It seems like such a simple, even harmless question. The answer is both obvious and elusive.
How do I make more money?
There are three problems with asking this question:
Problem #1 – It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep
Furthermore, it’s how you enjoy what you do have and the journey of growing what you have.
If you’re constantly spending as much (or more) than you make, you will always feel broke. You’ll be on the treadmill of dread and the fulfillment of a great practice and great income will elude you. You’ll always be wondering how to GET more instead of ENJOY more.
Here’s an excerpt from Thomas J. Stanley’s 1992 article, based on his seminal research of Millionaire mindsets and habits, “Why You’re Not As Wealthy As You Should Be“
“Whatever your age, how much should your net worth be right now? From years of discussing this with millionaires, I’ve come up with a rule of thumb: multiply your age times your pre-tax household income from all sources except inheritances. Divide by 10. That’s what your net worth should be. For example: If you’re 41 and making $143,000 a year with investments that return another $12,000, you’d multiply $155,000 by 41. That equals $6,350,000. Divide by 10, and your net worth should be $635,000. How do your net worth and income match up? One thing may surprise you. If you make wealth your goal, and not just income, the luxury house you’ve been dreaming about won’t seem so alluring. You’ll have the attitude.”
Problem #2 – You are focused on ‘making money’ instead of creating relationships
Profitable relationships are the key to success in any business.
There are 4 types of relationships you need to focus on, and when you do, making money will take care of itself.
The first relationship you must establish if you want to see your bank account grow is a mentor-coach
Notice I said “mentor-coach”, and not just coach. Learning from your own mistakes is expensive and takes far too long. You want someone who’s literally ‘been there, done that’. Someone who can listen to your challenges and instantly know what you need to do because they’ve solved that challenge for themselves, and they either succeeded, or they learned from their mistakes and used that learning to succeed through persevering.
Mentor-coaches save you time, energy, and money. They are an investment, yes, but they are the highest return investment you’ll ever make in the life of your decades-long career. Every successful person has had a mentor-coach. Warren Buffet had Benjamin Graham, Steve Jobs had Andy Grove (Intel), and Bill Gates had Ed Roberts (credited with inventing the PC). If you read no further and do nothing else – get a mentor!
The next relationship you need to focus on are the five people you spend the most time with
You will become the sum average of the top five people you spend the most time with, whether you like it or not. Hang out with miserable, broke, soul-sucking people and you’re bound to become another miserable, broke, and soul-sucking person.
The good news is, you can easily change the people you spend your time with. You can make new friends, successful friends who are living the life you want to live. They don’t need to be lawyers. In fact, it’s better if they aren’t.
Successful business people, successful CFP’s, CPA’s, realtors, doctors and any other type of professional or entrepreneurial person you can find in your network will boost not only your mood, your good ideas, and your access to other successful people in your network, but they will also boost your income. It’s a law of nature. Like attracts like. Bring your best self to the best people you know, and keep growing!
The next set of relationships you need to focus on if you want to see more money in your bank account is your team
You can’t do it all and succeed. And you can’t hire nimrods either. You are a highly-paid professional with the same 168 hours a week like everyone else on the planet. If you are doing $15/hr or $35/hr or even $100/hr work, you’re losing money.
The first hire you need to make is a book-keeper. Then you need to hire a client service director and a marketing director. These are all part-time positions when you’re starting out, and they can either grow with you, or you’ll have to turn them over to find A-players who are a better fit for the organization you want to create about 6 months down the line.
The key to hiring smart is tapping your network and asking them to help you find people who they know from experience are rockstars.
Then interview at least five people before hiring. Ask them about their values, what they want out of their career experience, and what excites them about working with you on your mission. (You do have a clear mission statement, right?)
Lastly, ask them what they want to earn, and show them how they can earn that by starting at what you are willing and able to pay now, but through growing the company together, they can participate in the upside with performance compensation or benchmarked raises.
Lastly, are the relationships with your clients
Step one here is to stop taking anyone who walks in off the street. Stop working dead-beats and people who can’t, won’t or otherwise don’t pay. You may have to re-tool your practice to align yourself with a profitable niche.
If you’re not consistently generating $20,000 each month and personally taking home $10,000 a month, you’re in the wrong niche.
Once you stop serving the type of clients that drag you down, and start serving the kind of clients that lift you up, that get you excited to come to work, that pay you what you’re worth – on time, even in advance, and with gratitude for the way you give your gifts to serve them – then you’ll easily see money flowing into your practice. Until then, you’ll probably keep falling for the next online legal marketing scheme or flavor of the month strategy, wasting your time, money, and hope of success.
Please do yourself a favor and re-read this section, and then re-read the article from the beginning (including the 4th type of relationship) and really understand the way these relationships work in your life. Then make a simple, back of the envelope action plan for what you’ll do today and this week to turn things around.
Problem #3 – How you do anything is how you do everything
If you’re focused on the wrong things, then you’re guaranteed to end up broke, miserable and somewhere in victim-land instead of the home, family, body, and career you know is possible for yourself.
There are 4 areas of your life you need to focus on and each one informs the other.
These areas are Health, Wealth, Love, and Growth.
I want you to do a little thought experiment with me. This is really cool.
This thought experiment is attributed to David Bohm, an American theoretical / quantum physicist who developed the holographic theory of reality.
Imagine you are watching four televisions, each with a fish swimming around. After a while, you start to notice that when one fish moves to the right, another one moves to the left, and when one comes towards you, the other moves away. Pretty soon, you get curious enough to walk into the adjacent room where you see a single aquarium with four different video cameras – one on each side.
It’s the same fish!
So, how does this relate to you and making more money?
It’s another one of those elusive obvious things, but Richard Branson attributes his success to his daily exercise. It expands his lung capacity and strengthens his heart, which brings more oxygenated blood to his brain and ensures he is thinking clearly, courageously and enthusiastically about his business endeavors. It attracts other healthy people into his life, people who bring him new ideas, new presidents of new companies, and new wealth in areas he hadn’t seen it before.
Jim Rohn says: “Don’t wish life were easier. Wish you were better!”
- What are you doing to make more health and vitality?
- What are you doing to make more loving connections?
- What are you doing to grow and become better at life?
If you want to make more money, you’ll fare much better by taking a holistic approach and developing systems not only for your business and marketing but also for your health and well-being, as well as your relationships at home and in your community.
Along with your strategies for learning and growing, look for blind spots that contain the elusive truths about success, which will unlock the secrets to the success you desire.
Hopefully, this article has unlocked a few of those secrets already. Now it’s up to you to get out there and apply what you’ve learned.