If lack of money is a problem in your life…

If lack of money is a perceived problem in your life, what is the breakdown in your process?  In writing, we talk about
“The Machine” or “The Garden”, a dynamic system which, if maintained, maximizes your chance of reaching your goal.

“Write, finish what you write.  1000 words a day.   Read 10k a day.  Finish a story a week or every other week.  Polish.  Put them in the mail, keep them in the mail, start the cycle over again.   Maintain for 100 stories”

What is this designed to do?  Market research, improving the product, model excellence, learning discipline, sales, learning emotional control.  Do this and, over time, you will be the best YOU can be. How that ultimately shakes out is in the lap of the gods.  But you have to do 100% of what YOU are capable of before the universe will smile on you.

So with this in mind, the idea is that if that “machine” or “garden” is healthy, you are totally engaged in its maintenance, performing daily activities, and probably so busy you don’t have time for doubt.  You are in your daily “flow”: “I MUST perform these actions to be myself.”  (And by the way, there are similar progressions for fitness/health and emotional healing/finding love)

If you can identify your “broken link” you know what to concentrate on.  Needless to say, this process is NOT for someone who believes they cannot ethically exceed “average” results, such that a general economic downturn determines their personal potential: “the world must change before my results change.”  I know some very nice, smart people who believe this.  My own attitude is that if ANYONE is getting better results than me, starting from a similar position, that I can get better results.  Further, that if I can identify three people who are getting those better results, and extract their “critical path” of action, their “recipe” of shared positive behaviors, strategies, and emotional states, to the degree that those differ from the people getting worse results, if I adopt those actions, I will start getting those results.

Argue with this all you wish.   I’ve run my entire life this way, and have countless personal referents to this end, as well as having observed these results countless times in person, or through study.   Respectfully, this is my honest belief, and everything I speak comes from this perspective.  It is easy to find people who will agree that change or success is impossible, and you may need to go and find one of them.

I believe that it is hugely more typical for people to UNDERESTIMATE their own agency than OVER-ESTIMATE it.  With that in mind (and please: feel free to think I’m insane or deluded.  I don’t mind a bit.)

From that perspective, I’d love a little diagnostic of what might be “broken” if money is an issue.  The intent is to create a totally free program that will help people start with NOTHING, or little, and work their way out by either creating a main or side business.    If money is a problem, which of the following are your issues (and if there are other issues, please add a category)


Here are the categories of “machine/garden breakdown” along with the ways they might manifest if you were a writer:

  1. Stuck in a job that burns too much of your life for little reward.  (My job sucks all my creativity)

2.  Lack of clarity (what service or product to offer.  Goals.   “I don’t know what I want to write in terms of genre/format”)

3. Time and energy management (“no time to write”)

4. Fear (Writer’s block, won’t send it in, won’t finish)

5. Lack of external support  (my family/friends mock me)

6. Lack of perceived resources (I don’t have the education.  No one will want to buy what I write)

7. Lack of perceived opportunity (I don’t know where or how to sell my work)

8. Insufficient quality of product or service (I’m not good enough)

9. Lack of ability to manage emotions (I get distracted. Too many ideas.   I want to do EVERYTHING at the same time)

10. Lack of ability to market (can’t send it out, can’t find an agent, can’t reach a studio)

11. Lack of ability to sell (can’t handle rejection.   Won’t send work to a paying market)

12. Lack of ability to protect your finances (keep getting cheated. Can’t budget or save)

13. Lack of ability to maintain long-term perspective.  Inability to postpone gratification (can’t handle rejection.  100 stories sounds like forever.   No, I’ve never sold a story, but I’m writing this novel NOW!)

14.  Stress (Burnout, writer’s block, alcohol or drug use, overeating, lack of exercise/meditation)

Others?  And…if you can’t adapt these same ideas to fields beyond writing, you aren’t trying.  One way or another, they can apply to anything–remember, countless people stuck in dead-end jobs have created their own business.  If you have the time and resource to read these words, trust me–you have MORE resources than some of the people who have succeeded massively.

If you can help me understand the most common break-downs, I’ll know how to fine-tune the project, again, a totally free basic system for starting from nothing and building a job for yourself.

Thank you!





  1. Steve, are we looking to generalize this more so it would help anyone, not just writers? Because I think money would be a larger issue for lots of other sorts of businesses.
    So 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12.


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