for both dealing with today’s economic uncertainties and doing what you love in a way that combines passion + profit + purpose, and works well in today’s digital economy and connected world.
I want to point out two things about my experience with the book that I think are important to know: 1) I invested in both the digital version and the hard-cover print edition. I’m glad I got the print version because it makes it easier for me to flip through the book at a fast pace and use it more as a reference at my finger tips. 2) The other point to note is that the book refers to its site for updates and supplemental information, but doesn’t seem updated to me. That said, I don’t really care about the supplements or updates. What I used the book for is learning the ropes end-to-end so that I could be a more effective infopreneur and so that I could help others earn a six-figure income on top of whatever they already do.