Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Getting a Good Job isn’t the Best Way to Earn Money

There is a better way to make money. I’m not telling you to quit your job and become an anarchist. And I am not saying you’re stupid because you have a job. I have a job. So you ask, what did you mean?
A job is a way to earn money. It’s how most people earn money. It’s what I do today. It just isn’t the best way to earn money. I wish I would have known this twenty-five years ago. I wish my parents had taught me this, I wish the schools had taught me this. In a minute, I’ll share the secret with you.
I’ve had one job or another for 24 years. I’ve made all my money working for someone else.
I’ve had a job…
  • Picking Pumpkins
  • Peeling Shrimp – worst thing ever!
  • Driving a Truck
  • Maintaining Networks
  • Developing Software
  • Managing Customer Service
Today I have a great job that helps put my family in the top 5% of income earners in the United States. I am grateful for my company and my job.
I manage a team of software developers that enhance and maintain our Oracle e-business Suite. For me it is the perfect job, at the perfect company, with the perfect people. Like you, I worked hard to get where I am. I can’t imagine a job being much better. I don’t complain about my job and I have few worries about money.
So you’re probably thinking – so why do you wish you never believed a job was the best way to earn money?
Because If I knew ten or twenty years ago what I know now, I would have created far more value for myself and everybody else.
The best way to earn money is to build assets. When I say assets, I’m not talking about your home, an IRA, or a 401K. Let me explain.
Until recently, I believed entrepreneurship was the same as working for someone else, except with greater income potential. And instead of working for your boss, you work for your customer. For some entrepreneurs this is true, but for smart ones it isn’t true.
I read Rich Dad/Poor Dad and The E-Myth Revisited and it hit me…
I should be building assets for my family. I wish I had spent the last twenty-five years building assets for myself instead of trading my time for money while building assets for someone else.
So this might be your next question – If you aren’t talking about my home, IRA, or a 401K, what assets are you talking about?
Real Estate – Rental Income
Twenty-Five years ago, a guy in my neighborhood had this figured out. He was a blue-collar union guy that worked a printing press for the Star Tribune. He saved his money over a decade and purchased several apartment buildings. The income from the rental property allowed him to quit his job and he used the time he saved to build a construction company. He told me once – do what you love and never work a day in your life. I didn’t get it then; I thought he was nuts. I get it now.
Businesses that are systems
If your business doesn’t run without you, it is a job. To be free, you need to own a business that generates income whether you are there or not. I know another guy that started a franchise restaurant when he was about twenty. He built the business up and trained good managers, which allowed him to step away. The restaurant produced income that paid his bills while he pursued other opportunities. He built a second restaurant and stepped away. Built a third restaurant and stepped away. Now he owns multiple restaurants that produce income – without him working at any of them – so he can spend his time fishing and golfing. Another example of this type of asset is Steve Pavlina’s website. Some people commented that Steve is telling everyone to quit their jobs and start blogging. That’s not what Steve is saying. Steve is telling you to be creative and build yourself an asset that works for you so you have time to pursue new opportunities. Blogging is just one of infinite ways you could do this. The only limit is your imagination.
Intellectual Property
When you create intellectual property, you only work on the initial creation. Once it’s finished it can generate income for many generations. For example – Let’s say you wrote a book, and the book became popular, your family could receive income from it for several generations after you were dead. You’re making money from the grave!
A few types of intellectual property:
  • Books
  • Software
  • Audio
  • Music
  • Video
  • Scripts
  • Art
  • Patents
In my opinion, intellectual property is the best of the best ways for you to make money.
There are probably many other asset categories too.
So, since I wish I had never believed that getting a good job is the best way to earn money, I am not going to teach my sons this adage – get a good education so you can get a good job.
I’m going to teach my children this:
If you learn how to create value for other people – doing what you love – you’ll never have to get a job.

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