This is a question that I ask everyone that comes to me for coaching, business advice, or just to shoot the breeze about ideas over a few (or 12) beers. It’s a humbling question. Yet, recently I was presented with this question. I froze and thought for a second.

It’s easy to get lost in your ideas, plans, and aspirations. It’s easy to imagine. It’s difficult to execute and translate your idea to dollars in your bank account.

It seems a bit harsh to ask someone this. Shouldn’t you follow your passions? Isn’t money a bad thing? Well, not at all. You need money to pay the bills and survive. You need money for life. You don’t need lots of money, but you don’t want to starve either.

But there’s a fine (and expensive) line between a business and a hobby. Anyone can kill time with a hobby. Not everyone can actually make money on their own. I’ve been facing this recently. What do I do? How do I turn my “epic” article into dollars?

Let’s get started…

How are you going to make money?

What’s your plan? What are you going to do to earn an income?

Some potential ways to make money from a business or freelancing are:

  • Sell a service.
  • Offer coaching.
  • Provide a solution.
  • Solve problems.
  • Become in-demand.
  • Teach a skill.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you think about the money side of things.

What if you can’t answer this question?

Well, then there’s a problem. You need to answer this. Without money, you have nothing. I’m not a greedy man but we all need to pay the bills. I believe that in order to test your freelancing idea out, you need to find a paying client. Without a client, you’re a volunteer. When you find a client, this is tangible proof that you’re on to something and that others are willing to pay you for your services.

This question also applies to other areas of life, such as:

  1. Your career. Is there any room for growth in your current career? Are you stuck at the same pay scale forever? Hopefully not. If there’s no growth, maybe it’s time to upgrade your skills. You have to look at real numbers to have real expectations.
  2. Your education. What will your education lead to? I realize that you can’t quantify everything, but it helps to be practical. You have to eventually pay off your student loans and cover your rent. You can’t live in your own utopian society for eternity.

There’s no shame in not having an answer for this question. You have all of the time in the world to think about this. Why not take a moment to reflect?

Now you tell me– how are you going to make money?