If you are like most people, when you think about how to make money, you think about the specific jobs, businesses or schemes that will bring in the cash. But while there are many ways to make it, all these ways have their examples of success and failure. Why do some fail at the same things which others succeed at?
That question leads to a deeper understanding of how to make money. An answer is suggested in the following three principles.
1. Trading Values
Many of the late-night television “get rich quick” infomercials cater to people who think there is an “angle” or “secret” which makes it easy to succeed. Of course there are tricks, tips, techniques and tools that will help, but in the end, it is all about value. You have to have something of value to offer others if you want to consistently make money.
A business person who thinks the first question is how to separate people from their money will be tempted to use any means towards that goal. This usually results in dissatisfied customers, meaning less repeat business, and eventual failure. The first question is how to provide real value to people. Serving people well makes them happy to pay you well. This is true whether you are an employee (in which case the employer is your customer) or the owner of a company.
2. Doing What Needs To Be Done
Of course, having something of value to offer isn’t enough by itself. You have to also do what is necessary. The first thing which is necessary is committing to a plan and taking action. That means “doing” instead of “trying.” Unfortunately, “giving it a try” too often means quitting at the first sign of trouble. A commitment to success means seeing mistakes as opportunities to learn and move on. You don’t keep repeating what doesn’t work, but you keep doing something.
People who want to make “easy money” are usually not willing to learn what they need to learn. Suppose a man hears that there is good money in roofing, for example. He knows nothing about the business, but instead of learning what he needs to know he pretends that taking the test to get his contractors license is enough. He could have worked on a roofing crew for a while to learn the basics of the craft. He could have asked for help to learn how to run a business from others who had succeeded. He could have bought a book on how to market his services.
But instead of learning what he needed to know, he takes the easy route – which leads to failure, as it usually does. You have probably seen this scenario played out before with friends who think they want to be an actor, or start a business, or invest in real estate. You have to do what needs to be done to make money, and learning what you need to learn is the cheapest, lowest risk part of that.
3. Knowing Yourself
Doing what needs to be done is tough if you hate what you are doing. This is only one of the reasons you need to think carefully about yourself when making decisions about jobs, business and money in general. But jobs and businesses you aren’t suited to or ready for won’t just make you unhappy. Ignoring your interests, skills and abilities is a sure way to stumble into the wrong way to make money, meaning a way that doesn’t work.
Knowing yourself is an important key to how to make money. Even something as seemingly mundane as whether you work slow or fast should be taken into account. Many years ago I picked apples to earn extra income. We were each paid by the box, and though I made $14 per hour, some workers made only $4 per-hour. The lesson? If you’re fast and efficient, you might make more money with a job or business where you’ll be paid per unit of production. If you’re slow and inefficient, an hourly job or a business where you can delegate out much of the work may be better.
What can you do? What skills and abilities and work habits do you have? What things do you enjoy doing? How good are you working with other people? With customers? How much energy do you have? Do you quit too easily, and why? What did you do that contributed to previous failures? Will this job or business keep you feeling motivated? Do you know what you need to do, and if not, are you willing to learn, and then do it? What personal changes do you need to make to increase your odds of success? Honestly answering questions like these may be the surest way how to make money.