Unconventional ideas about earning a living

Earning money is basically all about understanding "exchange".

If you are able to do something well enough to get paid for it and are smart enough to find people who want what you can produce, you will be able to earn money, no matter how old you are and what your "credentials" are.

Connections, or chance, or who you know are secondary issues, because they will affect how fast you can succeed once someone knows that you can do something that is valuable to them.

Forget about "get rich quick", that’s a game for people who buy lottery tickets with every paycheck or are constantly chasing a dream for which they will supply no valuable product or service.

Forget about being "too old" or "no degree", or "untrained". These are merely justifications for failure on the part of employees who are dealing with employers who are so inept or biased that they are unable to recognize good work unless it is performed by someone of the right gender, from the right school, with the right connections. If you insist on working for these people, you need your head examined.

If you are beating your head against the wall trying to figure out how you can make more money, you will resolve your dilemma only when you start thinking, "What do people want than I can produce?".

Then, you need to select your customers, clients, or employers from the people who want what you can produce AND are willing to pay you a fair price for what you are doing.

This is where I part company from those who are stuck in the "unfairness of it all". Yes, we can litigate and legislate until companies stop blatant discrimination against older employees or women or members of a certain race or religion, but laws and lawsuits are not going to help you earn a living today. Go for the exchange and start earning money.

Contribute to whatever activist campaign you choose, but you will find that asking the brutally simple question, "What do people want that I can produce?" will lead you into activities that will earn you money, respect, friends, the whole ball of wax.

Of course you have to deliver what you promise and generate a favorable customer experience time after time, but that is what every successful business person does every day.

The first step is to recognize that making money is all about exchange. After that it really gets easier.

Of course, if the answer to "What do people want than I can produce?" is nothing, you need to get busy and sharpen up your skills.

Can you imagine an educational system where students must ask themselves that question on entering the system and could not graduate until they had an answer for that question?

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0 Responses to Unconventional ideas about earning a living

  1. Jane Chin says:

    Excellent post, David. My favorite:

    This is where I part company from those who are stuck in the “unfairness of it all”.

    I can easily complain of all sorts of ‘ceilings’ that I’ve grown up hearing (being a woman, being asian, being short, looking young and therefore risking no one taking me seriously – at least this ‘disadvantage’ will fade with time).

    I was isolated enough from that mentality growing up and I’ve learned to focus my energy on making things happen despite people saying how impossible or unfair it is.

    I’m not saying disparities don’t exist or that actions shouldn’t be taken to stem pervasive discrimination or injustice. However, the legal system and social commiseration has overtaken perseverance in too many cases.

    Jane Chin

  2. Guy Bjerke says:

    Been reading your writing for at least a year and just wanted to let you know I found this particular post very thought provoking and useful. Work is keeping me from posting regularly – and I need to determine the niche from which I can truly add value. Again, thanks for sharing these thoughts.

  3. Melissa says:

    David – I have recently returned from a business trip in addition to getting somewhat settled back in to Floyd. I would still very much like to assist you in developing a tourism guide or vistors guide to Floyd. Please let me know if your project has progressed to thee stage of set gatherings for those interested in lending a hand. Thanks

  4. Victor says:

    Great post David!
    Most people start a business based on only half of your statement: “What can I deliver” forgetting about the most important part “what do people want”. It’s also thinking outside the box. If you like photography, you may not be able to earn a living selling your photos, but there are thousands of people who would love to sell their stuff on internet and don’t have a clue making a digital photo and uploading it. (oh oh, did I just give away part of my business 😉 , well, I’m on the other side of the world anyway…)

    Keep on posting David,


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