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I met Kate Northrup in 2009 at Danielle LaPorte’s NYC FireStarter Session. Geez, it was forever ago! I’ve been friendly with her ever since, always impressed by her smarts, her chutzpah and her smile. So thrilled to have her guest posting here, especially since I’m about halfway through her new (and first!) book, Money: A Love Story & it resonates so damn much.
People throw the phrase “Do what you love and the money will follow” around quite a bit.
I wish I agreed with it, because it sounds really nice and pretty, but the truth is, it just doesn’t work that way.
I love to go to the movies. I love to read novels. I love to go out to dinner with my fiancé. I love to swim in the ocean. If I do those things will the money follow? Probably not!
Why not? Because those things that I listed don’t really add any value to anyone else’s life.
Money is a system that humans made up to trade value for value. We earn money in the marketplace based on the amount of value we’ve provided for others.
So, while it’s possible to make money doing what you love, there’s a missing piece of the equation. The missing piece is this inquiry: “Am I adding value to someone else’s life by doing this thing that I love?” The more value you provide, the more money you make.
The good news is, it IS possible to make great money doing what you love. Here’s an easy to follow, 5-step formula for getting started:
Make a list of things you love to do. Open your mind and write down everything you think of, without editing. No need to think about the ones that add value to someone else’s life yet. Just write down everything you love to do. I recommend listing a minimum of 10 things.
Circle the ones that add value to someone else’s life. This means that someone would pay you to do these things. Be sure to think outside the box here. For example, your list might include horseback riding, flying kites, building pillow forts, reading novels, and watching reality TV. You could circle horseback riding, flying kites, and building pillow forts. Why? Someone could pay you to lead trail rides or teach horseback riding. And you could get paid to fly kites and build pillow forts with kids as a babysitter or nanny. You see how this works?
Put a star next to the ones that you could earn money from the fastest. The thing that will bring money in the door the fastest is also known as the low-hanging fruit. Drawing from the example above, if you have a neighbor who has kids, flying kites and building pillow forts might be the low-hanging fruit. You’ve got the skills and a potential prospect and she might need help watching her kids today!
Pick some low-hanging fruit. Choose one of the starred items. Write down the first, most obvious, finite action step you could do to make it happen. For example, it could be giving your neighbor a ring to let her know how awesome her kids are and that if she ever needs help watching them, you’re available. Identifying an action step will immediately quell feelings of overwhelm, fear, or resistance.
Go do the action step you wrote down. Nothing is rewarded by the universe like action. Do the action step toward making money doing something you love as soon as possible.
As you go through this exercise, don’t get caught up in thinking things like: “But my dream career isn’t watching my neighbor’s kids! I’m overqualified for that. I want to build a multi-million dollar business doing what I love. How can I do that doing piddly little jobs here and there?”
Taking action in the direction of our dreams—any action—is a step in the right direction. Earning any amount of money doing something you enjoy is a beautiful affirmation of your ability to make money doing what you love. You have to start somewhere.
If you use this 5-step formula and continue to think in this way as you grow your career and your income, you’ll be able to make money doing what you love.
Now, anytime you hear the common maxim about doing what you love, you can remember that how it actually works is:
“Do what you love that adds value to someone else’s life, and the money will follow.”
Kate Northrup is a creative entrepreneur, business mentor, speaker, and writer. Her philosophy is that if you free yourself financially you can be fully present to your purpose on the planet. She created this financial freedom for herself by the age of 28 through building a team of more than 1,000 wellness entrepreneurs in the network marketing industry. Through her network marketing business, ongoing seminars and her 30,000-mile Freedom Tour, she has mentored thousands of people in their quest to create financial freedom. She also hosts her own online talk show, Glimpse TV, where she interviews entrepreneurs and change-makers about loving life and being free. Northrup is a contributor at numerous websites, including PositivelyPositive.com, OwningPink.com, and TheDailyLove.com. Learn more at katenorthrup.com or moneyalovestory.com.Glorious Guest Post