On Saturday morning I woke up with a realization: it’s time to make some money from the product I’ve been building for the past two months. For a developer, it’s easy to bury your head in the sand and just code. However something clicked in me and I decided to set out on a more productive journey (you can read about that here.

Anyways, as I’ve been going down the path of my figuring out the next $100,000, I realized that it’s really critical that you first figure out how to make smaller amounts. The easiest path is to start freelancing and offering a skill that you’ve learned over the years. Charging by the hour is great but you quickly realize that you are inherently limited by your own time.

What if you could make a product or sell a service that didn’t require your own time? It’s what every entrepreneur dreams of but too often we immediately begin focusing on the big objectives or goals. Perhaps if I build another Instagram I can sell it for a mere $50 million, rather than $1 billion! Or maybe I can launch a virtual reality Kickstarter project (compete with Oculus).

Building businesses is more like a muscle that you strengthen over time. When was the last time you built something that people paid you thousands of dollars for? Fortunately, at my friend Andrew’s site (Mixergy) he has been interviewing entrepreneurs about their first $10,000. It’s brilliant because it shows you actionable steps you can take to get your product out the door.

It’s also great because it feels attainable. When you set out on a journey and the end goal is so far away, it can instantly become demotivating. “There’s no way I’m going to make it that far!”, you start thinking to yourself. Here’s the reality: there’s nothing more motivating than when somebody starts paying you for something you’ve built.

The best part of this is that you don’t even need a product built. Over the weekend I spoke to Josh Isaak who walked me through his sales process that he’s using to pre-sell $20,000 worth of a product that isn’t even built. You may be thinking, “How is that possible?!?” However after watching his process I was convinced about its value.

The bottom line is this: start figuring out ways to generate $1,000, then $10,000, and you’ll be well on your way to $1 million. The first few steps are the hardest and you get better at them with practice.