How I made money while I slept

What would you have done with this moral dilemma?

It’s 6am one morning. While my first coffee is kicking in, I go online to read the news. This day, I also checked my bank balance.

I found a deposit there that wasn’t mine.

What should I do? Call the bank and ask them to remove it? Or stay schtum? What would you do?

Soon afterwards, the postman delivered a letter. It was my first ever royalty statement! An account of my earnings from the sales of my first book. And the statement amount matched the bank deposit.

Wow! I’d made money while I slept. The book I’d created had earned money for me.

It wasn’t a moral dilemma after all. It was a revelation. A profound business insight.

I’d condensed my knowledge into a book with its own earning power. I’d escaped from only selling my time. My mission to empower creative entrepreneurs had become scalable. I was helping MORE people with LESS effort.

It got better. Overseas publishers translated and published the book. (14 countries so far.) And each time I license my intellectual property to them I get a fee. It’s ‘money for nothing’!

Earlier, I made mistakes about licensing. An organisation paid me to write and deliver a training course. Then I realised that the training course wasn’t mine, it was my client’s. So every time I wanted to deliver “my” training course elsewhere, I had to ask their permission. That irritated me. I’d slipped up.

But soon after, I was smarter. An institution commissioned me to write a business guide for creative enterprises. They offered me a nice fee to write it for them. I said no. Instead, I’d write it for free, for myself, in my own time. Then I’d license it to them for the same fee.

“Er, OK then…” they responded, a bit bewildered. We signed a contract. They licensed my copyright for a year. Then they printed and distributed the publication. It was a success.

After a year they wanted to continue publishing it. I told them the contract had expired. “So what happens next?” they asked. “Well, you pay me another licensing fee,” I replied.

I got more money, for no extra work. Recurring income. From my creation. From my intellectual property.

This is just one of the many things I’ve learnt about the business of creativity.

I’ve been around a while and I’ve seen pretty much every problem a creative business owner can face.

Not only that, I’ve figured out the most efficient way to deal with each of those problems.

“It’s why my creative business clients called me ‘Dr David’.

Meaning – when you’ve got me in your corner, you can say ‘David, what should I do about this?’ and know you’re getting not only a fast answer – but the best possible answer too.

Or…you could just self-medicate and cross your fingers. It might work.