Why Getting Rich Quick Can Mean Going Broke Fast -- And How to Prevent This From Happening to You
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Ever wonder why some entrepreneurs will hit it big with a launch or major deal and then just a year later find out they've neglected taxes, depleted their savings and have to start all over from scratch?
Four years ago, entrepreneur Scott Oldford found himself $726,000 in debt. His lack of mission and purpose awareness put him on a course that prompted poor decisions.
"I was all ego. I was about money, but had no idea why I wanted it so bad. I wanted freedom, but had no idea what this meant. I discovered I had no purpose, and I won't lie -- I hated myself," he said in a recent article.
Below are four ways business owners create an anxious money mindset, or "wealth congestion"
1. Earning too much money before you have the container for it
If you ran a marathon without any training, you could expect to injure your body, perhaps severely. In the same way, the muscle around building wealth needs training.
If you're not prepped on how to maintain wealth and have the right attitude toward it, other parts of your life will begin to fall apart (and there's a good chance you'll burn down your earnings much faster than expected). You can see this in celebrities, musicians and athletes who had more money than they could ever conceive of, yet the relationship toward it destroyed their life.
Vin Baker, known as "America's Best Kept Secret," earned $100 million during 13 NBA seasons. Only 10 years into his retirement he is reportedly in training for a Starbucks managerial position.
2. Lack of ideal or mission
One of the best ways to avoid "wealth overdose" is to have a mission-driven ideal for your business. For instance, when an ideal is in place and is bigger than you, you'll have a more grounded mindset around your income.
This allows you to enjoy a big win, but remain objective for your next decisions and actions. Remember, what goes up, must come down.
It's not about "striking it rich"; it's about creating something truly sustainable that your body, mind and emotional centers can process and support. Think about what you're willing to spend a great deal of time focused on. Does it resonate with your values and beliefs?
Without a mission, money owns your thoughts, emotions and life.
This mindset will create agitation in the mind and will cause people to worry that whatever one has earned will be lost or taken. No matter how much money one has or how many deals get closed, it will never be enough.
A healthy perspective around money is to understand you own it; it doesn't own you. Respect money and what it does for you and it will respect you back.
I teach my clients that money is an energy. It responds to respect and flow. Hoarding money is like squeezing a sponge and never allowing it to expand. Endless spending is an immature attitude of money.
3. Comparing yourself to others
When we compare our wealth and success to others, we might as well write them a blank check. By doing so, you're feeding all of your energy into their success and depleting your own wealth container and money mindset.
To navigate the ongoing reality of business as "profit and loss," it's important to cultivate objectivity. Just as we communicate with our staff and clients, our relationship with money requires expert communication as well.
For example, if you look at your bank account and are always thinking "there's not enough," you'll expand that. We build more of what we focus on.
For instance, a well-known coach came to me to help her understand why sales had radically dropped in her business. During our first session I realized she was fixated on getting her credit card debt to zero. So, by focusing on the number "0" she actually drove her sales down. Once she put in place a system to pay off the debt (as well as celebrated what her cards allowed her to do in her business) her sales spiked back up.
4. Avoiding life outside of work
During my travels to Europe, I had frequent conversations with business owners about lifestyle. One of the comments I heard most often was, "Americans live to work. Europeans work to live."
If we only do work, we don't fully do life. The absence of connection and community is a recipe for stress, burnout and broken relationships.
All of the above are not good for your soul, your well-being or your business, as they take control of your mind and emotions. To avoid this, here are some tips to decongest and expand your wealth container. Once these are in place consistently, your wealth metric will increase and be way more sustainable.
Your business has to have an ideal.
The mission or purpose around what your business must be greater than you. When it's about more than just making money, you serve in a bigger way and wealth energy flows back to you.
If you feel your business is absent of a mission, imagine yourself in the future five years from now. Looking back, how would you like to describe your company and your life? What impact did you make on your employees or team? What about your clients and community?
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, famously said: "Money alone isn't enough to bring happiness ... happiness [is] when you're actually truly OK with losing everything you have."
The ancient spiritual teachers referred to this as "tithing." By contributing money, time and support you are invoking what is referred to as the law of reciprocity.
Giving and supporting others positions your mindset in a place of service and connection, therefore eliminating the nasty tendency to compare.
This is not about "over giving," as this will deplete your wealth as well. This is purposeful contribution to causes and other organizations that represent something you're passionate about.
Do the internal work.
Your internal work has to match your external growth. If one has not solved and resolved limiting beliefs, worries, anxiety around money, they will never have enough.
In the same vein, if they're fixated on work and business only, the personal and spiritual side of them remains underdeveloped and not able to sustain wealth.
One exercise I like to use with clients who are reaching or into their seven-figure business is to write down their money goals for the next six months. Then identify the "why" around these numbers. What will this mean for your life? Your family? What is the greater impact you can make as you increase your financial flow?
By making it about something bigger than just you, fear is dissolved and replaced with excitement and confidence.
We lose luster in life when we ignore our personal or spiritual health. When the focus becomes on money alone, this brings an inordinate amount of energy to the wealth container -- quite like a fire hose trying to fill a crystal glass of water. It will break.