I’ve heard it said over and over again that one of the greatest habits of successful people is that they are constantly learning; exposing themselves to the books, influences, and teachings of others. For several years I have been deliberately carving time out of my days to learn. I guess you could say I work part-time and I’m learning full-time. I don’t plan on ever changing that. The greatest part of my time and money is invested into improving my skills and adjusting my mindset/perspective. Recently, I learned about having a maker mindset. Basically learning the difference between making money and earning money.

I’ve found the simplest concepts are the most profound. You know, the ones you hear and brush off with a “yea, yea, I’ve heard that already” or “well, of course, I know that!” Last weekend I sat in a 3-day conference just blown away. Some of the most amazing people I have ever encountered were there. You probably have never heard of them, but let me say that they are impacting the world more than anyone I’ve read about or encountered.

As a result, I sat up and listened to every word, even if it sounded simplistic or “old news”. Finally, on the last day, I had my biggest “AHA!” moment. Someone made an offhand comment about making money vs. earning money. Suddenly, it was like hundreds of little lessons or ideas all came flying together for an incredible, revelatory moment! I had no idea there was a difference.


I might be a slow learner, but at least I never give up. I keep pressing in. I’m sure I’ve heard someone talk about making vs. earning before – or maybe I haven’t. Either way, it never registered with me until last weekend. There’s a limit to earning money. We work hard and spin our wheels, but with the mindset that someone else will compensate us based on what our perceived value is. This does not get us far.

On the other hand, when I understand that I have the ability to CREATE, that changes everything.


Making vs. earning doesn’t necessarily have to do with where I am – or where you are. When we work for someone else, we think we are limited in how much we get paid. That’s an earning mentality – the idea there’s a cap on our ability to earn more. A salary or wage is not all that a company pays…it’s all that a company pays YOU.

See the difference?

I’ve owned businesses for several years and have never really paid myself. Frankly, I could make more getting a minimum wage job. At first, it was because I had an earning mindset. I thought I didn’t deserve to make money. I wasn’t worthy enough to pay myself. This thinking was even reinforced by others. Additionally, my mindset limited how much money my business could bring in or what I charged for my services. I projected a limit to my worth and ability to “earn” an income.

Everything I have done up until this point was about working hard to EARN income. But with a slight shift in my mindset, I’m starting to understand that I can MAKE money (and not in the counterfeit-printing-machine type of way!)


Did you know that how a quarterback or baseball pitcher holds the angle of their ball makes all the difference? Sometimes a few centimeters is the difference between a ball being hit out of the stands and a pitcher throwing a perfect strikeout. A minor tweak is all it takes. Same with our mindset; a minor tweak results in a major difference.

A “maker” mindset realizes that the only thing limiting our income, opportunities, or anything else is ourselves. Not an employer, partner, family member, or circumstance. We have the ability to CREATE and MAKE.

I can take whatever I have in my hand and combine it with the right mindset and faith and it becomes something far greater than I can imagine. Examples of this fill the pages of the Bible.

Understanding this:

  • I look at what is in my hand and I give thanks for the creativity and ability to make money and generate creative ideas.
  • My thinking is switched to EXPECT and look for SAME DAY blessings and opportunities instead of thinking that SOMEDAY it will happen. (Remember, tomorrow never comes)
  • I allow God to give me bigger ideas outside of my comfort zone instead of making excuses.
  • Finally, I understand that when I MAKE something, it GENERATES MORE.


With an “earning” mindset, there is an end. You’re handed a check and you spend it. It’s gone. However, with a MAKER MINDSET, income is a cog in a wheel. You create and make an idea or system that will keep going.

  • The EARNER sees their income as the end result. The Maker sees income as a SEED or STEPPING STONE.
  • The EARNER starts a business to feed themselves or their family…for now.
  • The MAKER starts a business to be a catalyst for something else that will change their entire family tree, a community or even a nation.
  • A MAKER who is an employee takes their income and uses part of it as a SEED to grow MORE. They go out and MAKE more opportunities for themselves.
  • An EARNER waits for a promotion. A MAKER finds and creates the promotion.

An EARNER is always waiting while a MAKER is always searching and creating.

Finally, I understand that I don’t work hard while waiting for a “big break” to happen. Instead, I get up and think about what I’m going to MAKE of my day and I hunt for the opportunities to create my next level up.