Capitalism hides a little-known truth.
Businesses that hire humans to make money need to pay them the least amount possible. The less they can pay their employees without them leaving, the more money they make.
This isn’t an evil conspiracy. It’s just how the job market works. Once you see this truth you can’t unsee it.
Now making money on the internet has become popular in the last few years and created real competition for employers.
Still, it hasn’t clicked for most people. Let me explain so you can take advantage of this trend (and still keep your job if you choose).
You’re an accidental entrepreneur and don’t even realize it (let me show you)
An employer doesn’t pay you for your sexy smile or well-toned ass.
No. They pay you for a skill stack. Those skills have value. And that value isn’t unique to your employer. Other people or organizations need those same skills.
Think of yourself as a business called You INC. Think of your employer as a customer. If you have a traditional full-time job you have one customer.
I have a friend who owns an IT consulting firm. He told me he has one big government customer. They make him stacks of cash.
I jokingly said “what if they terminate you?”
His mind seemed to glitch. It’s obvious that a business with one customer is a stupid idea. So why should our You INC LLC be any different?
Hint: it shouldn’t be.
Every business including the business of You needs more than one customer to diversify and survive.
The mental block of “sell once”
So if it’s obvious we need to sell our skills more than once, why do we fall for this trap? Simple.
Employees (and I was one for decades) are scared of non-compete agreements. These are those hidden paragraphs in an employment contract that are designed to scare you.
They say things like “you can’t work for anyone else” and “you better not steal our company secrets, pal.”
These clauses aren’t serious. Non-compete clauses are hard to enforce.
I once worked for a company in banking. Their employment contract said that once I work for their banking customer, I couldn’t work for another global bank for 3 years.
Okay, so if this company fired me, I couldn’t get another job for 3 years because they said so? So I’ll just starve and feed my body parts to my daughter for dinner because a corporation said so?
It’s crazy when you break it down.
These clauses are there to make you fearful. No judge in a court is going to say “sorry Timbo, you’re not able to work a job for 3 years. You’ll just have to wait it out. The law is the law.”
Now you know why people won’t have more than one employer (customer). They accidentally think it’s illegal.
I got fooled for years until my lawyer told me the truth.
The hidden path to sell skills online
Many people know they can make money on the internet.
I run an entire academy on the topic, and the biggest objection I get is “what do I sell?” This is where I get confused.
The thing you sell online is the same thing you already do for work. It’s the easiest option.
Instead I meet nice people who lose their life savings because they think what they sell online has to be different to their current career.
So they throw themselves into the deep end of a new product or industry they know nothing about and lose the shirt off their back and go broke.
Sell the thing online that you sell to your employer. Or sell the same or similar product/service as your employer.
Internet customers pay more for this bizarre reason
I spent my career in finance here in Australia.
I got paid okay but compared to my American friends I earned peanuts. That’s because Australia isn’t as wealthy as America. Our economy is built on top of tourism, college education, and selling coal.
We’re a three-trick pony that could easily be blown over by one of our overseas cousins who blows a mouthful of air on us.
When I started selling my 9–5 skills online the pay went up. That’s because the people in America who paid me were wealthier. To the finance geeks in the room this is called arbitrage.
It exists in many countries. The value of your skills in each country has a different price tag.
You can shop various countries to see which ones pay the most for your skills. Then you can live in that country virtually and get paid for your work through the teleportation device known as the internet.
This is where people in 3rd world countries — who we often feel sorry for — have a huge advantage.
The big problem is the internet doesn’t know what skills you have
There isn’t a giant Yellow Pages directory that has the list of every global citizen and the skills they possess.
LinkedIn has some of the data … but it’s not enough.
So what happens? Everyday people with great skill sets stay Just Over Broke and accept the low pay their current employer offers because they can’t easily find higher paying employer-customers. Tragic.
The only solution to the problem is to post content on social media.
Now some will rebel and say “I don’t want to be an influencer” or “I’m not a content creator.”
Yes you are. You have to influence people every day at work to take action in some way. And you’re a content creator if you sent an email, DM, or text message in the last 365 days.
Social media is the missing piece of the puzzle.
When you post online future employers or customers can understand what your skills are. They can then contact you to enquire about your services. This is level one.
The other option is to build a small library of content online and then message potential customers from that social media account to get new opportunities.
But without social media content you are a skilled ghost nobody will contact.
Top employees are the best kind
I’ve worked with multiple high-performers in my career.
Many of them stay working for the same company for 5+ years. What they forget is if they’re a high-performing employee they can easily become a high-performing entrepreneur.
They’re essentially the same thing.
Being successful at work means getting results. If you’ve found a way to do it for your current employer, you can probably duplicate the process and do it for a second and third customer. Each will pay you for the privilege.
The skill that matters more than business
The importance of business skills is overrated in the migration from the one-employer to more-than-one-customer mindset.
The most important skill is networking.
Your ability to connect with people and start random conversations determines if you will get exposed to new opportunities.
And your ability to take social media posts and exploit the credibility they give you to then charge out your skills to new people also matters.
So if I wanted to find more customers, I’d master sending kickass DMs/emails that get replies and producing engaging social media posts.
Bringing It All Together
To progress from one customer to many more takes time.
There are several paths you can take. I chose to sell my 9–5 skills a second time as a consultant, teacher, and later, coach.
I never told my employer because it’s none of their business. And obviously I didn’t share my employer’s private information or company secrets.
But I did share my 9–5 skills like the income prostitute I am. Because I didn’t trust any company to resist the temptation to hand out random redundancies whenever they liked.
Bottom line: sell your skills at least twice. Get paid at least twice. Now money isn’t such a struggle anymore.