An Online Business That Makes You Money… Now What? — SELL IT, You Say?

imagesCASX4NZ7“The question has often been asked of me, “What do the owners of extraordinary businesses know that the rest don’t.”

Contrary to popular belief my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.

The problem with most failing businesses I’ve encountered is not that their owners don’t know enough about finance, marketing, management, and operations – they don’t, but those things are easy enough to learn – but that they spend their time and energy defending what they think they know. The greatest businesspeople I’ve met are determined to get it right no matter what the cost.imagesCAW7Q6UD

And by getting it right, I’m not just talking about the business.

I mean that there is something uplifting, some vision, some higher end in sight that “getting it right” would serve.

An ethical certainty, a moral principle, a universal truth.

imagesCATHZ0PQWhich is not to say that those I’m inclined to think of as extraordinary would necessarily communicate it that way. Many can’t. Even if they had the inclination they simply don’t have the words for it. But it’s still there all the same. You can see it in their eyes, feel it radiating from their bodies, hear it in the timbre of their voices.

imagesCA96MEHQOn the other hand, notwithstanding the search for “something higher,” the best of the best I have known are extraordinarily grounded people; they are compulsive about detail, pragmatic, down-to-earth, in touch with the seamy reality of ordinary life. They know that a business doesn’t miss the mark by failing to achieve greatness in some lofty, principled way, but in the stuff that goes on in every nook and cranny of the business – on the telephone, between the customer and a salesperson, on the shipping dock, at the cash register.

And so the great ones I have known seem to possess an intuitive understanding that the only way to reach something higher is to focus their attention on the multitude of seemingly insignificant, unimportant and boring things that make up every business. (And that make up every life, for that matter!)

imagesCA62OAY3Those mundane and tedious little things that, when done exactly right, with the right kind of attention and intention, form in their aggregate a distinctive essence an evanescent quality that distinguishes every great business you’ve ever done business with from its more mediocre counterparts whose owners are satisfied to simply get through the day.

Yes, the simple truth about the greatest businesspeople I have known is that they have a genuine fascination for the truly astonishing impact little things done exactly right can have on the world.

It is to that fascination that this book is dedicated.

This book is a guide for those who see the development of an extraordinary business as a never-ending inquiry, an ongoing investigation, an active engagement with a world of forces, within us and without, that continually amaze and confound the true seekers amount us with awesome variety, unending surprises and untold complexity.

While it may seem obvious, this fascination with the development of an extraordinary business is not the same as a fascination with success.

imagesCAEC44F2Certainly not the success we normally think of. Some end point which, having reached it, enables one to say, “I did it!” Because my experience has taught me only too well that end points in the development of an extraordinary business are instantly replaced by beginning points.

imagesCAH6PV2CSo, this book is not about ending, but about beginnings, about the never-ending game, the delightful and exhilarating process, the continuous evolution of our senses of our consciousness – of our humanness – which only comes from being present in the moment, from being attentive to what’s going on.

I believe that our business can provide us with a mirror to see ourselves as we are, to see what we truly know and what we don’t know, to see ourselves honestly, directly, and immediately.

I believe that our business can become an exciting metaphor for

“The Way.”

A wise person once said, “Know thyself.” To that honorable dictum I can only add for the businessperson on the path of discovery, good traveling and good luck.

imagesCAAEUR30I might also add a few instructive words from another wise man, Anthony Greenbank, who said in The Book of Survival,

To live through an impossible situation, you don’t need the reflexes of a Grand Prix driver, the muscles of a Hercules, the mind of an Einstein. You simply need to know what to do.”

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This excerpt comes from The E-Myth RevisitedMichael Gerber’s, The E-Myth Revisited.

1And, I cannot stress enough how much this book spoke to me. I picked it up, not *super* enthused about it… I had put it on “hold” at the library and when I finally got it, I’ll admit that it didn’t look too promising.

This is where the old adage, “never judge a book by it’s cover” totally comes into play.

From the moment I read the first paragraph, I KNEW that this is the book I have been waiting for. I can only say that it *perfectly* put into words all the thoughts and feelings I had swirling around in my brain for MONTHS.

Today’s post is just a Part 1; Part 2 will go into more detail about what I learned. Not to worry, this won’t hash out into a five-part series like last time, but I will say that it’s going to be very interesting. I love learning new things about business!

So, this is the quick gist:

It’s all about this:

Creating a system that will make your business replicable.

imagesMB12XCOWWhat that means is, enabling your business to be repeatable by someone else. In other words, taking yourself out of your business and allowing others to do it. It’s creating a residual income where you are not the one performing the work.

Sound’s interesting, doesn’t it?

In essence it’s learning to create a franchise that you sell for a profit.imagesS8UF0JL8 Stay tuned…


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How to Put Your Income On Auto-Pilot For Real & Experience High-End World Travel

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This article is a follow-up to my previous blog post titled, “The Blueprint To Traveling The World & Escaping The Rat Race Now“.

So, if you haven’t spoiled your eyeballs with the decadent pleasure of reading it, please do it so this post can make a whole lot more sense to you.

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(Not to sound bossy or anything. )

So, I’ll start with a question for you- have you ever read a book that was beyond your comprehension? That’s probably a dumb question, of course you have. Who hasn’t? Kind of reminds me of my futile attempts at understanding XML site maps and the implementation thereof (it’s just not happening in case you’re wondering). I might as well be reading the latest Physician’s Desk Reference for pleasure (no, thanks). imagesWH9IX4DZ

As much as I want to generate traffic to this blog, my neuron-synapsis’ will thank me later.

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To follow up from Part 1 of this post, am I saying that “The 4-Hour Workweek” is beyond ordinary comprehension? No. But, there are some terms that I’ve never heard before. Let me clarify that that’s not to say that I’m the end-all, be-all of the highest literary standard of understanding; what I mean is that if “Geographic Arbitrage” is common language, I must be living in a cave!

I have to admit that I looked up the dictionary term for this. Although, I was unsuccessful finding the exact phrasing, I was successful at finding a blog by a person who actually does this (geographic arbitraging that is, not looking up words in the dictionary. Well, maybe he does- but that’s beside the point).

To get a better understanding of it, I’m going to let him explain here-

As I write this article, I’m sitting outside a small coffee shop in the city of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. What a cool place. I’m just a few miles from the Bridge Over the River Kwai. My room for the night costs 200 baht ($7), and the excellent kaafe yen (iced coffee) I’m now enjoying comes in at a whopping $1.50. Take that, Starbucks. Dinner tonight, including beer, will come to $3. So that’s…$11.50 for today.  And Thailand is actually one of the more expensive countries in South East Asia. So, I’m earning money, while living in a less expensive foreign country. Welcome to the world of geographic arbitrage. Dictionary.com  defines “geographic arbitrage” as: “the practice of high-paid professionals moving to less-expensive areas.”

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to travel the world. I did a bit of travelling during and after college, but always seemed to…”

Read more at the link at the bottom of my post~

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images0Y4TG2JZObviously, this type of lifestyle is for those who have that classic touch of wanderlust. People that live on the edge, people that are comfortable taking certain risks, things like that.

Does that description sound a bit extreme?

Consider the truth- it IS a risk to leave everything you’ve ever known by uprooting and moving half-way across the globe. Can it be done? That’s not the question (of course it can be done). What the question really boils down to is this: do you have the guts?

When people want to be millionaires they have this vision of what life would be like- fancy cars, a big house, lots of employees, saucy cocktail parties, big, blue swimming pools, a boat (all paid off, too- no bills), prestige, influence, celebrity friends. I know that I have.

Have.

I have had visions of those, but those aren’t the visions of what being a millionaire is all about for me anymore.  To be totally honest, who wants a big house with more THINGS that collect dust, and only work to separate those you love by the vastness of it all. How about nosey neighbors, lawn care ordinances, and the umpteen billion perks of keeping up a home, and a big one to boot!

What about a fancy car? Yes, please!untitled2

But how will I fit all the lovely, beautiful gaggle of children I have and adore? Oh. You’re single and don’t have that problem? OK- well, you’ve got me there. Go for it.

In continuing the vision, lots of employees? Who wants to manage that?

What about saucy cocktail parties? Why? Most of the people that are there probably only want to be there because of your money. I’m sure many millionaires prefer a close dinner party with some of their closest and trusted friends.

imagesWCVQY5VNA big swimming pool? Hate those.

Ahhhh, you got me. Can’t hate a big swimming pool no matter how hard I try. Look, the point of all this is that people DO have certain visions when it comes to all of the luxuries that money can afford.

But think about this: really deep down, people truly just want to spend more time with the people they love, reduce their bills (and their workload at the same time), chase their hobbies, be able to afford to go out from time to time and travel, travel, travel and then travel some more. Whether that’s to a simple place like Cedar Pointe, or all the way to the Cayman Islands people want to have fun with the other special people in their lives. And, they don’t want to have to work like dogs to do it.

People have swallowed an unfortunate lie that they have to be a millionaire to do all these things.  Well, you don’t have to be. And for the first time in my life (and I’m 38 years old), my eyes have seen a new perspective on what it means to live an exciting way of life that doesn’t involve signing people up under me in a pyramid scheme, working 80 hours a week, or joining Amway. And, isn’t that why you’re here?

To escape the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich?

The only catch to this is that you have to be a little daring. You have to be willing to take some risk. You have to go out to the nearest gun shop, buy an oozi and mow down that domineering tyrant called, FEAR.untitled5

images8Q5DBQZJFirst on the list is getting an income and putting it on auto-pilot. This is under the section called, “Off-Loading the Rest and a Taste of Geoarbitrage”. This is the crucial key: learning to delegate personal assistants remotely (that techno speak for, “people who live inside your computer”) in order to be able to give orders or assignments for other people to do for you. That’s part of the automation process; automating job functions so you don’t have to.

Stay with me on this.

To quote Tim,

It’s time to learn how to be the boss. It isn’t time-consuming. It’s low-cost and it’s low-risk. Whether or not you “need” someone at this point is immaterial. It is an exercise. It is also the litmus test for entrepreneurship…”

Why?

Becoming a member of the new rich is not just about working smarter. It’s about building a system to replace yourself.”


So, what is it that you need to pursue in order to make an income? In the book, it’s titled, “Finding the Muse”. And, it goes like this:

Our goal is simple: to create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time. That’s it. I will call this vehicle a “muse” whenever possible to separate it from the ambiguous term, “business”, which can refer to a lemonade stand or a Fortune 10 oil conglomerate- our objective is more limited and thus requires a more precise label.

So first things first: cash flow and time. With these two currencies, all other things are possible. Without them, nothing is possible.”

The question now is what is your product? What is your business? Everyone I know has a talent. Do you make something?untitled3

Is it information? What have you learned in life (click HERE to read about making a profit by sharing what you know) that others would pay for and benefit from?

Maybe you are a good salesperson and have a knack for selling other people’s products.

imagesV95H24MOWhat if you don’t want to make something?

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Well, don’t worry. “The 4-Hour Workweek” has you covered in all these areas, even in the area of refusing to make something (you lazy dirtbag).

Learn and implement detailed information to cover every imaginable base like:

–How to develop a product (including sharing the names of manufacturers who can help) versus investing in an already manufactured product, including how to confirm sufficient market size

–He brainstorms with you on what benefit this product should be to your customer,

–What the cost should be

–The time-frame of manufacture (how long it takes to make), and

–What you need to do to develop a full online FAQ.

imagesN33YLINAFrom reselling an already established product to licensing or creating a product, it’s all in here. You’ll have so much fat to chew on your teeth may fall out! You won’t know what to do from information overload; from selecting your market to brainstorming your product to micro-testing it to rolling it out and automating it you may have to take a “summer vacation” like you did when you were in school! Only difference is, it may become a permanent summer vacation.dreamstimefree_112399

So, you get all this information. You have everything developed. Now what?

Are you ready for geographic arbitrage? But wait, you say, I’m not making millions right yet!

Listen, you don’t have to make millions.

Huh?

Continue to stay with me, OK?

Once you have a product that sells, it’s time to design a self-correcting business architecture that runs itself.”

untitled6Try this on for size:

While most entrepreneurs dive into their ventures with a zealous passion for their product or service, few start out with a clear idea of what kind of company they want to build. But McDonnell did. From the outset, he wanted Applegate Farms, his Bridgewater, N.J., organic and natural meat company, to be the kind of business that could grow and thrive on its own steam, not on the power of his own adrenaline and charisma. And so he made a radical decision: Even in the company’s infancy, he chose to limit his physical presence at headquarters to one day a week. He’s continued to do this for 17 years now, and it seems to be working. Applegate has been profitable from the beginning. Revenue has been going up 30% a year. Productivity, measured by weekly sales per employee, goes up every year. Labor cost per pound of goods sold goes down every year. McDonnell figures that Applegate’s 120 products, which can be found in such high-end grocery stores as Whole Foods, Wegmans, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe’s, now provide 1.5 million servings a week.

All because he avoids going into the office? Well, yes. “I’m a…”

Follow along to the bottom to get the link to read more. Trust me, you’ll want to!

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Here’s the golden nugget: If you have developed a product…gold

(which you can develop, or have someone else manufacture, or maybe it’s no product at all- it can be information, or affiliate partners, consulting services, marketing strategies that you’ve developed, whatever. The key is this: the possibilities are ENDLESS, remember that!)

…based on the guidelines Tim walks you through in ch. 9-10, it will plug into the detailed structural chart he has constructed hand-in-glove.

Where is he in the structured diagram chart?

I am not a tollbooth through which anything needs to pass. I am more like a police officer on the side of the road who can step in if need be, and I use detailed reports from outsourcers to endure the cogs are moving as intended. I check reports from fulfillment each Monday and monthly reports from the first of each month. The latter reports include orders received from the call center, which I can compare to the call center bills to gauge profit. Otherwise, I just check bank accounts online on the first and fifteenth of each month to look for odd deductions. If I find something, one email will fix it, and if not…

…it’s back to kendo, painting, hiking, or whatever I happen to be doing at the time.”

In the end, you’re going to be automating something. And once that happens, you will be ready for liberation; the liberation that involves freeing you from the 9-5 so you can live anywhere.

Once again, isn’t that why you’re here?

The new rich are defined by a more elusive power than simple cash- unrestricted mobility.”

…Tens of thousands of people, most of them less capable than you, leave their jobs every day. It’s neither uncommon nor fatal.”

doorJob changes are natural and the book teaches you how simple that transaction can be. If you simply cannot quit your job because of fear or other obligations, why not travel the path that leads around the world by working remotely?

Think it can’t be done?


 Just wait till you read the step-by-step plan including example scripts of how to do it (pg. 206). Man, I wish I had this information while I was still employed. This is the section from the first blog touting the statement, “How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs”. It’s unbelievable, but absolutely brilliant.

imagesOUUCJEN5If you really want to take the plunge, but can’t get past the what-if’s such as:

          • The permanency of quitting (burning that bridge),
          • Not being able to pay the bills,
          • Health insurance and retirement accounts, or
          • Ruining your resume

Don’t worry, the book tackles those subjects too (which are more like job-quitting myths) with remedies in the form of tools and tricks that include plenty of links and articles (all free). So, are you ready for a mobile lifestyle, yet?

The Birth of Mini-Retirements and the Death of Vacations

True freedom is much more than having enough income and time to do what you want. It is quite possible- actually the rule rather than the exception- to have financial and time freedom but still be caught in the throes of the rat race. Once cannot be free from the stresses of a speed- and size-obsessed culture until you are free from the materialistic addictions, time-famine mind-set, and comparative impulses that created it in the first place.”

roadThis is where the term, “millionaire” needs to hit the road! Get.that.stupid.word.out.of.your.head.

I don’t want to be a millionaire. I want the lifestyle that having millions of dollars gives- and, that’s a huge difference. What IS money? It just buys you things and takes you places. The key here is that you don’t need a boat load of it in order to live the lavish lifestyle of your dreams!

And, there’s so much information on the ins-and-outs of travel that it takes up about an 1/8 of the book. It includes next-to-nothing airfare rates, places to stay that are free (yes, you read that right FREE), transportation, high-end luxury monthly rental apartments (some for $300-something a MONTH) and more. You can do this on a modest (or large, whatever you prefer. Maybe you want to work 5 hours a week??), automated income.

Anyhow, I was blown away and constantly came to this reverberating thought, “can this really be true?”


Turns out, it is. People really do this. And, these people aren’t hard to find.

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Almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out these links from the sections I wrote about above:

Using Geographic Arbitrage to Live the Lifestyle of your Dreams

Remote Control CEO

Till next time,

–Joy

The Blueprint To Traveling The World & Escaping The Rat Race Now

The Last PieceWe all love a good treasure hunt, don’t we? Cryptic clues scattered about leading you on, pressing you onward, guiding you to the prize.

Or, perhaps treasure hunts aren’t your thing (too old for those childhood games)?

How about a more refined, dignified game of wits and intellect… say, Sudoku or chess?dreamstimefree_82189

Well, I DO like puzzles and games and treasure hunts.

Know what I don’t like though? NOT being able to find the treasure, or solve the puzzle, or win the game really chaps my unmentionables! dreamstimefree_120493

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In Tim Ferriss’s, “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”he claims to have “hidden passwords” within the book to access “some of the best” he has to offer, but due to time constraints wasn’t able to elaborate on the following:

  • How to get $700,000 of advertising for $10,000 (includes real scripts)
  • How to learn any language in 3 months
  • Muse Math: Predicting the revenue of any product (includes case studies)
  • Licensing: from Tae Bo to Teddy Ruxpin
  • Real licensing agreement with real dollars (this alone is worth $5,000)
  • Racier new rich case studies and interviews
  • Online round-the-world (RTW) trip planner

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OK, so it’s like a game. Find the passwords, get the prize. dreamstimefree_74113

Oh my God!Only I didn’t find any passwords, or get any prize (at least in this way).

But just because I’m not bright enough to see through the game of hidden passwords doesn’t mean you’re not. I would never in a million years tell you that it was a waste of time to read this book on account of my brain dump, no!

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There’s so much more valuable information than what’s been listed above (and, if you can discover the hidden clues- kudos to you!).

Tim gives a step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaching,

  • How he went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week.
  • How you can outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want.
  • How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs.
  • How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist.
  • How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”.

But there’s a warning- Do not read this book unless you want to quit your job.

To live is to learn. I see no other option. This is why I’ve felt compelled to quit or be fired from jobs within the first six months or so. The learning curve flattens out and I get bored.”

I read this book through once and was intrigued by all of the information. I’m now reading it again and am quickly becoming overwhelmed. This is not your average “Get Rich Quick” book. In fact, Tim doesn’t really encourage “getting rich”; he promotes what he calls, “mini retirements” and a group of people coined, “The New Rich”.

A mini-retirement equals several sporadic months long sabbaticals throughout your life vs. working like a dog for 40-50 years and then diving into the “golden years” (and depending on who you are may or may not be so golden).

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Tim makes an interesting observation here regarding those golden years- “Most people will need to be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 0 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4% per year. The math doesn’t work. The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That’s a bitter sweet ending.

If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that’s the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you’ll be so damn bored that you’ll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You’ll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn’t it?”

I think this is a valid argument. You really have only two (or three) scenarios: working till you die because you can’t afford to retire, or if you do, you need to eat dirt to stay alive. Or, you’ve worked your fingers straight into bony nubs and now that you’ve retired, you’re so bored out of your mind you quickly slide into head-long depression. So, what’s the alternative?

The goal isn’t to wait till the end of your life to retire. Mini-retirements throughout life instead of hoarding the dreamstimefree_112399recovery and enjoyment of the fool’s gold of retirement is the aim of the new rich. By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable. It’s the perfect example of having your cake and eating it, too.”

So, how does this work? Tim goes straight to the nitty gritty by helping you overcome your biggest deterrents right now when it comes to jumping off the grid. And, by jumping off the grid, I mean like, leaving the rat race and enjoying your mini-retirements now. Because after all, isn’t that why you’re here?

OK, so what’s first on the agenda?

Learning the word DEAL- which stands for Definition (defining your lifestyle design recipe, i.e., learning how the new rich operate), Elimination (by increasing your efficiency and time), Automation (your income goes on autopilot- NICE), and Liberation (“the mobile manifesto for the globally inclined”. If you’ve never heard of “geoarbitraging” you’re in for a treat!). However, DEAL is not the be-all end-all for this. You will also need to know the following:

  • Getting over and conquering fear
  • Learning that money alone is not the solution
  • Overcoming the power of pessimism
  • How less does not equal laziness
  • Defining your worst nightmare, and
  • How relative income is more important than absolute income (this one got me thinking)

Sounds great, right? To me I find it simply fascinating. I’ve been prompted in a variety of ways to really re-think what it is that makes me happy. And, there are so many. But, that’s not the question you need to figure out (even though it’s a good one). The 4-Hour Workweek digs down deeper and asks a different question:

What is it that excites you?

Living like a millionaire requires doing interesting things and not just owning enviable things. Maybe you can’t pinpoint what exactly that is. No worries, as the book gives you a step-by-step program called, “Dreamlining”. It applies timelines to what most would consider dreams. It is much like goal-setting but differs in several fundamental respects. It’s a fun (but hard) exercise in thinking big and reversing repression (who knew we needed that?). There are six steps and even an example worksheet to get your brain juices flowing.

dreamstimefree_110876Since the opposite of happiness is boredom, drawing a roadmap of what it is you want to do in life is crucial to strategizing plans in the process of: 1) eliminating unnecessary work, 2) prioritizing what is important and then, 3) implementing the tools you need to be highly productive during the hours you choose to work (Tim shows you how to do this if you are already currently employed 9-5, we’ll get to this a little later).

You will learn what time management should be, how you will use productivity, and learn the difference between “effective” vs. “efficiency”.  Tim shows exactly how he used the words of an often-forgotten Italian economist to turn a 12-hour work day into two-hour days… in 48 hours. Would you believe that you can actually increase your per-hour results ten times or more with his counterintuitive techniques (as far as being SUPER productive, he even shows you how to read 200% faster in 10 minutes (pg. 85), talk about being efficient!).

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Now that you can learn to be effective, efficient and become the eliminator of unimportant things, what’s next? Well, I thought we’d get to the area of automation. What do we need to do to put our income on auto-pilot?

How many of us can truly grasp how cool that would be? But, not only can we learn how to do this, but learning it with the understanding that even if it’s not enough to live like a millionaire in the United States, you CAN live like one while traveling around the world. Say what?!

Don’t get scared. Just stay with me…

Till next time…

Oh, and P.S. I can’t wait to show you the Liberation step!

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P.P.S. If you really can’t hold water till my next post, check the reviews out in the meantime by going HERE.

–Joy