How do you create a passive income stream with little money? God-made millionaire and investor, Edwin Carrion is here to tell you. He joins host Victoria Wieck to define passive income streams and offer tips on the many ways you can start. You don’t need to have a million dollars to start investing. Tune in to get expert advice that will help boost your financial situation.
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How To Grow Your Money Through A Passive Income Stream With Edwin Carrion
I’m so excited to be here every week to bring you some amazing conversations with guests that are fabulous and address our needs, concerns and more than anything, hope for the future. Talking about hope for the future, one topic I hear from you from my workshops and speeches over and over again more than ever now after COVID is the idea of creating a sustainable passive income stream. Even if it’s not huge, it’s something that you can work toward.
I finally found a guest who knows how to do that and who has done that many times over. He also helped other people achieve their financial freedom by starting a small passive income strategy. Without further ado, I’m going to introduce you to our guest. His name is Edwin Carrion. Welcome to the show, Edwin.
Victoria, thank you for having me on the show and everybody, thank you. It’s a great show and you’re going to get a lot of golden nuggets.
First of all, if you haven’t subscribed to the show already, please do so. Also, please share my show with at least one other human being, so that we can amplify and elevate the expertise of every one of our guests who have put their heart and soul into what they do. Especially with Edwin, he’s an immigrant to this country. I am an immigrant myself and immigrant life isn’t easy, especially if you come here with no money.
Having done what he has done, he started his first company at age fourteen and served in the Marine Corps. Anything about Marine Corps, they’re very disciplined, honorable and honest. All those things come into play. These are the tools that I’ve used to build my business and these principles go a long way. Edwin, tell me a little bit about yourself and what you’re passionate about.
I am a loyal husband, a God-made millionaire, a United States Marine, a loving father of two beautiful girls, and that was my God-given dream as well, an investor and a mentor. I love teaching people and sharing my story of life to success in order to help other people become successful and live life to the fullest. That’s what Edwin Carrion is.
You’re preaching to the choir. My American dream was very small and simple. I wanted to be able to pay for my own apartment that I could rent, and be able to find money to pay for insurance on a car that I already owned. At that time, the whole car was $2,000. For those of us who do it and have found a systematic way to achieve our next measurable goal, we can’t wait to share the joy, knowledge and journey with somebody else who’s struggling. Am I saying that accurately?
Yes, extremely correct. The thing is, it’s good to share it, but it’s amazing when people take action on the things they hear on how you get to success. There have been many times when I share my stories or people ask me, “How do you do this? How do you become successful?” I teach them the step by step but then they don’t do anything about it.
Once you’re happy, you make everybody else happy.
We’re going to talk about that part about the action because that’s why this particular show exists. I had been interviewed on other podcasts and had been on numerous TV shows and everything. People tell you, “Your story is so inspiring and encouraging.” They walk away with these incredible aspirations and inspirations with them. If you don’t take any action, it dies. It is just inspiration. That’s it. It doesn’t transform your life or my life. The whole reason why I’m giving free speeches is so that it can transform their lives, so I can get some joy back. It doesn’t.
I talk about action all the time. It doesn’t have to be huge action. I’m not asking anybody to go to the bank, withdraw money, and invest in something new. We’re talking about small steps. Think about the one tiny little thing you can do today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, not when you find some time.
It’s important and you got to take that action today. It could be small little things. It could be setting aside an hour a day to research what you want to do. In my case, learning to speak English when I first came to America was a goal. I broke it down to I don’t have money. We didn’t have ESL classes or English as second language classes when I came.
My father had a dictionary because he didn’t speak English either. I looked at every word that was under five letters. My dad would circle it. I learned English to English translation. That was the only thing a thirteen-year-old could do, so you do it. Every day there’s something you could do to impact your life for the future.
Let’s get down to the meat of this whole interview. You’re very passionate about creating passive income and I love that. If you don’t understand the importance of passive income, it’s income that comes to you whether you’re sleeping or on the beach. Whether you’re having a good day or a bad hair day, it doesn’t matter. That income comes in whether you’re working or not.
It could be small but the problem is there was this perception that in order for you to create a passive income strategy or passive income of any kind, you have to start with a ton of money. You can take an example of you could put millions of dollars in the bank, the interest that comes is passive income. Now, interest is very low and most people don’t have enough money saved to make that interest a real income. If you don’t have a whole lot of money, what are some of the things that you know how to do? I know that you didn’t start with $10 million. How did you do it?
The first thing is taking that action. It goes back to what you were saying, you don’t have to have $1 million in the bank account. You don’t have to have $1 million to start creating passive income. You could start with $100. Passive income is free money or money that you don’t have to work for. The money works for you. As we work very hard for our money, it comes to a time that we have to let the money work for us. It starts at any age. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 18 years old or 50 years old, it’s never too late to start.
The first thing to do is open an investment account, then start putting $10 a week or $10 a month, whatever you could afford to lose that’s not going to hurt you that you’re putting aside. Eventually, you’re going to see those small little returns. When you start seeing those small returns, then you get hooked to it because you’re training your mind to start putting money away and to start having your money work for you. Eventually, you’ll see that money grow. You’re like, “I’m making $100 a month without having to do anything. This is good.”
When you train your mind and your mindset changes to passive income then you start looking for the opportunities. “I have $20,000 in the bank. Where can I put this money that somebody else is going to work for me and is going to give me passive income?” You then start investing. There are a lot of different forms of investment. There are syndication deals in real estate.
There are new ventures. Maybe a good friend of yours could be opening a brand-new business and tells you, “Why don’t you let me borrow some money? I’ll pay you high interest, more than what you’re going to get having that money sitting in the bank.” If you know he’s reliable, it has collateral and that money is secure, and you’re going to get a good return of interest, that’s called passive income. That’s how you start. Start very little.
My mother-in-law passed away. She was 100 years old. She lived a good quality life until the very last month or so. She lost her husband at age 53. She never remarried or anything like that. When she lost her husband, the family was pretty much bankrupt because, in those days, insurance didn’t cover a lot of things. It sucked up everything and she was a housewife. She never even learned how to drive. It was a very traditional marriage. She had to learn how to catch the bus. She educated herself and went through a school after several years became a school teacher at age 58 or so.
She passed away and I had no clue. She was a good saver. She put her money away, as you said, $100, $50. She never wasted money on a Starbucks or things like that. She saved all this money. When she passed away, her accountant informed us of her estate. It’s mind-boggling. It was over $1 million that the woman saved on a teacher’s income. It’s the power of how much the compound interest was paid in her case. We still have CDs that are coming due now long after she has been gone.
You start saving, that’s the first step. The second step is you’re going to start to invest little bits of money in places where you know who they are. You’re going to check out the investment opportunities. The mistake that a lot of people make is once they have a little money, they want to make that money quickly. They don’t vet the investment. They’re going to invest money in things that you don’t know much about.
They gamble. That’s what happens. It becomes a gambling game. You could gamble too because there are some times that I gamble. What I mean by gambling is when the big companies are on it or when everybody is on it, that was a time that I gambled because I know that I’m going to make a quick return on my investment. I’m either going to lose it all or I’m going to make it all. That’s when I jumped into it, but it was with money that I could afford to lose. I then have other money which is long-term. I’m always thinking long-term. When I talk about long-term, as you said with your grandmother, there are 10 to 20-year plans. The compound interest is amazing because it started growing so much little by little.
In our case, it was like $10 a week or something. That is crazy. Let’s go to another topic that you’re very passionate about. You and I share this a lot. I don’t know about your story specifically, but for mine, the idea that I wasn’t willing to give up my family life. I wasn’t willing to give up the quality of life that I’m giving to my children and parents.
When you are an entrepreneur, working by yourself with no outside money and you’re juggling 40 different things, somehow success comes at the price of family life. I tell people every week that that’s not true. It doesn’t have to be true unless you make it true. Tell me a little bit about how you’ve done that. People have heard until they’re blue in the face how I did it. What were some of the strategies you employed to make sure that your family didn’t suffer because you were chasing the dream?
Ninety percent of young entrepreneurs that get into business fail because they don’t have a business plan.
I was fortunate enough that I went bankrupt at 27 years old. I realized that I worked so much that I put everything away, everything that mattered to me, my religion, faith, family, friends and health, which are the most important things. To top it all off, I put aside my time. I went from 22 years old to 27 years old working all the time. That time that I lost, I was never able to get back because that’s the only commodity in life we can never get back. I learned that I need to have a balance in life. I need to live life to the fullest and enjoy every single day because we only have one day. When the day is gone, it’s gone. We cannot get that time back.
How do I balance my life and running multiple different companies? What I do is set priorities. My priorities are very simple. 9:00 to 5:00 is my free time. I get to work, have fun, and do the things that I want to do. That’s my set time. That’s my priority. After 5:00 PM, family time. Every Friday on the calendar is date night. Sundays, we go to church as a family. Saturday and Sunday, I spend time with the family.
We have to start setting those priorities straight. As business owners, we think that we have to work 12 to 13 hours a day and we don’t. Sometimes they come to the office and in two hours, I’m super productive and effective that I could take the rest of the day off and do the things that I love to do. There are times that I sit down in my office the whole eight hours and I don’t do anything. I sit here and I’m twiddling my thumbs trying to be productive. Those are the days that I don’t want to do anything.
If you set your priorities straight, that’s when you start having the balance in life. Make sure that you put the same priority on the same standards for your family, work and yourself because you have to be happy. When I’m happy, I make everybody else happy. I make my family, wife, kids, employees and everybody happy. I always tell people, “Be selfish. Make yourself happy first. Once you’re happy, you make everybody else happy.”
I’m glad you said that. Setting priorities is important. When I say set priorities, what are the most important things to you? That also includes some boundaries of things that you’re not willing to do. When I started my company, I didn’t have to make a whole lot of money. I just wanted to make $2,000 a month. What I wasn’t willing to do is work more than twenty hours a week because I was a full-time mom. I drove the kids to school. I organize and track all accounts, the soccer games and everything else. I was the mom who did all that.
I wanted to have a meaningful decent income, but I also had hours that I couldn’t work. It turns out that when you set those priorities straight, you become much more productive because you don’t have a whole lot of time. If you say, “I’m not working on weekends, evenings or at the crack of dawn. You find ways to be very efficient. You cut out the trips and the chit-chats. In my mind, you end up with better quality friends because you’re going to connect with only those friends that matter to you. At that point, you’re either giving up time at work or time with the family.
You end up with better quality customers because a lot of borderline customers, I wouldn’t take them. I wouldn’t call them. If they don’t pay me on time and if they are very needy and call me in all hours day or night, I’m like, “This customer isn’t worth it.” I look at my margin and I’m thinking to myself, “I’m not making any money and they happened to be the most needy and demanding. They don’t respect my employees or my time. You don’t get rid of them right away, but you try to get a better-quality customer to replace the one that is causing 90% of your agony for 10% of the volume.
You learned that quality over quantity.
What Edwin and I are saying is there are some entrepreneurs who will go and chase after every deal and customer at all hours of the day. If you do that, what happens is you are going to pay a price. That price could be your own health or the quality of the relationship you have with the people that are closest to you. You’re unhappy even though you’re making money, and then you start resenting yourself, “I’m doing everything for everybody else, my customers, employees, community and family, and I don’t have any time.” You end up justifying not going to church and not doing things because there’s a lot of stuff that happens.
A lot of people set priorities and they understand them. If you’re reading this and you’re like, “These people are making complete sense.” When it comes to doing it and implementing your priorities, there are seem to be a disconnect between what you know is right for you and what you are willing to do. I love that. There are four million people quitting their jobs every month. A lot of them have started their own businesses. How do I know that? It’s because of the census bureau. There are 700,000 patent applications by the American people at the USPTO. You can look at this.
There have been more applications for business licenses from 2020 to 2021 ever in our history. Those are the people that we know about. There are people that started a side hustle without even asking for a business license. What are some of the most common mistakes that you see that people are making at the startup phase of their business?
The biggest mistake that they make is they do not follow the business process. You mentioned that when you started your business, you knew what you wanted. You have clarity. You said, “I wanted to make $2,000 a month and that’s what I want.” You have your business. You have your address for your business. A lot of people go, “I want to get into business and I want to do this.” They jump right in without having a solid plan or an idea of what is it that they want. Ninety percent of young entrepreneurs or people that get into business fail because they don’t create a business plan.
To me, having a vision board in life is my business plan. In business, every time that I started something from scratch, “Here’s our business plan. This is who we are. That’s what our values are.” It goes back to what you’re saying. Your values were, “I’m not going to work more than twenty hours a week.” That’s a value. “I don’t want needy clients.” You knew what you want. You had clarity. Creating a business plan is important. Besides the business plan, the second thing that I always teach people is you need to have a business plan, and then you need to have a cashflow sheet.
You’re going to work backwards. You’re going to go from a macro to a micro-environment. Meaning if you want to make $120,000 a year, it’s going to tell you how much money you need to make per month or per day. It’s going to tell you how many clients you need per day. Ninety percent of people don’t do that and it’s so simple. That’s where they tend to fail or they stay being an employee for their business for the rest of their life.
That’s exactly true. If you have a vague goal like, “I’m going to start my business, spend more time with my family, and make a lot of money.” These are all vague words. What’s a lot of money? Is it $100 or $100 million? If you say, “I’m going to spend a lot of time with my family,” what’s a lot of time? For me, I was making more money as an employee. My rent was $1,000 at the time. I had a two-bedroom apartment. If I can make my rent and I can pay whatever I needed, I could have survived on $1,500 a month, but my whole month scenario is $2,000 a month.
How am I going to make the $2,000 a month? If I wanted to make $2,000 a month, what do I have to do to make the $2,000? I designed jewelry. I thought to myself, “If I sent 50 letters out every day to all the major department stores and I got 10% of those people back, and the average sale was $10,000, is it possible? What if my term is only 2%, can I make that number?” The answer was yes. It wasn’t a huge goal.
Everybody changes in life but not everyone improves. We have to continue improving in life. That’s what makes us better every time.
The other thing too is if I’m writing 50 letters a day because they are mostly form letters, I thought to myself, “That’s more than plenty.” If you look at right now and start a business with twenty hours a week and you were spending three hours on social media. Three hours a week is a lot of time for social media. Trust me. I could do it in 30 minutes to create a post and post it, three times a week.
Even with that, you should have a plan. I do Motivation Mondays and some quotes. On Wednesdays, I show people how to use the product. Fridays are fun Friday. You can do that. You could have it all done in three hours at eternity. If you’re writing emails to solicit, you want to do five hours, that’s eternity. If you’re sitting there doing that all day, it’s a lot of time.
If you’re doing an hour to two hours a day in follow up and that includes phone calls or follow-up emails, again, that’s plenty of time. Nobody is going to talk to you for an hour. It’s going to be a five-minute conversation with anybody. If you think about how you can run a business in twenty hours, that’s plenty of time.
If you got 25 hours, it’s more than enough because when you’re in a corporate world, you’re going to sessions and useless meetings. You’re being called to by your boss or some department that you probably didn’t even know existed and somehow, they needed your opinion. You’re going through all this crazy stuff that you’re not even doing. It’s breaking it down to bite-size information that you can act on. We’re not asking you to go out or hire an MBA to come up with one. This is a common-sense type thing.
When you and I started doing this years ago, we didn’t have all the resources that all these people have nowadays. They have so many resources. Life is so much simpler now. You go to YouTube, join a group, go to Facebook and Instagram, and you can find all these resources. We didn’t have that when we were starting. It was so much harder for us.
When I started back in ’89, we didn’t even have internet. I had to type it on an electric typewriter. People are telling me, “It was a different time back then.” Now, a small company could have the same resources for focus groups, testing your stuff, or getting opinions as any other big company. In the old days, people naturally gravitated to the known quantity and going to the biggest names. Now, Americans love the underdogs who are not perfect and try hard to help you. I feel like you do have everything in your hands now.
With all this connection that we have worldwide, the audience just got bigger. Our customer base got bigger. Before, we were restricted to that area. Growing up, I was restricted to only working in my area. Nowadays, it’s so amazing. You can be worldwide with no problem.
You can work at any hour of the day too. If you were to give young Edwin or somebody who’s 22 years old and starting out, what would that one advice be?
I will say keep doing everything that you have done. I will not change one thing in my life because if I would change one thing in my life, I don’t know how my life will be now. I love this life. I love what I have, where I am, and what I have been through. Everybody should be the same. We should not keep living with a victim mentality. We should become the victor. Those struggles made me who I am now. Everybody changes in life, but not everyone improves. We have to continue improving in life and that’s what makes us better every time.
Look for more information about Edwin and the amazing life that he has lived and is living because of some of the mistakes, misfortunes, and incredible struggles that he has gone through. He’s gone broke at age 27, which was a blessing. You don’t want to go broke at age 60, trust me. That’s pretty hard. You don’t get to have a do-over at age 60. You do and you don’t. At 27, your whole life is still ahead of you.
The moral of this story is to believe in yourself. Live the life you want to live from day one, not when you make it someday. The journey is important. Set your priorities straight and stick to them no matter what. You’re either going to succeed right there and then, or you’re going to have a detour of some sort like bankruptcy or setback. You’re going to be richer because you chose to use that experience to enrich your life for the future.
When you enrich your life, as Edwin said, you’re not only enriching your life. Even if you’re not doing it consciously, you are reaching everybody else’s life. Every business has suppliers, vendors, manufacturers, and somebody who’s going to benefit from the one business that succeeds. Keep that in mind. Check out his website, EdwinCarrion.com, and his social media, Facebook and Instagram are @EdwinCarrion78. Until next time, please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is your choice. I hope you make great choices. Thank you so much for coming by, Edwin. I enjoyed this interview.
Thank you, everybody. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there, so have a plan.
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About Edwin Carrion
Edwin Carrion is a God-made millionaire, family-oriented, investor, and mentor. Throughout his run, he has founded several multimillion-dollar companies that specialize in real estate development, transportation and logistics, investment, and business education and consulting.
Backed by 20 years of extensive experience in various industries, Edwin Carrion now shares his passion for entrepreneurship by mentoring others, since he realized most people don’t live a fulfilled life. Simply because people believe success comes at the cost of poor family life, unbalanced life, or compromising their values to achieve success.
Edwin guides people in the path to living life to the fullest, by having balance in all areas. Edwin says, “I am here to share knowledge with aspiring entrepreneurs and to address the problems by sharing what I know and learned from experiences.”