Early in my career I did a lot of planning – especially financial planning. I had it all figured out that by a certain age I would be earning a certain income and projected how that amount would grow over time. I obsessed over my calculations and created spreadsheets to track my progress. Back in the day this sort of focus was what you did if you wanted to succeed. Or so I thought. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone to tell me that there was a better way.
Did I achieve my income goals? For the most part the answer is yes. But what I discovered as I got older, more experienced and wiser, is that this approach was actually limiting me. So how you ask, could prudent planning become limiting? And the answer is elegantly simple. By focusing on a specific amount of income that I desired, I was subliminally telling myself that I really didn’t want any more than that amount. My various income-generating strategies were aimed at achieving the target amount and nothing more.
Fast forward to today. I’ve learned a lot. For starters, I no longer accept the limitations created by chasing a specific dollar amount. Instead I’ve learned to be open to all creative possibilities. I’ve learned not to place restrictions on my potential. I now focus on being much more strategic and much less tactical. It’s now more about service to others than others serving me. When the money no longer is the primary focus it’s amazing how much more prosperous we can become. I still look at the money but only as part of a risk-reward equation – something all entrepreneurs should consider.
Here’s something else I learned. Get rich quick schemes lead to disappointment. Playing the lottery or trying to earn a few extra bucks playing cards is not a winning hand in life. Hard work is also overrated when it comes to financial satisfaction – believe me, I’m an expert on the hard work subject. Smart work is more likely to lead to financial security and independence.
So how does one work smarter? I’ve written many times about how important it is for us to know our WHY. Another way of putting this is to understand what we are passionate about. Why do we do what we do? What makes us tick? What do we love to do so much that we’d do it regardless of whether or not we were paid? When we are living our passion we aren’t chasing financial riches. Our focus is on the process of staying in the passion zone. And one of the byproducts of this approach is that monetary rewards will come our way – sometimes effortlessly. If we’re just working to earn a living, that’s all we’ll do. If we’re working because what we’re doing is interwoven with our passion, positive results will flow to us – financial and otherwise.
When we let go of our limiting money dreams and pursue our bigger and grander dreams we are able to live our passion. And when we live our passion, through our creative energy we will discover infinite possibilities for good in our lives.
This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.