Before you decide to hate me, understand I know what it’s like to be broke, and worse than being broke I know what it’s like to just barely get by month after month.
Two hundred and fifty million people in the wealthiest country on the planet are barely making it. I am not talking about the people on food stamps or unemployment, I am talking about people making an average of $48,000 to $68,000 annually. Consider that almost 75 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
In 2013, a person making $63,000 (before taxes) spent an average of $49,000 to $51,000 on housing, transportation, food, insurance, entertainment, childcare, health care and other expenditures. Take 20 percent out of that formula for taxes and you have no money left over for savings or investments.
You are having money issues because you have money issues. Here are a few of them:
1. Living with mommy
Most Americans live within 25 miles of their mothers. If you want to make real money, it’s time to disconnect from mommy and all things familiar. It is time to move away and go where there is opportunity. You aren’t saving money by still living at your parent’s house — you are missing opportunities. My life didn’t change until I moved away from my hometown at the age of 29.
2. Economic illiteracy
Most people are economically illiterate. People are going to college and don’t even understand basic economic terms. Economy is defined as household management or management of resources. Manage means to be in charge and succeed in surviving, especially against heavy odds. To manage your own economy means you have to create money by playing offense in the marketplace.
3. The budget blockhead mindset
Spending all of your time trying to budget money is a way to guarantee you never have money. Your daddy told you, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” wrong, it’s just a penny. Having a budget blockhead mindset means you are playing defense, not offense.
4. Politicians, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus
This idea that a politician can save the middle class (you) has been tried, tested, promised and failed for the last 50 years. Almost every economic indicator has worsened. If politicians could save the middle class they would have already.
5. Financial apathy
People have become apathetic regarding their finances and quit looking at it. You can’t have money if you don’t pay attention to it. Admit to where you are financially and start paying attention to your money. Acting like there is no problem doesn’t make the problem go away, it makes it worse. My wife and I meet to discuss the topic of money every week regardless of our financial situation.
6. Entitlement issues
The unwillingness to do the jobs no one else wants is why people don’t have money. The entitlement problem is not just for the lower economic level, but hits all the way to the top. Everyone wants to be the director, CEO, the manager, the writer — well, guess what? Someone has to do the selling.
7. Poverty comparisons
The idea that your financial situation is better off than someone that is starving does not make your financial situation any better. Those just getting by try to make sense and justify their financial situations by finding others that are worse off. That’s financial suicide.
8. Nine-to-five bitching
I work 95 hours a week and most people complain about nine-to-five schedules. If you aren’t working and thinking about how to get ahead before during and after work, you aren’t getting ahead. I have never known anyone that was financially successful that wasn’t all in all the time.
If your money situation sucks you must admit it. The first step to any makeover or recovery is to admit you have a problem and the second step is to quit blaming others, depending on others to fix it and trying to make sense of it. Confront where you are, put your attention on income, not saving, be willing to do whatever job for however long to fix your situation and make it your duty, obligation and responsibility to get your financial life in order.
Money isn’t the most important thing. It won’t make you happy. But neither of those truths makes it OK for you to not have money to take care of your family and create the life you want.
So what can you do?
When profits are down business owners tend to dwell on formulating the next big idea, a new marketing strategy, and, of course, on what they are doing wrong. But there are other areas that many people don’t think of exploring -- or avoid all together. These are the emotional blocks to money, success and happiness.
Money, or the lack of, stimulates fear. Survival instincts are threatened and negative emotions that may have been stored deep inside will often surface, only to aggravate the situation and lessen the ability to succeed.
Let’s take a look at three areas that you can explore to free yourself of the emotional barriers that will keep you from the success and profits that you deserve.
Forgiveness – If you are an entrepreneur then you have most likely suffered your share of financial trauma. After all, entrepreneurs are risk takers and money is one of the first things we put at risk when we have an idea that we belief in. Money loss is a trauma that we tend to minimize because it’s ‘just money’. But financial security is an important value to nearly everyone because it dictates our ability to survive in this world. For men, who our ancestors labeled as the providers, financial security is often a very important core value. Therefore, losing money can affect them to the core and the guilt, shame and worry may remain embedded within them for a very long time.
It’s time to forgive yourself. Plain and simple; being an entrepreneur isn’t always a choice – it’s who you are. Taking risk is a part of the learning and the experience that takes you toward success. If that means that you ‘fail’ from time to time, so be it. Releasing this emotion and pain is critical to your future success. Guilt and shame create a heavy burden, how can you let it go?
Consider some less conventional techniques like hypnosis or the emotional freedom techniques. Sometimes talking about it and rationalizing it isn’t enough. Take another risk and find a new way to let go so that you can let success into your life.
Feeling – If you can’t feel wealth, you won’t attract wealth. How much do you believe that you were born to achieve success? Can you close your eyes and feel, smell – truly experience wealth? This is something to practice on a daily basis. The more you believe it and experience it, the more your behavior and thinking will shift to allow for wealth. Begin with only 30-60 seconds of imagining your life of success. Create a snapshot of your successful future and practice stepping into the feeling of it. You might notice a swelling of the heart, the sensation of excitement and expectation, or a sense of overall peace. Hold this positive feeling in place and get used to it. Increase the time of your visualization as you become more adept at it. Before long you will begin to notice opportunities coming into your life or things may just begin falling into place for you. It’s a simple attitude adjustment that will make a difference.
Fearlessness – Fear has a paralyzing effect on our creativity and ability to act. If you are living in fear you are less likely to have a clear picture of your next action steps. You may find that procrastination and overwhelm are your daily companions and at the end of the day it seems nothing notable has been achieved. Sound familiar? It’s time to let go of the fear and step into your fearless state. I’m not suggesting that you become reckless, but that you find creative ways to rectify your situation and act from a collected, rational, and confident place.
If money is an issue you’ve probably run circles in your mind trying to think of solutions but haven’t acted on any of them. Is it time for a part time job? This doesn’t mean you are quitting your dream, just allowing it to become a bit more accessible. Do you have another skill that you can put to work while you build your business? Can you market to past customers to create a boost in sales? Think outside of the box and act on your solution.
Do you have a fear of success or failure? If you perceive that there are any negative consequences to success it’s time to explore this limiting belief. Again, try something that may be considered ‘unconventional’ to explore if these fears exist so that you can let them go. Ask someone who you see as successful what they’ve done to combat their fears – believe me, they’ve had them too! And try stepping out of the box to experience a different type of risk and reignite your energy. Is there something adventurous that you’ve always wanted to try but never have? What will ‘shake it up’ a bit to unearth your courage and commitment to moving forward? How can you break the pattern and step into your fearless state?
These may sound like simple steps, but this type of change is a tall order. Surround yourself with support as you make create change; a coach, mentor and mastermind group are all a tremendous source of support and fresh ideas.
IN ORDER TO WIN YOU MUST BE WILLING TO KNOCK OFF EVERY DOUBT
Have you found your way to a ‘Million Dollar Mindset?’ Share your experience and tips with us here!