Thursday, September 18, 2014

If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?

Today we wrap up my mini-tutorial on how to make a million dollars. We’ve established there are two basic plans: you get a million people to each give you a dollar, or you create a million items and charge a dollar apiece. Both methods will work, provided you put in the time and effort necessary to make things happen. I’ve already given examples from my personal experience.

Speaking of that personal experience … you’re probably asking yourself right now, “Since she’s writing about this, has it worked for her?”

Welllll …

Here comes the downside to my methods. Every plan has one. Some have several. Will the plans I proposed make you rich? Possibly. Eventually. That’s downside number one: it doesn’t happen immediately. You will make a million dollars, but it’ll be spread out over a number of months, more likely years. Nobody wants to hear that, I know, but that’s how it works. If you want gobs of money right this instant, go play the lottery, or rob a bank.

The biggest drawback to my plans: you will have to work. It takes time, and it takes effort. Sorry, but that’s also part of the deal. The methods don’t work unless you do.

I’ve already alluded to my feelings about hard work: mostly it pays off, but sometimes it doesn’t. The “doesn’t” comes into play when you’re trying to get rich working for other people. It worked for my brother, but the stars were aligned in his favor. That job with the Big Corporation wasn’t his first, by the way. I believe it was his third. It didn’t happen overnight, either. I’d say it took him at least a decade. He was still able to retire at age 50 with his million in the bank. His son, my nephew, was following the same path when the economy tanked. He got laid off. I’ve busted my butt for companies that went belly up, or else sent my job overseas. Google “Jack Kirby,” the man who co-created the Marvel Universe and all those colorful characters like the Avengers, currently making billions for Disney/Marvel. Check out the percentage his estate gets. Hint: it rhymes with “zilch.” (Another hint: if you’re a writer or artist, read those contracts carefully and make sure you retain the rights to what you’ve created. Watch out for “work for hire” clauses.) When you’re an employee, making other people rich, hard work doesn’t always pay off. Assess your situation and act accordingly.

If you’re in business for yourself, hard work is a given. You can’t pawn it off on other people. It’s all on you. You do the legwork, you rake in the bucks. If there were any shortcuts, we’d all have that million in the bank now, right?

Another quick aside: I am aware of that New Agey theory proposed by The Secret: Your mind creates the thoughts that attract what you want. Simply send your thoughts out to the Universe and the Universe will cough up what you ask for. Huh. That sounds easy. Try it. Right now. Say this out loud: “I want a million dollars.” Let me know how it works out, and when.

There's nothing wrong with positive thinking, but I don’t have much faith in this aspect of it. Try this experiment while you’re at it: Stand in the middle of a busy street. Think real hard at the cars barreling toward you. Your thoughts should be powerful enough to shape your reality so you don’t get flattened. Let me know how that one works out.

The rest of us will see the cars bearing down on us and haul ass out of the street. I guarantee that will work. This is the real secret to getting a million dollars: the Universe doesn’t give a crap about proactive wishing. The Universe rewards positive action. Tape this saying up on your wall: “The Lord helps those that help themselves.”

If you want a million dollars, you’re going to have to go out and find those million people with a spare dollar in their pockets, or create a million products and work at selling them. How fast you amass that million will be reflected in the amount of effort you put into it.

Which brings us back to me. What percentage of that million did I earn today?

Um …

Therein lies my problem. I probably shouldn’t be self-employed because I’m really lazy. It takes me forever to write stuff. I think I had two stories out on the market in a single year one time. The other week, instead of writing, I went out and mowed the lawn. I even held off writing this blog, that’s why I’m posting so late. Needless to say, I am not currently a millionaire.

Note the word “currently.”

If you’re a procrastinator, if the thought of hard work makes you shudder, if you’d rather watch reality TV than write (now I’m shuddering), you have my complete understanding, and my sympathy. It’s so easy to put off the actions that will bring in the money. There’s housework, and yard work, and trips to the grocery store, no point in getting started because I’ll just have to stop and make dinner and hey, look, that movie I love is on again, and next thing you know the day’s over and you don’t have any dollars in your wallet. The good news is, you can change your thoughts and your actions. Like getting the million, it’ll take time and it’ll be tough, but it can be done.

To prove it, I'm committing to the challenge. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and get busy coming up with a million stories to send out to market, in the hopes they net me my million over the next twelve months. It would probably be easier if I was on Facebook and tried connecting with the million people and their dollar bills, but I suck at social media. I may swing in that direction after my fingers fall off. For now, I’m going to concentrate on creating my product, and work hard at writing—and, yes, selling—the best damn stories I’m capable of producing. I figure I’m going to have to sub at least one story a week, but eventually I’ll see a payoff. I’ll give a progress report every couple of weeks. Guess I won’t be watching reality TV any more.

I’d ask you folks to keep me on track, but you’ll all be too busy earning your own million. Don’t forget to send me your dollars. They mount up.


Savanna Kougar said...

Here's a thought... although, I have no clue if it would work in your case, or my case.

We write these stories for a hungry niche market under mysterious pen names, then sell them for a buck a story using the method Jaid Black first did... a pdf format that was paid for via paypal.

Whadya think?

Pat C. said...

I'd need an actual web page for that, which I probably should have anyway. But yes, that proves my theory. The plan will work, but you have to work at it.

Some of those stories will be flat-out porn, if I can slip it past Amazon. (B&N has no trouble with it.) There's a small fetish niche that I enjoy reading and discovered I enjoy writing. No, I won't tell you what it is. And I sure won't be putting my real name on it. One way or another, I'm going to have to teach myself self-publishing.

Savanna Kougar said...

I dunno, if you let Google ads run on a Blogger blog, they probably won't care if you sell your books.

No need to slip it past Amazon. If you know your market, deal directly with that market, and sell from there, as in directing readers to your page. If you give them an email addy set up with Paypal, they can order, send you the money, then you email them the ebook. 'Course likely it will be pirated. However, it still could work, I believe.

If you're making enough money, you can hire a company called Muso for a reasonable fee to keep watch and send out notice of takedown.

Glad you have a fetish niche. I don't have a clue what mine could be, at this point. Maybe you could give me 'pointers' via private email of what is currently popular. Not your niche, of course.

Pat C. said...

I have no idea what the most popular niches are. I just know what I like. I typed the key words into Search on Amazon and dozens of books popped up, so there's a market for it. I'm already planning on deceptively bland, non-erotic covers so I should be okay. The people who like this stuff will find it. I hope.

I was lucky enough to discover a whole (free) site dedicated to this particular niche, and got to read a bunch of examples before the library blocked me. I can still get on at McDonald's and Sheetz.

Savanna Kougar said...


Well, darn. I have no clue what key words to type in... but... lol... that's my problem.

Bland covers will help somewhat, but Amazon is already burying certain kinds of books with their search program's altered logarithms [this is from author experts in this computer stuff who are on the Indie loop, not me saying it]... so how well that will work, don't know... you're better off finding where those kind of readers hangout, like that site. I know when the whole Paypal attacking Siren event happened, there was a bookselling vendor who specialized in the books that were being censored... anyway, they were uploading these author's books fast as possible.