What Is Passive Income? Explaining The Term For Newbies

Have you ever heard of the phrase passive income? What is passive income anyway? Maybe you have. Perhaps you even know what it is. Most think of it as a pipe dream, though — something most bloggers, entrepreneurs, and business-owners strive to achieve. However, it’s not reserved just for the few who hit it big in this world.

Passive income is a type of income that does not require active work

Passive income is a term that is thrown around a lot in the personal finance community. It’s not just a buzzword, though — it can be a very real way to make money online.

Passive income is money that you earn without having to work for it. With passive income sources, you’re making money while you sleep or after your workday ends. The idea of passive income is that you build something up once and then it runs on autopilot. Your time, labor, and expertise are used once to install passive income streams that generate money over long periods of time.

You could work for 40 hours a week or 50 weeks out of the year, and still end up with zero passive income. Passive income is all about building up the money you make without having to actually work for it.

For example, this blog takes me a lot of effort to write. However, one day I could be making passive income from advertisements on popular posts or affiliate links strategically placed.

Like this affiliate link here for TubeBuddy if you’re building a YouTube channel:

https://www.tubebuddy.com/Tracydeetips

There are many benefits to passive income

There are many benefits to passive income. The most obvious benefit is the lack of labor involved in its generation. You don’t have to work at your job to make money from it; you simply invest your money into a passive income stream and let it do all the work for you!

Another benefit is that you can spend more time with family or doing whatever else makes you happy. In fact, one of the biggest reasons people choose to invest in passive income streams is so they can spend more time with their loved ones while still making money!

Passive income is also great because it allows you to accumulate wealth over time without having to work at all! This is especially true if you’re using a long-term strategy (such as real estate investing) rather than short-term strategies (like trading stocks).

what is passive income
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Passive income is often created by making an investment

What is passive income and how do you create it? Passive income is often created by making an investment. When you make an investment, you’re hoping the value of that investment will increase over time. It could be an investment into a tangible thing or investment in your time at the start.

Let’s say you buy some stock in a company that you think will grow over time. If it does, then when you sell that stock, you can pay off your original investment and then some — creating passive income for yourself.

Or maybe you buy a rental property and rent it out to tenants every month. If the rent is more than what it costs to own and maintain the property, then that’s considered passive income.

But passive income can also be earned in other ways — by selling your own products or services online, for example. The more time and effort you put into building passive income streams, the more money you’ll make from them over time.

What is passive income and is it for me?

In the end, passive income is still a bit of a niche subject. It’s not something that most people are going to be familiar with in the beginning, and it can be easily misunderstood as well.

The best thing you can do is educate yourself on it, look for examples of it as you encounter them, and determine for yourself whether or not passive income is for you. You may find that it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

Personally, I’m trying to learn as much as possible about ways to make money in my sleep! Even if it requires a bit of investment with my time up front.

How To Improve Your Creative Brainpower By Reclaiming Deep Work Time

On one of my favorite podcasts, Hidden Brain, a recent episode discussed how we are constantly distracted. And these constant distractions negatively impact our ability to engage in deep work.

Check out my other podcast recommendations for learning!

I actually wrote another blog post inspired by an earlier interview from a different podcast (The Next Big Idea) with Cal Newport. In that interview, they specifically focused on the distractions of email and its important on deep work.

According to computer scientist, Cal Newport, “Deep Work” is a skill worth cultivating because very few people are doing it anymore. Deep work is what allows us to engage with our creative side and truly immerse ourselves in a project or activity. When we are constantly checking phones, responding to emails, or social media notifications, we cannot focus on tasks that take more brainpower.

I think this is why sites like focusmate have become popular.

So what are some things we can do to engage in more deep work?

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How to reclaim your deep work time

Cal Newport says that deep work is a skill that will become more and more valuable by the day. This is especially true for those in the creative industry where ideas are your currency.

To achieve deep work you need to have a long stretch of time that’s free of distractions and obligations. The first step to reclaiming this time is to schedule it into your calendar just like any other meeting or appointment. Make sure you schedule this time at least a few days in advance so it doesn’t get bumped.

Once you’ve scheduled your deep work time, you’ll need to make sure you protect it by setting ground rules with yourself and others. These rules should be simple and actionable and help you avoid distractions during this time.

Some good rules might include not checking email or social media during your deep work session. Or, not responding to texts or calls unless they’re from an emergency contact. Whatever works best for you!

Let people know you’re unavailable during those hours

To reclaim deep work time, you need to let people know that you’ll be unavailable. This can be difficult for some people, especially if you’re a natural people-pleaser. You might worry about what it will look like if you turn down an invite to lunch or don’t immediately reply to emails. But the fact of the matter is that your work is more important than any of those things.

When someone asks me to do something during my deep work hours and I have to turn them down, I explain why I’m doing so. I say something like this: “I’m unavailable from 8 a.m. – noon on Friday mornings because those are my deep work hours. If the request can wait until the afternoon on Friday, I’d love to help out. Otherwise, would another day/time be better?” This way they understand what’s happening and they know they can reach out again later or at another time if they need me.

The key is to never apologize for your deep work time with phrases like “Sorry I didn’t respond earlier” or “Sorry I couldn’t make it.” These phrases make it sound like you’re apologizing for being unavailable. In reality, you’re apologizing for not answering their request right away—a totally different thing!

Put boundaries on your work environment

Many people have trouble staying focused on the task at hand. They get distracted by emails, phone calls, and other notifications.

The problem is that our brains are hardwired to seek out new information and experiences. This is especially true when we’re bored. This tendency is strong enough that it can even lead to anxiety if you don’t give your brain something to do.

But how can you focus on your work when so many distractions are trying to pull you away?

Put boundaries on your work environment. If you work from home or in an open-office plan, you may find it difficult to concentrate on your tasks because of interruptions from colleagues or neighbors. To block out distractions, close off parts of your home or office with a “do not disturb” sign. You can even use curtains or headphones while at home. You can also try using an app like Freedom or Self Control that blocks websites for a set amount of time (for example, 30 minutes).

Create an environment that promotes deep thinking. In order to get into a state of flow where deep thinking happens naturally, it’s important to create a physical space conducive to getting lost in thought.

Turn off all electronics and distractions

A few years ago, I was at my desk working on a particularly difficult problem. But, in the background, I had my email browser up and a notification popped through.

I realized that this was not the first time this had happened. Once I answered one email another would inevitably come through that needed my attention. So, to truly engage in deep work, email cannot be easily accessible.

The solution is simple: Turn off all electronics and distractions when you need to focus on deep work. This means turning off your phone (or switching it to airplane mode), putting away your laptop, and closing your browser tabs — everything except what you need to do your work uninterruptedly for the amount of time you’ve scheduled.

Takeaway: Show yourself you value your deep work time by creating strategies to maximize your focus!

Why I’m Teaching Myself How to Invest NOW

For all of my life, my mindset approaching money has been from a lack mindset. Learning how to invest was never a priority. The common phrases I am used to are:

“We can’t afford that.”

“It’s too expensive.”

“Don’t waste your money.”

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Yet, at the same time charging things on credit cards was completely normal. Especially to have experiences. And for that, I am extremely grateful. I had the opportunity to do some amazing things in my childhood that instilled a love of travel in me even now.

But…

The decision to go to college and take out student loans is a huge part of my existence now even if I try to pretend they’re not there. I won’t be truly debt free until they are gone.

I wish I would have learned about investing sooner. I remember in 7th grade, we played a stock market game that was really fun. However, much of what I heard about it was that it was risky. And it’s for the wealthy people.

how to invest
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Now…

With the invention of YouTube, TikTok, SkillShare, and Coursera, just to name a few, there are more places than ever to teach yourself what you want to know.

And now, I want to know how to invest. I keep hearing about crypocurrencies, NFT’s, and just general bull and bear stock stuff. And I want to be able to understand it and make smart decisions that could set me up for a successful financial future.

A few months ago, I joined Motley Fool. While they send out way too many emails trying to get you to buy other products, I find much of the information useful in learning how to invest.

The reality is that it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It takes patience and long-term commitment to riding out the ups and downs of the market overall.

So, what have I been doing?

For the last year, I’ve been taking the stock recommendations from Motley Fool and other sources to build my portfolio. I follow money Tik Toker’s and YouTuber’s who share practical advice and tips for beginners.

I am building my portfolio by using Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). Some of my stocks I bought at high prices at the beginning of 2021. Ever since, I have been investing $10-$25 per stock as the prices fluctuate. Hopefully, in the long term this will result in gains as my central price point takes into account the highs and lows.

Now, I still have so much to learn. And I’m eager to keep learning more about investing so that I can travel the world and work from anywhere. This is just one stream of passive income out of many that I plan to develop.

Subscribe to follow my journey and I’ll be sure to share any tips I learn along the way!

The Power of 22: Affirmations For a Positive 2022

I am writing this on February 22, 2022 (02-22-2022). This is an especially powerful date because it is a mirror number. What you send out into the universe is sent back to you. I truly believe this is an opportunity to manifest, reflect, and create the life that you want.

How powerful is the number 22?

22 has always had a special meaning for me because it is my birthday. Whenever I see the number 22, I get a feeling that all is well. And I feel fortunate because this is one of the most powerful numbers.

This number is associated with achieving your greatest aspirations. So don’t shy away when you see it. Embrace it and use it.

I decided to write down 22 affirmations for the day. I encourage you to do the same.

22 Affirmations for a Positive 2022

1. My life is full of abundance and prosperity.

2. I welcome new opportunities to bring me joy.

3. I am whole and complete just as I am.

4. My body, mind, and spirit are healthy and in alignment.

5. I am filled with gratitude for the amazing things in my life.

6. Today I commit to living the life of my dreams

7. My body is capable of immense strength.

8. I am surrounded by loving and kind people who support my journey.

9. My thankfulness for all that I have overflows every time I wake up.

10. Money flows easily into my life in unexpected ways.

11. I deserve abundance in every aspect of my life.

12. My dreams and goals are easily within my reach.

13. My goal is to be better than the day before.

14. My capacity to learn new things is endless.

15. I accept peace into my life.

16. I will be kind to myself even when times are tough.

17. I give myself permission to be happy and excited by life.

18. I deserve to be the healthiest and happiest version of myself.

19. My immediate response is peace and joy when I wake up each morning.

20. I will call on inner strength in times of challenge.

21. The past shows that I can overcome anything and I will handle the future as well.

22. My support system is strong and loving.

Value Your Time Like Currency

You need to value your time like currency. I don’t believe we all have the same number of hours in a day. Everyone has different life circumstances and competing demands on their time.

One Harvard research professor, Dr. Ashley Whillans, noted that the majority of Americans feel “time poor“, where they don’t have enough time to complete all responsibilities.

Recently, I was talking to a friend who turned down a job offer, even though the pay was slightly higher. Why? Well, her current role allows for so much flexibility in working hours, that any small pay increase wasn’t worth compromising that flexibility. And what does time allow her to do? She can adjust her schedule around her daughter’s needs for school and homework. She can take a break in the middle of the day to go to the gym.

What is time affluence?

value your time
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So what exactly is time affluence, anyway? I first learned about this term a couple of summers ago when I took a free course online through Coursera: The Science of Well-Being. Professor Laurie Santos explains that we often pair the term affluence with money or wealth, but time is just as valuable. The reason she discusses this is to open our eyes to whether we should be focusing more on valuing time over money to increase happiness.

I highly recommend taking this course (if you have the time) and learning more about how you can become happier and value your time. With more time, we can spend more time with the people we care about, travel or focus on hobbies, and generally have fun and enjoy life.

How do I view my time?

Personally, it’s hard to always prioritize my time when the stress of bills piles on. So, I think people who have the luxury of choosing time over money all the time are in a different category. While we all have control over our schedules, sometimes survival mode kicks in and you have to do what you have to do to make the money.

I think some of my issues around time and money stem from limiting beliefs. Several months back, I wrote about the debate in my time of whether I should get a full-time job or keep pushing on my blog endeavors, which isn’t an immediate money maker. I REALLY want this to be a successful journey, but sometimes negative thoughts creep in and I doubt myself.

My main focus now is thinking of my time like currency. And currency can buy wants, necessities, and leisure. So I hope I can focus on ways to generate passive income, work from home, and free up as much time as possible to do the things in life that I enjoy! So maybe this is your sign to value your time like currency as well!

Goals for Year 2 of My Blog

First of all, if you started following along since the beginning of this blogventure or joined at any point along the way, many thanks and appreciation to you. I wrote my first post in February 2021 and I published 100 posts by January 1st, 2022. Thanks to my friend for guest writing Dear 2022 and my last push to get out 5 things to focus on for the new year:

  1. Time management
  2. Self-Love
  3. Learning a new skill
  4. Reflection and gratitude
  5. Building healthy relationships

The year was full of learning curves as well as inspiration striking at strange times. Through all my research I know I am supposed to “niche down”, but I am still writing posts that are a bit all over the place. Right now I have 25 posts in draft mode with random ideas I have had about topics I’m interested in writing about. So far, my strategy works well, albeit a bit inconsistent (even though I wrote about how consistency is important).

So what’s next for me?

The first thing I need to define is my goals. What are my top goals for year 2 of the blog?

  1. Continue to share content and write about the things that interest me
  2. Grow my blog to 10,000 monthly page views by learning marketing strategies and search engine optimization (SEO).
  3. Start earning money so that I can turn this into a full-time gig at some point in the next few years
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Now, how do I reach these goals?

Before I get too far into new content (which I will definitely keep putting out there), I need to go back through old posts. This is important to do because I have added many new posts that could be linked to older topics. Internal linking is something that is helpful for SEO.

I also plan to take an SEO course, either a free one I can find or pay for one that is highly recommended in the blogging community.

One of the tools I’ve been using for marketing is Tailwind App. I will continue to utilize this tool to create pins on Pinterest and easy to use visuals to share.

I think one opportunity to grow the blog that I need to utilize a bit more is the power of LinkedIn. As someone who enjoys talking about productivity and time management, I believe there is a strong market of people who may be interested in what I’m writing.

Affiliate Marketing

One of the easiest ways to earn money on blogs besides advertisements is through affiliate marketing. I already joined the Amazon affiliate program and regularly suggest products I like.

Because I also have a growing following on Tik Tok, I am eligible to apply for other affiliate programs. Recently, I applied for my favorite iPad accessory, the PaperLike screen protector. Anyone can join, but if you have 5000 followers or more, you can request a free item to try.

Another lesson I learned was to add legal pages to my blog. I didn’t realize initially that I needed them, but if I’m going to continue to grow this as a business then it’s a must-have. So if you are in need of some as well, I recommend the Legal Bundle from A Self Guru. And now, I’m part of the affiliate program for them as well.

Final Thoughts for Today

There is so much to learn about blogging and I’m ready to tackle the next steps and reach these goals! You might see some changes in design or advertisements and upgrades to some old posts. Thanks again for reading and the support!

5 Things to Focus on in the New Year: Reflection and Gratitude

This is part 4 in a 5 part series of posts. The first 3 parts were time management, self-love, and learning a new skill. As we move into 2022, it almost feels unreal that it’s been almost 2 years of living through a pandemic. While the time dragged, it also flew.

So the 4th thing I’m going to focus on for the new year is reflection and gratitude. These could possibly be two separate posts, but for me, they are often combined actions. So here we go.

Why should we give gratitude?

Gratitude is an important action in our individual journies to happiness. According to Merriam-Webster, gratitude means a feeling of appreciation or thanks. Many research studies explore the topic of gratitude in relation to happiness and motivation. Expressing gratitude can lead to being happier, higher motivation levels in yourself and people around you, and better sleep. Overall, being grateful can help increase your mood and general sentiments of positive well-being.

thank you signage
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Integrating Gratitude and Reflection

There are many ways you can incorporate gratitude into your daily life. For me, I like to write down a few things in my notebook either first thing in the morning or before I go to sleep. It is also part of my affirmations practice because it is important to be thankful for what you have when you are trying to manifest the things you want.

One new digital app I am utilizing this year is called Notion. In it, you can create templates to organize your life. I have a daily journal section. In this section, I will write my gratitude list and reflect on my day. The great thing about writing down reflections is that it allows you to see where you want to change. Or, it shows you the good things you have so you can appreciate them more.

Wherever you are in this process of gratitude and reflection, I encourage you to explore ways of being thankful and sharing your appreciation with others.

5 Things to Focus on in the New Year: Self-Love

This is part 2 in a 5 part series. Well, part 1 focused on time management and part 2 is focusing on self-love. As I looked back through my blog posts for the year, I realized I talked about self-care and building confidence, but I’m not sure I touched on self-love and acceptance. Perhaps it’s because it’s still an area of improvement in my life. Something that doesn’t quite feel like I fully made it there yet.

But isn’t the journey more important than the destination?

So what if I never get to 100% self-love and acceptance? That would be amazing and maybe I will, but figuring it out is just as important. Because if I’m always focusing on how I’m going to feel when I fully love and accept every piece of myself, then I can’t focus on fully loving who I am in this particular moment.

I always want to improve and become a better version of myself. We should strive to improve and grow as individuals to better for ourselves and the people around us. Ironically, putting myself out here into the digital world is helping me reach a more accepting and loving view of myself. My confidence is growing and I am realizing more and more each day that there is only one me in this world.

Goals for the New Year

  1. Start each day by looking in the mirror and saying one thing I love about myself
  2. Continue to say and write affirmations on a daily basis
  3. Reduce automatic negative thought patterns
  4. If someone gives me a compliment, accept it and do NOT downplay it
  5. Continuing aligning physical health and mental health

This is not a linear process, but it is a process that needs to happen. I encourage you to embark on your own self-love and acceptance journey!

Dear 2022, We need to have a word

Guest Post by Lauryn Woodman
Guest Post by Lauryn Woodman

Instructional Designer, Educator, Accessibility Advocate

Well, that happened. I think we can all agree that 2021 was kind of a whirlwind. In any event, whatever it was for you, it’s over now. With the end of a year comes closure, reflection, excitement, and hopefully some semblance of focus and vision.

What do you want to do in this year ahead? Who do you want to be? In a perfect world? Well, what would that perfect world be? What would it look like?

What went right or wrong in 2021? And how can you make sure that 2022 brings you positivity, peace, and happiness?

I don’t love the idea of New Year’s resolutions. I never set them, and even in the past when I had I always failed almost instantly. What I’ve started doing over the past few years is setting a word of intention. Something to focus on. Something to ground me. Something to bring me back to my purpose, to keep me going through the year.

After the torment that was 2020, that saw so much loss and so much pain, I chose to focus on the word peace for the first six months of 2021. I sought peace in every aspect of my life, in all my interactions. I thought hard about my situation, my relationships, and evaluated if they were bringing me the peace that I wanted and needed. Weirdly (or perhaps intuitively), as I started to embrace peace, and started to turn away from the things that didn’t bring me that peace, I found it and I found myself at ease. Peaceful.

And so having made it to the mountaintop by midway through 2021, I decided to choose another word, and that word was free. I had found peace but I still felt caged and restricted. A lot of that was having a job that was no longer serving me or my purpose and feeling really uninspired. I wanted to break free. There were also a lot of relationships that I felt trapped in. I was “keeping the peace” but I wasn’t free to be myself.

Finding myself and remembering who I was, and learning to manage those relationships played a key role in helping me feel free. By the end of 2021, I had a new job that valued and inspired me. I have some new and different and stronger relationships with people who support me and my freedom and my peace. And the year ahead looks really bright. There’s a lot of opportunities. And when I look back to a year ago, my life on the surface might seem similar but it feels so different because I have peace and I have freedom.

As we approach 2022, I challenge you to take a look at your life. Think hard about what it is you want. Who you want to be, how you want to live, how you want to feel. Then choose a word to focus on as you move forward into 2022. I find that focusing on a feeling is much more profound than focusing on something tangible. You might think that you want more money, but why? What’s the goal? Do you want to be able to provide? Do you want to feel fulfilled? Do you want the freedom that comes with more money? We should be chasing those feelings rather than their tangible outcomes. If you seek fulfillment in the feeling, no matter what the tangible outcome is, you’ll feel fulfilled.

So what will your word be?

A New Year: A Good Time For Reflection

I’m finding myself in an even more reflective mood than usual. Perhaps it’s because I’m living in a new country right now. Or, perhaps it’s living under another year of Covid and restrictions. Whatever the reason, I thought I would share some of my biggest personal reflections. Maybe you can relate to some of them. Or, maybe it will be a starting point to your own personal reflections on the past year.

So I thought I would frame my reflection through questions to myself. I encourage you to take the questions and think about how you would respond.

What “stuff” do I really need?

I moved to Norway with only two suitcases and a backpack. The year before that, I moved back in with my parents while I waited for the green light to go to Norway. So, I have a whole apartment’s worth of boxes and furniture sitting in storage in the U.S. right now. Granted, the apartment in Norway came furnished so I didn’t have to buy much when I got here.

However, the past two years have made me really think about the “stuff” I have. Some of it is sentimental, but much of it is probably things I don’t actually need. And now I’m considering staying in Europe for another year (country TBD). I’ll have to also revisit the selling my car debate because that is also sitting not being used right now.

concentrated woman carrying stack of cardboard boxes for relocation
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

How should I spend my time?

I think we can all agree that time is precious and managing it effectively can be challenging sometimes. For years, I have been very deliberate about my schedule and my calendar. Now, in a new job in a new country, I have had to adapt to a bit more flexibility to allow for changes and updates and unknowns.

This is because of the type of work and also the fact that we are still in a pandemic. When I first moved to Norway, I had so much downtime I didn’t know what to do with myself. I spent it exploring the city and generally taking some time for myself after a year of working multiple jobs and finishing a dissertation.

So, I ask myself if being so strict about my time hinders my creativity or allows it to flourish in its time? Or, am I giving myself enough time to let the creativity out? I like being organized and thorough, which leads me to my next question…

What do I still need to work on for my personal health journey?

Mental health is hugely important to me. And I’ve spent the better part of the last 5 years working on self-improvement and self-care. And getting to know me and what I need to thrive and be the best version possible so that I can be that person for myself and for the people I love and care about.

But in that journey, my physical health has not been where I’d like it to be. I am ready for a bridge between the physical and the mental. In years past, that used to be running. But for some reason, I let the habit go and now it’s harder to rebuild. But I’m working on it and I am planning to run another half marathon in April 2022. I have action steps and now it’s about prioritizing this in my life.

female and male runners on a marathon
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What am I most proud of this past year?

As far as accomplishments go, this year has been a good one. I graduated with my doctorate 12 years after I initially started one. For my career, I started a new job in another country and I get to travel all over Norway doing something I love to do. I finally decided to join the world of online content creation with a blog, YouTube, and Etsy shop. I got to spend quality time with my family, even my grandparents.

So while it’s hard to pin down exactly what I’m most proud of, I don’t think it’s an accomplishment. I think it’s more of an internal feeling that I’m finally on a path of being true to myself. All my life, I’ve been an overachiever, constantly trying to prove that I’m smart enough or hard-working enough to be deserving of an opportunity. I am finally starting to believe that I am enough just the way I am and I get to choose what’s best for my life.

How do I make the most of the year ahead?

Well, the next 6 months of my life are planned and known. I will finish out my current role in Norway, then take a 14-day trip through Europe traveling to countries I’ve never been to. Hopefully, I still get to travel this spring, but that will be determined by Covid.

I will make the most of the year ahead by being open to opportunities. Originally, I planned to go back to the U.S., but now I feel like there is so much of the world I have yet to see. So I’m exploring more job opportunities in Europe, specifically in Norway and Spain.

One of the really great books I read this past year was Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. While I am generally extroverted and agree to many things, there are still lots of things in life I am ready to experience. I would like to improve public speaking, go ziplining, and take a chance on myself by continuing to build my consulting business. But first, I will start with some skiing, which I never thought I would try again. But, when in Norway, right?

Final Thoughts

If you have been reading my blog posts this past year, you might know I have a lot more questions I’m asking myself. And if you want to take on a 30-day self-reflection challenge, check out this earlier post I made with prompts you can utilize.

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