How To Maintain the Illusion of Easy Money

“So, you are looking for a way to make easy money, then?”

I didn’t quite know what to answer to that question. I hadn’t thought of my dreams in quite those terms before.

All I could say was: “in a way, yes…but…” The discussion was over.

This conversation took place last weekend, and ever since I’ve been thinking about the question. Now I think I’m ready to answer and say no, I’m not looking for easy money. Not because I wouldn’t like easy money but because I don’t believe that such a thing even exists.

If it did, everyone would be rich. And that clearly isn’t true.

When The Edge plays his guitar, it looks easy.

You see a professional guitar player, singer, painter, business man or house builder doing his thing and think to yourself: That looks like fun, and I’m sure I could do it too. How hard can it be?

Pretty hard, actually.

Or in fact, it’s not hard for him anymore. He has gone through the heavy training, perfecting his skills day in, day out. After all the years of practice when he gets up on the stage, the performance looks easy and natural.

It’s the same with business, really. And my goals.

I’m trying to build a business that will give me more time with my family. When I think of the moment in future when I finally have achieved that goal, it looks like it’s easy money. But getting there is nowhere close to easy.

And that’s why most people don’t get there. They see the rosy image of the easy money, but forget the heavy path they need to walk to get there, so when the reality creaps in, they are not ready to practice.

Just look at these popular examples:

Example: The Pro Blogger

When someone like Yaro Starak tells us that he bought a house with his blog earnings, or that he only works for a few hours a day, and most of that time goes into blogging, it’s easy to get the impression that he’s making easy money.

And I think in a sense that’s what he wants us to think. After all, the dream of easy money makes us subscribe to his blog to get advice in how to do it.

But that’s just the end result (or more precisely, his current status). He didn’t get there overnight.

Yaro has been blogging since 2005, but what’s even more interesting is his business time line that includes all kinds of business initiatives both on and off the web since 1998.

What a great example in persistance, and being smart about when to quit and when to stick!

Example: The Affiliate Marketer

Jonathan Volk just posted a record earnings in one day: $11,000 – half of which is revenue. If something screams easy money, it’s stories like this.

Jonathan makes over $70,000 per month, working not more than the regular eight hours per day, isn’t that easy money if something?


The thing we need to understand is that the opposite of easy isn’t “a lot of hours”. The opposite of easy is difficult. Jonathan has been a full time affiliate marketer for about a year doing his homework and learning the tricks of the trade. And his first experiments in making money online date back as far as to 2004.

So, persistence definitely plays a role.

Being ready and willing to learn more every day plays another.

And it’s not easy. Otherwise everyone would be doing it.

Example: You?

There is no such thing as easy money, but by smart, consistent work it’s possible to get to really good results that look easy to the people looking from the outside – and maybe even feel like that at the end.

Think about these every day examples:

  1. The guy from next door who always wins at those TV quizes.
  2. The full A student doing her exams.
  3. The traveling salesman who always gets you to buy his products.
  4. Bill Gates.
  5. Your little brother playing the latest FPS shooter game on his XBox.
  6. You doing something you are passionate about.

So, don’t let anything stop you: turn yourself into a positive example for the rest of us to follow!

21 thoughts on “How To Maintain the Illusion of Easy Money”

  1. I think most of the guys making good money online without putting in a lot of time have a lot of talent. I also think that at some point they put in a lot of effort that got them to the point where they can make a lot of money without putting in much effort.

    To me the most attractive thing about making online, is the flexibility to work when and from where you want. Even online there are ways of making money that end up tying you down.

  2. As you mentioned: learning something new everyday, persistence and passion are the ingredients for success. This means of course that you should have a clear goal of something you are trying to achieve.

    I would say that passion plays a great role in this because it pushes you to learn more. It even makes you to do something better, something that you already have learned. And this leads to a situation where one can master something so well that it looks easy to others.

    Easy money (if it even existed) doesn’t require nothing from you, but working towards your goal every day and achieving success that way (maybe even financially) probably gives you something easy money never can: you grow in that process as a human being. And so does your self esteem.

  3. Jarkko – Terrific job with this one! I felt like you were talking directly to me. :)

    Boy, if there was a way to make easy money I would have figured it out by now…Making money online ain’t easy but if it is something that you are passionate about then at least the work seems easy/pleasurable.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    mark @ mytropicalescape’s last blog post: What Do You Have To Lose?

  4. Thanks for including me in this post Jarkko – and you’re the first to use that press photo of me too!

    You definitely reiterate a point I make over and over again too. It’s not easy making money online and it doesn’t happen quickly, BUT, if you set up systems and be realistic with your goals, you can eventually lead a fairly comfortable lifestyle and make good money.

    If people read through my blog archives they will see I am very realistic with what you can expect. I do present a great outcome because I experience it, but it not going to be the result most people get without patience and persistence, like you talk about.

    I have a free ebook I give to my RSS readers about starting an Internet business and two chapters in that book are devoted to patience and persistence, so I think we agree :)

    Yaro’s last blog post: The Wandering Entrepreneur In Fiji

  5. @Ultrarob: Yeah. Online business is actually in many ways still following all the same rules as traditional business: if you don’t create a good system, your online business can tie you to your home working insane hours, but with a good automated system in place you can free yourself from the day-to-day work – and get the benefits you describe.

    Yep, I’ve been reading The E-Myth lately – and it has opened my eyes still one bit more (I can’t go to Subway, McDonalds and the like without thinking about how their system is working – it’s like seeing the Matrix…)

    @Timo: Well said. If it’s not easy money you’re after (and most likely, even if it is), you need to have some bigger ambitions for the work you put in day after day.

    @Mark: Amen, brother. :) I have the exact same feeling. But I’m also starting to think that maybe it’s a good thing. After all having money isn’t the exciting part – figuring out how to make it is.

    @Yaro: Thanks for checking out the post – and for the inspiration! Your point about building systems is something I missed for a long time thinking that what is needed is just persistence and sticking to the work, but right now I see that it’s actually the key that should never be ignored.

    @Terence: I sure hope so. But at least we’re on our way already ;)

  6. @Jonathan: Thanks, and you’re welcome! Your blog is an inspiration for me as I can’t help but wonder how you do what you do. Keep up the good work!

  7. Excellent thoughts Jarkko! The idea that people are selling ways to make easy money and people actually buy into it disturbs me.

    Many times we hear the glamorous side and don’t hear the horror stories such as divorce, bankruptcy, stress, and personal pain that can accompany one’s success. Like you said it may look easy, but it’s not.

    I do have to argue that passion, persistence and patience isn’t the only key into “making it” as well. I want to play like Michael Jordan or David Beckham but the reality is no matter how hard I practice and persist, it’s not going to happen because we do have limitations. :)

    I guess what I am saying is that the easy money is a fantasy but achieving our goal of financial freedom isn’t…but it WILL require discipline, hard work, patience, passion, persistence, being at the right place at the right time, and a variable of other elements to make it happen. There is no three point step for success.

    Thanks for all that you post!

    James Dalman’s last blog post: Branding Myself.

  8. Very nice article Jarkko! Sometimes I think we all get drunk on the notion that making money online is something easy to do. I like reading these types of articles the outline just how long some of these guys making the big bucks have been at it. Success usually doesn’t happen overnight and I think if you ask majority of the online entrepreneurs they’d tell you it didn’t happen overnight for them either.

    Deron Sizemore’s last blog post: Not Having a Niche – The New Niche?

  9. @Shane: You might have a point there, but I wonder… Because even fun things can sometimes seem hard, and boring things easy :)

    But then again, I’d rather be doing fun and hard things than boring and easy.

    @James: Yeah, selling the idea of easy money is pretty good business :) Because it’s a dream lots of people want to buy. But I agree with you that selling that “stuff” is a path just on the verge of being unethical…

    About limitations… That’s a tricky thing. Sure, we all do have our limitations and we need to realize them so that we can put our efforts to the things we can really excel at. But how do you know what your limitations are? By trying.

    And then you still need to try some more to see if you just need to be persistent – or if you really should be doing something different. Where you draw that line is something I find really hard to say.

    Seth Godin’s The Dip has some great ideas about this question – although the question itself still remains rather hard to answer.

    @Deron: Thanks! You’re right. Many have had their fair share of bankrupts, financial and emotional losses, and so on.

    So far, I’ve been lucky lucky as all I’ve lost has been some sleep ;) But then again, that’s probably just because I’m not moving that fast.

  10. I loved reading your post, I agree that success does not come overnight, but I also know that all the hard hours work you put in do pay off in the end.

    I do like that successful online marketers/bloggers etc share the tips and tricks they learn with us to help us reach our goals quicker.

    Sally :)

    Sally Neill’s last blog post: Increasing Your Ebay Ebook Sales

  11. @Sally: Yeah, those blogs by successful people who actually do the things we are all trying to do really are a useful resource to look for more and more information.

  12. Nice post Jarkko – The make money from home crowd often makes it sound easy to “quit your day job and work from home”. They rarely tell the “whole truth”, like the time and work it takes to get to that point.

    If it were too easy, we would have too many people working for themselves from home and wouldn’t have enough doctors, car mechanics etc :-)


    Mike Gates’s last blog post: So Many Domains, Too Little Time

  13. @Mike: Thanks! I guess the whole truth wouldn’t such a good message marketing wise – or what do you think? “How I made $150,000 in a month only working 5 hours” is much more likely to catch a potential reader’s eye than “How I worked for 15 years to finally make $150,000” ;)

    But still, I think the fact that it’s not easy just makes it more interesting a dream to go after.

  14. It has been amazing to grow any business on the Internet, I need to market strategically to my customers, using a range for tools from content sharing to email marketing, search engine optimization, co-branding, ad buys, and more, to reach your target audience.

Comments are closed.