Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Learn How to Make Money in this New Market

There is still money being made out there. And it is being made by ordinary people.
3 Simple Things can make you one of them.

First of all, a warning. This was a very hard post for me to write. What I'm going to tell you is the truth, but I also know human nature. In fact, there is a whole sales industry out there built on the fact that most people get excited and scoop up an opportunity... and then do nothing with it.

So, if you really are comfortable with your situation but simply "exploring", then please think hard about this. Maybe you are telling yourself and others one thing, but really kinda like your existing life and routine. Then the best thing you can do is acknowledge this and relax. Have fun. Enjoy your life. And let the pressures from others ( and perhaps all the subconscious scripting from your upbringing) just slide off. Reinforce your new wisdom with empirical data. Take a test, like the passion test , to get clarity on this life you have been denying. Sometimes we feel guilty about just being who we are. The great thing about the "American Way" is that everyone has the freedom to build the life they want. Too often we confuse The American Dream with being a multi millionaire, instead of simply being happy and stress free. OK rant over.

Here are the 3 things you can do to make money now:

Invest in yourself.
Be prepared to spend some money to make things happen. Now, you know me! I'm the king of the freebee and a dedicated coupon clipper. But I also know when and where to spend my money to get the most out of it. Again, here are some warnings. Don't confuse lack of money for lack of confidence. Rich Scheferen ( mentor to many Internet millionaires) has pointed this out. Everybody has access to some extra cash. You can sell some stuff on eBay. You can deliver pizzas instead of watching TV for a while ( I actually know one millionaire who did this). When you are driven, you can find a way to get extra cash. The real problem ( according to Rich) is that deep down, you really don't believe that you can turn all that pain and effort and expense into profits. And usually this is simply because you don't have a solid business plan. So, be prepared to spend some money on yourself, but do it with a clear solid plan!

Be clear on who you are.
You plan on using this outline to start making money aren't you? Then why not make money and enjoy doing it? The key to this is understanding exactly who you are. And don't worry, this won't involve years of therapy. Here is an easy checklist:
  • Are you an introvert (I) or an extrovert (E)? Is it "the more the merrier" (E) or is there a timer ticking away when you are around a lot of people (I)? Introverts get energy by being alone. Extroverts need the stimulus of other people.
  • Do you like hands on projects (S)? Or are you more of a concept person (N)? Which appeals to you more; accounting (S) or economics (N)?
  • Are you a "Make the plan, follow the plan" (T) person? Or are you a "let's see how it goes" (F) person? Which is more important; clarity (T) or compassion (F)?
  • Do you enjoy structure and order in daily life (J) ? Or do you prefer an open agenda, so as to be able to respond to whatever comes up (P)?
  • Put together the most applicable letters from each line, and you have just given yourself a Jungian analysis. You can then plug them into Wikipedia for an analysis. (I'm an INTJ by the way )
Be realistic on what senses you use best in life. Sight, Sound, Touch, Hearing, Smell, and I'm going to include Taste (even though the purists will argue that it is part of Smell). Your primary income producing activities should involve your most dominant senses.

Take blogging for example. It really is a quiet way to spend a day. But if your dominant sense is hearing, then you will probably have the stereo and TV blasting away as well as the phone ringing off the hook. You will tell yourself that this is not interfering with your blogs; but you are only fooling yourself and are limiting your chance at success.
BUT you can still blog! Just change it into an audio blog. Do podcasts with a website only as an anchor for a sales page, links and advertising. Review music or talk shows. Get audio clips from audio books and feature them. Get everything up on iTunes. Now all your auditory ( hearing) senses are directed toward success building activities.

What? Make money just by blogging? "How can a blogger turn posts into cash?" you ask. There are a number of ways. Here is a link to an audio clip from a couple who went from broke to $70,000 in a week. Now to be honest, I doubt that this is their standard weekly income, but a lot of people would be very happy to have just a few of those weeks in a year. Just by blogging in a smart manner that fit in with their passions and abilities.

If you are interested in all the aspects of using blogging as a career, then check out my blogging article at my Website Building for Beginners web site.

But what if you have done the tests I gave you and figured out that you love working with your hands, or that you are an extrovert and need to be surrounded by people? There are scores of opportunities out there in this new marketplace. Car building may be down, but demand for licenced mechanics is at an all time high.

Do you love the hustle and bustle and the energy of crowds? Be creative. There was a local alternative medicine clinic that used to book a booth at trade shows. I noticed that the booth was always empty and that the staff had that bored "when will this day end" look on their faces. I volunteered to help, and soon the booth was so busy that the staff were begging me to stop, so that they could take a break! I did this using my skill set. I'm an introvert. Can you imagine how well an extrovert would do? And imagine if that person got a percentage of show referred bookings to the clinic!

Once you know your talents, strengths, and desires, you are on your way to a fulfilling life.

Get a Mentor!

Ah yes, I can hear that little voice in your head. "How am I going to figure out just what kind of job to search for? I don't even know where to start! He has no idea of how bad it is in my community. How can I avoid being scammed and left for broke? "

Yes it is tough in a recession/depression. I've been through two of them. During one of them, I moved to a city where there was massive unemployment and interest rates were near to 20%. People were walking away from their homes. People actually hated newcomers. Companies were so desperate to stay alive, that they used the most brutal tactics on both employees and customers. And to top all this off, I had decided to leave a career I had spent years in training for. Sound familiar? So what did I do? I found a mentor.

There are two categories of mentors.
Your first mentor will help you clarify your direction. They will help you search out possibilities you may not even know exist. And they will help you set up an action plan.

For example: Let's say you have an epiphany and realize that instead of being a clerk stuffed in an office, waiting for your layoff notice, you really want to be a mechanic. Good idea, but then an avalanche of questions come in. How do you get your licence? What training financing is available? What kind of financial plan will you need. What kind of part time jobs are available to help you in your plan? What is a realistic lifestyle you can look forward to? How will you build up a quality set of tools? Your first mentor should guide you through most of those questions.

Your second mentor will help you hone your skills. To become a mechanic you need one year of college training, and four years of apprenticeship. If you apprentice under a master you are almost guaranteed to be successful and satisfied in your new career. Sometimes the tougher the mentor the greater the reward ( I'm not talking about those sadistic egotistical b......s). There are people out there who love what they do and want to ensure that there are others following them who will produce excellent quality. Find these people and align yourself with them. I learned the most in life from foremen who demanded perfection from me....it was hard on a young ego, but boy did it pay off! Your reputation is the most valuable thing you can invest in.

  1. Get a clear understanding of what and who you are. Brainstorm with people who know you. Make it into a game. Be prepared to hear things you ( and your conditioning) have been denying.
  2. Start out your career selection by being broad and general, and then gradually narrow things down. Don't throw things out just because they seem unrealistic. Look for common elements in all your choices.
  3. Narrow your list to a handful of job options. Then go out and see them in action. Interview people in the field ( this will really help with guidance and contacts ). Be persistent in your investigation. Most people will refuse to see you at first. This is just their way of determining if you are serious.
  4. Target the one job that tops your list. Now begin to investigate on who is the most successful in that job ( company, person, trainer ). There are various resources for this depending on the field. Talk to your local reference librarian, they love helping in this kind of project. Go out and talk to people who are in your chosen field. Do you like them? Can you see yourself in their shoes? This is a great way to dispel the fears that you can't possibly enter a certain career. ( I've found that surgeons are just good mechanics with excellent memories)
  5. Find a mentor who will help you in your transition. Contact your local credit crisis line and find out who they have on their list of resources. If you are planning to upgrade your education, then check in with the counselling services where you plan to attend. You need a clear solid plan. You need to know how you are going to pay the bills and what steps to take to move forward. This way you can reduce a lot of stress. In frustrating times you can always check the list and be reassured.
  6. Narrow down a list of possible mentors and begin to cultivate relationships with them. Do whatever it takes, even spending "volunteer" time, helping them out. And watch listen and learn. Plan to be the best you can be.

This advice is a bit general, but I hope you can see how it can fit into almost every area. I'm a firm believer that there is great opportunity to make money online, but you really have to love what you do. Don't grab some program that promises you instant millions. The lottery promises you the same thing. And many people go nuts staring at a computer screen for endless hours.

Be determined to find something that matches who you really are. THIS IS REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT! In hard times, people tend to grab anything that comes available. Remember your reputation is the most important thing you will ever own. The main reason people get fired is because they are working at a job that doesn't fit their innate characteristics. Have you ever been fired, or "let go"? Think about it, chances are it was because you hated being there. This even applies to those part time entry jobs. Pizza delivery is great for an introvert, but an extrovert would soon get bored and begin to find ways to goof off. A MacDonald's crew, with all the moving and calling and synchronized cooking and serving would drive an introvert nuts, but an extrovert would consider it one big dance.

Your reputation and opportunities will be built if you focus on your innate abilities. Your reputation can be easily destroyed if you try to be something you are not.

Offline ( the "real world") there is a huge transition taking place. Some jobs are ending, but many related jobs are going to expand at an exponential rate. This really is a ground floor opportunity. And the great thing about the "greying" of America, is that people can start a new adventure at any age.

There are ways to make money and enjoy your life. Hopefully this will help you get started toward that goal. Feel free to comment.


1 comment:

Ganesh said...

Great advice Colin, you do seem to know what you are talking about.