You and I know “money makes the world go round”. There is almost no aspect of life where money doesn’t play a (huge) role – ranging from politics, religion, education, down to relationships. Money is the fuel on which society runs. Or is it?
Over the years, I’ve studied extensively about money and how to get it and I’ve come to an underwhelming realization. I’ve come to understand that money is not something to be chased. In fact, money does not exist (it is rather a social construct that has only been given weight in our collective imaginations)
What this means is that money is rather a side effect of something else and not the thing to be chased after.
Money is not fiat (paper or coins), bits (cryptocurrencies), nor anything really. Money is not tangible. Money is rather “Value”. Money is the side effect of the perceived value of what someone did.
You must have heard the definition before: “Money is a store of value”.
What this means (in layman’s language) is that “Money is Thankyou’s”
Yes, money equals thanks. I can’t delve into the history of money, but the basic idea is that many years ago when you did something nice for someone, they didn’t give you anything in return except a simple vow to reciprocate (whenever you needed help). But these days, people (instantly) give money to replace the debt they owed you. So that, whenever you show that money to someone else, they return the favor to you.
That is why people say “I owe you nothing” after paying. If someone gives you money, they’ve fulfilled/given you all the obligations they owed you. This is why people also make demands immediately they pay you money.
Money is value. The greater the good you did, the greater the money you receive – or more correctly, the more valuable the thing you did is, the more money you get.
To simplify: “you get paid according to your perceived value”
22 LESSONS ABOUT MONEY – a simple guide for making money and a good life
Note: The word “good” would be used to represent the goods and services you render to people for money. I have decided to use the word in order to match the theme of receiving “thankyou’s” as money
- Aim to do “good” (to/for people) – this is what is considered valuable
- Do good regularly to earn regularly (kick laziness out of the building)
- Focus on making people happy (customer satisfaction literally pays)
- Do things that help people even when you sleep (this way you get more “thanks” – i.e. money – even while you sleep)
- Invest more time, energy, and resources into finding ways to make people happier (i.e. improving your skills, products, and services). Hence, the cliché “the more you learn, the more you earn”. Because it is only by learning and becoming very good at something that you can give people satisfactory results and get them to actually pay you more money.
- Even if you don’t have a skill, services, or goods to render, you could still earn money by helping someone who has these goods and services reach/sell to more people. The sellers would be grateful that you got them clients and would pay you money – as a way of saying “thanks”.This business model is called Affiliate marketing, and you can even contact me if you want to become my affiliate.
- A good name is better than silver and gold: I know, I know, who cares about a good name? Well, it appears multi-billion-dollar companies do. Coca-Cola alone has a brand name that is worth 57.3 Billion dollars (as of 2018). Simply inscribing the name “Coca-Cola” on a product makes people want to buy it without asking questions. What this means for you is that you need to convince people to trust you in order to make money. The best marketing strategy thus becomes transparency, “excellence”, honesty, and goodness (this is all part of “branding”).
- You should mind your business: Minding your business doesn’t just mean avoiding the temptation to poke nose in people’s personal affairs, it also means working on building your reputation/brand and business rather than working for someone else. There are exceptions of course (There are jobs/careers that allow you to grow your reputation and qualifications even when working under another organization/business). The issue, however, is if you spend 30 years working for someone else, doing your best and all, when you get fired or retired, no one would remember you. All they would remember was the Pizza joint that made the best Pizza (no one would think about you who made it). But if you had focused on making your Pizzas, then, even after retiring, or – God forbid – death, your brand name, and business can sustain you and even spill over to your children. The “Thankyou’s” still remains with your business – this produces a guaranteed future/retirement and generational wealth (as your children inherit the business). When working a job/career, ensure that you are leveling up your reputation, qualifications, and opportunities – to be leveraged later in the future. Note: “Business” is anything that you do that people pay you for. It could be as complicated as running an advertising agency, or as simple as becoming a baker.
- Go out and do good: It is not enough to be skilled, talented, and good. You want to actively promote yourself and your business. This means you have to do more than telling your friends and family about your business. You want to go out there and advertise – pull out money from your pocket and pay for advertisements (use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and all other mediums you can lay your hands on. Push, Push Push to reach more people!!!)
- Listen to people’s complaints: If your duty is to be good to people, then you want to listen to people’s pains. Listen to customer reviews. When someone says you took too long, then aim to shorten your delivery time. If they say the Pizza was too salty, you now know what to do. In fact, you want to do more than listen to their feedback. You want to go out and ask for their reviews and recommendations. You want to know how to serve them better. This all boils down to the number one rule of marketing “Don’t sell crap”.
- Stop obsessing about money: Customer satisfaction should always be your goal. This means you should be willing to offer “100% Money-Back Guarantees” without flinching. True, it would sting a little when you get nothing in return, but the payoffs are 10 times the pain. It would make more people trust you, remove fear from buyers, and help you discharge troublemakers (who would have otherwise bad mouthed your business if you didn’t give them back their money).
- Wait till you have enough “Thankyou’s”: Many people make the mistake of buying things when they are not ready for them (maybe because they saw a discount or flash sale). When we buy on impulse (i.e. when we are not ready), we spend more than what we earn and borrow more than we can afford to pay back. When we are ready, we can go anywhere, and buy anything, promo or not. So, focus on getting more “thankyou’s” and giving less of it (especially now that you aren’t affluent)
- Don’t save money – yet: When you are starting out on your financial journey, you want to invest your resources in yourself. This means, you want to pay for courses to boost your skills and competence, and also get the necessary tools and vehicles to help you run your business (i.e. generate more money). This could be using all the money in your bank to pay for a course, getting a website, or opening a physical shop. After you are done with this part and people are now beginning to “thank you” for your products and services, you can then move on to practicing Frugality, saving, investing, and getting equity. For now, don’t save, but rather build your competence and skill (work on getting more “thank you’s”)
- Don’t be afraid to lose money: when you’re stuck in a decision to chosen between keeping/making a new customer or keeping/making money, always chose the human. This is because their reoccurring benefits would be a thousand times more than the instant money. One customer can get you a thousand of sales in the future, but a thousand today may not take you that far.
- Make sure you learn from everyone around you, even the people you disagree with. Separate your emotions from business and the learning process.
- Adhere to murphy’s Law: Always prepare for the worse possible outcome. George Bernard Shaw once said, “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the Aeroplan, the pessimist the parachute”. Build a fast car, but don’t forget the airbag. Act with caution.
- Never stop learning: There is no single book, blog post, or video that can teach you all you need to know about money. Education is key. if you give $1,000,000 to a self-made millionaire, they’ll turn it into $10 million. But if you give that same $1,000,000 to someone with no financial wisdom, they’ll spend it all in no time. Money isn’t the issue. It is about knowing the rules of money, work ethic, curiosity, and managing risks. Talking about risks
- You must learn to take calculated risks: Don’t fall prey to “get-rich-quick schemes”. There is a huge difference between taking risks and being reckless and greedy. A rule of thumb I’ve been adhering to is “make sure you have control over the business”. If you putting money into some system you do not have a clue how it functions (i.e. how it generates the money) chances are that it is a fraud. You want to risk pouring money into advertising, paying a celebrity or influencer, traveling, and so on, and not putting your money in a place that promises to double it within 24 hours (if you invite 2 people).
- Be patient: 99% of Warren Buffett’s wealth was made after he turned 50. People usually get in trouble when they try to get results instantly. You must be wise and patient enough to trust the process. Warren Buffet once said “You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant”
- Diversify your streams of income: As the cliché goes “don’t’ put all your eggs in one basket”. You want to work on multiple projects at once. However, when you find one that brings more returns on investments (without adding monumental responsibilities) then you want to double down on that one. But this doesn’t mean you have to let go of the others. Most millionaires/billionaires own multiple companies. You may not own a company, but you can have the skill(s), coupled with goods and services (preferably related) that you market.
- Start small: one insidious obstacle that holds people from embarking on the journey to financial freedom is the excuse of not being ready, or not having enough. You have to start exactly where you are now. Arthur Ashe put it perfectly when he said “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”.
- Don’t aim to make money, aim to impact more people, and money would come to you. The primal goal is “goodness”, not money. Money is a side effect. This is what entrepreneurs mean when they say “find a problem and fix it”. Rember “goodness” here means your work (goods or services rendered)
So, are you ready to be good at what you do? Are you willing to help people?
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