Let’s face it: work tends to be hard. If there was a way to get rich without having to work every month, you’d probably jump at that opportunity.
However, the reality of becoming rich without working 12 months a year is more nuanced. While it’s possible to do so, the odds typically aren’t in your favor, especially if you’re trying some sort of get-rich-quick scheme.
“Let’s dispel the myth of instant wealth without effort. Those ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes are often just tricks to benefit someone else, not you. Building real wealth takes time, dedication, and consistent effort,” said Joe Camberato, CEO of National Business Capital.
But if you are willing to put in the work, you might eventually get to a place where you can take more time off. Some of the top ways to potentially become rich without working all year include the following:
1. Find Seasonal Work
One way to make a good living without having to work year-round is to find a seasonal job. While the likelihood of getting rich depends on the type of work, some businesses and individuals make most of their income over just a few months.
For example, giving tennis lessons in the summer or ski lessons in the winter might enable you to make a lot of money in a short period of time–maybe not enough to become a millionaire, but enough to sustain you during the leaner months.
“Seasonal work could offer a chance to, if not, ‘get rich,’ at least make the equivalent of an annual salary in less than 12 months,” said John Stoj, financial advisor and founder of Verbatim Financial. “A family friend owned a hot dog cart on the Jersey shore. He made enough money working over the summer to support his lifestyle the rest of the year.”
Still, seasonal work can involve substantial time and effort. Due to the limited period, you may have to work nights and weekends to take advantage of the season.
2. Build Your Own Business
Some entrepreneurs build seasonal businesses, but you also might be able to build a non-seasonal one that allows you to take generous amounts of time off.
For example, if you run a small business like a web design company, you might work on a few big projects, which could then enable you to take a few months off before finding new clients.
Still, it’s important to focus on building a business that you can sustain over the long run, rather than trying something just to get rich quickly. And finding that business to start often means thinking about what you enjoy.
“If you pursue your passion rather than some outcome–like wealth–in a career choice, you are much more likely to advance the career ladder more quickly and branch into self-employment,” said Bill Hines, accredited financial counselor (AFC) and president at Emancipare Investment Advisors LLC.
If you do take off a few months of the year, however, try to reinvest in yourself to continue building wealth.
“For most entrepreneurs, downtime is invested in some way. For example, using off-months to travel is fine, but bringing reading/learning material to catch up on things you can’t when you are busy during on-months is an excellent decision,” said Hines. “Use the time to adjust the business plan, and keep moving toward your dreams.”
3. Remember To Budget
Budgeting might not seem like a fast track to wealth, but that’s because getting rich generally isn’t an overnight process. But even if you make a windfall, you generally won’t get very far without budgeting.
“No matter whether you work year-round or only part of the year, building wealth can not be separated from managing spending and saving. In fact, cash flow management is even more important if income is not received throughout the year on a regular basis,” said Stoj.
Plus, being rich can mean something different to everyone. For example, if you can save a substantial portion of your income, even on an average salary, you might feel rich because you have more financial flexibility. If you’ve saved enough money, you might be able to take a sabbatical, for instance.
4. Learn To Invest
Similar to budgeting, learning to invest can also help you become wealthy without necessarily having to work all year. But this doesn’t mean you should jump into speculative investments or take up day trading.
Instead, focusing on the fundamentals can get you to a place where you’ve accumulated enough wealth to take time off. It can also give you the runway to start a business that enables you to work part-time.
“Learn to make wise financial decisions. Some people make it sound like you need a Ph.D. in finance to make good choices, but honestly, it’s more about your mindset and how you approach money,” said Camberato.
“Let’s take the stock market as an example. You don’t need to become a financial wizard overnight. All it takes is some reliable information, a bit of confidence, and maybe a trustworthy advisor to get you started. With time, you’ll get the hang of managing your finances, making smart decisions, and becoming financially savvy,” he added.
Keep in mind, though, that investing is typically a long-term wealth-creation tool. You need to give your investments – along with other wealth-building activities – time to grow.
“Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your financial empire. Be patient, trust the process, and as the saying goes, we often overestimate what we can do in a day, but underestimate the power of consistent effort over one, five, or ten years,” said Camberato.
Don’t Get Fixated on Shortcuts
While these practices can help you get rich without potentially working 12 months a year, getting to this place typically takes time. If you’re looking for a shortcut, you may be in for a tough ride.
“By nature, as humans, we’re always looking for a faster, better way. This trait is the key to much of our progress. However, with personal finances, the slow, practical tortoise still wins in almost every case,” said Hines.
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