Here’s a listener question:
Dan, I have a question for your podcast, which I listening to weekly and love. In Steve Siebold’s book, How Rich People Think, he says the middle class put their focus on saving and the world class put their focus on earning (chapter 1). For the last year I have kept an Excel spreadsheet with all my expenses so I would know how I spent my money that month.
- Am I putting my focus on the wrong thing? I think I’m operating out of fear instead of abundance, like the author mentions also. Could my Excel spreadsheet be contributing to my lack of focus on abundance? I would love any input from you if you have time on your podcast to address this. As always, I appreciate you, Joanne, Ashley and Nathan. You guys Rock! Sincerely, Sutton Parks
This is a great question. Two months ago, in November of 2012 I got a note from my accountant that I owed another $25,000 to the IRS. So did I think – How long would it take me to save that money based on the average income I already had coming in? No, instead, my immediate thought was – how could I earn $25K in addition to my normal income in a very short period of time? You may have seen me promote a one time coaching package called Living the Dream in 2013. I said I would work with only 13 people at $2013 each. The two sessions would have to be done between November 15th and December 15th. Because I’ve established trust with a broad audience those 13 spots were taken in less than 24 hours. Before the close of business three days later we had completed those transactions, putting $26,169 in my bank account.
I’ve always thought in terms like that. If I needed $1000 immediately I’d go to a local repo auction and buy a car – clean it up and sell it.
In 1988 after a disastrous business transaction I found I owed $430,000 to creditors and had absolutely no assets. Creditors had taken our house, cars and every asset we had. I could get a good job – save money and start the process of repayment. And I would never have seen the light of day again financially. I couldn’t live long enough to get out of debt. I was certainly employable – I had my Masters in Psychology and could expand my teaching at the university. So what if I made $60,000 and then paid $20,000 a year against my debts. That would have taken 21.5 years, not including interest accumulation. And we’d have been living like paupers all that time. Was that an attractive option – Not a chance!
I always think in terms of earning more, and expect abundance, not scarcity. Sure – Joanne and I use coupons when we go out to eat. Joanne shops at consignment stores and during sales – she’s very frugal. I buy our cars on eBay so we can drive them for a year, sell them and make money. ( I drove the one in the picture here for 4 years because I loved it – and then sold it for $600 less than I paid for it. So it cost me $150/yr for the fun I had.) We do turn off lights when we aren’t in the room and keep our thermostat at a reasonable temperature. But that has little to do with attaining wealth. That’s more just a matter of good stewardship – taking care of what we’re given responsibility for.
So yes, you are exactly right – my excitement and wealth accumulation comes from thinking up creative ways of earning more – not from driving across town to save $.03 a gallon gas.
I did address this in this podcast as well.
How are you working on building wealth?