It Takes Money to Make Money

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It’s one of the most heard and hated clichés to newcomers in the business world. In this modern era of free video streaming and nearly unlimited access to mountains of content, we don’t want to be told that we have to spend any more money than we already do to get into something that we hope to turn into a career. Just like most of the other things in our life, we want it to just come to us with little or no effort.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we wish it were different, that just isn’t the way the world works, especially if we’re talking about doing something as competitive as making money in the online space. There are literally millions of people out there uploading content and competing with you, an individual, for the money that’s out there for the taking. You’ll read articles from people who tell you it’s hard but doable, but the reality is that only a small percentage of people make it in any industry because there’s only so much to go around. How do you compete against people who have already been doing this for years?

The reality is that if you want a leg up on the competition, you’ll likely have to spend some amount of money up front to have any real chance of success. Whether it’s paying for access to a premium service, hiring a marketing company to help you get your message out, or simply purchasing better equipment to increase the quality of your content, it is a near certainty that you will need to spend an uncomfortable amount of your own personal earnings to get started.

I have always struggled with this, but not because I’m too cheap to spend money. I tend to spend way more than I should, if I’m honest. My issue stems from the fact that I tend to be very skittish about risking money on an unknown. This is the reason I’ve never been comfortable with gambling, and at the most basic level an investment of any kind is a gamble. You can’t really know how it’s going to turn out.

Knowing this, I have typically stuck to regular day jobs because they felt like the safest option. A job where you go into work and get a regular paycheck sounds eminently stable, but like many things in life it’s just an illusion. You can walk into your job any day and be laid off without notice. There is no true income security in any sector of the business world, so being afraid to invest your money in yourself is pointless if there is something you want to do that might be more fulfilling than laboring for someone else.

It is because of this that I’ve started taking some small risks by investing in certain things, such as a paid subscription to this blogging service. As I continue to write and attract followers, I will be looking at more opportunities to invest money into the various outlets I’m using to try to get my content to readers and listeners, trying to find the best balance between doing things myself and hiring out work to others who can do things far better than I can. Of course, this requires that I build a following, and who knows how that will actually turn out.

I’m in a part of my life where I’m trying to cast off the old pessimistic view I had of my life and start moving toward something more meaningful, and preferably lucrative. My dreams don’t require a lot of money, but I won’t pretend that one of the motivations for starting this blog is to turn it into a career. Honesty is the best policy, and I prefer to be as real as possible with my writing so that no one ever feels like they were tricked. If they support my content, I want them to know they’re contributing to exactly what they think they are. My hope is that this attitude will be attractive to people and they will find it valuable enough to support it.

How do you feel about spending money on an unknown outcome? Do you jump right in and hope for the best, or do you hold back because you’re afraid to lose? Where do you draw the line between risk and reward? Sometimes we have to do things that are uncomfortable to get where we want to go, and the sooner we learn this, the more rich and fulfilling out lives can become.

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