The “Toll Position”

Back when I had a “great job” working in the audit department of a large public accounting firm, one of my clients was located in Youngstown, Ohio. This client’s year-end was March 31st for accounting purposes. This meant that I had to spend every April, May and June in Youngstown to perform the annual audit of their financial statements.

Their offices were 90-minutes from Cleveland and they wouldn’t agree to pay for us to stay at a hotel in Youngstown during the audit, so we had to commute every day. Commuting meant an hour and a half drive to work AND an hour and a half drive home from work Monday through Friday.

For three months, we would leave at 6:30 am to get to their office by 8:00 am. We would work 9 or 10 hours and then would make the hour and a half drive home. I would usually get home between 8 and 9 pm.

Even though I would come each night, I didn’t really see my wife until the weekends. I think the hardest part of this situation was that I completely missed the spring season, which we truly appreciate here in Ohio. Northeast, Ohio is ugly, cold and gray from November until March. Spring is a big deal and I spent my springs in a car, or an office in Youngstown.

During these long commutes, my co-workers and I would get into interesting conversations. One of our old-stand by arguments surrounded what each of us thought was the worst job someone could have. (Maybe, we came back to this argument frequently because we were very unhappy with our jobs?)

One morning after paying the toll to get on the Ohio turnpike, I said, “After thinking about things more, I think tollbooth workers have the worst jobs in the world.”

A co-worker questioned this by saying, “How hard could it be? It’s a piece of cake job.” My position was that it really wasn’t the difficulty of the job that made it a bad job.

It was more about how much the job drained your life? How much the job sucked your energy and your passion? How badly you hated Sunday nights because the dreaded workweek was about to start the next morning.

I said, “What do these employees see all day? Cars, trucks, and cranky people. They have to breath in exhaust fumes all day. They work in a TINY BOX. They are literally trapped in a small prison and they’re forced to watch life pass by every day, month after month, year after year.”

After a few minutes of making my case that working in a tollbooth was one of the worst jobs in the world, we started asking each other how much money it would take to agree to work in a tollbooth?

“Would you work in a tollbooth, if you got paid $100,000 a year? No way! How about $250,000 a year?” Um… maybe.”

It’s an interesting question, because it forces you to put a price on your life.

Before we go on, how much would it take for YOU to work in a tollbooth? Seriously think about it.

Throughout all of these dumb arguments, each of us knew we were working in our own miserable tollbooths. We were doing work we didn’t enjoy for a lot less than what we said we would need to get paid to actually work in a tollbooth.

Sitting here today, I’m amazed at how life changing this one conversation was for me. It was this one conversation that helped me see how much I absolutely hated my job. It helped me see, that at the time, I had agreed to trade my life away for $50k a year. It also helped me to understand that the price I had established for the value of my life was far too low.

It was also this same tollbooth conversation that indirectly led me on my journey to financial freedom.

After agreeing that a tollbooth operator had a pretty miserable job, I joked… “I would rather own a toll road than work in a tollbooth.” This comment led to a new geeky accounting conversation where we tried to estimate how much money the state collected in tolls each day. If I remember correctly, we had to pay around $8.00 in total for our daily turnpike commute. We started running the numbers and were shocked at how profitable toll roads really were. Toll roads are very profitable businesses!

Why am I sharing all of this you might wonder?

Well, as I’ve come to learn, we can use the “toll position” to escape our life draining jobs. Jobs we hate. We can also use the “toll position” to achieve financial freedom.

Harvey Brody is an entrepreneur who amassed significant wealth using what he refers to as the “Toll Position.” Here’s what he said…

“Yes, it was precisely at that time that I came up with what I called the “Toll Position” concept, which relates to the fact that a person can own, or in some cases a person can merely control in an ongoing manner, but not actually own, a product or concept that will enable that person to continuously earn an enormous amount of cash money, day after day, year after year, and decade after decade, without every being “flipped”… or what some people call “being by-passed!”

“In that way, cash money keeps getting “delivered” to the person in question, because he or she is in the same position as a person who privately owns the only bridge between two large cities, so that the people who desire to use such a bridge will need to pay a toll (or a fee) to the owner of the bridge, in order to be able to use it … period and end of story!”

Proprietary ownership and/or control of a product, a concept, real estate, a patent, a trademark, a chemical formula, or many other kinds of valuable entities, can all be used as a starting “Toll-Position” in order to earn and bank truly huge amounts of cash money in an ongoing continuous manner, for an entire career and lifetime!”

Harvey Brody was the inventor of several products. One of the products he used to personally move into the “Toll Position” was something he named “Zoom-Spout(R).” This product allowed the user to pour oil into small hard to get spaces. Brody ended up subcontracting and licensing the product all of over the world. He got paid very month without having to touch the product.

“The orders that I receive arrive via email, fax, the mail, etc., the oilers are all processed and shipped for me by my subcontractors and licensees… and I get paid in a tangible cash-in-the-bank manner.”

In other words, he collected a portion from every sale just like a tollbooth operator collects a portion from every vehicle that passes through.

A “Toll Position” is basically a scenario where we get paid multiple times for our work. Brody worked to create a product and then he got paid over and over again for this work.

And truth-be-told, this is the secret to how to achieve financial freedom. To arrange one or more scenarios where you’re receiving ongoing future checks for prior work and I’ve been trying to create these scenarios for the last 20 years.

Around the time of this tollbooth conversation with my co-workers, I had finally realized that I would work for a week and then I would get a paycheck. To get another paycheck, I had to work another week. It really felt like I was on a never-ending hamster wheel without the ability to get off.

Worky get checky!
No worky, no checky.

My dog gets a treat when she does what I ask her to do. When I would go to work, I would get a treat (paycheck) because I did what I was asked to do, too.

“Who is a good boy? Rob is a good boy! Rob gets a treat! Good boy, Rob!”

Due to my frustration with working like a dog, literally, I decided to invest in rental real estate. My plan was to acquire an asset that would provide monthly income that didn’t require my labor. I wanted to get paid at my corporate job AND from my rental real estate. This way I would be getting paid twice each month.

Rental real estate offers us the ability to be in the “toll position.” We work once to buy the home and then we get paid every month going forward.

I ended up buying several rental properties while working my full-time job. I was getting paid multiple times each month. Each rental property increased my “toll position” further.

Life was getting better.

One thing led to another and I ended up becoming a real estate agent helping others invest in real estate. I started helping others move into the “toll position”, which is incredible. I loved real estate. I loved finding deals and analyzing the numbers. I absolutely hated my full-time accounting job even though I was on the “coveted” partner track.

I finally took the big leap and became a full-time real estate agent working for a small brokerage. Guess what happened?

The exact same paycheck situation. I would sell a home and earn a commission check. This commission check would quickly be consumed by our mortgage payments, car payments, utilities, taxes and all the other expenses of life. The only way I would get another commission check was to… go sell another home.

Saley -> Get Checky
No Saley -> No Checky 

So I continued to invest in rental real estate trying to create a scenario where I would get paid multiple times whether I worked or not. I would work to acquire an investment property and then I would get every month going forward this work.

My next attempt to arrange a new “toll position” was to start my own real estate brokerage. I realized that I could hire real estate agents to sell homes for the brokerage. When they sold a home, I would earn a portion of their commission checks. Their individual home sales didn’t require my labor. Owning a real estate brokerage was a “toll position” opportunity, so I jumped in full force.

My thinking was if I had 5 agents who sold 10 homes a year, I would collect a portion of 50 commission checks. None of these sales would require my labor. My labor would be hiring and training the agent. If I did my work properly, I would set myself up for many future checks and I would own a very valuable “toll position” business.

This actually worked very well!

Slowly but surely, I built this company up from zero sales to three hundred annual sales. I hired some amazing agents and taught them how to add value and sell a lot of homes. My agents were averaging 7 to 8 monthly sales each and every month.

My company, which I owned 100%, was generating $1,400,000 in revenue and I wasn’t selling any homes myself. I finally escaped the work-> check hamster wheel.

At the time, a significant portion of my net worth was tied up in this company. To unlock this wealth, I decided to sell my “toll position” company. I sold my company for seven figures in 2007 right before the BIG real estate crash.

Instead of getting one big check, I decided to finance a large portion of the sale so that I could get dozens and dozens of future monthly checks. Work once to build a company and then get paid every month for years when selling the company.

My mission has always been to try and turn one check into multiple checks. I do not like being on the hamster wheel. I do not like only getting one treat when I’m a good boy! I want the entire box of treats delivered on a consistent basis!

Soon after selling the business, the real estate market crashed. The buyer of my business couldn’t make the payments for the business purchase. My home run “toll position” quickly disappeared.

This taught me a very valuable lesson about the “toll position.”

The lesson is to never arrange your “toll position” around a single vehicle. The most profitable toll roads collect a small fee from many passing vehicles. Prior to selling my real estate brokerage, my toll road had several real estate agents and hundreds of clients. In other words, I collected a small fee from several cars.  After selling my real estate brokerage, my toll road had one person… the buyer of my business. When this single vehicle broke down, my “toll position” ended.

Truth be told, my entire focus when working is to build various “toll positions.” You’ll see this idea in everything I do. You’ll see this idea in every investment I make and in every business I start.

Right now, I’m rolling up my sleeves on a new toll position business. I’m fired up on this opportunity and it will be my ONE Thing going forward. The reason why is because I believe it will be more profitable than my real estate brokerage.

If you’re in real estate sales and sell a minimum of 12 homes a year, I can help you build your own toll road where you benefit from the “toll position.” Plus, I’ll help you double your sales in 2018, too!

If you’d like to learn more about this real estate “toll position” opportunity, enter your email below and I’ll send you more details:

Yes, I'm Interested In Learning More About The "Toll Position" Opportunity!

If you sell a minimum of 12 homes a year, enter your email address below and I’ll send you more information on how we can partner to build your “toll position” business!

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To be clear, we have two basic “toll position” opportunities:

1. We can invest into assets that have built in “toll positions.” Rental real estate is an excellent example of a “toll position” investment.

2. We can buy, create, or control “toll position” businesses. Owning a real estate brokerage is an excellent example of a “toll position” business.

We can, and should, combine these two strategies by creating a “toll position” business and then using the cashflow from the business to acquire “toll position” investments.

This combination allows you to compound “toll position” opportunities. In fact, this is how it has looked for me over the years:

Pay Check -> Rental Real Estate

* Used income from a “non-toll position” job to acquire “toll position” assets.

Commission Check -> Rental Real Estate, Rental Real Estate, Manufactured Home

* Used commissions earned on real estate sales (another “non-toll position” job) to acquire more “toll position” assets.

Commission Check -> Real Estate Brokerage, Rental Real Estate, Rental Real Estate, Manufactured Home, Manufactured Home

* Used commissions earned on personal sales (“non-toll position”) to start my own “toll position” business.

Real Estate Brokerage -> Commissions Earned Through Agents, Rental Real Estate, Rental Real Estate, Manufactured Home, Manufactured Home, Membership Income

* Used income from my “toll position” business to acquire a large portfolio of “toll position” assets.

Today, I avoid opportunities that do not include some kind of “toll position.” These are opportunities where you only get paid once for the work you perform. When you really stop and think about this, you’ll see that “toll position” opportunities make your future easier. This is obviously not the case with “non-toll position” opportunities where you have to continue working to get paid.

Although my daily 3-hour commute was miserable, it was probably the most important client I had when I worked for the accounting firm. It helped me to see the value of my life.

Remember, if you’re in real estate and would like to possibly partner with me in a new “toll position” opportunity, opt-in below and I’ll send you more information.

Yes, I'm Interested in Learning More About The "Toll Position" Opportunity!

If you sell a minimum of 12 homes a year enter your email below and I’ll send you more information on how we can partner to build your “toll position!”

We value your privacy and would never spam you





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