“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…”, anonymous
Many famous people have repeated this quote, from Tony Robbins back to Mark Twain with Albert Einstein in the middle. It is without a doubt true when it comes to finances.
As newlyweds, Christie and I looked at our income, our debt, and lack of savings and said “we are smarter than this, as accounting grads, we should do better…” We, or rather I, had a major “stupid tax” to pay off, little to no savings, and stuck in a house I had bought to flip and was failing. I was ambitious and driven, but my cocky heart was crushed, and this is where God went to work first. We sought mentors and advisors that worked in the practical head issue, while speaking to the heart issue that would change our lives in the long run. As a result, our marriage grew stronger, we grew wiser, and over time our finances did too. Today, we still battle life changes that affect our finances. Sometimes we get it right, and at other times we miss the mark. But it is in this process that we have learned the rhythm of praying, dreaming, goal setting, planning, then working to reach those; taking life as it comes and trusting God along the way.
It is in this space of personal business development where we get practical. We put action to our convictions.
Therefore, ask yourself this question, “If nothing could stop you, what would you have financially in life?” I ask this question very hesitantly because this can open the floodgates of greed. For a moment, without greed, think about this question.
What are your big dreams? Why? Think long and hard about why you want to do this. Your why will carry you through the hard work. For example, you want your child to go to a Tier 1 university, why? You want to retire, why? Your why is unique to you, develop it. It is special.
Next, begin with the end in mind. Set your goals, then reverse engineer the steps to reach those goals. Prioritize each step, because if everything is important then nothing is important.
Goals will lead you to targets. A target is a subset of a goal. For example, you want to maintain your current lifestyle while reaching your goals of college for your children, and retirement for yourself. Your target is your current lifestyle; therefore, plan and set a budget to sustain this.
Always “aim small, miss small” meaning aim specifically and if you miss, you’ll be close to your target.
Don’t be afraid of failure, this will happen at times. Simply get off the canvas, readjust, and get back on track. Over time you will develop a rhythm and you will see yourself moving towards success.
Remember to make time for fun. You are blessed with this life, so live it.
Last, be generous. You are blessed to be a blessing to others. You are gifted and have something to share with people, so be generous with your time, money, and resources.
Ask yourself; what would my life look like if I lived like this?
Do you enjoy that picture?
What would need to change?
What’s stopping you?
Think about it…
This blog is an excerpt from a book that the team at Sound Financial is in the process of writing, “Failure & Success-The Story of Money.” Look for it soon.