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Want to Make Your First Million? Don’t Save Every Penny! You Should Spend Money Wisely Instead

Want to Make Your First Million? Don’t Save Every Penny! You Should Spend Money Wisely Instead

Have you ever heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make it?” I have. In fact, I’ve given that cliche statement as advice half a dozen times. While I tell entrepreneurs to spend money on the right team, I never use that advice myself. After all, I’m in my twenties still! I don’t have the luxury of spending money as if I’m made of it!

But these excuses are detrimental. In fact, the idea of spending money to make money is not as dangerous or risky as it may sound. Sure, it seems counterintuitive, but bear with me. I promise it will make more sense soon.

Saving Every Penny You Earn Can’t Bring You to Your Desired Destination

So many people think the only way to save money is to give up their social lives in order to minimize all those “unnecessary” expenses.

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What’s problematic with this approach, aside from how miserable you will be ignoring your friends’ invitations, is that it’s only a short-term way to save money. Think about it: are you really going to stay at home and never come out forever? The goal is to be future-focused; saving every penny and dollar you can is not exactly effective. What’s more important is spending on the investments that can bring returns.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Heather, I don’t know how to invest in general! How will I know how to invest in order to double my dividends? That’s for business-savvy people and those really good at math!”

Not true.

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While knowledge of those things can be helpful, anyone can be an expert investor and spender. You just need a little insight. Plus, we aren’t talking about becoming an investment banker. We’re talking about knowing when to invest your money into something and when to withhold. And it’s easier than you think.

Spending Money in the Right Way Can Help You Generate More Money

Enrich your mind through lifelong learning

This is one of those long-term money-making methods. While some people may find it unfair, the more educated you are via school system, the more desirable you are to companies who are hiring. This comes in handy when discussing salary, because the more experience college or university gave you (even in the form of unpaid internships) the better chance you have at requesting more than you might otherwise feel comfortable.

Even if you’ve left the formal education system, taking classes after work to expand your skill set can make you more popular and competent in the job market in the long-term.

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Prevention is better than cure

Listen, as an American, I know how frustrating health insurance can be. Even now with more access to it than ever, if you are paying out of pocket for insurance it’s a big sum of money! But here’s the thing: if you don’t get insurance because of the price tag, when you find yourself needing to go to the emergency room or even to a doctor’s appointment, you will be paying much more. And that expense will leave you with nothing left over to invest and grow.

When you feel more attractive, you can attract more opportunities

This one is so important, no matter how old-fashioned it may seem. Invest in your appearance. I make a lot of jokes about how much money I spend on quality makeup, complexion/skin products and getting my hair and nails done, but at the end of the day, it’s an investment I feel good about. When I look healthy and feel attractive, I approach people with more outer confidence.

As a disclaimer, this is not me telling you that in order to make money you have to be attractive. No way. What I am saying is that you should feel attractive – whatever that word means to you. If you come off as insecure and weak, it can be difficult to ask for that raise you absolutely deserve, or even get a loan you know you’re capable of paying off. There are (semi-depressing) studies out there that prove this, but if you don’t want to get wrapped up in them, just take my word on this one.

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As a quick example to help put it into perspective, I work for a very casual company (I’m talking yoga pants and blue jeans on the daily!) but when I first interviewed, I wore a suit. I knew the atmosphere was super casual, but I wanted to ensure they knew I was serious and professional. The way you look is the way you brand yourself as an individual. So who are you marketing to, and what is your message?

Set up a website to promote your expertise

Sites like LinkedIn, or even websites boasting your personal domain, can be a great way to up your income. Having a professional image and resume helps people see you as a trustworthy, knowledgable individual they would gladly hire. So if you’re a photographer, make your own website! If you’re a Freelancer, do it too! If you’re passionate enough to make it your career, then prove that to the world through a portfolio they can access 24/7. Learn how to maintain mailing lists, become an expert marketer. We live in a technology age; anything you could need to know is at your fingertips!

When you can’t do everything yourself, spend money to get help

When it comes to investing, and to your life in general, it’s essential to know what you need.[1] For instance, if you are trying to start your own company, your numbers will be in the red within a month if you don’t have the right team. Invest in a brilliant accountant. Invest in the perfect assistant. Have the right marketing team and IT guru. Yes, at first you will feel like you’re bleeding money, but when that team starts working with you and you see the spike in clients and income, you won’t remember any of that initial stress. The same is true when it comes to investing your money. What is it you need? A retirement fund, or a mansion? What is your goal? Once you have the intention set, you can begin to achieve it.

Reference

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Heather Poole

Heather shares about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

There Are 7 Types of Learners: Which One Are You? What If All the Choices You Make Every Day Aren’t What You Need Most? What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation! Yes Life Can Be Boring Sometimes. But There’re Some Tricks to Make It More Interesting Why Our Personal Values Matter More Than Ever Today

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Succeed in Life on Your Own Terms: 7 Essential Steps

How to Succeed in Life on Your Own Terms: 7 Essential Steps

There is a great deal of advice in the world telling us how to succeed in life, but often we are given advice that isn’t tailored to our needs, desires and priorities. Success means different things to each of us, and living a life that feels genuinely successful to me might be very different to your idea of a successful life.

Naturally, when we follow the advice of someone else, which is tailored to their life goals and personality, we can end up with something that doesn’t deliver on the promise. We don’t get rewarded with our vision of success: we get theirs.

This is why I’m a proponent of self-discovery, introspection and personal sovereignty. So how to succeed on your own terms?

These 7 essential steps are not going to tell you exactly what to do, but they will provide you with the tools and the questions to ask so that you can discover your own path, so you know how to succeed in life on your own terms.

1. Know Thyself

One of Socrates’ most well-known quotes is,

An unexamined life is not worth living.

I argue that an unexamined life is not a successful one. Self-knowledge is something we could dedicate our lives to, but I’m not suggesting you sit around and navel-gaze in order to find happiness and meaning.

Thankfully, there are people who have created techniques and systems that less us fast-forward through a lot of personal philosophizing, and quickly identify some key aspects of what makes us, us.

You might want to find out what your ideal daily schedule is,[1] and you can take tests that reveal just that. Or you might want to figure out what you need to get things done – and yes, there’s a quiz for that too.

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None of these tests are infallible, and some are more scientific than others, but the process of asking yourself questions about your behaviors and traits is invaluable when it comes to determining your path to succeed in life.

For example, if you know you are an introvert and are unhappy in your current workplace, it might be worth considering why that is (an open plan office space perhaps) and what you would prefer.

It’s these little questions that will provoke answers in you that can guide the decisions that truly improve your life now and in the future.

2. Figure out What Matters to You

What lights you up? This is a question that often gets forgotten as we age. A fortunate child will be given the stimulation they desire in the form of bright toys, affection and entertainment. Little by little, the things that bring a child joy get replaced by what society demands on their behalf.

When we return to that question, and ask ourselves what really matters and what brings us joy, we can move closer towards a successful life. It can help to think back to your childhood, and the times in your life when you were in what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls a flow state.[2]

In a state of flow, time slows and our focus is directed like a laser. We are fully present.

Whilst not everything in life that matters to you will conjure up a flow state, it’s a good indication of the kind of activities and experiences you can try to incorporate into your life on a regular basis.

A successful life is made up of moments like this, and when you know what matters to you and brings you a sense of joy and purpose, you can go about creating more of that.

3. Play to Your Strengths

Why spend your time only on mitigating your weaknesses, only to feel average? Instead, playing to your strengths and amplifying those skills and qualities you already have will help you go from average to extraordinary.

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If you’re great at big picture thinking and love dreaming up new ideas, but often lack attention to detail, acknowledge that. Then instead of trying to improve your analytical skills, focus instead on developing your existing skills of imagination and insight. When you need someone with a keen eye for detail, you can collaborate with those people.

Jackson Pollock was an extreme introvert, with no real desire to get his artwork in front of people. Fortunately, he had Clement Greenberg, who was much further towards the extrovert end of the spectrum, to popularize his work and get Pollock the publicity he needed.[3]

Start by identifying your strengths and what comes naturally to you. Then work on developing those and becoming known for those strengths. You can always find someone who will help you in fill in the gaps.

4. Listen to Yourself

It isn’t always clear to us that we’re on a path that leads us to failure or to success. People can spends decades in a job that is unfulfilling and slowly breaking their spirit, without even realizing it – until it’s too late. This is usually because they haven’t learned how to truly listen to themselves.

The challenge we face is that we’re listening to so many other sources of information; whether it’s the news, television, social media, family, friends or colleagues. Many may want to help, but that doesn’t mean they know what’s best for us. Only you know what success means for you, and working this out begins with listening to yourself.

Listening to yourself requires practice. It’s a daily effort, which over time, does get easier. That inner voice of wisdom will get clearer, and the decisions you make will feel more convincing.

To start, you could try to set aside 10 to 15 minutes when you first wake up, in silence. Rather than look at your phone, checking emails or social media, simply sit in silence, listening.

Ask yourself a simple question like, what am I feeling right now, in this moment? Notice the answer that bubbles up, without getting lost in the story. Starting an inner dialogue, without judgment is one of the key tools you can use to start making better decisions in your life.

Learn more about listening to your true self in this guide: How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment

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5. Listen to Others (But Not Everyone)

Listening to yourself is one thing, but listening to others is crucial in order to learn, empathize and be of benefit to your community.

Truly listening to others is not just waiting patiently until it’s your turn to speak. Active listening requires focused attention, and the intention to understand where the other person is coming from.

When you do this, you can ask better questions and discover more about the world and everyone in it, as well as learn how to interact with others in order to succeed in life on your own terms.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to listen to everyone you come across. Trolls on the internet may come into the category of people not to listen to. Some people’s opinions will do more harm than good, as not everyone has your best interest in mind.

It’s worth identifying a shortlist of people whose opinions you will listen to. Brené Brown, author of the New York Times best-seller Daring Greatly, recommends taking a 1-inch x 1-inch square of paper and make a list of people whose opinions matter to you. These are the people who love you and will genuinely support and help you. According to Brown,

“If you need more paper, you need to edit.”

6. Make Time for Reflection

It’s easy to go through life without taking inventory of what you’re actually accomplishing. Missing this crucial step means we end up jumping from one goal to the next, without feeling like we’re getting anywhere.

Make time, ideally each day to reflect. You might keep a paper journal, or an online document. Either way, jot down:

  • What went well today
  • Something you’re grateful for
  • What would make tomorrow even better

Doing this can have measurable benefits to our overall sense of well-being, as well as keeping us focused for more success in the future.[4]

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It also helps combat feelings of lack and doubt, that arise when we compare ourselves to others. When we look at someone who appears to be more successful than us in an area of life, we can forget how far we’ve come and how much we have to be grateful for.

Making time to reflect on what you have accomplished is critical to keep you on track, and just not looking at what others are doing.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Mind

Arguably the most important step of all:

Remember that there’s nothing wrong in changing your mind and correcting course.

The path to a successful life is not straight and narrow. It meanders and there’s no harm in going back and picking a different (and better) route.

“I think our life is a journey, and we make mistakes, and it’s how we learn from those mistakes and rebound from those mistakes that sets us on the path that we’re meant to be on.” — Jay Ellis

Be willing to make mistakes, learn from them and change your mind. Ultimately, there’s no better way to succeed in life on your own terms.

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Featured photo credit: Shirly Niv Marton via unsplash.com

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