Life like a paradox is one big puzzle that makes you a smile at the beginning of the day and maybe sad at the end. The opposite is also true.
Not once or twice, you will find yourself in situations where all seems stuck and life has nothing better to offer other than a myriad of losses, bad news, and relationships that go south.
At times, the best you can do is to be still and let the chapters of your life unfold without much drama. However, you are the C.E.O of your life and you can make that choice at your discretion.
Problems are part and parcel of our lives and how we handle one problem says a lot about our character and what we are made of and more so how we shall handle the next phase of challenges.
Each new day, we rise up with big dreams, a mountain of hopes and our expectations hitting the roof. On the contrary, the day bids us bye without you or me realizing all of our expectations for the day.
Maybe you looked forward to receiving a phone call about a job interview that the panel members were all smiling at you and everything seemed to have worked perfectly well but no call came through. Or maybe your romantic interest took you on a date that ended up having no chance for a second date. Yes, it has happened so many times to so many people and you are not the first one.
How about that business that you have worked hard on to make it grow but ends just don’t seem to meet yet. No profits, low sales records, narrow customer base, nothing to celebrate but only regrets about pumping your money into a sinking ship.
Still, you may have checked your mail only to find a regret email from your potential business partner or employer.
Most of these life events, unfortunately, strike with no formula and come when you least expect them and when you eagerly hoped for the best.
However, at such a point in time, you need to realize that shifting blame or pointing a finger at a situation, event or person is not the best idea.
Your mind could also go wild and cloud you with all the wrong reasons why life is not working as you would want it to and all seems to be on a downward spiral.
You might want to drink yourself crazy in a bid to calm your nerves and ease the pressure for a while but that too will not let you off the hook.
This is the time in your life when you may appear to be a lone ranger with a few friends and unseen enemies. Your calls for help and sympathy may bounce back and give you no breakthrough at all.
You may wish the angel of death to drop from the heavens like lightning and cut short your life in an instant but you will close your eyes, weep, wish and pray only to open them again still functioning and feeling your breathing rhythm.
“The gods have conspired against me”, you will say in anguish. You will listen to all the soothing songs you can find and try find solace in them but that still may not solve one or all of your puzzles but at least you will feel better for a moment.
However, the universe will care not about the problems you will whine and shout to the world but only when you conquer them.
The secret lies in being tough and strong when life least expects you to and not to fret at any life challenging event nor find solace in superficial avenues but remain still and wait for more of your life chapters to unfold because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Run with me
It gives me much pleasure and joy to pen this letter to you. I must say that your continued support and the courtesy to always stop by has not been in vain but has actually created a strong, positive and forward moving relationship between us.
As narrated earlier, my journey as a blogger began 3 years ago. Back then, my steps were those of a toddler. But then I would tell myself, I would rather walk with baby steps than make no movement at all.
Today, though not at the peak like Jon Morrow I must say that I’m heading there sooner than I think.
Any blogger out there will relate to the fact that it’s never easy to come up with content to post on your blog regularly. And number two, it is never a guarantee that your blog post will go viral and attract more than 1000 visitors within minutes let alone grabbing likes and shares.
Every single blogger out there is always screaming for traffic which obviously like Rome, cannot be built in one day but through months and years of hard work.
To my dear readers who happen to be bloggers like me, let us challenge ourselves even more and stretch beyond our limits by going the extra mile each new day.
To my esteemed readers who feel they should be bloggers by now but haven’t started yet, you should know that the lion that is commonly referred to as the king of the jungle was once a cub. It is never too late for you to join the race.All you need is to identify a particular topic that you feel you are a pro, interests you the most and start cracking.
The internet is now vibrant like never before and no matter how many blogs you create, you will never miss an audience to build traffic to your blog.
To my great readers who are neither bloggers nor want to be bloggers, thank you for being supportive of my work and making my blog your home.
And for this reason, I bring to you the good news that my blog has been nominated for a Bloggers Association of Kenya Award 2018.
For me to rank top as the winner in my category- Best topical blog, I rally and call for your support over the same. This support entails voting for my blog under the Bake Awards by clicking here. You will be prompted to the BAKE website that has a button for voting- VOTE NOW. Press the button vote now and follow the instructions that will follow.
One other thing to note is that WordPress engineers have not only been supportive but very helpful in making sure that I get to know one or two about blogging.
The bottom line is that everyone is destined for success not unless you make the sole decision of dying in mediocrity. However, one important point to put across is that you can always change for the better without envying your neighbor. He or she is not part of your journey and you know not where they could be heading to.
See you at the peak!!!
Mark sat in his study overlooking the sky blue sea on the Far East. His time in Sweden was almost coming to an end after completing his Master studies in Environmental Economics in a Swedish university. He was in Sweden for a two year Master scholarship.
Three years ago, Mark who hails from Kenya had tried in vain to secure a scholarship for further studies abroad. More than once, his friend Oketch had told him to stop wasting time applying for the so-called scholarships on the reason that competition is very stiff and few get to be accepted into the lucrative scholarship programmes.
Mark couldn’t believe he had come this far. He remembered one conversation he had with his friend Oketch back then about the scholarship that had just earned him a Masters degree.
It was one evening when Oketch got into the house and found his friend busy on the laptop. On taking a closer look, he realized his friend was busy digging up for scholarships on the scholarships for development website.
Oketch hissed,” Man! Are you serious you are still wasting your bundles on these scholarships stuff?”
“But why not?” Answered Mark. “It is worth trying; don’t you think?”
“Worth trying my foot! Oketch retorted.
“What’s the point of applying for these scholarships only to be given heart breaking regret emails? I will tell you these for free Mark and you can take it to the bank. The furthest you can go with these scholarship applications is that you will only get a partial scholarship that gets to foot your tuition fees but you will have to spend a lot on living expenses and accommodation from your own pocket. Poor you!” He added
Mark stared at Oketch wondering what had gotten into him that would make him so pessimistic. Still collected and unrattled by Oketch’s remark he told him off with a head shake and said, “Life is about choices and I will not choose to be limited by your limited mentality. I would rather try and thank God for the regret emails that come. At the very least, it will be worth noting that my application was received and underwent a competitive selection process rather than put my tail between my legs and cow off”
“Ha ha ha ha”, Oketch couldn’t control his laugher outburst. “You fool. So a regret email to you is what counts? And what is it you said you learn from the experience? Nothing at all.”
Mark had heard enough. Not able to hold his nerves anymore he made a u-turn landing on Oketch with a hot slap that sends him sprawling on the floor finally hitting his head on the bookshelf positioned nearby.
As if in solidarity with Mark, the bookshelf tilted a little and first let some books fall onto Oketch before coming after with a bang. Oketch had lost the fight.
Still seething in anger, Mark packed his laptop and left the room as Oketch tried to finish the fight with a lifeless book shelf.
Mark retreated into a friend’s house applied for a Swedish Institute scholarship and luckily for him, there were no regret emails this time around. He left his motherland for Sweden six months after and the rest is history.
A knock on the door bolted Mark back to reality after strolling down the memory lane. It was Jenipher his course mate who had stopped by to check on him.
“Hey Mark, How are you fairing on?”
“Hmmm…I’m doing fine Jenipher, how about you?” Mark replied.
“I’m good but no offense you don’t look yourself today?”
Aaah not at all. I’m good I’m good….” Mark answered almost repeating himself a dozen times. “Would you like something to drink?”
“Sure! Do you have red wine?” asked Jenipher.
“Oh yeah,” Mark says as he heads over to the kitchen and emerges with two glasses of red wine and hands one to Jenipher with a beaming smile.
“So, what next for you? See, you have successfully completed your Masters! You must be the envy of many out there?”
“Ooh c’mon, I’m grateful for the comments but it’s not over for me yet. I want to pursue a Ph.D. That has always been my goal from the very beginning” Said Jenipher who hails from Puerto Rico
Mark did not see this coming. For him, many issues were eating into his mind right now and his thoughts shifted between moving back to Kenya, getting married and settling down with a family or pursue further studies in Sweden or the larger Europe.
“I just don’t know what’s next for me?” Mark who is 33 years of age replied.
I need to settle down with a family but I’m still trying to figure out what’s more important to me now between a family and a doctorate degree”
“Maybe you should first settle down Mark. You can always come back for further studies. There is never an end to learning. Don’t you think?’ Jenipher tried hard to help.
“I wouldn’t agree more Jenipher but you realize that a family comes with added responsibilities that call for financial stability on my side something I’m not sure about now. Reason being that my previous company gave me no guarantee of re-employment after the completion of my studies.” Mark cried
Take it easy! Mark. At least be grateful you have come this far. “Jenipher said
Besides, I believe the knowledge you have right now is invaluable and gives you the capacity to develop your country towards sustainable development goals. How about writing a business plan and work on a coming up with a social enterprise that will be line with SDG goal of eradicating hunger and poverty. You don’t need the money, you just need to present your ideas to the right people.”
The creases on Mark’s forehead seemed to disappear as he let his cheek muscles relax into an irresistible smile.
“Yes! You are now talking baby!” Mark shouted.
However, as much as Mark delightedly embraced the idea, he was not oblivious to the fact that the entrepreneurial journey is not for the faint-hearted but comes with a lot of hard work, persistence, the right strategy and the right team to work with.
That is something he would have to consider before delving further into the matter.
Well, the universe has a way of supporting and rewarding the dreamers and go-getters. According to the Law of Compensation- The Universal Law is the Law of Cause and effect applied to blessings and abundance that are provided for us. The visible effects of our deeds are given to us in gifts, money, inheritances, friendships, and blessings.
Mark came out of his victim stature and took life by the neck taking responsibility for every single action in his life having made the resolve that for anything to be it’s all going to be about him.
Mark is now the CEO of Daltic Agriculture, a non-governmental organization that works to eradicate hunger in the lives of small-scale farmers by offering consultancy and soil testing services at affordable rates to help farmers ascertain their soil nutritional and pathological status thus able to make informed choices on what kind of fertilizers will meet their soils nutritional deficiency. Besides, the tests help identify soil born pests and diseases and offer suitable recommendations on what measures farmers could put to use to help treat and cushion their soils against diseases.
The organization is now in the process of training and equipping farmers with soil testing kits that will prove handy in enabling farmers sought out soil issues by themselves.
You alone will make that decision to chart your life forward no one else will.
If you feel encouraged like and share.
- Don’t look you might see
- Don’t listen you might hear
- Don’t think you might learn
- Don’t make a decision you might be wrong
- Don’t walk you might stumble
- Don’t run you might fall
- Don’t live you might die
- Don’t change you might grow
Life is about getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks and daring to sail through uncharted waters. And there! you have a self-fulfilling life!
Previously in an earlier post, I talked about how the young and unmarried in society are being fed bad and negative information concerning marriage. The end result is that the young start seeing marriage as a no-go zone but an institution riddled with infidelity, divorce, and violence.
You need to look at God’s original plan for marriage before you choose to walk down that path.
In fact, some have argued that marriage goes against the natural instincts of man. But surely, shouldn’t there be a guiding principle about human romantic relationships?
About a week ago, I happened to attend a men’s seminar. The topic of marriage took center stage with the men spewing a tirade of complaints about their significant other not being up to the task.
Some of the complaints men mentioned included:
- Poor hygiene; this was highly blamed on young mothers who leave the young ones to urinate on the master bed or sofa.
- Short notice on matters that need urgent attention for example when foodstuffs in the house are depleted
- Sharing of responsibilities in the house; one participant narrated how a man was humiliated by his wife after she sent their son to go ask him to go prepare the evening meal. Their son presented the request to his dad while in the company of other men. It is needless to say it was so embarrassing to the man ( It was evident that in this home, there was a duty roaster for preparing meals)
- Men also complained how their women are not quick to dress the way they want them to which forces them to satisfy their eyes on other women.
That said, you need to understand that every marriage has its own fights that can be very well managed and these are just some that were mentioned by men who attended the above-mentioned seminar.
Listening keenly to the proceedings of the said day, it was apparent to me that many factors come in to play about how issues are handled in a marriage.
Factors that came to mind include;
- Your spouse level of education
- Their relationship with God
- Their level of maturity
- How well spouses know each other. It is possible that two people could be living together yet do not know each other.
A few men in the seminar had also been accompanied by their wives. Being women, they were on the receiving end of the day’s discussions and could not bring themselves to merely listen but had to voice their side of things too.
Some women complained that the men always have high expectations and demand too much from them. Are they justified?
At one point, we all went back to the drawing board, the Bible, in the book of Genesis 2.20 where God dialogues about creating a suitable helper for man.
While we all agreed that woman was created as a helper and companion to man; which means man can handle virtually every responsibility in the home except for child delivery and breastfeeding a line had to be drawn between what responsibilities the man and woman should manage in the house.
However, love knows no limits and many couples are known to go beyond this cut out responsibilities in the name of love. Besides, physical complications or sickness could also rub off the line on the issue of duties.
African Traditional Culture, clearly differentiated responsibilities between the boy and the girl child. Boys were raised to take on roles that demanded a lot of physical energy and bravery such as digging, building, hunting and taking care of livestock.
On the other hand, the girl child was raised to be a woman of virtue and take responsibility in the home. Some of the duties they undertook included preparing meals, fetching water and firewood, cleaning among other responsibilities.
On the contrary, time is of the essence, and for a fact, we live in the modern age dispensation where you hear of the miss independents and senior bachelors. The Western culture has also taken shape so rapidly in the African setting and couples sometimes find themselves lost on how to conduct and carry themselves about in their marriage.
From the issues mentioned above, a marriage lies in the hands of the two people who made the life-changing choice of living together, and it’s only them who will find a way of navigating through the storms that will come along.
Sometime back while on a public vehicle, I happened to be seated in front of two young ladies who were having an animated conversation on a range of life issues.
Given the nature of Kenyans on PSVs,(Passenger Serving Vehicles), many were hardly talking except for pleasantries and demanding their money changes from suspicious looking touts.
Being ears reach from the two ladies, I got wind of the marriage topic they were discussing.The fact that they cast aspersions on the married and the marriage institution surprised me.
The two young ladies, fit as fiddles, averagely beautiful and potential mothers were saying that marriage does not work in the 21st century and would instead live as single women or single mothers.
We are all aware of the fact that marriage has its own ups and downs, but that should not be a justification for saying no to it mainly by single unmarried women or men.
Folklore, in a bid to inspire women to embrace the marriage institution, tells of how the 19th-century woman could withstand the challenges that arose in marriage, including her cheeks being warmed with fiery slaps but could still not pack her bags and leave😢😢.
However, it appears that a lot must have changed since then. Of course, the issue of male chauvinism is also a factor to consider per se.
Not like a script to rehearse before the stage play, a simple misunderstanding, remark, or a more complicated scenario like unfaithfulness or domestic violence in marriage could throw the spanner in the works, rendering the once an oasis of joy into a desert of its former self.
Most youths have been on the forefront to castigate the marriage life, citing abuse, infidelity, and mistreatment of the spouse.Whether its something they see and hear from their married neighbors, I cannot tell for sure.
But for a fact, moral indecency and deprivation could be a significant factor affecting the marriage institution today.
In the olden days, before many of us had the chance to see the sun, stories concerning sex, one’s sexual escapades, and bedroom matters were spoken in hush tones and were considered private but not anymore.The internet, as I write this is awash with all kinds of funny and quite shameful stories about a pastor caught in the act, somebody’s wife or husband adultery ways busted, a man marrying his house help as a second wife.
If you think this is enough to change attitudes and perceptions toward marriage then you need check again.I want to believe that no one is oblivious to the fact that our radio stations are darlings to topics that center on infidelity, divorce, domestic violence resulting in the death of a spouse, homicides and you name them in a bid to win more listeners and heat up their shows.
From the foregoing, whether you choose to confirm or deny it, its quite clear that our minds are being fed with bad, negative and sad information day in day out about the marriage institution.
Unknowingly, we pick the attitudes, perceptions and the spirits of those we listen to more often that we think.
This culminates in a phobia towards the married and the marriage institution.Thanks to
technology, your Smartphone makes available all the ‘juicy’ gossip you will want to hear about a celebrity or prominent person.
As if not enough, the marriage institution has been mocked severally by wedding attendees who show up at a wedding to celebrate their friends’ wedding but talk negatively about marriage.
Worse still, the issue of a mistress, commonly referred to as ‘mpango wa kando‘ has been a much-hyped topic that it no longer looks distasteful but a way of life to the married.
I don’t know where the rains started beating us, but something has to change really fast.
Recently, while attending a brethren fellowship, the marriage topic could not escape the
speech of those present as it was clear that the men, in particular, had broken their vows (if they were made at all) in search of the other woman. This begs the question: are men natural explorers who feel tamed with one woman or is it the women who have a problem with keeping their men?
As a final thought, I believe marriage is still holy, God-ordained and still has the reverence it deserves.Therefore, going forward, the youth and the unmarried should borrow a leaf from couples who have walked the talk, lived in the test of times and still stand with their marriage vows. Are there any in the first place? Yes, I believe we still have some good souls left.
On the contrary, while it is good to listen and empathize, they should shun the advice and negative talk from those who have fallen victim or are paying a price for their wrong moves.
What do you think?
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If you are a recent Kenyan graduate or through with your coursework and waiting for graduation I must congratulate you for coming this far. It not only a privilege but an honor that you can be counted among University graduates in Kenya.
It is undeniable though, that many graduates feel not so confident about their hard-earned degrees because of the skyrocketing levels of unemployment in Kenya today. Of more concern is the fact our Universities are less focused on a learning system that encourage students to be researchers and entrepreneurs. Most of their learning systems are based on theory and lecture jargons at the expense of research-based learning that encourages students to be researchers, innovative and think out of the box.
Four years down the line, one comes out with a paper giving them the power to read and write and do what appertains to that particular BSc. or B.A degree but not so much to fit in a job marketplace. Many employers will confess that a particular candidate, though well-learned as their papers show, lack self-confidence, communicates poorly, has no career goals and cannot transform class learned material into real-life situations.
Such scenarios are not uncommon. It’s pathetic that a person with a low-level education such as Diploma but vast experience tends to have an upper hand when it comes to employment, compared to a recent graduate. This is not to say that graduates come out of college half-baked. Most employers usually look for the experience which the graduate may be lacking at that particular point in time. Unfortunately enough, the graduate is not equipped and groomed to venture into entrepreneurship. What transpires is several cases of a graduate moving from one office to the other with no possibility of finding employment.
A study reveals that it takes an average of 5 years for a graduate to get employed in Kenya. Recently, a job posting was circulated through social media and thousands must have been on it sending applications and hoping to get considered. Interestingly, enough, the post had been send and resend all over till I also resend it to a friend who had sent it earlier to me. That clearly tells you the job desperation that recent graduates are going through right now.
Here is the job posting that was circulated via WhatsApp
Currently, many graduates have resorted to online writing jobs as a way to cushion themselves from the biting unemployment levels. One such graduate was surprised to learn that she was a long time neighbor to another coursemate of hers who was living in the same neighborhood doing online jobs. Indeed, online writing jobs have become the order of the day as more and more unemployed youth continue to make a living through this new found oasis of online work.
Many seem to be doing well with online jobs, however, this should only be a means to an end. There is much you could still do online such as drop shipping, opening your own commercial blog or website, starting a freelance writing business or a blog on a particular niche.
According to Business Fundamentals, a book compiled by Global Text Project, if you think that you were not cut out to be an entrepreneur, you are wrong. Many were shunned and told they would amount to nothing but they went on to become very great entrepreneurs. To cut the story short, entrepreneurs are not born but made. The book mentions particular marks of an entrepreneur which sum up the mindset of an entrepreneur. These include:
- Vision: Ability to create and communicate an easily understandable mission for what your new venture does in order to successfully launch a new business. This is accomplished while inspiring others to join you in your new enterprise.
- Creativity: Ability to inject imagination and uniqueness into a new business venture. It takes skill and ingenuity to create a new venture equipped with strategies to outsmart the competition.
- Focus: Able to maintain the vision of the company with unwavering diligence. It’s very easy to get sidetracked especially if you find it necessary to evolve the original vision. Ironically, we have encountered many successful entrepreneurs who get bored easily.
- Passion: Desiring to succeed under your own steam [initiative] on a business venture.
- Drive: Possessing intrinsic energy to accomplish the business goal even in the face of adversity.
- Perseverance: Able to keep going even when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
- Opportunistic Nature sees the possibilities even before they exist. Can take advantage of an upcoming trend or unite unrelated processes to create a unique business venture.
- Problem Solving Ability: Thrives on coming up with solutions to complex challenges.
- Self-discipline: Able to be organized and regimented in pursuit of a successful business venture.
- Frugality: Knows how to stretch every cent so that expenditures are as low as possible.
- Empathy: Able to put yourself in another’s shoes and therefore able to show sensitivity and understanding of what others are communicating in the startup environment.
- Social Responsibility: Ethics, caring, and humanitarianism are characteristics that are commonly found in today’s entrepreneurs.
- Spirituality: We have found that successful entrepreneurs have often devoted time to spirituality development. Meditation and positive affirmations are two common examples of spirituality.
- Good Timing: Able to identify a market opportunity and know when it’s the optimum time to launch a new venture or expansion of an existing enterprise.
You are the only limit to what you can do. Sheryl Sandberg says it all in her quote that we hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.
With the current employment status in Kenya, Kenya needs visionary entrepreneurs who will rise up to the occasion and begins startups and ventures that will transform Kenya’s economic landscape thereby creating more jobs and making life economically better for Kenyans.
The subject of money is exciting at the same time strikes you with deep thoughts about your financial future.
In your 20’s life seems like a roller coaster where you want to live a carefree life, make merry and drink yourself silly. However, in your 30’s life ushers in a new set of responsibilities as you begin to settle into family life.
Some, realize late that at this stage the financial risks you take are more detrimental than when you could have taken them while in your 20’s and single.
Rather than wait for 40’s to catch up with you, there are simple measures that you can take that will guarantee you a financially secure 40. Read on to know them well.
#1. Save and Avoid Consumer Loans
Everyone wants to make their life better. However, this does not mean that you should borrow a loan to take your lifestyle to the next level. Unfortunately, many people get embroiled in consumer loans that make them poorer. Financial institutions are always willing and ready to give you their money anytime you qualify and need the money. Nevertheless, they are not going to be there for you when you are broke and cannot service your consumer debts.
To be on the safe side borrow money to invest. When your job still gives you the opportunity to borrow a loan, take advantage of the opportunity by putting your money into good investments that are worth your money and sacrifice. Again, ensure to save and invest first before putting all your money into your lifestyle expenses.
#2. Work Smarter
Working smarter is totally different from working harder. A person who works hard spends much more time to achieve the same results a smart worker achieves for a far less time.
There is no rocket science to this but the difference is that the smart worker has realized there is a way he can achieve much more in a far less time.
For example, an employee who sits at his office from 9-5 pm may be busy yet not making any progress. On the hand, an entrepreneur running his business could be making more money in a day for a lesser time compared to the office worker.
You need to think forward. What better ways could you use to solve problems today that were never used in the years before? For instance, if you run a company that needs collecting data, what are you better at using? Is it electronic data collection tools such as ODK and commcare or use of manuals like pen and paper to collect data.
What do you think are the resources that you could leverage on to make your life better? It could be money, time, experience or networks. Find it out.
#3. Have an additional Source of Income
If you are like James Mworia, the CEO of Centum Investments who rakes in Ksh 16.9 Million as his monthly salary, or Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom who takes home Ksh 10 Million per month you can as well focus on your job solely till retirement. If not, then consider having an additional source of income to supplement your main income. If you only depend on your main source of incoming for a living, then you could be brewing trouble in the future.
If you happen to lose your job, considering that you have a family to take care of, you might get stuck on how you will pay school fees for your kids besides servicing other loans. What is your passion? What skills do you have that you can put to good use for your business? It could be freelance writing, consultancy or blogging.
#4. Get Medical Cover
Well, just as it is said that Christ will come back as a thief so is sickness when it strikes. You are better off having a medical cover that can take care of you and your family in emergency situations.
Most people tend to rely on NHIF cards that are limited in terms of providing a comprehensive medical cover for their clients. Consider getting an additional medical cover that will cover you and your family sufficiently when dire situations come along.
Also, there are other insurance policies that you could look into such as life insurance, house insurance among others.
#5. Focus on Both Short-term and Long-term Investments
Some of the long term investments you could focus on include purchasing land or investing in government eleven-year bonds. However, as much as land increases in value over time, how are they going to help you acquire quick money when you need it most.
Rather than focus on accumulating properties all over, you could use your money to build systems and businesses that work for you even in your absence. As such, you can be sure of a constant stream of income even in your sleep.