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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

More by this author

Heather Poole

Heather shares about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

How To Find Your Personal Values For Living a Fulfilling Life The 7 Types of Learners: What Kind of Learner Am I? 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

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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