After being held in captivity for too long, animals released into the wild tend to die due to starvation or attack. They no longer know how to hunt for their own food or use their claws to fend off predators.
Are humans who’ve worked a day job all their lives like the animals we see at the zoo? Is the zoo keeper who brings out a bail of hay every day, the employer who cuts a bi-weekly paycheck? From what I’ve observed since leaving Corporate America in 2012, it sure seems that way.
When you’re guaranteed a paycheck every month, unless you’re making minimum wage, there’s a natural tendency to stop thinking about other ways to make more money. Why do you think companies tend to cull older employees who no longer have the desire to hustle? I need all of you guys to guard against getting soft!
THE GUCCI ZOO OF AMERICA
If you’ve got a job in America, it’s like having one of the cushiest jobs in the world, second only to those in Europe, where its difficult to fire anybody. We’ve seriously got it all here. And with the rise of the sharing economy, the zoo keepers are now throwing over extra slabs of ribeye for us all to feast!
My post on how I made over $100/hour driving for Uber was meant to show people three things:
- The importance of developing a platform to leverage.
- The importance of always trying new ways to make money.
- To make people realize they don’t have to be stuck in a bad financial situation.
I could have used different angles to demonstrate these three things, but I just happen to be in my Uber experimentation stage. Life is a journey. Remember?
Telling people what to do is a big waste of time. Instead, it’s better to just take action and let others come around if they want to follow. Developing a platform through a website is huge. From this site, I can rent out my vacation property, gain 1X1 consulting clients, sell a severance negotiate book, make new friends, find startup consulting jobs or earn Uber referral income. Now that is leverage!
I’m always trying to figure out new ways to make money because I completely realize everything is temporary. My job didn’t last 20 years like I thought it would. The stock market isn’t going to go up forever. Clients go out of business. And people die. In order to ensure my existing pipeline of multiple income streams continues into the future, I’ve got to develop new income streams NOW.
If your current financial situation sucks, please don’t just passively accept your bad situation. I’m not too proud to experiment with close to minimum wage jobs or earn lower pay in a new field, and neither should you. Almost everybody starts at the bottom and must figure out a way to work their way up.
When I first started driving for Uber, I was making $28/hour. Now I’m at $42 – $49/hour gross after four months of testing. The increase is due to experimenting with different routes, times, and pick up strategies. Nobody handed me anything. I had to figure things out on my own.
The biggest net worth killer is a poor attitude. Here are some comments from my $100/hour Uber driving post that focus on the wrong side of things.
Very interesting. But are you forgetting the bite that the taxman taketh away? Isn’t take-home more like 63% or 75% of your total?
Unless you’re regularly making over $250,000 a year, taxes shouldn’t be a big factor in your decision to make extra money. I’ve seldom ever heard a discussion where people talk about net income instead of gross income. When news reports say the median MBA salary is $150,000 a year, they are talking gross salary. When economists talk about the median wage of $52,000 is down from the year 2000, they are talking gross. Everybody talks gross salary because it’s a closer apples-to-apples comparison.
I’m a little disappointed the income wasn’t purely from driving from Uber, but good haul nonetheless.
We should all be afraid of Skynet (from The Terminator), but give me a break. Before robots rule the world, reasonably intelligent people should figure out new ways to make money. Always be experimenting. Try and get on the disruption train instead of getting disrupted out of a job. Be willing to try new things because the good times will not last forever!
In my opinion, the readers’ comments above represent mental blocks that may prevent them from making more money. There’s always a “but” or an excuse somewhere as to why they can’t make more. After millions of datapoints on my site over the years, only ~2% of people actually ever end up doing anything more than their usual.
On the flip side, here are some enlightening comments that are for sure going to result in much more income, and probably greater happiness over time.
My biggest takeaway from this post is to always position myself in an hourly wage mindset, rather than a salary wage mindset. This way I’m more motivated to be innovative in my time and find better ways to make money.
Exactly. Break down your precious time into hours. See how many hours you want to work and figure out a way to maximize those hours.
A hybrid way to think is by asking what side hustles you can complete while at your salaried job. Most people have a ridiculous amount of wasted time at the office. If you learn to be efficient at work you can up your hourly rate by finishing side hustles on the clock or during breaks while being more productive for the man.
Bingo. As one smart woman commented, “Most of us in corporate America actively “work” less than 25 hours a week but get paid for 40!” Use that extra time to hustle on something else.
I just had an interesting idea. Since I go out of town on business trips almost every week, and my rental car already paid for, it would cool if I could rent out my rental car to make side income.
This is how new businesses are formed. Everything starts with an idea. Then some tinkering. And then some full on execution.
Couldn’t agree more with the hourly vs salary mentality. I am fortunate (or unfortunate) to be doing both. Currently working corporate pharma for 40 hrs/wk while maintaining my side hustle as a locum pharmacist (hourly rate much higher than corporate). Get lots of vacation/stat holidays (5+ weeks) so sometimes I work on those days and get double income. I look at my corporate colleagues and most often they have no concept of how the other half works and sleeps. They have no idea how easy/lucky they have it as a salaried person.
Can we blame people who have no idea how the gig economy works if they’ve never tried making side-income? All we can do is show folks the other side of the world.
I’m doing something very similar to you, at least in regards to working extra hours on a side hustle. I’m in the process of getting a second job. It’s a work-at-home job (before anyone asks, no it’s not a scam and yes I did the research). It only pays 15 bucks an hour with no benefits, but I can work up to 29 hours/week. Pair that with my 40+ hours/week at my day job and the other passive income work I do, and I’m hoping to really supercharge my income.
Here’s someone who is not taking his underpaid commercial banking job lying down. He’s doing something about it!
Finally, here is an awesome comment from a reader after this post that perfect incapsulates a fantastic positive attitude about money!
My first reaction to Sam’s article about making over $100 per hour for Uber was “But that’s only because of the referral bonus, which is not part of your hourly rate, so that’s not really $100 per hour.”
Then I read some of Sam’s comments afterwards, and then I thought about it for a while, and I think he really has changed my attitude.
Let’s say I am able to make an extra $50 on the side of my day-job. Maybe I drove a tourist around town, or maybe I sold a piece of junk I found in the trash, or maybe the bank gave it to me for opening a new account, or whatever.
The ’employee’ would say “Yeah, but is that $50 sustainable? Can I rely on always making $50? If not, then it doesn’t count.”
The ‘contractor’ would say “Hey, cool, an extra $50. Now I’m $50 richer.”
You see, it doesn’t matter whether a source of income is sustainable, recurring, or stable. Nothing is sustainable in the long run. Over the course of our lives, we may get raises, pay cuts, bonuses, unexpected cost, all kinds of fluctuation in our cash flow, and then eventually we die, having made whatever net amount of money that is left over.
So it doesn’t matter whether I can ALWAYS make an extra $50, because nobody can always make anything. What matters that I DID make an extra $50.
DECIDE YOUR WORTH
Our jobs are going overseas. Our wages are getting compressed. Nobody is clicking banner ads anymore. We can either adapt, complain, or suffer. I choose not to suffer, but to adapt! To work while others are playing. To experiment when people think such a job is beneath them.
Develop a stronger attitude if you want financial freedom. As soon as you start happily expecting your food to be thrown over the fence every day at noon, it’s game over. Don’t let your mind grow as soft as your growing belly. Having a positive attitude is at least half the battle!
Start Your Own Website, Be Your Own Boss: There’s nothing better than starting your own website to own your brand online and earn extra income on the side. Why should LinkedIn, FB, and Twitter pop up when someone Google’s your name? With your own website you can connect with potentially millions of people online, sell a product, sell some else’s product, make passive income and find a lot of new consulting and FT work opportunities.
Every year since 2012, I’ve found a new six-figure consulting opportunity thanks to employers finding Financial Samurai online. Start your own WordPress website like mine today by following my step-by-step guide. You never know where the journey will take you!
Updated for 2020 and beyond.