In my last post, I suggested that financial success takes more than learning the how to of creating wealth. I challenged that our mindset often gets in the way of reaching our financial goals. I asked you to weigh in with your personal experiences. Thank you for your comments and emails – they will help me as I design the structure and content of my book.
As promised, I am following up by sharing several very specific factors that I attribute to my own personal finance success. In my opinion, there are three basic components that I think helped me to achieve my financial goals:
Honest Take inventory of your finances. List your assets and all of your debts. Track your spending. Quit sweeping what you don’t want to acknowledge under the rug because until you face it head on, your finances are unlikely to change.
Compassionate Be as kind to yourself as you are to those you love most dearly. Stop the blame games and guilt trips. Your net worth will grow faster when you stop wasting time with negative energy.
Courageous Change takes courage. Despite what we’re often told, we learn more from our successes than we do our failures. (I will share some very interesting research on this soon!) Break down your big financial goals into small steps. Build upon each small success — momentum is everything!
Committed Are you committed to getting out of debt? Reaching financial independence? Do a gut check. You have to want it bad enough to do everything it takes to make it happen. There is no “try” in commitment. Do or don’t do — which will it be?
Focused Keep your eye on the prize while you enjoy life’s little pleasures along the way. Keep a journal or organize a support group to help you keep on track.
Consistent Practice makes perfect so consistently practice!
Resourceful Think outside of your box. Learn to let all judgements go when you brainstorm and solutions will expose themselves.
Likable Emotional intelligence and social skills lead to better outcomes. Likable people are more likely to be promoted, to sell more to their customers, to better manage and lead groups. Be likable and you’ll find others are more willing to help you reach your goals
Patient Unless you inherit a fortune or win the lottery, you won’t get rich overnight. Be okay with this. If you keep doing what you need to be doing, your money life will get better and better. Eventually it will take astounding leaps and bounds. This is the magic of compound growth.
Healthy If you don’t take care of your body, someday it won’t take care of you. Don’t be rich and dead. ‘Nuff said!
Believe that your financial independence and security is more important than the house you live in, the car you drive, or the clothing you wear. Live life your way. Don’t go the way of the Joneses’.
Believe in, appreciate, and honor your interests and abilities. Do so and you will be driven by a passionate energy. This passion makes the journey as rewarding as the destination.
Believe that you deserve success and happiness. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Visualize the success you seek.
Believe in your ability to learn. Use both sides of your brain and exercise your creativity. Allow your curiosity to lead you as a lifelong learner.
Believe in yourself. Believe in you, even when others don’t.
Believe in solutions, not excuses. If you want it bad enough, you can find a way to make it happen. Focus on the things you can do, not on the things you can’t. Seek solutions to your problems and you will find them.
Create and implement a financial plan, compare your progress to this plan, and modify your plan as needed. There will be obstacles. Go around them. Keep your eye on the map, but remain flexible so you can take detours when needed.
Control your income by being the boss of you. Choosing your occupation is important. The majority of millionaires are entrepreneurs for a reason. Working for oneself means no limits on income.
Live below your means. Duh, right? But you need to DO it. Swap short-term, short-lived gratification for long-term benefits and a financial security.
Harness the power of compounding. Save a portion of income and allow ample time for compounding to perform it’s magic. Time is one of our most valuable assets so start right now. Yes, I mean today!
Take financial risks given the right return. Make well-considered investments and allocate your money in ways that are conducive to building sustainable wealth.
Push yourself past your comfort zone. Do you want a better job? Better pay? Your family to cooperate with the family budget? Have you asked for what you want? If not, what are you waiting for? Get in the habit of stretching your comfort zone. Start by asking for what you want.
Ask questions and keep an open mind so you can continue to grow. Read, find a mentor, arrange for an unpaid apprenticeship, seek advice from those who you see as successful. There is much to learn from the experience of others.
Don’t give up. We all fall off the wagon now and again. The key is to get right back on track. @FrugalDad tweeted this morning: “I love the first day of the month. It’s like having a giant Etch-A-Sketch. Shake your budget around & wipe the slate clean!”
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