Making money

Last updated Jun 2, 2023

Usually, you trade time for money; X dollars per hour. You can increase your hourly rate a lot by obtaining skills and credentials, but ultimately you can’t get money without giving up your time.

A more time-efficient way to make money is through owning something that increases in value, like an investment. Safe investments in the market probably won’t get you enough returns to sustain yourself, unless you have enough money that you don’t need this guide. Risky investments are, well, risky.

Another way to own something is by creating it. You could start a company. But starting your own company is extremely time-intensive, and doesn’t guarantee a payout.

The best way to make money, in my opinion, is to construct something that can provide unbounded value given a fixed time input. One obvious example is creating content: books, videos, tweets, art, weird networked pseudo-blogs. Your content creates value proportionally to (number of people consuming) x (average value derived), which is somewhat disconnected from how much time you spend creating it. If you can capture some of that value (through ads, patreon, etc.), you have a chance at making money without time expenditure.

You should take advantage of incremental creation: create a hundred small things, see what your audience likes, and focus on those. Trial and error is much more likely to work than committing to a guess upfront (a startup, writing a long book, etc). (Of course if you want to write a long book go for it. but don’t do that for the purpose of making money)

Things that spread memetically (videos, art, tweets, links) are even more likely to generate value than traditional media (books etc). Your best shot at decoupling money from time is by building an audience and generating memetic content.

As for actually generating the content: the market is so saturated that you’ll have to be a genuinely weird or interesting or extremely hot person to create anything good. So explore your interests, increase your agency, try things normies wouldn’t dare to.

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