How to Make Money by Doing What You Love

Sadie Nardini (photo by Tyler McCoy)

I make around half a million dollars a year...teaching yoga.

When most people find this out, they say the same thing, "I wish I could make that much doing what I love!" Well, I'm here to tell you how.

I didn't start out with anything special, besides a natural interest in helping others. I didn't have money, training, Internet savvy, or special favors. I did, however, have a corporate job I hated, and very little energy left to put toward my dreams.

It took me about a decade to achieve what I'm about to tell you, but allow me to save you a lot of time. If you dive into these 10 steps you'll be more financially abundant and turn your work hours into your life's work instead.

Get a notebook, and give each of the 10 steps some serious thought. Brainstorm about them and write down what action steps arise. This is your "Dream Weaving Manual," and you'll need it to guide you as you go.

1. Tear down the walls. When it comes to living your dreams, you can be your own best friend-or your worst enemy. There is no competition for your special path in life, only you getting in or out of your own way. Stop listening to any voice, outside or in, that tells you, "You can't." Start saying, "Watch me."

2. Get clear. How do you figure out what you're meant to do? Look at everything that feels expansive in your heart instead of small. Usually it's the stuff you do when you're trying to avoid your regular work. A client told me: "I'd like to get paid for surfing the Internet. If only!" Well, I, and a whole lot of others do, too (Hello, Perez Hilton). Make a list of how you'd love to spend your days and the things that light up your life, even if it seems like no one would ever want to purchase it. Of course they will. They buy Chia Pets, don't they?

3. Become the expert. Once you have more of a direction (and if you're not sure, just pick one, and see how it goes), start honing your craft. Research it, practice it, and let people know that you're the go-to person for all things whatever-you-do. If you have a quality creation, you're golden.

4. Don't wait. Procrastination is the death of many a dream. If you wait for the stars to align before you start, you'll be waiting forever. Even the tiniest steps lead you forward toward your dream. Make one of whatever you want to sell and then create more as you get orders. Send one email out. Make a phone call. Save five dollars. Note to self: size doesn't always matter. Beginning does.

5. DIY: Since most people wait for other people to give them opportunities, I want you to take control, and Do It Yourself. I don't follow dreams. I make them happen. Want a website? Don't spend 10 grand on one. Buy your techy friend a beer (or a few) to show you how to create a Wordpress site. I traded private yoga sessions with someone to shoot and design my first DVD. What do you have that people want? And what do they have that you need? Make it a give-give situation, and you both win.

6. Ask for what you're worth. There is an unfortunate epidemic amongst indie creators: they take the term 'starving artist' to heart. People take things more seriously which they perceive to have higher value. Your price tag should make you feel slightly giddy but still be within your target market's budget. I hold lots of sales but also put an abundant number on my more time-consuming and informative offerings. After all, I'm worth it...and so are you.

7. Know what people want. When looking for something to buy, your clients want two main things: to feel good and to get results. If you can make their lives easier and/or help them be happier in some way, then tell them how. The more you address these two very basic components of desire in any marketing you do, the more you'll attract interested clientele. Add value, and the money will follow.

8. Get more social. You could sell to five of your neighbors...or to five million. Creating a virtual community of followers and clients online is crucial. Do an Internet search, buy a book, or ask web-savvy friends, and figure out the basics of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. These are the top 4 big social media players. Make business, not personal, pages. Post amusing, inspiring, and practical things that are aligned with your brand and your products. Promote your Facebook page; for $2 a day, I went from 50,000 people reading my page to 500,000. That's a lot of people who love what I do and want to support it, often financially.

9. Be passive. I made $1000 during the time I was writing this, without doing anything. To be fair, I taught and filmed a five-day training a few months back. Actually, I didn't film it, I held a Facebook pre-sale, then, with that money, I paid a professional. Whatever you do or make, film it, post it, create 'Top 10 Tips' E-books about it, and market it virtually. Duplicate yourself and you'll become prosperous, not exhausted.

10. Make it your business. There are many personal merchant services and marketplaces, like eBay, Etsy, Amazon Advantage, PayPal, and Square that put the power to conduct commerce back into your hands.

So go on, write a book, for example, publish it, create a website and social media marketing for it, and sell it on Amazon. Or put a PayPal button on your website for anything you sell.

These are the Wild West days of entrepreneurship, no matter where you live or what your dream job is. The only question remains: will you take charge and create this next best life for yourself? Or not.

Sadie Nardini is yoga and wellness expert. She's the host of 'Rock Your Yoga' on the new network Veria Living TV and a consultant for Dr. Oz's Sharecare site. Her new book, The 21-Day Yoga Body: A Metabolic Makeover to Get You Fit, Fierce and Fabulous in 3 Weeks, is coming out with Random House in September 2013. Learn more about Sadie at SadieNardini.com.