When I find myself doing Q + A (which is often because I love it), I’m frequently asked: “How can I make more money?” My answer is always some variation on:

“If you want to make more money you have to add more value.”

But it’s not always as simple as that. Sometimes there’s a ceiling.

Take a single mom working full time to make ends meet.

There’s a ceiling on the amount of money she can make at her current company. They require a graduate degree in order to move beyond her current position. Paying tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for some letters after her name and the potential (not promise) of making a few more thousands per year doesn’t seem to add up. (Especially because she will have to take out loans that she’ll be paying back for years to get the advanced degree in the first place.)

This woman adds a TON of value in her life already:

  • She’s an amazing mom.
  • She’s great at her job.
  • She spreads sunshine wherever she goes.

So what can she do?

The reality is this: most of us want to make more money because it will allow us to have more choices.

We don’t want to sit around with hundreds of hundreds in our hands. While that might be fun for a bit, the novelty would be sure to wear off pretty darn soon.

We want money because we want freedom. @katenorthrup (Click to Tweet!)

We want to be able to do, have, and be the things we want. We may not want it all, but we want what we want.


Back to our single mom. If I were having a chat with her (which I have, in various forms) I would tell her this:

“If you want the ultimate luxury — choice — you have to have a business. (Or be independently wealthy but let’s assume that’s not the case for most of us.) Working for someone else will never allow you to make as much money as you want and have as much freedom as you want. It just won’t.”

Is working for someone else an amazing path for some people? Yes! And I’m all for it if it feels right to you. I had a woman write in on my Facebook page the other day that having a steady paycheck makes her feel free. That’s awesome. More power to you. Plus, not everyone is an entrepreneur. I get that and I honor it.

But when someone asks me how to make more money and they’re inside the box where someone else is going to be in charge of how much they can earn and how they can earn it, I often wind up breaking the bad news that the luxury of choice isn’t in there with them inside that box.


If you really want freedom, the best way I know to create it is to start a business.

Of course, starting just any business won’t necessarily guarantee freedom. There are freedom-based businesses and there are burnout-prone businesses. If you want true freedom, choose a model that will allow you to create a system that brings in money whether you’re working or not. These freedom models include businesses like; network marketing, membership sites, real estate investing, and selling digital products.

It will require putting in some good old tender love and care up front. You may be far underpaid for the hours you’re putting in when you get started. (But if you choose a business providing something that you love that adds value to others, you’ll be nourished in a lot of other ways. If that’s the case, a little less money at the beginning won’t matter as much to you.)

And when you do put in the necessary time, energy, and love, what you can create with your own business is limitless.

Unlimited freedom.

Unlimited creativity.

Unlimited income.

Unlimited value.

There are many paths to freedom. Meditation, travel, self-inquiry, and hanging with Mother Earth are a few I can think of. When you free yourself financially, though, you have more time and energy to devote to emotional and spiritual freedom. And these types of freedom are the freest of the free, in my opinion.


I’ve never heard of a job that offers limitlessness like running your own show. Let me know if you find one. And in the meantime, start a business.

Have you taken the leap to start your own business? Do you feel more free than before you had your own business? If so, why? If not, why not?

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Kate Northrup created financial freedom for herself at the age of twenty-eight through building a team of more than 1,000 wellness entrepreneurs in the network marketing industry. Her philosophy is that if you free yourself financially, you can be fully present to your purpose on the planet. She is also the author of Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want (Hay House, 2013). Kate and her work have been featured on The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, The Huffington Post, Refinery29.com, and in Glamour, Red, Prima Magazine, Soul & Spirit, and more. She continues to mentor entrepreneurs in creating financial freedom. Find out more and take her free quiz to find out what your relationship with money says about you at katenorthrup.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Image courtesy of Steven Depolo.