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If You Have No Financial Assets, Build Simple Digital Assets

by | May 2, 2022 | Money


Twitter bros forget some people can’t afford to buy stocks or crypto.

They have zero savings and are behind on their bills. I rarely see this reality described in personal finance books and articles.

A friend of mine is a single mother in the US. Her husband cheated on her with a long list of mistresses, and then walked out the door. Even though he has to pay child support he chooses not to.

“Come get me!” he tells her.

The authorities are a slow-moving train that may take ages to hold him accountable to the law, if it all. I wish her husband lived in Australia. Then I’d get my family’s humble law firm to drown him in so much legal paperwork his eyes would bleed and he’d do his manly duty and pay up.

Still, she’s in a tough spot. She’s ten of thousands of dollars behind in her bills. Her only source of income is freelancing which can be up and down at the best of times.

What does someone innocently caught up in a bucketload of disasters do to get their financial life back on track?

The answer rarely spoken about

Financial assets are great. You can buy them on discount right now as the global economy continues to slow. Nice.

If you have no free cash to purchase financial assets then you need to generate it. The cost of living is going up and 8.5% inflation is destroying families.

The easiest way to make cash is online. Your pool of customers is infinite. There are no borders and nothing stopping you. The setup cost is zero. The barrier to entry is zero. And your mate doesn’t have to be Elon Musk.

Cash online comes from digital assets such as:

  • eBooks
  • Courses
  • Websites
  • Software
  • Templates
  • Youtube videos
  • Written content
  • Podcast interviews
  • Member-only Discord communities

Each of these digital assets is an opportunity.

If you can master one you can master a new source of income. That income is on top of whatever you make now from a job, so it can be used to reduce debt, first, then buy financial assets.

The big problem with digital assets

A PDF you sell for $20 isn’t hard to create. It can be done over a weekend. The barrier to entry with digital assets is eyeballs.

You need the attention of humans to bring them to the digital assets you’ve created. Too many wannabes make their product and then just spam every social media channel with “buy it, please.”

No one listens. No sales happen. This person then proceeds to say “making money online is a scam.” They then get an unpaid job as a professional critic and ruin what could have been a beautiful life.

Traffic isn’t hard to build. Where good people go wrong is they think they need an audience of 1M to make money online. Nope.

A small audience can make you a decent living. Read that again.

Going smaller is easier. Few understand.

Between traffic and the sale of a digital asset is this

You can’t just go around online and tell people about your digital asset. Nobody cares. You have to make them care by becoming relevant.

Content is how you do that — video, audio, writing, illustrations.

Content is free stuff you publish that shows:

  • Who you are
  • Some personality
  • Your high-level life stories
  • What you know and how you learned it

I always say, everybody is a creator whether they realize it or not. Without content, you die waiting in the infinite line for a promotion at a giant company that doesn’t give a damn about you and your family.

Maybe you don’t know what content to share — that’s easy too. Watch what everyone else is doing.

Take other people’s content and turn it into templates for your content.

The easiest places to find traffic for free

Solopreneur Justin Welsh has spent years figuring out where to find eyeballs without buying them through ads. Here are the easiest:

– TikTok
– Reddit
– Twitter
– LinkedIn
– YouTube
– HackerNews
– Indie Hackers
– Facebook Groups
– Private Slack/Discord

The two I find the easiest are LinkedIn and Twitter. Youtube and TikTok aren’t for me because I have a face only a non-influencer mother could love.

The mindset of a digital asset builder

Why isn’t everyone already building digital assets then? Mindset.

The way we think drives our actions.

If we think like pessimists who believe everything is too hard, then we’ll never go from zero financial assets to a portfolio that generates passive income and sends us into early retirement, where you have the time to do whatever the heck you want when you want.

These things make up the mindset you need to succeed with digital assets.

1. Anyone can do it (why not you?)

None of what I’ve explained in this article is hard. It just takes time to get online leverage working in your favor. Once it does, the momentum it creates changes your life. Trust me.

The people who build digital asset empires are the ones who think they can and reinforce that belief daily with tiny actions.

2. Build in public

One of the best ways to build digital assets is in public.

It helps turn the process into a journey that inspires others. Creator Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi is the best example I can think of right now.

She’s building a giant library of digital assets on Gumroad and crushing it. No surprise, really. She’s not afraid to put herself out there. All of her failures and digital asset experiments can be found online.

It’s cool to document your journey.

3. Expect to iterate

The first online course I ever made was a joke. I watched it back recently. Such a dog and pony show. I had no clue, yet now I do.

The first digital asset you create will be terrible. But you can always go back and edit it or make it again.

It’s better to launch something than drown in your own mind full of perfect outcomes that’ll never happen.

4. Reduce platform risk

Digital assets are no different from financial assets — they contain risk.

Just like an entire industry or company can get wiped out, so can the platforms you use to generate traffic and sell your digital assets on.

Don’t be a dumbass.

Always build and distribute digital assets on multiple platforms in case a weird billionaire buys your best one and destroys it to stroke their ego.

5. Be thinking about Web3

Digital assets can be ripped off easily. Someone can copy and paste your life’s work. Your products can be leaked onto torrent sites.

Web3 is a blockchain world where property rights and copyright are publicly verifiable and secure. NFTs are the first step in this new world. There’s still a long way to go. Keep your eyes and ears open for how Web3 can accelerate your digital asset empire.

6. Sales skills

If you sell a digital asset, well, you gotta sell. No way around it.

So many online creators suck at selling, and that’s why they never get traction with digital assets.

  • Ask an audience multiple times to buy
  • Cop objections and rejections. Deal with the objections. Ignore the rejections (they’re not your target market).
  • Learn how not to overdo the ‘asks.’ Most creators ask too many times. They create email lists with zero value and daily asks that spike unsubscribes.

Formula to steal: Give, give, give, then occasionally ask.

My formula (I’m a weirdo): Give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, ask.

The time is now

(The government is not going to save you.)

Financial assets allow you to store your wealth aka time. If you’re not storing your time in financial assets, then you’re going backwards and will have to work endlessly harder to keep up, thanks to inflation.

Create digital assets. Turn them into cash. Use the cash to buy financial assets such as stocks, real estate, crypto (Bitcoin and Ethereum only).


This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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