You are not going to believe how long this post has taken me to figure out, write and have the courage to publish.
Why you may ask?
Because this one is very different from the two posts about making money I published previously. In the first one I shared fifteen ideas that can make you enough money to fill in the fridge for a month (about £300/$500). These were ideas that either don’t need much specialised skills (cleaning houses, for instance) or they didn’t demand single minded attention and devotion (teaching a school subject along the lines of your education).
In the second article, I upped the game a little and shared fifteen ideas that can make you enough money to pay the bills for a month (about £1,000/$1,700). These required some specialised skills (driving a taxi) and much higher level of commitment (building a blog or writing a book, for instance). Some of these ideas also need some capital to come to anything; e.g. buying blogs.
One thing this two sets of ideas share is that mostly anyone can realise them. Okay, some will be easier and more appropriate for some people but the activities are generic.
When we talk about how to make money enough for financial independence this is no longer true; these ideas are very personal and people have to work out what they will do themselves.
Before I tell you what ideas I came up with let me make five points:
1) I believe in saving a large proportion of your earnings and this is what we’ve been doing for well over a year now (we currently save about 30% of our income after tax and this is on top of pension contributions). But I believe that saving a high proportion of a high income is what really does it. Hence, my focus on increasing income.
2) It is very important when you do this to work out three numbers. These are: your ‘minimum’, your ‘comfortable’ and your ‘dream’. I know, for instance, that our ‘minimum’ is £400,000; our ‘comfortable’ is about £1,000,000 (or equivalent) and our ‘dream’ is £2,500,000 (or equivalent).
3) You’ll have to work out where your strengths and talent are. Ask yourself the question ‘what is the one thing that I can do so well that I can be in the top 10% in the world?’. When you answer the question work on this competence with the persistence of a drug addict.
4) Archimedes, the Greek dude who shouted ‘eureka’ and ran around naked, has probably done us more harm than good. Why? Because we’ve learned to celebrate the ‘eureka’ moment; the moment when an idea hits us like a bolt of lightning. It doesn’t work like that! Ideas come from hard work not from divine inspiration. So learn to brainstorm ideas, including the ones about making money enough for financial independence.
5) You have to be very clear about timelines.
Here are the fifteen ideas I’ve come up to make money for our financial independence. I’ve brainstormed these many times and the list has changed a lot. It’s enough to say that when I started, the first idea read ‘rob a bank’.
Some of these ideas complement each other and some are not compatible. So, I have much more work to do.
Who said that this is easy?
1) Become a Dean of a Business School or a Vice Chancellor of a university. Interestingly, this could be much easier for me to achieve than some of the other ideas on my list. I am regularly approached to apply for this kind of jobs and the pay is tempting; what stops me is that I dislike living in cognitive dissonance.
2) Write a book on having impact (or making your mark) and knowing it. This needs more thinking but it links to one of my current research line. It will have to be written so that people from different walks of life read it and find it useful.
3) Write a book on how not to write a PhD. There are many books on how to write a PhD and these usually touch on the more formal aspects of writing a PhD. There are sides to doing a Doctorate that people usually don’t talk about.
4) Write historical novels. I love history and know rather a lot about the history of the East. I am thinking about writing historical novels about the Empires on the Balkans before the Ottomans arrived in Europe.
5) Write guides and e-books on different aspects of personal finance. I’ve been researching, experimenting with and writing about personal finance for close to four years now. I have a list of products I will develop – just don’t want to bore you here.
6) Develop a set of products for investing women. This is one of my interests and can grow into a book, a course and a training programme.
7) Write books on personal finance for baby-boomers. These can developing income for retirement, boosting retirement savings and money management.
8) Develop courses and training programmes on personal finance for baby boomers. See above.
9) Build a public speaking line. This will take some doing but is not miles away from what I do now (teaching, key-notes and speaking to large audiences of politicians and policy makers).
10) Make The Money Principle a destination. All metrics tell me that The Money Principle is a decent blog with decent traffic. Could I take it to the next level? Do I have the time, knowledge, speed and grit to do it?
11) Start the slimming clubs business. I’ve mentioned this one before and it falls in one of the categories of the three types of businesses one has to be a real klutz to fail.
12) Design a course on creativity. Again this has many synergies with my latest project at work.
13) Start an academic publishing business. One of the ways to make a lot of money fast is to start an academic publishing house. And yes, it is a lot of work.
14) Write a book on how to do what you love and charge what you want. This is about working smarter not harder and how to do the switch from ‘selling labour’ to ‘selling reputation’.
15) Write a book about the ways to make money. This is not my idea and it came from one of my readers.
Gosh, I read this and what I saw is that it is a lot of books and the occasional course and business. This is to be expected: what I do (and what I do best) is research, analysis and writing.
And if you find the list overwhelming, it’s not only you. I feel humbled and slightly scared by the sheer work, planning, good will and luck these need to come to fruition.
Then again one can only try. What I’ll do is have another look and come up with the top five I’d start working on.
Then I’ll select one and go for it with all I have.
I need your help!
Which one of the ones I shared you think has the best probability of success?
What are your top ideas for making money enough for financial independence?