Updated: Jul 20, 2018
Have you ever wondered why some people make a lot of money in a few hours while you are struggling to survive working two jobs?
Before anybody gets excited, let's make one thing clear: everything else being equal, the person who works the hardest tends to make more money. Hard work is one of the factors necessary to building wealth, it is just not the most important. If it were, most farmers, miners, lumberjacks and sherpas of this world would be rich. It is not the case!
Let's start this argument with some definitions. In the strict sense, work is an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result. This result always corresponds to a personal need to fulfill. It could take many forms: individual accomplishment, social interactions, the pursuit of an ideal, a creative urge, a power trip... For most people and for the purpose of this post, we will use the definition generally associated to a job: an activity performed to earn money.
I find that, more often than none, all the non-monetary arguments are advanced by employers trying to justify 'employees' satisfaction' by any means other than a financial increase. I am of the opinion that most people, given sufficient money at their disposal, would prefer to pursue another activity than their current job. Feel free to differ. If you belong to the lucky ones truly passionate and completely fulfilled by their work, who would not change anything after winning an insane amount of money at the lottery, keep enjoying your life. You have already won the lottery!
Back to the common of mortals who are currently working in order to earn money... Shouldn't the rational approach to make money be to study all the (legal) ways you could build your wealth and decide on the most productive path? Naturally, your choice could be influenced by your interests, dreams... provided the main objective (money) was not significantly impacted.
Also, shouldn´t you be very clear about how much money you want to earn? Your career decision will be different if you want to make $2,000 or $20,000 per month. It would not make sense to have an objective of $20,000 per month and pursue a venture that has a very low probability to lead you there, wouldn´t it?
I appreciate this approach may seem too logical and dry for most. If you are young, you may not have the maturity, experience, confidence or just insight to deal with these questions. I was certainly not prepared for them when I was a university student! If you are older, you may feel powerless in front of the situation. You may think that your alternatives are limited, that it is too late, that you should have thought about it in your twenties... These limitations are in part due to the educational system (preparing us to be efficient employees, not necessarily empowered individuals), and in part due to our own shortcomings.
You can dwell on the unfairness of society, the reasons why, the excuses... Complaining is your right and may even make you feel better, but it will hardly help you solve your money problem (unless you build a community of dissatisfied workers and become an influencer - free idea 😀!). I prefer to focus on the levers I can control.
Here is my recipe for the people who truly want to make money:
Stop wasting time - Decide (and embrace the fact) that earning money is your top priority.
Set a clear objective - How much money? By when?
Talk to people who have made it (not to your friends who are in the same predicament as you) - Listen - Take the information with a grain of salt - Apply only what is relevant to your own situation - It is your responsibility to sieve through the information you receive.
Understand the business model you choose - What is the probability to achieve your target? - Change model if the probability is too low.
Learn the skills you may need - Anybody at any age can learn anything! You may not become a world expert, but you will know more than 90% of the population after a year or two.
Surround yourself with supportive people - Proactively changing your fate risks placing current friends and relatives in front of their own shortcomings. They may try pulling you down.
Deal with your own personal contradictions and limitations - Self-awareness is half the solution to solving your problem.
Work hard! - Always necessary but probably not sufficient, depending on your target.
Persevere - There is no alternative but to keep at it until you reach your goal.
Keep in mind that life does not owe you anything - There are no guarantees, just better probabilities to succeed.
Human beings are a strange breed. Most people faced with a genuine desire to earn extra money would agree that this approach is reasonable, that it is in fact common sense. Yet, they will fail to follow it and will rely on the 'hard work only' argument. This argument was ingrained by our society and institutions. This is not a cynical view or conspiracy theory of the world. It is just an observation that, in the social construct we live in, it is a manager's role to acquire the required skills and talent at the lowest cost possible. It is the employee's responsibility to negotiate his terms or find alternatives. Our educational system is conditioning us to believe that the employer / employee relationship is inevitable and asymmetric to the advantage of the company, but it does not have to be. There are options. Just think.
Please share with us how you make money, and keep following this blog to see my favorite money making options.