Don’t try to make more money. Sounds crazy right?
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to earn enough money online to live the way I want to.
I am from the UK but spend most of my time with my wife Debbie in our Greek seafront apartment. My home office looks right over the beach and the Aegean. When I travel back to the UK I take my laptop of course and that allows me to carry on my business.
One of the huge benefits of the so called Internet lifestyle.
So why am I able to do this when so many seem to struggle to even make that elusive $1 a day?
There are a whole hoard of reasons of course and every individual is different but when looking back over my life I have come to one conclusion.
Chasing the money is the wrong way to do anything. If you set your main goal as making money then it seems to cloud or distract you from doing the things tat will actually make you money.
OK, you can make money in the short term or even work for an hourly wage but I mean the “flexible money”.
That’s not an amount (that varies depending on what you want from life) its a type of money. One you can earn while still doing other things you want to do. One you can sustain and one that will keep going even when you stop.
I used to think there has always been a bit if the entrepreneur in me. However more recently I realize that I was just someone who wanted more money. That is very different thing.
I have worked my entire life since I was 15 years old and for the much of that time I didn’t earn enough money, or at least as not as much as I wanted. So I was always looking for ways to earn more.
I spent some time in Royal Air Force and for much of that time I also had a second job. I worked in a bakery at night for a while and in an electronics store but even that was limited because of the hours I could work and the hourly wages I could earn.
At some point I realized that the only way I could earn enough was to do something that was not limited to an hourly wage.
One bright idea was to buy up broken televisions, fix them and sell them. Actually I didn’t really know how to fix televisions but in those days all TVs had valves and a duff valve was usually the problem. So basically I would swap valves around in the TV’s until I got some to work. The rest I just threw away.
So for a while that seemed to work. Certainly better than 12 hour shifts in Bakery.
However soon I had difficulty sourcing enough broken TV’s (and valves) and realized that that if I stopped, so did the money. It really wasn’t a viable long term business.
I did partner up with a friend at one time and we opened a fruit and vegetable shop. Again it was great for awhile but soon realized that you need to be in a shop all day to sell things. You also need to be up early in the morning to get your fresh stock. Put it all on the shelves and clean up at the end of each day.
Actually soon realized my effective hourly rate had actually gone down to peanuts. So another great idea bit the dust.
I tried many ideas like that throughout my working life. Each one was in addition to my day job and always driven by wanting more money, and each one ultimately failed.
After leaving the Royal Air Force I worked for a computer company and for a number of reasons I simply knuckled down to my day job and gave up on the “money making” ideas.
Fast forward a few years and I have good job that pays pretty well. At least enough for me to meet the bill’s each month, a couple of holidays every year, a nice car etc.
My wife Debbie had always worked up until that point but now the kids had all left home and we wanted to have more time together and enjoy going out for meals, going on trips, all the little things that you can enjoy together more as your kids grow up.
Now with more time on her hands while I was at work Debbie started a small business selling jewel on Ebay. It was very early days for Ebay then and I knew nothing about it. It stared as little hobby but seemed to grow rapidly.
Debbie bought the jewellery in bulk from Ebay and then sold them individually on the same site. Except for a daily rip to the post office I stared to realized that she was creating money out of thin air.
Seeing this go on obviously peeked my interest so I did a bit of research and looked at Ebay and found that you could sell digitally delivered products (I don’t think you can do that in the auctions now but you could then). I didn’t want to be making trips to the post office each day so figured digitally delivered products were a great idea.
The point here is I wasn’t doing it to make any money I was just curious about the way it worked, about the process.
So I set about buying a load of ebooks from Ebay and then set up and automated a process to sell them and deliver then via email. This worked great. I only sold them for pennies but they sold quickly and soon my ebay sales numbers were in the thousands. With Ebay fees I made exactly zero money doing this but I was fascinated by the process of going to work and coming back to see another 40 or 50 sales.
At some point I thought. Hold up, would people pay to know how to do this. All the automation I mean. So I wrote my own ebook that basically was a load of screen shots setting up the Ebay sales page and and autoresponder using my own email. Can’t remember what it was but equivalent to today’s Microsoft outlook.
This time I actually charged something like $15 for the ebook and it sold from the very first day. Now everyday I came home from work to find more money in my Paypal account. All on 100% autopilot.
At this point I wasn’t doing it for the money but I was fascinated about how it just seemed to create money even if you were not there to do anything. Actually that money kept coming for quite some tine and paid for few nice holidays.
Looking back I should have had the foresight to realize that it could have been turned into a major sustainable business but I was happy in my day job.
Fast forward again a few years and I am definitely not happy in my day job, in fact it was making me ill. So thinking back to my Ebay experiment I figured that I could do that full time and decided to leave my job and start an online business.
Was it as easy as I had imagine. Definitely not. You see I was now all about making money. So I tries all sorts of things. Just like many of you have done or will do. The shiny object syndrome ran rife as I tries to make every idea I had or read about work to make money.
None of it did.
My real break can when I paid for training course on building and monetizing web pages. It was webinar based over about 8 weeks and you followed the guy building a website from scratch, ranking it and adding AdSense and finally flipping it.
I followed along and to be honest was stunned when I ranked my first site on Google page one and Ad sense earnings started flowing in.
Did that mean that this was the best model foe making money on the internet. Of course not. It’s one of many business model that can work.
The difference here is I was following a plan that build the foundations, then built something on those foundations and only at the very end did it get monetized.
The shocker was that as soon as the monetization (AdSense) was added the money started to roll in.
I realized that if I had done this exact same model myself with the only objective in my mind to make money then I would have failed.
I would have done things differently, trying to get the money quicker.
I now realize that making money is easy. It’s all the work you need to put into creating the system first that is the hard work.
Do that right and the money comes automatically.
From that point my entire attitude to making money online has been different. I no longer try to make money. I try to make products that are useful and valuable or build systems that work etc.
If I get that right then the money comes in by default.
Now I think back to many of the “money making” schemes I tried previously and realize that if I had spent time building a business instead of trying to make money they would have likely been much more successful.
These things tend to compound. The more time you can spend building or improving your business the more successful it is likely to be.
My old fruit and veg shop? Perhaps something as simple as paying someone to fetch the fruit and veg to the shop every the morning would have freed up enough time for me to research stock prices and talk with suppliers, spend more time with customers understanding what they wanted.
Maybe if I had re-invested the money from selling old televisions into buying some newer stock I could have built of a real business.
So don’t try to make money, try to build a business. As long as your focus is on making money it will not be on your business.