Everyone always seems to be looking for an easy way out when it comes to making a living. We would all rather work as little as possible and make our money easily. It’s no wonder why Google searches for “easy ways to make money” yield a ton of get-rich-quick-plans, pyramid schemes, and courses from “marketing gurus” who have finally found the secret to making massive amounts of money online and doing it with as little effort as possible.

The sad reality is that if you want to make a living online (or even offline), it takes hard work, especially if it is something that you want to do and it isn’t something you should shy away from. Easy ways to make money won’t making you money and won’t fulfill you. Here’s why.

Challenges are fun

Challenging yourself day-in and day-out is extremely important. It’s one of the only ways that you can grow as a human and especially as a worker in your profession. If making money and a living wasn’t challenging, at least to some degree, the chances of you being bored and unhappy would be higher than that of a challenging lifestyle.

Not only that, it’s also fun to face a challenge and defeat it. There is nothing like planning a project, working through it (sometimes even struggling), and seeing it through to the end.

Easy money will go away

Unless you found something that is impossible to duplicate and you live in a world where there is no internet or social networks, your “scheme” to make easy money will be duplicated by others, improved upon, and you will inevitably be weeded out of your market. It’s impossible to stay in an easy-money-making-market forever and think that the money will keep rolling in.

You will have to put some work in eventually as your market disappears, so why not just skip the easy ways to make money and challenge yourself to make a living?

Where’s your legacy?

Another thing about taking the easy way out; you have very little chance of leaving a legacy, that is, a positive one. Do you think that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, or Sergey and Larry would have a legacy if they were looking for the easy way out?

These people are exceptions, but the point still stands. If you concentrate too much on easy ways to make money, you will miss the the idea that could define your life’s work, the work that will create your own legacy.

“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is, everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”

-Steve Jobs

Okay, everything doesn’t have to be difficult

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that you have to struggle your entire life to make a living so you don’t get bored or forget to create your own legacy. I’m saying that we all need to make sure that the work we do has purpose and that it helps define us as a person. Many people say that “you are not your work”, but I beg to differ. There isn’t anything wrong with your work helping to define who you are in life.

There are many great people in the world that I wouldn’t have known were so great if they didn’t work hard to create cool things that I use everyday. While their work doesn’t entirely define who they are, it helps to create a portion of who they are.

There will inevitably be some easy ways to make money here and there on your journey, but you may want to make sure that these ways of making money are related to, as Merlin Mann like to put it, your platform (basically the culmination of all of your important work). Making easy money related to your life’s work isn’t a bad thing and will definitely come up. But, chasing easy money isn’t something to shoot for.

Back to practicality

Taking this back to something practical; rather than concentrating on easy ways to make money, sit down and list the things that you want to do to make money. Think of your dream jobs and write them down. Next, write down the things that you are good at. If you find a correlation between a dream job and something you are good at, then that is the work that you should be chasing, regardless of how difficult it may be.

It’s much more fulfilling to chase your dreams than chase easy money. If you are aligning your skills with your dream jobs, working hard, then money and a living will come to you.

(Photo credit: Money falling, isolated on white background via Shutterstock)

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