Posts Tagged ‘money’

Are you making money?

July 7, 2008

This morning I read in one of my business magazines that it costs the government 1.67 cents to make a penny.  Somehow that struck me as totally absurd.  How could they possibly justify making pennies when each one costs them 1.67 cents?  Now you and I are not the US government.  We have to make our businesses make sense.  We can’t just tax our customers more to cover our mistakes and inefficiencies.

(I might add here that even if you are an “employee,” you are in business for yourself.  You must provide a valuable service for your employer or you will not continue to be paid.  If it costs your employer to have you around, he should release you to go bring value somewhere else.)

Another way to “make” money is to use sophisticated copy machines to reproduce counterfeit money.  Of course, that’s illegal and will land you in prison.

Actually, we don’t “make” money – we “earn” money.  When you hold a dollar bill in your hand you should see it as a certificate of achievement.  You provided a service or product that someone valued more than that dollar.  There is nothing shameful about it.  You had to serve someone to receive that dollar. 

So it appears there are numerous ways to get money:

  • You can make money the way the government does – going in the hole on each penny you make.  Or just take it from someone who has gotten it honestly.
  • You can make counterfeit money – and risk going to jail.
  • You can beg for money or expect luck to bring it your way – expecting free money from the government, the lottery, good fortune, or the charity of those who earned it.
  • Or you can earn your money by providing a valuable product or service to someone else. 

Governments and churches re-distribute wealth; they don’t create it. Giving people money they did not earn only destroys their self-esteem and leads them to an unhealthy dependency.  The only real win-win solution is to teach people how to earn money.  Earning money creates wealth for all involved.  Earning money is a privilege – and in the process we have obviously provided a service for a boss, customer or client.

Don’t try to “make” money.  Just be clear on your unique value and people will gladly give you their money.  If you understand this principle you will understand that wanting wealth is not greed – it’s looking for more ways to be of service to those around you.

Looking for Gold — or Making Money?

April 21, 2008

Gold was discovered in California in the spring of 1848.  By May of 1848 reports were flying that “there was more gold than all the people in California could take out in fifty years.”  28-year-old Samuel Brannan opened the small store at John Sutter’s Fort, right in the heart of the gold rush.  Brannan took a little vial of gold and traveled the hundred miles back to San Francisco.  As he stepped off the train, he swung his hat, waved the bottle and shouted, “Gold! Gold! Gold!  By the middle of June, three quarters of the male population had left town for the gold mines near Sutter’s Fort.

Brannan never looked for gold, but selling shovels, picks and supplies to the wide-eyed miners made him California’s first millionaire.  His store was selling as much as $5000 a day (about $140,000 in 2008 dollars) in goods to the miners.

Did all the miners find their “pot of gold?”  Not a chance.  Most of them wasted time and meager resources only to return to their original homes, poor and discouraged.

So where are you looking for income opportunities?  In the last ten years thousands of people jumped on the computer bandwagon, believing that programming, web design and software development were the only real sources of wealth.  As you know, not everyone going in this direction has become wealthy?  But are there associated opportunities with this area of focus – absolutely!  In the last ten years the number of massage therapists has quadrupled.  (Our massage therapist comes to our house every Friday afternoon.  Her rates are $70 an hour and she stays booked weeks in advance.)  People who work on computers all day are prime candidates for massage.

The chair I am sitting in is a HumanScale Freedom Chair.  It’s an $850 solution to the posture challenges of sitting in front of a computer.  I can’t imagine being without it.  In the background I have music playing -specifically setting the stage for productive “knowledge work.” 

Is it possible that in your own search for “gold” you are overlooking the opportunity to become a millionaire by selling picks and shovels?

How Wealthy Are You?

April 12, 2008

In the book Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Daniel Lapin says “Money is a metaphor for the strength of your human relationships.”  If that is true, then it follows that if I want more money all I have to do is work on strengthening my relationships. 

My wife Joanne is a licensed volunteer at the Tennessee Prison for Women.  Just this week she told me about one of her friends there who is being released on Tuesday.  The woman she referenced will leave the prison with no clothes except those she is wearing, no furniture, no job prospects, no money and is rightfully terrified about her immediate future.  Fortunately, with Joanne as her one friend she will be getting a start on all of those things. 

As a career coach when I see someone who is “down and out” I am amazed at the bankruptcy I often see in their lives.  Not just financially, but having no relationships from which to draw.

Think about how money works.  If you are on a desert island and you have $10 million in $100 bills in a big suitcase, you will find that the money is absolutely worthless.  It only has value as it connects you with and flows through other people.  Your human interaction produces your wealth.  The cool thing is that in today’s technological world you can expand your connection with people exponentially – and quickly.  If you have expertise in any area, you can use that as a foundation for speaking, writing articles, radio and TV interviews, newsletters, blogs and podcasts.  If you are honestly trying to improve the lives of other people through those tools, you will create new relationships and see your true wealth soar.

Last night in our 212ºConnection teleseminar Kevin and I talked about CO-mmunication and how you can use these technology tools to expand your business – and ultimate wealth.  If you were not on the live call, you can listen to the one-hour presentation on CO-mmunication here.

Here’s a Bonus – a Free Day

February 28, 2008

Here we are, February 28th – and yes, tomorrow will not be March 1st, it will be February 29th.  That only happens once every four years, in years divisible by 4, such as 1988, 1996 and 2008.  That’s because a complete revolution around the sun takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours.  So every four years, we’ve accumulated an extra 24 hours that we have to get rid of to stay on track with the calendar.

Get rid of it – or see it as an incredible opportunity?  What do you do with an entire day that is out of the ordinary – and extra bonus?  This week Robert and Tonya Harris won $275 million in the Georgia lottery.  With the unexpected money, will they invest in something meaningful or simply spend it?  Okay, maybe you won’t win the lottery but you are definitely getting all 24 hours of an extra day on February 29th.  Are you going to invest it or spend it?  Here’s the time you’ve been looking for to read that great book.  Or that’s enough time to fully develop your business plan to take you to a new level of success.

Incidentally the first thing Robert did was quit his job so he could “live happily.”  Now there’s a hot topic for another day!

When Character meets Opportunity

December 20, 2007

I recently opened a new account at my bank.  We are changing from an S corp to an LLC so I put $500 into that account just to allow us to begin the transfer process.  This morning I looked at my accounts on line and noticed that this new account shows a balance of $50,350.84.  Obviously a banking error of some kind. 

How long should it take me to decide what to do?  Should I entertain the idea that the bank is a big corporate organization and probably won’t even miss this?  Should I consider that I have worked hard to help a lot of people and probably really do deserve this windfall?  Maybe this is God’s providence – I am destined to receive this.  Maybe all that positive thinking is paying off in new ways.  I’ve been eyeing a new Range Rover — perhaps this is just an example of turning “burning desire” into reality.

Do you know how easy it is to start down that slippery slope of justifying anything other than simply notifying the bank of their error?  With $50,000 it may seem obvious.  But what about when the cashier at Best Buy gives you $.51 too much change?  Or when the waitress forgets to add your drinks to your ticket?  Is the principle the same or does a small amount somehow get a different answer?  If so, then where does character take over?  Seems to me the easiest solution is to allow character to prevail no matter how small the amount.  Remember the story about Abraham Lincoln walking six miles to return three cents to a customer he’d unintentionally overcharged while working as a clerk in a hardware store?   It helped solidify his reputation as “Honest Abe.”  I trust that my decisions merit a similar title.