“Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor.
But it’s no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?”
– Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof
Inspiration was slow to come during the past few weeks. In fact, it was so slow it may as well have been sliding backwards. I needed something that would allow my mind to drift.
I thought physical activity would help. I finally cleaned out the closet and junk room. On an organizational roll, I even built a new bookshelf. All I got was a feeling of being too jumpy to sit down and write.
Okay, inspirational method #2: a movie. Since I have such a large collection of files, I rolled the dice (2d10 for those who would appreciate this). The result pointed to Fiddler on the Roof.
All right. I like musicals. I have several in my collection. Sue me.
One of my favorite scenes is when the lead character, Tevye, dances in his barn, singing at the top of his lungs about being a rich man while his lame horse watches with mild interest. Tevye is a poor man, and he understands that it isn’t his lot in life to be wealthy.
I began to think about all the ways people try to get rich quick online. Plenty of how tos and information exists. Rather than write about new methods of earning money, I’ll write about what won’t make you wealthy.
Blogging won’t make you rich. What people fail to realize is that blogging is a way to be noticed. It brings opportunities that will make you rich – or at least able to earn a comfortable living.
James and I don’t make much money from our blog, despite our monetization strategies. Our advertising, Amazon and ebook revenues barely bring in enough to buy a dinner for four once a month.
But through our blog, we achieve clients. People often contact us because they become familiar with us through our content. They see that we have integrity, that we’re trustworthy and that we offer quality – even in free posts.
A blog should never be a sole source of income. It’s simply a resource and a tool that helps achieve other revenues.
Everyone wants to be an author. So, they grab an idea, write an ebook, put it up for sale and wait to get rich. It should be easy, right?
No. The truth is that e-books involve a big investment with a low return. A good e-book that is researched, well formatted and includes appealing graphics costs a great deal in time. If you’re going to do it, do it right and make it look good. There is more involved than writing a few pages in Word and transferring them to PDF.
When we produced our e-book, we spent over $1,000 and probably closer to $1,500 to make sure that we did it right. Expenses, labor costs… add on marketing and all the time involved to build a buzz, and you’re looking at a big investment.
Writing a Novel
My roommate believes that just because I’m talented, the novel James and I are co-authoring will be an instant hit. By this time next year, we should be enjoying Bacardi and Cokes on my private yacht somewhere out on the turquoise waters of the
Um… No. Any author will tell you that writing a novel won’t make you rich. For every JK Rowling, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett, there are thousands of other authors who are probably just as good but whose books never see the light of day.
Sometimes, becoming a bestseller author is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it’s who you know. Sometimes the author hits on an idea in their genre that is fresh enough to capture some publicity.
Almost all of the time, the authors busted their asses and received enough rejection slips to wallpaper their future mansion.
How many times have you seen sales letters and ads from people who claim to have made it big? Maybe you’ve even bought into the scheme (these people are always selling something) and tried it for yourself. Tell me: Are you rich?
Probably not. You and every other average Joe want to replicate the success of web gurus using their magical methods. You could follow the guru’s advice step by step and still not achieve the same results.
No matter what, there’s always one very important ingredient missing from the formula. Just mimicking someone else isn’t enough. You have to find your own magical ingredient and have the drive and ambition to make it work.
Starting Your Own Business
Starting your own online business definitely won’t make you rich. You’ll probably put more time and money into your new business than you ever did working for someone else’s business.
You’re responsible whether you want to be or not. You have to stay on top of everything. There’s no one to tell you to move your ass except yourself (or your partner). You can outsource, but prepare to fork out money before you get to keep some. You can’t tell your staff, “My clients didn’t pay me yet, so I can’t pay you.”
You have to hustle to keep the money coming in. Even then, it’s a challenge to break even.
You also have to consider start-up costs and all the expenses. Web hosting, subscriptions, equipment and software… Don’t forget utility bills, registration fees, income tax… You did save up to pay income tax, didn’t you?
Your new venture could actually put you in the poorhouse if you don’t plan ahead.
How to Get Rich
By now, you’re wondering how you’ll ever get rich. I’ll tell you in two words: Hard work.
That’s it, plain and simple. Any of the above methods for making money have the potential to bring you cash, but you have to recognize that most won’t. You also have to recognize opportunities and jump on them with all the gusto and enthusiasm you can muster.
No one can do it for you. There is no magic pill or easy way out.
Besides, if getting rich were easy, we’d all be rich – and what’s the fun in that?