Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.
These days, I’m walking around singing that to the tune of Drake’s “Versace.” And, I’m almost positive it makes my fiancé extremely nervous. But, he’s just going to have to sweat it out for a minute, because if I have learned absolutely nothing from spending this summer studying the habits and advice of those who have built mega-brands and bank accounts, it’s this: invest in yourself.
For the majority of my life, “personal investments” looked like vacations, the occasional bag, and a $500 hair color appointment. Frankly, those investments often put me into meaningless debt that I would juggle alongside rising Brooklyn rent and my stomach’s constant attention-whoring.
By the time I got over being ghetto fabulous (read: when I realized I was way too old to be fly on the outside, but desperately transferring money from my savings to my checking on the inside) I had a ton of damage control to do.
I'd also gotten crystal clear about my goals, and (surprise!) they are not cheap goals. I decided I was serious about saving money to launch my own creative brand & talent management company and needed to spend the next few years traveling extensively to network and build. But, that would require “schmoney” (which, for those who don’t know, is way more than just “money”).
I began studying the money habits and mindsets of people who have achieved mega goals, and many of the lessons I learned about making good schmoney will shock the wig off you. Seriously, they’re so insanely counterintuitive. And since I promised I would let you all be a witness to my “come up,” here’s where I share some of the real on what has to happen with your money if you're ready to glow all the way up.
If you’re someone who is absolutely, firmly, decidedly, and unabashedly ready to build an abundant life or business for yourself, read on. (And if you’re not quite sure yet, and you’re still playing around, it’s ok doll, Bloomingdale’s is offering 10% off through the end of the month…)
Make A Decision: OK, I know. I already said this, but I can’t say it enough. If you’re telling everyone you own a business, you’re starting a business, or you aspire to a certain level of success in whatever you’re doing, but your actions look different, how is God (or The Universe) supposed to take you seriously? A million successful people have talked about what it takes to reach a certain level of excellence, including Will Smith. When asked about what it took to become legendary, he said two words: Just decide. If you truly want to move past having dreams into living dreams, you have to decide that’s what you’re going to do. Then, you can move on to the next step.
Stop Being So Terrified to Spend Money On Yourself: I told you to hold on to your wig. It may sound counterintuitive that you have to spend money to make more money, but it’s facts. If you want to live an above average life, you have to do above average things. And the average person is too scared to invest in a therapist, a marketing expert for their business, a piece of property, a website, a photoshoot, a professional and nice pair of shoes that will last them far longer than the $60 pair from Zara. The average person loves to penny pinch their way through the life, screaming out the sunroof of their Kia “Universe, I’m cheap. Give me all the cheap things!” Here’s the challenge with that: Extraordinarily successful people are investors. That means they literally spend money. Most of them pay life coaches and therapists. Many of them purchase the good shoes and suit to attract higher quality clients and job opportunities. A lot of them fly first class as a networking strategy. Not a single one of them has ever said “no” to a business opportunity like a major industry conference just because they couldn’t come up with the money. You have to find a way to make the money to fund your dreams. And if that means be a savage, become one tonight. Drive for Lyft, sell your bag, do your own hair and get that money. The moment you begin investing in yourself with strategy and focus (not spending frivolously for spending’s sake) is the moment money will start pouring in.
Become an Earner - Not Just a Saver: One of my dearest friends made a genius investment in herself (see #2) and hired a financial advisor. When she sat down with the financial advisor, the last thing he wanted to talk about was savings. The first thing he zeroed in on? Earning potential. He immediately helped her identify ways to begin doubling and tripling her earnings. Because at the end of the day, you can only save as much as you earn. And what happens when you stop earning? You spend your savings and become more broke. My life coach recently did a similar exercise with me, where we sat down and mapped out every area where I have skills and how I could earn money in each area. Suddenly, all my complaints about “not being able to afford” things felt silly. I could afford anything I want, as soon as I switched my focus from what I currently have to what I could go earn.
Immediately Stop Saying “I Can’t Afford That”: You are the master of your mind. If you say you can’t afford the things that will elevate your life, you will never even try to afford them. But what would happen if you told yourself “I can afford that?” Would you follow the advice in #3 and start thinking about ways to afford it? Would you finally charge people for all the free cupcakes you bake or ask for a raise at work? Or maybe, you would buy it and bust your ass working overtime to pay it off? Either way, as soon as you say “I can,” your brilliant mind will find every way to support that decision. Because at the end of the day, it’s you who decides what your life will become.