Several years ago, two friends and I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas in July. (Insider tip: there are big bargains during the hot summer months.) Since both of them had been working on big writing projects, their cash flow wasn’t great.

Within a week, however, they had both secured the necessary funds. How did they do it?

No, neither of them held up a 7-11. Being self-employed, they had Option Banks, a collection of ways to generate cash flow when needed.

In the olden days when I worked for a fixed salary, I operated very differently than I do now in regard to goals. In fact, I was more experienced at wishful thinking than I was at achieving goals.

Should a new idea cross my mind, I would see if it fit into my budget. It hardly ever did, of course, unless it was very tiny. In those days, money—or the lack thereof—controlled my dreambuilding.

Needless to say, my dreams shrunk to almost nothing.

Self-employment changed all that. Now I decide what I really want. Then I figure out how to make it happen.

This is considerably more fun than my old system.

Here’s how it works.

A couple of months ago, my sister Nancy proposed that we celebrate her birthday next year with a trip to Provence. The moment her message arrived, I replied, “I’m in.” My other three siblings did the same.

I began putting this project together by checking my travel fund. Years ago, I had read a suggestion to create separate accounts for different projects. It was an idea I heartily embraced.

However, with no clear goal, my travel fund had been neglected. I could have accessed funds for the trip from elsewhere, but I decided it would be more fun to focus on fattening my designated account.

My first step was to offer a short sale on my teleclass audios. Within a few days, I had doubled my travel money.

Since I am highly motivated by visible progress, I came up with several other small projects that added funds.

Then the projects began coming to me. I got an invitation to do a seminar in London and scheduled it for the end of my trip to France.

My doctor recommended me for a medical study. The timing was perfect, the schedule was flexible, the project could help others. Being a human guinea pig would also bring in a third of my trip funds.

If you’ve never done so (or haven’t done so for awhile), I urge you to create your own project and find a new way to fund it. Pick something that really excites you, something you truly desire.

Start with something small, but meaningful.

Then get busy putting it together. The real reward in this is NOT the goal itself. The big prize is the confidence and creativity boost that comes with making things happen.

As Alan Cohen reminds us, “Money should be the servant of your visions, not their master.”