An Authentic Approach to Making More Money

This post is dedicated to those of you who need to get your moneymaking shit together.

Have you been challenging assumptions and considering business options? If you want to earn more from your small business, next year, read on. I’m not going to give you the secret to anything. My intention is to inspire you to wakeup, see where you are and act!

I’m offering a fresh starting point for authentic business planning. If you want to increase your earnings, you’ve got to replace your monkey planning and become more intentional in building your business.

Every time I write about making more money, someone always comments, “it’s not all about the money.” No shit. I get that. But if you feel the need to say it, perhaps it’s more about the money than you’d like to admit. I understand that fulfillment, freedom of expression and autonomy hold a higher value for many of you than making more money. But next year I intend to work less and earn more simply because I can. So can you.

Since each of us has the capability to create the business results we most want, why don’t we? It’s not simply a lack of belief. Most of you agree that anything is possible. What’s missing or what needs to be adjusted, to produce more lucrative small business results?

A big part of authenticity is having the balls to really look at what you’ve produced and what you haven’t. You can dream big and be very genuine, but if that isn’t producing buckets of cash perhaps, you’re already as authentic as you need to be. Since you already have an authentic grounding perhaps your best adjustment is a more strategic one.

The first place to look is at your big-picture business reflection and decision-making process. Do you have one? If you don’t consciously reflect on your business, you could fall prey to the random influences of those with stronger intentions.

I’ve realized that authenticity; natural optimism, and possibility thinking alone, – do not create sustainable success. Just because we can think big, – doesn’t mean that we do. Spiritual evolution does not take the place of business practices like following-through. I’ve realized that my wild ass desires and imaginings need to be grounded within a dynamic, intentional master plan.

Without an intentional business reflection and decision-making process our businesses often end up with unintentional results. Consider another way. It begins with slowing down, stepping back and consciously choosing. Without reflection and big picture thinking, strategic decisions remain unmade. If you fail to make a decision, you’ve made one anyway, and that default decision is far less likely to serve you well.

Begin with an honest assessment. We don’t know what we don’t know and shining a light of greater awareness generally illuminates sticking points. I’m going to share some places that used to bog me down in hopes that you’ll notice if you’re stuck in the same locale.

Stuck in Discovery

Discovery is such a juicy place for lifetime learners. Even when aware, we often don’t want to leave. Researching, learning, and staying on top of things are all wonderful excuses for failing to act. If only those excuses paid off like action does.

Good intentions cannot weather the assault of an infinite number of online gurus screaming to sell us the latest secret to exploding our business to the next level. I’m so sick of all this next level puke. Screw the next level. How about building a solid foundation instead?

Like most of you, I’m looking for ways to work less and earn more. But that’s the challenge; most of the stuff we read promises that. Excellent copy writing speaks to our emotional craving and reels us in until we stop searching for the secret. Stuck here? Pause and ask, “What exactly am I looking for?” Look for that and that only. Find it and act on it.

Stuck in Place

At least when stuck in discovery we have the illusion of movement. Stuck in place, – is just plain frozen in denial or avoidance. If you’ve been feeling like somethings got to give, then you may need to wakeup to the facts. Quit waiting for an outside intervention. No one is coming to save your ass.

Surviving isn’t thriving. Getting by is getting old. How many times are you going to pull it out at the last minute, before one time, you just don’t?

If you almost never market when times are good and then desperately over-market when the valleys hit, – you really aren’t doing much strategic thinking, are you? Perhaps a few strategic adjustments are called for? But first, take a hard look at where you are and what you earned last year. Look at what worked and what didn’t, and choose some new actions.

Stuck in a Small Mindset

How do some corporations mange to make a profit in spite of their faulty policies and their poor decisions? It’s catching up to them; they just have more wiggle room than we do. They just can’t see what they aren’t looking for and as solopreneurs we are not immune.

We don’t know what we don’t know. If you don’t work with a coach, then work with someone who will ask you the challenging questions. Sign up for this free phone class and I’ll ask you the questions before you even dial the phone.

We especially aren’t aware of the limited beliefs. You could be working a business model or following a mindset that does not serve you well. Your adjustment could be a very small change in perspective that could lead to a big gain. But you won’t see it, if you don’t know where to look. I’ll bet that you’re thinking way too small in some critical areas right now.

I love this time of the year as a small businessperson. This is our time, for reflection, big picture thinking and strategic decisions. But if you don’t choose to make any adjustments you could earn what you earned last year. You’re capable of so much more and you know it.

Tell me where to take the follow-up post to this one. I’m considering writing about my decision-making process, but I’d like to address what you think you need. Speak up please!


  1. “get your moneymaking shit together” LOL! I think limiting beliefs play a big role in people’s inability to make money. In fact, people who respond to posts like this one with comments like “it’s not all about the money” probably have underlying beliefs that “good” people don’t care about money, or that if they have lots of money somebody has to do with less, or that it’s not spiritual to want to have lots of money, and so on. Most people also have a lot of unresolved emotional issues which are reflected back to them in the amount of money that they have. I think that if we provide value to others, we should all expect to be very well compensated.

    Marelisas last blog post..55 Things To be Grateful For

  2. Suzanne @ vAssistant Services says:

    No one is coming to save your ass.

    That’s for damn sure! And it’s a good thing, too. We don’t need saving. We have the power to create the results we want, so let’s get off our asses and get to it!

    Thinkin’ about it doesn’t mean you’re doin’ it. And going it alone is just downright dumb. Takes longer and is not nearly as fun. I’m not saying you should quit the solo biz and run out and get a business partner, but I am saying you should get a buddy for the wild ride! A coach, a mastermind group, an accountability partner – hell – all three! Tom’s right – ya gotta have someone asking you the challenging questions…the ones that get your ass in gear.

    Suzanne @ vAssistant Servicess last blog post..13 Plugins Make My WordPress World Go ‘Round

  3. Hi Tom – way to sound the wake-up horn!

    Suzanne – loved your comment – we don’t need saving, that’s for sure.

    If anyone out there is feeling annoyed, or stirred up by this post, be kind to yourself, but then have a real honest sit-down in front of the mirror. How can you appreciate the roadblocks you are throwing up for yourself? In what way did they come to serve you? See if there isn’t another way for you to get what they are trying to help you with.

    Consider that what you need now are new voices in your head – ones that encourage you to trust your Higher Self, get off the dime and get into action inspired by what makes you juicy.

    I know for a fact that Tom’s coaching and classes will fire you up – it’s worked for me many times over, so if you need a boost, just sign up for whatever he’s offering.

    Let’s do this thing!

  4. I’m noticing this theme cropping up more and more in the blogosphere. I know in my case it’s been fear that’s been holding me back: what if I do all this work and nothing comes of it? Then I’ll have wasted so much time.

    Fortunately I’m aware I think this way and just move forward anyway. 😉

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndromes last blog post..Breaking Free of Fear-Inspired Paralysis: Amy Derby Interview

  5. Wow Tom! You’re being very expressive today! LOL!

    My business partner and I have already set a time in Dec when we are sitting down and doing some strategic planning as to where we are going and how are we getting there. Since we have just gotten started, we don’t have last year to look at. This year is starting off well. We continue to book presentations. Checks are coming in the mail. We bought a trailer to transport our stuff in. We’re doing well. (knock on wood)

    I really want to plan where all we want to go and decide the next step to get there. I am dying to be a published science curriculum writer. I also want to start planning our next inflatable. I know what I want it to be but I have to figure out all the details.

    Our program is expensive but we are professionals and are worth the money. I won’t feel bad about asking for the money. If I don’t value my service, how can I expect the public to value it. I have no problem with making money. Bring it on!!!

    Great post Tom! Very passionate~

  6. “Researching, learning and staying on top of things are all wonderful excuses for failing to act.” – reminds me of using a computer – if we keep getting and learning new software, we don’t have time to actually do anything!

    I love this post – many people don’t know how to consolidate the level they’re on, making things concrete there, before trying to go bigger and better, I think.

    Robins last blog post..An Unusual Experiment

  7. Clem - Unique Business Opportunity says:


    This is exactly the kind of things I have been reflecting on over the past few weeks… to work less and earn more. I made some critical decisions about some of the higher-time / lower-income activities I have engaged in over the last year and realzied that I need to dedicate more to the lower-time / higher-income activities….because they are definitely available in my business. It takes a restructuring of sorts, an adjustment in my approach to every single day….but the potential is there to yield more monetary result with less dedication of actual hours.


    Clem – Unique Business Opportunitys last blog post..Authentic Listening – The Real Secret to Network Marketing Success

  8. Hi Tom,

    I think it is time for me to start making money. The blogosphere excited me in a major way when I heard about it. It’s taken me 18months – 2 years to feel like I’ve got a basic idea about what it is about. (I thought at first and still think it may be the most exciting thing to happen since the printing press. Just as long as we can keep quality and not let IM scammers rule the roost.)

    I learned that writing for someone else and only getting a share of the advertising income is dumb. I realised that I won’t get rich from Adsense (income averaged over 18months – $2/month). I wont’ have a big enoug readership to make much money from advertising for a while yet. There aren’t many affiliate products out there that I want to endorse (my integrity is precious).

    Which bring me to what I think my next step is: developing my own products. I already have one: an online email course. (Called “Living Authentically”.) I’m thinking about classes. My big need is promoting them.

    I think my content is good and if it hasn’t got me credibility by now then I’ll never have it. It’s time to build on it and make some money.

    My problem isn’t looking at the big picture (this is my strength) or my thinking that I can’t make money (lots of idiots make a truck load online – I can certainly be an idiot! Well actually I’m staking my future on the proposition that eventually quality content is what matters.)

    So, for your next post I’m after the nitty gritty. Developing your own products and marketing them.

    Evans last blog post..Eight Steps for Working with a Deep Difference in an Important Relationship #1

  9. Ha !

    Get your money making shit together sounds good to me.

    Although I question the value of, as it seems you are doing, creating a product for the sole purpose of building a residual income.

    I would think this is a little ass-backwards way of developing products and I have seen a lot more failures that successes doing this. Good post though.

    Blogging for moneys last blog post..A big list of things Barack Obama needs to do before he can say he made a “Change”

  10. Mare – Good summary of limited beliefs. Yes let’s expect to be very well compensated and to act on those expectations.

    Suzanne – I’m glad you’re not waiting for the ass-saving train. Sounds like you wouldn’t jump on if it stopped at your door. 🙂 Good for you. You raise an excellent point about the challenging questions. A one way conversation just doesn’t cut it because we end up in our heads way too much.

    Kay – I love your gentle nurturing, thanks for that. I wasn’t in the mood to soften this blow because I’ve had to kick my own ass into action way too many times. Good to hear you sounding strong!

    Laurie – Sounds like you have decided to give planning your business the honor it deserves. Keep focused on the main thing as you continue to build.

    Robin – I agree. The first thing is they have to look at where they are. if we can clearly see that – then the next move or moves are much clearer.

    Alex – I can always count on you to put your authentic voice out there. Thanks for admitting this fear. I’ve heard it before and it’s an interesting question but a mute one. This is a better one. What happens if I don’t do all this work? 😉 I think you know that answer. Glad you aren’t listening to your fearful self. I tell that guy to step back.

    Evan – Thanks for the quick summary regarding what doesn’t work that well to make money online. The good news is that you are here and you’ve recognized the advantage all of us early adapters have. So far I’ve made all of my online money by channeling folks to my coaching practice. But I to want to enjoy
    more residual income that will come from product sales. I also am in the midst right now of creating products. I use a mastermind group to hold me accountable.

    I do appreciate your request. Please be more specific. What questions would you like to see addressed on the development and marketing of your own products? I may not have the exact expertise you’re looking for but I may interview someone who does.

  11. Lorraine Cohen says:

    LOL Tom

    This is one great post! I loved your “telling it like it is!”.

    The small thinking midest was one I looked squarely in the face in asking myself “Was I really saying yes to what I said I wanted?” The belief work is critical. The whole worthiness and fear pieces are so big for folks in stepping up and out from surviving to thriving.

    I’m with Suzanne about partnering with others. I created a spiritual mastermind group last year with 7 other kick-ass women and partnered with three other colleagues on projects. The accountability, creativity, elimination of BS, and stimulation keeps me juiced and moving. Plus, as a solo-preneur, it’s a whole lot more fun playing with others.

    Keep talkin Tom. I’m listening!


    Lorraine Cohens last blog post..What Are You Thankfull For?

  12. Evelyn Lim says:

    I’d be interested to take my business to the next level next year. And more so, in building an authentic business that will bring in loads of income. Thanks for offering to provide free calls. I look forward to being on them and to be challenged by you!!

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Law Of Attraction Quiz

  13. Clem – Good show. I’m pleased you’re already on top of this. The key now is to select those activities and stick with them over time so that this time next year, your results will be different.

    Mark – Yes that can be ass-backwards if that’s your starting point. But if you’re already delivering value in another format – then the creating a product is simply a different way of delivering that value.
    Albeit a very leveraged way!

    Lorraine – I love this question. “Was I really saying yes to what I said I wanted?” There’s lots of ways to say yes and no. Yes by our actions, our thinking, our choices and indeed by the firing up of our enthusiasm. Thanks for a wonderful check-in question and your heartfelt praise!

  14. This is great stuff, as usual, Tom! Right on the money – and in our face – about what needs to be done.

    I’ve been reflecting recently, and really giving some thought to “what’s next”. It’s exciting times, for sure!

    The whole idea of the decision making process sounds like a great next step – and logical progression.

    Whatever comes next, I’m looking forward to what you have to say! Always lively…(and makes me think…).

    Lances last blog post..With Many Thanks, We Dance

  15. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your response. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

    It may be a momentum problem (like the advice of asking readers as a way of improving your blog – but how to do this before I have many readers and so on).

    It’s about getting attention for the course (and other stuff I want to do) and so getting more students before I have a high traffic blog. Perhaps it is about promotion and marketing.

    Also how to choose topics. Do you think keyword research would be a useful guide?

    Hope this makes some sense. Any suggestions most welcome.

    Evans last blog post..Eight Steps for Working with a Deep Difference in an Important Relationship #2

  16. I will be putting my authentic business ideas into action next year. I’m also heading over to register for your free call!

    Stacey / Create a Balances last blog post..A Week for Giving Thanks

  17. AnneMarie Callan says:

    Your vision of the next year built into ..

    your business plan with your mission statement …

    and the will to follow your dream …

    until the day you want …

    you have a choice!

    Anyone can do it!

    AnneMarie Callans last blog post..The Money is in the List – Get a 6 Figure List Here

  18. Hi Tom – this is so true – planning for the future is important but only if it’s built on a solid foundation.

    I’m with you on the folk who say screw money. More often than not it’s one of their biggest concerns bu they don’t want to admit it.

    I will say one thing from experience – if you begin blogging as a hobby, it can be tough to push yourself into starting it as a business, even if you’ve been self employed for a long time. It’s something I’ve struggled with until recently.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Does Your Business Really Understand People?

  19. Evelyn – making a powerful declaration about authentic earning is very wise. I’m looking forward to challenging you with some powerful questions.

    Evan – Thanks for clarifying. I will write about product creation but a bit further down the line. I think it’s important to step back and asses form the wide view and then zoom in. That’s what I’ll be writing about next. As for keyword tools, I like to select something authentically and then see how people are searching. Even though most folks do search in problem form or from their pain we can serve them by understanding what they are looking for. Sometimes it takes searching with those same words to see what comes up.

    Stacey – Glad to hear it. You’ve been ready for sometime. It will be a pleasure to have you with us.

    Ann Marie – Welcome! Yes anyone “can” make more money but it is often not the walk in the park that your comment suggests. I find the greater authenticity expressed leads to less of a need for hype.

    Cath – What part of turning the blog into a business are you struggling with? Is it during decsion-making or in taking action?

  20. Suzanne Bird-Harris | vAssistant Services says:

    Kay – ‘what you need now are new voices in your head’ – AMEN!

    Alex – ‘what if I do all this work and nothing comes of it?’ – impossible! Literally impossible. Something will come of it. New insight that you didn’t have before, at the very least.

    Evan – ‘I won’t have a big enough readership to make much money from advertising for a while yet.’ – that also means you don’t have a big enough readership to do well with products of your own. You’re way ahead of the game with great quality content. So many people (myself included) have made the mistake of glossing over the ‘building the list’ phase, only to be sorely disappointed when the product they worked so hard on just sits there.

    Tom – Come on with that decision making post! I’m waiting! 🙂

  21. Hi Tom – I just wanted to let you know that I visit frequently but rarely comment because I just don’t really know what to say. But I did want to say hi and let you know that I’ve been dropping by.

    Kim Woodbridge | (Anti) Social Developments last blog post..Thankful for My Friend Jim

  22. Suzanne – The decision-making post is up! Decide and wait no more.

    Kim – Thanks for reading. I have you speechless huh? 🙂

  23. Tom, you tell it like it is. I especially like the part about establishing a foundation first BEFORE moving to the next level. I always find that interesting because we easily respond to those lures ‘to move to the next leve’ and secret this and that ..’ — we are actually moving them to the next level ,,, advancing them when we are not really ready to leap, float or jump.

    There is so much information. S0 many tele-classes. Too many reports. Too many offers that are instantly available to us. We don’t necessarily even know which level we are currently on.

    I stopped a while ago. Realize that I am responsible for ‘my flow,’ the steps I need to take to set my ideas and dreams in motion.

    Thanks Tom !

  24. Sanna – Welcome, it sounds like you have a healthy view of when to pause the craziness and when to look for the info you need. I read the offers because I’m seeking to improve my own copy writing skills but in a more authentic fashion than what I normally see out on the web. Indeed if we continued to spend so much time pushing we would not be in attraction mode.


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