Update: After stumbling across this gem, the post needed to be updated! Forbes’ magazine ran an article starting with the sentence: “If you want to get really rich in medicine forget biotech or drugs medical devices is where the big money is“.
You’ve heard it before.
Maybe it didn’t register at first, but once you know what to listen for – you’ll realize you’ve heard it a hundred times.
Someone – somewhere – at some point, has told you where to find the “real money”.
Most likely it was another colleague, possibly a mentor, or it could have even been a client. The speaker will preface their statement with some sort of qualifier: “well, I have things pretty good here” or “this job pays well enough”…….but…..
That’s not where the REAL money is. The REAL money is in _______.
Whatever it is, you are not in it.
What is it about the human condition which tricks us into thinking someone always has it better? Blame it on the “grass is greener” complex, but we aren’t satisfied with our jobs. Even if we are, there’s always another job which: pays better, commands higher prestige, induces less stress, and is located on Easy Street.
Ironically of all the friends I interviewed about their career satisfaction, only a tobacco marketer and oil professional stated their industries was where the real money was. Does this mean we should all switch careers and join their ranks? Probably not.
The real money paradox only applies to subsets of a profession for which you are already intimately involved. Otherwise, there would be no basis for speculation. You can’t comment on a field in which you have no experience. That would severely impair your credibility!
A security guard outlining the advantages of becoming a surgeon has little merit, but a security guard weighing in on the benefits of working in private force protection is very plausible.
This mindset isn’t restrictive to a specific income bracket either. Nor does it apply just to careers, it spans all money-making ventures whether full-time or weekend hobby.
When I first entertained the idea of advertising on this blog, Google Adsense seemed like the appropriate starting point. Then I was told, “no no…that’s not where the REAL money is… it’s in direct advertisements and text links”. To which I assumed was the best option. After a while I was informed the real money wasn’t actually in single advertisements, but in advertising agreements for multiple websites. Purchasing & managing websites my friend, that is where the REAL money is!
Ultimately, the real money is where you make it.
There are literally hundreds of ways to make money. The key is to focus on one (or a few) which you truly enjoy and dedicate yourself to becoming the best possible person in that chosen field through hard work, learning, and growth. If all of your time is spent chasing the real money, you won’t end up ever making any real money.