Today I want to talk about money and control.
And not how we use our money to control others, but more specifically, who holds the control in our own personal financial lives.
Do we have control over our money, or does it have control over us?
The Working-Class Myth
One of the most destructive ideas of our time is that our job’s sole purpose is to pay for the things that we desire.
It’s almost as if we believe that the only purpose for our money is to be spent.
We work so that we can pay for all of these things we want – usually with very little left over.
Then, we go back to work to start the cycle all over again - we have all felt this way before.
We are working for the things we think we want, but these things are actually preventing us from having what we really desire.
So, what is it that we really want?
For most of us, the answer to that question is: Financial Freedom!
And that involves being in control of your money.
What Kind of Freedom?
True freedom comes when we are in control of ourselves opposed to giving someone else control over us.
If we go to work because we have excessive debt or many wants to pay for, then we are controlled by our debtors, our impulses, and our employers.
Our debtors because we owe them our income to pay for our debts.
Our desires because we struggle to control our wants.
Our employers because they know we rely on a pay check.
We are crazy to think that our employers don’t understand that their workers are trapped in their jobs.
They know that most employees are working just to get by, and that they will show up day after day just to make ends meet.
How do they know this?
Because many individuals who started businesses were in this same situation.
The main difference is that they made a choice to break the cycle.
These wants and desires are what trap us and steal our freedom.
Freedom comes when we are able to work when we want to, and are engaged in the type of work we enjoy.
Freedom is controlling our impulses so that we buy only the things we truly need.
Freedom is not having to worry about if there is enough money coming in to cover our commitments.
Freedom is being in control of your yourself and your time.
How do We Obtain Freedom?
Let me first just say, I do not believe we will succeed with our money if it is punishment based or drudgery.
I don’t believe in that type of personal finance.
I believe 100% that our money should be there to enjoy.
I also believe financial freedom should be about doing all the things you have always dreamed of doing.
The challenge is that most of us are not willing to be strategic so we can do it in a financially smart way.
So, we end up living that lifestyle before we have the correct foundation in place.
We don’t truly have the money for the things we are doing and we end up playing catch-up with our finances.
We are living our own personal Ponzi Schemes – or at least that’s how it feels.
This is not freedom.
This is misery!
So, What Do We Do?
The first step is to change the way you view your spending.
I am going to make this very simple and give just one step that I believe will change your financial future - and I know because it changed mine.
You need to ‘spend’ 10% of everything you make on yourself.
You have heard this from me before but it is worthy of repetition.
I want you to consider your future 10% contribution as a debt that you owe to yourself.
Just like a car or mortgage payment.
Each month you now have a new expense that has to be met.
That is money that you are paying to yourself.
The success of this practice will hinge on how well you can implement and view this as an actual ‘debt.’
We are going to force ourselves to start using our money to benefit us financially.
I want you to take this 10% out of every check and pay it to yourself.
This money should be set aside in a separate account – preferably at a different bank that you won’t see regularly.
I would even encourage you to have it automatically withdrawn from your pay check so that you don’t see it.
What is the purpose of this money?
It will be used to turn the tide of your money situation.
One of the first steps of gaining financial traction is having some savings in place.
It gives us confidence and is very empowering.
It also gives us options.
It lessens our reliance on an employer.
For me, I can attribute most of my financial success to my lack of reliance on an employer.
I have not had a guaranteed pay check for over 12 years.
All of my income has either come from commissions or self-employed income.
And I will tell you, that first year or so was very stressful.
I even remember waking up in the middle of the night worried about getting those commissions – otherwise I didn’t get paid.
But as time went on, having that commission job also gave me substantial upside.
As I set more money aside, eventually the worry completely left.
I worked when I wanted to.
I didn’t have to answer to any one employer because I had my finances in order.
I have felt my freedom grow substantially because of this.
I can attribute a most of this to the idea of paying myself.
I am now fortunate enough to own a few businesses – I also still maintain that commission job that still provides me income when I want to do it.
I DO NOT share this to boast – I am actually not very comfortable sharing personal details.
I share it because it is important and I want you to know it.
I absolutely would not have seen the progress I have seen today without having paid myself 10% of ALL of my income.
And as time has gone on, it has become 50% of my income.
Freedom is what you are looking for.
And that first step is being in control of your money.
You have to control your desires and what you buy.
You have to control your income growth.
You have to be in control of your time and not be beholden to a 9-5 job.
Not all of this will be possible right away, but it is possible.
You have to pay yourself first so you can use that money to grow your wealth.
This post has become lengthy, so next week’s edition will be how we change our financial future with the 10% we are putting aside.
Before then, I want you to take the steps necessary to implement this 10% payment to yourself principle.
Get an account set up.
Contact your employer to have the money automatically sent to that account.
And when you have done that, I would love to hear from you.
Send me an email and let me know you’ve done it.
It would make my day to hear that you are taking these actionable steps.
Thanks for reading,
CO-Founder 1911 Apparel