You’ve got money goals up on your vision board, along with exciting lifestyle goals that require money.
But despite your enthusiasm and determination that THIS is the year you’re going to smash them, it’s just not happening yet.
Vision boarding and planning, while inspiring, just ain’t doing it.
I feel your pain.
In this post, I will share two basic, but not-often-considered premises on how money is made – and five different ways of making it.
And, as one of the most common ways people these days are considering for hitting their money goals, in case you’re considering business as a pathway, I also share a link to a post on ‘How to Make Money in Business’ to help you with next steps.
How Money is Actually Made
Why it’s important to understand how money is made
I have worked with a lot of people who have started out not understanding how money is made. Their confusion has led to years of struggle to make money. And it typically comes with a bunch of beating themselves up and feeling the need to hide their struggle.
On the other hand, when you understand how money is made, you can get on with taking the most appropriate actions to get your plans on the road.
So let’s start there.
It’s very easy to get excited about money goals. (Let’s be honest… they’re pretty exciting!)
But there are bunch of things you need to know to actually make it happen. Big dreams aside…. there are things that if you don’t know, can really affect your results!
Aside from your goals – and being very clear about where you are in relation to them (so that you have the necessary structural tension you need to achieve them), it’s important to understand two critical things…
#1: Money is impersonal. It doesn’t care about how great (or how shit) you are – or think you are. You make it when an exchange of money and value takes place. In other words, you make money when what you offer adds value to someone willing to pay for it.
Now, at the risk of seeming cynical, I need to address a common myth that confuses a lot of people to struggle to create the money they want.
The myth that ‘money will come if you believe it’.
It’s a lovely idea. And it’s easy to buy into the idea that ‘if you believe you can achieve’… and all that other motivational ‘ra-ra’ quotes that are scattered everywhere.
And there is merit underlying the idea that if you believe something may be possible, you may be willing to go after it and do what it takes to achieve it. But simply believing it will happen is not enough. (Actually it’s nowhere near enough.)
Money only changes hands when there is an agreed exchange of value.
Now, like all coaches, I am all for having goals and working towards them. But to succeed, it helps to remember that we live in the real world where motivational mantras do not pay the bills when people don’t buy your stuff.
But I’d rather you not end up dejected, rejected, and very confused about what you did wrong!
So….. Let’s put goal setting enthusiasm aside, and remember that if you want to make money, you need to be thinking about what value you add.
This is true regardless of how you make your money. You make your money from a salary, contracting, commission, business profits or investments.
Oh, and when I talk about the value you add, I do not mean ‘being paid what you’re worth’. (That’s a whole different conversation – and a really bad idea. I’m about to write about it in an upcoming post.
#2: When it comes to your value, it’s the people who are paying you whose opinion about this counts most.
When thinking about the value you add, it’s important to think about it in terms of what the people paying you think your time, ideas, product, service, results, or money is worth to them. Not what you think they should think it is worth to them.
You can educate your marketing using your marketing and sales process, which they can use to reflect on what it’s worth to them. But all the best messaging, marketing and sales process in the world are useless if your offer itself doesn’t match what customers want.
So make sure you get this right.
I run a 2-day workshop on ‘How to Create Irresistible Offers that your Target Market Can’t Refuse’, where we explore and workshop this common conundrum. It’s an important one to get right because what business owners and solopreneurs often think is a great product/service, does not actually sell, because it’s not a match for what their market wants. And until you think in terms of what your customers want, you won’t be able to sell your offer, no matter how great you think it is.
Five Different ways of Creating Value (+ Making Money)
Here are five different ways of making money – by creating value.
Each of these methods has positives and negatives, and different benefits and risks. They are also likely to feature at different times of your life.
They also typically have different potential for helping you hit your financial goals. But you can work them out in various combinations over time.
For example, you might start out an employee, contractor or commission-based salesperson, earn some money, then start a business. Or invest some of your cash into investments to make your money work for you.
If you are a salaried employee with a set salary (and little say in the matter), how much you make is set. Sure, you’ll make money, pay your bills, but you may not be able to hit your lifestyle goals with it.
Unless you start up a business on the side, or decide to invest in other things (real estate, shares, etc), your income is largely outside your control.
But that may be okay with you if you love your work.
You may or may not want to start up a business or invest. There are good reasons to start businesses and invest, and bad reasons. But if you do decide to go for either option to hit your lifestyle or financial goals, you need to think how you might create value outside your job.
Self-employed / Contracting
If you are contracting, much like commission-selling above, your income is dependant on getting the gigs (making sales). But it’s also dependent on doing the work – for enough customers – and on having happy customers.
In other words, they agree with the value you’ve provided for the money they’ve paid you. If they don’t agree retrospectively, they can contest the cost. And I’ve never met anyone who no-one likes legal and emotional battles over this stuff, so best to avoid unhappy customers!
You may only need one contract to make the money you want, but the stability of the contract is critical if you rely on the income.
For some people, liking the contract and the people you have to work with kind of matters too. So if that’s you, if you’re going to be spending your days/weeks/months on it, so you may like the kinds of contracts you want, and the kind of people you want to be working with.
As a self-employed contractor, your income is dependent on making sales. That’s great if you are good at making sales. If you are not, and you want to get good at it, those are skills you can learn.
When it comes to business, value becomes a really interesting conversation, and is one that if you’re in business, it’s important to understand.
Whether you are selling a product or a service, the value you add is decided both by you AND co-decided by the market (i.e., your customers). You set your price and people either agree to pay it, or they don’t.
There is both an art and a science to pricing.
Some people in business overcharge (in the minds of their market) and lose opportunities to make sales. Some undercharge (for the value they provide) and miss opportunities for greater income per sale. Others get a great balance and make enough sales, at the right profit margin, to make the money they want.
We obviously strive to achieve the latter. (This is where the art and science comes in.)
If you are thinking of business as the way of generating income, in this post on How to Make (Serious) Money in Business, I discuss some of the factors you may like to think about for making money in business.
Once you have made some money and are able to invest some of it, you have the ability to generate greater wealth. You can then make your money work for you, as the assets you invest in gain value.
Obviously investments come with risks. It is therefore smart to understand the risks. It can be helpful to work with a qualified and impartial expert who can advise you on the benefits and risks of each investment you consider.
But you need to have the money to invest to start with.
As a commission-based salesperson, the income you create is based on the value you create in sales for the company you work for. This category includes working in sales for a company, as well as network marketing.
Key Takeaways from this Post?
#1. Money isn’t personal.
#2. If you aren’t earning what you want yet, think about the value your work, ideas, products, services or money can add to the right kind of customer.
#3. Your value is not about what you think you – or it SHOULD be to others. It’s how it actually adds value TO THEM when/if they work with you, since it is the others that will be paying you! It doesn’t matter how great you think it is if they don’t get it.
#4. If you don’t know what value you can add, don’t guess. Research it by asking your potential target market or employers. If you need to drop your ego to be willing to ask, do it! Either that, or put out offers and see whether they sell. You can always change your rates as you go.
#5. Pricing is an art and a science. It can take time to work out how much to charge. My best advice here would be just to start with something based on your best guess. You can always increase – or decrease it.
#6. The trick is to make sure that your offers are a match for the market. So know your market and what they value and what you want to offer are a good fit. If not, you’re in for challenges!
What did you take from this post? Feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you got!
Big love to you + your money goals!
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P.S.S. Please feel free to send in your questions and if it’s something I think I can help you with. You can find my email address here.