This is episode #30 of The Goodness Squad podcast. Before I jump into today’s content, I have an important announcement about some changes I am going to be making to the podcast.
I am going to be organizing the podcast into seasons. The reason for this is because it will better serve you. If you’ve noticed, my podcast up to this point, the first 29 episodes, have been a bit random. I believe they have been helpful, but they’ve been random.
I ping pong all over the place on different topics, this can make it very difficult for you to learn about any one topic in depth. And that is what I’m about. I am about a deep, real impact. I really want you to get what it is I’m teaching you so that it will change your business. Organizing my content into seasons will help me do this more effectively.
What do I mean by seasons? I mean that you are going to hear about the same general topic for a couple of months at a time. We will discuss the same topic over and over and over again, in many little tips for that same topic.
Do you have a Hobby or a Business?
This very first season is going to be all about monetizing your business. How do you take what you’ve got online – this blog or this podcast, or your Instagram feed, a YouTube channel – and actually turn it into income for your family?
Inside my eCourse, The Good Start Game Plan, we talk about if you’re a hobbyist or a business owner. After students go through that lesson and we talk about the differences between the two, I ask them to actually answer. That’s their homework, to tell me which one they fit into right now.
87% of them, so far, have said that they believe they’re hobbyists. So that tells me that many of you listening to this probably fall into that same category. You have a hobby blog or a hobby podcast. It is something that is fun for you to do. It’s enjoyable, you hope to maybe make money from it someday, but you aren’t truly treating it like a business. And that is the change that I want you to be able to make through this season’s podcast episodes.
Another thing that is going to be happening as part of these podcast seasons is new gifts. For each season, I will create a new gift for you. A freemium, a lead magnet as many of you might have heard them called. This is something I give to you for free when you join my email list, these are very valuable items. And the one that I’ve created for this particular season is called the Product Idea Generator.
What helped me understand why it’s okay for me to earn money
Let’s jump into the content for episode 30 today. I have a pop quiz for you. Do you know how much money it costs to rescue children from child slavery?
On average, it takes $50,000 to $70,000 to rescue 1-50 kids from child slavery. This is according to Operation Underground Railroad, which is an organization that I fully support. Their entire mission is to rescue children from child trafficking (aka human slavery). They have this stat up on their website that on average, it costs them anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 to put together one rescue mission. Sometimes those rescue missions can rescue up to 50 kids, but sometimes they only rescue one.
This is crazy expensive, right? It is something that is near and dear to my heart. It is something that I want to help with, I want to make a big impact in this area. I am not Tim Ballard. I did not create Operation Underground Railroad. I do not have his skills. I can’t go on these missions and personally rescue these children. I don’t have those skills, but I can help him pay for those.
Now, why is this so important? Why am I bringing this up when we’re talking about monetizing your online content marketing business? Well, I have to tell you a story in order to help you understand how this relates and this story is something very sacred.
When I was a newly returned missionary, I came home and the semester didn’t start for a few more months, so I lived with my parents as many of us do as return missionaries. I felt a little bit lost as to where I wanted my life to go. I had spent all this time serving people and helping people. And I didn’t want to let go of that. That’s fulfilling. That is life-changing. It is hard, but it brings true joy.
I prayed a lot about what God really wanted for me, what he wanted me to do and I want to tell you the answer to that question in just a minute. But first, I want to tell you a second story. This one’s not quite as sacred.
I have always been an entrepreneur. One of my earliest memories of my childhood is begging my mom to let me set up a concession stand at my brother’s soccer games. You go to a baseball field and they have concession stands. So I would go to my brother’s soccer games and there were no concession stands and my little brain thought “Problem! Problem! I can solve it! I can solve this problem.” That’s what entrepreneurs do. I begged my mom to take me to Costco and let me buy candy bars and concessions so that I could sell them.
She loved me enough to let me do that. I would sell these concessions for a profit. That has always been a part of who I am. So let’s jump back to the question I was asking Heavenly Father. I said, What is it you want me to do?” And the answer came in two ways:
- He told me that it was okay for me to go live my dream of being an entrepreneur. That was okay for me to do at some point in the future in my life.
- There was a caveat, there was a string attached to his willingness to let me live that dream and to support me in living that dream. The caveat was that I would give back. I felt very strongly that Heavenly Father would bless me financially. That was something that would be in my future, but I felt just as strongly that he would expect me to use that money for good.
So why does it matter to me that it costs $70,000 to save children from child slavery? Because that’s a lot of money and it gives validity to that answer to prayer that I got. It is okay for me to make money because it allows me to give back. Doing good in big ways costs money sometimes, not all the time, but often it does.
There are evil people out there who have a lot of money and they are able to do a lot of evil with that money. I refuse to just sit back and let that happen. At least one way in which we can fight those people is with money. That’s why it’s important to me.
Where you want to give back might be completely different than what I want to give back and that is okay. I understand that you aren’t necessarily in this for the money. So many of you say, “Oh, I don’t want to charge for anything because I’m not in this for the money. I just want to help people.” I admire that sentiment and that goodness, but you will be able to have a bigger impact if you do charge for what you do.
Money can feed evil. What about the other side of that coin? Can money also feed goodness? Can it magnify the goodness in us? I believe that it can. I believe that money makes selfish people more selfish and generous people more generous. It gives them the opportunity to give more. As we go through this season of The Goodness Squad podcast, I want you to think about as you earn money, what is it going to magnify in you?
Today I want to give you five ways that charging for what you do will actually bless other people. We often focus on the fact that when we earn money, it blesses us. It does, and I’m going to end today by talking about why that’s okay.
But before I do that, I want you to know, I understand your concern and your fear that earning money is selfish and that you don’t want to be seen as selfish. You don’t want to become selfish. You don’t want to be selfish and you would just rather give it all away for free. I want you to understand that I get it.
5 ways that you bless others when you earn money
#1 – You are forced to create better content.
Here’s what I mean by this. Back when I was little, I used to babysit a lot. When I was babysitting for my mom for free, I didn’t do quite as good a job as when I was babysitting for the neighbor and she was paying me. I would go to the neighbor’s house and I would make sure all the dishes were clean, I would bring my special little babysitting kit bag, and do lots of cool fun things with the kids.
But when I was babysitting for my mom, all I did was make sure that nobody died. Money motivates us! I’m not saying that it motivates you just because you want to make money, but it motivates you because you know it’s valuable to other people.
When someone is paying you for something, you naturally want to do the best job you possibly can. If you are not being paid, you are far more likely to be inconsistent. Maybe you’ll publish a blog post every week for three weeks, and then you’ll take two months off and then you’ll do one twice a week for six weeks, and then you’ll take another month off.
It’s very easy to become inconsistent when you’re not being paid. It’s also easier to create more shallow content. Maybe you do okay being consistent, but you’re like, “I’m just going to put it up.” Your heart and soul aren’t in it to really, truly help someone. That’s not your purpose or your goal. It’s just to get the content up.
But when people are paying you, you feel obligated to give them your best. You will produce higher quality work when you are being paid. And that blesses the people who consume your content – free or paid.
If you know that your eventual goal is to get somebody to buy something from you, all of your free content is going to be higher quality and more consistent simply because you know you need to gain their trust. So you are going to put your best foot forward, even with your free content.
#2 – It will give you more time with your family.
Obviously that’s a blessing for you too, but it’s a blessing for your kids and for your husband, for them to have some of that time back.
The truth is if you are actually going to run a business, if this hobby is going to turn into that business, it’s going to take you more than 10 or 15 hours a week. And you don’t have 40 hours, you just don’t. You’re a mom and you’re a wife and you have a calling and you volunteer in school and you don’t have the time to work 40 plus hours a week.
But the truth of the matter is your business will take that type of time. If you’re charging for what you do, you can pay for tools that will cut back on the amount of time it takes you to accomplish tasks.
For instance, you could pay $20-$30 a month for a tool that will automatically post to social media for you. You could pay $10-$15 a month for a tool that will transcribe for you. Those things are going to save you time. And that means you will have more time to give to those that you love – your friends and your family.
In addition to tools, you can actually pay people to help you. I have the best assistant in the world. Her name is Audra and she is absolutely over the top fantastic. She does half of what is required in this business. She allows me to spend more time with my family because she takes part of that load off.
That is a blessing for my loved ones, for my husband and my kids and my friends and extended family, because they are still able to have time with me because Audra does some things for me. But I have to pay her to do that. And in order to pay her, I have to be earning money.
#3 – You employ other moms.
It is a blessing to Audra that she has this job. When I started my first business, one of my dreams was to be able to help moms work from home where they could be with their kids. If you could give that opportunity to another mom, think about what that could do for that family.
It might mean they get to go on family vacations. It might mean their kid gets to take karate or drama or soccer because of you. Because you’re charging for what you do. And now you could turn around and help that family and benefit them.
#4 – You will be able to give back more.
My personal choice right now of where I am giving back more is to Operation Underground Railroad because I feel strongly prompted that my money needs to go towards helping end child slavery.
Your way of giving back may be completely different. And that is okay. But when you charge for what you’re doing, you have more freedom to give back, which is incredible. Some other ways that I have given back in the past, I have been able to give thousands of dollars in free food storage.
Every year that I had my preparedness website, I gave like $10,000, or more, to people in food storage completely for free to people who wouldn’t be able to do that. I have been able to employ teenagers or pay a little extra when somebody’s babysitting for me and just help them out. When you are charging for what you do, it magnifies your desire to give back.
#5 – Your impact on other people will be greater.
When we get something for free, it is human nature for us to treat it as less valuable than something we have paid for.
You see this with your kids, right? If I give my child a pair of jeans, they treat that pair of jeans very differently than if they had to earn the money pay for it themselves. They treat that pair of jeans like gold, it becomes much more important to them.
The same is true of the people who follow you. If you give them everything for free, they will use it less often and they won’t dig as deep into the content. They won’t take it as seriously, and it simply will not impact their lives on as deep of a level.
But if you are charging for it and they are paying you for it, you’d better believe they’re going to treat it like gold. They are going to see it as something important and useful in their lives and for that reason, it will impact them. It will change them.
If your goal really is to change the lives of people who read your content or listen to your podcast, then you need to charge for what you’re doing, because that is how you will motivate them to actually use your content.
Remember money motivates when you’re being paid for something. You’re more motivated to produce a quality product, that’s number one. But when someone else is paying for something, they’re more motivated to use that product and it has a deeper impact in their life.
A quick review, the five ways in which charging for what you do will bless other people:
- You will create better content for them.
- You will have more time with your family, which is a blessing for you, but also to your family.
- You may someday be able to employ others.
- You can give back more to the causes that are dear to your heart.
- You will have a deeper impact and be better able to change the lives of those who you are trying to help through your business.
You also benefit when you earn money – and that’s okay!
Now let’s take a moment and focus on the fact that it is okay that your business benefits you. It is okay! My husband went to law school and he has some serious skills because of that. He is also highly intelligent and nobody fights him when he asks to be paid for his skills, right? His employer doesn’t say “no, you should do this for me for free.” Our neighbors don’t say “you should be working for your employer for free.”
Nobody says that. Everybody understands the idea that he has a valuable skill and he should be paid for it. So why do you believe that it is selfish for you to charge for what you do? You have skills that my husband could only dream of. You have something to offer that he doesn’t, that I don’t, that your neighbor doesn’t, your mom doesn’t, and your best friend doesn’t.
There is something you have to offer to the world that nobody else can offer. And that is valuable. And no one, least of all you, should think that you are selfish for wanting to be paid for that.
Now back to the example of my husband, does that mean that my husband never uses his skills to help other people for free? Nope. He loves to serve and he uses his skills when he has time, outside of his 40 work hours, to bless the lives of other people as prompted by the Spirit.
So does that mean that you can never, ever give away a product for free? Is that what I’m trying to teach you here? Absolutely not. I want you to stay close to the Spirit and, as prompted, serve for free. Use your skills to help people for free, but do that outside of your work hours. Charge for what you are doing as a business and then occasionally you can do what you’re doing inside your business for somebody for free, as prompted too by the Spirit.
A major downfall when you do everything for free
One other downside of doing everything for free is that it becomes far easier to burn out. Are there rewards? Yes. When we do things for free and we bless other people, absolutely yes. But oftentimes what happens is you begin to get taken advantage of.
People realize, “Oh, she does things for free. She does everything for free.” Suddenly everyone’s asking for it, even people who don’t really need it for free. This can create resentment and burnout and frustration and this feeling of just being used. But if you are choosing when to give it away for free, then you get that reward there, of truly serving and helping, and that blessing that comes.
When you are charging, you are getting the reward of being paid. Business can benefit you. It’s okay. If you want to go on better family vacations, it’s okay. If you want to pay for your kids to be able to do extracurricular activities, it’s okay. If you want to put a pool in your backyard, those things are okay.
If you still have any concerns at all about charging for what you are doing, I want you to go back and listen to podcast episode #12, it’s titled “Are you practicing priestcraft?” There are some helpful tips in there. And you get some answers from me, five answers about why it’s okay to charge for what you’re doing and how this is not priestcraft.
Even if your goal is to bless others, even if your goal is to teach others about the gospel that does not automatically mean you are practicing priestcraft. It is okay to earn money that you turn around and spend on yourself and your family. It is okay.
Tell someone else why it’s okay for you to earn money
Your assignment for today is to discuss what we’ve talked about today with someone else. Because when we teach other people, we learn it better ourselves. And if you are going to have a successful business, you have to be okay with charging for what you are doing.
So I want you to go teach this to somebody else. You have to make this mindset shift if the rest of this podcast season is going to benefit you. This is the foundation, you have to be okay with charging for what you’re doing. So go teach this to your husband, to your best friend, to your mom. Talk to them about why it is okay for you to charge for what you’re doing. Talk about how it will bless you and your family and why that’s okay. Talk about how it’s going to bless the lives of other people and how that is incredible and wonderful and exciting.
In the next episode, we are going to be talking about why I love content marketing – blogging, podcasting, YouTube channels, Instagram feeds – for LDS moms. I love content marketing and there’s a reason. And it’s because you can earn money while blessing other people’s lives. And we’re going to dig into that in the next episode. So I hope that you will subscribe today so that you don’t miss that episode.