Some Things that I Learned from Struggling Financially
It seems financial struggle is common amongst most people I meet these days. There was a time when I used to live pay to pay and it seemed that no matter what I earned it was never enough to get ahead, nor was it enough to stop the stress and worry about life and my future.
Over time I learned some powerful and essential lessons that helped me build a million-dollar business from zero dollars and credit card debt as well as building some powerful habits that keep my wealth growing.
Here are some of the keys.
(Note: These lessons will not work for everyone as most will never implement what they know and others will try to keep looking for the elusive get rich quick type miracle that many hope and dream of that rarely, if ever, work.)
1. Stop thinking money will make you happy
After working as a coach and associating for years with some of the country’s highest performers I have noticed that money and happiness have no correlation apart from that money enhances opportunity and choices. It also amplifies emotional states, worries, stress, fear etc. I have met many people who are financially abundant but are miserable in life, just as I have met many financially broke people who are also miserable in life. If you have clarity within your own life and a great mental attitude then money will enhance what you have just as if you are confused, stressed, worried what others think, fear being hurt and taken advantage of, then money will just amplify this also.
2. There is no such thing as financial freedom.
I learned quickly from those with financial abundance that there is no such thing as financial freedom. The idea of freedom is sold to those who feel trapped mentally. I learned that the more money you make, the more responsibilities you have and therefore you are more trapped (if that’s the way you look at it). The difference is that many see the lifestyle that wealth creates and think that it is simple and easy without seeing all the hard work, challenges, problems and responsibilities associated with creating greater wealth.
3. Your mindset and your ability to control your emotions will determine your ability to make wise financial decisions.
Global economies and money markets move up and down on a daily based on irrational reactions from investors. Emotions such as fear and greed drive daily money markets into emotional frenzies from people who are trying to get rich quick, those who want to look good and those who are reacting to fear of loss within a market. Wise investors know that emotion has no place in wealth creation. You need to create a system, set rules and follow the system and rules. If not you will just be another excited, desperate individual who are looking for their next financial high yet fear losing money. If you cannot control your mind and emotions you will be eaten alive in the pursuit of wealth and abundance.
4. Stop listening to emotional junkies that get high on telling others what to do yet don’t follow their own advice.
Daily and weekly I noted how many people seemed to have an idea or an opinion about wealth creation, what made someone wealthy, why they weren’t wealthy, what the markets were going to do etc. Many of those who seemed to give advice and have an opinion were in most cases those who didn’t have results in their own life and sometimes included family and friends.
If you listen to those who struggle or listen to those who choose to buy into sensationalised media then you too will continue to struggle and make irrational financial decisions or worst still, do nothing at all. Make sure you learn, listen and take time to understand how to create wealth from those who have it and can teach it in a way for you to understand.
5. Be responsible for your own wealth creation
Many have been taught to give their hard earned money over to those with financial “knowledge” to invest and grow in the hope that a highly skilled individual will be responsible and make the right financial decisions for you, your family and your future. This is crazy! If the global financial crisis taught us anything, it is that financial markets are sometimes overcomplicated to keep regular people from controlling their money. It also showed us that if you give your money to high risk taking gamblers in corporate suits, that are looking for their next big win then dodgy shit starts to happen and your money can be lost without repercussions. If you lose your own hard earned money then you learn a valuable lesson and what not to do in the future.
If someone else loses your money, looking for their next big win and they get paid even if they lose all of your money there is no repercussion, no learning and no responsibility. The only learning is do not allow others to make financial decisions with your hard earned money unless you know what you are doing and have done your research and understand the risks.
6. If you think and act like a consumer then you will never get ahead
Most people have created a fantasy that the more money they create the more money they can spend. This is why they struggle in the first place not only financially but mentally and emotionally. As one of my best friends Brad Smith (Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year said, “I would prefer to be rich than look rich and I would prefer to be happy than look happy.”
Most people spend their money trying to prove to others that they have their shit together in life posting pics of their new car, drinking Moet on someone else’s boat and buying new clothes just to prove their worth. This is the fast track to low self-worth, hating yourself and feeling like a fraud as you struggle to get through each week financially.
Consumers do not build wealth.
If you keep spending what you make or more than what you make, you will never get ahead.
It is important to make sure you put money aside each week before you spend money on bills and all the things that make you look like you have your shit together in life. By saving and investing part of what you have then eventually your lifestyle will have to adapt to the current way you structure your money. If you don’t you will continue to keep spending what you have and another pay rise will just cause you to spend more meaning now you are a rich looking broke person.
One of the greatest things I learned about wealth creation
Is that you need to keep learning, growing and understanding yourself. Self-mastery will not only allow you to grow your wealth but will allow you to grow yourself, your life and your enjoyment in life.
If money is just an amplifier of who you are and your good and bad habits in life then self-mastery is essential to creating greater wealth. Your bank balance and investment portfolio will be your guide as to how well you really know yourself or if you just think you know yourself.