How to Earn Your First Love Dollar

July 16th, 2008 by Steve Pavlina

If you really commit yourself to the idea, can you earn $1 from doing something you love?

Very often people who are stuck in the pattern of doing work they dislike will shun simple opportunities to earn small amounts of money doing something they love. They assume that if they could only earn a few bucks here and there doing what they love, then what’s the point? They won’t consider it unless they’re convinced such work will bring in some serious money… more than enough to cover all their expenses. A few dollars is just too trivial and pointless.

That mindset is a huge, huge mistake.

If you want to make a living (a great living), doing work you truly love, then a necessary first step is to earn that first dollar.

Be willing to receive

Allow that first dollar to arrive. Allow yourself to receive it. Make it feel welcomed even when it isn’t accompanied by 10,000 friends.

The first day I generated any real income from StevePavlina.com was February 14, 2005. Hmmm… I didn’t even realize until now that it was Valentine’s Day. How disgustingly appropriate! Now back to our story… That was the first day I put some ads on the site. I earned a whopping $2.36 from ad clicks.

I’d been blogging for 4-1/2 months at that point, so I already had dozens of articles on the site. I might have had a few affiliate links up before then, but they really didn’t perform. So Feb 14, 2005 was basically the first day StevePavlina.com began to earn any real income.

Now was it worth my time to do all of that work just to earn enough to buy a gallon of gasoline? (This was back when gasoline was less than $2 per gallon — today you’ll need a lot more ad clicks for that same gallon.)

Twenty months later my daily income from this website had increased by more than 500 times. Don’t scoff at the extra few bucks when they show up. If you treat them well, they may tell their friends about you. Since dollar bills can really get around, they often make a lot of friends.

When you accept that first love dollar, you tell the universe, “Okay, I’m willing to be paid for this kind of work. Can you bring me more opportunities like this?” And the universe will say, “Absolutely… no problem.”

But when you block yourself from receiving that first love dollar, you tell the universe, “No, thanks. I don’t want to be paid for doing what I love. I’d rather make a living doing what I hate. Then I’ll take my leftover energy and try to do what I love on the side. Please give this golden opportunity to someone else. I’m too busy implementing my plan for lifelong unhappiness.”

Accept the opportunity — in your pajamas if necessary

When the opportunity to earn that first love dollar arrives, it probably won’t be wrapped in a beautiful gift box with a bow on top. It will more likely sneak in the back door when you aren’t even looking.

When you catch a glimpse of that opportunity, your first inclination will be to say, “Sorry, this isn’t a good time. I’m in my pajamas. Would you please come back later?”

Of course if you do that, the universe will reply, “Argh… wrong vibration. This bozo ain’t ready. Next!”

The correct response is to accept the opportunity even while you’re still in your pajamas. Just run with it. Try to maintain a playful, childlike spirit.

The next time you feel inclined to turn down an opportunity to earn money (even a puny amount of money) doing something you love, give yourself a good smack upside the head, and do it anyway.

Remember this quote from the movie Ghostbusters: When someone asks if you’re a god, you say, “YES!”

Intend the opportunity

If you’ve never noticed any opportunities in your life to earn love money, you are really, really, really blind. Such opportunities are everywhere. When you train yourself to start noticing them, you’ll see them everywhere. You’ll start seeing so many of them, you won’t even know what to do with yourself.

Even if you’ve been (consciously or subconsciously) rejecting opportunities to earn some genuine love money, you’re always free to request another chance.

Take a moment to set this intention right now: I am now noticing and accepting an opportunity to earn at least one dollar from doing something I love.

Feel free to rephrase that intention (including the currency and the amount) however you like until it feels right to you. Just keep it positive and in the present tense. The exact phrasing isn’t really that important though. The most important element is whether or not you can feel the reality of the intention.

As you think about that intention, imagine it becoming real. How would you feel if it actually happened? Grateful? Amused? Surprised? Impressed? Put yourself in that place of feeling those feelings. Take a minute to do this right now even before you read the next sentence.

I’ll even do this with you. I’m already earning quite a bit from doing what I love, but consciously intending more of it certainly can’t hurt. Maybe I’ll notice an unusual opportunity I’ve been overlooking.

This reminds me of something that happened at the gym this morning. I started exercising on one of the elliptical machines, and I noticed the water bottle holder on this particular machine had a bunch of coins in it — some pennies and some dimes. It was probably around 35 cents total. I left the money for someone else to find, but the point is that I could have gotten paid for doing something I enjoyed if I’d accepted the cash in exchange for exercising. I would have earned about a penny a minute. Hey, it’s a start — toward what I don’t know — but I doubt it was random chance I picked that particular machine today when there were dozens of others to choose from.

Most likely when you hold this intention, something will come up within the next few days. I usually see an alpha reflection for my intentions within about 48 hours. In this case my alpha reflection already happened in the past, but I didn’t recognize it until now. Sometimes that happens. As soon as you notice your intention coming into physical reality, accept what you get and run with it. See where it leads. Don’t worry about whether or not it will lead to massive riches.

Take the inspiration and run with it

Often opportunities will manifest in the form of ideas. Your job is to turn those ideas into action.

Here are some random ideas for earning $1 doing something you may enjoy.

  1. Some guy earned about $5 auctioning his air guitar on eBay. Surely you could earn $1 auctioning something you created. (In case you don’t know what an air guitar is, it’s nothing but air — it doesn’t even exist!)
  2. Write a poem, an article, or a song. Share it with as many people as you can, and ask if they’ll pay you a quarter for the value they received from it. Get four people to say yes, and you’ve earned your dollar. If no one agrees to pay you, ask them what you could create that would be worth at least a quarter to them.
  3. Ask someone if they’ll pay you $1 for a 10-minute neck and shoulder massage (assuming you enjoy massaging people).
  4. Ask someone if they’ll pay you $1 for you to listen to them talk about anything for 10 minutes. You can market it as inexpensive therapy.
  5. Ask someone you know if they’ll pay you $1 to brainstorm 20 potential solutions to one of their problems.

As simple as these ideas are, if you actually take this exercise seriously and go do it, it shouldn’t be that difficult to earn your first dollar doing something you enjoy. Although the money you earn may be financially insignificant for the time invested, it will feel good to get paid doing something that doesn’t feel like work to you.

If you find a way to make a small amount of money doing what you love, you can gradually earn more. Maybe at first you’re earning a rather pathetic, unstable, unreliable income. That’s perfectly okay. If you keep at it, several things will happen.

First, if you really enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll get better at it. You’ll be able to build your skills much faster than people who hate their work. It’s really hard to compete against someone who loves their work.

Second, if you work cheap and produce halfway decent quality, you’ll start to get repeat business. If you can give a good $1 massage, it’s a safe bet that your happy clients will come back and request another — even if they’re just friends or coworkers. A 50-minute Swedish massage at a decent spa in Las Vegas typically runs about $150. $1 for 10 minutes is a real bargain.

Third, people will start to refer new clients to you. They may even gift their friends with your $1 massage.

Fourth, you can re-invest what little money you make to improve your service. Eventually you’ll be able to buy some scented candles, a relaxation CD, massage oil, a massage chair, a massage table, etc. You might buy a book on massage techniques or become a certified massage therapist. But initially all that matters is that you enjoy giving someone a back rub and hearing them moan with pleasure.

All of these factors work synergistically. If you keep at it, you’ll eventually get so much repeat business and so many referrals that you’ll absolutely have to raise your prices to keep up with the demand. Eventually you’ll be able to make a good living doing what you love.

Finally, when you get good enough, you can earn even more money teaching others to do the same.

Erin’s story

This is exactly what happened with Erin. A few years ago, she began doing psychic readings for people — just for free at first. The feedback was very positive, so she started offering her readings via her website. She didn’t earn a lot of money at first, but her prices were low for her skill level, so she was able to attract a steady stream of clients.

After doing readings for a while, Erin’s early clients began booking their second and third readings, and they also started referring their friends and family to her. Erin started getting more clients than she could handle, so her waiting list began to grow.

Eventually Erin began hearing complaints from clients who didn’t want to wait so long to get a reading, so she raised her prices to restore balance. This pattern kept repeating itself several more times… with further price increases dictated by supply and demand.

Two years ago a 30-minute phone reading with Erin was $55. Today a 30-minute phone reading with her is $295, and a 60-minute reading is $395. She keeps working to improve her skills, and she continues to get lots of repeat business and referrals. Erin is now earning five figures a month from her psychic readings with no end in sight.

When I first met Erin in 1994, she was working as a secretary for $9 per hour. Even then she was very psychic. She loved talking about her intuitive impressions, and she prided herself on being able to read people accurately. She used to take me to the Psychic Eye bookstore and explain various oddities to me. Occasionally we’d splurge on a 15-minute reading with one of the psychics, and she’d comment on it afterwards. At one point she took a retail sales job in a different metaphysical bookshop where there were psychics doing readings. More than a decade ago, she was surrounded by opportunities to get started on the path of doing her own readings, but she kept turning them down because she was still in her pajamas.

What recurring themes — what opportunities — keep resurfacing in your life… even as you repeatedly turn your back on them?

Say yes!

I think we’re often sent small opportunities to test our readiness. If we block those small opportunities, we’re broadcasting that we aren’t ready to receive the bigger ones yet.

Say yes to small opportunities to receive love money, and bigger ones will surely come your way.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we’re already doing that we don’t allow ourselves to receive the golden opportunities that come to us. We don’t answer the knock because we’re too busy paying attention to what we already have… instead of noticing the arrival of exactly what we’ve been longing for.

Don’t make the mistake of intending what you want and then rejecting it when it arrives, especially if that first package is smaller and less exciting than you’d like. Prove to the universe that you’re willing to receive the small package with love and gratitude, and bigger opportunities will soon follow. If you fail to accept the small packages, you’re telling the universe you aren’t ready for the bigger ones.

That first dollar of love money is more important than you think. Don’t downplay its significance. Don’t tell it you’re too busy. Don’t slam the door when it asks to come inside. Treat that love dollar like royalty. Prove to it that you’ll be a good host for its thousands of friends.

What can you do within the next 24 hours to earn $1 from doing something you love? If you’re already doing work you love, how can you earn an extra dollar from doing something else you love but have never been paid for?

How can I earn an extra dollar from exercising? Hmmm…


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