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Seven Years to Seven Figures

Creating Multiple Streams of Income in the Third World

When you spend lots of time trying to help people become successful, it is disappointing to hear readers complaining that you aren’t telling them anything they don’t already know or that your ideas are dumb or that you don’t really care about them.

What you want to hear is, “Hey, thanks for your help. Look what I’ve done!”

The following story is one of those. It is inspiring. Imagine trying to create a second income when you are living in one of the poorest countries in the world with no infrastructure, no base of educated workers from whence to find superstars, etc.

But that’s what Willem Frank has done. In spades. In less than two years he has traded in a career job as an employee for the excitement and profitability of running his own business and determining his own future. Although he says he’s hampered by perfectionism, he’s already accomplished an astounding amount. I have no doubt he’ll be in the seven-figure category within seven years.

Michael Masterson

To most entrepreneurs unreliable electricity, a hard to navigate bureaucracy, corruption, a less than modern banking system, and an erratic Internet connection do not add up to a good environment for doing business. But to Willem “Wim” Franken, a Dutch expat and veteran aid worker living in northern Uganda, these are just another set of challenges to overcome as he starts a consulting business and launches several new business ventures using techniques he learned from Michael Masterson’s Seven Years to Seven Figures and Automatic Wealth.

After a long career helping build local infrastructure and assisting refugees around East Africa as a fundraiser and director for many non-governmental and international aid organizations, Franken, although still passionate about aid work, decided in the latter part of 2006 to change directions.

Automatic Wealth had already shown me the need for radically increasing my income, and for creating multiple streams of income. Seven Years to Seven Figures went further in showing how it can be done in a specific time span,” said Franken, who is also a longtime reader of Early to Rise and past attendee of ETR’s information marketing bootcamps.

When the contract with his last employer was up, instead of looking for another job Franken decided to start his own consulting business offering his expertise to NGOs in fundraising and coaching of management personnel. Since he has been involved in aid work for so long, he had large network of contacts in the field and knew what services these organizations need.

Michael Masterson says in Automatic Wealth that when you possess a financially valued skill, you can use that work experience and expertise to become a freelancer. In many cases, says Michael, you do essentially the same job you were doing before, but for a lot more money. Companies will pay you because you are helping grow the business and they know that because you are freelance they don’t have to train or manage you.

“I looked at my areas of real expertise, which lies in writing good fundraising proposals, as well as in providing personal coaching for top local African and mid-level project managers. There’s often a need for some short-term support in these areas, so that’s where I decided to “sell” my services. There are plenty of related needs as well (e.g. external assessments, rapid rural appraisals, and interim management), and I offer those as well,” says Franken.

He started by using copywriting skills he had gained from AWAI’s copywriting course to write a proposal offering personal coaching to a senior Rwandan manager of an aid organization who was in line for a promotion. The manager’s bosses were so impressed by the offer that he was promoted before he even received any coaching. Franken plans to offer his services for free to cultivate a good contact with that organization.

A brochure he created (again using skills he picked up from AWAI) outlining his services resulted in his next job for a non-profit group that works in East Africa. Two days after he sent it he was hired and on a plane to Nairobi to work out the details and sign the contract for the job.

“I’ve started circulating the brochure to other contacts, and intend to follow up on a regular basis with those contacts. My aim is to work some six consultancy assignments a year, gradually increasing the fees I charge, and eventually linking the income as a percentage of the level of funds being raised,” said Franken.

Franken is also eager to develop multiple streams of income, a strategy for wealth building he learned from Seven Years to Seven Figures. He’s focusing on four areas: a guest house in eastern Uganda; a partnership with a longtime friend to import goods like food, clothing, building materials and more from Uganda to the southern Sudan, which recently opened up to outside trade; affiliate advertising online (which is still in its early stages); and production of anti-malaria medicine.

Franken has another online project, his website www.eAfricanSuccess.com, separate from his affiliate advertising efforts, which uses Early to Rise as a model. It’s geared toward people interested in living and working in Africa. He offers a free newsletter and is trying to build a list of names (he has more than a hundred currently) he can later market back end products to.

The anti-malaria drug venture is a bit more unconventional for the typical Early to Rise reader. Franken, in cooperation with his agronomist wife, is set to cultivate 10 acres of Artemisia Annua, a plant from China whose anti-malaria properties were recently re-discovered by science. From his initial investment of $15,000, Franken expects a return of 115 to 200 percent net profit, based on future expansion of the farm and the great demand for the crop in Africa, where malaria is the number one killer.

Franken is reluctant to get involved in real estate, another income stream advocated by Michael Masterson, as yet, preferring to wait for further stabilization of the economic situation in Uganda in regards to land ownership.

Some challenges, Franken admits, come from within himself.

“I tend to be a perfectionist, and get stuck in the endless learning mode. Though I work hard, and sometimes work smart, there are long spells when I just procrastinate,” admits Franken. “Michael’s advice to have just one priority has helped enormously.”

But Franken is untiring and dedicated to achieving his goals. He knows that to make it as a consultant and entrepreneur requires all your focus. He was a superstar when he worked with NGOs and applied that same vigor with his own ventures. And Franken continues to refer back to Seven Years and Automatic Wealth for knowledge and inspiration.

“I’m continuing to work at developing my copywriting skills, have an early-to-rise work schedule, and am continuously spending a significant amount of time learning Internet marketing skills,” says Franken. “As a consultant I’ve worked hard to not only meet expectations, but to exceed them. If that means going to a dusty, distant corner of Tanzania and staying there for weeks on end, then that’s what I do. Working as long as necessary to get the week’s objectives met, and then some. My first reward was hearing someone say, ‘We’ve seen any number of consultants, but yours…well, it was exceptional,’” says Franken.

Jason Holland

  Seven Years to Seven Figures Past Articles:  
More on the Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire  
Two Years Into a Seven-Year Plan  
Creating Multiple Streams of Income in the Third World  
When Your Life Changes…Sometimes What You Do for a Living Can Too!  
Becoming A Chicken Entrepreneur: The Low-Risk Way to Start a Business  
The Pledge  
Ready Fire Aim  
Automatic Wealth  
Automatic Wealth for Grads  
Seven Years to Seven Figures  
Power and Persuasion  
Confessions of a Self-Made Multimillionaire  

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