Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve loved earning my own money. Paper route, pizza delivery, lawn mowing, etc. My goals were simple, make enough money to buy the crap I wanted that my parents (rightfully so) wouldn’t waste their money on.
As I grew older, I had similar financial goals: make enough money to put a little away each month for a down payment on a house, be able to make the house payment, buy a car, take a vacation now and then, etc.
Nothing wrong with that.
In my early 20’s, I learned that I’d been thinking about work, and specifically money, all wrong.
When I got my first job as a computer programmer, I had no idea what to ask for, and back then we didn’t have the resources to research programmer salaries that we do today.
All I wanted was a shot at working in the field, and to make enough money to eat, pay rent, and have some fun on the weekends.
I got a call back after my (what must have been a successful) interview, and the guy that owned the company told me:
“$18k to start and I’ll bump you to $24k after 6 months if things work out.”
I was pumped and took the job.
It turned out to be a great job. We got to tinker with some cool tools, beta test an OS, write software for major corporations, and do some traveling. I met people there that I went on to do some good things with in the future.
Everything was awesome.
Until the day I saw a pile on invoices on the owner’s desk.
It’s not like I was snooping. We all worked in on big room and the invoices were laying on a pile of papers where anyone walking by could see them.
I glanced down at the invoice and saw my name.
The company was billing $24,000 per month for my work.
Can that be right? I took another look. Yep, each developer detailed by name with an hourly rate, hours billed, and tasks completed.
It was a weird feeling. My eyes and brain did a little disconnect and my vision was wavy. Like how the heat waves rising off a hot parking lot distort things in the distance.
It’s not like I was mad or anything. Quite the contrary, I was pumped, and a little confused.
But what about the other $264,000 that the company (he) was going to bill for me that year? Who gets that?
I know, I know. Some of you are thinking: “Oh, well he is covering the other side of your SSDI at 6%, and don’t forget about vacations and holidays.”
Without getting into some new-age bullshit, seeing that invoice was like getting slammed in the face with the “Abundance Mindset” brick.
I mentioned what I’d discovered to a coworker one afternoon over some beer and grilled cheese sandwiches.
“Dude, that’s an ungodly sum!”
Tell me about it.
I’d gained some pretty solid technical experience working there. But the greatest lesson of all was gaining an understanding of the amount of money available in the world, just sitting around waiting for someone to come along and pick it up.
I quit my job before the month was out, and started my life as an independent contractor.
I felt that targeting the $150 an hour that I was being billed for at my last job would be a stretch, so I only asked for $75 an hour. It was half the rate my former employer billed me out at, but a ton more than I had been making at that job.
Eventually, I raised my target rate, and always managed to hit it.
I eventually started a contracting company to place programmers in contract positions. I used the lessons learned as both an employee and an independent contractor to treat people fairly, while at the same time making a killer living.
As a solo contractor, employer, or just a plain old solo business person like I am today, I always set revenue goals that seem like a stretch.
I don’t do it to play a mind trick on myself. I honestly set lofty goals and work my ass off to achieve them.
And as for my current revenue goal? Am I honestly shooting for $50,000 in revenue per month?
Does that seem insane to you? Why?
What if I don’t hit $50k a month? What if I only hit half that?
Will I be considered a failure?
Maybe, but I’ll cope with that by enjoying the sunset as I float in my pool.
Maybe a good idea will come to me.
Or is it?
Ideas are a dime a dozen. They are laying everywhere. Just pick something, set a revenue goal, stay focused, and make it work.
Ideas are free and have no value until executed. On top of that, even piss poor execution of a “just OK” idea can make you a decent amount of money.
If I had a no-kidding tool that helped you make an additional $1,000 to $2,000 a month, would you pay me $49 a month to use it?
I know if YOU had a tool that helped me generate an extra few grand a month, I would pay you $49 a month for it.
1,000 subscribers at $49 a month get you to $49,000 a month in gross revenue. What’s a grand among friends? I’m calling that a goal.
How about project recovery? If your software project was failing, and your company was on the line, would you pay $50k to someone to help you get it back on track?
It happens every month. I can assure you. And it’s not in the news, because no one wants the world to know that they don’t know how to manage their multi-million software development efforts.
Have information that people can use to make their lives better? Can you make people feel invincible?
Do you know how to talk to people in such a way that they’ll want to go to the gym every day, or stop eating so much? Do you know how to help people make more money, find a job, keep a job, get promoted, or get laid?
Write about it.
Start a newsletter. Get 70,000 people to read and follow you, then get 10% of them to pay you $7 a month for exclusive content, lifestyle advice, tips, and tricks. That’s $49k a month. You’ve once again fallen short of the goal, but still a decent win.
Did I say this would be easy? Not once.
It does require work, and focus, and a bit of dedication, but is very much possible.
Never sell yourself short. You can generate huge sums of money using skills that you currently have, or skills that are readily obtained.
We are in an environment of rapid change, and many people around the world are looking for someone to help them navigate this environment.
Create a mindset of gratitude and abundance.
Set lofty goals that seem unattainable to those that don’t know, and work toward making them a reality.