Instead of turning into a mindless robot that just sits on the couch and turns the TV on when the 5 ’clock whistle blows, I believe in scheduling “thinking time.”
Most people walk through the day not ever thinking an original thought all day. They just pass the day on autopilot going through the same nonproductive repetitive thoughts about what they should eat or what the neighbors might say, that they have to wash the car, get groceries, and call their buddies. Although these are, of course, thoughts, they are not critical-thinking thoughts. They are not thoughts that will help you break through and find new ways to solve a problem.
Bill Gates Sr. wrote in his book, Showing Up for Life, that when Bill Gates III, his son, was about nine years old, his parents and siblings all were in the car waiting for him to come out of the house. When he finally showed up, his mom would ask: “Bill, where were you?” He would answer: “I was thinking, Mom. Don’t you guys ever just think?”
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is today one of the richest men on Earth. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
So what kinds of things should you think about to exercise your brain? Why not start by examining what needs there are around you and see if you can market something that fills that need? This can be a great way to generate Temporary Cash (or even Forever Cash if your product is a hit).
For example, you could start an online membership site for people who are interested in a particular subject. You provide great monthly value in the form of a newsletter, making it specific content they can use for their purposes, and they will pay you a fee for it. Many people have made a good living setting up two to three of these types of newsletters and having just fifty to a hundred paying interested parties, each paying anything from $29 to $99 a month.
Anything can be made into a monthly membership site. There is even someone who offers prewritten sermons for priests and pastors in a membership-site format. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Pastors are busy people. With this service, they don’t have to tear their hair out every week on a sermon. They can get ideas and even full sermons—ready to be used—from the membership site, which just charges a small monthly fee.
Do you see how that works? It fills a need for them, and it provides income for the person who is hosting the membership site. If you just had 100 people sending you $30 a month, you would have $3,000 a month in extra income. And who knows or even cares if the same sermon is being used at the same time in some other church across the country?
Scheduling thinking time is something that so few of us do, but is something that we should all take more seriously.