Here’s What it Takes to Really Earn Money on Your Own

“I want to work for myself. I hate having a boss. I want to follow my passions.”

Every single person on social media is totally in love with the idea of being “the boss.” The quotes never stop. We all love to talk about Steve Jobs and other entrepreneurs. I get that. I get that you want to be self-employed.

What does it really take to make money on your own? This article is going to help you if you’re a bit lost right now.

Making money on your own

You have the put the work in. I work every single day.

No I’m not a workaholic and I don’t brag on social media about how I’m grinding. I just try to work everyday because I don’t want a day off. I also consider everything to be related to work (checking social media, meeting new people, sending out emails, and so on).

Guess what? Telling someone to work hard is useless advice. So let’s throw that out right now. The general assumption is that you plan on doing some work at some point.

There’s no clear path to making money.

There’s isn’t a real clear path. You can study successful people by following what they did and reading up on them. The thing is that there’s no guarantee you’re going to want to follow the same path or experience similar results.

Just because your buddy make it big with stocks it doesn’t mean that this is the best option for you. I’ve seen many friends fail at blogging. I’ve seen friends succeed at ventures I wouldn’t even bother trying.

This brings me to our story of the day. I recently started promoting my own shirts in wrestling. One of my friends liked my shirts so he asked about creating his own. I introduced him to a friend who made shirts.

I was texting with my buddy Farhan and he responded with a message that was better than most motivational blog posts. I wanted to take some time to share his story with you guys today.

How did Farhan make money with a t-shirt business?

Just so you know that Farhan knows what he’s talking about, below is a picture of us from a pro wrestling show. True friends stomp opponents together.

Chasing a dream
Take it away Farhan…

I knew I didn’t want a traditional job. I had put in a lot of legwork, read way too many books and studied so much material that I knew my own business was the path to take.

So in 2012 I started a gym consulting business that failed. Then I started a business consulting business with a friend and we were planning speaking engagements but it failed because he didn’t want to quit his job. Then I started a personal training business and it too failed cause my heart was no longer in the fitness industry. Then I thought about going full in with pro wrestling. I wanted to travel the road and make my own branded shirts because I thought they would sell!

So I started selling my own shirts online. I started making money in my first month (about $1,000 after expenses). The t-shirt business was growing, but not at the pace I envisioned.

I noticed an opportunity. People would often ask about where I got my shirts done.

Knowing they would not take the steps to get the shirts done, I thought, “Ah! I can get them done to make $100 here and $200 there.” It would still be much more than I could make with my own shirts.

Did I get emotional?

It hurt at first that my shirts were not as big as a hit as I dreamt, but I knew enough from studying business that I shouldn’t get too attached to “my plan.” I didn’t want to miss out on a HUGE opportunity. So I did both.

Then last November I got a big order and that was the AH-HA moment where I knew that I needed to refocus and rebrand my business as one big order equaled more than a month’s worth of hustling. In the end, I got more than I envisioned because I recognized early that it’s not about me and what I want.

The cash would flow when I focused on what others want because nobody cares about what Farhan wants, right?

I sold thousands of my own shirts because:

  1. My shirts rocked.
  2. I was lucky.
  3. I hustled but by keeping my vision flexible I got more than I could ever ask for.

This whole journey is much more fun and I’m learning so much more than I ever imagined or expected.

And guess what? I got my own business! It feels way better because I enjoy giving more rather than what now seems like it was a selfish path.

Now my own shirts are a fun hobby and they still bring in some moollah!

So to answer your question, THE PRIME FOCUS is on other people’s shirts and in the process I’m on track to living the life I want, with free time, being able to wrestle on weekends, coach freestyle wrestling, and possibly even hire employees in the near future.

I see a future in IT so I’m doing IT. I don’t need to focus on my own shirts anymore.

Funny thing, some fraud asked me the other day very rudely, “Are you actually gonna sell t-shirts for the rest of your life?”

I replied, “Hell yeah.”


/End of Farhan’s story. You can find out more about Farhan over at Schnazzy Tees.

Talk about a random story. From consulting to wrestling to making shirts for small businesses. There’s never a clear path. Sometimes there isn’t even a clear destination.

Here’s what it takes to be the boss and make money on your own.

Unprofitable business
You have to find a way to generate money.

You have find something that people want to spend their hard earned money on. This can be a freelance service that you offer, a product that you sell, or an event that you put together. This has to be something that others will want to pay for.

You have to find a way to get paid.

You can’t just listen to your friends. You have to find a way to get paid.

How are you going to get paid? Will you get paid per order? Per job? Per book sold?

You need to find a way to generate money and a way to get paid. This will take you on an emotional roller coaster. Some ideas will work. Others will flop despite your most valiant efforts.

What do I do to make money?

  • Write freelance articles.
  • Sell advertising.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Book sales.
  • Investing.
  • Part-time gig.

There are many ways to generate an income. You have to test everything out to see what works for you and what you’re capable of

Common misconceptions about working for yourself are…

You’re the boss.

You’re not really the boss. The customer is the boss. There’s always someone else in charge. If you want freedom, you’ll get to decide which clients you take on and that’s about it.

You work less.

Yes, I know that there are hundreds of books out there on how you can make passive income.

How many people do you know that actually make passive income?

You’re not going to work less. You’re going to work more. You’re actually not going to want to work less when you work on your own because there’s always going to be something to do.

What’s next?

We’ve already covered this topic multiple times on here. You can read the definitive guide to getting paid as a freelancer. I wanted to open up your eyes to the possibilities that exist out there.

You have two steps now. You should read my post on starting a blog if you’re interested in starting your own business. Then you should grab a copy of my book. In Next Round’s On Me, we have a whole chapter on deciding if you should quit your job or not. We look at all of the options involved so that you make the best decision possible. I don’t want you to be broke and miserable in your 20s.

“I honestly think it’s better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” — George Burns

4 thoughts on “Here’s What it Takes to Really Earn Money on Your Own”

  1. Your story about making money is very attractive. Of the various work that you have done, finally there is what makes you successful. Namely, producing shirts.

    The important thing, from your description, it is the spirit of trying to earn money in many ways and ideas. Of course, not in the traditional way.

    Your story could actually provide inspiration and motivation to others, including me. Inspiration for the work that could earn money.

    By income, we can make investments that will make a quiet life. Might want to retire at a young age.

    1. Just catching this now for the first time,

      Glad it was some motivation for you Sudarto. We all have different yet unique paths. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open.

      Tradition and non traditional ways both work. Key is to start…with expectation of constant failure being okay.

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