I believe the biggest “secret” to really making money is simply not limiting yourself to one income source, which for most people is a full-time job. Almost every bit of formal schooling all of us have had has directed us toward this way of thinking about our careers, but things have changed to where one income source really isn’t enough anymore.
We live in a work environment that is very unpredictable on an individual level. You may like a company and a company may like you, but unexpected situations can happen where you can get laid off. I’ve seen it happen a lot, especially with people in my parents’ generation and younger. No one is immune from it if someone else is signing your paycheck. Instead of living in fear of what might or might not happen with a job however, it’s better just to create some financial stability for yourself.
I made the decision around age 19 that I would not really let my career be defined by one particular job or business. For lack of a better way of explaining it, I wanted a diversified career. When you diversify (spread out) in investing, you lessen your risk and long-term make more money. With a single job, you’re “betting the farm” on not being laid off. I just seemed like a smarter thing to do.
This has taken me about 5 years, but I now have about 6 sources of income coming in not including a job. This includes an Amazon business, taking online surveys, writing, and a couple of other online sales businesses. These are a good fit for me at 24, but what I enjoy doing may not fit you. You have to give it some thought and look at your skills and interests. I can tell you that the Internet makes a lot of things easier, especially when you can set something up that runs itself at least to an extent. If you do it right, you really can make extra money while you’re physically at your job or even asleep.
It does take a lot of initial work however. The problem a lot of people have is they think if it’s Internet-based, they just have to sit back and watch the money flow in. Nothing with a get-rich-quick feel to it is going to last long-term. A lot of things I have to treat like a traditional part-time business if I want to do well. You have to read a lot of books and talk with people and not be afraid to fail a little until you understand how business works. It also takes some degree of determination to come off of a 8 hours job shift and keep working on stuff for yourself for several more hours.
If you’re just starting out, my best advice is to visit the nearest bookstore or library and look at a lot of business and self-employment books. If you do some research ahead of time, you’ll make less mistakes and get yourself closer to where you want to be. All it takes is a few really good ideas and the willingness to sacrifice short-term to have an incredible life for the long-term. It may seem like a secret to other people, but that’s how most wealthy people have done it.