THE BLOG
05/15/2013 03:52 pm ET | Updated Jul 15, 2013

3 Ways to Make Money

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A few years back, I ran a mastermind group called "Financially Fearless" with Steve Chandler, co-author of The Prosperous Coach. After the first weekend, I was chatting with my teenage son about what the people on the program had been learning. When I told him that in one exercise that lasted for just one hour, the 18 participants had made over $84,000 between them, he was gobsmacked.

"Do you mean in real money?" he asked. "Is that even possible?"

When I assured him that I did indeed mean in "real money," he asked how they'd done it, and I outlined the three ways to make money that I am about to share with you. But I also pointed out that making money had not been the real point of the exercise.

What was important was bringing people's fearful thoughts to the surface in a fun and friendly atmosphere so they could look at them in the bright light of consciousness and see if they had any substance to them. (A small hint -- they don't!)

And when there is no fear (i.e. "fearlessness"), creativity, joy and fun are the inevitable result.

While he thought that was very "coachy" of me, he still seemed more curious about the three ways to make money, so I shared a bit about what had happened with the group:

1. Planting seeds

Many people seem to think of the game of sales like putting coins into a slot machine -- you make your offerings (put in your coins) and if you get lucky, sometimes the machine pays out. If it doesn't, you either keep putting in more coins in hopes of "hitting the jackpot", or you move on to another machine.

But when you approach sales from a place of joyful service, you realize that making offers is more like planting a garden than gambling. It's not impersonal. Instead of dropping coins into a machine, you are working with a living system. And instead of focusing on what you might get back if you're lucky, you have to take some time to think about what you would like to grow. Plant a tomato seed and if it takes root, you'll wind up with a tomato. If you don't like tomatoes... well, that might not be your best plan!

When I focus on service instead of sales, questions like these seem to come to mind:

  • Who would I love to serve? How would I love to serve them?
  • What would be the most powerful, fun and useful thing I could do for this client or customer?
  • If I dedicated my life to making this person/company's life better, what is the biggest difference I could make for them in the smallest amount of time?

And when I ask myself these questions from a place of joyful inquiry, my answers are inevitably creative, fun and bring the seeds of opportunity with them.

2. Picking fruit

Some of the largest financial gains people made in the hour were by going to existing clients and customers and creating wonderful offers designed especially for them. Since they already had a preexisting service-based relationship with these people, they didn't have to "water the soil" by establishing their credibility and ability to add value -- they just had to find the differences they would love to make and the way they would most like to make them.

When the "fruit was ripe" - i.e. there was a real fit between the offer and the person and the timing was right - the deals could be done on the spot.

How did they know the fruit was ripe?

By reaching out, asking questions and sharing from a place of well-being that would be unaffected by either a "yes" or a "no." (For more on this, see my recent post on "What's So Scary About Rejection?")

3. Exchanging chickens

Money was originally created as a means of exchange that would simplify the barter process. Instead of my having to carry chickens around with me that I could trade for baked goods or clothing or shelter, the invention of money means I get to sell my chickens for money and use the money to get the cupcake, sweater, or house.

So once I identify "my chickens" -- i.e. those goods or services I would love to offer that will make a positive difference in the lives of others -- I can now exchange them directly for cash.

How do you identify your "chickens"?

Because they meet at least one of two criteria:

a. You enjoy doing or creating them and do/create them really well
b. Other people value receiving/using them

Your "chicken" might be:

  • Making cars run better or making homes immaculately clean
  • Facilitating the exchange of goods and services (i.e. "sales") or facilitating the appreciation of beauty and wonder (i.e. "art")
  • The ability to design a rocket ship or the ability to kick a ball into a net

After sharing these ideas with my son and giving him examples of what people had actually done, he asked me to explain the "coachy" bit to him again -- what was it that freed people up to access the kind of energy, creativity and fearlessness that led to all that money being made in such a short space of time?

While there are many ways to answer the question, perhaps the simplest is this:

When you can clearly see the difference between what money is good for (i.e. facilitating the exchange of goods and services) and what money is terrible at but often used in an attempt to create (i.e. security, peace of mind, and happiness), you stop trying to make money to make yourself feel better and realize that the better you feel, the easier it is to make money.

And when you begin to see that good feeling is part of your essential nature and not something that can ever be truly impacted by how much or how little you have, the game of money becomes considerably easier to play.

Have fun, learn heaps, and may all your success be fun!

With all my love,
Michael