The mindset you MUST have if you want to build passive income

Why planting trees beats picking fruit
Seth Kniep
October 9, 2017
There’s a reason I don’t go yard selling, garage selling, or thrift shopping anymore.

Let me explain: I’m not against it at all. I think it’s a wonderful way to generate cash quickly. But there are some people on Amazon who do $30,000 a month with just two or three products.

It is extremely difficult to get to that if you’re constantly finding items through yard sales or thrift shops to sell. You’re doing much more physical activity and have much less time. If you need cash to start off with, and you need to liquidate things in your house so you can get the capital you need to get started, that’s great. But if you’re consistently stuck in the cycle of going to a yard sale, buying an item, posting it on eBay, and selling it, you have to stop.

It won’t make passive income, because as soon as you stop working, the money stops coming it. It’ll work to make money. But you have to work to make money.

There are two kinds of people when it comes to building income online. There are fruit pickers, and there are tree planters.

A fruit picker will walk into the woods, look for an apple tree, and pluck apples from one because they’re hungry. They can pluck apples all day. But they have to go out and find the apples. By the end of the day, they’re tired, they’ve eaten some of the apples for energy, and they have apples for dinner. And tomorrow, the apples are gone. They have to go back out again the next day.

The problem with this is that they can't scale. They can pick a hundred apples in a day, but to pick a thousand a day, they would need ten times as much time. You can't make more time. You can’t lengthen your life or make the sun slow down. They’ve undervalued their greatest asset: time.

The number one rookie mistake new sellers on Amazon or eBay make is always being busy. They think their greatest asset is money. It’s not. Your greatest asset is time.

The other kind of person you can be is a tree planter.

Now, the tree planter has to be very patient and very disciplined. They need one apple tree to live off of. They’re going to be hungry a lot. They’re not going to have a lot of apples. They’re not going to make a lot of success at first, and they'll be very limited. But instead of picking apples all day, they take seeds and plant a tree.

They water it, fertilize it, and give it the attention it needs. It takes a long time. It requires investment and care. But when it blooms, it produces apples for them. And once it’s there, it only needs to be monitored every now and then, but it will keep producing apples. Now the tree picker can plant another tree and help it produce apples. Then they can go and do a third, a fourth, a fifth.

See what happens? When you take the time to plant a tree instead of plucking fruit, it takes a lot of work, and it’s very hard, but once it’s growing and producing fruit, you have the time to go and plant another one and another. Before you know it, you can have a thousand trees producing apples for you with plenty of time still on your hands!

That’s why it’s so important we think this way. Your greatest asset is not money. It’s time. Do you want to build wealth? Then value your time more than your money. You need time to make money, and if you manage it right, you can make your money work for you.

Here’s what can happen, and it happened to me: I had over $20,000 in retirement. I was desperate. I had tons of debt. I couldn’t find a job, and everything was going wrong, so I liquidated my entire retirement. I paid over 30% in fees and taxes just to get access to that money. It felt good for a while, because it helped pay the bills and keep me going, but the problem is that I literally took a hatchet, walked out to my orchard, and chopped down my apple tree. It was making me money, but I killed it. I got a lot of fruit from it, and I was able to use the wood for firewood and keep me warm for a few nights, but soon it was all gone. It was if I had started with nothing.

Don’t chop down your apple tree.

I understand there are emergencies. Sometimes you may be so desperate that you have to. But avoid it if you can. Don’t chop it down. Go plant more apple trees. That’s why I teach passive income like planting trees: it is an investment for the future.

It’s like a golden goose. You have a goose, it lays you golden eggs, and makes you tons of money. One night, you get hungry and decide to kill the goose. It makes a nice meal, but now there are no more golden eggs. Don’t kill the goose. Feed the goose, and the goose will feed you for years to come.

If you learn to value your time, you will go so much further.

A lot of people start on Amazon thinking, “I’ve got to generate profit.” What they really need to be doing is taking that first batch of items that they order and look at them like promotional items. The goal of that first batch is not to make money. Forget about making money for a minute. You’re going to take those items, use them to get reviews, use them to run ads, and get your product listing high-ranking. You’re building a tree. Then next month comes around. People are buying your item. All of a sudden, you have money coming in.

Don’t go door-to-door selling your items and getting rid of them for cash. Invest in your listing on Amazon, get it promoted, and it will make money for you for months to come. And then once you have one going, you don’t have to keep up with it. You can build another one. And another one. And you can keep doing this until you have a whole ton of passive income rolling in for you.


Mind your medium

Different content works for different platforms!

I’m on Instagram and Facebook because people (myself included) want inspiration and a sense of community. But my YouTube following is HUGE compared to these other platforms because so much of my content is geared towards tutorials!

No one’s on Facebook to watch a half hour video on how Trump era tariffs affect Amazon sellers.

But no one’s on YouTube to watch a still picture of me, no matter how good my photo team is.

This is how I save face...
And they are good.

Know the kind of content you’re able to commit to, and make sure it matches up with the audience you’re building!

Keep up consistency

Taking daily medicines.

Working out.

Building a business.

All of these things need a regular schedule to be successful! Conquering social media is no different.

Maybe you don’t have time to edit enough photos of your anti-gravity olive oil cruets to meet 15 quality Instagram posts per day. That’s fine!  You just need to stay in your audience’s feeds on a consistent basis so your company stays relevant.

Keep your online presence limited to no more than three services as you build so that cross-platform consistency isn’t an issue.

Don’t try to copy the greats

If we found a person isolated from modern society who’d never heard the name ‘Nike’ before, I guarantee you that they’d still be blown away by the company’s Instagram account.

It’s amazing shots of incredible athletes from all over the globe, famous or not, and completely mindblowing stories told before you even read the caption! They’re killing it!

That’s not where you are right now.

This is a hard pill to swallow, but you’re not Mark Parker, my friend. You don’t have his resources vis-à-vis money, time, and team members right now, and even when you’re making millions each month, your brand will NOT be Nike.

And that is 100% OKAY.

Get ‘Be like -’ off your vision board, and develop a style that’s true to your vision and the needs of your audience, not anyone else’s!

Always funnel

We’ve all been there with that Facebook friend who’s clearly caught in a pyramid scheme and spamming every picture, post, and comment with their personal affiliate links.

It’s annoying...but you can still learn something from their approach.

Unlike “That Friend”, you’re not talking to your relatives and acquaintances. You’re creating content specifically to sell your product.

Does everything you post online need to end with an all-caps ‘BUY NOW’?


If you don’t go for the kill right away, you still have the opportunity to make your viewers engage more with your content, their community, and build up the brand in their minds until they’re actually ready to commit!

The important thing is that you continue to woo them, pursue them, and put everything you want them to grab within their reach!

We’re past the point of pointing out we’re past the point of opting out of social media, warrior, so don’t log on with a plug n’ play mentality.

Get in there, and #win!

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Seth Kniep

Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.

Dead serious about building income on Amazon with eight successful coaches in a community of badass Amazon sellers? We created something we've never done before: the Amazon Growth Bundle full year coaching course.

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