Money is greed, it’s power, is selfishness. Money is envy, it’s corrupting. That’s a load of crap. People are greedy. People are selfish, envious, and corrupt. Money reflects the man. The more you have, the more generous you are or the greedier you get, depending on the man you are. Money isn’t a bad thing or a good thing, and it’s not bad to talk about it. It’s actually counterproductive as a man not to talk about it. Sure, it’s dangerous to worship it and lust after it, but it also isn’t fun to worry if you have enough of it or wonder where your next batch of it will come from.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve been financially reckless and irresponsible, and as a result I didn’t have anything to show for my early, relatively successful years in the workforce, and I’ve been an entrepreneur. Starting my own business forced me to change my habits and my actions. Money became a fuel that would help me grow my business.
Forget about the lifestyle enhancements that money can bring, when you have a goal, your money becomes an enabler that will help you reach that goal.
But money is more than just responsibility. Making it is an adventure. Using it for good is as well…
Money can give you options, it can give you freedom. More than anything, at least in my own life, money can be a measuring stick that will tell you how good you are at what you do, or how ineffective you are (one of many measuring sticks you can use). Great men see it’s value and it’s dangers. They use it as a source of motivation, but also as a means to carry out their greater visions. And it’s this greater vision that every man needs to have, of which, money is simply a bi-product.
As we move on in this article I’m going to neglect to talk about the negative aspects of money. We all know what they are. But that’s not who we are. What we will talk about, however, is the good it can bring into your life, and how your habits and level of discipline will make it both a more positive and more abundant aspect of your life.
Thus, freedom and our greater mission is our focus, today. Great leaders, CEOs, and visionaries aren’t concerned so much with plusses and minuses as they are with creating something that is far bigger than themselves. But so is the father, the mother, the good teacher, accountant, or athlete.
“Discipline is remembering what you want.” ~ David Campbell
Your actions and your habits will show the world what you want in life.
So, are they?
Do you want to be successful and happy (happiness will be covered in the next article)? If you genuinely do, then this article will show you how your actions are and aren’t aligning with your desires in life.
I’ve started doing something every day that I highly recommend you do on a daily basis as well, and it’s very applicable to the quote above. I don’t start each day by hitting the keyboard, the gym, or working on making my goal my reality, instead, I review and identify exactly what my goals are. I do this again before I go to bed.
The idea is simple, if I know exactly what I want in life, keeping these aspirations at the forefront of my thoughts and aspirations, I’ll be able to more easily choose to focus on things that will line up with my goals.
As you know, I also run my own business. Thus, I’m responsible for my own accountability, motivation, and success. This isn’t enough to simply depend on yourself for everything, so I’ve partnered up with a friend of mine – an entrepreneur as well. We get on the phone once a week, talk about our businesses, what we want to accomplish, and then hold each other accountable for what we say we’re going to accomplish during the week.
We talk about our weekly goals and what we’re going to do to accomplish these goals (things that must be checked off by the time we’re back on the phone the following week). We also talk about our long term goals and what we’re going to do within the next couple of months to accomplish those.
The purpose is the same as my review every morning: To maintain focus, to find clarity, and to be held accountable – this time by someone else, which is far more powerful than merely holding yourself accountable (very important point for your fitness and business goals, find other people to hold you accountable, don’t place it all on your own shoulders).
In short, we – and I, every morning and evening on my own – practice discipline. We remember what we want which makes discipline easier, but also more logical.
If you want to create a Legacy, and one with riches of all kinds in your life, discipline and focus and a monomaniacal obsession with your goal is necessary. Many will argue with this point saying that I’m taking it a bit too far, that you don’t really need to be this focused. My response: the ideal is what we’re focusing on, the absolute greatest you can be is what I’m concerned with.
If you want to, you can apply this quote to the stance I’m taking on focus and discipline:
If you aim for the moon and miss, at least you’ll land amongst the stars.
If you set out to incorporate the focus and the relentless pursuit that I’m talking about in this article, into your life, and fail, at least you’ll land somewhere far more successful than you would have otherwise.
Do You Really Want to Be Rich?
The adulterer claims he wants to be a more honorable man, yet he continues to cheat on his wife. What does he really want? Well, his actions suggest that he wants to bed other women besides his wife – he let’s his little head think for his big head. The same goes for the guy who wants to buy a house, yet chooses to spend his money frivolously every weekend on drinks and food. He may think he wants a house, but what he really wants is immediate gratification, not long-term satisfaction.
Alas, we come to the man with ambition. He has great dreams, lofty expectations for himself, for tomorrow. Today, however, he needs to finish the movie he’s watching, the video game he’s playing, or the nap he was just awoken from. His words and even his thoughts suggest that he’s ambitious, but his actions tell a very different story.
It’s our actions that are our reality. If you want to be free, you’ll incorporate the discipline into your life that’s necessary to attain said freedom.
What you want in life is what you’re doing right now.
Are you working, hustling, and creating – or are you lounging, relaxing, and pushing everything you claim you want in your life to tomorrow?
Throughout the article I’ll be giving you resources that have helped me both with my financial and work habits. Here are the first two:
A Deal Makers Dream – This is an awesome system that will teach you far more about earning and growing your wealth. It’s one of the most valuable courses I’ve taken.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich – by Ramit Sethi: More than any other book, this taught me what’s up with money. How to lower your debt, improve your credit rating, spend money to save money and make more money. Definitely worth a read.
Habits to incorporate into your day:
- Identify the things in your life that you don’t need to spend money on. Is coffee an unnecessary expense? For myself, I can get great work done at cafe’s. I enjoy the change of pace from my home office, so I don’t mind spending a few bucks buying coffee when I could easily just make some at home. The added energy of a new environment is worth the expense. Eating out, however, is useless.
- Set and review your to do list and your goals every morning and night. Where many of us get lost is in our waning focus. Keep focused by keeping your goals in mind, always.
- Practice being energetic. You have the capacity to increase your own energy. You also have the capacity for greater endurance within your job. Practice mental toughness and work on getting more stuff done with the time you have. As you push yourself, you’ll see that you can do far more than you originally thought.
Are you taking control over your future, and your legacy, or are you handing the reigns over to luck, your boss, your parents, and your government?
If you want to build a Legacy filled with riches of every kind (happiness, meaning, honor, wealth), you must take control of your actions and thoughts.
INVEST IN YOURSELF, don’t spend money on yourself.
Books and courses should be the main focuses of your spending. Vacations, dinners out, drinks, clothes, and partying should be a distant second.
Don’t give control over your life to other people. Don’t let them bring you down, tell you what you can’t do, or stop you before you start. Your Legacy is under your control, and no one else’s.
You have to come to this understanding before you can then take the necessary steps to gain control over your future and your present.
One of the best books I’ve read in regards to taking control of my own life, my thoughts, and what I’m capable of accomplishing is Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich. Read anything and everything by Napoleon Hill if you want to guarantee your quality of life, the meaning of your life, and the pride you feel in what you do for a living.
Habits to incorporate into your life:
- Be aware of your self-talk. You have an internal voice that will either encourage you or bring you down. Choose the former, and practice the former. Always be aware of your self talk and the internal battles that are being waged. Fight them. Win them.
- Unplug your TV. TV is useless except at night as a way of winding down – although I prefer books – and on Sundays when football is on, and on fight night. Don’t give in to the energy sucking activity that will, by correlation, also drain your pockets.
- Identify the ways you’re relinquishing control in your life. Are you letting others take control of your mood? Are you letting your boss temper your ambitions? Identification is the first step towards ratification. Begin now.
Your means is how you earn your freedom. However, I’m of the belief that your means should also be your freedom. Everyday I wake up excited for the day ahead. That’s how every human should live. Does that mean my day is filled doing exactly what I’d like to do moment by moment? No. I work up to 17 hours a day – with breaks dispersed throughout. And not all of the work I have to do is stuff I’m ecstatic about doing. But the overall mission is invigorating.
Your overall mission should be as well.
Sometimes that includes working shitty jobs to take care of your family. Sometimes this means starting a hobby on the side, a passion project, while you work your 8 hours a day at your regular job. And sometimes this means quitting your current means to give your ideal means a greater chance of succeeding.
It’s your unique road and you have to live it according to your values. What you can’t do, however, is complain about where you are, wish you were somewhere else, or talk a big game without taking big actions. No matter what you’re doing for your means, you need to be doing a great job at it, every profession is included under this umbrella.
For those of you who want to start a passion project and begin to earn money in your spare time with the dream of eventually quitting your job and making your passion project your main gig, start now. No matter what you’re passionate about in life, you can make money at it. No matter your hobby, you can monetize your enthusiasm for it if you’re willing to work hard.
Here are two of the best resources that have helped me turn my passion into my means:
Crush It! (book) by Gary Vaynerchuck
Habits to incorporate into your life:
- To start, spend 3 hours everyday on your passion project. No matter who you are or what your responsibilities are, you have 3 hours. Even if those 3 hours are from 10pm to 1am. Start with 3, then add to that total.
- Start paying attention to the things you gravitate towards and enjoy. They change over time. Spend more time doing these things and begin researching ways to monetize these passions.
- Start a blog talking about stuff you like to talk about, right now. You never know how it’s going to evolve and grow and take a new, exciting shape and form.
Everything up to this point has been building up to your habits. Excellence is a habit. It’s a “20 mile march” that you take every single day for the rest of your life. There are no days off. There are no deviations from the path you forge.
The measure of a man is his habits. Your habits are both who you are, and what you accomplish. They’re the measure of your ambition, your audacity, and your courage. Success and wealth aren’t a one-off shot. That’s why so many lottery winners go broke, because they haven’t developed the habits necessary to make the most out of the gift they’ve received.
We’ll cover this in the next article, but success is earned. There’s no way around it.
If success is handed to you, then it isn’t success, it’s a gift that you’re likely to squander and never appreciate. With that in mind, understand that all success is earned. Therefore, anyone embarking on a mission, including your competition, has to work their asses off in order to achieve the greatness they seek. You’re no different, and it all starts with your habits.
Are your actions aligning with your ambitions?
Here are the best resources I’ve found for creating the right habits in my life. Whether your goal is to build your ideal body, business, or lifestyle, each of these resources are necessary additions to your reading material.
Habit Forge (system) – A newsletter and system designed to help you forge all of the right habits in your life. Check this out and sign up to the newsletter.
The War of Art, Turning Pro, and Do the Work – all by Steven Pressfield: 3 of the most powerful books I’ve read. Buy all 3 and read them in the order I’ve written them down.
The Greatness Guide – by Robin Sharma – This was one of the first “self-help” books I read. And it played a major role in me breaking away from my 9-5 and successfully building the business and the lifestyle I wanted. Although both are still a work in progress, this book helped immensely.
Great by Choice (and his other publications) – by Jim Collins – I just started reading this book a few days ago, but I already see it’s a necessary addition to the list. Collin’s goes through – in great deal – what makes great CEO’s, companies, and leaders. Everyone should, and needs to, read this book.
- Start learning. Reading is your best friend on this road to success. Buy the books, take the courses, invest in yourself always, but rarely spend money on yourself. There will be time for that later.
What Do You Want?
Take time, now, to write down what you truly want in your life. I do this exercise a couple times a year just to make sure my vision of what I want is clear, and that I’m staying on the path that will get me there.
The exercise is simple.
Answer this question: If you had to relive one day over and over again, everyday, for the rest of eternity, what would it look like?
Be specific. What do you smell when you wake-up, where do you wake-up, who do you wake-up next to? Who are your customers, your tribe, your clients? What do you do for the first hour of your day and every hour until you hit the sack at night?
This isn’t the last day of your life. It’s not your bucket list confined to one 24-our increment. It’s that perfect day that you dream about. This is your goal. Your vision. Everything from here on out should be done to accomplish this ideal. To that end, move forward, work hard, and be Legendary.