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Against the Grain on Skills to Make Money

October 19, 202311 min read

In this newsletter I will be talking about the 6 income generating skills that helped me make $6M since 2017.

Not only will we talk about what the skills are, why they are important, and free resources for anyone to develop these skills.

Plus I will share with you 2 news skills that I wish I learned sooner, and how you can get ahead of 90% of people.

In our last newsletter we covered how you can lose our job any time.

And I shared a step by step plan on how I quit my 6 fig job to make a profitable income online.

The last step was: Learning Income Generating Skills.

In my experience these skills are important if you want to quit the 9 to 5 to make an income online.

By learning these 6 skills you will:

  1. Become more valuable than 90% of the workforce.

  2. Potential to make more money than you currently make

  3. Have the ability to create an online income

Unfortunately many people hold themselves back from learning these skills.

  • #1 They speak limiting beliefs upon themselves on why they can’t learn these skills

  • #2 When shift gets hard they make excuses and quit

  • #3 Many don’t know what these skills are or don’t know where to start.

Don’t worry Uncle Malik is here to help, these skills are fairly easy to learn, just require repetitions.

Here are the 6 skills that helped me make REAL money online:

  1. Copywriting

  2. Sales

  3. Knowledge/ Experience/ Passion

  4. Leadership

  5. AI Prompting

  6. Content Creation

1. Copywriting

Copywriting is just writing using words - arranging and writing down those words in interesting and persuasive combinations to get people to take some sort of action.

When I say developing the skill of copywriting I am talking about getting good at influencing and persuading people to take action using words.

Some of you might say: “You’re just saying to get good at writing, what’s the big deal?”

If you're a good copywriter you use written words to get people to give you money for your product or service.

Examples of using Copy:

  • Want someone to go on a date with you? Use Copy.

  • Want someone to work for you? Use Copy.

  • Want to have more s*x? Use Copy

  • Want to make more money? Use Copy

Copywriting can be applied to anything.

You might be thinking:

“I can’t write my own copy, I’m blind” (Anchorman joke)

“I’ve never been trained to write correctly”

“I didn't do well in english class”

…insert any other excuse or limiting beliefs here.

Copywriting Anchorman

Look if a monkey can learn sign language I am pretty sure you can learn how to write copy. 🙈

I learned copy just like learning an instrument.

Read the best ads written.

Copy them word for word.

See & learn patterns.

You can find the best resources to learn from at the bottom of the newsletter.

2. Sales

Sales is one of the first skills I learned.

Out of college, I was a personal trainer at a local gym. There I learned that personal training was 50% about helping people & 50% being able to sell them on working with you.

The truth is I sucked and hated sales at the start.

What is Sales? Sales is defined as the action of selling something, or the activities involved in promoting and selling goods and services.

As I became more seasoned, I learned that sales is the lifeline of the business. Plus you make more money per hour doing sales than any other job.

If you are not ready to leave the 9to5 yet and you don’t want a cap on your income, then get a sales job.

Just learning this skill alone you can work your way up and land a position where you make $250k a year.

Look I get it you might be thinking:

“I am not a salesperson”

“ I don’t like asking for money”

“I don’t want to come off as salesly”

…again more excuses on why you can’t do something.

Being a sales professional is not about being a sleazy car salesman with a cigarette in your mouth selling lemons.

It’s about being an advisor and helping people.

Sales as I understand it come down to:

  • #1. Listening and understanding the person’s situation, goal, and challenges.

  • #2. Helping the person make the right decision for them.

  • #3. Being a leader, having tough conversations with people.

I’ve closed $30M in sales and counting, built several sales teams, and trained 50+ sales reps.

I’m putting together a free sales course with tons of resources, send me a DM here and let me know if you’re interested.

You can find the best resources to learn sales at the bottom of the newsletter.

3. Creating Digital Products

Once you learn copywriting and sales you need to have something to sell.

One of the best ways to learn if you want to make an income online is through selling digital products you create.

Before you create one, you need to have some sort of specific knowledge, experience, or passion that you want to teach.

Specific knowledge is what differentiates you from others. It's the unique blend of your experiences, insights, and expertise.

For me when I started, I was passionate about health, fitness, and working out so I leaned into that.

Best way to find your Specific Knowledge is using the Japanese concept called Ikigai (生き甲斐)

Ikigai is something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living.

It’s the center of what you love, what you’re good at, what can be paid for, and what the world needs.

Once you find that you can create digital products like e-books, online courses, online communities, provided 1-on-1 services, etc.

We (my team and I) built an online community first, then a course with a community, then a course, community, and software paired with it.

Best part is making a digital product costs you nothing, as long as it’s good and you can promote it you can make as much money as you want.

4. Leadership

Leadership is not something we are born with, it is a skill set we learn.

Becoming a leader isn’t just about leading others, it starts with leading ourselves.

Instead of living life passively, start to take ownership of your health, wealth, relationships, & faith.

Half the battle isn’t about learning how to make money or figuring out the tactics or skills to do it.

That is 50% I would say the other 50% is fixing what is going on between your ears.

Dealing with the emotional instability

Dealing with the negative self-talk.

Dealing with procrastination

The reason many people never learn a single skill is because they hold themselves back.

Becoming a Leader of your life starts by taking full ownership that YOU are responsible for all the good, bad, the ugly in your life.

Once you take ownership it gives you the power to accomplish anything.

5. AI Prompting

We all have heard about AI and it’s going to continue to grow in the next couple of years.

My team and I have been using ChatGPT, Bard, and other AI tools since December.

The skill isn’t knowing about AI it’s about being able to use it. One way to do that is through AI Prompting.

AI prompting is the process of creating input (usually text) instructing the AI to generate the desired response.

For example everyone has access to a computer, some are really good at using the features on it.

Some just use their computer to check email and look at memes.

Even though 2 people have the same tool, one is able to do more with it.

AI is the same, when you go to ChatGPT or Bard (both are free) they give you a text box also known as a prompt box.

Some people see the box and don’t know what to put in there or they don’t know how to use it to get the results they want.

The skills of AI Prompting can become a super power because you can learn these tools, and use them to your advantage.

We use them everyday, to write emails to clients, use ChatGPT to act like Benjamin Franklin or Charlie Munger to help me make decisions, to understand concepts and things I am having a hard time grasping, summarizing books and videos, making websites, and much much more.

Just like computers, AI is a tool and it is here to stay. And just like any tool you can use it to your advantage to make an online income.

6. Content Creation

Content Creation is the process of creating and sharing valuable information to build and engage an audience.

This can be done through:





Social Media Posts…anywhere publicly you can share stuff with people.

In my opinion this skill is extremely important now especially if you want to make an income online.

People mistake that it’s the content that makes you the money but actually it’s the audience.

Audiences are the people you build a relationship with, eventually will buy the products you have to sell.

When I had my gyms we had an audience, and we used to make $40k-$70k a month just off of supplements we would recommend.

How do you develop this skill?

You first need to have a Specific Knowledge. Then pick a platform or format and just start.

I recommend writing because it’ll help your copywriting skills as well.

Again you will suck but eventually you will suck so less that you’re good at it.

When I started the platform was videos and I did it on Facebook. Every single day for 1 year I did a Facebook live.

That helped me find my voice and become a better speaker. Do you have to start with video? NO.

Pick one you’re comfortable with and go get after it.

Time For Action

These are the 6 Income Generating Skills that I learned early on in my career that have helped me make $6M in the last 6 years.

If you want to have the confidence to quit your 9 to 5 and start making an income online these skills are crucial to learn.

Here is the hard truth, taking the first step is going to be half the battle especially for those of you just starting out.

When you start don’t expect to be good at it, expect to suck. But the more reps you put in the more knowledge you gain the better you will get, trust me I know this first hand.


Here are the 6 Skills That Helped Me Make REAL Money Online:

  1. Copywriting

  2. Sales

  3. Creating Digital Products

  4. Leadership

  5. AI Prompting

  6. Content Creation

Action steps:

Pick a skill you want to develop and dedicate the next 100 days to learning it.

This is how I learn new stuff, I pick a skill, I spend 1 hour a day studying / taking action on it for 100 days straight.

If you found this useful then share it with someone else that you think might find this valuable using this link here:

Also I would love to connect with you, this is where you can shoot me a DM on Instagram, X (Twitter), or Linkedin.

Keep crushing it, and don’t let anything hold you back from accomplishing your goals.

Till next time.

Mohammed Malik


Copywriting Resources

Books & Content:

  • The Boron Letters: Gary C Halbert's letters to his son from prison. Access for free

  • Where marketers & copywriters go to get inspired. Find ads by legends like Halbert, Kennedy, and Ogilvy. Check it out here

  • How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards: A foundational book on copywriting. Paid resource


Practice makes perfect. Start by writing for your projects. With time, you’ll hone your skills.

Sales Resources

Action Step:

  • Dive into selling firsthand. Remember to record every sale to reflect and refine. Be persistent, as mastery takes time.

Books to Improve Selling:

  • Influence by Robert Cialdiani

  • Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdiani

  • Pitch Anything by Oren Kleff

  • Non Violent Communication

  • Crucial Conversations

Leadership Resources


  • Seek mentors who live the life you admire. Consume their teachings and insights, both offline and online.

Books to Shape Habits & Character:

  • Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday

  • The Almanack By Naval Ravikant

  • Relentless by Tim S. Grover

  • Winning by Tim S. Grover

AI Resources

Online Resources:


  • Experiment with platforms like ChatGPT on OpenAI. Let it assist with tasks ranging from emails to bedtime stories. For research, Bard is recommended.

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Mohammed Malik

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