What Making $2.8K In One Month Taught Me
The more you make, the crucial it becomes to think about your money.
$1,670 from Upwork.
$300 for cleaning with my mom.
$560 from Medium Partnership Program.
And $270 from other writing projects.
I don’t often talk about my earnings but my January was significant for me. I broke $2,800 in earnings. And that’s a big deal for me since by December, I was earning under half of that.
And from that realization, there has been so many things that I want to be sharing and talking about.
Because making a lot of money isn’t always what it pans out to be like.
There Is Relief And There Is Paranoia
Working as an entrepreneur has put things into perspective for me. But being a writer has amplified those perspectives further.
I and many others have said before that the entrepreneur's life is not as glamorous as it’s played up to be. There is constant pressure to continue putting out work and there are more people who are counting on you than if you’re working a day job.
But when you are working as a writer, I feel that there is more compared to others. Not only do you need to meet the demands of clients, but there is also your own work.
Posting content on your blog, social media, on top of running your business. It can get to people. It has for me since it’s been weeks since I’ve had a consistent writing schedule for my own content.
As for how I feel, I feel a sense of relief and paranoia.
Relief in that I’ve got sources that are supporting me and keeping me alive and well. I’m fortunate to have understanding clients.
But there is still that paranoia. Paranoia that all of this can go away fast should my numbers and efforts start to dip. The “what if” scenarios.
And while those scenarios may remain in my head, there is reasonable doubt.
On Upwork, the reason I earned more in January was some of the work I did in December didn’t get processed until January. That amounted to roughly $500. This month I’ve made less by a significant margin.
On Medium, one of my articles I published exploded in earnings. I’d say 90% of that month’s earnings can be attributed to that single article. And as a writer, I know that there will come a point where articles will decline in views and therefore earnings.
It’s already happened this month.
But it’s enough to remind me that those earnings are temporary.
And that revelation can scare people and get people to worry. After all, as a writer, it all comes back to “if you want more you need to work more.” And sometimes you can’t always do that.
The More You Make, The More To Talk About
One thing I’ve started to learn about this paranoia of mine is that I should be talking more about my money. Not as a means of stroking my ego or to make others envious of me mind you. But as a way to normalize the behaviour.
I say this because so many of us have all kinds of notions about money but we never talk about the mental side of it.
We talk about lotto winners blowing all of their money on lavish things, but never about what’s going on behind the scenes.
What compelled them to get to that point? Why did they do this in the first place?
We’re quick to comment about the person’s character instead. How foolish that person was in making those purchase decisions.
Or how winning the lottery destroyed the persons' life. And maybe throw in how we wouldn’t meet the same fate if we were in that position.
But I think most people would fall into the same trap in most circumstances.
Why? Because we only talk about money on the surface and only in certain situations. We see the glamour of it the affluent nature of people spending large sums of money.
Game shows play this up a lot and it feeds into the idea that being wealthy or a millionaire means any financial troubles are gone.
But I think talking about money breaks down that ideology. And we can start to look at money in a critical way. I say this because if by any chance I ever won a large sum of money, I’d pay off my student debt, put the rest into savings and maybe use 10% of it for actual “me” activities.
That behaviour stems from me researching money and training my money mindset. It still has some things to deal with — based on that paranoia — but with each new experience, it’s important to discuss it. To tolerate it. To normalize it.
Now, in terms of the talks themselves, that’s not to say we need to go into extensive details all the time about money talks. For example, I only gave you end results. I’ve purposely omitted how I got to that point, how many hours I worked, what marketing tactics I used, and what my mental attitude has been.
But I feel these talks should be frequent and varied depending on the audience. Share more details with trusted family members, your partner, close friends and financial advisors/people in the banking world. But be more distant when announcing it to the public as I am.
The more we talk about it, the more that it starts to normalize it in our own lives. After all, we’ve seen time and time again how most lotto winners turn out to be like.
Your Knowledge Of Money Is Only As Good As Your Curiosity For It
Over the years, my view of money has changed a lot and that in turn has influenced my behaviour and curiosity for the subject. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at all things money since I’ve no clue how derivatives work or even trading and succeeding in the stock market.
However, everything I’ve said to this point is based on my conversations about money. From what I’ve read, and discovered about myself and the world around me.
I know people don’t talk about it and most of us have a primitive view of money. Examples are sayings like “money is the root of all evil,” or “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Most of us have negative views of money and fail to see it as a tool to enrich ourselves.
I know that people don’t budget much because they only talk about it in a few circumstances. Sometimes it can be through a heated argument with your partner or to make some of those comments I mentioned above.
I push for us to talk about it because our knowledge of money stems from the quality of the information and the quantity of it too.
For example, I had two different conversations when I shared how I felt about my earnings to two people. One was my mindset coach whom I’ve been working with for several months. The other was with my mom.
My mom shared some wisdom that touched on working more. That advice stemmed from the fact that partway into January, I stopped working as much. I’ve been feeling lazy and my output had dropped.
The idea of working more is going into the talk about time equals money. It’s what many of us get into.
When I shared the same story to my mindset coach he told me something else. When you’re making more, you bump up various aspects of your life. Start exploring mutual funds and index funds. Start saving up some more and setting aside more money for future financial goals.
While both my coach and my mom raised good points, I can tell there is a difference in money attitude between the two.
My mom talked about working more and saving in general.
My coach said where to put money in and urged me to do more research.
The more we’re curious and seek to learn, the more we pay attention to those things and learn where people priorities rest with regards to money. It also helps us to identify where you are with money.
Be Keeping Score
What I mean by this is budgeting. The accountant in me has taught me the value of knowing all of your numbers so you can start making plans and influence your behaviour.
While I encourage you to put those numbers into a proper spreadsheet, doing a mental count can also help as well and put things into perspective. Knowing how much is coming in and what’s coming out is always good.
Lately, I’ve been relying on the mental side as it’s a good way for me to quell my worry about money. Knowing overall that I’m making a tonne of money adds great relief and it puts into perspective my financial goals.
I know now I can put more away into my savings account based on my earnings. And if the earnings are staying the same, I can keep the course.
I wouldn’t be able to do that if I wasn’t keeping score of my earnings.
It also puts into perspective how far I can stretch my money too. We all have other goals and ambitions and they cost money. Knowing how much you can sink in right now can help us keep the course.
Always Be Chasing After Something Financially
I think it’s important to be saving money towards some big target of course but there can be fun along the way.
In January, I bought a box of the latest Magic The Gathering set.
For February, I bought a gym membership and a starting plan to improve my health. I’ve also paid for personal training after keeping score of my earnings.
While each purchase is different, they all share a common connection with me.
They enrich my life.
The box of cards I bought was used to hang out with friends and share some wonderful experiences and memories. I could also take some of those cards and give them out to other people as a way of boosting my social skills and expand my network. Something that I’m sorely lacking in my life.
For the gym membership, it’s getting myself back on track of something I’ve been working towards and wanted to change for a long time. My plan is by next year to drop a little over 50 pounds and obtain the body I’ve been wanting for a long time.
I’ve got other plans for purchases I want to make and they vary. But the point of having these markers is this:
It’s something to get excited for and work towards.
For the past few months my earnings have jumped every time and part of that stems from my work ethic. I’ve been paying attention to my earnings and I’ve been working towards some objective sub-consciously every time.
Whether that’s being able to support myself or for something I’d like to have in my life it’s all the same.
When you have a reason to pursue something, you will do everything in your power and then some to get to it.
Review Your Situation
Being an entrepreneur and a writer has taught me to use time wisely. When I talked to my coach about my money and my current state of mind one thing he said was this:
“Dude, take a break and relax.”
He followed up with reminding me of exactly what I told him.
In three months I’ve doubled my income.
My expenses are smaller than usual due to my shared living accommodations with my cousin. My earnings are also enough where I’m not calling on him to cover those expenses.
I’ve got so much support to the point that I’m able to afford the lifestyle that I’m shaping before my very eyes.
I’m also not working as hard and still hitting some of my goals. I admit I could be working a touch more.
The point of this is to put into perspective everything that’s happening in your life financially. Look at your own situation and think about the positives in your life.
The idea of reviewing your current standings puts into perspective whether you need to be making changes in your life. Furthermore, what changes you need to be making as well.
When I went for further personal training, one thing I’m reminding myself now is this: get one or two more clients.
Get a few more clients and that expense will get sorted easy.
Overall though, it’s taking more time for myself. This can be dipping more into writing — which I find relaxing — or getting outside of the apartment more.
It also is able to shape your mindset and attitude further as well. I felt more relieved when my coach brought up all the positives. It’s reminded me of how far I’ve come in such little time.
It’s Not All Glitz And Glamour
The more I talk about money the more that I’m enjoying talking about it. It serves as a constant reminder for me that not everything is as it seems and however you think about money will determine our whole attitude.
Again, I’m not all about bragging about my earnings. I’m proud of the amount that I’m making and I’m grateful for it. But I know the dangers of not talking about it.
How it can lead you into the dark and distort your mindset and behaviour.
By no means is money bad, but at the very least we should be seeing it for what it really is:
A tool to help us grow and make us happier in the end