318: Making money is a skill you need to develop

We talk a lot about money; there are books and podcasts and websites full of information about entrepreneurship, business, profit, and it all comes back to money. We live in a world where money equates to freedom because once you have enough money you can live how you want, where you want, with no ties, and that’s the dream for many people.

Making money is a skill in itself, and entrepreneurship is a popular path to hone that skill. As soon as you realize that making money is a skill, you can practice getting better at it. Some people expect that they can start a business without any experience and be great at it from the start, but really they need practice. If you had never played basketball before, you wouldn’t expect yourself to pick up a ball and become a good, competent player on your first day. You wouldn’t have the fundamentals yet–you would need to practice shooting, passing, dribbling, playing defense, and rebounding before you ever become good. The skill of making money works the same way. You can read, study, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube, and consume thousands of hours of entrepreneurial content, but you won’t have any practice in the fundamentals until you start to apply them.

What are the fundamentals of making money? You need to be able to make decisions, communicate, sell, and manage expectations. You can have a strength within those fields, just like how some players make the NBA as excellent shooters, but you need competence in all of those things to succeed. 

People don’t realize how different running a business is from doing anything else. You may be a carpenter that’s really good at installing closets, but running a closet installation business is totally different. You can’t make real money and scale the business until you take a step back and make other people install closets while you handle the fundamentals. If you’re installing the closets yourself, you’ve bought yourself a job, and you’re trading your time for money. But if you take a step back, build systems, and oversee people installing closets, you can start to grow and make real money.

The main takeaway here is that money-making is a skill that needs to be developed through experience. Get out, start something, fail, learn from your failures, and take shots. I’m in favor of starting small because you won’t be good at it on day one, and you’ll need practice on how to make money. So throw up a website, get customers, shift gears, learn, and grow. You can grow a lot and learn a lot and make a ton of money in five years, but you won’t be able to do it just by reading books or listening to podcasts.

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I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.