One of the most common conversation starters of all time is:
“Oh hi, what do you do?”
In reality, people are just curious as to how you make money. (There’s nothing wrong with that – I’m curious too!)
But even deeper than that, on a slightly selfish level, I believe a lot of people ask this question to others with a sliver of hope that perhaps your answer will bring to light a new way they themselves could make money, or perhaps at least it would spark a new interest for them.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with that.
In our attempt to sound like we haven’t wasted our lives up to this point, we mix a little bit of pride into our response and say something using our most official sounding titles, such as, “Why, I’m the Senior CSR Manager for a local PR firm.”
In other words: When a customer get REALLY mad – they get transferred to me and I get yelled at.
Now when people ask me what I “do,” and I tell them that I primarily make money online through websites, they almost always react the same way: “Oh, okay, cool.”
Their eyes kind of gloss over, and I can tell I’ve lost their attention, often killing any hope of a deeper conversation.
Not because they think what I do is necessarily boring , but because they don’t see themselves being able to do what I do.
They instantly disqualify themselves.
They subconsciously think, “Oh, I could never do that, I’m not techy, I’m not an entrepreneur, I don’t know how to do that stuff. – Well, on to the next person…”
It’d be like if I was 18 years old, I’m looking for some direction or guidance in life and I asked an older man what he does, hoping that what he says pays a lot of money, AND sparks my interest, and then he tells me he is a gastroenterology specialist, I’d be like, “Oh, okay cool…Seeya!”
And I’d move on to the next person at the party because in my mind I don’t think I could ever do or be that.
It’s just too much work, or takes too much time, or I’m not “naturally” like that.
So in this quest for financial adventure, what do we end up doing in our infinite wisdom?
We go and take just any old job that pays at least $10 an hour (because hey – we have standards right?) and then we spend the next 3 years becoming an expert in that industry, we work our way up, we get raises and promotions, and now we’re making a whopping $15 an hour.
You’ve wanted to quit several times because you’re not passionate about the job, you have to drag yourself out of bed each day, BUT each time you think about leaving to pursue something else, you get a raise, or the boss pats you on the back, and this encourages you to stay for another six months or so. (Obviously, I’ve been down this road)
I remember one job I had was in the medical supply industry. I was in shipping and receiving, and I became an EXPERT at the job.
The only problem was, being an expert at that particular job did me ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD anywhere else but right there.
I had to devote countless hours to memorizing long part numbers, super detailed procedures, and learning the company’s organizational methods. I literally became an expert at the most useless information in the world. (Anybody else with me here?)
I felt like I was packing my brain full to the brim of stuff I WOULD NEVER USE. I had this sense that I should be loading my brain with things that would actually help me advance in life.
It was like I was wasting gigs on my iphone. Like an old garage filled with clutter, I needed to make room to park my brand new car.
At the time of me writing this, we just had our biggest month ever, September 2015 bringing in over 28k, I sit back and think about all the brain energy, time and effort I could have saved myself over the years, had I just invested my efforts into the RIGHT thing.
Think about it like this, over the years I spent A LOT of time becoming an expert at things:
- At age 16 – 1 year at Mazzio’s becoming an expert pizza maker
- At age 17 – 2 years becoming an expert sign maker
- Age 19 – 2 years at Drug Warehouse becoming an expert shelf stocker
- Later on – 2 years becoming an expert part number memorizer for a medical company
- After that – 4 years becoming a car insurance expert
Now, of course I’m thankful for all those jobs and the connections and lessons I’ve learned along the way. No regrets at all. And in between there were several other jobs and skills learned that I didn’t mention.
But here’s my point:
This month, at age 31, over $28,000 came in, (almost passively) but here’s the crazy part – I literally could have done this at age 17!
All I would have needed to do was to put my energy and effort into the RIGHT thing.
You don’t need an MBA or business degree to do what I do. (I don’t have a college degree at all)
You don’t need to come from an entrepreneurial, or a wealthy family (I didn’t)
You just need to be intentional about WHERE and WHAT you put your focus into.
I started learning about making an online income when I was 26. I learned there were ways to set up online stores and businesses that require a lot of effort up front, but then pay you over and over again, with little effort in the future.
I could have learned the exact same things when I was 17 – and still got very similar results!
It’s not super technical, I don’t know how to “code” or even program. I simply put in the time to learn this new skill, and it has paid off, and continues to pay off.
I’m not trying to convince you to become an online entrepreneur, I’m trying to convince you to think about where you invest your time, energy, effort, and money…and why? Will this thing bring the results you want?
Or are you just simply working for a paycheck? (Usually it’s a quite a small paycheck too)
Do yourself a favor, and ponder the following:
- Why are you investing your time at Abercrombie becoming an expert clothes folder?
- Are you investing 4 years and $40,000 for a Marketing degree you’re never going to use, just because your parents want you to?
- Perhaps you’ve become an expert at something you don’t care about, will never care about, and doesn’t play a part in your destiny
- Have you spent hundreds of hours becoming an expert a the TV Show “Friends?”
- What could you invest your efforts in that will pay off down the road, either in money, or a career you’re passionate about? (Preferably both!)
See, anyone can do what I do, (and I want to help you if you’re interested!) all you have to do is determine to focus your energy on a different way of making money.
When you were out going to college, spending 4 years of time, energy, efforts and 40k, I was reading blogs, watching youtube videos, and buying online courses that taught me how to build websites and create passive income. (Money that continually comes in with little to no effort)
I’ve maybe spent 3k on my online education over the past 5 years, and that has yielded a massive return on investment for me.
I learned how to create income from the internet.
You learned how to manage a retail store at the mall.
Upfront, there’s no difference in the time and energy invested, we just chose to learn different things.
On the backend however, the thing I chose to learn pays me money whether I show up to work or not. (And I don’t have to work crazy Black Friday sales!)
Your Challenge for Today
Take some time today and really think about why you are doing what you’re doing.
Get with God on it, pray about it, examine yourself and make sure you are where God has placed you.
For me, starting online businesses is something that gets me excited, and now I’m passionate about helping others do the same.
If you’re interested, here’s a couple of articles I’ve written about making a simple, online income that I think will help you: