We all want to earn more.

In fact, it is the fervent wish of many, myself included. Yet, year after year, we are still in the same place doing the same things with no noticeable difference in our earnings.

I really do wish our dreams could come true without any further action on our part. But this is not the case.

You must agree with me that there is definitely something wrong. Why do we want these great things yet do nothing to actualise them?

I recently wrote about 12 ways we can earn more money right now, I believe the list provides many earning opportunities for us, notwithstanding the kind of person we are (introvert, extrovert, ambivert) and the skills we have. But I also realised that in our usual fashion, we may read this and all the other money making articles on the internet, and do nothing.

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still
Chinese Proverb

This is definitely one of life’s ironies and has led me to share these 5 barriers that I believe stop us from making more money.

Here they are:


1. Not taking advantage of available opportunities
Some times our dreams are so lofty that we forget to take advantage of the seemingly small opportunities before us. We want to be the millionaires and of course billionaires but have forgotten that even the little things can become big. The little drops can make an ocean.

“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.”


One of such opportunities is increasing our earning potential at work. If you have a full time or part time job, are you doing all you can to get a raise or promotion?

Have you considered taking on an additional role at work or working more hours?

2. Not finding the Right Idea(s)
Do you have a problem thinking up business ideas or are you overflowing with many ideas?

We usually fall into either one of these categories. I have had periods when I couldn’t come up with a single idea, at other times, I seem to be full of it. Even though a few of these were dodgy (they honestly were ).

Beyond finding the right idea, it is also important to validate it. Basically, you need to confirm if there is any value to the world (or your target market in providing the product and service) and will they pay for it.

3. Failing to Persist
It is easier to give up than to stay the course. It is quicker to avoid things that are difficult or problematic.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines persistence as the “quality that allows someone to continue to do something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people.”

This suggests doing something for a longer period than what is considered normal. Are you still trying to work on your business, relationships or even your life? Do you feel like it is time to give up and move to other things?

This may be one time to consider if you need to keep pushing. In order to persist effectively, you also have to be fluid and able to make any tweaks or changes required to pursue your business interests and side hustle.

4. A Fear of Failure

You may have heard the expression that life is a ‘trade off’. When you choose to do or not do certain things, it is usually at the expense of one or more alternatives. If you choose to spend time building your side hustle, you may have had to turn down

In simple terms, it is a case of risk = reward/loss.

For you, it may be a fear of sacrificing all that time and effort and not seeing any growth or income from it. I have had and continue to have this fear. As I’m writing this post, this could have been time spent with family or friends or just ‘chilling’. But I had to choose this even though I am constantly afraid that it will not work out.

One way I have tried to push through this barrier is to remember my ‘why‘. Why I decided to do what I’ve chosen. You can try this and do remember that failing is not the end, it is an avenue to learn and do better.

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”

Thomas Edison

5. The Fear of Success
Are we all agreed that we humans are complex? It is one thing to be afraid to fail and quite another to fear success.

It is indeed a paradox that the very thing we want in life, which is to succeed, becomes a source of fear and anxiety. Would this mean that subconsciously we really don’t want it or is it more about the things that are attached to success?

We may feel we don’t deserve success or the cost of success is too high. You have the right to define what success means for you and not pander to society’s standards. It doesn’t have to be monetary or popular but could be in the little things.

How about today, you choose to celebrate the small and big wins without fear.

Closing Thoughts

The road to financial freedom is filled with diversions, speed bumps and in some cases death-traps but this doesn’t mean it is not achievable. Think how much better life will be when you not only surmount these barriers but also achieve your goals and your dreams.

Here is to you…all the best, Sailor!

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