How I got paid to go to school
When I was 16 years old I was working at a local supermarket after school and in the weekends. I was earning $5 per hour. I would work four hours after work on a Tuesday and Friday then 5 hours on a Sunday. After tax I was bringing home about $55. Not a great wage especially seeing I was giving up Friday nights (a big deal when your 16) but it was my first job and it was at least something.
One day I saw an ad in the paper 4 kids were looking for a ride to my school each day. I thought well I drive there each day anyway so I said yes and charged them $25 a week each. I was earning $100 a week, nearly twice as much as I was working an afterschool job at the supermarket – so I quit that and begun getting paid to go to school - It was every kid’s dream.
I had friends who were also driving cars to school each day, and the kids I drove had friends who needed rides to school as well – so we put them in touch and they started doing the same. By the end of the year there were four of us getting paid literally to go to school.
The year after I left school, those same kids still needed a ride, so I handed the contact down to friends the year below me who then did the same. This has happened every year since, and is still happening to this day 15 years later. All after one little ad I saw in the local newspaper.
The lesson in this is not to be short sighted when it comes to income generation. You don’t have to trade your time for money, in fact the idea of having to do so for the rest of my life terrifies me, and I am working hard so I won’t have to. The key is what problem can you solve for someone else? Because if you can solve that problem and make their lives easier they will pay you for it, just like the four kids who needed a ride to school. So don’t focus on the money, focus on adding value to others by solving their problems, and making their lives easier. The bigger the problem you solve, the more they will pay. The more people you help, the more people there are to pay you... If you want to make millions, help millions.
Maybe if I had pursued that idea further I wouldn’t have to worry about trading time for money anymore, because two people did evolve the concept of ride sharing… they called it Uber and now its worth $1.5 Billion dollars!