Do you know what’s the worst part about being broke?
For me, it wasn’t the part where I couldn’t afford nice things for myself. It was the part where I couldn’t afford decent food or a decent place for my mom to live.
That’s the worst part. When other people have to suffer with you. You can’t wait to find out what to do to avoid being broke.
In my case, I didn’t have money when I was a teenager when I came to Canada. I still remember going to the grocery store and buying stale bread for my mom and me because we wanted to save money.
At one point, I was $150,000 in debt and frustrated after trying many things. I had started and failed 13 businesses. All were disasters because I didn’t know what I was doing.
Not only didn’t I make money from the businesses, I was in debt. I had lost all my mom’s money, borrowed from friends and family, and I didn’t know why I was a failure. I wanted to succeed so badly, but I just couldn’t make it work.
And I wasn’t the only one.
Sheldon Adelson, 15th-richest person in the world, was the son of immigrants, and grew up sleeping on the apartment floor. He started his first business selling newspapers at a street corner at the age of 12. Then he started a candy vending machine business, a few businesses selling various products, and a charter tours business.
In total, he created 50 of his own businesses, and built and lost his fortune twice. Most people don’t even start a business, and most people don’t reach billionaire status after starting and failing many businesses.
Point is, even if you start your life broke, or even if you return to being broke, it doesn’t mean you’ll be there for life.
There’s a lot of advice out there about how you can avoid being broke. These are some of the most common ones I read about:
- Work on a budget
- Don’t buy what you don’t need
- Cut down on expenditures
- Start budgeting
- Save money
- Stay at home/ don’t go out
Stay at home? I could spend time at home some days and nights, but to stay at home all the time to save money? All of those suggestions had one thing in common: a scarcity mindset. They were saying I could avoid being broke by hoarding, scraping together all my dollars as if they could disappear if I didn’t keep my eye on them.
There had to be a better way to avoid being broke.
Then I had an epiphany. I didn’t have a money problem. I had a skill problem.
Here are three steps I took to increase my value to the marketplace.
Develop A High-income Skill
It doesn’t matter where you start in life – being broke is no excuse for failure. If you invest in yourself, and develop a high-income skill, there is no limit to what you can do.
Barbara Corcoran, for example, millionaire businesswoman, attained a degree in education but wanted to be her own boss. After working at almost 20 odd jobs that included waitressing, she took a $1000 loan from her wealthy boyfriend at that time and started a real estate business.
You might recognize her name as one of the “sharks” from the entrepreneurial show, Shark Tank. She is known as a real estate contributor on news media and business consultant. And she launched this career with a $1000 loan.
If you’re broke, you can’t solve your money problems with money. You can’t just borrow money or get a job to fix it. Money problems are solved with your intelligence and your skill set.
What do I mean by skill set? Think about some of the highest paid people in this society. Doctors, attorneys, lawyers, accountants, engineers, are all making a decent high income. They have specialized skill sets that you may not have.
Become Highly Paid
In fact, the top three highly paid occupations in the United States last year were physician, pharmacy manager, and pharmacist, according to Forbes magazine. All three careers were in healthcare and require a lot of study and have tremendous value to society.
In contrast, people with low income skill sets in our society or low income jobs have skills that companies are not willing to pay big money for. It doesn’t matter if they work hard or hustle. What they offer the marketplace isn’t going to be highly paid.
For example, employers aren’t going to pay fast food workers high salaries for flipping burgers. You can’t make big money with low income skills.
You need to develop high income skills in order to make more money. So if you’re struggling in life or business, I can guarantee you the biggest issue can be overcome. I come across so many stories of entrepreneurs who were financially struggling to start a career, like Barbara Corcoran, who used their intelligence and skills to turn their fortunes around.
For me, I learned to communicate ideas, thoughts, and concepts through copywriting and digital marketing. And I learned to close deals in sales. Closing became my high-income skill.
Learn To Close
When you learn to close, you’ll never be broke again. In business, nothing happens until something is sold. That’s true in life also. Nothing happens until something is sold.
If you’re single, you can’t close someone to be in a relationship with you.
People aren’t following your leadership? It’s because you can’t close them on your mission.
If you aren’t getting sales it’s because you can’t close customers to buy.
When you can close, you can influence, and you can persuade people.
Everything that you already want in life, other people already have it. It doesn’t matter what you want: resources, money, capital, influence, or relationships. Whatever it is that you want, you have to close someone else to give it to you.
So if you’re struggling financially, it means you’re a lousy closer. It’s that simple. If you can’t close someone to buy something from you, then you won’t make the money you need.
The Power of Closing
Jack Ma is a rags-to-riches success story that demonstrates the power of closing. He grew up in poverty in communist China, failed his university-entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs, including one at KFC.
Eventually he found work as an English teacher making $12 a month at a university. Not satisfied with his life, Jack Ma gathered 17 of his friends in his apartment and closed them on investing in his online marketplace called Alibaba. It was his third business venture.
By 1999, the company raised millions from Goldman Sachs and SoftBank. Getting these contributions is also a form of closing. Fast forward to today, and we have the richest man in China, with an estimated worth of $25 billion. His success did not come easy.
The upside is this: once you know how to close, you will know how to create income on demand, starting with closing one person or one company. You will know how to make money. You will have the ability to make money anytime you want. That’s the power of closing. That’s how you never go broke again.
Combine Mindset And Skill Set
So if you’re not making the money you want, it’s not a money problem. It’s a skill problem.
According to the HR company Randstad, “sales associate” is one of the most in demand occupations last year. It makes sense that the money maker is so vital to any company. If you can’t close deals, then you can’t make sales.
So develop a high-income skill set with the right mindset. Your mindset is your beliefs, your ideas, your attitude towards something. Don’t think in scarcity. Don’t focus on saving what money you have because you fear losing it. Focus on making the money you need for the lifestyle you want to have.
If you combine a strong, abundant mindset with a strong, high-income skill set, you’ll never be broke again.
Be brutally honest with yourself. If you’re struggling financially, what kind of skills do you have? What value do you bring to the marketplace?
Do you know someone who’s been broke before but became successful? Comment below.