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Make A Lot Of Money – Here’s How

I’ve gone over this a little before, but the volume of questions I receive on this topic make it clear to me that I need to revisit the question of how to make a lot of money.  I guess because this site’s title has the word “rich” in it, it attracts all sorts of people on the internet, and that’s fine.  I don’t have the hangups about money that some others do, and I don’t think that having a lot of money is inherently evil.  As long as your growth as a person is accelerating at the same rate as your bank account, then you’re A-OK in my book.  After all, it’s what you do with your wealth that really matters.

How To Make A Lot Of Money

There is no shortage of people who want to learn how to make a lot of money, but few of them have the work ethic necessary to actually achieve true financial freedom.

The problem, though, with attracting all types of cash-seekers to this site is that many of them seem to be looking for that quick hit that requires a minimal amount of effort.  Lots of people want to know how to get rich quickly or easily, but as those of us who have been around the block a time or two will attest, achieving wealth is almost never quick or easy.  There’s a reason why only a small percentage of people on this planet are absolutely loaded, and it’s that only a small percentage of us have both the desire and the enduring drive necessary to get there.  Newsflash: If you want to make a lot of money you have to work your butt off!  There is no easy way unless your last name is Hilton or Walton, and even those families spent decades and massive amounts of energy to get to ultra-wealth status.  Anybody that tells you otherwise is selling you something, and that something is a big, heaping, steaming pile of BS.

This is not to suggest that your contracting or service business will necessarily require decades to make you rich.  I’ve seen situations where a young small business owner worked extremely hard and became a millionaire within 5-6 years (and it’s a model I’m personally trying to follow right now), but if you’re expecting to earn a six-figure income right off the bat remodeling kitchens and bathrooms then you’re in for some disappointment.  It will take time.  It will take sweat.  It will take sacrifice.  If you really want to learn how to make a lot of money then you better be prepared for battle.

There’s a Lance Armstrong quote that goes something like this: “Pain is temporary; losing is forever”.  Apologies to Lance if I got that wrong but I think the gist is evident.  There have been days in my business when everything that could go wrong did go wrong, when the deck seemed stacked against me, when all signals seemed to be that I needed to give up and go ask my old boss for my job back.  But, so far at least, in each of these instances I’ve been able to pull back from that edge by reminding myself that pain is temporary and losing is forever.  It is the decisions we make in these instances of doubt and confusion that ultimately separate the winners that make money from the losers that make excuses.  When the stuff hits the fan 95% of us will wither and retreat.  The other 5% will fight on with the knowledge that no matter how bad today is it will be a better tomorrow, not only because things are never as disastrous as they seem in the moment, but also because they know that the other 95% will have thrown in the towel.  The 5% consists of some ornery and stubborn SOB’s, and if you want to make a lot of money with your own business you’ll have to be that way, too.

Okay, so let’s say you’ve got the work ethic and you understand that in order to make a ton of money you’re going to have to put in the time.  Next step: what kind of business to devote yourself to for the next several years or more.  I’ve gone over this in previous posts so I won’t rehash.  I suggest reading about making money with a simple service, getting rich via replication, and finding a profitable niche, just for starters.  Just know that unless you’re ready to scrap and bust your butt the rest is a moot point.  A tenacious business owner can make a go of it in the worst of industries while a limp noodle will have trouble growing a business even in the hottest fields.  Oh and, by the way, if you think that you can grow exponentially without spending at least a little money on the exploding opportunities that are available right now in small business web marketing then you are sorely mistaken.  Familiarize yourself with the leverage that the internet can offer or risk losing out on the huge percentage of consumers who no longer even use their phone book.

This post has sort of rambled on and I apologize to my regular readers for the sermon, as this is intended not so much for you but for the new folks who stumble in here expecting that I’m going to show them the “secrets” to making a lot of money without doing much work.  It was time for some brutal honesty.

So, a fair and kind heads-up to the newbies out there.  Send me an email demanding to know “how to make a lot of money fast” and expect that I will reply with a link to this post and probably nothing more.


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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Jeff February 27, 2013, 2:26 am

    Your rambling on helped me feel better today. I have been a general contracting in Florida for about 7 years and been through some really tough times which was extremely difficult on my family and I! I have managed over the last 2 years to go from homelessness and almost a broken family to owning a sweet home on a canal in the Florida keys. So that shows what hard work can do! Believe me it wasn’t easy.
    Well today I had the feeling of throwing in the towel for the first time in a long time. Things have gone very wrong on some jobs and business has been TEMPORARILY slow. My finances have gone to 0 along with the stress and anxiety levels to 10. So, the deck is piled up against me rite now!
    But hard work I will keep doing and the rick contractor I will be! I think i’m gonna stick with the Lance Armstrong part about pain is temporary!
    I appreciate your effort in putting your blog out.
    Jeff

    • Scott January 25, 2014, 4:25 pm

      Hey Jeff,
      Thanks for your comments. It sounds like there have been a lot of ups and downs for you and your business, and truth be told that’s a very common theme for general contractors all over the country over the last decade or so. The economy has been so volatile. But I do think that things are finally stabilizing and those who can have the toughness hang in there and keep fighting will ultimately find enduring success. Keep working, keep marketing, keep networking, keep scrapping, keep learning. You’ll get through it!

  • Jayson November 24, 2014, 5:06 am

    Hello there,

    I am a current Computer Science student at SDSU and im studying algorithm analysis for future use in business analytics… what has brought me here is that I have worked for an electrical contracting company since i was 15…about 6 years on and off when out of school. My boss, Stan is 31 years old and started our company in 2004, he was just 21. He does pretty well, never crazy loaded with cash but has multiple houses,a nightclub, toys, etc.. he works his ass off and knows the money is worth it but most of the time with so many jobs going on at once he gets spread out real thin and for the last 5 years essentially hasnt been able to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Basically, i have been preparing myself to not only take some of his work load on, but to also drive the company to the next level. He essentially wants me as an apprentice but will be paying a good dollar for me to do it. My request is an article or a point in the right direction on the best way to prepare your apprentice to not only eventually take over but to take it to the next level as well. Thank you for smackin some cheap skates who dont wanna work hard. Maybe they will figure it out and come work for me someday

    • Scott January 16, 2015, 5:48 pm

      Hi Jayson-
      Thanks for the comment. I don’t have a specific post on the site yet for how to prepare an apprentice to take over, but if you’ve worked for him for that long then you are probably already better prepared than you think you are. As for taking things to the next level, I still believe there is no better way than to leverage the heck out of the internet. That means having a good company blog, making sure you’re listed with google and yahoo local, and working on your reputation on angies list, houzz, and porch, etc. Actually, it looks like you already have blog set up but there’s hardly anything on it. Start putting in the hours on the blog and you will see results. My series about starting a killer blog begins here: http://www.richcontractor.com/how-to-start-a-successful-blog-for-your-business/. Thanks for the comment!

  • Donnie December 30, 2014, 1:26 am

    I just stumbled on ur site an I agree with u 100% about working hard an putting money out to build business. My problem is that I had a real strong business about 5yrs ago an it crashed an I went out for 1 yr then went work for someone else of an on for a couple of yrs. I it so hard to work for someone else an u no just as much or if not a little more than them an quality of there work is in exseptable to what I would ever give to my customers. I have in the last 2 yrs stared back my own business an doing ok. I have a good repatation but there are so many in my area that I can’t compete with there pricing. Half of them are not licensed an insured or if they are they are cheating somewhere. I also carry workers comp. I no that I have to become more price friendly but I can only go so low. I guess what I’m after is how to grow an expand to keep busy an money flowing. People say the enternet is the way to go but I’m not smart with that at all an I don’t no what to do at all. I offer a wide veriety of services as far as construction. I don’t care what I have to do to move forward but I have no one to guide me wher I need to go I just no that I can an want to be more successful than I am. Anything u may tell me would be a great help

    • Scott January 16, 2015, 5:38 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Donnie. I would point you in a few different directions on my blog that can help. But, first let me say that you should keep prices where you need them to cover your costs, to turn a profit, and to pay yourself fairly. Let the low-ballers scrap it out for the low dollar jobs and focus your efforts on wealthier people who value quality and timeliness. Differentiate yourself by letting people know that you ARE fully insured, that you ARE licensed, and that DO you carry workers comp, whereas competitors may NOT. That will help you to win some jobs even if you are priced higher.

      Read this about low-balling: http://www.richcontractor.com/my_weblog/2008/01/lowballing-will.html
      …and this about how to get started with your own blog: http://www.richcontractor.com/how-to-start-a-successful-blog-for-your-business/

      Best of luck!

  • Kelly Simpson February 17, 2015, 7:15 pm

    Scott
    Can you please send me how to make a lot of money fast. Thank-you. Kelly

    • Scott February 23, 2015, 8:28 pm

      Thanks for the laugh, Kelly.

  • Rob Thomas March 18, 2015, 7:10 pm

    Scott,

    Maybe I should write a blog since you tell people not to expect making 6 figures in a construction company in their first year… I totally disagree. I have started several construction companies from nothing. A tile and stone installation business, and three general construction companies. I never made less that 6 figures in a year even when I barely worked hard at it. My latest venture in SW florida started just over a year ago, with no contacts, moving to my current location from another state and had sales of close to 1m netting close to 300k. Actual time spent prospecting for new business was approximately 3 days in over a year. Zero marketing dollars. Maybe you are trying to make money somehow from this blog selling some sort of system to people that should never be in any business. Being a contractor takes some skills granted, however if you are smart, organized and good with people, you are more than half way there. The rest of the way has to do with getting in front of people who may need your services or be able to recommend you. I focus on real estate agents, designers, larger builders that don’t want to handle remodels, any kind of store that sells products relating to the construction industry and others. Get your business cards, get some photos of your work (or if you don’t have your photos fake it till you make it and use someone elses) and get out there. The only thing that people need to know about construction marketing is “YOUR FACE IN FRONT OF A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE” and don’t forget your cards. I’ve got jobs from people i met at the grocery store that noticed my sign on the truck, people at Starbucks that were talking in line about buying a house, neighbors of people I worked for after I went or sent one of my guys to knock on their door and so on!!!! So basically my take is if you don’t expect to make 100K+ in your first year, why are you getting into business? Expect it and go out and do it. One final thought… Most start up entrepreneurs focus 90% of their effort in trying to be organized, having all the right equipment and looking the part, wasting time working on online and offline marketing that will never help and then spend 10% or far less of their time getting in front of customers.

    • Scott March 20, 2015, 6:00 am

      Rob,

      I actually agree with some of what you’ve said. There’s no doubt that the more you can get face time with potential customers the better. Get out there and mix it up. I’ve never suggested otherwise. Networking with realtors, designers, and builders is a great idea…no disagreement there. This is something that has actually been addressed in some of my other posts on this blog. Jonah actually goes into great detail on this subject in his wonderful post about working with realtors to grow business: http://www.richcontractor.com/generating-no-cost-construction-leads-through-realtors-a-tutorial/.

      However, I disagree with much of what you have to say. Is it within the realm of possibility that someone could earn an income in the six figures within their first 12 months in business…sure. But is this a realistic goal for most people who are just starting out? No, I don’t think so. It would be hugely irresponsible for me suggest that it is. It would be setting up most people for disappointment. I DO think that getting to a six figure income is achievable in the second, third, or fourth year for most people if they work their faces off, but to suggest that they could be banking (netting) $2000 a week right from the beginning…I just don’t think this is a realistic goal for most people. I’m all about shooting for the moon and really going for it with your business, but that dreaming also has to be balanced by a sober and realistic set of expectations as far as the investment of time and effort.

      It may be true that you, Rob, just have the magic touch and are able to create million dollar businesses out of thin air and with the snap of your fingers, but I suspect that you probably also have an advanced skill set (both technically and with sales), and perhaps other advantages, that most people with only an idea in their mind do not have. You may also be using methods that I, myself, would never dream of using. For example, you suggest that new contractors should use photos of other contractors’ work and claim it as their own in order to gain trust and new clients. This kind of stuff really bothers me. Other contractors have done this before with work that I have done (they’ve ripped photos right from my website), and it really ticks me off. It’s just…wrong. So disrespectful of other contractors, and so dishonest with homeowners. There’s “faking it”, and then there’s just lying.

      Finally, you assert that online and offline marketing “will never help” because it’s not “getting in front of customers”. I couldn’t disagree more. I’ve seen first-hand the power of leveraging the internet to gain new customers. It’s HUGE if done smartly. And IT IS “getting in front of customers”. It’s right in their face when they open up their laptop and do a google search. How exactly is that NOT “getting in front of customers”? There is a balance to be found between internet marketing, traditional marketing, and in the flesh networking. This is not a zero-sum game.

  • Jeremiah July 9, 2015, 3:00 am

    Hey I have a question maybe someone could point me in the right direction, my father has owned a construction business for close to 20 years now and he makes a living there was recently a big hail storm that came through our area and we have made great money working the insurance claims and so on, my dad stated he wanted to step away from it and get into flipping houses because of his age, he has made comments on me taking it over which is what i want but my question is…were do i go from this point i mean he has made a living yes but it hasn’t been the best living……how do i grow this company do i spread out over a few different areas do i get into chasing storms….im just trying to find a way to enjoy life not saying i wanna get rich quick or i dont wanna work hard i just want my family to be able to enjoy life and not worry week after week about money for the rest of my life….any suggestions

    • Scott July 24, 2015, 5:29 pm

      I think you should pick a focus and run with it as hard as you can instead of going in several different directions at once. It sounds like you both want to move in the direction of house rehabbing and flipping….so I would suggest you go with that all in…all your chips. If they can keep an eye on costs then contractors can make VERY GOOD flippers. I hope that helps…good luck out there. Start making some contacts in your local real estate market and set up a blog so you can start pulling in your own leads.

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