When it comes to making money, the first (and sometimes the only) option considered is working in a job. This usually begins as a relatively unskilled job such a low level retail, customer service, or sales position. Most then consider moving up in the ranks within the same industry, or they plan a career with more opportunities that requires a tertiary qualification or apprenticeship.
But there are other ways of making money.
Each method has its pros and cons but there are definitely better money-making strategies than others.
Assess Your Options
In the post on conformity, I outlined a simplistic process of decision-making:
- you are aware you have a decision to make;
- you assess your options; and,
- you choose one of the options based on your goals.
The decision you are making is ‘how you are going to fund your ideal lifestyle, and any intermediate lifestyle stages‘. You have also figured out how much this is going to cost you. The next step, (b), involves assessing the options available to you.
The greatest example of a decision with overlooked options is your decision of how you will make money.
Before you spend your time going into undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, or apprenticeships, assess the alternatives. Further education is usually a good idea, but going into a business degree with a plan to become an accountant is very different from doing the same university course with the intention to run your own business.
I imagine it’s a terrible feeling spending six years of your life in university then another four in full-time work, only to realise you could have gotten to your current income in half the time if you had only started a business. Not to mention the cost of university or that you could eventually remove yourself from the business while it still generates income for you.
- Unskilled or low skilled work where you trade your time for money but there is little room for career advancement (e.g. reception work or retail)
- The safe, secure career path suggested to you by others (e.g. accounting)
- Work related to the thing/s you are really passionate about (e.g. IT or design)
- Any work related to anything you wouldn’t mind learning about — there is a course for almost every job and there is work experience for everything else
- Take the skills you have picked up in work experience and/or further education and consult or trade out your skills (e.g. freelance accounting or work solo as a tradie)
- Freelance work of any kind (e.g. website design or design jewellery for sale)
- Run a blog, YouTube channel or podcast on a topic you are passionate about or interested in (e.g. NeverSettle – getting more fulfilment and personal success out of life)
- Run workshops, design educational products or coach on topics you are knowledgeable in (or interested enough to become knowledgeable in) (e.g. procrastination management or health coaching)
- App development
- Anything where you are an employee of your own business
- Create the next innovative product to catch the eye of the world (e.g. Facebook or Google Glass)
- Join a start-up working on a new problem to solve or a new product to bring to market
- Start your own business off an existing model (e.g. hairdresser or designer watches)
- Buy an existing business from its owner, manage it and grow it
- Start an eBay or drop-shipping business
- Any situation where you own the business but aren’t required to be there for it to generate profit
- Buy shares
- Buy property
- Renovate or develop property (potentially classified as self-employment as well)
- Educate yourself enough to try trading more sophisticated securities (potentially classified as self-employment as well)
- Any situation where your money is making you more money
The options above should give you a much broader awareness of the potential ways to bring in the income for your lifestyle. The trick again is to realise that it is not an exhaustive list and that, even though it is a much more comprehensive list than the standard ‘get into a good career’ advice, there are likely to be many more ways to make an income that I haven’t covered or that I am unaware of.
See the next post for the pros and cons of each method and a suggested strategy to earn money and increase your wealth.