Honing your most money-making instrument

Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes

Search as I might, I can’t find a YouTube video I watched years ago, so I won’t link to it or say with total certainly it was of Rabbi Daniel Lapin.*

But I’m 99 percent sure it was him.

Lapin is the author of “Thou Shall Prosper: The Ten Commandments for Making Money,” as well as “Business Secrets from the Bible.” In the video I can’t find, he (or another Rabbi) says that our voice is our most money-making instrument.

Having the goal and the aspiration to make more money
is really another way of saying having the goals and aspirations of
pleasing other human beings.


If it’s a secret from the Bible that our voices can make money, it’s not a revelation to me. In a recent story, I said that making mad money is about providing value to mad numbers of people who pay for what they get, even if just a bit. And this jibes with what Lapin teaches.

His first Commandment for making money is to Believe in the Dignity and Morality of Business. His second is to Extend the Network of your Connectedness to Many People.

And what a better way to do that than with your voice?

In 2009, a guy named Simon Sinek gave a TEDx talk that catapulted his career. Today, besides income he makes from books, consulting etc., his speaker fee range is “Above $100,000 USD.”

But it wasn’t that way before the world heard his voice, which rings with utmost confidence.

Hone your voice for making money by reading a good book out loud for 20 minutes per sitting—preferably 30 minutes—3X a week.

Again, I can’t find the video with this advice and don’t remember the Rabbi’s reasons clearly.

But here’s why I think the advice is wise, personally:

I’m not great at reading out loud.
But it’s a skill I plan to gain to give speeches.

Reading out loud lets me hear how I sound.
And whether the sound carries qualities I want to project.

Reading out loud helps me project my voice.
The quality of my voice is moot if it can’t be heard.

Reading out loud exercises my voice.
My voice needs training for endurance just like my body does.

Reading out loud helps me sound better-spoken.
And folks listen to well-spoken people, even when they’re full of…hot air (not to imply I am).

Given all I’ve just said, you might expect that I read out loud every day.

Uh, I don’t.

I tried making it a habit, but unlike tongue scraping and oil pulling it didn’t last for long, despite me being enthralled by what I was reading:

And if you will keep at it…

your eyes will be bright and steady and ready to look kindly into every other pair of eyes;

your mouth will be straight instead of drooping at the corners as in the old wailing days,

and your lips will be soft and sweet to kiss…

I’ll tell you what “it” is that has these effects another day.

(Yep, I’ma do you like that and make you wait until week after next.)

And because it’s a whooole nother story, …

I’m also gonna wait to tell you my mistake in trying to get in the habit of regularly reading out loud.

In three weeks. Promise.

But before I go, I’ll pass along that Simon Sinek sells a guide with public speaking tips.

If providing value from the stage is in your plan, I think the guide’s a good buy for $9 bucks (as of now).

*I stumbled on the video after all and it was of Rabbi Lapin. But I’m not in the mood to re-write this post in his words so I won’t. The important part is his advice to read out loud regularly. But, …

I should mention that Lapin said the mouth is probably our most money-making organ, not that our voice is our most money-making instrument. He added, by fluently expressing ourselves, we can get hired, persuade others and make sales or transactions. In other words, use our voices to make money.

P.S. I haven’t read either of Rabbi Lapin’s referenced books, but plan to read at least one of the two.

P.P.S. Here is the post on sweet lips to kiss, and here is were I describe my habit-making mistake.

Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for businesses in food, fashion and more. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter here.