Learn to Earn

I’ve been reading Loral Langemeier’s “The Millionaire Maker: Act, Think, and Make Money the Way the Wealthy Do”.

One of the messages she repeats is to “learn to earn”, which basically boils down to starting your first business doing something you already know how to do, but may not necessarily love or want to do for the rest of your life. She proposes that a lot of people get frustrated and fail when they try to build their dream business by doing something they love because they are trying to learn how to do what they love as a business while also trying to learn how to build a business.

Her suggestion is to “learn how to earn” first by building your first business around something you already know how to do.

In a lot of ‘how to be your own boss’ books the experts often suggest starting a service based business as your first business. The main reasons they offer are the low startup cost and easy entry into the field. Lawn care, pool cleaning, errand services, child care and maid services are all examples of service based businesses.

I think the greatest advantage to these businesses is just what Loral says, that they teach you how to build a business and how to earn money on your own.

The thing I like best about the whole “learn to earn” concept is that it can be done part-time, on the side, in your spare time.  I’m a big proponent of encouraging people to start a little something on the side, even if they’ve never wanted to be in business for themselves. Earning your own money, through your own efforts, outside of a paycheck, builds your self-confidence as well as providing a little extra money to go on vacation, save for your child’s education, get out of debt, buy your own home or any other personal reason a little extra cash could help with.

I spent the last two years “learning how to earn” and I’m still learning.

I started out by working full-time, collecting a paycheck, doing something I enjoyed and I started my own thing part-time, on the side, in my spare time. I then gave up a paycheck and moved to experimenting with different business ideas on a full-time basis. Today I’m doing both part-time. I work part-time for a paycheck and work part-time learning to create new revenue streams for myself.

I’ve “learned to earn” by selling my own products, consulting, coaching, teaching online workshops, teaching teleclasses, teaching in-person workshops, organizing an event, affiliate sales and selling used books online. Each of these experiments taught me something. Some of these ideas I’d dreamed about for years and thought I’d love to do for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I took action and actually did them that I learned that I may enjoy them, but they weren’t going to be the business that I wanted to build into a full-time venture.  As Barbara Winter often says “The business you start out with is not usually the business you end up with” and I now know this to be true.

I consider myself to still be in the “learn to earn” phase. I still have a pocketful of ideas for businesses I want to try and I know each will teach me a little more about how to create a business, grow a business and earn money.

Do you want to know the best thing about “learning to earn”  – I’m having the time of my life doing it!!

Now, how about you? Are you willing to “learn to earn”? What skillsets to you possess today that could be turned into a money making side business?

This article was originally published in the May 2011 Dreaming Cafe newsletter.

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