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On June 30th 2017, my boss walked into the office with a needle in his arm. We hadn’t been able to get in touch with him for the past three days. It turns out he had been in the hospital due to stress. He called us into the boardroom and said “We’ve run out of money. Today is our last day here. Please leave your laptops on your desks.” I started panicking. One employee burst into tears because they had just signed a new lease with their kid. The rest of the room was silent. As we planned our next steps on our last day, I noticed the people who remained calm were the ones who had the most options. Here’s a thought I have lived by since that day:
Profits are better than wages
I discovered this phrase from Jim Rohn back in 2012 and it has stuck with me ever since. Many of us only learned the concept of exchanging time for money. We rarely learn how to exchange value for money to make a profit. Your time is finite and money is pretty much infinite. Wages will make you a living, but profits will set you free. Once you accept this, a world of possibility opens up.
Option A, B and C
I’ve been starting side hustles since I was in high school. From selling lollipops and noodles to running soccer boot camps and dropshipping hoverboards, I have tried a lot of different ideas – many of which did not work. Each time I was working towards the same thing: options. My goal was to create something sustainable that would ultimately set me and my family free. It took years to get it right but last year, I finally unlocked the secret. Here’s how you can too:
Option A: Emulate what already works
One myth about generating revenue I want to debunk is that you need to create an idea nobody has ever thought of. There are few truly new ideas, but there are many great ones that have already been successful. Your job should be finding what works for you based on your personality, responsibilities and flexibility – then build something that aligns with your lifestyle. Don’t fall into analysis paralysis wondering if anyone will care about your idea. Create a solution for a problem people already care about. More than 800 million people are on LinkedIn and many of them are looking for someone to help find them jobs. There are eight million active businesses in the USA alone and all of them have gaps in their business plans. Problems exist all around you, but so do great solutions. Someone already has the lifestyle you are trying to build. Don’t imitate them – emulate them and add your own value.
Option B: Earn more per hour
The company you work for rents your time at a discount and is earning a profit through your labour. One of the ways you can begin generating revenue for yourself is doing what you already have expertise in and learning how to collect the full value of it for every hour you work. If you are an expert marketer, sales person or recruiter, there are at least five companies that would happily pay you as a consultant so they can make less mistakes. The goal is to earn as much as you can within any given hour of work so you can eventually buy back your time. Some people feel like imposters charging $200 or $400 for an hour of their work. Remember that the figure you are scared to charge is probably what your company is already earning off your effort. Also remember that value is relative. If you can help a company save 100 hours in their recruiting process and it translates to $40,000 in savings for them, your $400 for 10 hours of work is a discount. Don’t be afraid to charge what you are worth.
Option C: Earn more per effort
“Build it once, sell it twice.” This phrase should always be top of mind. When you put in the time and effort to build something meaningful, try selling it multiple times – especially if it’s digital. Systemize it and create a repeatable way to get results. Then keep selling the solution to people who need it. This could be an e-book, an online course, a workbook or anything else. Once you find yourself putting in significant effort on your product or service, you have to think about how to earn from your labour over and over again. Check out 80 digital products ideas by @ModestMinkus that you can build once and sell twice.
This is how you begin creating more options and freedom. The goal is to have enough money to do the things you want and avoid missing important moments because of money.
Having more financial options will give back the control you have over your time and will allow you to be more productive at work. Less stress and less dependence on a paycheck is amazing for your mental health. Once you take your power back, work becomes easier and so does doing whatever is best for your family.
Recommendation of the week:
Read Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau or listen to it on Audible
This book was fundamental in training my brain to find opportunities and take advantage of them in very little time. Not everything has to become a primary source of income, but you should be able to create more options by building something that earns you profit.
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Keep creating options.
P.S. – The waitlist for my new 4-week cohort-based course, LinkedIn Revenue Accelerator, already has more than 10,000 people on the waitlist. Enrollment opens May 1. You can join the waitlist here.