99 Ways to Get Paid in a Day
“I got 99 Problems, you can solve 1”
People have problems. Jay-Z couldn’t have been more dead-on. He’s also underselling it.
The people I know have way more than 99. Keeping a yard clean, getting to work on time, doing a corporate job well, needing a website designed, having a family picture taken. Every day, people are faced with an enormous amount of problems to solve. Your neighbor, your boss, the business down the street, no one is exempt from having to come up with a solution to these things. As each problem comes in a given day, people have two choices:
- Solve it themselves.
- Pay someone else to solve it.
My dad has never mowed his lawn. This was a problem he simply didn’t want to solve himself. I tried cutting my own hair one time and decided that’s a problem I will never try to solve myself again.
Think about your day, how many problems do you solve yourself and how many do you pay to have solved? What’s for lunch? What’s for dinner? Who’s going to brush my teeth? (Kidding…)
Every problem is an opportunity to get paid.
Take my friend Kim. My friend Kim is amazing at singing and playing the guitar. She discovered that parents had a problem, they wanted their kids to learn a musical instrument in a fun and engaging way (that also gave them a break from… you know, having to parent!). She started solving that problem by giving guitar lessons. It started small, as a part-time side hustle but got big when she found out that parents weren’t the only ones with this problem. Elementary schools also had this problem, they needed to provide kids with a music curriculum. Fast forward a year, Kim has grown her music lessons business into a full time, money-making machine. She gets to do what she loves, work for herself, and make a full-time salary doing it.
And before you write me off thinking, “this is for an entrepreneur, I work a 9–5 bro.” Let me tell you about Deepu.
Deepu has an engineering background, he is used to solving really hard problems (he’s weird and likes them). Deepu is using his problem-solving ability to absolutely crush it in the corporate world. He starts by looking at his boss, “what problems does he have?” A weekly report he hates? An accounting meeting he can’t stand going to? Deepu takes it off his plate. He says, “my number one job is to solve my employers’ problem.” Deepu has been promoted twice since I’ve known him with a whopping total of 3 years experience in the actual job. This practice of solving problems has made him a top performer because he is adding value that matters, solving a few of the 99 problems his boss has.
It sounds simple and it is. People are willing to pay for their problems to be solved. Step 1 in this whole journey is finding your problem to solve.
For me it was background music for wedding videos. My roommate was a filmmaker, and a killer one at that. He saw that couples had a problem, they wanted to share a highlight reel of their wedding with people on social media, but not the whole video. He made this a key part of the services he offered, and is making a killing on it today. But that’s beside the point. His problem, was that he was having to pay for background music to go in his videos. If he didn’t find the company that owned the rights to the latest song he was trying to use, they found him, and forced him to remove his video from the web. He told me his gig would be so much easier if he just had a library of songs he knew he could use without getting in trouble.
I was a musician at the time (a starving one I might add), but I could write a jingle or two. I started writing melodies for him to use on his projects. I got to jam, and he got music to use. After doing this for a while, I built up quite the catalog of songs. Ultimately I found a company that was solving this problem for filmmakers everywhere. We partnered and now they sell my music to artists just like my roommate. I get to do what I love and make some side cash! (And by side cash I mean a little more than side cash, see below for the net worth of these songs), they paid for me to go back to school!
We live in a world with problems and if you are willing to be the solution, problems can equal payments.
Here’s a kick-starter, fill it out and see where it takes you.
- What is the worst part of my day (ie. my biggest problem)?
- How do I solve it?
Ask your friend:
- Text/call a friend, ask them what the worst part of their day/week/month is.
- Write down 5 solutions to their problem.
*This will kick start your brain into solving mode
The intent of this exercise is to open you up to the reality that problems are everywhere, and they’re how you’re going to get paid.