How to Make Money Doing What You Love - Christine Kane

My niece is showing me how it’s done. In fact, she’s showing us all.

It took me many years, countless personal growth books, and lots of money before I could GET what she’s just going ahead and DOING right now.

And she isn’t even in high school yet! Nor has she read a single book on letting go of fear or building self-esteem!

For the past three summers, she bypassed the hours-for-dollars path of the typical neonate, and created leverage instead.  She combined her skills and talents (Babysitting, Creativity, and Enthusiasm) with a market need (Moms with bored kids who are driving them crazy). She created a week-long “Groovy Girls Day Camp” 8 year old girls in her neighborhood. The day camp happened at her house.

She built the Groovy Girls camp around fun activities. Each day was dedicated to a different topic: “Candy Day,” “Fashion Day,” etc. There were projects completed, videos made, pictures taken, prizes awarded. She taught them, led them, and made them happy. She even posted everything on a website that she created from a basic template – so that at the end of each day, parents could see pictures of their little girls, and get reports on the day’s activities.

And here’s the cool thing:

In one week, she made what most little girls her age make all summer. And she’s passionate about her work and good at what she does. PLUS, the girls (and moms) are happy with her services.

Now, I coach people how to create profitable businesses and uplevel existing businesses. With that said, I meet a lot of people who, in a burst of motivation at a party, want me to help them figure out how to create their own business. Within minutes, I can find a starting place, and map out a business idea that makes the person really excited. But rarely do these people take even the first steps.

This is why I love watching my niece. Yea, I know. She doesn’t have all the bills, challenges, and time constraints that you have. But you know what? She also doesn’t have the excuses either. She just took the first steps, created her vision, marketed and made her offer. (That’s all any of us do, really!)

So, here’s the good news:

You don’t have to “have a business” to make extra money. You can start with what you’ve got in front of you.
So, let’s make it THAT easy – and see what you could do to make money doing what you love. Here’s the steps to take:

1 – Define It.

Define your skills, talents, and passions.

Throw it all out there. What are you good at? What do you love? Take some time to let this drift around in your head. It doesn’t have to come out in one writing session. Record yourself talking about it. Meet up with a friend and share your ideas with her. Let this idea roll around for a while.

When I was a full-time performing songwriter, I realized how much I LOVED connecting with the women in my audience after the show and helping them discover their own passion. So, I began facilitating women’s retreats each year.

I share this so you’ll understand that the only limits here are in your head. (Believe me, there wasn’t a lot of support in the music biz for a songwriter doing personal growth retreats. It was a combination of things that only I loved.) Don’t limit yourself!

Here’s a list of some skills and talents you might have:
Pet Sitting
Dog Walking
Managing Household Projects
Babysitting 🙂

2 – Package It.

Package your idea.

How will you offer it? A day-long retreat? A workshop? A monthly subscription service? A workbook? Again, there are no limits. What will you charge? How many people will you allow?  Who are those people? What age groups?

With the example of my retreats, I had to sit down and figure out how long they would be. I had to create the lay-out of each day. I had to map out a way to combine my teaching and coaching – as well as silence and experiences for the women. I certainly didn’t do it perfectly at first – but I got better and better at it. So will you.

3 – Offer It.

Put the word out there. Use every resource available to you. Craigslist, people in your office, relatives and friends. Let the world know what you are offering.

Warning: This is where you’ll be tempted to pull back and play small. “Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that!” You MUST let go of this fear. When you have a service to offer, and you know you’re good at it – then you provide value that needs to be shared so that people can choose to work with you! Don’t hide your light!

4 – Tweak It.

No business idea stays the same once it gets going. You will always be tweaking, adapting and dealing with challenges. (Hey, even my niece had to alter the prize-giving activities because one of her groovy girls locked herself in the bathroom sobbing and wouldn’t come out.)  Any creative idea is dynamic. Expect changes. But remember: You can change course if you’re not moving!


These four steps can take as much or as little time as you want.  You can put the word out and have customers rolling in by the end of the week.

Will you be nervous? Will it expand you? Will you be challenged? Absolutely!  But you’ll also make money doing what you love.  And there’s nothing better than that.  Even my niece let me know she never plans on getting a job.

Now THAT is groovy!

  • firstname

    Christine, us older gals who went through all the striving for equality have actually paced the way for the younger women to be more successful. Truly. Our generation was not given the same permission to be what we want or say what we needed to say. It is much easier for a generation or two below to get what they need faster, easier because they have the confidence naturally where we had to struggle. Remember that. It is your influence that allowed her to be more. We gave up a lot up front, and now are behind.

  • Tehmina

    Awesome 4-step process Christine, thanks!
    A couple of things stand out for me that you and your niece exemplify a) having the courage to try things out and b) tweaking as you go along.
    I’ve been working on a project close to my heart for some time and this post tells me it’s time to ship. Cheers 🙂 Tehmina

  • Mark

    Wow Christine!

    Your niece has definitely got it going on! And who knows, hopefully it won’t be too long before she’s being featured as one the top 100 new and most influential teen entrepreneurs!

    That’s an excellent and totally creative example, of “what’s” really possible! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Bob Wingate

    Hi There,
    I see this post is from 2010 so I wonder if “CK”ever reads her archives, but anyway, this 3-4 year-old blog article spoke to me as if it was written yesterday. My situation is such that I really feel the need for a breakthrough. We recently added a new guitar class on Mondays at the Senior Center. I have three classes now, with 30 students. My six-week class was $30 and so I made $900. This is most of my income, so I make roughly $150 to $175 per week. This is what I’d probably make in a part-time 20 hour/week minimum wage job. I’m encouraged that I do what would’ve been 20 hours in 3-4 hours, but it still is not equal or even close to my dreams. Four years ago, I was laid off a temporary minimum wage retail job, and after some soul-searching and deep thought, realized what a dead end this was and that I needed a change. I was a 50-year-old man working for a store manager half my age who was already showing signs of stress. I swore, even at this late stage of my life, that I would not go backwards any longer. I’ve made slow progress, I’m still living in poverty, but believe I will discover and create a breakthrough.
    I hope and want 2014 to be a big step in that direction.

  • jonsihay

    how is doing what you love different or same with doing without a choice? Anyone can seriously help me?

    • Christine Kane

      Jonsihay — I’m not sure I understand your question. Can you elaborate some?

  • Monty Maski

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  • Joan

    I’m envious of the people who say things like “I’ve always wanted to do ‘xyz'”. I have many varied interests (perhaps too many?). I have a variety of skills, but have always been a “generalist” (i.e., I know a little about a lot of things, but a master of none). Despite trying to answer all the questions like “What are you good at? What do you love?”, etc., I’ve still been unable to uncover any single thing I’m incredibly passionate about. I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’ll never find what ‘xyz’ is for myself. So for folks like me, do you just pick something you’re interested in and hope the passion (and money) will follow?

    • Kristie Blankenship

      This exactly describes me. I can’t decide on just one thing! I start things and then lose interest. I still don’t know what to do. I have “dreams” but they all take money to get there. I just don’t know enough about any one thing to have “clients.”

  • Wayfaring Wanderer

    After being laid off 6 months ago, and being absolutely DETERMINED, not to go back to a sucky office job that I hate (like the one I just left), I have been hard at work making things happen to earn money doing the things that I love.

    In fact, a couple weeks ago I did my first maternity and newborn photo shoot for some friends who are very happy with the results, which boosted my confidence immensely. It is wonderful to be at a point where things are beginning to fall into place. Tonight, I booked my next photo session doing product photography!

    I’m also working toward becoming a graphic designer to mesh with my photography skills. And my first freelance project is currently underway where I’ll be doing a couple logos and dvd cover. It’s beyond exciting!

    I keep reminding myself that I need to let my light shine.

    The photo shoot I just booked tonight was almost one I was going to do for free, because when she approached me about doing it I started feeling unworthy of being paid, so I offered a trade. Later, after I was home thinking about the situation, I thought to myself, “If this is something that I want to do, I need to let the people who want to pay me, PAY ME?!?”

    Sounds simple enough, right? I sent her an email letting her know my feelings about what transpired and I put it out there. I laid down a price and she responded with no issues whatsoever. It was a relief, for sure, and it also helped me to see that other people see the value in what I have to offer, I just need to recognize it too! 😀

    thank you for this post! sorry such a long response 😀


  • Amy

    Thanks for the reminder that we can all stand to be a little more child-like when it comes to our work.

  • Andrew

    Great post. Each person is unique and has his/her own talent to share to the world. I believe that there is not one person in this world that has got no talent. So examine yourself and check what’s your passion and start working or building on it.

  • Ginger Johnson

    Cheers to you Christine – and your niece. I’m reminded of the previous clothing brand “No Excuses” – it has always spoken to me. Like your niece, I created my business out of seeing an opportunity, harboring a passion for those involved, and then getting out to make it happen. All my very best and gratitudinous regards, Ginger

  • Sangita

    Hi Christine,
    Doing what one loves to and making money out of it is one of the best ideas, I would say. There many people in this world who face the problem with the first step, defining the talents; it’s not so that they don’t have one such in them, but the talents are to be brought out and this at times becomes difficult due to many reasons. Again self-confidence can be another matter troubling a person.
    Anyways, I enjoyed your post showing the ways to come up with the talents and make money with what you love to do.
    Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks everyone! Love the extra comments!

    @nadia –> I LOVE that you were working on a business during Uplevel Your Life – can’t wait to hear how it evolves! (And a BIG yes to tweaking!)

    @Emily –> Don’t wait for your self-doubt to be gone. It’ll always want to rear its ugly head. Just take the action. Try one small thing. THAT is what begins to heal self-doubt!

    seabluelee –> This is a different niece! (Big Sis to Virginia!)

    Sam –> Perfectionism is the mind-killer. Seriously – you just have to step forward! (are you in Uplevel Your Business? It’d be GREAT for you!)

  • Sam

    Christine, once again one of your posts has come just when I needed it. In looking to start my own business and looking at my “to do” list of things that I need to figure out first, I was honestly beginning to consider scrapping the idea all together. But once again you (and your niece) have encouraged me with your boldness and “groovyness.” I do have a tendency to be a perfectionist and have a fear of putting myself out there, so numbers 2 and 3 I definitely need to try. Thank you, once again.

  • seabluelee

    Hm, reminds me of someone named “Virginia.” Your niece sounds like a remarkable young lady. She’s got a pretty cool role model in her Aunt Christine, too!

  • Suzie Cheel

    Hi Christine,
    wow, how simple things are when you just be- the time before we amassed the layers that cloak our brilliance, then do- we can all learn from your niece- The KISS principle as you have laid out in the simple 4 step process. Like Lance I choke often at no 3- I know that will be changing with UYB.

  • Sarah

    Hi Christine,
    I love your work. This article is synergistic with what I am doing in my life now. I just happened to stop by here to check in and voila this article was where I landed and it spoke to me. I am doing what I love. I love to cook healthy food, organic gardening and sharing that with others. I write my own recipes and now I have created a radio show at blogtalk and a facebook fan page both called, “Real Food Inspired.”

    REAL Food I think is the solution to health, energy, vitality, longevity, to curing many disease, weight loss, to fun, to bonding with family and friends, even a way for breaking the ice when you first start to date. Life to me IS inspired by REAL food. We must have it to be healthy.

    Every day I am sooooo excited to get up and create more and more products or classes that benefit people, are fun. I will be offering cooking classes live on the internet, in local kitchens, peoples homes, themed classes like breaking the ice in the kitchen for singles wow sky is the limit or even further he he he.

    I am so excited to get up each day and market my products and to see how many new people joined my FB fan page, what marketing is working and what marketing needs to be adjusted. It is all about testing and it is sooooo CREATIVE!!! Really I started marketing my facebook fan – page a week and a half a go and it is growing like crazy. At least I think it is growing like crazy.

    Also you reminded me at the end of the article to go out there boldly, and no idea is too bold for me. Thank you for the confirmation that what I am doing is my mission. I know that I will be growing my business with your programs in the near future and look forward to it. Thanks so much for inspiring.

  • Emily~ DreamEyce

    Thank you so much for posting this, today. I have a life-long passionate dream of being a career dog trainer but my lack of self-confidence always gets in my way. I fret over the things I want to do in my life, and tell myself “I can’t”, been in and out of college 3 times because I can’t decide the right direction to get me where I want to be… A lot of uncertainty, and worry surrounds the topic of me getting from where I am now, to where my heart so desperately wants to be.

    Hopefully, I can get to my life dream sooner rather than later, if I’d just stop letting my own self-doubt get into the way!

  • Nadia Ballas Ruta

    Hey Christine,

    I took part in your last UpLevel Your Life Program which recently ended and loved it. I did the program as I was working on the launch of my business (which has already taken place). Your words were really helpful and as for the post above, I love how you wrote about how the process of tweaking never ends. It is so true.

    We all have special skills and talents that we can use to start a business if that is our desire. We just need to know our passions and work it… just as you and your niece are doing!

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks Everyone – And Cristina, Kevin and Henri — keep me posted on your progress! Can’t wait to hear more!

  • Henri

    This was awesome, inspiring and all that good stuff! I’ve been thinking about starting something bigger myself. It’s coming, and this post gets me closer. Thanks for rocking! 🙂

  • Kevin

    Very serendipitous post for me – I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently on this subject. For me, I can get caught up on Step 2 when things don’t go perfectly … I usually just need a reminder that I will improve and that everything doesn’t need to be perfect right at the beginning. Thanks Christine! Your posts have a way of reaching my inspirational center!!

  • stella

    love this! oh so true x

  • Cristina

    Great post, and right what I needed today! I’m writing an email to a lady I recently met, asking her to trade skills, so I can see if an idea I had for an on-line consultation business can actually work…I’m scared, but I’ll do it!
    Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Lance

    Your niece IS one smart cookie!! And it definitely is that step #3 where it’s easy to slink back. Good stuff for me to chew on today…

  • AyA

    Great post. I’m sharing this with friends and working on number 3: “Don’t hide your light”