Thursday, December 15, 2005

How to Make Money. A Ponderous Essay.

The biggest problem with making money is that you have to actually do something. For those who are natural self-starters, this isn’t a problem, or even those who may not be as much of a self starter as they just have a great idea. Most of us lack both ideas and gumption. I have a few ideas, but then I always wonder: Is this going to pay off? Is it worth the effort? Of course most of us never venture to risk and find out if there is something that we may be better at than our current job, of if we could be our own boss, or if we could do something that we love, not just enjoy.

Many people who take that chance go with the standard entrepreneur step of opening a store or manufacturing something. How about trying something else? Craft shows, farm shows, flea markets, work-from-home with your knowledge, instead of “buying, selling, or processing” something. Or perhaps a combination of those would work for you. I wouldn’t mind being a freelance writer and a woodworker. Or a old-car parts dealer. Maybe all three. But it is hard to leave the steady income and the insurance and all that jazz.

When I was younger I wanted to write for car magazines, or build hot rods, but those are very crowded fields. Could I have made it with some persistence? Who knows? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Perhaps that is something I should have started at when I was a teenager instead of thirty. A huge part of that stuff is luck of birth and location. If I was born in certain neighborhoods in Southern California as a kid, I would have been able to hang around a famous hot rodder’s shop before he was famous.

Another part of luck is your parents. I once asked the female professional drag race driver of the Western Auto car how one gets into drag racing. Her dad had been an engine builder, but all she wanted to talk about was the challenge of being female in that environment. I can understand that, but my question was, and still is, how does one get into it if they don’t have family involved. As with many things, in the early days it was easier for anyone to get involved in drag racing. Now it’s a hugely competitive, high-dollar sport and unknowns don’t have a chance. It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to build and run a drag racer now, possibly millions.

Another requisite is passion. Most racecar drivers or writers are passionate about what they do. Most people are not that passionate about any one thing. I have too many interests. Passion creates drive for those who would otherwise not have drive.

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