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Earn more money this year

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This year, I’ve decided to focus on helping you earn more money.

Last year, I outlined the CEO Model, helping people Cut costs, Earn more, and Optimize Spending.

This year, I want to show you how to earn more money — the #1-requested topic on I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

A real revenue chart from I Will Teach You To Be Rich

And not just an extra $0.50/day using Adsense, but hundreds and thousands of dollars on the side, while you keep your full-time job.

Make More Money: Free tactics, case studies, and psychological techniques

This month, I’ll be releasing a 3-week free course — via blog posts and email — on earning income on the side, targeting your market, psychological barriers to earning more (and how to overcome them), and case studies with specific tactics that others have used to earn significant side incomes.

It’s not just about money — it’s about living a Rich life where you can control your income, not be subject to the whims of a corporate HR department or boss. Use the extra money to tackle your goals. Use the extra income to pay off debt, save more, or spend on the things you love (e.g., trips to Vegas). Run a quick simulation — how much faster would you hit your financial goals if you could earn extra money. Say, an extra $500 or $1,000/month?

Here are some great quotes I’ve collected, which I’ll explore more in upcoming blog posts:

  • I’ve increased my income 3 fold. I’m doing way better in cutting out the unnecessary time wasters (emails, phone calls, and meetings), and am now working on trimming the time fat on my income generated by flesh and blood clients…”
  • “I want to hit the $3,000 per month mark we discussed as soon as possible. I’ll pay for it. I’ll write for you in trade. Whatever. I just want in.”
  • “I want to make about ~$1500-2000/mo short-term so I can walk away from my day job, set my own schedule at home and invest more time in building a high-quality blog as a platform for my business. I realize this will take a long time, and I’m ok with that.”
  • “8 months ago i decided that i would earn more money. First I asked for a 5% raise at work and got it. (This was scary because we had just had 3 rounds of firings.) Then i sat down and figured out what interested me and I could make money doing.”
  • “I wanted to show you how I’ve documented how I manage 2 kids and 2 businesses. My Web consultancy makes $300,000 a year, funding my XX project. And I do it all between 9am and 4pm.”

5 reasons why earning more income is FAR more powerful than frugality

You can’t out-frugal your way to rich. While most personal-finance “experts” focus on cutting costs, that’s only one part of the puzzle to living a Rich life.

Earning more is one of the most powerful strategies you can use. Here’s why it’s more powerful than simply cutting costs:

  1. Most people can’t earn more — so if you can, you win. Because of differences in skill, motivation, and luck, few people ever try to earn more (they just complain about taxes) so if you’re in that small group of motivated people who actually do earn more, you earn the lion’s share of side revenue. Instead, people focus on cutting costs, which is admittedly difficult, but really anyone can do it. If anyone can do something, the rewards are predictably smaller. But when you pick an area to excel in where there’s a built-in barrier to success — like earning more money on the side — the winners usually get disproportionate winnings.
  2. There’s a limit to how much you can save, but no limit to how much you can earn. Think about that — for someone with experience in earning more, it’s far easier to earn $1,000 than to slash $1,000 from your budget (see for yourself using this simulator to balance California’s budget). And more fun.
  3. Diversify your risks. What if you lost your job tomorrow? Would you have another source of income? If not, the odd irony of recessions is that if you lose your job, everyone else is losing their jobs…so there are few jobs available. From reading this site, you know about diversifying your investments. What about diversifying your revenue sources?
  4. The Tuner Strategy. Once you earn your first $1,000, it’s relatively easy to turn the dial to make $1,500, or $2,000, or even more. I’ll cover The Tuner Strategy in more detail over the next few weeks.
  5. Powerful combination of earning more and managing spending. Combine earning more with the automation strategy for saving, investing, and spending that I outline in my personal finance book, and you have a powerful financial combination.

Now I’ll admit, managing your spending behavior is important. If you’re earning $150,000/year and spending all of it, you are a fool. I’ve covered automating your finances and creating a Conscious Spending Plan (not a useless budget) in extreme detail in my book.

But too many people get tunnel vision on cutting costs.

I want to live a Rich life, and that means spending money on the things I love. I want to maintain my basic desires — living in an apartment in San Francisco, being able to eat out with friends, and traveling around to see my family/friends. If you asked me whether I’d rather cut down on those, or spend time earning money so I could live the lifestyle I wanted, I’d answer earn more 100% of the time.

I’ve written about why you should focus on the Big Wins instead of trying to save money on stupid $3 lattes. Earning more is one of the Biggest Wins you can have — especially once you can systematize it so you have a steady, increasing side income.

For those of you who want to earn more money, let’s do it. Let others worry about saving money on small items. You focus on the Big Wins.

Misconceptions about earning more money

While you’re reading this, you might be getting excited about earning money. But what if I asked you, “How can you earn an extra $100 this week?” Suddenly, the excuses start coming out.

Those tips might work for someone, but not me! I’m too (insert excuse here). I’ll do it later.

I want to confront these misconceptions up front because if I don’t, I’ll get 500 stupid comments saying the same things and I’ll end up being guilty of homicide.

Let’s be real: You can earn more income without quitting your job. You can be entrepreneurial without calling yourself an entrepreneur. And you can make more money to pay off debt, save it, or even spend it on things like trips to Vegas or Miami.

Earning more is about more than the money. You can free up time to do things you really love, including leaving your own job (if you want) or taking vacations and watching income continue to roll in.

You can build a network without being a “networker”: Two of my freelancer friends received multiple full-time job offers this year and turned them down, preferring to make more (and work on more interesting work) on their own. I’ll show you how.

I’ve helped friends:

  • Identify skills they could easily use to start a side-business
  • Use my email and negotiation scripts to win clients & increase their  freelance hourly rate
  • Deal with problem clients
  • Prioritize what’s important and what’s a waste of time
  • Productize knowledge and scale income (e.g., a book or Boot Camp)
  • Quit their full-time jobs to work on things they loved

I’ll show you how to do the same, too.

But, a warning

Earning more is an area rife with scammy tactics and empty promises. If you want a silver bullet or super-easy way to earn $5,000/day using SEO, just go away. This isn’t for you.

Earning more is also rife with psychological issues, most of which deal with getting out of your own way and confronting your own barriers. We’ll cover some psychological aspects of earning money, as they are central, yet often invisible, when starting out.

Finally, if you want to complain about how these tactics don’t apply to your specific situation, go away. Smart people take broad strategies and specific tactics and apply them to their own lives. Whiners complain about how it doesn’t apply to them. Don’t expect to be spoon-fed.

Want more content on How To Make More Money?

Question for you: What should I cover?

I’ve written most of the stuff, but I still have some open time to cover a few extra areas of earning more. So, 2 questions:

  1. Are you guys interested in earning more?
  2. And is there one specific area of earning money that you want me to cover? (Add SPECIFIC questions below in the comments.)

* * *

[Updated]: The 3-week course on earning more is finished. If you want to learn more about earning more money — with materials, scripts, tactics, and techniques that you won’t see on the blog, join my private Earn1K insider’s list:


(Can’t see the form? Click here.)

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  1. I am definitely interested in earning more. Im pretty sure everyone else is right now also because they are all fired up about 2010…

    I like what you said about systematizing and automating side income, so can you cover automation in more detail? I know automation will take work, but the payoff will be great!

  2. I will look forward to your posts in 2010! I love this quote:

    “You can’t out-frugal your way to rich.”

    That is so true. This may sound like blasphemy to most personal finance bloggers but IMO its a huge waste of time to spend so much time on minutia trying to save $50 here and $100 there.

    This is especially true for anyone who has really dedicated themselves to trying to increase their earning potential because when you sit down and calculate how much your time is really worth even in terms of opportunity cost then all of that effort for one time savings is actually losing you money because you are taking time away from increasing your income and actually creating long term wealth for yourself.

    I also like your advice about how it is OK to be an entrepreneur “on the side” while still working your full time job. I work 100% full time for myself but when I talk to others that are considering “taking the plunge” I always caution them to not make too drastic of a change right away but to just keep their day job and then work an extra 40 hrs on their side job until they can test out the validity of their business model (I wrote something along the same vein for a guest post for Matt Jabs a while back: ) – Joel

  3. Definitely interested in making more money in 2010. I dont know a whole lot of people who aren’t.

    I was lucky enough to get set up with a new job that will allow me to make an ok living, heading into 2010. OK, meaning i can cover my basic expenses, save a little, spend a little, and not have to eat ramen noodles everyday. It also allows me the time i need to work on other projects outside of work, during daylight hours.

    The challenge I’m facing now is: i can’t decide which path to take to start bringing in the extra dollars. Unfortunately for me – depending on how you look at it – I have more than one passion in life, and i find myself drawn in many different directions when it comes to choosing one path that i would like to follow. I understand that i dont have to do everything at once. Some of them, i have determined wouldn’t be good for making long-term dollars, so i choose to keep them as only hobbies. I just want to avoid chasing too many rabbits and ending up with none. How would you tackle this challenge of whittling down my options?

  4. 1. Are you guys interested in earning more?
    Yes! Definitely!

    2. And is there one specific area of earning money that you want me to cover? (Add SPECIFIC questions below in the comments.)
    How to come up with a good idea and effectively/efficiently test the idea.

    I came up with the idea of doing freelance bookkeeping (I’m studying accounting now) with encouragement from lecturers. But now that I’ve setup the company, built a website, submitted my business details to yellow pages/online directories, I’m still not getting any business. From reading Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Work Week, I’ve come to realize that very cheaply testing an idea before implementing it is important. The company registration costs, domain name, logo design, etc. are sunk cost to me now… but I want to keep trying until I develop additional income/revenue streams before I graduate and, potentially, get bogged down in a job just because I need the money to survive.

    Thanks in advance for your 3-week course!

  5. I’m pumped you are focusing in this direction in 2010. I’ll be refreshing my RSS reader every couple of hours hoping for more. 🙂

    I’m most interested in:

    Even more time management (action focused)
    Psychologically treating your business as a ‘business’.
    Overcoming mental barriers that keep you from monetizing to full potential.

    Selfish? Maybe. But these are really my biggest hurdles, and the last 2 seem to affect more people than they themselves realize. 🙂

    Pumped to see what 2010 looks like here.


  6. This is great, I was hoping for something like this. Thank you so much, basically I’m interested in any kind of income that’s not based not a main job that I’m scared to lose.

    I’m very interested in this!

  7. THIS is what the title of this blog is al about. Up until now, 90% of the tips have been about “how not to be poor”, and while the content was interesting, it was nothing new (for me at least).

    I’m really looking forward to this series. If I can get just $1000/mo on the side, that would change things dramatically.

  8. This is a great focus for 2010. For people trying to get out of debt there is no better way to pay of debt than to earn more money.

    I talk a lot on my site about getting a second job to pay of more debt. Many people hate the idea of working more than they already are, but I think that it is a great opportunity. Not only will you make extra money, but you will have less free time to spend your existing money.

    The best advice I have for someone looking for a second income is to go do something you enjoy doing. You might be working your primary job out of necessity because it is good money. But with a second job you have more freedom to try things that are fun. Let’s say you like baseball. Have you thought about getting a part-time job at the ballpark?

    So, I look forward to your 2010 articles.

  9. 2. And is there one specific area of earning money that you want me to cover? (Add SPECIFIC questions below in the comments.)
    How to come up with a good idea and effectively/efficiently test the idea.

    I am a professional full-time CG/3D artist.
    I have thought about creating stock content ( 3d models and textures ) for stock websites. These generally charge around 40-50% to carry the models and sell them.
    I can also write web articles, do portuguese-english and english-portuguese translation or simple graphic design tasks.
    Could you please go over these ideas, tell me which you think is best, or provide alternative ideas?


  10. Hey Ramit,

    I’m planning to transition away from my job to work on my website this year, so I’m definitely interested in how to earn more income from it.

    I’d like the psychological stuff, because I’m a first time entrepreneur. I was never raised with an entrepreneurial spirit and have been a wage-slave all my working life, so I need this attitude adjustment badly. 🙂

    I’m also fond of detailed how-tos, complete with resources and scripts. You do a lot of this stuff already so I don’t think I need to explain more except to say keep doing it. 🙂

    For me the most difficult specific topic to consider is taking a product from beginning to finish: brainstorm to creation/production to launch process to automating the process afterwards. Seeing some detailed step by step examples, especially with digital information products, would really help. (Also, details on where and how to get your digital info products turned into physical products would be nice too.)