In: Money Talk,
You have enough, or you don’t.
Over the years, I’ve do-si-doed around both sides of that dichotomy.
As a pre-teen, my mom and I sometimes had to borrow money to buy a roll of one-ply toilet paper to get us through the weekend. Scott brand. I remember it was Scott, because it was always Scott. I wasn’t allowed to buy anything else. But I always secretly longed for Charmin. I so desperately wanted to be the kind of people who bought Charmin. I imagined they had lake houses, and swing sets; walls that weren’t made of fake wood paneling and parents who weren’t single and disabled. I imagined they had everything you could ever want in life, those people.
Today, I buy the most expensive, most luxurious toilet paper on the god damn shelf.
I did something similar when I got my very first job out of college.
I bought a $3,000 mattress on my lunch break. My friends were horrified. But they hadn’t spent all of high school sleeping on an old blue chenille love seat with a pillow and a blanket.
Luxury became my redemption.
Money became my redemption.
I deserved it.
And I wanted to make up for every last roll of Scott.
I wanted to make up for every humiliating afternoon when I’d make up an excuse to my friend’s older brothers, who drove cars by then, to drop me off two blocks away from where I really lived.
But most of all, I wanted to make up for every pained look I ever saw come across my mother’s face; every time she wanted to be more for us, but couldn’t. Etched in my memory is the time I begged and begged for a Little Mermaid tee-shirt from the Disney Store, but we couldn’t afford it. And the following week, when she surprised me with a hand-painted Little Mermaid tee-shirt, which I cruelly dismissed, telling her I could never wear something hand-painted.
She was doing her best.
Maybe as the result of these things, or maybe for some other reason, I became fascinated by money.
Why so many douche bags had so much of it; why so many good people had so little of it. As a young professional just getting started, I took making money as a fun little personal challenge. I looked at money objectively; I studied what the wealthy Philadelphia suburbanites did, who I was now surrounded by. How they talked, walked, acted. I went to networking meetings and social events–I once even befriended a 50-something woman with a white mink coat named Reba, who knew everyone and everything, took me to the swankiest restaurants, and made a ton of money, too.
I wanted to know how.
And that’s precisely how I ended up in marketing and sales–I quickly discovered that no matter who you were or what you were doing, if you understood these two things better than anyone else, you win the game.
I consumed myself with both subjects.
I tested theories.
I played the game.
But on behalf of my company at the time.
And then eventually I got irritated that my income was capped as an employee, so I quit and started my first business–I knew that all that networking would pay off, by then. But more importantly, I knew that this was the way to make any real money.
I learned to be scrappy.
I learned think smart.
I learned that money is everywhere if you just know where to look.
And more importantly, how to look.
Fast forward several years.
Many of you know that when I started TMFproject from scratch, I ran a public case study on myself on how to hit 6 figures that first year.
That was no accident.
I knew exactly what I was doing, which is why I announced it publicly.
This year, we were well beyond that at the 6 month mark, and we’re growing as expected.
The point is that making money isn’t difficult–it’s simply knowing how to do it. When no one’s handing you a paycheck anymore, you need to learn how to produce your own. And it’s not as simple as slapping something up on a website, crossing your fingers, and hoping the world discovers it.
That’s where marketing and sales come into play.
Whoever you are.
Whatever your situation.
There is hope.
And the money and dignity to follow, right behind it.