A Real Human Being

Can You Try to Make Money While Still Being Authentic?

It’s been too long since my last article.

Like 18 days. Almost 3 weeks.

My goal was to start writing consistently. At least once, but preferably multiple times, per week.

I did great at first.

Back in December I wrote and posted 4 articles in as many days.

And then…

February came before pen hit paper again, metaphorically speaking.

And not just February, but later February. Like the 21st.

But then I published 10 articles in 8 days.

And then…

It’s now.

March 20th.

I do this. It’s a pattern. I go in spurts.

I get really excited about something and push myself hard to make a vision come to life.

Too hard, probably.

And I burn out.

And have to rest.

Although I don’t know if I would say that I pushed myself too hard with this one. I mean, yes 10 articles in 8 days is a fair few. But it wasn’t super taxing.

The writing wasn’t.

It was other stuff.

I guess it was money.

Try as I might to remove money from the equation and just focus on writing, I have found it to be a challenge. I have found myself worrying too much. And spinning my wheels, as it were, to make my writing able to produce an income for me.

And I don’t like that.

I want my writing to be about the art of it. About the craft. I want it to be driven by the expression of beautiful things instead of making money.

But in some ways I think that is the problem.

That mindset about money.

I think that there are a lot of broken perspectives around money. And it’s led to a lot of turmoil and heartache.

I’ve had the privilege of editing a lot of videos for Garrett Gunderson, who I consider to be one of the brightest minds in the money and finance space. His newest book Money Unmasked I think is really a game-changer for money perspectives. Btw I don’t get any kind of commission if you buy the book, I just really think it’s great.

In Money Unmasked Garrett addresses our money personas and how they effect our relationships with money.

I know that I’ve had a pretty rough relationship with money throughout my life. I’ve lived in scarcity. That feeling that there is never enough, or never will be enough. I’ve worked myself into exhaustion countless times chasing money. And much of it has been driven by a feeling of not good enough. If I could only make enough money then I could feel safe and secure. Then the people in my life could be happy, knowing their needs were going to be met.

It’s this mindset that has driven me to work very hard. But the underlying belief that I am inadequate, and unworthy of success, has kept me in desperation and scarcity, spinning my wheels in hard work without the desired results.


Movie Making and House Flipping

I didn’t want this blog to turn into another one of those experiences for me. Like the movie I wrote and produced in 2012. Or the house I flipped in 2022.

Both of those experiences were brutally painful for me. Neither worked out the way I wanted them to.

I remember working on that house. It was in the height of the real estate bubble. I did most of the work myself. I’m not a builder by any means, but I knew I could figure out most of it.

And I did.

I replaced flooring. I tiled in a shower. I replaced kitchen cabinets and countertops. It was a great learning experience. Exhausting, but very educational.

But it took a long time.

About 5 months.

I was watching the market the whole time. Watching things fly off the real estate shelves at breakneck speed. But instead of feeling confident that I was going to be able to participate in the hot market, I remember getting worried many times throughout the process that somehow, some way, things were going to collapse and I was going to be left with a house I couldn’t afford.

And that’s kind of what happened.

I finished the house in August, right after the market started cooling. I wouldn’t say the bubble had burst at that point, but it had cooled enough that people started getting hesitant.

So I wasn’t able to sell it.

If I had finished that house a month earlier — even just a few weeks earlier — it would have sold in a week for over asking. I’m sure of it. That’s what everything else around there was doing at the time.

But somehow, some way, I found myself failing to accomplish my goal and being left with a house I couldn’t really afford.

(It worked out okay as I just decided to rent it, but still)

My broken money mindset had once again shown itself to be effective at bringing me to the same place I had always been with money: poor.


How to Make Money…Probably

I didn’t really mean for this post to turn into a post about money. Truly. And I’m not now going to make some bold proclamation about how I know the secret to make you a millionaire if you just buy my course. (Although keep reading and watch me shift my perspective in real time)

This blog is about vulnerability and connection and honesty. So I guess I just wanted to talk a little bit about what my relationship with money has been like and why I have found myself struggling financially and where I know I need to improve.

I just wanted to get these things off my chest and work through them a little bit. That’s what writing helps me do. And hopefully it will be of some use to someone.

Garrett always says that wealth is a byproduct of value creation. I really like this perspective. Oftentimes in our society we look at money as an evil thing. We see the rich and the poor and we think it’s unfair that some people have a lot while the majority suffer in poverty. And we might then blame the rich for being selfish.

And some of them are.

But a lot of them are just people who understand how money works.

They understand that money comes to those who create value for the world. Who solve problems and serve people.

That’s what true capitalism is all about. Not the crony capitalism we see so often these days where people place profits over people and large corporations wield great power over governments.

Because of these bad actors, and some of the ideas we hear about money growing up, we might also feel that money is slimy, like those who try to sell things are somehow selfish, immoral people. It may conjure up images of used car salesmen who only care about making money and are willing to say or do anything to get the deal.

“Of course, they’re just trying to sell me something.” We might roll our eyes and condemn the YouTuber who offers a course or the blogger who asks for an email address in exchange for a free pdf download (mine is here, btw).

But why do we do this? Do we condemn the waiter at the restaurant we eat at, or the bank teller at our bank, or the plumber who comes to fix our leaky drain pipe? They’re trying to make money, too.

Perhaps we do. Perhaps some of us might complain that they charge too much money, or that they don’t do a good enough job for what we’re paying.

But here’s the thing. Something else that Garrett says is that our expenses are someone else’s income.

Most people are trying to make a living so that they can have a comfortable, secure life, and so that they can provide the same for the people they love. Most people are not evil tycoons who sit in their ivory towers twirling their mustaches while they steal money from the poor and swim in giant piles of gold.

Most people who are trying to make money are just like you. They aren’t evil.


Money Isn’t Evil

There is a scripture that people often misquote. They say that money is the root of all evil. But it actually says “for the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

But if you look for the original Greek word you would find philarguria, which means, as far as I understand it, extreme greed.

I have heard it described as something more like obsession.

Sure there are plenty of people who are obsessed with money, but many of them are poor.

Money is not evil. It is a tool. It can be used for good and for bad. Most people use it for good. To support themselves and their family. Many donate to good causes. We all spend money and that money goes to someone else’s salary so that they can support themselves and their family.

So we shouldn’t need to feel ashamed when we try to make money.

I think that is one of the things I’m still trying to work through. Why should I feel guilty or embarrassed about trying earn an income through blogging? It’s completely normal and perfectly fine.

I guess it’s more about the way people do it that matters to me.

I want to be authentic. I don’t want money to dictate very much of what I write or how I write it. I want the art and the expression, and the connection, to be the main driver. I want to help people. And I want to make a living from my writing. I want to support myself and help others as well.

It’s probably time that we acknowledge that most people who are active online, whether it be blogging or YouTube or Instagram or some other social media platform, are trying to make money.

And that’s okay.

I think if we were a little more honest about that, maybe people wouldn’t feel like they have to sneak a sales pitch into their content.



I guess this post was more for me than anyone else. I just needed to work through some things.

Money isn’t bad. Trying to make money online isn’t bad. Just try to stay true to yourself and be authentic.

So how do you make money? It’s simple, but I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily easy: solve problems and serve people.

In short, add value to the world.

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