Ask any newbie internet marketer why they are getting into this industry and one reason stands out: “I want to make more money!”

Even other answers are barely different from this such as “I want a better life”, or “I want to travel” and so on.

It’s incredibly easy to focus on money as the sole achievement for your online career, I mean after all we all do want more money!

The sad part is that solely focusing on material gain can actually be a hindrance to your success.

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More money doesn’t provide more happiness

I know that this will sound clichéd but it’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness, especially once your basic needs such as food and shelter have been met.

Sure, it can buy a lot of things, including a better lifestyle, but the reality is that if you’re unhappy now, you will be unhappy with $20 million in the bank.

Money cannot increase happiness, as proven by Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory which states that the lack of something like money or hygiene can make you unhappy, but the presence of it doesn’t do anything to actually improve happiness.

The short answer here is to make sure you’re already happy both in life and work. If you’re not, find out what the underlying cause is and fix it, because it’s rarely, if ever, money.

Always thinking of money negatively affects what you do

If you think that what I’m saying is BS, then take a look at research done by Kathleen Vohs, the Land O’Lakes Chair in Marketing at Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

As per her blurb:

She applies her understanding of psychological science to business issues in order to advance new areas of marketing research

In one particular piece of research she discovered that people who focus on money were:

  • Less likely to ask for help
  • More reluctant to help others
  • Became less generous
  • Became more isolationist

Not a single one of those traits helps anyone in business. In fact they are all more likely to cause issues and failures than to actually help you earn money!

Sure you could see some of these traits and simply independent and self-sufficiency but no one in business has had success by doing it alone.

You’re looking at money in the wrong way

Focusing on money as the end goal is pretty short-sighted, especially when examining how successful entrepreneurs view money.

Money is a tool, it’s there to be leveraged to grow a successful business and make more money. Look at all the Kickstarter campaigns and capital venture firms that exist: They are using money as a tool to help a business become successful.

Of course, making a profit is still the end game, but instead of focusing on that you should be looking putting your time and energy into how to actually make money.

This is because it’s so easy to get lost in the dream of having tons of money; you forget to actually earn it!

What should you focus on?

If focusing on money is the wrong way to look at things, what then should you be focusing on?

A problem

Most successful entrepreneurs have seen a problem and resolved to fix that problem. If they make millions in the process then great, if they don’t but still manage to fix the problem then great.

It’s only if they fail to fix the issue that an entrepreneur would consider the project a failure.

Other people

Whether these people are your customers or your friends and family, focusing on their needs and wants can distract you from the money angle.

Does your family of 3 really need a mansion with 20 bedrooms?

In fact a lot of billionaires are incredibly frugal having normal sized homes, using public transport and so on. They focus on life and work rather than money.

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Your own happiness

Whatever you are trying to do to make money, if it’s not making you happy then all you are doing is fighting against yourself, and you will be less likely to make money as a result.

Being happy with what you are doing helps not only your own stress and worry levels but also affects how other people see and interact with you.

A different form of success

Most marketers focus on money, especially internet marketers. You can see it in their sales pitches, and the numerous (and often bogus) make money online products.

The idea is that you can only be classed as a success if you have strings of zeros lining your bank account.

While wealth is certainly a measure of success, tell that to someone like Elon Musk. He saw ways to improve things and as a result of that he became rich.

Personally I’m happy that he’s pushing the boundaries of space travel, if he gets rich(er) off the back of that then all good to him, but he will (hopefully) improve us as a people along the way and that’s what he will be remembered for, not how much he has in his bank account.

The bottom line

Let me be clear, I love money, and I bet you do too! There’s nothing wrong with money in and of itself, but solely focusing on making money as sole goal of your online business is not the right way to approach things.

By taking your main focus off of making money, you allow yourself the freedom to focus on things that will grow both your business and yourself, and in the long run still make money!

Having a healthy attitude towards money is the key to being successful; look at money as a tool and a reward, but not as the pinnacle of success.

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