In modern society, better jobs and relationships are often the reward for the production of positive externalities. As it turns out, people like to work and socialize with those who create value for others.
This effect is pretty strong. Can you name a person who ended up poor and unhappy because they devoted too many resources to the voluntary production of public goods of actual value to the rest of society? I can’t, at least not off the top of my head.
My standard advice for those few younger people who ask me for it is simply to produce a lot of external value. Don’t worry about being compensated for it right away. If you succeed in producing things that are of value to others, they will want you around, and you will have plenty of rewarding opportunities you would not have had otherwise.
Produce Positive Externalities! In other words, “Be Excellent to Each Other.”