Most people want more money. Far fewer are willing to do what it takes to get it.
Let’s start with the obvious ways:
Work longer: Work more hours or get a second job.
Work more productively: Get more done in the time allotted and maybe get a raise.
Illegal stuff: Drugs/prostitution/whatever. I hate to bring it up, but this is a path that some people take (at the cost of their character, health, safety, etc.). Walter White did it. You should not.
Win the lottery.
There are also some non-obvious ways to make more money:
Get a different job.
Any high school teacher who wants to get rich needs to get a different job. Realistically, that could mean becoming a real estate agent and potentially making two to four times a teacher’s salary.
But most people don’t want to change jobs. They define themselves by what they do. “I am an educator. I help children.” Doing something different would blow up their identity.
Most teachers/nurses/civil servants derive some non-monetary benefit from their jobs. They make sacrifices, so a certain amount of prestige comes with the job.
That prestige is worth something. You could quantify it by asking people how much money it would take for them to do something different.
Another non-obvious way to make money:
Start income investing (real estate, etc.)
You could save up some money, buy a piece of property, and rent it out. If you do it right, you are cash flow-positive. You can borrow more money and do it again and again.
I want to emphasize something here: Borrowing money is dangerous. But you can make a lot of money doing this if the economy works in your favor.
RV parks, dental offices, and other businesses also spit out income. I know plenty of people who make a good living off the income from their investments.
Hands down, the best way to make money is…
Start a business.
Just about everyone has sat around drinking beer and dreaming up a business idea. My wife thinks tattoo removal would be a great business, especially here in Myrtle Beach. She might be right, although I don’t think people around here are capable of regret.
Anyway, an idea for a business, even a good idea, is virtually worthless without execution. You have to research tattoo removal machines, get certified to do it, rent office space, put a sign on the door, form an LLC. All that just to remove tattoos.
And what if someone opens one up next door? There’s a lot of risk involved.
Most people, deep down, don’t start a business because they are afraid of the risk.
It’s good to have a healthy fear of risk. If you start a business with your own money and fail, it blows up your personal finances. You could go bankrupt.
If you start a business with other people’s money, and it fails, you have to deal with angry people.
But if you want to get really rich, it’s the best way to do it. Why? Because you are investing in yourself.
You can do any or all of these things. You can work harder or longer, get a different job, fool around with real estate, or start your own business.
Most people do none of those things. They are content with what they have, which is an economic choice.
Or their self-image is tied up in not being rich, which is another economic choice. They like to identify as an average Joe. And that’s fine! But you can’t do that and then gripe about not having money. You can’t have it both ways.
If you want more money, try doing the things that people with money do. Lose the cargo shorts. Stop watching The Learning Channel. Hang out where rich people hang out.
Most of all, get ready for lots and lots of hard work. Sure, there is easy money to be made sometimes. But most of the time, it’s a grind. And there are no shortcuts.
Yes, it gets easier after a while. And when you see someone who has money, they probably make it look easy. It’s a bit like an iceberg, though—you’re only seeing the top 10% of it. Underneath is a whole lot of sweat and toil.
The reality is, making money is hard. It is also worth it.
You’ll know what I mean when you get there.
PS: Step two is figuring out where to put your money once you have some. I know plenty of people who made a lot of money, only to waste it once they got there, either through lousy investment schemes or missed opportunities. The solution—whether you’re starting with $1,000 or $100,000 (or more), is to spread your money out in an Awesome Portfolio. I’ve laid out all the details for you here.