Make More Money?
That’s the dream, right.
Whenever I say this to other business owners, their eyes light up.
This “equation” is one of the reasons we started our businesses in the first place.
To have the FREEDOM to escape the hours of the 9-5 (actually the 5-9) while also having unlimited earning potential. Maybe not unlimited – but a million dollars a year would be nice, right?
In this article, I’m going to break out ten tips I learned to work less and earn more.
Let’s continue with the topic.
These tips work or at least have worked for me as I’ve been able to decrease the number of hours I’ve worked while increasing my income to a point where I make more in one month than I used to make in an entire year.
Ready for the tips? Read on!
1. Solve A Burning Problem
You MUST solve a problem.
I see so many wannabe business owners starting “businesses” based on their passion. They have a passion for dance, for style, for backpacking.
But the question is – WHAT PROBLEM do they solve. All the passion in the world is not going to get a person to pay you money unless you solve a problem for them.
Burning problem – Your toilet is backed-up. When this happens – you don’t care if the plumber charges triple-time because it’s 2 AM and it’s Christmas Eve. You pay up because you don’t want crap spilling into your holiday celebration.
Non-Burning Problem – You want to dress better. You’re looking to hire a consultant to clean your closets and helping you choose interview attire. You give yourself 30 to 60 days to make this happen and are looking for the best deal.
Do you see the difference?
One is in demand and the customer doesn’t care about the price as they need the problem solved immediately.
The second could be a viable business, but there is no sense of urgency and the customer has no reason to pay top dollar.
(FYI – the image consultant COULD improve their offer and focus on lawyers and only take on 3 clients a month. Now they have a lot more bargaining power and potential buyers feel that they might be left out and hence are triggered to buy).
Unless you solve a problem you’ll be nagged by that feeling of:
“Why am I Unsuccessful?”
2. Sell To Customers Capable Of Paying
If your prospective customers don’t have money – you don’t a business. You have a charity!
A business is the exchange of currency for a product or service – you have to make money to survive as an entrepreneur.
To ensure your potential customers can pay – do the research BEFORE you build the business to target them. You have to do the numbers and create a business model to identify what the potential for revenue is.
One of the surest ways to predict customer buying power and future shopping habits are to look at what the customer has done in the PAST twelve months.
Examples of great customers to target:
- Married women with 2-3 children whose household earns between 60 and 90K. This is historically a great demographic as they control the household spending and need to purchase various supplies regularly.
- Single men with an annual salary of 50-150K. Great demographic for luxury goods such as high-end clothing, alcohol, cars, and items that project status.
- Families with college-age children earning over 100K per year. Despite having tuition bills, they historically have invested in their children and are open to additional classes and products to ensure their success.
Target markets you need to be careful of:
- Children between the ages of 2-5 – I have a friend who created a YouTube channel targeting this demographic and despite building up over 1.5 million subscribers and 1 billion views she has had trouble monetizing!
- Students– Although they are a large demographic and spend 10-25K per year on education, they have little disposable income and are a fickle audience.
- Retirees – A growing demographic with large savings, they also have a set income and a lot of time to shop for the best deal.
3. Be Memorable
What’s worse? To create a negative impression where people gossip about you or to never be noticed?
Believe it or not, I would say it’s better to have the negative gossip than nothing. At least with the negative, you can work to turn it to your advantage and possibly even change opinions. But in the end – they know who you are.
To never be noticed is not to be remembered. You don’t want to have this happen to you.
Focus on connecting with people when they meet you or see your product/service?
Example: When I meet people at a networking event the exchange often goes like this:
Me: Hi, I’m Antonio
Them: Hi, I’m Jim. Nice to meet you. So what do you do?
Me: You know how most men don’t dress well? (I state a problem to get them to think and relate to me a personal story or details)
Them: Yeah, my son needs to learn the importance of dressing better. He went into an interview dressed in a T-shirt! That didn’t go well. (by saying this – the person has made it personal and memorable for both of us!)
Me: Well I wish you would have met me sooner J I use science and military history to create YouTube videos that make dressing sharp simple for regular guys. Whether it be an app, infographic, or written article – my company Real Men real Style makes Fashion easy to understand. (I solve his problem and instantly become REFERABLE)
Them: Wow – I’m going to check it out and share it with my son.
4. Make Exchange Of Money EASY
Have you ever tried to send mail and found the post office was closed on an obscure holiday. Or that it was closed EXACTLY at 5PM – the same time you get off work.
Or banks – heck, they’re known to have “banker hours”. How can you even go in and get something done when they open after you head to work and are closed when you get off. Head over on your lunch hour……that’s nice, guess you’re skipping lunch.
The point is these “businesses” are two examples of BAD business practice. Make yourself available to your customer so they can give you money. And then they try to give you money – give them options to give it to you.
Payment plans? Advanced payment options? Accepting credits, Moneygram, or wire transfer. Now I’m not going to say you ALWAYS need to accept payment terms which cause extra wo.k – especially if you’re growing well and taking cash puts you in a risk situation.
But perhaps doubling the size of your buy button or adding a another one so people can find it on your website is a simple thing you can do to double sales.
Clear the path – make the exchange of money simple and you’ll get more of it!
5. Develop Your Expertise
Experts are paid more than generalists. Yes, there are exceptions but normally we perceive someone who has niche down and studied deep in a particular field as more knowledgeable and therefore more valuable. This equates into a higher payday for the same amount of work that the generalist spends on a similar project.
How to develop your expertise? Well, first it’s important to note there are types of expertise.
Knowledge Expertise – This is developed through thousands of hours of study and experience. It’s been said that 10,000 hours of study are needed for expertise – I’m not sure about this but I do know that there are no shortcuts to becoming knowledgeable about a topic.
The secret is study, work, study, work, and then more study work. Pretty simple!
Known Expertise – this is the rock star doctor whose on television and everyone knows his name. Is he a better doctor than your personal physician? No, probably not.
But yet this rockstar doctor – because of his well-known expertise and celebrity status – he can command a HUGE premium compared with a normal physician. Maybe not for seeing patients, but definitely for giving speeches.
Known expertise can be achieved through writings articles, books, pamphlets, creating videos, and other means of distributing content where the expert is noted as the owner/creator. I’ve done this with Youtube in the Men’s Style Industry.
Even though I am not the most knowledgeable person on style – I’m recognized and afforded opportunity because of being known.
6. Set Boundaries
The French seem to have it right. They have 35 hour work weeks.
I enjoy my doing my job. I like making videos and posting articles that help men take control of how they present themselves to the world.
I love hearing from men that I have helped. But at the same time, I also have a family that I want to spend as much time as possible with. I want to be around for all of the important parts of the day with my children and my wife.
How do you do this?
First, I have a separate QUIET location (lets you get into the zone) where I do all of my work. You have to set work hours and have a location where you can concentrate and get your tasks done without unnecessary interruptions.
Once you have a good place to work, focus on the task that yields the most results.
Think about the Pareto Principle: Twenty percent of your effort will yield 80% of your return, and 4% of your work yields you 60% of your income.
This is really important for people who want to spend time with their families and friends or enjoying their hobbies.
What do I do?
I set appointments to spend time with my family.
I schedule everything.
Because I schedule everything, I’m always home for breakfast and dinner with my family.
7. Pay Someone To Work For You
Are there certain things you hate doing? As an entrepreneur with a family, there are certain things that just have to be done. There is no way around it.
My lawn has to be mowed, my house has to be cleaned, and my emails have to be answered.
These things take time and frankly, I would rather not have to do them.
That is why I pay someone to do these things so that I can better focus my time on my business and my family.
On the business side, I pay someone to build my social media, answer my emails, and edit my videos and podcasts.
When you hire someone to do these things for you, a burden is lifted off your shoulders and you start to feel motivated and energized to do the things that are most important and yield the highest results.
8. Measure Everything
I am always striving to improve myself as a person and to make my business more efficient and profitable.
I measure the things that are important to me. Without measuring something you don’t know if it’s getting better or worse. You can’t improve if you don’t measure to see what is getting better and what isn’t.
Time is valuable to me. I measure how many hours I am awake, working, sleeping, and enjoying entertainment.
I measure my money. How much am I saving, earning, and spending? I make adjustments as necessary. If I realize that I am not getting enough sleep I cut back on my work. Or maybe discover that I am spending too much money on certain things and decide to cut back.
I always Lead and Lag with my business. There are certain things you can’t control but others you can.
For example, I can control the Lead part of my business. Lead is the traffic and emails that I collect from my website. Lag is what I earn and what I make.
I can’t control how many of my products I sell, but I can control things like how many emails I send out over a certain period of time. I know that emails generate sales. I measure which type of emails work the best and I improve on them.
Remember that how you measure is as important as what you measure. Don’t just measure things for the sake of measuring though. You have to clearly define what your goal is.
9. Detailed Training To Solve Specific Problems
I went to a private liberal arts college. I remember going to South America and studying insects and having to write up papers. I asked the reason and I was told it was to get funding.
It seems science people don’t think about monetization and that is great.
If you want to be successful in business, you can’t be learning just for the sake of learning.
You have to focus, study, and learn only those things that are absolutely necessary to improve your company and your profits.
If you need to learn how to sell on Facebook, learn how to get this detailed training.
If you need learn about affiliate marketing, laser in on the best information that focuses on affiliates sales.
There is a time and a place for constant education. Constant education is learning for the enjoyment of learning. This is a great thing to do and if you have a passion outside of your business, you can schedule your personal free time to learn about different things.
But in order to constantly improve your business, you need to focus in on very detailed training that matters most to your business.
10. Hire A Mentor
Why should you hire a mentor?
Because the best mentors out there are not free. They are busy. Here is an example:
Think of a mentor as a guide to help you climb Mount Everest. These guides, known as sherpas, are experts at climbing the mountain. They have made the climb many times. They know how to prepare and how to react to emergencies.
I would never dream of trying to climb Mt. Everest on my own.
So why do people try and go about it on their own in business?
Wouldn’t it be easier to find a mentor who has built multi-million dollars business?
I advise you to pay for a mentor. Money makes you take it seriously.
Here are some of the benefits of having a business mentor:
- You have someone to hold you accountable.
- You have someone to bounce ideas off of.
- You have someone to help keep you motivated.
- You have someone to keep you confident and feeling self-assured.
- You will have someone to help keep you focused.
- You will have wisdom and guidance from someone who has been there and done that.
To summarize it:
- Identify Urgent Problems: Focus on services or products that solve immediate and pressing issues for customers, as these tend to command higher prices and loyalty.
- Evaluate Your Offerings: Assess whether your business solves a ‘burning problem’. If not, pivot or refine your offerings to meet urgent needs.
- Understand Your Market: Clearly identify who has these urgent problems and tailor your marketing to speak directly to their pain points.
- Price Accordingly: Don’t be afraid to charge premium prices for solutions to urgent problems, as customers are often willing to pay more for immediate relief.
- Streamline Operations: Look for ways to reduce the time you spend on non-essential tasks, possibly through automation or outsourcing.
- Focus on Value, Not Time: Shift your business model from time-based billing to value-based pricing, where possible.
- Leverage Testimonials: Use success stories and testimonials from customers you’ve helped solve urgent problems to attract more business.
- Continuously Learn: Stay informed about the pressing problems in your industry and adapt your solutions to meet these evolving needs.
- Build a Strong Network: Connect with other professionals and businesses that can refer clients with urgent needs to you.
- Prioritize Your Health: Remember that working less isn’t just about earning more, but also about maintaining your health and well-being for long-term success.