Four money-making skills that no guru taught me

The author says that no online easy money guru taught him anything worthwhile. The best learning comes from experience.

Gurus are full of shit.

None of these online money making gods taught me anything. Of course, I'm not the smartest. I only learn from experience. The same probably applies to you. A side business that improves your life has to be experienced to be understood.

All the online courses and blog posts in the world can't replace a good slap in the face that comes from realizing that there are very few rainbows and unicorns in this style of work.

These are the skills you must have.

Gurus sell us the dream of not working 9 to 5. Most of the time it's hyperbole.

When I left my job I imagined myself sitting in Starbucks coffee shops and doing morning yoga right after a green smoothie. The dream lasted about a week.

I quickly realized that without a boss there is no urgency to do anything. And if you are doing well financially and have money saved, the urgency to work is non-existent.

Without a stick to hit you in the back it's easy to get lazy. I realized that even before I quit my job and had a side business, my 9 to 5 job was getting done, but my side job could be a real struggle.

The first skill you need is to become your own manager. That requires responsibility. I had to have weekly goals to have some form of direction. What keeps you from becoming a Netflix slacker is sharing those goals with a person you admire. I shared mine with my partner. She asked me every day how each goal was going.

However, there is a problem with goals: We often have too many of them. My list of goals at the beginning was too long. So I narrowed it down to one goal a day. Any other task that was done was an extra.

Traditional employers have robbed us of one of the world's greatest gifts: thinking for ourselves.

All day at work they programmed me how to think. I learned corporate jargon and buzzwords from everyone I worked with. Back-to-back meetings often included a ton of Powerpoint presentations that reinforced the schedule. My boss told us “we are big and we are changing the world.”

Not really. Our value had eroded over time. We took our customers for granted and treated them like an item in the black hole of a spreadsheet. Outside of company programming was industry programming.

Software companies were doing Zoom calls every day and telling us how good their product was. They pretended they were “doing no harm” with our data, but no one really knows. Cloud computing is another black hole.

Then our customers would program us with their products and services. They invited us to events and made us wear their corporate t-shirts to reinforce their message. It seemed like Sunday church, except that no one believed its gospel.

Every time a problem arose at work there was a team of lemmings to flood the room with excuses and powerpoints full of poorly designed solutions. No one ever told me “you must solve this problem or you are fired.”


A normal job spreads the problems among more than one person, so you're pretty safe. That's how people can stay in comfortable insanity their entire career.

In the world of side hustle (side business) is different. I had to learn to think for myself. When I received bad programming from the companies, people and products I used, it cost me a lot. I realized that many people do what suits them, not what suits me. I had to learn to see through the nonsense and get better at evaluating people and opportunities. I made a lot of mistakes, but I improved.

Tim Ferriss taught me to create a pros and cons list for everything. I obtained several quotes for services. I asked tough questions of people who wanted to work with me. I stopped living in a house made of pillows where I couldn't hurt myself. Instead, I got a few bruises and fell to my knees enough times to make them bleed uncontrollably.

I was scammed by three different website companies. The conversations he had in private were leaked on the Internet. Partnerships came and went. Content platforms rose and fell with their strategies, and with it, my livelihood.

The path to side business success requires you to think for yourself and form your own opinions.
Otherwise, if all you do is take second and third-hand information as gospel, you will fall flat on your face because the hidden incentives are against you.

A job doesn't have much risk. If the worst happens, you can always get another one. There are a record number of employers desperate to hire you. I've done a lot of online learning when it comes to side jobs.

No guru has taught me to take risks.

Our brain is programmed to avoid risks to stay safe. This explains why so many people are professional skeptics. They grow up in a work culture where risks are avoided in most cases.

Then they go out into the world of side businesses and have to navigate the nonsense. Is not easy. So they quickly give up and let their skepticism get the best of them. They blame false gurus as the problem, when in reality it is their lack of courage to take a chance and see what happens.

Three websites I've tried to build in the last year have failed. It cost me a small fortune. And I'm smiling. Because?

The lessons I learned on how not to build a website have brought me to a place where I now know exactly how to build a website like a pro. In fact, lessons could become a separate business.

When I worked as a senior leader for a company that sold websites, I saw people in the same situation lose their minds. They would call their mom and have their lawyer email us if the website didn't make them money.

They didn't see that creating an online business with a website is their risk, not the website company's. So they became conditioned to see every website company as a scammer, when the problem was their inability to take the risk and having to go wrong.

A side business equals risk. Take small risks and let them explode so you can build your risk muscle. The more risk you are comfortable with, the bigger your side hustle empire can be.

A friend of mine created a side business that was very successful. He got everything he wanted and more in just a few months.

It all led to several years of dark depression.

The entire business was left to rot on a laptop in a foreign country. I asked him what had gone wrong. «I am not afraid of failure. “I fear success.”

When your side business has some success, it can go to your head. You may think that you are a gift from God to humanity. The first sign is that you overdo it with too many requests. The second sign is that you give acceptance speeches to random people on social media, like you're accepting an Oscar. The third sign is that you start counting numbers of followers. The fourth sign is that you create a cheesy personal brand that makes grandmas everywhere vomit. I could go on…

The first time I made $50,000 in a month I became a giant asshole. I told a manager at work «I could quit tomorrow, I don't need this shit. “My side job pays five times more than this shitty job.”.

Success goes to our heads. That's why it's worth having people to bring you down to reality when it goes to your head. I have people intentionally do this for me through a verbal contract. They do it with pleasure.

The last skill you need is to invest profits. I see people doing well with their side business every day. Then they tell me that they have wasted the money on some random purchase or that they have left it in a lifeless savings account that has been devoured by inflation of more than 5%.

Take a large amount of the profits and invest them in financial assets. These investments will help smooth out the ups and downs of the side hustle game.

A side hustle didn't give me back time. A side business that funnels money into financial assets did it. Gurus never talk about this skill, so their followers end up stuck on the hamster wheel to nowhere. You can do it better.