Here’s How to Make Money Doing What You Love in the 21st Century



To my fellow twenty-somethings: Do you consider yourself entitled?

I ask because Time Magazine is calling us the “ME ME ME” generation.

…and that pisses me off.

The common line of thought is that our generation wants more than we “deserve,” and that we’re not willing to work for it. Our elders compare us to generations of the past. We don’t have any grit or follow-through, they say.

I want to challenge that idea. I want to challenge the idea that we’re entitled. I want to challenge the idea that we think too highly of ourselves.

I don’t think we think of ourselves highly enough.

Times have changed.

We can’t go to school, get a Bachelor’s degree and immediately find a nice job that’ll coast us through the next 40 years.

We can’t depend on big companies to take care of us. We can’t expect to be given benefits or a pension.

Hell, we can’t even expect our resumés to be read.

Do you know of any factory job that could possibly provide for a family of 4 kids?!

We have to learn a new way to operate in a world in which things are always changing. It’s a different type of hustle now.

Allow me to introduce you to the Three New Truths.

Truth #1: College is dead.

Nowadays, there are very few things you can learn in college that you can’t learn by yourself outside of the traditional “classroom.”

(Yes, obviously, there are still some gatekeepers for certain professions for which more schooling is a good idea…I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want my doctor to learn how to operate from YouTube…)

If you’re really interested in a certain subject, you don’t have to go to college for it. You can read 20 to 50 books on the same subject, get just as much out of it, AND save $100,000-200,000.

Figure out what’s meaningful to you and then pursue it—aggressively. You don’t need to be in the confines of a university to find your calling. Start a meaningful project instead.

A few ideas just popped into my head:

  • Learn a martial art (I recommend jiu jitsu. Just saying…)
  • Master chess
  • Travel the world
  • Learn a language and actually immerse yourself in the culture
  • Write a book
  • Create positive change in an impoverished country

It really doesn’t matter. The point is it’s up to YOU.

Truth # 2: You no longer have to pay your dues.

This is going to make some people very angry.

We’ve all heard about the struggles of earlier generations. We’ve all heard about the honor of paying your dues. Everyone’s grandpa walked uphill to school in the snow.

Look, there’s a lot to be said for working hard… but I personally don’t see any honor in inefficiency.

With the speed of the Internet and the way industries are moving, things are happening faster than ever before. You can gain traction much faster now.

Wasting years waiting for someone else to give you your big break just doesn’t make sense.

There is no longer a “line” you have to wait in. You no longer have to go through point “B” to get from “A” to “C.”

Take my story for example…

I garnered a massive following by writing a ton of content and giving it away for free. I wrote about my experience as a frustrated twenty-something who knew there had to be more to life than the nine-to-five. I found an audience who resonated with my message—or, rather, they found me.

Now I teach people like you how to build businesses using skills you already have.

I’m not a ‘teacher’ in the traditional sense. I didn’t go through years of schooling; I made a career for myself that didn’t exist.

I effectively skipped B to get from A to C.

Here’s the point: You don’t have to start from ground zero. You just have to figure out where the work-around is. Creativity is the cure-all in this case.

Truth #3: Making money doesn’t have to be hard.

You shouldn’t have to agonize over making money. No one ever said you had to suffer first before being wealthy and living a fulfilling life.

When you’re a kid and you’re learning how to ride a bike, do you care if the person teaching you is a professional cyclist? Do you ask if they placed in the top ten at the Tour de France?

Hell no!

And that’s perfectly fine!

It’s okay to have your goofy uncle Gerald teach you how to ride a bike. He might not be a world-class cyclist, but he’s better than you. And he can teach you. That’s good enough.

THAT’S the formula for making money in today’s world: Find a problem that other people have and figure out how to solve that problem as quickly (and thoroughly) as possible. People will pay you.

This is how we all have to start thinking to make more money. It’s not about being an expert all the time. It’s about becoming an expert over time. Your work becomes an expression of your personality. That’s what I call fulfilling.

It is a controversial way of thinking.

I don’t want you settling for less just because that’s what most people have been doing for years.

I’m challenging preconceptions. We all have them and they aren’t serving us. Not anymore. Let’s throw them away.

Are you with me?

Here’s a really cool info graphic for you summarizing “The 3 New Truths.” Click here to grab it!



Reprinted by permission.

Image Credit: CC by Quinn Dombrowski

About the author: Under30CEO

Under30CEO is the leading media property for entrepreneurs, inspiring the world’s next generation of business leaders. Under30CEO features direct interviews with the most successful young people on the planet, profiles twenty-something startups, provides advice from those who have done it before, and publishes cutting edge news for the young entrepreneur.

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