As promised, this week is Wealth Week. Like I said in my previous post, I’m not speaking about money as somebody who’s already made her millions and is rolling in it. However, I’d for certain say I’m well on my way to creating my financial freedom.
I’d like to point out an interesting fact: Napoleon Hill, author of the bestselling book, Think & Grow Rich, was not himself a wealthy man when he set out to write the book. Rather, he was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to discover the most important wealth practices by interviewing the biggest names of the time. To this day, Think & Grow Rich is regarded as one of the most influential books on financial success that there is out there, despite the fact that it was written in the 20s.
Anyway, my point is, before you can embark on a long-distance journey with a goal in mind (I’m hesitant to say “destination,” as the journey often is far more important), you have to clearly know what you want. In order to achieve levels of greatness, modeling is in order. What do I mean by modeling?
Most of us require a teacher to show us the correct techniques and encourage us to practice with said techniques — it’s the same with playing piano, learning to write or run. Before you write, you must first read, and before you run, you must walk. The teacher helps lower the learning curve. We model ourselves after the people who have accomplished what it is we want.
Breaking down the steps to mastery is what bridges the gap between where we are now and where we want to be.
So when it comes to money and our money habits, really the only difference between those who have it and those who don’t is the cumulative effect of daily money practices. Money is one of those seemingly taboo subjects that is a natural part of life, which people for whatever reason generally dislike bringing up. (At least, in a healthy way. Bitching about how much stuff costs — i.e., having a scarcity mindset — isn’t healthy money talk.)
But the problem is, though it’s something we avoid in daily conversation, it is something we have to address in daily life.
Unless you are a bazillionaire, don’t you think there’s something that the rich know about money that perhaps you don’t? If it really were just a matter of smarts, why were so many outrageously successful entrepreneurs (e.g., Bill Gates, Steve Jobs) university dropouts?
Why would someone who’s financially in the red take money advice from anyone who hadn’t at least done the work to figure out what will get them to financial freedom? Weirder yet, why would someone who has no solution to their own financial problems feel entitled to offering advice??
Last year, I attended a seminar that changed my life. I dragged Anthony to it, and neither of us regretted it. Not only did it lay bare to us our hidden beliefs about money, but it helped me transform them by the end of the weekend. And beliefs, if you haven’t spent the time to think about them, are exactly what fuels everything we do.
Beliefs lead to our thoughts, which then lead to our actions — which lead to our results.
I ended up leaving the Millionaire Mind Intensive feeling as though my first million was inevitable.
Sometimes when I bring up the topic of improving finances, I get this scary response:
“I think I already have a good handle on my money.”
And it’s invariably people whom I personally know have issues with their finances who say this! These are always the individuals who at one time or another have admitted to me that they either couldn’t afford something they wanted/needed, had trouble with overspending, or didn’t have any savings.
The number one thing you must be able to do if you want to change something in your life is to recognize there is a problem. Don’t let your ego fool you into believing everything is perfectly fine as-is, that living paycheck-to-paycheck and answering to someone else for the rest of your life doing something you may not even enjoy is good enough. How many people in your exact situation (or better?) have ended up totally screwed financially because they didn’t get educated on how to improve their situation?
Softening your problems (like saying, “Fast food isn’t so bad for you” when you’re supposedly on a mission to be healthier and lose weight, for example) gives you permission to stay where you are (or get worse). It’s pretty much a silent killer to any dream you may have, and unfortunately, you have to get real.
Don’t be afraid to say, even just to yourself, that you’d love to be able to splurge on that designer purse or on hiring a nanny to take care of the kids as you take a mini vacation over the weekend to recharge — and not have to give anything else up in order to do it.
As a recovering spender-avoider, I know that back when I was the type to just drop over $800 on a purse with the blink of an eye, I was sacrificing future financial security by just buying “things” rather than investing in something that would benefit me in the long run.
And as selfish as it may sound to pay a nanny to watch your children when you go on a weekend getaway, a lot of us forget that taking care of ourselves first allows us to become better parents, better friends, siblings, whatever. It’s the whole airplane practice of putting on your oxygen mask first — if you can’t even breathe, how can you effectively take care of someone else?
The point is, there is nothing wrong with feeding our souls with the occasional splurge or vacation, as long as we’ve already set up systems to ensure we can indeed afford to without it negatively impacting our long-term well being.
The so-easy-you-can-even-teach-your-kids-to-do-it money management system that the Millionaire Mind Intensive taught us is called the jar system. In putting this into practice, I’ve had some amazing aha moments, such as:
- By prioritizing each important area of your life, you automatically take care of your future as well as your current needs/wants by divvying everything as soon as money comes in.
- Not touching certain money that is yours is just as important as spending it. This sounds obvious to you savers out there, but the whole concept of having an account full of money that I’m only allowed to add to (rather than take away from) was as foreign to me as Greek.
- There’s only abundance. If you ever hear me say “I only have $50 right now,” it’s a lie. What I really mean is I’m only budgeted currently to spend $50 on whatever it is in question. Because the money management system teaches you to divvy all your income into separate categories, you never find yourself at your last penny. Perhaps I only have $50 to spend on play, but my financial freedom account holds much, much more. I’m just not allowed to touch it!
So in this Wealth Week series, I will discuss the teachings to T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (incidentally what the MMI is based on) — which I devoured recently. In my lengthy study of wealth creation, I also bring you advice from the likes of Tony Robbins, my friend and “light worker” Valerie Love, success author Brian Tracy, and probably other resources I’ve tapped into in this exploration.
If you’re a local Chicagoan, I highly recommend getting yourself registered for your own attendance at the upcoming Millionaire Mind Intensive Special Edition next month in Schaumburg. It’s three days that will drastically change your life (if you let it — more on that later).
I’ve signed up to volunteer at the event, so I hope to see you there! Next week, Anthony and I will board planes to Los Angeles to attend their stock trading intensive so we can begin investing our FFAs (financial freedom accounts) and diversifying our income. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a wealth empire. Tomorrow, I’ll address the three “wealth wounds” as described by Tony Robbins (whose approach to money mastery aligns very well with everything the MMI teaches, by the way). The guy came from practically nothing (more on his story tomorrow) and now owns an island, so he may have something to teach the rest of us!
Say you’re not necessarily looking to make millions or be financially free. Attending the seminar and/or reading Eker’s book will still teach you the tools you need to safeguard your future from being one of lack or of counting pennies. I’ll discuss the spirituality/money conflict this week, too, but for now, it’s something to think about.
To your financial freedom,