I haven’t been making money online for very long – I used to paint houses and even drive trucks for a living. Every 2 weeks, my pay-check would come in and the weekends were a dive spent drinking cheap beer into oblivion. This was what my life was composed of for about 8 years.
I was happy, but I wasn’t content.
Especially because I knew my wage had more or less plateaued at $28 an hour. This put serious limitations on my dreams, goals, and how I was going to help the people I love. Paying off my parent’s mortgage, and buying some property with my older brother, among other things.
October 2019 I had a spark lit on my metaphorical gas can to switch out of the 9-5 mindset and into skills that were not tied to an hourly wage. My now-friend Stephen Somers launched a program called the “Podcast Agent.” In it, I learned valuable skills for networking, pitching, writing, and researching. The concept is finding experts, researching podcasts, and scheduling their interviews.
I’ve made some money with it, which is a great motivator early on. But the big takeaway here is the importance of connecting with people.
Why the world and solopreneurs need more support than ever
Reach out, cold call, “slide” into my DMs…
The world is more connected than ever, and the multitude of options in which you can deliver someone a message is unprecedented. This is a double-edged sword. On one edge, you can connect with someone that you are genuinely interested in getting to know and potentially collaborate with. On the other, there is a large segment of business owners that see everyone else online as a dollar sign.
The latter is, unfortunately, more common than the former. This is partly why I think the world needs more people that actually invest their time, and yes sometimes, money into getting to know each other. I am barely one year into living without a day job because, in large part, I care about the people I’m connected to.
Not because I emailed 10,000 strangers. Not because I spent $5000 on Google ads.
Just a handful of entrepreneurs that I clicked with and that were willing to talk with me. And the world is craving these relationships right now. It is what can create a sustainable, long term business or side hustle. Everyone has struggled to some degree with being socially distanced this year in their business. We don’t need to!
Put some effort into your network, even if it is small. It’s all you need.
Master a high-income skill
Learning. That’s a painful word. I read somewhere not to use the word “learn” in copywriting because it is such a pain for people and it reminds them of how lazy they are. As nice as it would be to not have to learn a new skill, you do need to have something of value to offer people.
You need something that commands a higher “wage.”
I picked writing, video editing, and developed some marketing skills through courses. All it took was the drive, work ethic, some sacrifice at home, and a little bit of organization. Having high expectations for these skills is a very difficult thing for some, who become afraid of failure and demanding perfection of themselves – even from the very beginning.
Toss that stuff out the window, there is a new paradigm waiting for you.
Don’t give up
Getting to a place where you sustain yourself financially can be a rough, bumpy road. Don’t be hard on yourself for not getting instant results. Building relationships and mastering new skills will be more rewarding to you in the long term, but it takes time. Front-load the hard work and remember that success ebbs and flows. This isn’t like punching in and punching out at your day job.
Once you make your first dollar online as a business owner, you won’t turn back. Trust me.
This was a guest post by Ian Metzger, owner of Likewise Content, a content repurposing company based in Victoria, British-Columbia, Canada. Right now he is offering 50% off for the first month to new clients. He also works on podcast bookings, copywriting, and coaching clients on how to sell on Amazon. He loves cooking, his labradoodle, foraging for mushrooms, and living in a tiny house with his partner Samantha.