Everybody wants to make money, either offline or online. There is nothing wrong with making money. After all, money is what you need to make other things happen in and around you. You need money to pay your house rent. You need money to pay bills. You need money to pay school fees. You need money to buy yourself a fancy toy—car. You need money to buy your dream home. You need money to have regular checkup and eat right to have sound health. Money makes things happen. We sure can’t do without it. But do you know what money really is?

What is money?

According to that definition you are familiar with from school, money is anything that is acceptable as a medium of exchange. Yes it is anything. In the agrarian age, money could be fish, cassava, veggies or what have you. In the industrial age, it shifted to whatever metal, then coins and banknotes called fiat currency. And since the days of fiat currency, we have forgotten the original definition of money, which is anything that is acceptable as a medium of exchange.

Is money anything?

If we say money is anything. Of course you can’t refer to pebbles as money if you are still thinking like a fresh college graduate or one of those professors. But if you are not, you will agree with me that your smile, hug, kiss, strides and what have you can pass for money. You can trade the currency you possess for money. Music artistes like Rihanna and Jay Z are trading their voices for money. Likewise, the Kardashians are trading their boring family life for money. And I bet you do remember Jerry Springer on the Springer Show was wasting—sorry trading—the power of technology for money. So what are you trading for money?

How to make money by trading your own money

To make money you must have something you are trading for money. This is where to start from. List out the things you possess that you can trade for money. I am not talking about your tangible assets like your car, home or even your clothes. I am talking about the intangible assets that you are yet to attach value to. So, take out your pen and pad and list out those things you can use as a medium of exchange. It could be innate or a skill acquired. And the good news is; everybody, including you, has at least one intangible asset that can be turned into money.

Secondly, wrap your intangible asset in an attractive packaging. The Kardashians took their boring lives, wrapped it around a reality TV Show, Keeping up with the Kardashians and took it public on E! And we are paying awesomely to watch them live their everyday life under the watch of Big Brother. Packaging is what makes a product unique; it is what makes the difference. What will make your medium of exchange—your intangible asset—unique is the packaging you wrap it in.

Thirdly, find your audience who will exchange your packaged intangible asset for fiat currency—or digital currency like Bitcoin or Ripple. There are people everywhere who are hungry to devour whatever you are offering them as long as it looks good. Find them.

Lastly, market your package product. Marketing is what sells a product; nothing else. Choose the right marketing platform and create a strategy on how to sell to your target audience. In no time, you will be one of the few who are smiling to the bank to cash cheques.

Alfred Ade-Ijimakinwa is Africa’s #1 Small Business Expert. He has interviewed dozens of CEOs for his magazine, BusinessIQ and has mentored over a thousand entrepreneurs who have gone on to begin their own successful businesses. This he can do for you as well. Email: alfred@businessiqonline.com