2 Mental Blocks to Making Money

November 21st, 2007 by Steve Pavlina

The essence of successful income generation is value creation.  If you want to earn income, you must provide something that matters enough to someone else that they’ll pay you for it.  The act of providing value may be direct, such as selling a useful product or service, or it may be indirect, such as providing a free service and monetizing it via other means.  But in either case the core activity is to create and deliver value to others.

The notion that you generate income by trading value is a simple concept, but it’s amazing how many people still don’t get it.  Here are a couple examples of incorrect thinking about income generation that seem to trip up a lot of people:

Mistake #1:  Meditating as an attempt to generate income.

Every week I receive emails like the following:

I don’t understand it.  Every day I am meditating, writing down my goals, visualizing what I want, and focusing on attracting abundance.  But I’m still not making enough money to cover my expenses.  In fact, I’m sinking deeper into debt each month.  I write in my journal.  I pray.  I read.  But nothing is working.  I’m at my wits’ end.  What am I doing wrong?

It’s great to be working through your inner blocks.  I don’t want to suggest that kind of work isn’t important.  But inner work by itself is NOT an income-generating activity.  How are those actions providing value to others such that they’ll gladly pay you in exchange?  Journaling and meditation may have tremendous value for you personally, and I highly recommend you do them, but understand that they do virtually nothing for others.  Don’t expect to receive a paycheck for meditating.

You may have done a great job of energetic house-cleaning, but if you want to generate income, that energy needs to flow into some form of value creation and delivery.  No value, no money.

It’s like you’re looking at a fire (a metaphor for your financial problems), and you’re running around scrubbing the fire hoses, polishing the nozzles, and setting up a reverse-osmosis filter for the water supply.  Meanwhile the fire is continuing to burn, seemingly unimpressed by your elegant fire-suppression system.

Turn on the freakin’ water!

Stop cleansing, balancing, and saging your aura, and start directing your energy into the physical reality all around you.  If you do this correctly, your physical body will move — a lot!  You’ll be taking lots and lots of action.  You are a part of this world, and it’s time to recognize that your physical body is the primary mechanism through which financial abundance will manifest.  This is a key block you must still address.  Like it or not, if you want a physical result like cash in the bank, you’ll have to use physical mechanisms like your voice and your body to get things done.  I know it sucks compared to how things work in the astral realms.  Such are the vicissitudes of life in the physical plane.

Ultimately physical abundance will manifest as the reflection of your physical contribution.  If you stay home all day playing with your chakras, you won’t be contributing much to physical reality.  Hence, you’ll go broke.

Energetically there are a lot of different “manifestation frequencies” at play here.  Some, like those that can cause amazing synchronicities, tend to work in subtle ways and can take a long time to weave their way through the physical plane.  You’ll probably feel them working long before you see them working.  However, here in the physical universe, the fastest and most direct manifestation frequency is plain old physical action.  I encourage you to continue experimenting with other frequencies via the Law of Attraction, but if you resist embracing the frequency of physical action (which is the primary, dominant manifestation frequency in the physical realm), you’re in for a very long wait to get what you want.

Direct physical action is not the only frequency available to you, just as a car isn’t your only choice of transportation.  However, there are abundant situations where physical action is the fastest and most direct way to get what you want, just as driving a car is often the fastest and most direct way to get where you want to go.  Direct action needn’t be the only tool in your bag, but overall it’s a pretty darned important one, equivalent to a hammer in a world filled with nails.

A clean aura is certainly helpful, but unfortunately it won’t pay your bills.

Mistake #2:  Focusing on getting money instead of providing value

These emails take a variety of different forms, but the basic idea is that the person is trying to create an income stream without much, if any, concern for other human beings.  Here’s an example of the kind I often receive from fellow bloggers:

I’ve put a ton of effort into trying to make money online, but something isn’t working.  I’ve posted hundreds of articles on my blog, and I keep adding stuff every week.  I’ve been using good headlines, stuffing articles with intelligent keywords, writing top 10 lists, and more.  I’ve experimented with Adsense ads, text link ads, affiliate programs, and other ways to make money.  At first my traffic started growing, but then I hit a plateau.  I’ve really tried to build a following, but I’m barely making any money from it.  What am I doing wrong?

Your problem is simply this:  Who the hell cares?

It may not look like it at first glance, but this is essentially the same problem as Mistake #1.  You’re too wrapped up in your own little world of me, me, me.  Where’s the value?  Articles, content, ads, and affiliate programs are not value.  Building a following is not value.  These are simply the means — the shell — for providing value.

Too often that shell remains hollow, containing nothing but recycled and rehashed ideas that can readily be found elsewhere.  There’s no innovation or risk-taking.  Hundreds of others are already doing a better job performing essentially the same service you’re trying to perform.  Your service is comparatively useless.  It just isn’t needed.  You’re trying to milk a system instead of using that system to provide real substance.

Recognize that if someone else created what you’ve created, you’d never patronize them.  You don’t care about the service you provide any more than your would-be visitors do.

By focusing on trying to get money, you’re missing the point.  The point is to provide value to others.  This means serving people in a way they aren’t already being served, in a manner that aligns with your unique creative self-expression.  Share what only you can share.  Express what only you can express in the way that only you can express it.

Even if your shell game business becomes financially successful for a while, it won’t last.  If you somehow find a way to make money providing little or no value, you can bet your market will soon be flooded with me-too wannabes.  The field will be sliced into tiny little pieces.  Meanwhile your spirit will be screaming at you to stop doing what you’re doing because it’s mind-numbingly boring, regardless of how much money you’re able to make from it.

On some level you already sense where this focus will take you.  In the long run, trying to get money is a business model from hell.  It’s ironically more fun to fail at such an attempt than it is to succeed, and failure in this case is a lot healthier for your spirit.

Try to look past your own needs and recognize there’s a pretty interesting world around you.  Through your actions you can have an impact on it, for better or worse.  Think about how you can provide something that people want or need in a way they aren’t already being served, something that will make a positive difference.  Then act on it.

There are many more mental blocks of course, but these are the two most common I’ve been seeing in my inbox lately.  In both cases the solution is to get out of your head and focus on creating something of value for other people.  With a value-driven mindset, you’ll be properly centered on the very thoughts and actions that will produce a sustainable income stream.


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