Create a Fortune: Lessons from a Social-Media Millionaire

Steve Pavlina has attracted more than 100-million visits to his website. Steve succeeds by giving away his best ideas for free, and he created one of the most popular personal development websites in the world without spending a dime on marketing or promotion.

I recently read his book Personal Development for Smart People and wanted to share with you a few highlights.


Money is a social credit. The more social value you give, the more value you create and can extract.

Your income is tied to the amount of social value your work provides, not personal value. If you want more money from your efforts, you need to create more social value.

It may be obvious but by social value, we mean things society is willing to pay for. You may value your art (a personal value) but what does it do for others?


Financial goals must reflect your deepest desires. There’s no meaning behind a wad full of cash. Goals need to empower you. Instead of focusing on getting a specific amount of money (say becoming a millionaire), aim for what you think this money will provide: freedom to travel, maybe a larger home, or time to spend with loved ones. This will resonate with your core and take the power away from money and, instead, give you power over it. You don’t need a specific amount of cash sitting in your 401K or printed on your monthly bank statement in order to achieve your goals. There are many ways to get what you truly want with little-to-no money. Pushing your kid on the swing or hiking in the woods with your dog doesn’t cost much.

Would anyone be deeply sad if you stopped doing the work you do? Would tears be shed if you went out of business? If no, then you might not be on the right path or digging deep enough in your work.


Contributing social value as a means for receiving money does not guarantee success. If you provide social value without tapping into your personal values, you won’t be inspired—you’ll be doing what you think you should be doing. On the other hand, if you try to satisfy your personal values without any real social value you get the starving artist. The solution is in the middle: Align your personal values with social ones.

If insufficient education is in your way, it’s up to you to fix it. And when you have, don’t stop developing your skills until you’re making meaningful contributions—and even then develop more.

Guide yourself by asking, “Does this path have a heart?” Have the courage to put humans first. Honor what your conscience says. If it feels wrong or even neutral, then it is wrong. Don’t go after soulless profits.

Instead of trying to get money, focus on creating and delivering value to others. (Remember, it needs to tie in with your personal values otherwise you’re doing what you think you should without the motivation.) When you tie these two together, that’s when the resources will truly flow. Don’t shoot for low-hanging fruit; go for the big opportunities. The larger ones will inspire and challenge you to grow.

As Steve says, “The purpose of business is to create and deliver value for the benefit of all, not to extract it at someone else’s expense.”


To feel financially secure, you may need to be at peace with the possibility of being penniless. Life is unpredictable. The best you can do is make intelligent choices, here and now, that are aligned with “truth, love, and power.” The irony is, letting go of your attachments, realizing you can accept the worst-case scenarios releases the energy you had locked up in fear, worry, and frustration and is able to flow into your work and create more income.

Do all you can to create and share your value with others. In doing so, you’ll create a richer and more abundant world.

If you’re interested in reading Steve’s book, you can get it here.


Here are my recommendations for products and services I believe can create effective results.

  1. Site Build-It. Build your own business on the web.
  2. Wayne Dyer’s You’ll See It When You Believe It. A great book to turn your life around.
  3. Steve Pavlina. Personal development for smart people.
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