“I stopped thinking about what I needed and how I could get rich quick. I started thinking about what other people needed.” – Victor Pride
I didn’t start this site thinking I’d ever be writing about money. But this site is about empowerment in all areas of life, and let’s face it, you’re not someone who is healthy, wealthy, and wise without having a firm control of money.
Money is a representation of your mentality.
Materially it’s worthless, it’s just paper. However what it represents is freedom. If you think you’re truly free, try going anywhere or doing anything without money. Let me know how “free” you feel.
Money is a means to an end, it’s a vehicle to freedom.
That’s it. There’s no moral point to be made about it. It isn’t “the root of all evil” (the love of money is) but we aren’t in love with money, we are in love with what it provides – empowered life.
I’m not going to tell you to cut the starbucks out of your life and how if you saved it every year it’d compound into a million dollars in the market.
I’m not going to convince you of minimalism.
I’d rather argue the other direction and convince you to focus on GROWTH. Too many financial gurus preach frugality. And frugality is important because meaning and purpose cannot be found in material success. However, you can become so obsessed with “cutting” things from your life when your energies should be growing opportunities to have abundance.
Money does 2 things:
1. It helps you serve people closely, not behind the layers of a corporation (nothing wrong with that, but you get a closer connection to those you serve).
2. It gives you freedom to control your fate.
I’m not going to philosophize about money, I’m going to give you exactly what I think you need to start making a better life for yourself. I’ll give you what the books and Talking Heads leave out with some hard stats.
69% of people don’t have 1,000 dollars saved. Over Half of Baby boomers aren’t even close to being ready for retirement. It’s a scary state of affairs when the wealthiest country in the world “feels” like it’s close to broke despite the fact that most of us own more than 1 TV.
Point 1: Most people have a consuming problem, and lack a Producing mindset.
Start looking at yourself and thinking as a producer. Produce more than you consume. If you live off of 3,000 dollars of consumption a month, you should be producing more than that.
Producers don’t spend on trends, they’re busy inventing the trends. All the people buying their vehicles and purses to impress people they don’t even like are playing their game.
Point 2: To make more you need skills, skills pay bills. If you are starting with nothing, you need to get skilled up. The more skills you have the more value you can offer. If you’re good at something, really good, don’t do it for free.
Point 3: If you have debt, get rid of it. Debt is slavery, most people have it, and 1/3 of people don’t see themselves paying it off in their lifetime. The borrower is slave to the lender.
Point 4: Aim to make 2-3 times what you spend, at least. Put away 3-6 months of income in savings. (I have saved a full years worth because my profession can have big fluctuations and I’m naturally conservative and desire a big safety net)
After that, any extra income needs to go to investments. Which brings me too…
Point 5: Investments. Your house and vehicle are NOT investments. Sorry, they aren’t, I don’t care how much equity you have. Your home is for living, that’s it, it’s not liquid cash. Unfortunately for my generation, everyone will tell you to go with the Stock Market, and I do that as well. There isn’t many vehicle options, but the Stock Market is the slowlane to wealth. It’s better than nothing, but recognize it is the slowlane. A lot of “shoulds” have to happen for you to get that wealth at the end of the road.
Option 2: is one everyone should be doing, investing in yourself. Money spent on yourself should be to increase your value which should have you earning more. This is money spent on your learning, your business, your knowledge, etc.
This option is basically funneling your money in your MONEY MAKING MACHINE, yourself, your business, getting skilled up in your field, etc.
There’s going to be many ways to make money as technology increases, you need to stay on top of learning what people are doing.
Option 3: Real Estate. This isn’t my expertise, but some people would rather go this route in full force because the returns can SOMETIMES be greater than the market if you know your “ish.” It’s not mine. But it’s the one vehicle millennials are turning too in droves for quick cash.
I recommend YOU INCORPORATE. You are the CEO of your life. You are your own business, it doesn’t matter if you work for someone. Adopts this mentality EVEN if you have a job and work for someone else. Operating this way will have you growing your freedom and cutting dependency. You don’t want to be a slave to anything, the tax man, THE man, your material possessions, etc. If you got hit by a medical emergency you want to be ready… because it will happen as you get older. There’s a million ways to be YOU INC. – start a blog, start a youtube series talking about your passions and interest, start a side hustle, a podcast, a snow-cone stand, it doesn’t matter.
Love to work. Learning to love to work can save your soul. If you’re doing work you don’t love. Quit immediately. Seriously, what are you doing… quit. If you can’t quit, they have the “golden handcuffs” on you. That means the payment is too great and you’re trapped by the need of your possessions and the paycheck they’re giving you to make it all work. You’ll have to take two steps back to go three forward.
There’s no reason to not love to work. What’s the alternative? Getting sucked into the hyper-reality vortex that is tv shows, becoming a beta-male sports fan with another mans name on your back, and regretting that monday is here again?
There is a big reason why welfare bums are miserable and need to self medicate, they don’t work. When you don’t work you have no desire for life. A day off is good when earned, but when it isn’t earned your soul should yearn to be doing more, this is a good thing.
If you have a “I will make it or die trying” mentality, you will make it.
Point 6: There’s no reason to be poor.
Let me define poor really quickly by telling you what it’s not.. if you own a flat screen, a iphone, have internet access… you are NOT poor.
If you have been born into poverty, it is your choice to stay there. We live in an age where even the 30-40K a year blue collar worker can retire okay, and live well in his later years IF he lives frugally and sensibly. You may not have room for a lot of luxury but you can retire decent, saving 15-20% and investing it while living below your means. This is possible in America. However it is not possible if you make bad decisions, marry a crazy woman, have kids out of wedlock, become alcoholic, or become a consumerist vampire in an attempt to bring meaning to your life.
The fact is many people would rather live in an “appearance” of wealth instead of doing what it takes to be wealthy.
Many pro athletes and celebs have made MILLIONS and gone broke because there EXPENDITURE was more than there INCOME, over time those big paychecks stopped being so big but the cost of the lavish lifestyle swallowed them whole, making them bankrupt in the future.
Point 7: Add Value in Everything you Do
This is the main thing. Don’t think about money, it doesn’t exist. Only VALUE exist. The more creative and urgent ways you can give it, the more you’ll find money coming into your life. The more aggressive you can be about giving value, the more you won’t have to worry.
Focus on tasks that yield the greatest reward:
Just like the compound exercises produce the most result. The tasks of your days that have the most bang for your buck should get primary focus. Focus on your big income earners. Don’t get bogged down in small tasks. Don’t become a email slave where you waste have your day playing “call and response” to people so that you never get your activities done that’ll grow your wealth.
Point 8: Social Media
If you’re serious about making more money. Social media use should be there to assist this, or you should limit this from your life. There’s about 10 arguments I could make to get ride of social media altogether. It’s a narcissism machine or self gratification. If it isn’t assisting your business or adding potential to money making in some way – limit it like you limit entertainment.
Will power is limited, it is a energy source in a gas tank, if you spend it arguing with people or browsing nonsense, you won’t have any for what matters.
Point 9: your List
All business men and woman and marketers know this – the List is king. The list is your people, who you know. Your net worth is your network. People are everything and when you give value you want to ensure it’s going to the important people on your list and that you are expanding your list through the year. You give value to them because you love them, not to get anything in return.
A servant heart should motivate your drive to work, if you’re coming from a place of selfishness, your List will know it from a mile away.
Point 10: Max Out Retirement
Plain and simple. Unless you have a dialed in road to riches plan you are committed too, do everything you can to max out a Roth as early as you can. The sooner you start the better, you cannot make up for lost time.
For the Single Man:
– quickly get 1,000 put away for emergency, then 3-6 months savings, then start investing.
– If you DO decide to get married, marry a GOOD BUSINESS PARTNER, look at your wife through this lens. Yes love can be involved, but do not let anything emotional ride your decision making. A GREAT wife is a GREAT partner – period. A marriage will be the greatest business partnership you ever form and you must choose wisely. Together you will do MANY MORE amazing things than you could do on your own, if you choose wisely
– Do not get married until you have an established financial life to BRING the woman into. Your life should be something special, you should have trajectory, you don’t have to be perfect or have it all together. But a man should have a kingdom and an adventure that his woman can be apart of. If you aren’t bringing her into your world, you will crumble into hers, and you will pose a lack of strength that will make it harder to embark on where you want to go. Get established first and you’ll fight off more obstacles and demons together as they come.
Point 11: Avoid Hyper-Realities
Hyper Realities are things that absorb you and give you a false sense of meaning and purpose, but the truth is they’re superficial. We are made for real life adventures, kingdoms to be built and protect, however we get sucked into the Matrix of hyper realities.
What are hyper realities?
– Politics. Political drama can be intensely enticing in the “us” vs “them” way and it has an intense way of gratifying the ego. The reality is little of what goes on politically will have any impact in the day to day. I say this as someone who studies culture and politics.
-Sports. Sports are the biggest form of self masturbation. Next to porn, it is watching others do things you wish you yourself would be doing. People will rattle off stats about there sportsteam but don’t put forth the same effort in their own body and learning new skills to make themselves more impressive. It’s living through a conduit.
– Porn. Porn is watching another man do what you wish you were doing, it trains your brain to be an observer of life. Become a sex god. Don’t watch other people.
– TV. I love a good epic. However this is another way to watch the adventure that should be your life.
Recommended Money Books:
– MJ Demarco’s Millionare Fastlane (for the entrepreneur)
-Tony Robbins Money Master the Game (if you are going to invest, read this)
-Dot Com Secrets (for those interested in online biz)
– Dave Ramesy Total Money Makeover (for basic financial living)
There’s plenty more I can add and perhaps I’ll come back to this for updates later. The night is late and I must get some glorious sleep.