If only I could make more money, I would save more and everything will be great – I had this thought almost every week in 2008/2009 . It was not until 2010 that I actually thought about doing something about it instead of just whining. In 2011 my trials started bearing some fruit; I actually started making more money, money other than my regular paycheck. I was over the moon when I actually made my first $100. $100 is not much, but that was something I didn’t have before; something that I could use to immediately start my emergency fund or even set aside as fun money for my vacation. Now that I don’t have a regular paycheck, I want to crank my on the side ventures up a notch with the goal that, within the next 4 years, I will start making what I was making in my last job. Over the next few days, I will be exploring different avenues to make more money and throughout this year, I will share my experiences with different money making opportunities, my successes, failures and also interviews from others who have gone down that path. I see fit to start this series with why most of us are NOT earning more money.
Why should I even bother making more money?
You most certainly don’t have to. If you have a job that you love and that provides you with enough, there is no need to look for more. One way or the other, most of us are chasing happiness. If you are in a happy pace financially and comfortable with your choice of how to spend your time there is little point in looking for more or looking for something else.
This post is for people who are looking for more – People who wish they could earn just $100, $200 or $1000 more a month; people who are not happy where they are financially and could use more money; people who are stuck in a rut and believe that a little more money will help them get out of it; and finally, people like me who are unemployed (or underemployed) and want to use their extra time to make more money.
If you want to move forward, you have to take that first step.
9 reasons why you are NOT earning more money
If you do want to earn more money, what has been holding you back? I have compiled a list of reasons that some of my friends and I had.
1. I don’t have time: This was my #1 excuse. This was why I didn’t start exploring any additional opportunities other than my main job for 2 years after deciding I really needed to make more money. More than any prospects I had in my job. I convinced myself that as someone with a challenging job, I couldn’t afford to allocate time for distractions. What if my side business took my focus away from my job? The only way I could work on a side business is if I sacrificed the little free time I had. Don’t I deserve a little time to kick in and relax after a long day? I just wished I had a little more time to work with. Then I evaluated what I was doing with my free time. Two questions made my path forward perfectly clear – (1) what will I lose if I use my free time to explore other interests? (2) What will I gain from my pursuits? Turned out what I would lost was a very small price to pay in order to fund my dreams. So I started exploring and never looked back.
Those who have time… make time!
2. I need money to make more money: Another one of my self-formed myths. I thought I needed a lot of money to start any business. I started thinking about all the capital I would need to create a product, advertising dollars to market my product, sales funnel, business registration fee, patent fee… Where would I go for all the money? I was wrong in thinking I needed a lot of money to start a business and the present me is the proof. I started my business with $12. I purchased a URL and hosting. Ever since then I have discovered so many ways of making more money with less than $100 capital. The internet has made it extremely easy for sellers (of products or services) and buyers to connect. If you have a skill, offer to help someone on Craigslist, cost $0. If you have something valuable, post it for sale, cost $0. If you are an expert, teach others the skills by making a video and posting it on YouTube, your cost $0 (well, you do need a video or a web camera).
Most of time what you need to offer to make more money is value not money.
3. You need to know everything about a business to succeed: I have a friend of mine who decided to start freelancing in 2010 soon after I started. She is still talking about it. Every time we come to that topic, she will ask me for more advice and do absolutely nothing. My conclusion is she gets a sense of accomplishment by talking about it, so never gets motivated enough to start taking actions.
You can never win a game that you choose not to play.
4. You need a perfect start up setting to succeed: Another one of my mistakes. There were so many things to decide on when I started – should I set up a Twitter account? How much should I Tweet? What about Facebook? Do I need an office? How do I register my business? Debating minutiae is draining and takes away from working on what is more important to get a business to succeed. If I had realized this early I would have just concentrated on two things, just two things to improve on, track my improvements, tweak to repeat and better my process.
Endlessly debating minutiae is the perfect way to get nothing done.
5. People who want to earn more money have gone over to the dark side. I really heard this from one of my friends. I had to take some time to actually digest what she said and verify if she really meant that. I know that it was just sour grapes as we were talking about someone who was earning a lot more than she (or I) was. But some people give this as an excuse to justify their holier than thou attitude – I am happy with what I earn, it is greedy to think about earning more money.
More money doesn’t automatically equal greed; it is your relationship with money that fosters unhealthy responses.
6.You should wait for the perfect idea. Another one of my mistakes. I debated about so many ideas and rejected every single one for one reason or the other. I was looking for that perfect idea that will make me swim in money. It worked for so many Silicon Valley giants, so it should be the right way to do things right? Wrong. I was naïve to think successful people came up with their brilliant product overnight. Very, very, few are successful on the first try (in fact I don’t know anyone who succeeded without considerable effort, but I don’t know all the successful people in the world either).
Practice makes perfection. Start with an idea, implement it, test it, track it and make it better. Eventually you will stumble upon perfection.
7. Duplicate a success story to make your success. How many of us see someone making money and think – I can do that as well and jump in. We try to follow the exact same path and are disappointed that we are not achieving the same level of success as the other person. I have fallen for this, I still do. Only recently have I started to shift my mentality towards what unique value I offer to my clients, instead of following an already existing recipe.
Follow the crowd, and get lost in it
8.Yeah I really need to get on that. We lie to ourselves, as simple as that. We keep telling ourselves that we will start looking up opportunities or take a class to improve our skills or even clean a drawer – I really need to start working on that. Yeah, right. The reason for our delay could be something deeper. I was afraid of failure, I still am. So I dreaded starting anything to avoid facing failure. I needed a system that wouldn’t let me delay anymore; I needed an accountability partner to keep me on track. Cognitive dissonance is a success killer. Find what your real fear is instead of convincing yourself that tomorrow is the best day to start making more money. Partner up with someone who shares your goal.
A quote from author Karen Lamb sums this point pretty well – A year from now you may wish you had started today.
9. This is all great, but I am different. I have heard this so many times it is no longer funny. I have given numerous suggestions to my friends when they were looking for jobs only to be met with – I am different so this won’t work for me. Why? Not one, not a single person has given me an answer, let alone a good one, on what exactly is so different about their situation that other people have not faced.
More often than not, your problem is not unique. It is very easy to say I am different and special, but can I honestly claim that no one has ever been in my situation and still succeeded? No.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you want to make more money, a little increase in your income will help ease your financial worries or speed up your saving towards a goal. What is stopping you from start working on it?