Making Money Vs Managing Money

If you’ve been following along, you know I used to be an attorney and left that career to become a financial planner 3 years ago, which is what I’ve been doing for the last 3ish years, while side-hustling with my blog, making money online (more on that here).

I made the choice to leave my second career as a financial planner and enter my third career as an online entrepreneur just a little over a month ago.

I wrote about the fear and doubt I had around going full time in My Diary Of 7 Days Before I Quit My Job To Blog Full Time. In this post, I want to talk specifically about how I came to make the decision between the two careers – financial planning vs being an entrepreneur.

At the heart of it is the difference between making money and managing money.

Learning How To Manage Money

Since graduating law school knowing nothing about money, I have been on a mission to “figure out money.” I find it super shocking, interesting, and weird that I knew nothing about something so super duper important in our every day lives.

I immediately dove into personal finance books and money podcasts when I was trying to figure out my debt.

Soon after that, I decided to start a blog about my money journey. I didn’t even read blogs, so I have no idea why I even thought this was a good idea. I just had the idea and went with it.

At the same time, I wasn’t loving practicing law at a big law firm. And I was becoming more fascinated and interested in money. I really became passionate about filling the void in the market – helping people manage their money better.

I decided I’d be better off as a financial planner.

So, I quit my job as a lawyer, and I became a financial planner. I started working at a registered investment advisor firm that manages over $1B in assets under management.

I learned a toooon about managing money, and over time, I became a Certified Financial Planner.

It was great except for one thing.

Side note – here are the best posts I have for managing money:

Understanding How To Make Money

What I found out was that I was actually getting paid because of my contribution working for a business (sounds obvious but bear with me here).

The business part is how I (and the firm) made money. The managing money part is not. It’s the service behind the business.

Once you really understand this, you understand how the economy works. It’s really all just business and marketing. You can make and create money doing anything. Managing money is just one business industry.

(Side note – there are other ways to make/create money — most notably is real estate. But I already had a small biz going, so I didn’t entertain real estate as the best next option.)

Financial planners are in the business of managing money. It’s the “business of” part that I didn’t really truly understand until recently.

Managing money and making money are completely different. Business and real estate is how you create money. These are the two fastest ways to get rich, really.

You can build wealth with your savings and investments, but the more money you contribute and save, the better. Let’s be honest, if you have a ton of student loan debt, make $60k per year, and want to get rich, you’re in a losing game no matter how well you manage your money. This is a cash flow problem, not a money management problem. Cash flow is how you have more to save and contribute to. And you get cash flow from business or real estate.

Funny, I first heard this from Grant Cardone years ago on the Knowledge For Men podcast, but it never clicked until now. I finally get it. Managing money is a skill that everyone should learn and know. But it’s not how you create money. It’s what you do with your money once you have it.

Entrepreneurship is how you get money. (I also now feel like I get all the rap songs that have lyrics with *get money*! LOL).

My Money Beliefs

I’m not into being super frugal. It’s basically sacrilegious to say this as a personal finance blogger, which is why I think there’s tension between making money and saving money. They’re just completely different. Personal finance is more about managing money. Entrepreneurship is about making money.

I’m a money blogger, biz owner, whatever-you-want-to-call it, and I’m proud I’m not frugal. It’s just not me. And that’s okay! That’s the beauty of it. YOU can decide what money beliefs you want for yourself. You don’t have to listen to me or anyone else. You can learn about money and decide for yourself.

I’m into managing money responsibly, living debt free (or paying off debt that you have), and creating a lot of wealth. Wealth gives you freedom and it allows you to give and contribute to the world in amazing ways. 

I had learned how to manage money, but I didn’t make enough money.

Side Note – Here are my best blog posts for learning how to make money…  

Entrepreneurship + Marketing Is How You Create Money

If you want to learn how to create money? Learn about business and marketing – not money management.

Who knew. I sure didn’t.

I compare it to wanting to start investing in real estate and becoming a real estate agent. You can make money as a real estate agent, but you’re doing it by being in the business of being a real estate agent – not from your investment properties. In the same way, you can make a great living by being a financial planner, as someone who is in the business of selling financial planning services.

I was on the wrong side of the table.

I was basically the personal assistant to really rich people.

Nothing wrong with this at all. I just don’t get excited about it.

I’ve never geeked out about the stock market or investments. I geek about about money from a “money-mindset” perspective. I think it’s important to know how to manage money – really important, actually. But I had learned that. And it didn’t help my money situation at all.

I’m not really interested in creating money through generating business for a financial planning firm.

I’m ambitious. I love business. I love creating value, putting it into the world, and getting paid for it.

I’m not really into sitting at a desk, working set hours in an office, having very little control over when and how I work, and making a set salary.

I knew that after I had all these revelations about creating money versus managing money, I had to leave this career.

People who tell me “oh, well, I’m sure your law degree or CFP® designation aren’t a waste – they’ll come in handy,” completely miss the point.

It’s not about getting a certification so that it can serve you. It’s about using your certification to serve the world.

I needed my education to get me to where I am today.

I want to focus on inspiring people to design their dream lives through personal development, financial intelligence, and business.

When I think about being at the end of my life and looking back, I know I’m making the right decision.

I have a weird sense of my own mortality and make decisions knowing that I’m going to die one day. This seems to serve me well with making decisions about which direction to go in my career.

It all starts from having an end goal. If I didn’t know what I wanted in life, it wouldn’t matter which direction I take. And this “end-goal” has changed over the years, as I learn and grow. I always wanted to be a lawyer. Then, I learned new information that made me give up that dream and move on to the next. I thought being a financial planner would be my career path, but then I learned more information and realized that wasn’t the way for me either.

Now, I’m entering the world of entrepreneurship. I continue to learn new information and grow in ways I could’ve never dreamed.

Above Everything Else: Invest In Yourself

I believe the key to success is investing in your mind.

This is how you show up and contribute to the world. It’s how you create a new future for yourself from your future, instead of repeating your past.

Through investing in myself, I learned how to think, choose, decide, commit, and take action. These skills have enabled me to be clear about what I want and go after it, relentlessly.

I keep investing in my mind, making decisions, and taking action.

I love the quote from the intro on Knowledge For Men (not sure who it’s by!) where he says “your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.”

My advice – if you’re not sure how to manage your money better or make more money – start investing more in yourself, in your mind.

You can do this for free, through books and podcasts. That’s how it started for me. Then, you can pay for coaching and conferences.

It’s amazing the time we live in where you can get a free education on a machine in your pocket. We are so lucky. 

A Final Note!

I’m sooo grateful for my time as a financial planner (and as a lawyer, for that matter). I loved the experience and learned a ton, and I worked with amazing people.

And now, I enter career three as an online entrepreneur / blogger / coach / business owner / coach (still don’t know what to call myself)!

Cheers to entrepreneurship! 🙂 

P.s. Would you rather be really good at managing income of $4k per month, or would you rather be okay at managing $10k per month? (Shout out to Alex Nerney co-founder of Six Figure Blogger for phrasing it this way!) I have the money management thing down, and I have no interest in putting my energy into becoming the most frugal blogger who is a ninja at managing $4k per month. Instead, I’d rather use my creative energy on providing value to the world and creating $10k+ per month in income from my business and helping people with their money mindset, among other things. One thing I’ve learned for sure is that you can believe whatever you want about money. You don’t have to listen to what other people tell you about being frugal, your debt, making money, or anything else. You need to be honest with yourself and what you really want because whatever you believe is what you’ll create in your life.

P.p.s. If you want to start a blog or learn more about blogging, here are my best tools for that sort of thing…