You have probably heard the old expression, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Having the right attitude can actually drive your behavior and believe it or not, assist you in achieving much success or very little success over the course of your lifetime. When we think in terms of money, our attitude plays a huge role many times “behind” the scenes. Our attitude about money is typically formed while growing up. So many times, what keeps people from succeeding financially or obtaining ongoing financial success in their life is typically focused around the belief that financial success is not a possibility. On some unconscious level, you may have beliefs formed in youth, which limit you and your financial success. This is why some people live from paycheck to paycheck their entire life. On some level, they do not BELIEVE they are capable of doing better.
Before we can begin to discuss “HOW” to earn money in any economy, I think it is important to first examine our own attitudes and beliefs about money to fully understand it.
The Psychology of Money
The “Psychology” of money plays a major role in whether we will be successful in not only generating money but “keeping” it. It must “work” for us. So often, we work for it, we chase it, we obsess over it and it becomes so powerful it can almost be a detriment rather than a resource. In my line of work, I have met so many people who honestly believe they are doing everything possible to achieve their financial goals. Yet, unconsciously, there is an internal source which does not truly believe they can really obtain financial success. The more the person avoids the “unconscious” piece within, the more obstacles will arise and become stumbling blocks in their everyday life. Unfortunately, that is the way our minds work.
I have come across some common beliefs about money. Perhaps you have heard them while growing up or maybe you have a friend or relative who shares their insight or beliefs about money. See if any of the following sound familiar to you.
It’s too late in my life to think about getting wealthy
I do not have the magic ingredient that is necessary to be successful
I cannot be successful because my parent’s were not successful
What I have come to realize, is that so often the societal implications of wealth remain widely focused on what we have rather than our state of mind. Most people who succeed (from a financial perspective) are those individuals who hold a positive belief system regarding money, wealth and prosperity.
The ideas and impressions we have about money are typically formed very early on. In fact, one lesson my siblings and I learned about money from my father was that “It does not grow on trees.” There was no money tree growing in our back yard, so we had better get used to the idea of working for a living. My father and mother instilled their ideals about money in their children based on what they learned from their parents. My friend Jack grew up relatively poor on what some might consider to be the wrong side of the tracks. Jack learned at a young age that he lived on the wrong side of the tracks. How did he know that? His parents told him so. His parents both lived in poverty while growing up and had a “Depression Era” mentality as a result. Over the years, Jack developed an unconscious belief that he would forever struggle financially because that is what he knew, it was familiar to him. He experienced that lifestyle and attitude with his parents. To really cement the idea of struggle and poverty in jack’s life, his father told him over and over again that he would never be successful, and eventually, Jack came to believe his father’s word.
Money Growing on Tree
What Jack experienced is not uncommon, this is called an “Imprint.” An imprint is a memory that is formed at an early age, and can serve as a root for both the limiting and empowering beliefs that we may form as children. How we unconsciously and consciously view the world in terms of money is typically based on such beliefs. What separates those who do well financially and those who do not revolves around the idea of possibility – the belief that financial success is an option.
Those who are unsuccessful may get stuck on the idea of risk and may believe they will be worse off than they were before. When I discuss attitude in terms of money, what I am really saying is that we can discuss 100 ways to “generate” more money, however if you do not believe wholeheartedly you can do it, you will be unsuccessful in your attempts. If your beliefs about money are holding you back from financial success, there is good news. You can begin to change your beliefs by changing your routine. Begin to educate or reeducate yourself on money. Make time to read about the economy and how history repeats itself. Choose books on investing, learn budgeting techniques and stick to them. Money does not determine “WHO” you are; it is simply a resource.
Author, investor and professional speaker Robert Kiyosaki believes, “One reason the rich get richer is because they work to acquire assets and everyone else acquires liabilities that they think are assets.” In fact, he believes millions of people struggle financially because they work hard and buy liabilities, such as cars, homes, jewelry and big screen televisions. When most people get a raise in pay, Kiyosaki relates that many buy a larger home or a nicer car, only to become even more deeply in debt.
The key to financial success is to MAKE MONEY WORK FOR YOU personally and in business. It all boils down to ASSETS and LIABILITIES. Does your current financial situation include more assets or liabilities? Are you currently on a budget and following it? Do you know where and how your money is spent? Do you know how much your monthly bills are and how much money you bring home each month?
Assets and Liabilities
Today, so many people are in financial trouble because they refer to their liabilities as assets. Many of us believe our home to be an asset because that is what we were told. The banks used to tell us our home was an asset because we had equity in it. We could borrow against the equity. However, in the financial crisis of the past few years, people are finding out that their homes are not assets, but liabilities. Home values have decreased significantly and banks are very cautious about creating new loans fearing consumers will default and leave them holding the bag. The main thing to remember when talking about assets and liabilities is; an asset will put money in your pocket without you working. A liability will take money from your pocket, even when you are working. A rental property would be considered an asset because it produces income each month with very little time or effort invested after the initial purchase. A car payment, mortgage or rent on an office would be considered a liability, it is cash flowing out of your pocket.
The media play an enormous part in how consumers perceive the state of the economy. The media can and has given consumers the impression things are much worse than they really are from an economic standpoint.
This “Sky is falling” journalism tends to breed fear resulting in consumers holding back and spending less money due to the uncertain economy. Studies actually show consumers are spending more money now than they have in the past three years. While spending is up, consumers remain very aware of HOW they want to spend their hard earned dollars. Many take the time to research the best deals and packages which offer the most for the best value. It takes some creative thinking and a good, positive attitude along with the willingness to dig in and begin to make some changes to your financial situation.
Start now by going over your budget to see where you can trim some of the unnecessary expenses. I am not talking about cutting marketing or advertising budgets, rather look at line items. Eliminating the smallest expense can add up over the course of a year and give you the push to change your financial position as you decrease expenses and increase long-term residual income. Now we can begin the HOW TO business of generating income in ANY economy. Think about what your most immediate source of income might be today. What is the quickest way to begin generating income?
Most Immediate Source of Income
It is surprising to me the number of businesses that never attempt to selltheir customers AFTER the first sale. The truth is, the customers sitting right in your own data base are the most profound source of instant income in your business today.
When you make an offer to an existing customer or previous customer, remember that it is much easier to sell them a product or service than it is to pull new prospects off the street and your sales can actually become MORE profitable because you do not have the cost of acquiring those customers.
CUSTOMERS HAVE A LIFETIME VALUE:
The lifetime value of a customer is the total amount that customer will spend over a lifetime of patronage with your business. For example, let’s say you own a lawn care and snow removal company. Begin by calculating the number of years each one of your customers have been with you and the average monthly amount each customer pays you.
The Formula: Lifetime Value of a Customer
LIFETIME VALUE OF A CUSTOMER:
Now let’s say the value of a customer is an average of three years at $40 per month or $1,440.00 on which you make a profit of $1,080.00. ($40 x 12 mo. = $480 x 3 years). Using this formula you can see how with a profit of $1,080 you could easily afford to spend $100 or more to bring that customer in the door.
Average Customer for Life – Cost of Good/Services Sold = Gross Profit
Determining the lifetime value of a customer will tell you how quickly you can grow your customer list (based of course on what you are willing to spend). It will also help motivate you to do everything you can to increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Up sell, Up sell, Up sell
Up selling is the strategy of selling additional goods and services to customers just before they complete their purchase. It means selling more products or services, options, bundled packages or a better model. Let’s say I bought a digital camera, the sales associate, if he or she were good at their job, would make sure I understood all the extra equipment available to me including those items which could give me the best possible experience with my new camera. The additional items which would add value to my camera purchase were:
$149 memory card
$89 photo printer
$27 paper kit
$18 leather camera bag
$38 extended warranty
That person did their job. They added an additional $321 to my original purchase and I left feeling good about my new camera and the level of service I received that day. It is of the utmost importance that your team knows your products and services inside and out. They are your frontline; your first line of defense and oftentimes, the first and only individuals customers will ever see. You’ve probably heard the saying, “A person who does what they love for a living, never works a day in their life.” Earning revenue in any economy is about creating a lifestyle. It should be something you enjoy and look forward to each day.
LACK OF IMAGINATION IS THE TRUE LIMITATION TO OPPORTUNITY
Passive or Residual Income
Residual Income: Is reoccurring payments that you receive long after the initial sale is made, usually in specific amounts and at regular intervals.
Passive Income: Is income derived from business investments in which the individual is not actually involved. Passive really means inactive or submissive. Passive income could be viewed as money that you make that does not require much effort from you. It is obvious that residual income is also considered to be passive income. Once you make the initial sale, your residual income can be considered passive. Usually, you do not have work or make additional sales in order to continue to reap the profits.
Examples of Residual Income
Network Marketing: You enroll customers or recruit representatives that you receive a monthly commission from.
Affiliate Programs: These are for recurring payment type services of products such as web hosting, membership sites, dating sites, etc. In these programs, you are paid a commission each time the recurring payment is billed to the customer you referred. Selling anything that is automatically renewable: This entails consumables where the re-ordering is automated and can only be stopped if the consumer requests or cancels the product or service.
Examples of Passive Income
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): You obtain top ten search engine rankings for specific keyword terms in order to attract highly targeted traffic to your products, services or information. Using this method you set up the web page or site, obtain the rankings, and then make sales and earn profits passively from that point forward. Instead of going out of the office to make the sale, the search engines are making those sales for you day and night.
Pay-per-click (PPC): Is another form of search engine marketing. While SEO is free, it can take time and work to obtain good listings in the major search engines. PPC allows you to begin advertising across the major search engines very quickly, without a large investment. You simply pay a set amount (determined by your own bidding and daily minimums) for each click-through to your site. You can set up pay-per-click advertising and begin driving targeted traffic to your web pages, again, allowing the search engines and web pages to work for you, even while you are away.
Multi-Tier Affiliate Programs: Simply put, these programs allow you to recruit other affiliates and earn commissions on each of the sales they make. Instead of actively making the sales yourself, signing up several good sub-affiliates would allow you to turn a very nice profit on their work.
Product Development: PD is another great way to create a stream of passive income. Ideally, you want to create a product that can be sold through an automated system and requires very little customer service or ongoing support. Some examples might be an e-book, creating a course for sale online, developing your own CD/DVD/Video sets or perhaps creating a software program.
Setting up your own Affiliate Program: If you offer a product or service, you can put a sales team to work for you by offering them a commission structure. The beauty of this model is that you do not have to pay your sales force unless they make a sale for you, at which time, you give them a percentage of the sale made or set a fee for the referral. Digital products or automated systems allow sales teams to generate easily the majority of your income with very little work required on your end. All these options require an investment of time (and perhaps money) in the beginning. The idea here is to choose a business model, or several models, that can work together seamlessly.
Examples of Residual Income
Vending Machines: Vending machines offer a great opportunity to earn ongoing income if you can afford to make an initial investment. The investment can be anywhere from $900 to $5000 or more, depending on what type of machine you are looking for. The key to successful vending is finding a PRIME LOCATION. As human beings in a fast-paced world, we have become accustomed to convenience. We have come to EXPECT it. Vending machines provide a convenience in which a huge population of consumers are willing to spend their money without really giving it much thought. We happily feed our money into the machine and our only concern from that point on is that when we pushed the button, the product we selected actually came out.
ATM: ATM’s provide a great service and offer consumer convenience when they want and need it the most. How many times have you needed cash and stopped to look for a ATM? ATM’s like vending machines, are all about the location. Locations where there is heavy foot traffic tend to do fairly well. Good locations might be shopping malls, gas stations, bars and restaurants, hotels, airports, even cruise ships. The money is earned on every transaction. The fee charged to use the ATM, typically anywhere from $1 to $3 is how you earn revenue depending on whether you receive a percentage of the fee or the entire fee. If you gradually add a few more and secure good locations your revenue stream has just doubled. My suggestion here is to try more than one thing. Cast your line out to determine what works and then cast your net. Increase your revenue streams by adding more revenue generating venues. This is where your money begins to work for you.
More Ways to Generate Income
Investing: Choose investments which consumers “need” or are unwilling to give up. For example, alcohol and tobacco, they have stood the test of time.
Real Estate: It is still a good investment IF you find the right property.
Self-Storage Units: They typically earn great residual income. Money comes in each month from consumers renting space to store their belongings.
E-Books:Electronic Books offer enormous profit opportunities. If you are an expert in a certain field or would like to become and expert an e-book offers the credibility to get there besides extra income. If you are not a writer, invest in a ghostwriter to help you get started. Kindle, Amazon and other affiliates work well for an e-book venue.
Bundle Existing Products and Services: Review your current products and services. Determine those products or services which might work well together and promote them as a package. For example, Comcast® offers a bundled package for wireless Internet and basic television with one premium channel included for almost the same price as if I were to order only wireless Internet. What seems to be a great deal for me, even though I had not intended to sign up for the basic channels, I only wanted the wireless Internet, was an easy sell. Here’s the catch, the price of the bundled package will automatically increase after six months. Comcast® hooked me for monthly service and managed to up the price in six months. They found a way to automatically increase their revenue in a short period of time while the affiliate or property management company for my building received a percentage of the sale.
One Final Thought:
Anyone can earn money, that is the easiest part of the equation if you have a positive attitude, take the time to understand money and if you are open to trying new ideas. The most difficult part of the equation is keeping the money once you have earned it.