Earning money is the highest honor you can receive for your professional endeavors. It’s great to have people say you’re awesome at something, but it is quite another to have them pay you for it. There is no acknowledgment more gratifying and fulfilling than successfully monetizing your skills.
What It Means To Be Paid
What does it actually mean to earn money by performing a skill? It means that someone values whatever you are producing, selling, providing more than their own hard-earned dollars. It means that you have convinced someone to part with their resources in order to obtain your skill or product.
It costs very little to praise someone for their work. The price is equally low for you to “like” or “share” an article written by someone or a website for someone’s product. This type of thing maybe costs you just a bit of social capital and nothing more. Don’t get me wrong, it feels great to be praised for your work by people you respect or to have a video you made viewed or even shared thousands of times.
But this good feeling is, ultimately, fleeting. Getting attention in the form of likes, shares, or direct praise is really only valuable insofar as it gets you closer to monetizing your skill. The feeling of accomplishment and pride you receive from praise pales astronomically in comparison to that that you experience when people choose to expend their own resources on you. Because when people pay you for something it necessarily means that your work is so amazing and valuable that they choose to work their asses off just to have it. This is something to be proud of.
Money’s Bad Rap
Despite all the capitalist and free market rhetoric in the US, money making is still often viewed as something dirty. This is especially true of people who produce tremendous value and earn huge fortunes as a consequence. We see this in the oft-proclaimed “need to give back”. Give back for what? Everyone who did not earn their money through working in politics, political favors, or government contracts got that money because they did awesome work and produced value for others. This is the colossal misunderstanding of our time.
But this persisting misunderstanding and taboo of money making isn’t all. It is combined with the fact that we spend our whole adolescents and young adulthood doing work which isn’t aimed at making money–producing value for others. This creates a situation in which people don’t learn how to monetize their skills. Or at least, don’t learn their skills in a way designed to bring value to other people. We spend our time in school writing essays for people who have to read them–regardless of the value it brings them. We do presentations not to sell products or methods, but to prove that we can regurgitate information we read in the textbook.
Making money should be our aim in everything we do in our professional lives. It is the ultimate test as to whether you are actually improving the lives of those around you by offering them things they need or want, and it is the ultimate vote of confidence people can show you they have in your work. So work on monetizing your skills! Whether it is for your job or your side hustle, if you are truly skilled at your passion you can find way to make money off it.
Even just understanding that the company you work for pays you directly for the value you create for them and their customers is critically important. And just as important is understanding that you have to bring in more money–create more value–for your company than they pay you for you to be worth hiring or keeping on. Advocates of a minimum wage would do well to grasp this.
Monetize monetize monetize!
If you start putting yourself out there and trying to make money for your endeavors you will gain nothing but experience and confidence. Even if you fail. I personally work a lot with language and have done a number of translation jobs both for money and for free. Needless to say, the jobs I did for money were many more times satisfying than just the money that I made. This goes the same for teaching and tutoring. Now, as I begin my career Working for Jack Entertainment I am still looking for ways to monetize my writing and maybe start a freelance marketing hustle. I am in the middle of learning how to monetize the skills I know I have, and the ones I am learning.
People value good work and will pay for it. The key is learning how to put yourself out there, learn from failure, and seize success.