Updated: Apr 7, 2021
As I discussed in my previous post, the biggest key to financial literacy and growing wealth is NOT about how much money you make. I repeat, it is NOT about how much money you make! It is about how you manage your money. But, of course, you do have to have some money to start learning and applying these tips. And it would be foolish of me not to recognize that there are certainly benefits to making more money.
BUT... I've realized that time is more valuable than money.
I used to work 36 hours a week as a part time employee for In-N-Out Burger. For that company, that meant 6 days a week, 6 hour shifts, and boy did that kill me after a while. I am so grateful for the skills I learned at that job, leadership, teamwork, how to listen to others, and so many more. Being an employee is a CRUCIAL skill needed to develop work ethic and character. And of course I was SO grateful for my paychecks, being about $900 every 2 weeks. But looking back, I was working the absolute MAXIMUM amount of hours I could as a part time employee and that was still only $20k a year if I saved EVERY penny??? This was not the American Dream I had heard of. And working that many hours and days per week had me drowning in stress- no time to pursue what I loved, balance school, and balance fun. I felt restricted to their schedule, when they needed me, whatever they wanted to pay me. And to top it all off- everyday was the same tasks over and over. As grateful as I am for that job, people grow. And I was definitely growing out of it- fast. I was way too much of a leader for that, and needed to think bigger.
So, I picked up some side jobs. I worked as a princess for kid's birthday parties on weekends and made a whopping $45 an hour for those, which added an average of about $300 a week to my income. Now I was making $36k a year, almost double my income, but only adding maybe 6 extra hours of work to my week. I felt like I struck a gold mine. With this, I decided to do some more research on other side hustles I could add to my plate that could benefit me even more. I ended up advertising on Facebook groups for random services that I could offer, including pet sitting, babysitting, house sitting, and other multitudinous side jobs. After a few posts, I had clients of all sorts coming in to me. I learned quickly that sales would do wonders for my income, and for increasing marketing skills.
MARKETING SKILLS ARE CRUCIAL. Don't let someone try to tell you "social media is a waste of time" or "marketing and sales aren't important." That's what the culture thinks. And we like to beat the culture.
Learning how to sell yourself is an important skill no matter what you want out of your future. You have to sell your products if you stick to sales, sell your ideas if you want to start a business, or even sell yourself to a company in an interview to earn your dream job. Everyone is in sales, whether they admit it or not. As I started to learn the benefits of sales and marketing, I decided to start selling hair products for Monat and that income alone paid for my food and fun every single week. At the time that meant, besides gas, I could save every single dollar I made from my other jobs. Don't underestimate the benefits of an MLM or other direct sales. Do your research on the company of course, but most provide low risk, high reward opportunity for you to learn how to market, and make an income doing it. Through teaching yourself sales, you learn how to be persistent, handle rejection, and persevere despite obstacles.
"Sales is not just about selling, but it really is the art of developing trust and educating, as well"
Seeing my success with an MLM really jumpstarted my entrepreneurial spirit. Monat inspired me to start sewing and selling masks right when COVID hit, and the money I made from that ended up covering the entire cost of my real estate classes. Fast forward to the future, I started my career in real estate very successfully due to marketing and sales skills I learned when I was a young adult. At 18, it finally got to a point where I was making $40k a year, half of which was all income from SIDE JOBS. People underestimate the value that side hustles provide but, not only do they bring in extra streams of income, they teach you to be a hard worker, to value your time, and give a safety net. If I had lost any of my jobs, I would have been fine financially. The odds of me losing five jobs at once is a lot lower than the odds of losing one. The benefits of multiple streams of income are never ending- both financially and mentally.
All that to be said, you can make a lot more money when you put your mind to it. Hourly paid jobs are a great, guaranteed source of income when you have them. I could've definitely picked up a second job similar to In-N-Out and worked an additional 36 hours a week there to have gotten my income to $40k, but why would I want to do that? Time is valuable. I would rather make the $20k on my own time and leave room for living life BESIDES work. And, I am continuing that mindset as I transition from side jobs and In-N-Out, to real estate and building this business. How do you plan to make money from here on out?