The top 5 money making mistakes comes from personal experience. These are those that have been on the top of my list.
They’re mistakes I’ve learned from.
Most of these deal simply with money, some with business, but I’ve seen so many guys make these same mistakes. This has to be covered. Sometimes we do these things without actually thinking they’re mistakes at all because almost everyone around you may be doing the same thing.
Look through these mistakes, see which ones you’re making, and stop them.
Money is important! Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
Money is power. It’s the power to live life how you want, to safeguard against disaster, and to protect yourself against the government.
Money isn’t a vice. It’s a thing. You can make it into a vice but that’s stupid. Don’t be stupid. Be smart. Plan how you use your money and turn these habits around
Mistake #1 Not building relationships
Odd mistake to start off, but you are who you spend the most time with. If you spend time with billionaires, you’re either a billionaire or will be one, the same is true with poverty. (read: How to Be a Successful Man)
I actually have great relationships with successful people. But that’s because I grew up with a ton of successful go-getters.
I should have – and am working on – building relationships with men who’ve achieved what I want to achieve. Older guys. Mentors, but not the ‘I’ll pay you for your advice type,’ real mentors who want to show you how to achieve.
Of course, the only way to do that is to eventually provide them value. Turn yourself in to an asset that they, too, can benefit from.
Relationships will bring opportunity, and it doesn’t matter where you are, who your parents are, if you’re driven and ambitious, the right relationships can be found, developed, and it’ll do more for your success than anything other than hard work, persistence, and the constant acquisition of knowledge.
Mistake #2 Not having a long term strategy.
When you’re young you think you don’t have to plan or set aside any money, or invest any money. But the sooner you start investing the richer you will one day be, especially if you do something as simple as putting 10% of all money earned into an index fund and let it sit there.
If you want to develop a long term strategy and don’t know where to start, Tony Robbins’ book, Money, Master the Game, may be the best one yet on how to invest wisely and get great returns long term, regardless of how the market performs on the whole.
Mistake #3 A lack of focused persistence.
This is more for business, but it’s the same as above. You have to have a plan, a strategy. You can evolve and adjust, but you should have a strategy in place and see it through with your business as well.
Don’t always be searching for the newest and best. I’ve learned from this the hard way.
I had a great strategy and it was bearing fruit, then I jumped to another and had to start from scratch when I eventually learned that the original strategy was the best strategy.
Do your research. Set it up. And stick to it.
One thing I would urge against, oddly enough, learning from too many sources.
Read books, follow one or two guys online, but leave it at that. I’m not a big mastermind guy. Every time I’ve gone to one I’ve been spread thin rather than focused.
Focus on one strategy and play the long game.
Mistake #4 Avoid credit unless it’s to build something.
Money’s cheap – not your credit card, but lines of credit and loans. Use that cheap line of credit to build something, to invest in something that will bring greater returns, but don’t use your credit card if you can’t pay it off in full.
Get in the habit of, if you have a credit card, paying it off immediately after purchase.
Granted, I didn’t always do this, and my credit card helped me get out of a few major binds when I had no money coming in but expenses climbing through the roof.
The biggest weight off your shoulders is when you climb out of debt, but the worst weight on your shoulders is when you can’t get out from under its weight, so just don’t.
Mistake #5 Understanding needs vs wants.
You have to understand needs vs wants.
Spend on growth, on things like books, courses, programs, and on growing your business, but don’t spend money on stupid things that you won’t want and will soon find out you don’t need.
This is the biggest mistake most guys make, and it makes sense, we’re bombarded by marketing, and it’s GOOD marketing. They show us who we want to be, or an aspect of who we want to be, and we buy whatever tool or apparel or pack or whatever that will make us feel like we’re there.
The truth is that we should be working on becoming better, not feeling better or simply looking like we’re the part.
Spend money on an experience, on business, on acquiring knowledge, and understand the difference between needs and wants.
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You’re working too hard, I think you should take some time off, take it easy for a while.
Every soon-to-be-successful man has heard the exact same thing. You’re going to burn out. There’s more to life than work. Working isn’t everything. Money isn’t everything.
Some of those statements are true, but they’re used to diminish a man’s quest, to make him seem greedy, to make him feel selfish, to make him question what he’s doing. I think every ambitious guy’s been there, especially when he’s yet to see the fruits of his labor, or the full fruits of his labor. He’s far from his goal, and the work he’s constantly, persistently, obsessively engaged in doesn’t seem as though it will get him what he wants from an outside perspective, a perspective that doesn’t aim for greatness, think it’s possible, or even really want it that much.
Most people are content with mediocrity, and that’s fine so long as they don’t diminish the quest for more that someone may be on, or have jealousy toward someone who’s achieved greatness and put the work in to actually get it.
If building a legacy, acquiring real, generational wealth and power, isn’t something you want to do because of the lifestyle you’re going to have to adopt, don’t do it.
To that same point, if this is something you have gnawing at you deep in your soul, then by that same token you have to do it or you’ll live a depressing, unfulfilled life that may be successful to some, but not to you.
The Odd Obsession with Success
I was in high school, having just left hockey for basketball. Every morning I’d wake up at 5am, get on an hour-long bus ride to my high school, where the security guard I befriended would open up the gym early for me so I could get a couple hours of shooting in before class.
After school I’d leave to go somewhere in the city to play pick-up or do drills with a pal before practice later in the evening. And sometimes I’d stay after practice to shoot, too.
I wasn’t a great basketball player by any means, but I wanted to be. I wasn’t a great boxer at all, but I wanted to be. I wasn’t a great student and I really didn’t give a shit about that…
What I’m saying is that I clearly have an obsessive personality. With work, I’m the same. I just like it. I like learning. I like chasing a goal, a quest, greatness, whatever. I want to build something big, do something grand. I’ve repressed that a fair bit even recently and in the past.
I’ve quelled my ambitions, reduced my goals, cooled my ideas for what I want from life and also for the effort I put into getting what I want to essentially fit other people’s ideas for what life is all about. The reality is that life is different for everyone, and not everyone is obsessive.
Some are obsessed about adventure, others power, others wealth, success, building a legacy, while others still are content to chill, to enjoy their family and go at an easy pace.
The key is to be true to who you are, and fuck what everyone else says about what you should be, how you should think, and what you should aspire to achieve.
Being Obsessive Isn’t Bad
We’re told that being obsessive is bad, that being obsessed about anything is the wrong way to be. That too much of anything makes you an addict. Sure. But if you’re obsessive about success, or anything previously mentioned, that isn’t a bad thing, that’s how you reach your potential, feel fulfilled, find happiness and meaning, and actually live for a reason.
To turn your back on your obsessions is bad. I’ve been there.
You don’t work as hard as you like to, which leaves you down, depressed, feeling useless. You don’t train as hard because everyone’s telling you there’s more to life than lifting or hunting or hiking or adventuring or writing or whatever it is you’re obsessed about, and as a result you feel like a useless sack of shit, obeying what others think is living but ignoring what your soul calls you to do.
The magic is in being obsessed with success, because success entails more than one focus in life. It demands greatness in your career, your work, your craft. But you also have to be a great father, husband, boss, and leader. You have to live, to adventure, to serve. You have to have every area of your life firing on all cylinders.
To many, the thought of excelling in every single area of life is exhausting, but that’s what the Romans thought of as manliness, excellence in all things. They saw it as a quest to be truly great in every area of life so as to not waste the gift of life, the gift of ambition, the gift of health.
If you’re the type that is obsessive, use it.
Recently I opened up a Grant Cardone book with a title that screamed at me to grab it and read it, so I did.
From, Be Obsessed or Be Average, by Grant Cardone
When I started studying other obsessive types who were super successful and stopped seeking advice from those who were settling for average lives, average results, average money, average everything and who were never obsessed with anything except defending average, that’s when I began to really live.
When I started to own the fact that I was obsessed with personal fantasies of indestructible wealth and fame and the desire to create a legacy that would outlast my time on this planet, the world looked different. …I started to attract other people more like me. Opportunities started to present themselves that used to never come my way.
You are not someone else. You cannot diminish your goals to fit in because fitting in is far too overrated. Being obsessed isn’t a curse, it’s a gift, it’s insight into who you are. You have it hardwired in your DNA to achieve greatness, or die trying. That’s you. To do or aim to be anything or anyone else is a lie.
Just as the Alpha lion, the head male of a pride dies holding his throne, just as he risked death to acquire it, he has no other choice. He’s not doing it because he wants to. He’s not fighting other massive beasts because he likes it. He’s doing it because that’s just what an alpha male lion does. To do anything else is a betrayal of his existence, just like aiming for mediocrity, accepting a bad hand, lying down and quitting is a betrayal of who you are, a betrayal of your existence.
Fuck mediocrity. If that’s not for you, then by all means, aim higher, work harder, be obsessed. To do anything else will leave you with regret.
I need references. That is, I need references to remind me how to live, what decisions to make, how to act daily, how to get the best from life. Jordan Peterson‘s book, the 12 Rules for Life, will be re-read time and time again until I kick the bucket.
I’d like to spend more time thinking about lessons learned, and rules to live by. Rules are not restrictive. Sure, the government’s rules often are, but rules we use to point our lives in the right direction allow us to head in the direction we desire instead of drifting down a river, allowing the current of life to push us to where it wants us to go, to failure.
Thus, we have the goal: we are not here to exist, but to improve. We have potential, and it’s our duty to do our best to reach it.
One day I’ll have a little one, and I’ll get working on that list now.
This list will be brief, and I’ll update it from time to time, but I’d love to hear your feedback, so by all means comment. Tell me where I’m wrong, where I need to elaborate, and even more importantly, what you’ve learned thus far that you’d add to the list.
12 Lessons to my Unborn Son
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson
1. Never complain. Complaining makes you the victim. You are not a victim. You can never be a victim, so don’t in any way allow that line of thinking to enter into your mind. Find what you can control, and control it.
2. Never envy. Appreciate that talent and hard work and sacrifice and persistence exist. When you see it in another human, applaud it, and them for it. Never want to be in someone else’s shoes. You are in your own, and it’s your duty to make the best with what you have, where you’re born, and who you are.
3. Win today. While your goals may be grand, it’s important to focus on what you can control. You can always control how today is lived. Don’t worry too much about the future or dwell too often on the past. Win today. If you do that often enough you will win your life.
4. Set your sights high and true. Don’t blindly want what others want, and don’t settle for goals and dreams you feel you’re supposed to have. If you truly want something, no matter how grand it may be, set your sights at it and work until it’s yours. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘things’ are goals, aspirations, objects that will bring you fulfillment, they won’t.
5. Work hard. Get after it. When you decide to do something, do it with everything you have. Don’t be lazy. Laziness is sin, it’s never won anyone anything except regret, envy, and sadness. Whatever you’re doing, work hard at it.
6. Focus. Nothing great will be won without focus. Losers dabble. Don’t dabble. If you set your mind to something, give it the energy, the attention, the focus required to give it a chance to be attained.
7. Stay the course. The journey is where life is, it’s where lessons are found, it’s where character is created, tested, and brought to light. Don’t ever quit. Stay the course.
8. Do your duty, as a man. Take care of others. Be dependable. Be reliable. Be successful. Be honorable. Be tough. Be courageous. Defend those under your care, and those who aren’t. Be a leader, a warrior. Be a man.
9. Train your body vigorously. It is better to be strong than it is to be weak. So train your body to have some use, to open doors, train it daily, be strong, do not be weak.
10. Dare mightily. Never choose the safe path, it won’t bring you the fulfillment you will eventually crave. Always choose danger, always dare to go where others are afraid to venture.
11. Be frugal, but take risks. Take risks with your money, but risks that can potentially create more wealth. Don’t waste your money on things, on objects. Only invest. Invest in businesses, in companies, in experiences and relationships, in yourself and your growth. Don’t waste money, ever.
12. Keep the faith. Question your faith so you can understand your faith. But no matter how dark things get, no matter how meaningless, empty, or difficult life seems, God is there for you, and with you. Every trial in life is a piece of a greater puzzle. Those who struggle well complete it, those who avoid struggle fail to.
Have you ever chatted with a billionaire? How about a multimillionaire or simply someone you look up to or aspire to be like, or adopt some aspect of his life…
I have with every instance above.
I’ve chatted with billionaires, and they’re impressive. I’ve talked at length with guys who’ve grown their net worth into the hundreds of millions.
I’ve had great conversations with guys I look up to, who’ve done things that I would love to do, but in all honesty, a part of me feels as though I’m ‘unworthy’ of doing what they’ve done.
The best explanation of this seeming gap between high-achievers and those who never get close to their potential was best explained in an episode of Ballers, the show that Dwayne Johnson is in…
His character had a chat with his business partner about going after the big things in life versus not. He told a story of his old man, who met his boss after years of working for him and came to the conclusion after chatting with the guy that he wasn’t all that different from him…
“We’re all just guys”, was the line he used.
And it’s completely true.
From all the awesome conversations I’ve had with high performers and achievers, I could whittle it down to a characteristic that they possess that others don’t, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true.
Most of them focus better than the rest, because they choose to.
They stick to a single path and work harder while they’re on that path.
But at the same time, some are scatterbrained and go after everything, not just one thing (though I think this isn’t the greatest way to do things, it has worked).
Others are naturally lazy, they fight and defeat that laziness, of course, but they hire others who do a lot of the work for them, they’re essentially idea-men.
Some are natural leaders, but not all.
Some have impressive confidence, others lack it completely.
We are, indeed, all just guys. Some believe we belong in certain places, others don’t.
Some believe they deserve or can achieve success, others don’t.
Constantly deviating from the path you’ve set yourself on will make success less likely.
Quitting will guarantee failure.
That there is the commonality, none of the super successful fellas I’ve talked to are quitters. They keep moving forward, they’re always moving forward. In fact, they fail MORE than most, they just also keep trying long after their competition has quit.
No matter where you are, what you’ve done up to this point, there is always another opportunity if you choose to go out and work hard enough that you’ll deserve it.
If you’re down, get up, dust yourself off, make no excuses, see the challenges and relish in the continual work it will take to struggle through them.
Every year I choose my books on a whim. I read biographies, business books, self-help books, the odd fiction book, books by and about the stoics, books on history, and all help me improve and at least become a little wiser. There is, however, no rhyme or reason to what I choose at a given time.
Or, there wasn’t.
This year I decided to have a strategy to how I choose books. The strategy is simple, they’re both studying how to improve, but from different angles.
I need to get a hell of a lot better at selling and marketing and copywriting and so forth, so I have one stack of books dedicated solely to improving that skill.
The stack next to the marketing books are biographies and autobiographies of winners. There’s a book on Trump, a book on Shackleton and Einstein and Arnold. Columbus’ journals are in that stack, Sam Walton’s autobiography is there. There’s a book on Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon, and Machiavelli.
There’s the skill I need to develop, and the people I need to learn from.
In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill writes about having a mastermind group. Now, if you’re in the online world, there are mastermind groups you pay to join (I’m in one). You’re coached by someone doing what you want to do, but you also get to be around guys who are getting after it, winning in your line of work. They’re awesome. When I’m in one, I grow, I’m pushed to do what I’m uncomfortable doing (which is necessary for growth), and when I’m not I slide back into horrible habits of comfort.
Hill’s masterminds include books, people from history that are who he wants to become, or have achieved the level of success that he wants to achieve. He studies great men, understands them intimately, and in his mind’s eye, seeks advice from them.
The stack of guys I want to learn from may not have achieved what I want to achieve, but they’ve achieved things on the kind of scale that I think all men want to rise to. They need to be studied. Their strengths, weaknesses, and how they deal with chaos, needs to be understood.
We need to know their ambition, their work ethic, and we need to understand how their worldview shaped their success.
Every one of them that I’ve read about thus far (I’m currently reading a book about Alexander the Great), wasn’t bound by the limitations of the mind that the mediocre cling to.
Nothing is impossible to them, and thus, nothing is impossible.
Choose your books however you want, but I think there’s value in this strategy, in getting better at a skill while also studying men who’ve accomplished the impossible.
When you understand who you have to become, but also the skills you have to master, it’s only time that will stand between you and the life you want to lead and the man you’re set on becoming.
My response, more or less, is always the same. I simply reply, “There isn’t one, it’s just about the habits that you cultivate in your life.”
Whether you like or believe this statement is irrelevant. It’s the truth.
Success in anything, whether it’s your physical fitness, your business, your relationships, or your creative pursuits, boils down to the habits that you have in your life.
If you cultivate the right habits, you will live an exceptional and full life. If you cultivate the wrong habits, your life will suck.
I don’t have all of the answers and I can’t definitively tell you which habits are the most important for you, but after building a multiple-six (almost seven) figure business in less than two years, I can confidently say that the habits I am about to share with you work.
To some of you, these habits might not make much sense. You might think that they aren’t really that important for achieving your financial or entrepreneurial goals. They are. I promise that if you commit to these habits for at least 18 months, I can guarantee that your business, hell every area of your life, will be radically transformed.
But it’s up to you to take the leap, to take charge, man up and go after what you want. None of these habits are easy. It will take hard work, it will take sacrifice, and it will take more than a little sweat.
But the rewards are worth it.
Let’s get it.
1. Build Testosterone and Lift Some Heavy Weights
If you have been reading this blog, or any other “manosphere” blog for an appreciable amount of time, this point should not come as a surprise to you.
I’m not saying that you need to bulk up like the late Rich Piana or that you need to have single digit body fat year round, but if you aren’t consistently training hard and lifting heavy ass weights, then you will not be able to truly live a great life.
This might sound like a bold statement, but I promise it’s true.
One of the biggest turning points for me came whenever I made the definite decision to reclaim my physical health. I went on a whole foods diet, started lifting weights four times a week, and supplementing to achieve optimal hormonal balance.
The changes that I experienced were almost unbelievable.
I had more energy, motivation, enthusiasm, mental clarity, and confidence in myself and my abilities. I was better in every area of my life. I felt like a real man.
There are certainly men throughout history who did great things without prioritizing their physical health, but they accomplished these great deeds in spite of their oversights, not because of them. If you want to be a great man in the modern world, then you must exercise, you must build a strong body, and you must lift som heavy weights.
2. Overcome a Fear First Thing in the Morning with a Cold Shower
I’ve taken cold showers for almost three years in a row and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they are one of the single most important and beneficial habits that you can have in your life.
When I was just getting started with my business, things were hard. I had to do shit on a daily basis that I didn’t like and didn’t want to do. But the hardest part of my day was always the first 120 seconds of my shower.
For two whole minutes each and every morning, I would turn the water to a bone chilling temperature and stand under the faucet as mother nature dished out her punishment. Those two minutes felt like an eternity.
But they also did something magical.
In the same way that productivity experts suggest that you “Eat that Frog!” or do the hardest thing first, when you start your day by doing something as physically and mentally challenging as taking a cold shower, the rest of your tasks become infinitely easier.
When you have already braved the cold, that conference call, webinar, or piece of content that you have to create seems a lot less scary. When you’ve already exposed your body to the elements, the rest of your daily “Stresses” become much easier to handle.
3. Take Ownership of Your Life
While this might not be a “Habit” in the traditional sense of the word, it is one of the most powerful tactics that I have found for accelerating every facet of your life.
When you are someone who regularly complains and whines about things, you subconsciously create a losing mentality. You view everything in a negative light, small issues become big problems, and you are sending out a very clear and obvious signal that you are an unappreciative ass hole who doesn’t deserve to achieve success.
This sounds harsh, I know. But it’s true. If you are reading this article right now, then you have no reason to complain. You have access to the internet which means you likely have access to clean water, healthy foods, paved roads, and a phone or computer that costs more than many people will earn in their entire lifetime.
Remind me again who gave you the right to complain?
Tony Robbins regularly states that “The antitdote to fear is gratitude. When you are greatful for what you have, fear simply cannot exist”. And it’s true. When you eradicate complaining from your life, when you stop bitching about things that simply don’t matter, and when you start to appreciate the abundance that you have, something magical starts to happen.
You stop seeing problems and start seeing opportunities. You stop feeling sorry for yourself and start taking responsibility for yourself. You stop becoming a social liability (seriously, no one worth your time enjoys being around a complainer) and start becoming an asset.
When you stop complaining you start living.
4. Go to Bed 90 Minutes Earlier than You Do Right Now
Most of us can’t just sleep in an extra 60-90 minutes every day and the rest of you shouldn’t want to. There’s something magical about the early morning hours and nothing will get your ass into gear quicker than developing a powerful 5 a.m. morning routine.
So what are we supposed to do? Sleeping late will detriment your goals and ambitions but not sleeping enough will (quite literally) kill you. The solution?
Go to bed earlier.
Instead of staying up late binging on Netflix or wasting your time on social media, get to sleep 60-90 minutes earlier every night. You can start off small by going to bed just 15 minutes earlier each week until your body adjusts to the new schedule.
The extra sleep will improve your mood, make you stronger, keep you sharper, and help you live longer.
The fact that you are still waking up early will help you stay productive, focused, and on track towards your biggest goals.
5. Practice Intentional Focus for 30 Minutes a Day
“Where focus goes, energy flows.”
Do you remember when you first learned how to ride a bike? One of the first things that you were told was to keep your eyes where you want to go. If you’re riding your bike and you start staring at the tree on the side of you road, you are going to move towards it, plain and simple.
Life is a lot like riding a bike.
When you focus on a goal or outcome, you naturally start to move towards its achievement. This works for the good and bad. If you are constantly focused on the things that you don’t want in your life you will actually end up attracting those things into your life.
Conversely, if you are focused on the things that you do want, if you are focused on your dreams, your goals, and your vision, you will start to move towards it.
Each and every day, I want you to commit to spending 30 minutes in intentional focus. I don’t care how you focus on your vision, but it’s imperative that you do focus on your vision. (Read This:9 Reasons Why You Must Become More Disciplined)
You can write down your goals, visualize your future self, repeat affirmations about your goals or whatever the heck else you want to do as long as you spend time each day thinking and focusing on what you want out of life.
This might sound simple and it might sound woo woo, but I promise you that it will transform your business in ways you can’t imagine.
Before we move forward, I need to leave you with a disclaimer.
The real world does not work like the Secret. If you think that sitting on your ass and wishfully thinking about a new Ferrari will magically make a marvelously designed Italian supercar in your driveway, then you aren’t just lazy, you’re foolish.
Focus is important, but action is more important.
Let’s Get Down to Business
Life cannot be compartmentalized. What you do in one area will affect every other area. Even though you might not understand how these five habits will help you accelerate your business or career, I can promise you that they will.
Now it’s up to you. It’s up to you to go out and take action. To implement these habits and pursue your dreams.
It’s up to you to become the man you were born to be.
And it all starts now.
About the Author
Andrew Ferebee is the founder and CEO of Knowledge for Men, a 3X Amazon Best Selling author, and a high performance men’s coach and business consultant.