When it comes to improving our economic situation, there are not many long-term formulas that yield a positive outcome. To work longer and harder, or having more than one job, are not suitable strategies to which the concept of “living better” apply. It sure can be a temporary solution, but not the best way to make more money. For that, probably the only 100% certain alternative is to increase the value and service provided to others with what we do.

Increasing the value and service provided to others is the essential part of any method there is to improve your financial and economic situation. What you create for society with your work, your skills, your time, etc., is the value you’ll receive in return as a monetary compensation (in most cases).

There are basically two ways to create value for others, considering how most of us have been programmed in life: you either work for others or you become self-employed.

Working for others

When we get up in the morning and go to the office, to the shop or the factory, to fulfill our time there, expecting a salary at the end of the month in exchange for the work performed, we are doing very little to add some kind of perduring value. What we produce is not our property, then someone else profits for the final product or service. This mentality of living paycheck to paycheck is very common and widely accepted, and for many it may well be considered as the only certain way to get what you need or want.

To work for others is part of the scarcity mindset that has been instilled by those who are self-employed (that is to say, the owners of the companies we work for). Let’s say that you are a painter of watercolor, oil or some other technique. Your work inspires others, it generates emotions, images, and feelings of beauty and peace, etc. The added-value you provide with your work will be compensated when someone buys your artwork. This added-value is fixed into a permanent format that can be admired time and again, always causing these sensations. When someone sees you work and asks who is the artist and where to get one of your paintings, other people will tell them about you and you’ll become the talk of the town. Your reputation will grow, more people will get to know you, and they’ll want buy your paintings. It may take some time, but you will always control your own work and its rewards.

On the other hand, if as a painter you start working for a company mass-producing your art as living room decor on sale through whatever shop or company, then you’ve lost control over your work. The benefit your work provides to society will go to the company you work for, and you´ll just earn per-hour depending on the time used to produce that painting. Your art may cause the same effect on the people, but you will not directly reap the benefits. Your only reward will be a fixed salary, while the company makes all the profits.

Becoming self-employed

To become the owner of what you produce is, in the long run, the most efficient way to reap the benefits of your value-added contribution to society. We’re not saying to quit your job tomorrow, not everybody has the courage and strength for self-employment. For many, it may never even be in their plans, but that’s because they still don’t know they can provide value and to be economically compensated in return, without the need of a middleman to manage the earnings of their production.

The best way to collect 100% the profits of our creations is to keep control over them. It doesn’t matter if you make a web page, write a blog, or run an online or real-world shop, whether you produce a CD with your stories, or write a book, or make miniatures. Your work in a physical, tangible and permanent form is the key to create profit, even when you are not at work. Your products, or whatever that is you do, will always be available for appreciation over and over again, increasing value every time someone reads, or listens to, or uses something that you have produced.

Finding that we have value to provide.

The problem with the employee mentality is that, most of the time, we don’t realize that we have and can contribute something, without going through the grind of a company managed by somebody else. Each one of us have talents, gifts and a special know-how. To transform these talents into service for others is what brings wealth back to us. Those who somehow provide more service, also contribute with more value, and therefore receive more compensation in return. You must find what you can do for others, and to explore the way to convert in a business of you own. Once you begin the process of transforming your skills into something useful for the world, and how to monetize it, you’ll see that you will stop thinking in terms of living paycheck to paycheck, and actually enjoy the work you do, especially when you secure all the profits for yourself.