The ONLY way to make money

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Everyday we wake up the morning, we go to work, we earn a living, we come home, we go to bed and do it all over again. Some of us earn a living doing what we love; others earn a living doing things that are tolerable. However, we all earn money the same way – we sell.

The question is, what do you sell?

Most of the population sells their time or a derivative of their time. A Janitor sells his time at a certain rate per hour. A doctor sells his time at a higher rate per hour. As long as we are selling time, labor and skills, we are bound to the labor that we sell.

Years ago, I used to teach guitar to teenagers out of my living room. The work itself was rewarding, enjoyable and fun. However, the part of the job that I hated was that I was tethered to the living room and could not leave town if I wanted to. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday I had to be in the living room to teach the kids. If I wasn’t teaching, I wasn’t getting paid. Going away on a trip was impossible because I would have to reschedule everyone and give credit to my customers in the summertime which would eat into my vacation time.

While working as a guitar teacher, I decided that selling time was not for me.

I also had a rock band that I played in and managed on the side and the great thing about the band was that I learned how to sell other things besides my time.

I used to put on little rock shows at community centers in Winnipeg and I generally lost a lot of money with those shows. The formula was simple and poorly thought out; put in all the money, take all the risk, invite other bands to play and pray that people showed up to buy tickets to the show. 90% of the time, the bands would not draw a crowd and I would lose money; until I got smart.

Instead of renting the most affordable venue I could find, I started to rent the best venue in the city that I could NOT afford. I would put up $100 as a down payment on a $1000 venue to control a day on the calendar. I would then get tickets printed and sell spots in the show to other bands. I would sell the tickets in the show wholesale for $300 per band and would make profit before the show started. I would then make additional profit at the door and profit off of the merchandise.

Instead of selling time I sold: space, tickets, and merchandise. I liked selling space instead of time so I started to study real estate and today have put myself in a position where I no longer have to sell my time. Instead of selling my time, I sell space in my rental units and the space allows me to earn a living.

Unfortunately for most people, selling is a dirty word. Most people hate selling, they think it’s cheap, they think they are ripping people off, they don’t like rejection, they fear approaching others and asking for money. What is even more unfortunate is that we all sell everyday: we sell our time to our employers, we sell our girlfriend/boyfriend as to why they should date us, we sell our kids on why they should be quiet and stop screaming. Everyone sells, it’s the only way to make money and we have no choice over whether we sell or not – we must sell. However, we do have a choice over WHAT we sell.

We do not have to sell our time; we can sell many other things that are not tied to our labor. Real Estate and business are two ways that we can break the link between time and money and begin to sell things other than our time. When we build a business we get to choose what we are going to sell and begin to take full control of our lives.

There is only one way to make money in this world, and that is to sell. What do you sell to earn a living?

Thanks for reading,

Stefan Aarnio

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