One of the things that makes me happiest in life, is not making money, but living life how I want to. Money can make it easier to live life how you want to, but you can’t let the pursuit of money ruin the rest of your life. I think it is important that we remember money is not the ultimate goal, but a means to what we really want. We are all different as well, some people may not need much money to live their perfect life, while others may need a lot of it! To live life to the fullest, you have to be aware of how you are spending your time and maximizing the time you have. It takes a lot of effort to make sure you are living how you want to be living. It is really easy to get too busy, or forget how little time we have. When you ask really successful people what they would have done different at the end of their lives, they usually say they should have enjoyed life more, not just chased the money. That doesn’t mean it is bad to chase money, it doesn’t mean you can’t be really happy and really rich, but I think you must focus on what that money represents, not just how much you have.
One of the biggest “aha” moments I had in life, was when I listed what I want in life regardless of what it costs. I stopped limiting what I wanted in life, based on what I thought I was capable of. I then had to figure out how I was going to achieve the things I wanted, even though I was nowhere close to making the money that was required to buy those things. Once I had the belief that I could get those things, the way I worked and saw life changed completely. My thought process about business, work and life changed. At the same time I was driven to succeed, which takes time. While I love to make money, I have to remind myself that it is not all about making money, but what money gives me. Money can give me freedom, peace of mind, a Lamborghini, health and a happy family. Money can also take away health, make your family very unhappy, and be harmful if you become obsessed with it and sacrifice too much to get it.
To learn how to use mindset and attitude to make yourself more successful, check out: How to Change Your Mindset to Achieve Huge Success: Why your attitude and daily habits have more to do with making more money and having more freedom than anything else. A 200 page book available as an eBook or paperback on Amazon.
Are you letting society tell you what you want in life?
Before I get into how much money is enough, I want to talk about making money briefly. I believe the first step in truly being happy and living life to its fullest, is learning what you really want in life. Society and the news is full of negative talk. Whether it is politics, celebrities, world events, crime or anything from the media, it is usually bad. You would think we live in one of the most dangerous times in society with all the terrorism and mass shootings going on. We actually live in one of the safest times in the history of the world, and if you live in the US, you most likely have a pretty awesome life.
The media also loves a great story on how the rich and famous have fallen or are not nice people. It would be easy to think everyone with money is greedy, takes advantage of people and work 100 hours a week. There are studies that show money does not equal happiness, which lead many people to convince themselves being rich is bad. Although more recent studies, show that money does equal happiness and the more of it you have, the happier you are.
Being frugal is also the “in thing” right now. The less money you spend on things the better, no matter how much time it takes. There are thousands of websites about being frugal, and even some very popular sites that convince people anyone who isn’t frugal is evil. My point is, if you listen to enough people and stop thinking and feeling yourself, you will mask what you really want in life. Or worse, you will justify to yourself that you should now want what you really want, because being rich is bad or will make you a bad person. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you need to be happy. Figure it our for yourself and then figure out how to get it.
Is being frugal bad?
I want to make a very important point before moving on. Being frugal is not always a bad thing, but you can’t let it rule your life. I think saving, and investing as much as you can is the best way to get ahead. But your end goal cannot be to save money until you die. You also have to decide if it is worth it, to spend 8 hours going through coupons to save $15 at the store. Our time is worth money, and saving at all costs is not worth it. Saving and being frugal should get your journey started, not be the end goal.
Do not use being frugal or thinking the rich are evil, as an excuse not to chase your dreams. The biggest reason most people do not chase their dreams, is they don’t think they can achieve them. That is why I stopped wanting a Lamborghini in my 20’s. I didn’t think I could ever have one and blocked out the dream of wanting one, because I did not want to be disappointed. That was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. If I give up on a dream, there is no way I will achieve it. If I don’t give up and I believe I can reach that dream, I might actually do it. I would much rather try to get something and fail, knowing I gave it my all, than to never try and wonder what if.
How much money is enough?
I am not going to tell you what your dreams should be, because we are all different. Some people don’t care about cars at all, some people want cars to be their life. They collect, they race, they modify, they sell, and they get involved with cars however they can. For others a passion may be art, houses, travel, writing, educating or charity. Whatever your dream is, do not block it because you are scared of failing or are worried what society will think of you. You should not limit yourself, because of what you think is realistic either. None of us know what will happen in the future, so don’t assume you will never get it! How much money you need, will depend on how big your dreams are and how much they cost. Some people want to be billionaires so they can change the world.
There is a lot more to being successful, than simply deciding what you want in life. I have many more articles on those subjects and how to actually make money. When you start to make money, or have made a ton of money, how do you know when to slow down and enjoy life?
First off, I do not think there is a rule that says you cannot enjoy life while making a lot of money. If you do what you love for a job, it does not feel like work. If you have a business set up correctly, you don’t have to work 80 or 100 hours a week. I have multiple businesses that I run, which make me more than $100,000 a year. I talk to people all the time who tell me they never want to be me, because they do not want to work all the time. Guess what? I work about 40 hours a week. I took a ten-day vacation last month to Florida, where I did maybe 10 hours of work, which included looking at houses in the area (that was a lot of fun for me). Could I make more money faster if I worked more hours? Maybe working more would make me more money, but I also come up with some of my best ideas when I am not working. I also have 4 year-old twins and an awesome wife, who I love spending time with. If I don’t spend time with them now, I will never get that time back. I have heard other entrepreneurs say, you have to focus all your time and effort on your business and you cannot have a balanced life. I don’t buy that.
My kids are awesome and every year they get older and change a lot. There is no way I can ever go back in time and see them at the age they are now, or last year or the year before. It is not worth it to me, to say I can sacrifice a few more years working 80 hours a week so that my kids have a better life later on. I have no idea what the future will be like or that 80 hours a week will create a better life. My plan to is to make as much time for my family and kids now.
There is still a lot I want to accomplish in life and I am by no means done growing. It is definitely possible to grow a business, make a lot of money and live a fulfilling and rewarding life. You have to set up your business correctly, be willing to hire people to help you, and not lose focus on what is important.
How am I constantly changing things and simplifying?
In the beginning, it may take 80 hours a week or more to get things set up and working right, but you have to make sure that is not your entire life. You need to have a goal for your business or investing. If you are going to work 80 hours a week, what goal do you have to reach before you change things? When will you hire help? Is your business completely depending on you working it? I worked 80 hours a week, for a short time when REO was booming. I quickly changed things by hiring an assistant, because I knew I was not happy.
I still talk to my coach from Jack Canfield Coaching, which I completed almost three years ago. In 2016 I have started to feel things were getting a little too crazy for me. I was answering a lot of email, which takes up so much time. I am doing webinars, writing books, the podcast, doing coaching calls, and being interviewed (I have been on Realor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Huffington Post and other sites recently). I feel like I was getting too scattered in my work life, and it started to affect my time for other things as well. I told my coach all of this and he said, I need to make sure I am delegating more and focusing on the things that I love to do and are the most profitable. He also said, I should be able to go on vacation for 6 months, and come back to work like nothing changed.
If you see some changes on the site, it may be because I simply don’t have time to do everything myself. I am basing what I will do, based on what I love to do.
- I love to write. Even after three years and 450 articles, I still like to write for some reason. I also love writing books.
- I love interviewing people. I love doing the podcast interviews, because I learn as much as anyone. It is also great to network with successful people.
- I love doing videos. I love filming before and after videos of my flips and rentals. I like doing the videos for my coaching products, but it is not quite as much fun.
- I love helping people. I love creating articles and books that help people invest better or live life better. I like coaching, but that is tricky. Some students take initiative, are great to work with and listen to what I say. Others want everything done for them, refuse to listen to what I say because they know better (even though they never bought a house), get angry when I can’t tell them exactly what to do and when to do it and want me to loan them money to do it. Of course, even if I did all that, they wouldn’t listen to me anyway and they would probably use the money to buy a car or something for “marketing”. I have contemplated ending my coaching programs, but I can’t do it because of the people who do listen and I help. Remember, just because I have coaching programs now, does not mean I will always have them. Especially when I decide to spend 6 months in Turks and Caicos (way better than the Bahamas).
- I love to buy houses! One of my favorite things to do is buy houses, whether they are flips or rentals. The last six months, I feel I am spending so much time on the blog, that I am not spending enough time investing. I think one reason the project manager I hired, was such a disaster, was I was too focused on the blog and not on my core business.
Why am I telling you all of this? I want to show you that even though I have tried to set things up to run without a ton of work from me, things constantly change. You have to be careful that you are not taking too much on, and sacrificing your own happiness for money or success. I am simplifying things greatly in the next month or two. I don’t know exactly how yet, but I cannot spend hours each day on email, I cannot take as many appointments to talk on the phone, I cannot personally post and respond to everything on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Sometimes I feel I have to do it all myself, because other online real estate sites teach without ever having been in the business. Or they have coaches who haven’t invested in a decade. They have people chiming in on forums, who have never bought a house, but feel they can tell people how they should invest. It is very confusing, and I wanted to provide one voice to people to provide clarity. At the same time, I know I can still provide value and help people, without doing it all myself.
What is your end goal in life?
While I am not there, or close to it yet, I want to be able to take a 6 month vacation without working and worrying about my business. When will I get there? Who knows, but I am going to start working on it now. I also would not stop doing the things I love on vacation either, like writing a little, shooting a few videos or talking with my mastermind group. It reminds me to focus on the big picture and not worry about all the little stuff. The money is not important, what the money can give you is important. It can provide freedom, a chance to enjoy life to its fullest, healthier lifestyle and much more. When you lose focus on what you are working so hard for, it all becomes a lot less fun.