Keys to the Castillo

Want to Make Money? The Two Biggest Questions to Ask Yourself

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Want to Make Money? The Two Biggest Questions to Ask Yourself

 

I take pride in that my articles aren’t long and drawn out, never getting to the point, unlike other bloggers and internet moguls who shall remain unnamed.

 

To most, and especially, to the uninitiated, making money outside of a job is seen as nigh impossible. Typically, the word ‘entrepreneur’ conjures up images of business moguls like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos giving inspiring talks on following your passion and hard work. You think about pitching a company to wealthy investors, setting up a website, mortgaging your house… all before you have anything tangible to go by.

 

Hence, why most who endeavor to do business… fail.

 

Hence, why most people round you will attempt to talk you out of your plans to be financially independent.

 

But you’re not ‘most people.’

 

In my past business ventures, all of which have been successful (ie. I have made money!), once I answered two crucial questions, I was able to direct all of my focus and energy so that I was almost guaranteed to succeed (again, I made money. Not millions, but I made profit).

 

Listen, one thing you need to understand about business is that you want clarity. You want to eliminate as much ‘grey area’ as you can, so that you can make objective decisions based on clear, concise data. In other words, things need to be either black or white.

 

You either make a profit, or you don’t.

 

People either want your product, or they don’t.

 

You either have the means and expertise to design and market your product/service… or you don’t.

 

Let me give it to you straight: anyone who wants to make money, at any level, needs to ask themselves these two questions.

 

Is there a demand for what I have?

 

Others might word this as: is there a product (or service) – market fit?

 

Let’s take writing for example.

 

I don’t care if you’re passionate about what you write.

 

Ask your neighbors. They probably don’t care, either.

 

Maybe your mom and your friends will care, but will they give you money for it?

 

Here’s the thing: no matter what it is you’re selling, whether it’s a book, chess lessons, pet-sitting, or pet rocks (yes, this is a thing), you absolutely need to get a clear idea if demand exists.

 

No exceptions.

 

Otherwise, you risk being in the shoes of the guy I mentioned above… mortgaging his house and putting his family’s financial well-being in jeopardy on a hunch that the market wants his product.

 

Yeah, on the one hand, it’s an almost cinematic manifestation of all the gung-ho advice you hear from top entrepreneurs.

 

“Never give up!”

 

“If you can dream it, you can do it!”

 

“Nothing is impossible!”

 

“Don’t listen to the naysayers!”

 

Because, on the other hand, these encouraging words need to be placed in context.

 

Once you know that there’s a demand for what you’re selling, never give up”

 

“If you can dream it, and you see that at least some of the market wants it, you can do it”

 

“Nothing is impossible… except selling things to people who have not one iota of desire for what you’re selling!”

 

…. Catch my drift?

 

A further example:

 

I used to do tattoos.

 

Whether I was good or not is a different story…

 

However, I was good enough that I was able to sell my work multiple times, sometimes for much more than I thought I could.

 

It was simply a question of demand.

 

So-and-so wants to get a tattoo. They take a look at my designs and my style. They have a conversation with me to confirm that I’m not a serial killer. They decide on a design. Tattoo is done. Boom – money made, client satisfied.

 

Of course, this is a rather basic business model, but I’m using it as a personal example to illustrate my point: if no one wanted my designs, and if no one knew I was able to provide this service, I wouldn’t have made money.

 

This also ties into the second question.

 

Why should people trust you instead of your competitors?

 

First of all, don’t be discouraged by competition. People often make the excuse that ‘the market is saturated’. Really? So by that logic, you shouldn’t try dating, because ‘the market is saturated’? Give me a break. If there’s competition, it partly answers question 1 – is there demand? Well, if others are buying, why not buy from you?

 

There are a few ways that you can distinguish yourself and penetrate the market.

 

Possess a high level of expertise

 

If you know more about what you’re selling, and you know your customers better than the competition, then you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about how to increase profits.

 

Have ultra-low expenses

 

If a product typically sells for $10 and the profit margin is $5, your expenses are $5. However, if you have an in, or you know a way to get your product in front of customers for less, then your expenses decrease (win), and the sweet, sweet profits increase (double win).

 

Be the high-end service/product relative to the competition

 

This somewhat ties into the previous point. Again, let’s say everyone is selling a product for about $10. Most businesses pride themselves on having ‘low prices’… but that’s not always beneficial. In fact, there are no rules regarding price. If you really wanted to, you could sell the same product for $20, or even $30 dollars. The beautiful thing is that once you confirm that there is still demand for this product at this price point, you can reap far greater profits than your competitors. (aaand, if you’re really smart, you’ll redirect those excess profits back into your business and take the competition by storm!)

 

Possess a unique technical feature

 

This can be as simple as offering your product in a different colour or design than your competition.

 

Have superior marketing

 

This advantage will be harder to acquire initially, unless you have excess capital. If you do have it, however, you can drown out your competition. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

 

Possess authority in your industry

 

This one ties into expertise, and there are no shortcuts. If Arnold Schwarzenegger gives advice on bodybuilding, people listen.

 

If Michael Phelps gives advice on swimming, people listen.

 

If Warren Buffett gives advice on investing, people listen.

 

Before any of those guys rose to positions of such prominent authority, they had to invest time, money, and energy into overcoming numerous obstacles holding then back from their ultimate goals.

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or even discouraged, after reading this, just relax. This is information that took me incalculable amounts of time, energy, and money to truly internalize. I spent a long, long time reading and trying to put the pieces together so that, ironically, I could save time and avoid making mistakes.

 

I’ve written it all here for you. After reading this article, you have no excuse for not getting off your ass and taking names in business.

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3 comments

  1. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Bless you!

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