I just finished, out of curiosity, looking up how to make money on the web. Make money investing in real estate, business ideas that will make money for you, money making ideas, easy ways to make money, ways to get rich, ways to make money fast, and yes I even saw “get paid to surf.” Notice I didn’t mention “make money in MLM’s,” because it appears to me you have to get in at the beginning, usually, to make some money; those who come in later don’t fare quite as well. Plus, I’ve been told that about 90% of those who pay to get into an MLM don’t stay longer than a year. Obviously they would stay longer if it were making them rich so my guess is these 90% cut their losses, finally, and got out because they not only didn’t get rich, they lost money.

When I searched under How to Make Money, Make Money, Ways to Make Money, Easy Ways to Make Money, Easy Ways to Get Rich, Make Money From Home, Ways to Mae Money Fast, I thought to myself, “It’s incredible. There are a lot of people out there who want to do me a favor,” or at least they act like they do; some are legitimately sincere. Others, well, their motto ought to be — with no reference here intended about a fast food chain — “We do it all TO you!”

I’ve been in a couple of these “opportunities,” not long mind you, but I’ve noticed they have a lot of phone calls you can get on and listen to their “leaders” tell you how there’s nothing like the opportunity they’re offering out there. I’ve also noticed they tend to use the word “exciting” a lot. If there’s one word I’ve heard these purveyors of opportunity use hundreds of times it’s the word “exciting.” I hear the voice of my dad in my head as I write this saying, “Son, what’s the wrinkle, the gimmick?” His answer would be, “That’s how many of these people who seem to care so much for you got rich themselves — by getting you to sign up for their deal — at a price that’s really exciting.”

Not all of them, of course, but there are a certain number of crooks out there who give the legitimate crooks a bad name and so watch out for their pitch, their money-making opportunity of a life time which you must sign up for in the next thirty minutes or you’ll be on the outside looking in at all those wealthy folks who beat the deadline.

You know how, I’m sure, to investigate these “too good to be true” sounding opportunities so no need to go into that except to say if a deal sounds too good to be true check in with the Consumer Protection Office of your State Attorney General’s Office and see if they know anything about these people who are inviting you to become their financial buddies.

How, then, to make money? Thousands of legitimate money making opportunities exist and perhaps you’ll find one that’s a perfect fit for you that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg; without the arm how could you write them a check so hold on to your arm because as a person who also draws cartoons I can tell you an arm comes in very handy for what I do, as it does for all of us.

That said, I want to tell you B. F. Austin’s formula for making money because it’s a little unorthodox which is why I like it. Would it make B.F. Austin’s formula for making money more credible if I told you his first name was Benjamin and his middle name Fish — Benjamin Fish Austin.

Wikipedia says Benjamin Fish Austin was a Canadian educator, Methodist minister and Spiritualist. He served as the principal of Alma College girl school from 1881 to 1897 and during that time “that institution was regarded as one of the most prestigious centres of female education in Canada.” Austin was booted out of the Methodist Church in 1899 for being an advocate of the Spiritualist movement. He went on to establish a reputation in Canada as well as the United States publishing many books on a variety of topics. Austin passed away January 10, 1933.

His treatise How to Make Money — Three Lectures on the Laws of Financial Success, published around 1919, is a small gem. His was a smaller book than Wallace Wattles’ Science of Getting Rich, but it is packed with rich ideas for making money.

Austin is not a fan of poverty. “Not only is our own life robbed of its full and happy expression by poverty, but man’s service of his fellowman is limited on every hand by poverty,” he writes. “Our desires are prophecies,” Austin adds, “and show the possibility of wealth.” In other words, had Austin been alive today he’d undoubtedly have echoed the words of TV mogul Ted Turner who, upon offering a billion dollars to the United Nations a few years ago and being asked by reporters if he’d miss the money said “The world is awash with money.” I’m convinced Austin would say the same thing to you were he alive today: “Quit worrying so much about things over which you have no control. The world is awash with money.”

Austin says it’s “every man’s duty to make all the money he can honestly.” He’d tell you women that too were he alive today. “No life can reach its maximum of enjoyment, power and usefulness without wealth,” he claims. “In place of encouraging contentment with Poverty, we preach the Gospel of Discontent,” Austin observes. “We would whet your desires for wealth and intensify your love not of money but of the good things in life which money represents.”

One thing Austin was good at, I discovered, was whetting his reader’s appetite for money.

His first step for making money is “make yourself over.” What does that mean? I’ll let Austin explain in his own words. “As man’s present outward condition, whether poverty or wealth, happiness or misery is largely the result of his past methods of thinking, so will the future outward conditions be the direct outgrowth of his future methods of thinking.” If Austin were alive today he’d be an advocate, I’m sure, of Dr. Robert Schuller’s possibility thinking philosophy of “Never say ‘no’ to a great idea simply because it is impossible,” or more accurately, appears impossible at first. To stick with an idea through thick and think Austin says you’ve got to get your character, your inner thinking in order which includes an approach to life that sticks to things and doesn’t jump or lurch from one project to another. “No one but a fool,” he writes, “expects the harvest without toil and seed-sowing.”

Austin insists that to be truly wealthy and able to enjoy your wealth requires driving fear and worry out of your life. “Fear has a strange magnetic power,” he points out. “It seems to be a magnet with great force, drawing into the orbit of the life the very object feared by the mind.” Out with worry! In with possibility thinking, that would be the modern way of saying what appears to be on Austin’s mind.

You’ve got to have more faith and confidence in your future and know that no matter what happens you are secure seems to be part and parcel of Austin’s how to make money message. “Faith is the trolley pole which one raises to meet the Great Forces of Life, and Nature, by means of which one requires the inflow of the power which is behind, and in all things…”

A recurring theme of Austin’s how to make money message is “he who cannot conquer the world within, cannot conquer the world without,” which is where the money making opportunities as well as the money you desire exists.

Another theme is don’t waste your time, money, or energy on that which depletes you or is off the beam of your purpose. He’s a great believer in the power of autosuggestion and the need to remind ourselves constantly that we are healthier than we think, stronger mentally and have more courage than we realize but we’d better autosuggest ourselves, every day, into realizing it.

Find yourself a great money making idea and hitch your wagon to that star and you will find, he writes, “Great ideas and projects interest great minds,” by which I take it he means those who can bankroll or invest their own money in your start-up venture. Of course I’ve known some pretty dumb people with a lot of money to throw around and waste, and who did just that, but that’s off the theme so no need to say more about that.

Austin’s a staunch believer in the human Will. He tells the story of Napoleon who “When told that the Alps stood in the way of his victorious march into Italy he simply said: ‘There shall be no Alps,’” and a pass around them was quickly built by his soldiers.

Keep a watchful eye out for “favorable tides,” and “Keep a watchful eye for opportunities,” but have the good sense to count the cost of any opportunity before you go into it. He quotes Shakespeare who wrote: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at its flood, leads on to fortune.” Read my article Know Your Ruling Star for more about that “favoring chance.” You’ll find it on the web.

Austin says to “make every transaction, experience — even the adverse ones —a stepping stone to nobler things.” You’ll need friends, too, so “Make friends by taking a real interest in every one you meet,” he says.

The great secret of success and of making money is planning. Of Austin’s belief in prudent planning there can be no doubt when you read what he says about it. In most winning military campaigns “…the victory has been won more largely by skillful, bold and decisive planning than by the use of superior force.” The same Austin would say holds true in life. Know what you want looks like and then resolutely go for it. Make sure what you aspire to is a match to your abilities and skills. If you don’t have the talent for something, don’t knock your head against a brick wall and make your life difficult as well as frustrating.

Advertise, he says. “…for even an inferior article, if well advertised,” Austin writes, “will often sell rapidly, while a superior one without advertising will sell at a dead loss.”

Austin’s assertion that too many people don’t get very far in this world because they’re too humble surprised me. After all, he was at one time a Methodist minister who knew well the words from sermon on the mount, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth,” which I suspect he would have told his congregation meant out in the world of daily commerce, “Blessed are the humble for they shall inherit dirt.” He didn’t mince words when it came to making money in this world.

“Thousands of young men and young women are occupying inferior positions today because of their humility,” Austin notes. Why? Because they were passed over for positions they deserved and those positions were given to less deserving aggressive self-promoters. He says the mistake of those who languished too long in positions they had outgrown was “…thinking that in time their real ability would be discovered by their employers, and that they would be advanced accordingly.” Merit, he points out, doesn’t always get the job it deserves or has earned. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles if you crumble it by being too humble.

How to make money by Benjamin Fish Austin is fun reading, a romp in a certain sense, and a throwback to a time nearly a century ago when a person’s character was a prelude to making money — you had to have character, be a person others can trust, value yourself, and forge ahead — knowing that “…shrinking, self-effacing ability rarely comes into its own.”

It struggles, in other words — Austin would say — to make money until, by your service, you have made the world your debtor.

Author's Bio: 

James has been a television news broadcaster, radio reporter, and public speaking coach who has also taught television news, public speaking, communication theory and writing at three universities. He currently is drawing a series of cartoons that humorously illustrate the issues we all face in our day to day lives: relationships, making more money, finding work we can stand that pays the bills, love issues, etc. More about James at www.jamesclaytonnapier.com