Well, here you are, still plugging away –and it’s already day four. You are now in the top 30%. Good work!

Did you reread your list of New Year’s resolutions last night and this morning? If not, do it now. Today, you are going to promise yourself that this year you will learn (or perfect) a financially valuable skill. You can’’t earn a high income, consistently, unless you have a financially valuable skill. To merit a lot of money for your time, you must do something very well that creates value for others. There are not many such skills. You can, though, create value by speaking convincingly, or writing persuasively, or leading effectively.

And sometimes, knowing how to get people out of serious trouble (think “doctor,” think “lawyer”) can be very valuable. Knowing how to fix a computer or analyze a spreadsheet is not the kind of skill I’’m talking about. Neither is the skill that’s required to draw up architectural plans, or run wiring, or the like. These are all valuable skills – just not financially valuable. If you understand the difference, you know something important about moneymaking. For today, I want you to forget about all the interesting talents you have that nobody will pay you for and focus, instead, on developing the one ability that can make you big money.

If you can’’t think of anything, pick from the following list:

* writing

* copywriting

* phone sales

* person-to-person selling

* motivating people

* advertising

In a future ETR message, we’’ll compile a larger list. But this should be sufficient to get you going. My brother, JF, developed his financial skill this year in a deliberate and purposeful way. As a result, his annual income (on a current basis) has climbed from $50,000 to $96,000. That’s quite an accomplishment for one year.

It’’s entirely possible for you to do the same thing. It starts when you identify your financially valuable skill and set about to improve it. Figure out what you can do very well and promise yourself that you will spend some time every working day developing that skill. Then put this new promise on your list of New Year’’s resolutions.

* * * * * Reread your list of New Year’s resolutions tonight and first thing tomorrow morning.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.

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