How to Make Money As An Entrepreneur

by Shana Lynn Yao
CEO | Business & Personal Success Strategist
Total Genius™


You start a business with the best intentions - ready to have your freedom, live "the dream", and MAKE MONEY. 

But something has gone wrong. You aren't making money - at least not the amount you want and need. You don't feel "free", as you find yourself spending all of your time online - trying to be "seen", trying to "prove your value" on Facebook, and trying to learn all of the things you don't seem to know about making money online.

Some term it the “entrepreneurial struggle”, but I see it more as a misunderstanding than mind boggling question.


Making Money as An Entrepreneur

I am rich. 

It’s a declaration that either feels empowering or it feels like a lie. Unfortunately, for most of the world, saying “I am rich” when they don’t actually feel it can be disempowering and depressing. According to the World Economic Forum almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. As an online entrepreneur, you see people making $10K, $20K and $100K and more in just one day. 

But while everyone seems so rich, why do you feel so poor? 

There is problem going on in the entrepreneurial world. People are starting businesses at a startling rate, and information is getting diluted and misunderstood. And the problem is, many people’s visions of what it takes to have a successful business is also becoming diluted and misunderstood. 

The truth is, what it takes to have a successful business varies for people, but at the core, it requires understanding some core principles – both for the business owner and the business practices.

So let’s get down to the REAL TRUTH about money, mindset, and your bank account.


“Money blocks” is a strange term I encountered when I started my business. With 25 years of business and marketing experience at high-level jobs, accepting money and getting paid for my knowledge was assumed. But when I entered the world of entrepreneurship, I fell into a world where people talked about “money blocks”, not charging what they were worth, and worst of all – giving their products and services away for free.

I was a bit horrified to discover that being surrounded by people talking about money blocks actually caused me to start thinking that I had a money blocks too! I started listening to audio that was supposed to “clear the money blocks” and watching videos on ways to reprogram my money-blocked brain.

After about 2 weeks of feeling blocked by money and thus not making money, I suddenly woke up. “I don’t have money blocks!”  My prices are actually at the high level as they should be, and I am perfectly fine with telling people why they should pay me that amount.

That was when I actually figured out that the term “money blocks” was a made up term. I don’t recall Napolean Hill – the author of the business bible “Think and Grow Rich” talking about having “money blocks”. 

Getting rid of these “money blocks” is not found in a book. In fact - trying to "find the answer" to removing these false money blocks only leads you farther from understanding what is really going on inside of your mind and bank account. 

Making money is actually about understanding the core fundamentals of having a business. It's about 3 distinct things that people need in order to make money. They involve you, another human being, and business strategies. I call these “The Money Commandments”: 

1. Recognize your value
2. Know what people are paying you for
3. Have the strategies to have a sustainable business

“Money blocks” then, are not the problem most people face when they aren’t making money. It’s their lack of understanding of those 3 things how to change them. It’s not about changing the way you think about money - money is not the prize. It’s changing the way you think about yourself, your skills, and your business.

To be clear - How do you make money as an entrepreneur? You STOP FOCUSING ON HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY.

YES – it’s true. Stop thinking, strategizing, and coming up with a brilliant idea to make money. Brace yourself – but no one is going to pay you to make money.

Yes, I said it and it’s true.

No one is going to pay you to make money. They pay you for the value you deliver.

Sadly, in an effort to “try to make money”, many entrepreneurs actually don’t make money. They stall. Feel stuck. And it’s all because they are trying to make money.



Entrepreneurs that make money - that make the money they want and need - understand that people don’t pay them to make money. They pay them for the value they deliver to them. They pay them for the solution to their problems that they offer. And they pay them for the value they are – the value they are by helping their ideal clients solve their urgent problem – whatever ways possible.

Yes, your ability to make money is not so much in the thing that you do, but in the urgent problem that you solve for people. It’s not made up in your head – it’s made up from the need and your ability to provide the solution.

Making money then is not something you “figure out”, it’s something you offer. And it comes out of what your skills, ability, knowledge, and life has led you to do.



Money loves people that produce value.

Money loves people that produce value - and that value has to solve an urgent problem. In order to make money, you need another human being - someone with REAL PROBLEMS, REAL EMOTIONS, and REAL LIVES to see that you have a solution to their problem.This means you, the business owner, must not think of your own needs, but of the needs of others. Having a business is not “How can I make money?” but rather “How can I help the potential client?”

Instead of the tireless struggle many entrepreneurs face – wracking their brains on how they can make money, what if you decided to think about what you have - what you know that solves an urgent problem for someone else - and how you can help someone with it?

This is what I all your GENIUS - a combination of your greatest strengths, talents, and life experience. As it turns out, using your life as a lesson, understanding that at the core of your business, your life, and making money - is about understanding the human condition. 



Making money is actually much deeper than just having something to sell. It's about understanding how to provide your highest value to someone else in such a form that they want to exchange money for it. It's about understanding human emotion, the art of telling your personal STORYand how to POSITION yourself as the solution to your ideal clients problems.

Stop creating lines in your forehead and struggling with fixing YOUR money woes, and instead start asking – how can I help someone else with my life fix their woes? How can I use my life and experience to solve an urgent problem? How can I stand in my value?

"Money loves people that produce value."


Increase Your Value, Your Worth, and Your Brand Positioning


Shana Yao is CEO and Founder of TOTAL GENIUS™, where she works with high achieving entrepreneurs to discover your genius - the combination of your expertise and life experience and build it into a profit generating business based on your purpose so you can make an impact with your mission. She is an award-winning Business and Personal Success Strategist with over 28 years of business and marketing experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive.

In her signature program Discover Your Genius, Shana helps her clients achieve discover and empower their genius within. Using her knowledge of neuroscience, neurolinguistic programming, positive psychology, emotional and positive intelligence, and high level business strategies, she works to develop her client’s unique vision by uncovering your mission based purpose.