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How To Make A Ton Of Money: What They Should Really Be Teaching In College

Updated on January 21, 2013

What This Article Is All About

College is fun, but wouldn't it be awesome if someone would just give you the things you really need to know and skip all of those useless "extras" (still waiting for the day when my "Intro to Art History" class helps me close a deal).

In this article, I break down the things you actually need, and skip all of the filler. These are the principals and practices that have helped me become a success at what I do, and they can help you too. I break each one down with step-by-step tips for implementing them in your life, and give you examples of how they can apply to just about anything.

So, if you're ready, let's get started...

Why I'm Writing This Article

When I think back to all the time I spent in college, I honestly get the urge to smash something. The long hours of studying, the gallons of highlighter ink wasted, the papers written, all of it was a waste. Don't get me wrong, I loved college, and if it wasn't for all of those pesky classes, it would have been perfect.

The problem was, the things I was learning in class were completely useless. Theories and principals of business that were outdated back then, and downright archaic now. Don't get me wrong, its important to learn the basics, but in a field that changes as rapidly as today's modern business environment, the focus should be on creativity and ingenuity, not drilling in the same corporate dogma that my father and grandfather learned when they were in school.

Now I'm not advocating not going to college, far from it, but I am saying that, the things that you learn there won't always (in fact, hardly ever) translate to the "real world". When I graduated I found out just how useless my classes had been, and there was a period of time there, when I considered choosing a new profession.

It took me the better part of a decade to work out my formula for success. It was a case of trial and error, again and again, to develop a method that was not only effective, but also, more importantly, one that could be duplicated by anyone. That's what I'm going to share with you here today: How to Make A Ton of Money.

Do What You Love

The very first step (and the key to being successful) is to do something that you love. Now I know that may sound crazy, and a little simplistic, but as I said, it's the key to everything. If you don't love what you're doing, you're never going to be able to be truly successful at it over the long run. Sure, you'll be able to go through the motions for a while, but it won't last.

For your career (which will take up a fairly large chunk of your life), you wan't to make sure that, when you get up in the morning, you're excited about it. I have never met anyone who was successful at something that hated, it just doesn't work that way. If you wake up dreading heading to work, you'll never be as effective as you could be. Not only will you be spending a great deal of time each week doing something that makes you miserable, you'll be costing yourself money also.

So how do you figure out what you should be doing? That's a very good question. Usually, its fairly obvious because you know what you love doing. If you're having trouble finding out what your passions are, then the next step is to ask yourself the $100 million question. Grab a pen and a notebook and write down all of the things you'd do if you had $100 million in the bank. Later in the article, we'll talk about how to make money from the things you love doing, but for now, its important to simply come up with a list of possibilities.

Make sure you don't "edit as you go" with your list either, write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how crazy you think it may be. The most important part of the exercise is to get you thinking about what you'd like to spend your time doing, so don't discount anything. Trust me on this one folks, there is a way to make money doing just about anything in the world you can think of, so fill that list.

"Anything Worth Doing, Is Worth Doing For Money"

There are few positive traits about Gordon Gekko (the quintessential, evil, 1980s corporate exec from the Oliver Stone classic "Wall Street "), but this quote is one of my favorites. In the last section, we talked about coming up with a list of things that you'd love to do if money wasn't a factor. Now, we're going to make money factor and figure out how to get you paid to do what you love.

For some of you, your list has things that are already viable careers. If this is the case, then this part will be easy for you. Let's say that your list has things like "Cooking", "Play with pets", or "Work in my garden" on it, these are all things that easily translate in careers, or business opportunities, for those of you who are so inclined. The key is to do your research (which we'll cover in the next section), and then make the switch.

For those of you who have things on your list that aren't quite as obvious, don't worry, there is still a very simple process for finding out how to cash in on your passions. Go down your list, one item at a time, and ask yourself the following three questions:

  • Are people already making money doing this?
  • How are they making money doing this, who is paying them?
  • As it stands now, can I do what they're doing?

Let's go over those three questions in a little more detail

Are People Already Making Money Doing It? This is probably the easiest of the three questions to answer, as its a simple "yes" or "no" answer. The easiest way to check on this one is to hit the Internet and see what Google has to say. When you look, using phrases like "how much would it cost to...", or "who can I pay to..." can give you an idea who is making money already.

How Are They Making Money Doing This, Who Is Paying Them? This one takes a little more effort to figure out, but its still relatively easy. Again, Google is your friend, so use it. It shouldn't be that hard to find out who is paying for, whatever it is you're looking for, just use the same method that you did for the first question. The biggest difference is finding out the difference between what people are charging, and what people are actually paying. Checking the successful auctions on eBay, and "top sellers" on Amazon can give you a good ballpark on what people are willing to pay.

As it stands now, can I do what they're doing? This one can get a little tricky, but you should still be able to answer it without too much effort. So what do I mean by this question? Let me explain. If cooking is your passion, and all you want to do is cook all day long, one important question might be: "is your cooking any good?". If not, you may need to take some classes, or just practice some more before you make your transition.

This is where you'll start to edit down your list if necessary. You want to make sure that you keep your final list to around three (no more than five) things.

Be The Best At What You Do

Abraham Lincoln once said: "whatever you are, be a good one"; this is the second most important key to success, and the reason why the first one (doing something you love) is so important. Regardless of what you decide to do with your life, being the absolute best at it is key to making a truckload of cash at it.

So how do you become the best? The good news is, that's an easy one to answer; the bad news is, you're not going to like the answer. In any endeavor, there are only two ways to improve: education or experience: you either learn more from an outside source (education), or you learn by doing (experience). To be the best at something, you need to do both... a lot.

You need to become a "student of the game" so to speak. Find the best and brightest in your industry, and study them. Find out what they do, how they do it, and (most importantly) why they do it, and then develop a system for implementing their best practices into your professional life. Studying is only half of the equation though, at some point however, you also need to put all of that study to work.

True Story: One of my first big consulting jobs was for a car dealership. They were having trouble making their numbers, so they hired me to come in and work with their sales staff and try and get their sales up. In the first four days of the class, there was one guy who was a total phenom when it came to sales. He had read (and seemingly memorized) every book by Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar, and Joe Girard. He was a wizard at closing strategies and techniques, and could handle any objection with ease.

He was the most knowledgeable sales professional I had ever met, yet in the three months he had worked in the dealership, he had never sold a car. The problem: he was terrible at actually talking to customers. In the controlled environment of training he was great at it, but out on the lot, or in the showroom, he was terrible. He had spent so much time learning his profession that he had never actually practiced his profession. This is a dangerous trap to fall into, and its one that will cost you money in the long run.

Remember Your "Why"

Doing what you love, and being great at it, are both wonderful, but there is something more important: remembering why you're doing it in the first place. Everyone, no matter who they are, needs purpose in their life, or they're just treading water. Making money is great, but why are you doing it?

The title of this article is "How To Make A Ton Of Money", not "How To Make Enough To Get By On", so presumably, you already have a reason why you're looking to "make a ton of money" (otherwise, why would you be here). If you don't, you better find one, rapidly, because I promise you, if you're just doing this for the money, you'll never be willing to put in the insane amount work it will take to be successful.

Just remember that, what you come home to will always be more important than what you come home from.


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    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 4 years ago from Florida

      I do agree that college isn't necessary for everyone, but I also think its a good place to learn and try to figure out what path you want to take. Its better than flipping burger until you figure it out.