Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about earning more. I sort of came to this game late. I was in my 30s by the time I graduated with a useless degree, and I ended up walking away from the career path I thought it was chasing – professor.
Best case scenario, that job would have paid $70,000 or $80,000. But, when I graduated, universities had virtually stopped hiring full-time professors in my field.
So I had to get creative.
When I was a kid, I always thought it was wrong to want to make money. This was probably a religious thing, I thought it was holy to be poor.
But when you’re young it’s also easier to be idealistic.
The older I get, the more I’m interested in money. I love having it, and I want to earn more. I want to build wealth.
In this post, I want to talk about what I’ve learned so far. I want to share with you what I know about how to become a millionaire with no money. Even if you don’t have anything to start with, it doesn’t matter.
The trick is, as I’ve already learned, to fight conventional wisdom. Stop listening to shitty advice from people who don’t have any money. Listen to wealthy people.
And start focusing on earning more, and growing more.
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1. Get ridiculously good at something valuable
So here’s my evil master plan. Step one is to get ridiculously good at something valuable.
I have a lot of different skills I can use. But not all are created equally. Skills are valued very differently in the marketplace.
So although I have a PhD in religious studies, my most valuable asset is my marketing abilities.
Being able to drive enormous traffic to a website is something that companies value since it translates into clicks and customers.
I never really intended to get good at this. It sort of happened by accident when I started Roostervane.
But I was always so interested in the process that I took the time to learn SEO and figure out how it interacted with my blog.
There are different strategies to make money, and I have a tendency to jump around to different things. But this year, my plan is, stick to the thing I’m ridiculously good at.
It’s writing and marketing.
2. Start a business
I then used that money to hire a lawyer and an accountant to create my corporation.
The reality is, starting a business can give you a better return for your skills.
There are some exceptions. If you can make 100k or 200k in leadership or in some in-demand job, you can build to a million. You might follow the FIRE 🔥 plan to make this happen – ie. Spend next to nothing and save the rest.
I topped out at just over $100,000 in a salaried job. I could probably push that closer to 200k by going to work in the right industry. But for me, consulting gave me the right mix of flexibility and income.
And it meant that I could have several clients paying me thousands of dollars a month, instead of one employer.
Now, any income that I make goes into my corporation.
And I use the corporation to write off expenses and build my wealth. I also currently pay both myself and my spouse’s salary from the corporation, about $60,000 each. The rest stays in there 🙂
3. Find where your skills pay top dollar
My first few years as a business owner were tough. Covid hit two months after I Incorporated my company. All the plans I had of leading policy projects and round tables went down the drain.
Fortunately, my biggest client was nice enough to keep me for that year. But I still only made about $50,000.
When I got connected with business owners and tech companies, I realized that I’d landed in a place where my skills were worth more.
I was super good at writing content and doing SEO planning, so I maxed out my consulting hours here. Marketing was a natural fit and paid well.
Chances are, your skills will be compensated differently depending on your industry. Make sure you find the place where they earn the most!
4. Find ways to scale
Consulting is great, and I love doing it. But it’s always going to be limited. If you play your cards right, you can earn more than you will earn a job. But you still have an income cap – usually the reality that you can only work so much.
So you need to find ways to scale your earning beyond your working hours.
I’ve tried a bunch of different stuff over the years, with varying degrees of success. I tried creating online courses. I tried selling career programs to universities.
For a bunch of different reasons, none of those things took off.
But this blog was always plugging along in the background. And it started making me some good money. First, I would make money from affiliates. And that was okay. But when I started to make money from advertising, it was a game changer.
When I first got into the Mediavine ad program, I woke up and had made $50 overnight. This was a wake-up call for how much potential this website had. The more visitors that come, the more I can earn.
So, I limited my consulting work, and started dumping my time into building this website into something amazing.
However you are planning to earn your money, you will need to figure out a way to scale.
Surprise, surprise, the thing that I was missing all along was the thing that I was getting paid to do for other companies.
When I stuck to my one thing, marketing and driving traffic, this blog became a viable asset.
5. Buy and build other assets
We are now getting into the future part of my plans. But, having figured out how to make an awesome amount of money with one really valuable skill, I want to slowly use that cash towards other investments.
This is all hypothetical. So you don’t have to take my advice in any way. But my plan is to use my corporation to hold investments, and keep growing that. I’m most interested in equities that deliver a high dividend, and rental properties with more than six doors. We’ll see where it goes.
There’s lots more to dream about here, but that’s for future Chris to figure out.
There you have it! That’s my plan for how to become a millionaire with no money. And since I’m not a millionaire yet, you can take this with a grain of salt if you want.
But I have got to step three, and my income currently fluctuates between $14,000 and 25,000 a month. I’m excited to grow this as my blog scales. I’m also expecting some challenges, and who knows what AI writing will bring for the future of content.
But I know this works right now. And I’m going to keep doing it until it stops working.