By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services
Your financial life has a certain trajectory, similar to a train on a track. There will be twists and turns, but you can easily determine where you will end up if you stay on the financial track you're currently on. What if the traditional methods of working hard, cutting expenses and saving don't work for you? Brown-bagging it every day won't cause you to jump tracks and end up somewhere completely different. The guy living in the mansion overlooking the ocean didn't buy that house by clipping coupons, and the woman passing you in a $400,000 Maybach didn't get those wheels by eliminating her morning latte. For most of us, the gap between where we are and where we want to be is so wide that we'll never be able to close it by following traditional financial advice.
What's the solution? If you're tired of scraping by, you've got to create. If you want to move out of your apartment or make more than minimum wage, you've got to create. If you want a big house overlooking the ocean, to travel first class, to quit your job or to drive your dream car, guess what? The answer is in the other eight hours. The answer is to shift from being a full-time consumer to being a part-time Cre8tor.
A what? A Cre8tor is a creative entrepreneur who has a day job but wants more. She isn't content with the status quo and is less than thrilled with the thought of working another 40-plus years. She knows that the only way to "jump the tracks" to get to a new financial level is to do something different during the other eight hours.
A Cre8tor utilizes his strengths, passions and/or expertise to create something unique and valuable -- maybe he'll start a blog, work on an invention, write a screenplay or start a business. If you settle for a paycheck, you'll only be worth what your employer pays you. But if you create something valuable, there's virtually no limit to your worth.
A long commute, a brainless boss and an empty bank account can wreak havoc on your outlook, hope and purpose, but a side project or venture can bring inspiration to your life. When you're passionate about what you're creating during the other eight hours, you can endure even the worst day.
Creating provides purpose, and it provides a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It provides the hope that life can improve. When you create, it engages your mind and your soul.
With very few exceptions, anybody who has attained any level of financial success has created something. It might be a book, a CD, an invention, a Web site ... whatever. Look around you. Everything you see was originally just an idea in someone's head.
You are living in the most exciting and mind-blowing time we have ever experienced. It is rich with opportunities that literally didn't exist just a few years ago. Unless your last name was Rockefeller or Carnegie, it used to be incredibly difficult to become rich. Becoming a millionaire wasn't even a dream or an ambition. It was such an impossibility that it wasn't worth a moment's thought.
Because of technology, efficiencies and a global economy, it's much easier to become wealthy with much less effort than at any other time in history. As a Cre8tor, you'll add more excitement and purpose to your life. You will live your passion and make more money.
In future columns I will discuss the top Cre8tor Channels you can plug into to start making more money in the other eight hours.
Robert Pagliarini is a CBS MoneyWatch columnist and the author of "The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose" and the national best-seller "The Six Day Financial Makeover." Visit YourOther8Hours.com.
This was printed in the April 25 - May 8, 2010 edition.