Being Successful: Is it all about the money?

I’ve never really been that interested in a job but I do have one. I have always been interested and passionate about God. I have been extremely interested in leadership and business ownership in the last 8 years. I also am passionate about food, yes I consider myself a foodie.  I have become obsessed with finding new sources of passive income. While I am being honest, I have also never made more then 13 dollars an hour at any job.  I have not graduated college and so in most ways I am one of the least successful people you have ever met.

Now let me tell you why I am the most successful person in the world. I married a beautiful woman and I have two small kids. I am debt free except for my house that I bought in 2009. I believe that being successful should not be measured solely by income because there are plenty of people who earn a lot more then I do but are foreclosing on their homes. They got confused and thought they also needed to buy a really nice new car. They thought that working 14 hours a day to keep the money rolling in was the only option.  They thought that those plastic cards that do not automatically come out of your bank account gave them the freedom to spend it till it was maxed out. Then the bills started piling up and they realized that “OOPS! We have no money.”

Am I a financial expert? No. Am I smart enough to know that you cannot spend more then you make? Yes. I think most people are but yet for some reason this simple concept does not compute.

America has a greed issue. We have developed an appetite for stuff; a consumer mentality plagues this country.  Just look at the government, they are spending more and more every year. We need to stop kidding ourselves! The bottom line is that if we do not get our insatiable need to spend under control we won’t have much of an America left.

The good news is that we live in America!  We are free to earn money however we want. We can work two jobs, or get a degree in a field that pays plenty of money.  We can leverage the Internet to earn extra income or we can get a loan to start a new business.  If you have a traditional job alone, let me encourage you find a side job that will allow you to reach your income goals faster. I don’t mean getting a part time job at Macdonald’s although if you need a job you shouldn’t think you are to good to work in fast food. Put your ego down and get to work.

Ok. So Now What?

First, we have to go on a diet. When I get serious about dieting the first thing I do is set a goal. Where do I want to be a year from now? How much weight can I reasonably expect to lose? In this case you need to work on a budget (budgets are living organisms so you might not get it perfect in all areas in the first couple of months but you should strive to get there as soon as possible)  Be honest with yourself about what you are spending in all areas and include everything.

Second, I purge my pantry and refrigerator of all the things that are bad for me.  In this case look around your house, I bet you there are quite a few things that you need to throw out. I recommend having a yard sale, if you have more then one television consider selling one. Get your kids involved and encourage them to think about if they really need all the clothes in their closet.  Do you own a treadmill? Is it collecting dust? Maybe you should start using it but if not sell it! Really try to get rid of all the excess, if you are really torn about an item get rid of it! Chances are that you will convince yourself you might use it again but the reality is you really won’t.

Third, make a pact. Something along the lines of how you will not spend beyond your means and that you will not succumb to the consumer mentality. Set up a plan on how you will purchase new items. Maybe there will be parameters that every item you buy will need to meet. Maybe you will wait two weeks before buying any items that you think you need. I cannot tell you how it will work for you because everyone is different.

Fourth, cut up the Credit cards! If you cannot be disciplined enough to pay them off before the end of the month then you should not temp fate! It is easy to out spend your total income per month in the blink of an eye if you have a credit card. If you are someone who believes you need a credit card for emergencies that is fine but lock it up in a safety deposit box or some place that you do not have easy access to it.

Fifth and finally idea on this subject keep these ideas fresh. It is easy to become complacent in our financial life and that is the moment you begin to slip and start bending the rules. No one is perfect although it would help if you were.

Good Luck!

Geoff

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