Business

Monetise your life

Ideas panel

BY DENNISE WILLIAMS
Contributor

Wednesday, March 21, 2018



For most people, the ability to earn extra money comes down to time — most people work all day, and when combined with other obligations, there are pretty much no hours left in the day to keep working.

This week our Income Ideas panel discuss the concept of monetising your life. That is, the concept where you look at your home, your car, your talents, your friends — everything — and figure out how to make money from each area of your life. Why is it important to monetise your life? Whether you sell widgets, a service or your time for a pay cheque, it's all about declaring that you are valuable.

According to statistics, most small businesses today are service providers. They may be financial advisors, lawyers, personal trainers, accountants, dentists, pool cleaners, consultants, engineers, or in similar occupations to clients

Essentially, to businesses like these sell time, not a product. Same thing with employees. You swap time for a pay cheque. So the question remains: How do you grow when you've started and run a service business?

UWI researcher Dr Hayle begins. “Let us not get too caught up in the idea of chasing money. This is about creating value. And so there are three functions or services that money provides. First, money serves as a medium of exchange, as a store of value, and as a unit of account. And so, money's most important function is as a medium of exchange to facilitate transactions. What you want to do is to determine the quality of your life and then you can plan around that in terms of the amount of money that you require. Many times, we have learnt things at school or on the job in which we did well and enjoyed doing. Some of these can be monetised. For example, photography, reading, debating, hiking, environmental projects, cooking, baking, project management, organising fairs and bazaars, etc. “All these things call on skills that can be monetised. Today someone reminded me that knowledge management is now big money. Knowledge management meaning a systematic approach to know, analysis of that knowledge and the practical application of it.”

Akeem Gouldbourne, adds, “I think everyone enjoys making money, but for someone like me as a freelancing millennial entrepreneur, it allows us the privilege of having and maintaining the financial freedom lifestyle that we enjoy. We can monetise our life and have fun doing so by learning how to leverage and earn from turnkey online opportunities such as how to:

1. Turn your cellphone into an ATM by trading foreign exchange currency online.

2. Become an intelligent traveller as an online travel professional and being trained by varied travel suppliers such as Disney, Royal Caribbean, and a host of global hotel and tourism entities.

3. Learn how to become a freelancer, self-publisher, website builder, social media manager, voice-over specialist, and so much more. It's all about identifying and learning how to monetise your skill sets and in most cases earn as you learn.”

Some may say that monetisation is just a fancy word for the Jamaican concept of higglering. However, the panel does not necessarily agree.

NLP Master Practioner Elizabeth Terry says, “First of all, I would like to focus on the term 'higglering'. I think the term suggests a derogatory perception of 'monetisation'…the concept of bargaining, hustling, selling of small items, coming from an equally 'small', 'limited' and even possibly negative perception of selling. Many people are really 'suffering' from this mindset.

“Let me explain. Everything we do in business requires some level of sales…if you don't appreciate this (and have a negative mindset towards sales) and don't learn how to do it really well, your business will likely not achieve the success you deserve. Some people even have a problem with 'money' because, at a unconscious level, they associate money with something dirty, evil or they have limiting beliefs about their ability to earn and or keep it…with these thoughts, would you really want to go out and create a fortune? In other words, your mindset (beliefs and values) affects your thoughts, which affect your feelings, which in turn affect the action you take! So, for me, the beginning point is always in your mind.”

Attorney at law Robert Taylor also agrees that monetisation is a mindset and a declaration that you see yourself as someone of worth.

“Making money can be empowering as, if managed effectively, it can create independence as well as achieve value centric purposes. In my personal experience, wealth is less about making money and more about creating personal independence to do the things in life that you care about. Many business executives, for example, are high-income earners but are unable to take vacation or get home from work early to spend value family time. For me it is about balance and living the life of the new wealth. That is the generation that does not wait to acquire monetary wealth but can in the present experience some of the things in life that the traditional wealthy person achieves. Tim Ferris's novel The Four Hour Work Week was a life-changer for me.”

Gouldbourne adds, “My view is everyone should be monetising their skill sets and should identify their passion from an early age and learn how they can earn an income from their passions and skills sets firstly, and in addition learn how to become a 'Solution Specialist' who identifies problems and comes up with a solution which can generate a profit.”

To sum up the monetisation concept, Taylor notes, “For people who, like myself, provide a service, it is easy to get sucked into the trap of simply trading time for dollars. It is important to explore additional ways to deliver your service and to generate revenue — creation of digital and on-line products, writing books, partnering with others to multiply your resources would be three important avenues to investigate.”

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