The internet is full of scams trying to make you believe that if you sign up and pay a lot of money you will be given the keys to financial freedom. In reality there are about three really good ways to make money:
- sell a product
- sell your time
If you decide to sell a product you’ll need to work out what that product is, find a distributor or manufacturer, have a shopfront either virtually or blocks & mortar and then convince people that their life won’t be complete until they own what you are selling. Selling a product scales to larger volumes quite easily as you can employ other people to help you with administrative tasks and you can always increase your orders from your manufacturer.
Selling your time depends on you having a skill that is valuable, whether you’re a professional or a house cleaner, there has to be something you do well enough that people are prepared to pay. Depending on your skill you may be able to work virtually and have customers around the world or you may want to restrict your customer base to your local neighbourhood. Starting a service business can be quite easy, it may simply mean putting up a flyer on a local noticeboard, however the major catch with this type of business is that you are selling your time. There are only 24 hours in the day and you ought to sleep for about 8 of them. The amount of money you can make is dependent on how much you charge per hour and how much people are prepared to pay you.
The final method of making money is investing. By investing I mean buying something that does three things: increases in value over time, delivers an income in the meantime & requires little effort on your part. The two most common assets to invest in are real estate and shares. Sometimes people will invest in art collections or wine collections but unless these things are making you money while they increase in value they may not be the best investment. If you have bought them to appreciate, that is a different matter.
N.B. Gambling is NOT investment. Nor is it a very successful way to make money. Remember, the odds are always in favour of the casino and not you.
During adulthood I have tried to live my life by the Lottery Rule. I ask myself the following question: “If I won the lottery tomorrow, would I continue to do what I am doing now?”
This one question helps me to put things in perspective when life seems boring or I’m going through a tough patch. If I can say that I wouldn’t change a thing then I know I’m on the right path. On the other hand, there have been times we’re the answer was a resounding NO. Dreaming of winning the lottery helps me to fantasise my ideal life. If money was no object: where would I live? what would I do each day? who would I spent time with?
Once I have a clearer idea of what I want to be doing I find it is easier to start making steps towards attaining my ideal life. It’s helped to reshape my life during times where I was unhappy with my current situation, whatever that was at the time.
I’ve been reading “How much is enough?” by Arun Abey & Andrew Ford. The concept for the book stems from the overwhelming culture of consumerism and keeping up with the Joneses that we are so focused on in modern day society. The book steps back and examines this phenomenon and asks the reader to question their current values. Of course, if you have picked up this book in a bookstore or library chances are you are already disillusioned with living the consumerist dream and are looking for some substance in your life.
And so the question is, how much is enough? How much money do you really need to pay your bills and still have enough to do those things that really matter to you? What are the things that really matter in life?
The book doesn’t exactly draw you in from the first instance, I’ve put in down and picked it up a few times now, but it is improving with every chapter. Above all, it is making me think about what I really want from life and working 9 to 5 certainly isn’t it.
I attended my first money making/motivational seminar yesterday. I was overly skeptical about it but after having read through the website, watching the complementary videos and doing some online research into the speakers I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose but a day of my time.
The day turned out to be an interesting and informative one. Really the concepts were very similar to the usual business strategy advice but there were some very good practical tips thrown in. Of course, during the day the presenters ran through the products and services they have on offer along with the ‘once only’ special attendance deal on the package suite but I do feel like I gained some practical knowledge and a bit of enthusiasm for my time. A breakdown of what the steps to having a successful business were:
- Brainstorm ideas for products
- Do some market research (or outsource) to find out what else is out there on your idea and identify market gaps so that you can create a unique selling angle
- Create your sales and marketing material (or outsource)
- Build your product (or outsource)
- And advertise, advertise, advertise
Like, I said, nothing new to the process when you strip away all the marketing guff.
There was an article in the paper this morning that discussed the definition of being rich. The author suggested that richness can be found in the simple pleasures of life rather than in monetary wealth and in the appreciation of what we have in the developed world. This is not a new concept. However, I liked her spin on the topic. Throughout the article she uses the catch-cry “I feel rich when…” to describe occasions in her life that bring her a feeling of abundance. So in the spirit of feeling wealthy…
I feel rich when I step into a hot shower. I feel rich when I enjoy a cup of tea on the verandah with a new magazine or novel. I feel rich when I can spread out on a picnic blanket and soak up the sun in the park. I feel rich when I open a new notebook and begin writing on the first page. I feel rich when someone calls me for a chat and we end up talking for an hour. I feel rich when I leave the supermarket with this week’s groceries. I feel rich when I have the choice of health providers and access to the medicine I need. I feel rich when I can turn on the heater on a cold night and get a good night’s sleep.
When do you feel rich?