Make more money NOWThe sage poets of Shaolin were onto something when they implored listeners to get the “dollar, dollar, bills y’all…” in their seminal hit, C.R.E.A.M. Because while self-esteem, honor, respect, family, and love are all valuable (and great), money talks while those who don’t have it are on the bus. And I don’t like walking.

In my newsletter on Monday, I shared that my goal for the month is to double my income. And I’ll admit, when the idea first popped into my mind I almost brushed it off as crazy talk.

Then I began to think about it.

I’m smart, resourceful, have marketable skills, a few connections, and I know how to hustle. The more I mulled it over, the more I realized I could TOTALLY make it happen…as long as I don’t get sucked into a constant loop of Real Housewives or Sex in the City reruns.

So I turned off my TV and began plotting. Then I took the ultra crazy step and actually told someone—actually, hundreds of someones—about it.

Now my options are pretty limited: I can either make it happen, or risk looking like a sucka. So you already know which one I’m choosing.

But even that bit of motivation is not enough for me.

While I could hoard my ideas and information and just put them to work for myself, I love you guys and I want you to get the “dollar, dollar bills” as well (then tell me all about it so we can celebrate together).

So today, and every Wednesday this month, we’re entering GOALdigging Academy, and I’m going to share tips, tricks, and outright hacks to meet your goals.

For our first installment, I will give you some tips on how to make more money this month.

But before we begin, here’s what I won’t be talking about:

1)   Get rich quick schemes. I mean if I had the secret to make a million dollars in the next 60 minutes, I’d be on vacation right now.

2)   Things that will land you in jail. I’m not about that life either.

3)   Anything you have to spend money on. Though you do need to spend money to make money at times, right now is not one of them.

Now, let us begin. Here are 5 steps to start earning more money RIGHT NOW

Step 1: Convince yourself that you will be successful

I know, it sounds like some new agey bullsh*t, but I cannot stress this step enough. If your mind is not right you will not succeed. Period.

You will convince yourself your goal is impossible, you will think of every single obstacle known to man, and you will get discouraged.

Forget that.

Listen to some Wu Tang, take a look at your bank account and imagine it with a much larger balance, pray, meditate, and get to that place in your brain AND your heart where you believe you can do anything. Because the truth is….you can. You just have to believe it.

Step 2: Brainstorm ways to make money

If you already have a side-hustle, like freelance writing for example, think of ways to make more money with your skills. Make a list of article ideas and publications to pitch to and get to it. Also, use your writing abilities to do other things like copywriting, crafting business memos, grant writing, writing website copy, penning press releases—basically anything that will pay you for your ability to use words.

If you don’t already have a side hustle take a little time to figure out what you’re good at that people actually want to buy. For example, if you’re great at cookie making, perhaps take a dozen to the office to get your coworkers hooked, then begin taking orders when they’re asking for more. Or if you love working out and all of your friends ask you for advice on healthy living, use those skills to whip them in shape…for a fee.

Believe it or not, we ALL have skills other people will pay for; the trick is identifying them and being confident enough to ask people to give you money for your knowledge.

Spend an afternoon researching what other people charge for similar skills or services, pay attention to how they present themselves, and get started.

Seriously, it’s that easy.

Here’s a tip: if people always ask your advice or help on a specific thing…you might want to start your search there.

Step 3: Tell people about your hustle (but don’t be spammy)

Once you have identified your skills and know how you’re going to make money, tell everyone. Your momma, your friends, your coworkers, your twitter followers, Facebook—everyone.

Because here’s a little secret: People want to help you.

Unless you have surrounded yourself with haters (and eww, why would you do that?) the people you know want to and will help you succeed.

For instance, if you know lots of freelance writers or editors, put it out there that you’d like to take on more writing assignments. If your cookies are better than Mrs. Fields, tell your coworkers you’re selling them on the side and you’d really love it if they’d help you meet your goal. If you want to teach people how to work out properly and you’re very knowledgeable about the subject, give people a few pointers and then tell them why they’d get better results working with you.

But don’t be like those guys slinging mixtapes on Twitter that send out a million tweets to people they don’t know yelling, “LISTEN 2 MY SONG,” and drop a link.

Engage people, find out what you can really help them with, and then hit them with your pitch.

Step 4: Set up a one-page website and offer your services

These days, everybody and their grandma has a website. And one of the biggest obstacles I’ve heard from others about why they haven’t been working on their great sidle hustle idea is…”But I don’t have a website.”

Listen, this isn’t 1999. You no longer have to fish through an endless ocean of jumbled HTML code to build your own website. You can literally sign up for a free account, write a few sentences, add a Paypal link, and be up and running in 10 minutes. No lie.

Moreover, nobody cares if you have a fancy website with 20 million blog posts and music playing when they land on your page (Actually, we do care about the music. It’s annoying. Stop that.)

What people care about is 1) do you know your stuff, 2) are you trustworthy, 3) do they know anyone who has worked with you, 4) can they ask you questions, 5) where to pay.

And that’s it.

We have a tendency to overcomplicate EVERYTHING, when really, keeping things as simple as possible is always the best move.

If you have a quality service to offer, can explain your service plainly in as few words as possible (and be a little funny), and you fill a need (this is SUPER key…if people don’t want what you’re selling, they won’t buy it. This ain’t charity.), then people will pay for what you’re offering.

Step 5: JUST DO IT

Yes, I wrote in all caps, it’s that important.

The biggest killer of side-hustles is the fact that most people don’t even get started in the first place.

We know we have skills, we know people who might be able to use them or at least talk to other people who might be able to use them, we are alive and can point and click our way to a website…and yet….we never get started.

You cannot make more money by osmosis, folks. And on the off chance you can, please tell me how it’s done.

In order to add a few (or a lot) of extra dollar, dollar bills to your bank account this month you’ve got to do the work. You cannot just tell people you’re a great baker without them ever tasting your good, and you cannot tout your writing abilities if folks don’t even know you can spell.

DO THE WORK.

You can totally capitalize on your God-given talent and skills, but you have to get started. Otherwise when next month rolls around and your bank account still hasn’t increased you’ll wish you would have taken my advice.

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Do you have a side-hustle? Leave a comment telling me what skill you’re going to use to make some extra this month (and bonus points if you put a dollar amount on your goal).

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