You want to be rich too, don’t you?
I don’t know about you guys, but I’d sure like to have me some money. It’s not the be-all and end-all of everything. But if you’re not independently wealthy, or cloistered in a monastery somewhere, then by Bob, you know what I’m talking about.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have more money. I’d like to lead a comfortable lifestyle. I’d like to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I’d like to do the things I want to do. And then have some cash left over.
I am genuinely in agreement with this one particular post I read earlier this morning. A friend of ours shared it on Facebook (shout out to Paul), and you can read it here on Mark Cuban’s Blog Maverick.
Ever since I’ve been doing this whole work-at-home thing, I’ve been approached by family and friends asking me about all kinds of business offers they’ve been getting online and in real life. With a little research, my suspicions were sadly confirmed: most of these get-rich-quick schemes are really scams.
Scams take advantage of people by making them believe they can get an edge ahead of everyone by taking a few shortcuts, and unfortunately, there is a market out there just ripe for the picking of the unscrupulous.
In my short but fairly successful stint in media and marketing, I will tell you this: there is no shortcut to success. Most will probably agree with me. Anyone else who says otherwise is probably out to scam you, or just has a terrible work ethic.
Let’s face it: most of us aren’t independently wealthy. We don’t usually have a trust fund, nor are we in line to receive a substantial inheritance any time soon. Heck, I don’t even have a winning lottery ticket on me most times. If you want to be wealthy, you have to take proactive steps in ensuring your own financial success.
If you want to get rich- here are a few tips for your consideration.
First of all, let’s put you in the proper state of mind. This is going to be the hardest for most people, because it’s going to take some discipline, and it’s going to involve some sacrifices. But it’s “either-one-cookie-now-or-two-cookies-later”. And yes, I go for the two cookies later.
1. Spend Less. Just because you have money doesn’t mean you gotta spend it all. Get into the habit of cutting down on your spending. Shell out cash for things you really need- food, education, shelter, etc. Maybe you can bring down the luxuries down a notch or two. How can you amass wealth if you’re simply bleeding money?
Heck I’m guilty of spending too much myself. In fact I could definitely do so much better living a simpler lifestyle. If I’m spending Php5,000 a week, I gotta find ways to bring that expenditure level down to, say Php4,000 or even Php3k. You don’t have to be stingy. You just need to be a little more creative.
2. Spend Smart. When you do fork out your dough, make the most out of it. Just because something is cheap means it’s a good buy. Get the most value out of your money. And that means striking a balance between quality and cost. Think of how your purchases affect you in the long run rather than the short-term.
3. Spend Within Your Means. It might be great to have credit cards, but don’t allow yourself to overindulge. In fact, do away with credit if you can. Credit only allows you to spend money that you don’t even have.
Learn to accept the fact that you can’t possibly afford the things you want right away, but you eventually will, if you play it smart. Use your desire to get the stuff you want to fuel your motivation to make more money. In the meantime, if you can’t afford something, just move on.
Next, let’s work on getting you a positive cash flow. More than just amassing money, this is all about building your market value. So in effect, you become your own cash cow.
4. Get a Job. More than just achieving a positive cash flow for yourself, your job should help you achieve discipline and structure. It also builds up your competency in particular skillsets, makes you more aware of the workings of your chosen industry, and allows you to build a network of contacts.
Even better- get a job you totally enjoy. Then things won’t be too stressful for you, since working hardly seems like work at all.
5. Learn a Trade, Be Good at What You Do. Within the course of your career, you probably will have a good idea of particular skillsets and specializations that make you more marketable. So pick one, stick to it, and be damn good at it. There’s no point in being mediocre.
I started out as a lowly DJ and radio announcer for probably the best FM station ever in Metro Manila (which was 99.5RT). But over the course of my radio career, I’ve picked up more skillsets- each one unlocking better, more lucrative options. From being a DJ, I learned to do radio commercials and emcee all kinds of events and parties. Then I learned to make my own commercials, and make my own parties. Soon I got to producing my own events and concerts. Finally I learned more on marketing, and how it all ties in with sales and your on-air crew.
6. Save. Probably one of the biggest pitfalls (admittedly one I fall into more times than I care to admit) is that once you make more money, you also tend to spend more money. Saving money helps you to not only control your cash flow, but also allows you to start building up a “security blanket” of sorts.
Saving forces you to keep your lifestyle simple, and therefore less prone to overspending.
If I had saved up all the money I blew on comics and toys from the time I started working til now, I suppose I’d probably have more than enough to put up my own hobby shop! But now that I’ve realized it, it’s never too late to start saving. So stash away some of that hard-earned cash of yours to spend some other time when you need it more.
7. Keep Learning. Just because you’re good doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Keep picking up new skills. Even new hobbies and pastimes can be a lucrative income stream if you want it to be.
The key is to create a more well-rounded, more relevant, and an even more marketable you. For example, at a time like this, everyone’s into computers- so why not take it up a notch, and learn how to build one from scratch? Or learn digital media. Even Search Engine Marketing, perhaps?
Next, let’s take it up a notch. If you want to be wealthy, you have to learn to NOT be dependent on others (and other companies) for your own wealth. Learn to make your own money, and make money work for you.
8. Pick Yourself Up Some Basic Business Skills. Because you are in the business of making money. You are your own boss and your own client, and your own workforce. Learn some accounting- to keep track of what you make and what you spend. Learn some marketing- because you want to keep building your network and collaborate with worthwhile partners. Learn some brand management- because you are your own brand! Learn to do administrative work- because you have to be able to do it all.
9. Be In The Know. As you are more in charge of your own success, take it upon yourself to keep abreast of business developments, particularly in your chosen field of expertise- how the markets are doing, how world events and other industries affect your own, what the current trends are, etc.
It’s research, yes, but also it enables you to seek out new opportunities for you to make more money. And after you’ve built yourself up to this point, you should be ready for just about anything.
10. Invest. At this point, you have to be able to get money to work for you. Get into a business, one that best makes use of your experience, expertise and connections. And there are surely ways for you to play around with your money so that your investments pay off nicely for you.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen.
I have to admit, I’m not rich just yet. I do, however, consider myself fairly successful for my age, and I’m definitely going to make it big someday.
What I have on this post is a roadmap for my own personal success that I wish to share with you all, and is the result of the sum total of my life experiences, the books I read, and everything else that has brought me to this point.
I’d sure love to hear what you think as well.
Tuneage for this post: Figures on a Beach – “No Stars”, The Wild Swans – “Bringing Home the Ashes”, Aztec Camera – “Walk Out To Winter”, among other songs.