So How Do You Make Money from That…?

Making MoneyThere’s this crazy misconception that I spend a lot of time trying to correct. It revolves around businesses making money.

You see, they do. No really, I mean it.

I know there are lots of “businesses” out there giving stuff away for free, or using a “non-traditional model.”

But generally, one of the definitions of a business is that it generates revenue.

Many times I’ve been asked to review a business model, where that one, crucial point was missing. What I was really reviewing was a hobby model, or a dream-world model.

I recall a time at a party when a lady casually asked a guy how he planned to make money from his venture. He’d spent 30 minutes telling her how wonderful it was going to be, so she was just trying to be engaging.

He blew up.

He turned red and started yelling about “free-model-this,” and “long-term-that.” In the end, the real answer was “I don’t know…”

An Aversion to Money

There’s nothing wrong with making money. Some idealists will falsely tell you why money is bad or that it’s the “root of all evil” (one of the most misquoted quotes).

If you choose to take a vow of poverty, that’s your right.

If you refuse to utilize your skills and expertise to make a living, because calling yourself an expert would be conceited and arrogant, more power to you.

But aversion is just the opposite extreme of attachment.

It’s important to know your worth.

  • You have to eat, and feed your family — all that healthy, organic stuff is quite expensive.
  • Some shelter would be nice — air conditioned shelter even better.
  • Freedom to live your life on your own terms is a sure route to happiness.

All of these things take money.

Finding the Middle Ground

Like most things in life, balance is vital. Doing something solely for the sake of making money, is never a good approach. It may work in the short term, but it rarely provides any real happiness.

If you focus on abundance, you’ll get abundance. If you focus on lack, you’ll get lack. That’s not some New Age BS. Try it for yourself. See if it works.

You can make a good living, and live a comfortable life, all while being grateful for what you have. Gratitude and abundance go hand in hand.

You can give back. You can do what needs to be done — because that’s all true compassion is. Doing what needs to be done.

Don’t be afraid to make money, because money itself is neutral.

It’s what you choose to do with it that gives money its meaning.


  1. Tony,

    Thanks for the link up.

    There two things that screw up people’s lives more than anything else – their beliefs about money and sex. Most of the harm people cause to one another can be traced back to one of these two things.

    This is great post addressing the money problem. Keep it up!

  2. And furthermore, just to add to your well-made points, money is generally accepted as the best measure of value. Praise is so easily hollow and insincere when money is the equivalent of real praise with real meaning.

    The old cliche of “putting your money where your mouth is” became a cliche because it’s so eloquent that it got overused.


  3. Tony, one of the things I spend a lot of time doing, is trying to convince my students and other sharpeners to charge what they’re worth! This article falls right in line with this problem! Business people need to realize that there is nothing wrong with profiting from our knowledge and expertise!! Especially when we save our customers time and/or make their jobs easier!!!! Both are worth their weight in gold!

  4. Great article. I especially liked the observation that aversion is just the opposite of attachment and the gratitude and abundance link. I’m one of those people who count my blessings everyday. It’s hard to waste much time on petty annoyances when you come from that perspective. Thanks.

  5. Steve – Hmm… I don’t think I’ll be covering the other one anytime soon. Then again, you never know 🙂

    Tim – That’s true. The satisfaction of working on an open source project, or giving your time for charity, is a completely different thing. When doing commercial work, being compensated for the value you provide should be non-negotiable.

    Jim – Absolutely. I’ve had the same discussions with clients, particularly those in the creative industries.

    Jean – Looking at life from the perspective of abundance, and being grateful for what you have, creates a cycle of success.

  6. I have to agree with Steve, that almost all things start from money and sex. Take Bush for example, he needs money. Now take Clinton for another example, he needed sex.

    Now about your article Tony, kudos for you. Great advice. Keep it up.

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