How to Get Good at Making Money

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I came across a great article that I thought all aspiring entrepreneurs should read. Who wouldn’t want to master the art of Making Money and being EXCEPTIONAL at it?! Check this article out.

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to learn to play the drums. I’ve always loved the drums. Whenever I listen to music, I hear the drums first. I can listen to a great jazz drummer like Art Blakey for hours on end. I’d give up almost anything to be as good as Glenn Kotche of Wilco.

The path to learning the drums is pretty clear. You sign up for some lessons, you get some pads, you get some sticks, you learn some drills, and you practice. And you keep practicing. Every surface—your desk, your leg, your steering wheel—becomes a drum. You get better over time, but you never really stop practicing.

This is how we learn most things. Whether you want to be a writer or a musician or a painter or a baker or an accountant, the way to get there is fairly clear. Not everyone’s going to be as good as he or she would like to be, but at least you know where to start. Lessons, classes, books, internships, workshops… All of these things are accessible to most people who want them.

One of the interesting things about picking up the drums was that I realized it had been some time since I had actually tried to learn something new. We spend most of our childhoods learning new things. But as you get older, the frequency with which you develop new talents slows down. Sometimes it stops completely.

That said, when I first started playing, I was bad. I sounded like someone was tripping over a drum set and knocking it on the floor. When you suck so badly at something new, it’s comforting to know there are other things that you actually are good at. And being bad at drums reminded me of what I have gotten pretty good at: making money.

Today, I run 37signals, a software and design firm that I co-founded in 1999. Sales have grown at double-digit rates every year for the past decade; so have profits. (Like many private companies, we don’t disclose revenue.) How did I learn how to do this? I have a degree in finance, but I don’t remember taking any classes that even remotely taught me how to make money. I’ve read plenty of business books. Same thing—lots of talk about money, but not much about how to actually make the stuff.

One thing I do know is that making money is not the same as starting a business. For entrepreneurs, this is an important thing to understand. Most of us identify with the products we create or services we provide. I make software. He is a headhunter. She builds computer networks. But the fact is, all of us must master one skill that supersedes the others: making money. You can be the most creative software designer in the world. But if you don’t know how to make money, you’re never going to have much of a business or a whole lot of autonomy.

This is not about getting rich (though there’s certainly nothing wrong with that). Instead, for me, making money is about freedom. When you owe people money, they own you—or, at least, they own your schedule. As long as you remain profitable, the timeline is yours to create.

It took me a long time to figure out how to make money. Here’s how the lessons unfolded..

View Lessons

Source: INC Mag

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1 Comment

  1. Vernon

    March 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    You can have a business but still not know how to make MONEY! Good read!

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