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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Note: Many, MANY of the ideas in this article are taken from Ray Dalio’s, Principles. It’s a book that every human who wants to live life well, and to live it better everyday, should read. Enjoy the article.
When we are where we don’t want to be, we have to live as the man who is where we think we ought to be.
When tough times come we too often lower ourselves to the situation. We pity our situation, how things have gone, and our energy levels dip, our mood suffers, our perspective dims unnecessarily. We’re sombre, sad, and unmotivated because what’s there to be motivated about? This is tough!
The point of life is to struggle well, not to not struggle. As Ray Dalio alluded to in his book, Principles, even if you try to avoid struggles, they’ll find you.
And when we’re in the struggles – which we always are if we’re trying to improve, that’s the nature of improvement, to incur more struggle, not less – and if we’re in tough times where we’ve had a few failures, where we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations, we cannot bring ourselves down to the bad situation but rather have to act as if we are – and be – the guy who is worthy and actively achieving the things we want to achieve on the grandest scale possible.
We cannot act as failures even if, by our perspective, we are failures. To do so is pity, it is weakness, and by God it’s far better to be strong than it is to be weak, and not just for us and individuals, but for everyone around us as well.
And we really have no other choice.
And this acting better than our situation doesn’t end.
While the goal of life is to struggle well because struggles are a constant and we may as well do it well than to fail at it, the objective is also to improve, and improvement demands that we act better than where we are and even better than who we are.
I am not where I want to be.
The business is not where I want it to be. I want to improve nearly every situation in my life save for my lady who needs no improving, nor my pup, nor my family, friends, and well, I could go on. But I want to be better. Simple.
I want more success, more of life, more adventure, hell, more land.
Man, am I unsatisfied. I’ve dug myself holes, I’ve climbed out of them and dug deeper ones and climbed out of those. I’ve created good habits and lost them, developed great habits on top of those.
Regardless of all of that, I’m not close to being content, and when I think about where I’d rather be, when I settle into that comparison mindset, it’s painful, it’s a true struggle.
To act to my situation would be a sin. But I’ve done it. I’ve eased into mediocre efforts and habits and then awoken to that fact, the pain that I’ve wasted time by simply doing the minimum, and I’ve realized that I cannot go on like that.
I cannot live to the situation if I want to improve it.
To improve it, I have to act better than where I am.
You can be efficient, but still be efficiently unsuccessful.
Efficiency is better than inefficiency, but it’s still not the best way to work.
The best way to work is effectively, to have your time spent doing good work efficiently, but also having that work yield a good result.
Results are all that matters. It’s nice to work your ass off, but if your work doesn’t yield the result you want, and you don’t learn from the failure and improve your work, you’re going to be left disappointed and unfulfilled.
We need to win, and to win we need to work effectively, and to work effectively we have to, in part, act the part not only of the good worker, but the great planner.
In our lives we’re not only the one doing the work, we’re also the one planning what work should be done and when it should be done.
On some level we’re the boss and the worker. Few act the part of the boss, they simply put their head down and work, but if they were to step back and strategically plan what work should be done, the work would be correct more often than it is if it’s reactive.
I spend far too much time acting reactively, and far too little time reflecting on whether those actions have yielded the result I wanted them to. I’m busy being the worker without thinking like the boss.
I’m acting down to my current situation instead of acting up to the situation I’d like to next end up living in.
How to Act Above Your Situation
This is a problem I’ve had to – and am still – think about solving. I’ve had to reflect, detach, look at my situation and my reality without the veil of emotion.
There are a few truths that we have to come to grips with:
What has gotten us here won’t get us ‘there’. That is, we cannot continue to do the same things every day and expect to improve. We have to shift, adjust, change what we’re doing, do things bigger, better, and often radically different.
At the same time, doing ‘different’ for the sake of it being different is wrong. Persistence is key, and quite often we’re changing plans and adjusting our course too often that we don’t let our work realize its potential.
We can act however we want to act. We do not have to act like a fella making 6 figures if we want to make 7 or 8. We do not have to act like a fat person if we want to be ripped. We are not relegated to acting as our upbringing dictated we act, nor are we stuck acting as we’ve always acted.
Too often we act as we think we’re supposed to act rather than how we’d like to act.
We’d all like to act more successful, but only a minority among us know that this choice is ours. Thus, we improve, but far too slowly.
We don’t aim high enough, and that isn’t necessarily in our goal-setting (though this is almost always true), but in how we carry ourselves.
Our opinion of who we are betrays who we want to become.
We can stop worrying. We can stop fearing. We can stop being lazy, envious, and ineffective. We can start acting with courage, discipline, and focus.
There are so many choices in our lives that we’re unaware of. We have more power than we realize, and this is especially true when we feel powerless, when we feel beat up, distraught, as if life won’t turn in the direction we’d like it to turn. We ignore that we’re the catalyst and the vehicle for change. So we don’t change, and neither does our circumstance.
Every struggle is an opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve, and if we evolve enough, we will become who we need to be to deserve what we want to deserve.
It begins with a choice, but also an understanding that there are choices.
Spend time and define two things:
Define who you are.
Identify your strengths, what you’re good at or can be the best at, and what you love to do.
Understand, also, where you are weak. I can be hard-headed, even defensive. I have a natural instinct to fight that doesn’t have to be my instinct. I need to be more open to criticism, and to seeing things from outside, often more correct, perspectives.
Equally important is it to define who you want to become.
Not just what, but who.
What principles and values and virtues would you like to embody?
Who would you like people to see you as?
What thoughts do you want to dominate your mind?
Understanding the truth about who we are allows us to move forward from a position of truth in a world, existence, and society of image and delusion. If you understand the truth, you can use it to set you free to accomplish great things. If you want to ignore reality and remain blind to both your limitations and strengths, you’ll remain reactive, working on things that won’t get you to the level you want to be at.
In short, act to the standard you want to rise to, don’t continue acting down to the situation you’re struggling through right now.
It’s what you do every day that matters, not what you do every once in a while.
I dream a bit too much. Dreaming can be a good thing, but when you’re constantly thinking about this big, grand, audacious goal, you can get discouraged about the sheer enormity of the mountain before you.
Even if you don’t get discouraged, but always focusing on the dream, you pull yourself out of what really matters, the process. The process, the work, the daily grind is what will get you to where you want to be, and if you focus only on the work, you’ll likely end up somewhere even grander than you initially dreamed.
When you’re focused only on the end, however, clarity can waiver. You can question your process and forget about the habits that will create the goal.
Step #1: fall in love with the process; forget about the goal.
Talkers are rarely doers.
There’s an insecurity involved in being a talker. Insecurities can work in your favor. If you’re continually trying to prove yourself, you can end up working more than your competition merely to show them up.
Talkers, however, rarely fall into that category. It’s those who work in silence, for the sake of the work not to seek fame, that do, that accomplish and create while the talker feels as though he’s accomplished something simply from his proclamation.
Being under the radar is the best way to achieve a daring feat. It is such because it’s not about the individual, it isn’t a contest in comparison to others, and thus it’s not dependent on their praise and affirmation. It’s a personal quest, and therefore it’s habitual in nature, not requiring boisterous actions that are visible to the public.
Success, real success is dependent on hours of solitude and silence, and when you’re doing what you’re doing just to show others than you can do it, silence can be deafening.
To accomplish, you have to simply shut up and work.
Step #2: shut up and work and be okay with solitude and silence.
To succeed you have to learn and to learn you have to know that you don’t know everything.
Studying, however, isn’t enough, you have to know what to study.
What craft or skill is essential to your success?
What do you have to become the best at to become win?
Find the best books on that topic. They could span a couple of skills, like copywriting, selling, marketing, and running a successful business. Reading for the sake of reading, if you’re attempting to build something great, isn’t enough. You have to study, and you have to explore the topics that will lead to your success.
Identify the ten best, most highly rated books in a given field. Buy a small journal to take notes in for each book, or take notes using Evernote or Google Drive so they’re always there and readily viewable (I like journals, but now I’ve got so many of them I don’t have the slightest clue where particular ones are. I suppose I couldn’t categorize them better, but Drive or Evernote are easier ways to get this done.).
Take notes. Highlight questions. Actively learn from the books you’re reading, study them, don’t just gloss over them. The worst use of a book is to use it as a notch on the belt, for show, so you can have it on a shelf in your library so you can show people how much you’re reading.
It’s better to study a single book than to gloss over a dozen.
Step #3: study like a madman.
Approval shouldn’t be the pursuit.
If you want to ‘show everyone’ just how great you are, you’re not going to do the right things, nor make the necessary sacrifices to achieve what you set out to achieve. When you forget about others, when you remove the desire to compare where you are in relation to where others are, you free yourself up to focus on the work.
This isn’t a race. One effective day doesn’t make you a great man. It’s the incremental victories won daily that produce a lifetime of achievement.
Whatever will help you focus on the process, to be okay with solitude and silence, do it. If it’s finding a mentor, then do that. If it’s getting off social media all together, then get off it.
Know that the process is everything. Who you are every day is all that matters and to expect ‘big things’ right away is juvenile and silly.
If you want to be successful – however you define it – become the man worthy of that success. That isn’t ‘do something that will make you successful’, but become the man, acquire the habits, live your life to a higher daily standard and one day you’ll wake up with the life that was once your dream.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.