Making Money the Hard Way

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Once upon a time, I had a crappy job, with crappy pay and no benefits. I worked third shift. I worked holidays. My life was miserable.

Isn’t it funny how times have changed?

I’ve made a lot of moves with my career. I’ve learned more about money in the last three years than I had in the 33 years prior. Well, guess what? Daddy has a brand new plan.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk a bit about my plans and what I’ve learned over the years and how I’m implementing these lessons into my new project.

Hard Work is Sometimes Necessary

There is an old saying, “There is no substitute for hard work.” And sometimes this is pretty accurate.

Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time working really hard and for years I had nothing to show for it. I spent 10-12 hours a day in kitchens. I thought working hard would get me somewhere. It didn’t. At least, not within that industry.

Every job ended up being someone or a group of people who wanted to take advantage of my talent without paying me for it. If I was going to change my life for the better, I would have to work hard. And work hard I did.

I started a blog and I spent weeks and months honing my writing skill and learning about SEO and social media promotion. Eventually, I worked hard enough to land freelance writing clients. My days of working crappy jobs for crappy money soon came to a close.

So yes. In most scenarios, if you want to change your life for the better, you’ll have to work hard. A career change is a lot like a car. Choosing a different path will slow you down. You’ll have to learn new skills and try new things. It won’t come quick or easy. But it’s definitely doable.

Sometimes Hard Work Isn’t Required

Weird, isn’t it? How do you know when to work hard and when not to? It’s a matter of experience.

Sometimes, I sit back in my office chair and think, “Wow, I worked super hard today.” But then I think about just how hard I used to work. And it doesn’t even compare.

The hardest day of the week for me is my podcast. I record with my co-host. Then I do all of the editing and promotion myself. All in all, it ends up turning into an 8-hour work day and I end up with a show that’s between an hour and an hour and a half.

You know what? It’s totally worth it. It’s my project. It’s not me getting up every day and busting my butt to make someone else a dollar.

I wake up every day and I get to decide how I’m going to spend it. Working hard can be a great feeling. But it’s only truly great when I get to decide if I want to work hard.

Entrepreneurial Decisions

I love my friends and immediate family. They’re good people and they always try hard to help. But one thing that none of them are is an entrepreneur. They like to hear my ideas.

I like to hear theirs.

Unfortunately, their ideas usually just can’t work. They don’t make sense for one reason or another. In the rare case that someone does come to me with a good idea, I make sure to thank them. In other instances, I may try to get them on board with whatever project I’m working on.

Do you know what I hate? Social media. I’ve never liked it. There are two exceptions to this.

  1. Twitter
  2. YouTube

I’m not sure if you can even consider YouTube to be social media. It’s more like a search engine for video content. And creating content for it is a lot like starting a website or blog. Anyone can make a YouTube channel but if you want to create really awesome content, you’ll need to spend a lot of time doing research and learning the tools of the trade.

I’m pretty new to the game, but I’m catching on quickly and having a lot of fun.

Twitter is easy. It’s one of the best and easiest to use social media platforms. So I have no problems using it. I was talking to my best friend one day. I was telling her about much I enjoy YouTube and how easy Twitter is to use, but my new project felt like it was missing something.

“Dude, you need an Instagram account! I love Instagram. Do you mind if I take it and run with it?”

To which I replied, “No, I don’t mind at all.”

And you know what? She’s doing a fantastic job. Not only is she doing a great job, but she’s doing it for free because she’s my best friend and wants to help.

The same thing happened with another buddy of mine. I was telling him about how much I wanted to start a podcast. He got super excited about the idea and wanted to be a part of it. Now he’s the co-host of my show.

When other people get excited about your project and want to help for free, you know you’re on to something.

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Monetization and Breakdown of Ideas

When I first started the project, I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do them. Some of those ideas worked, some didn’t, and some are long-term strategies.

As far as specialization, I make websites. I’m a writer. And I know a thing or two about SEO and marketing. So I asked myself, “How do I bring all of this together?”

It took months for me to put together the ideas that would eventually turn into my new website. I broke everything down into three different categories.

  1. What I’m good at
  2. What I want to be good at
  3. What I don’t feel like dealing with

I then broke those down into more categories and I call them “phases”.

Phase One

This is just me starting out, doing what I do. I built a nice looking website. I create content on a regular basis. The SEO Is and Ts are dotted and crossed nicely. I’m currently promoting this content on Twitter and creating YouTube content as often as I can.

Phase Two

Anyone who buys a domain name at auction will have to wait 60 days before the domain can transfer to another host. Once I get the site moved, I’ll get an SSL certificate and throw some ads up on the site.

Phase Three

This is when I start advertising the site really hard. I’m going to look for content creators who want exposure and are will to contribute to my site and its outlets for free.

Phase Four

This is the last phase. This is where I start hiring actual employees. This includes a social media manager, editor, freelance writers, and more.

And Then?

Rinse and repeat. If I can make this one site take off, I can make others do the same and link them all together, similar to what Gizmodo does with their family of websites.

I do have a few secrets I’m not willing to share here for what are probably obvious reasons.

Overall, I estimate that when I’m going full-throttle, I should have around a dozen revenue streams. To me, this is probably the most exciting part. I love making money.

For a while, I know I’m going to be working hard on a regular basis. However, I feel like the more money I make, the more I can delegate work and tasks and I can sit back and do what I do best, which is coming up with cool and fun ideas.

Every time I meet someone whose face lights up and is interested in what I’m doing, I know I’m on the right track.

Wrapping It Up

This was a brief glimpse into my latest project. I’m really excited and so far, things are going swimmingly. I firmly believe it’s on a matter of time before all of my content channels take off.

This is my golden ticket. I’m ready and willing to sink as much time and energy into this as I need to.

The moral of the story is to go after your dreams. Think big and then take baby steps to reach your goals. If I can make it happen, so can you.

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