Ye Coffers Overflowith – When Will you be Wealthy?

money-guyAh, wealth… One of those things most folks seem to be striving for. Money for all the stuff they want, and no worries about bills. But how will you know when you’re wealthy? Have you ever really thought about it?

A lot of people think of getting wealth as some instant miracle – winning the lottery, having a long lost uncle die and leave you a fortune, or suing the pants off some company who didn’t fix the sidewalk in front of their store. That’s not wealth, that’s money, lots of it quickly. And if you’ve heard all the stories about the easy-come, easy-go manner of former lottery winners and litigious opportunist, you’ll know it’s true.

No, what I’m talking about is real wealth. That point when you’ve got enough. What does that mean to you?

No, Thanks – I’m Full

As we work to build our little home based ventures, or to get one off the ground, we imagine a time when we have more coming in than we need. It’s always some vague vision of wealth, a future point in time when our bank account has grown along with our business. It’s important to take the time to really think about and understand our own personal definition of wealth. And there’s no better time then now. Because, how will you know when you’ve arrived, if you don’t know where you’re going?

So how much is enough – $1 million, $5 million, $100 million, a billion, or more? What would it take for you to be done – money-wise that is? Lets say that your business continues to thrive, and I’m going to assume that it’s something you love doing. Now, you still love doing it, but you’ve reached a point where you feel you have enough – houses, cars, domestic staff, boats, cattle – whatever you feel you need. What does that look like? Really imagine it, feel it, experience it. What would it be like when you reach the point when all your material needs are taken care of?

This is one of the most important exercises that you can do. It’s also one of those things most folks never take the time to do. We tend to just plug along, working, building, striving, but there is no real discernable goal in mind. Just to be successful or wealthy – two very subjective words. So take 20 or 30 minutes of uninterrupted time, maybe put on some music, and daydream, brainstorm, and think about your own personal vision of wealth. Here are some questions to get the gears turning:

  • If you had to pick a single figure to represent “enough” for you and your family what would it be?
  • When do you expect to reach that goal?
  • What things do you want or need – the stuff that you feel is important for a full life?
  • What do you want to have money put away for – kid’s college, weddings, retirement?
  • And once you reach the magic figure, what do you do with the money still coming in – give it all away, work for free or donations to a charity, or form and self-fund a non-profit?

Thinking about wealth, and what it means to you, can help shape the way your mind thinks about your business and money in general. By taking the time to establish what real wealth looks like to you, you set in motion the actions to begin achieving that goal. And before you know it, your coffers will be overflowing.

Allocate Your Time and Energy

interesting-ideaSteve Pavlina consistently has some thought-provoking stuff on the subject of personal development. Today Steve has an interesting post on asset allocation. Aside from the standard financial planning methods, he relates how to apply the concept to different areas of your life:

After the financial planning course I realized that the strategy of asset allocation can be applied to other areas of life, such as work, relationships, and health.

Consider how you allocate your time. You can think of your time as consisting of several buckets, each having a different risk/reward ratio. If you have a full-time job that pays a flat salary, then most of your time is allocated to the security bucket, so you might want to shift some of that time to the entrepreneurial bucket to participate in the game for much greater gains.

One of the key factors to success as a home-based business owner is balance. Learning to allocate your time and energy in the most efficient and beneficial way is essential to running a thriving business. The concept of asset allocation is a great way to develop a framework for balancing the different areas of your life.

Escape the “Job” Mentality When Starting a Business

tip-guyPamela over at Escape from Cubicle Nation offers some great ways to get out of the “job” mentality when starting a business.

The first item on her list “Start with What kind of work am I meant to do?, not What kind of business should I start?” is one of the most valuable pieces of advice when you begin the process of searching for the ideal home-based business:

This is a very important distinction that I want you to stop and really think about for a minute. It is related to your greater purpose for being on earth, or if you wish to frame it in corporate terms, your personal mission statement. When I spent some time reflecting on the work I am meant to do, I realized that it all has to do with promoting personal freedom, joy and expression through work.

Most of the folks I talk to that have such a struggle are those that settled for some home-business in a box thing, rather than basing their venture on their unique gifts.

I know I tend to harp on this a lot, but it’s the foundation for everything else. True success comes from doing the right “work” for you. Knowing what that is, and how to put it into action, almost guarantees success.

Finding Your Genius

genius-bookA couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the book “Is Your Genius at Work?” while referencing an interesting post by the author, Dick Richards. Genius is a phenomenal book that brings a valuable and unique approach to discovering your unique genius and purpose. The core principals of the book are summarized as:

You have a genius that is inevitably linked to your work and career.

Your genius was a source of success and satisfaction in work that you have done in the past, and it can be a source of success and satisfaction in work that you do in the future.

The first step toward recognizing your genius is acknowledging that you do have a genius.

The primary method for recognizing your genius is to give it a name.

I discovered the book last year after reading about it on several of my favorite personal development blogs. As an avid reader, I’ve read hundreds of success and personal development books. Most have little or no lasting impact. Genius was different. Here, almost a year later, I can trace many key life decisions and changes back to discovering my genius with the help of the book.

Shortly after reading the book the first time through, I wrote to Dick, which became a guest post on his blog:

As I began to study the book and complete the exercises, my interest intensified. Though I had been through hundreds of personal development products over the years, I never felt the need to write an author. But after my first time through “Genius,” I was compelled to email Dick to express my enthusiasm regarding his work. His methodology was such an authentic and fresh way of approaching that “inner something.” What I found even more appealing is that the process is not an easy, quick-fix. If I had read the book once, done the exercises, and had my genius, I don’t know if it would have had the same impact. The fact that I had to continue to search within to articulate my genius, made the process even more compelling.

The exercises in the book are both fun and engaging. They can also be frustrating:

After several weeks, I had not found my genius and began to get frustrated. I saw glimpses and flashes as I struggled to grasp hold of the underlying thread that was trying to reveal itself. It was like desperately trying to remember a dream that you know has significance. The more I tried to uncover the details, the murkier it became.

It took time and work, but I did find my Genius. Now, close to a year later, I feel that the discovery helped me to better understand who I am and why I do things. It also gave me a much needed wake-up call about what I wanted to do in life. There is amazing power in clearly knowing who you are and what you want. “Is Your Genius at Work?” can help to find that clarity, and provide some valuable insight into the real you.

More Resources

  • Chapter 1 is available for download from Dick’s site.
  • Lots of folks have had similar experiences with the book. You can find more stories on the Come Gather Round blog.
  • There is a companion Google Group that might be helpful for those going through the exercises and looking for some help.

Hidden in Plain Site

skillsWhy is it that we can never see what’s plainly obvious to others? Whether it’s the person we should be with (she’s just a friend, not my soul mate) or our calling, sometimes it’s hard to see what is right in front of us.

When it comes to finding an ideal work-from-home business, people tend to bounce around the obvious choice – the one that is a perfect blend of their passions, talents, and gifts.

Take for example a guy I’ll call Ralph (not his real name). He’s a natural people person, and loves to teach. His way of presenting information is so intuitive, it’s almost like you can’t help but learn from him. He went into sales instead of teaching because of the money. Now, after his new baby was born, he’d love to be home more. After discussing his love of teaching and training, and his natural gifts for presenting ideas in a clear and interesting way, he narrowed down his choices of the perfect work-from-home business. Now did he choose:

A. A training and consulting business geared towards presenting corporate training in a way that engages the clients. Or,
B. A multi level marketing “business” his friend Bill said he would be great at because of his natural sales ability?

It was obvious to everyone but Ralph that option “A” would not only make him happy, but be very lucrative in the long run. But the promise of “millions just from recruiting your friends” sounded easier than starting a training business. When I asked Ralph why, he said he didn’t think anyone would really be willing to pay him to teach and train because it was so easy. That anyone could do it. Why pay him, an outside consultant, to do what they could easily do on their own?

The answer, again obvious to everyone but him, was that is wasn’t easy. It was just easy for him. Often when we are considering our own unique gifts, we just assume that everyone can do it as easily as us – because it comes so natural. Whether it’s art, writing, teaching, building things, singing – any special innate talent – to the one lucky enough to have it, it just seems normal. But to everyone else, it’s anything but. It’s a special talent and an ideal way for you to create a successful venture.

So how do we identify these gifts? Here are a few options:

  1. Start to recognize your talents and passions for what they are. Gifts special to you and something unique that you bring to the world.
  2. Ask friends and family what they would say are your special talents. Ask people you trust, and who know you well, but don’t have any specific “mold” of how they think you should be.
  3. Look at what you do that comes so naturally you tend to not even notice it. What creates that magical state of flow when you’re doing it, and seems to make time fly by.
  4. What do people consistently ask you for help doing, because you’re the guy or gal with the skills? Are you always helping people with their car, A/V equipment, their craft projects? Are people always asking for fashion tips, interior design options, or health and fitness questions?

By being aware of what you do naturally, those skills that you enjoy using, and how you can provide value to others, you can find the foundation on which to build a successful home-based business. A business that is a unique contribution, because it offers those special gifts that only you can bring to the marketplace.