Step #1: Realize Your Harsh Truths
If you’re smart, you’ll immediately see the unfairness of this world. You’ll realize that the world is full of money-hungry, selfish jerks who have no problem exploiting you and screwing you over. And those people happen to be in charge of the rest of us. As a young person, you’re not ready to accept harsh truths like that. You see the world as an innocent paradise. That’s great because holding onto that belief is important. To stay creative and stay positive, you need to hold on to that belief until you’re fully ready to deal with other people knocking you down.
But as you get older, you’re going to start to learn what the world is really about.
Instead of fighting that reality like most people, you have to understand what it is and how to use it to your advantage.
That’s the freedom that wealth brings.
So, my advice to you is to learn to recognize and cope with the harsh truths. Stop pretending the world is a happy place. It’s not. It’s a dirty, ugly, scary, unfair place. Get used to it.
Step 2: Find Your Battle Buddy
Once you have someone to call you on your bullshit, you can start rethinking your core beliefs about money.
Weighing 400 pounds, I had to leave the house to get a haircut. A wonderful woman who owned a hair salon known to her friends as “Beauty by Lulu” cut my hair.
Not only did she give me a haircut, she gave me a worldview. “You need to start writing a book,” she said. “Don’t be so humble. You are a genius. You need to get that out there,” she insisted.
“Wait a minute,” I said to myself. “Whoa. Hold on.” I just remembered my “diet” universe. In my universe, nobody thinks I’m a genius, so they aren’t going to hold me accountable for keeping deadlines. I was going to get the gold watch for hitting the mid-point. And I had a friend or two, who I thought was a genius, who never had a book published. My universe was keeping me small.
Step #3: Learn When To Say “No”
Step #4: Let Your Hustle Do the Talking
While we know you’re selling yourself and your story, you don’t need to embellish your qualifications or experience. Simply tell people, “I’m looking for a way to make money, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.”
No one cares about what it took to get you to that point of humility. The only thing they want to hear is the compelling story about what you’re doing to get back on your feet.
For instance, you could say:
“I’ve been looking for a way to supplement my income. I’m working two jobs right now, but to make ends meet financially, I need to find another source of income.”
Step #5: Never Stop Learning
Step #6: Invest In Yourself
One of the most important ways to become a millionaire is to invest in yourself. If you have no skills and little experience, then what value could you possibly add to a company or industry? For this reason, now, while you are young, is a great time to invest in yourself.
Invest in your own personal education by taking (and completing) college courses, such as business administration, accounting, finance, and marketing. There are many lower cost education opportunities available today that you can take advantage of. In fact, paying for your formal education may be easier than you think. Many companies will pay for training, courses, and certificates. Also, you can take advantage of the generosity of family and friends who may be willing to help you with the costs.
If you can’t afford to pay for college courses, you’ll need to find a way to pay for books. Your college most likely offers a textbook rental program that your library has access to. So, if you decide to take that business program, you may be able to avoid buying textbooks all together. Also, it will help to apply for scholarships.
Step #7: Surround Yourself with High Achievers
After your website is built, the next step is to start scaling it by getting more people to visit. This can be done in a variety of ways. Some methods work better than others. However, if your site is truly unique and valuable, you should be able to get some natural traffic. Getting this incoming traffic is critical because it will allow you to try different promotional methods. As you try more things, you’ll start to understand which methods work best.
One of the most common traffic building techniques is to outsource. This works very well if you need to build a number of backlinks. For example, you might want a mass amount of testimonials from “experts” in a niche. This is an ideal case for outsourcing. If you need a lot of content, you can also outsource. In fact, you can outsource pretty much anything. The idea is that you should be spending the bulk of your time acquiring new customers, not doing chores.
When outsourcing, you must remember to work with people who are ethical and want your site to succeed. They should be working hard for you, not sucking you dry.
Step #8: Don’t Let Failure Define You
One of the biggest sources of stress we all have is the fear of failure.
But if you don’t take risks, you’re never going to get anywhere.
When your only alternative is to live under a bridge, it’s not such a big risk to get in your car and drive to California.
The Bottom Line
The possibility of applying business principles to the art world is something that not enough people consider. Being a successful artist is about building your brand, selling to your most receptive audience, and following your passion.
I hope that after reading this, some of you will realize that success is not the opposite of what you’re doing. You’re already doing what you love and are drawn to. Now you just have to build a brand that’s bigger than yourself.