People often make excuses for their inability to achieve their financial goals, the most common of which is blaming someone else, such as their boss. They believe their financial hardship is the direct result of their low pay, which is set by their employer. The truth, however, is that each person is in control of his or her financial destiny. So, if you’re a self-starter with the desire and motivation to succeed, you should consider the following investments.

Cryptocurrency

Investing in cryptocurrency, while young and unproven, can probably be a lucrative venture that can help you gain financial independence. The popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, for instance, grew from $367.13 in January 2016 to a staggering $10,166.51 in January 2018. Cryptocurrency isn’t a physical currency like the U.S. Dollar. Rather, it’s a digital or virtual currency that’s not backed by any government or financial organization. If you’re thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, you should research the different types and mechanics of how they work. Opting for some of the smaller cryptocurrencies like Ripple or Ethereum instead of Bitcoin may yield a higher return on investment (ROI).

Retail Arbitrage

If you enjoy shopping and hunting for good deals, perhaps retail arbitrage is the right venture for you. This involves purchasing products at low prices and reselling them at a higher price for a profit. You might buy a name-brand pair of jeans for $10 and resell them for $30 — a 200 percent ROI. The key to successful retail arbitrage is knowing where to shop and where to resell your products. Many successful arbitrage entrepreneurs recommend thrift stores or at least discount clothing stores like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. There you’ll often find name-brand products at a fraction of their original retail price. Once purchased, you can sell the products on platforms like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.

Photography

It’s no secret that professional photographers make a lot of money. According to WeddingWire, couples pay an average of $2,435 for professional photography on their big day. Even if you don’t plan to offer wedding photography, though, you can still make money taking pictures. You can create a portfolio of your work and use it to pitch your services to prospective clients. Alternatively, you can take photos and sell them on stock photo websites like Shutterstock. When a business or individual purchases one of these photos, you’ll earn money.

Online Marketing

If you have web design experience, you might enjoy online marketing. As an online marketer, you’ll promote products and services on behalf of other businesses. Some of these businesses will pay you a commission for every sale you refer while others will pay you simply for generating leads. You can promote these products and services using a variety of online channels, including websites, blogs, forums, social media, pay-per-click platforms and more. Because of the reach of the internet — 40 percent of the world’s popular has access — online marketing can be incredibly lucrative.

Franchises

Franchising is another smart way to make money as a self-starter. This involves buying a franchise from a franchisor, after which you’ll have the legal rights to open and operate the business using the franchisor’s brand. According to research cited by the International Franchise Association, franchise establishments account for 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP. Common U.S. franchise establishments include Subway, Krispy Kreme, Wendy’s, Cold Stone Creamery, 7-Eleven, Anytime Fitness, GNC, Jimmy John’s and more.

How to Package Investments

Whatever your investment strategy is, you should be packaging as many of your financial assets as possible inside of a Roth IRA. According to Central Bank Financing, a self-directed IRA can store CD’s, annuities, stocks and mutual funds, and other equity securities from LLCs and partnerships. The advantage of Roth, as opposed to traditional, is what you pay taxes on. In a Roth account, you pay the taxes on the principle, and then the growth is tax-free. Since growth over a 30-year retirement account is likely to be 90 percent of the assets in the account, that’s mathematically your best option by a long shot.

Investing in any new venture is always scary. After all, you never know how it will play out. Ask any successful entrepreneur, though, and he or she will agree: you must take risks to succeed.