Do You Work to Live or Live to Work?

No one grows up thinking, -I want to drive Toyota- (1)

I need to get the car fixed.

I reminded myself as I walked down the long but scenic stretch to the clock -in counter at my hotel day job. If the car is fixed, I can get to work earlier and have more time to prepare for the work day.

I don’t even like this car, the red career demon on my left shoulder appeared in a puff of smoke. If I had a better income I could buy a better car. Hmm.. My dream car. A BMW 116i (I have a thing for coupes). “Be realistic”, my white career angel adjusted his halo, glaringly waving his degree at me.

Am I living to work or working to live? Am I reorganizing my entire life and priorities in order to be a better employee?

Is the energy that you put out everyday going towards making you a better employee or is your energy going towards building something for yourself? When you get paid, how much of that is budgeted for work clothes, work lunch, transportation to and from work, work hair, work nails?

How much of your daily energy and resources go towards making you  a better employee?

How much do you invest in making someone else rich?

I take my vitamins each morning, rush home to get enough rest so I can perform well at my job; give it my best.

I don’t even like this job. I accepted it because I was unemployed for a few months and I had reached panic mode where I would accept anything. That’s what I did.

Ask yourself, “What do I get in return?” Lame salary, grumpy boss, not even a thank you when you know your report was beyond ‘very good’.

It is said that human beings have limited potential. However, based on Physics, we have limited energy and based on Biology; limited time.

You can spend that time and energy on improving your employee status or you can direct the same amount of energy into building something amazing for yourself.

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Is Your Wealth Model Broken?

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Your wealth model is your total income and the means by which you attain it. If the post above is familiar to you, your wealth model just might be broken.

“When you work for others, you are at their mercy. They own your work; they own you. Your creative spirit is squashed. What keeps you in such a position, is a fear of having to sink or swim on your own. Instead you should have a deeper fear of what should happen if you remain dependent on others for power. The ultimate power in life is to be completely self-reliant, completely yourself.” – 50cent The 50th Law

The first step to shifting this model to a more effective one is to start your own business. How do we do that?

Define the following:

  • Your product/service (What can you offer?)
  • The demand for it (Who would pay for it)
  • Your competitors (Who else offers similar services)
  • Your target market (Who will you sell to)
  • How to Market to them (What’s the best medium to reach them)
  • How Much to Charge (Cost vs Value)
  • How to Keep them coming back (Delight and retain)

Think about it, right, with a business, if you can learn how to sell something for $10, you can do that 100 times and make $1000, then to that 10 times and make $10,000. Then do that 10 times and make $100,000 and again another ten times, that’s $1,000,000!  Do you think you can do that with a job, trading money for time?

No way.

Owning your own business is the most effective method to wealth building.

I remember my own ‘light bulb’ moment. I had been working in the hospitality industry for a few months. The hours were gruelling,. I barely saw my child and barely had time for myself. The salary did not match the required hours.

I thought to myself, if I could get up at 5 am every morning, stroll home at 11 pm each night for someone else’s profit, how much energy would I put into my ownbusiness?

This simple self-reflective question changed everything. Immediately, my energy shifted from building their company to building myself. According to James Altrucher, “Don’t quit your job immediately. You’re going to get fired eventually anyway.”

Progress follows energy and effort.

With this new shift, you will notice less energy being put in your daily job duties as your time and mental energy goes into research, networking, planning for you own future.

Selfish/unethical?

Hardly.

You have to realize that as an employee, you are replaceable.

The only way to have what you want, is to build it. If you live in fear of losing your job, they can ask you to put up with undesirable conditions and you will agree… Out of fear. Unless you are steering your own ship and by extension, your destiny, you are just a cog in their system.

You have to break out of the mold and recognize that everything that you have been investing in building someone else’s empire could be used to start your own.

I admit it isn’t easy to suddenly change course and drop everything  to explore a brand new life. That’s what this blog is for.To encourage you through the steps.

Millions of others have done it and so can you.

All the best in your future freedom-seeking adventures!

Stephanie.

 

For additional motivation on your journey to financial freedom, check out this EBook for tips on how to shift your mindset from the 9-5 to wealth building mentality.

3 Reasons You Don’t Need a Mentor to Succeed

Stop asking for permission

A month ago I ended a fifteen year friendship.

It was not as difficult as I thought it would have been. In a brief four sentence conversation I realized I had outgrown my dear friend. I also realized just how much weight his opinion had carried in my life and I was more than ready to sever that influence and move forward.

“I cannot take advice from you because I do not want to be where you are”, were my exact words. It hit me just how true these words are and I continue to live by them. He promptly in disdain, began to list his accomplishments including his PhD and his lofty  management responsibilities at his job.

Job!

The very anti-thesis of my life philosophy!

I’m sure that having a mentor is awesome but be aware that you will never go higher than the person whose opinions you value or whom you look to for validation. Your subconscious (that habit dependent part of your brain) will always find a way to keep you looking up to them by keeping you under them.

Give no man the position of being able to crush you or limit you at any moment.

Quite recently, my ‘habit induced brain’ led me to be drawn to another potential mentor. I admired him. I looked up to him. Until one afternoon, with a few texted paragraphs, he crushed me. I was at the mercy of his whim and moods because I ate up everything he said like it was the last living and breathing testament of the gospel of entrepreneurship.

I gave him power. I begged for his permission. The result? I began to see his opinions as my own truth.

And isn’t that what constantly asking advice is all about? Asking for someone else’s permission or confirmation to do something that you want to do. Asking a mentor for his opinion?

A few draw backs of having a mentor:

  1. You become limited by the success of your mentor
  2. What worked for them may not necessarily work for you
  3. The belief that you can’t succeed without a mentor is a limiting one, especially if you never find a good mentor
  4. The potential for human dependency is an ever present one

So how do we stop asking for permission? Especially when we are surrounded by close friends and associates who constantly offer it.

  • Realize that you are an entity all by yourself – A unique universe within the universe

What worked for your mentor won’t necessarily work for you. Maybe because you’re an individual and may have a very different approach to things. Give your individuality space to breathe. The success goal might be the same but there are several paths to get there.

  • Quit the urge to please other people

This is a primal one, I know. This caveman like urge to be with the herd in order to survive; to take directives from the master. I am yet to find another article that better explains this phenomenon along with amazing advice on how to curb it – Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

  • Get comfortable with self- accountability

The scariest part of moving from a 9-5 into entrepreneurship is having no else to blame but you. There’s no bull headed boss (Oh wait, that’s you!), no rigid HR rules, no ridiculous company policy – No excuses. The failures and bumps are all yours to own but so are the victories. Having a mentor can block you from shouldering the full consequences of your actions and attempts. Uncertainty is something you must become comfortable with.

Slowly, very slowly, as your authenticity blossoms you will attract your tribe. Out of the social wood work they will climb and they will recognize you just the way you are – being your authentic self.

So, take a hammer to those mental pedestals and pull down the elevated restrictions these idols have placed in your mind. You are free to experience your own failures, attempts, victories, un-trodden paths and adventures.

Realize that exploring the world alone is a two fold purpose. You uncover and you create, like a tapestry with a pattern that is completely unique to you.

Quit asking permission from  others to live a life that is completely your own.

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http://www.isaiahhankel.com/book

Overcoming ‘Shiny Job’ Syndrome

change direction

“We are going to have to let you go”.

I heard the words with the surreal realization that I was saying them.

I was firing someone.

As a person who feels deeply, one of my greatest challenges in business was separating my empathy from what had to be done. This employee had received several warnings and probations, but simply refused to or was incapable of complying with our customer service policy.

She had to be let go. I hadn’t made the decision but I supported it and I had to be the one to do it. As operations manager of a fairly small grocery store, the bulk of personnel management duties fell in my lap. I knew it wouldn’t have been a pleasant experience, yet I was not prepared for the begging, the tears, the promises to improve.

At this point, my hands were tied. I had to let her go.

I tried exploring options with her. “What will you do?” (That empathy thing again)

Between sobs, I happened to pick ip a few distressed phrases.. “hairdressing” “beautician certified”…

You’re telling me you have a very practical and high-demand skill yet you choose to stay here and work for someone else as a cashier? Why would you want to do that instead of starting your own business? You could work from home, decide on your own hours, set your own prices… I was taken aback. I had always wished I had a skill that could bring in an extra income..

I couldn’t understand the rationale of this employee. After almost an hour locked in my office, I convinced her to set up her business, offered to print her first set of 100 business cards and to get a few customers (my sisters) to support her initial efforts.

She had the opportunity to easily earn twice what she did now, tax free, working less hours and days than she currently did. Bonus, she didn’t have to operate in a constricting slave like environment or suffer an insufferable boss. My dad wasn’t the most human-asset friendly business owner. He is from an outdated era.

I call this the “Shiny Job Syndrome”. We have been fed the false idea that success is defined as ‘being employed’. We mentally pedestalize this belief and automatedly follow a programing that is outdated.

No matter how impressive the salary, a company can never accurately pay you for the value that you add and the time that you give. No matter how secure the position, there is always the possibility of being laid off, fired, or of the company going bankrupt or out of business. No matter how prestigious the title, depending on the whims and decisions of others steals your creativity. No matter how much initiative you are allowed to exercise, you will never be at the helm.

We spend our lives trying valiantly to protect ourselves from the same crises that will catapult us towards freedom and financial independence.

For years, I wanted to write. I was dissatisfied with my job. Yet, it wasn’t until I lost it all; the income, the security, the great apartment… Not until then did I find the courage to follow my dream with the only thing I had left. Me. I had nothing but myself, my time, my creativity, my initiative, my goals, my dreams, my desires.

It felt strange not having someone to answer to; not having a boss telling me what to do. How would I know when I was doing something wrong?

“You never realize how bound you are until you feel the heavy responsibility of freedom”.

And, it’s scary.

It is a scary thought knowing that, without instructions, every failure, every fumble is your own. There is no one to blame, no company policy to fall back on, no employee assessment to scrape through. But, beyond that fear, lay exhilaration. The thrill that I was creating something that was all me… No template, no rules.. no standards, no limitations. No commission. All mine. Loss or win, I owned the outcome completely.

And, to me that was worth it.

I had to carve out an identity. My old one was lost on having to answer to bosses, fit into corporate images and absorbing job-ideal expectations. I determined that if there ever was a business culture I wanted to support it would be one built on freedom. On the right of every human being to discover and pursue his or passion.

Instead of passively disciplining people, I wanted to help them discover the courage to start their own businesses using skills and interests and passions. So I wrote a book and started this blog.

I made a decision that the risks were worth it, the initial rejections – worth it. The up hill struggle to get that first client – totally worth it. Just to gain my independence, live my passion and do something meaning to me on a personal level.

It’s not easy, but with a little guidance and lots of determination, it can be done.

Check out Creating a Wealthy Mindset on Amazon for practical methods of unplugging your mind from the Shiny Job Syndrome mindset.

Entrepreneurship – Solving A Problem

Entrepreneurship1.

One of the most common complaints I get from clients is: “Starting a business is so complicated!”

If you have ever attempted to start a business, you would have found out that the red tape alone can choke you. The fees, the paperwork, the taxes, the business plans to beg for a loan… It is all just too much.

How about we simplify things by focusing on the essentials.

Simply put, entrepreneurship is just a long complicated word for ‘solving a problem’.

Every business you can think of whether they sell products or services, all have one thing in common. They offer something that will either simplify, enhance or improve the quality of lives in some way.

Grocery stores simplify our lives by making a wide variety of goods available in one location (platform). For this service, we pay them 15 – 30% extra on the cost of goods we purchase. But I can imagine we much prefer this arrangement to running all over town to the bakery, butcher, farmer etc in order to have our food needs met.

This mark up or profit of 15- 30% can be broken down into labour, packaging, energy cost (to keep meat frozen), rent etc. Every aspect of business can be simplified like this. If sales aren’t great this month, we find a way to increase awareness of our services (marketing) in order to attract more customers.

If if you ever get the feeling that you need a four year degree and years of accounting training to startup, just remember that all you will be doing is solving a problem, for a group of people (market, niche) who have a need.

You can do this.

No matter who or where you are there is something you can do to enhance someone else’s life; to improve their quality of living. You just need to get a little creative. Entrepreneurship banks on the fact that people like to have processes in their lives simplified.

Find a group of people with a problem you can solve. The beauty of E-Commerce is, you have access to a global community. This increases your likelihood of finding people with a problem you can solve. In addition, setting up a platform (website such as Shopify) and marketing (social media such as Facebook) is relatively easy and cheap compared to renting a brick and mortar store and purchasing equipment.

Clearly, your exit strategy (dropping everything and running for the hills if you fail) would be much smoother in E-Commerce as well.

So, think about a problem you can solve. Think about how you can reach the people who have the problem and how much you will charge for your services.

As the world evolves, new problems arise.

It has been said that during the gold rush, it wasn’t the persons doing the digging who made the most money, but rather the ones who sold the digging tools.

If you start a business, keep in mind that your main purpose isn’t profit but to solve a problem. Profit will always follow the solution. Read more on starting a successful business by solving  a problem in Chapter 18, Creating a Wealthy Mindset.

Happy problem solving (business building)!

Losing The Fear Of Change

I didnt forgetwhere i camefrom. i justcan't stay there

The tiles were yellow and faded.

Aged and handled magazines covered the coffee table. As I sat in the doctor’s office of my hometown, I saw several familiar faces. People I had known forever but never quite got around to meeting.

It was my first week on the road as a Pharmaceutical Rep. As I patiently waited for the receptionist to signal for me to steal a few minutes with the doctor, I overheard a conversation between two patients.

“I didn’t know you still lived in this town”. A young man in construction boots and soiled clothes responded, “I was born here. Where else would I be? I’m not going anywhere.”

A very simple realization that many people never get, is that fact that…

You are not a tree!

You are not planted where you were born or to any destination or situation that you happen to land in. You always have a choice to move. As humans, growth and change are not only natural, they are inevitable.

If you choose to stay where you are because you are very happy there, then that’s great! But that is very different from the notion of staying in one place simply because you were born (not planted) there.

You have to no obligation to stay where you are. Travel and explore. Have adventures and discover other places and things that resonate with your desires; your authenticity.

You owe it to yourself to find out what you like and dislike outside the influences of your hometown folk.

Similarly, never stay in a career or a job simply beacause you made that choice when you were younger. Never be afraid to move and try other things. Never be afraid to admit, “This isn’t for me. Let me try something else”. Discover your passion, try a new hobby, start a side business.

See what else is out there.

I dare you to move.

You can start by ordering a copy of Creating a Wealthy Mindset. Start by removing the mental untruths that have prevented you from living the life of your dreams.

Discover financial freedom and pave your path to success.

 

From Pain To Purpose

He who has the power of turning all negative vibes in his path into positive energy has learned the meaning of life

When I went broke, I experienced severe emotional pain. In my mind, there was nothing more painful than not having a steady stream of income. It stole my independence and my freedom – two of the things I valued dearly.

I got angry

Felt helpless

I felt like a slave to whomever I allowed to offer assistance. It was not a good feeling. I felt lesser than, beneath those who were still taking care of ‘biz’ and handling their lives with their steady incomes.

I also promised myself that I would help anyone who ever found themselves in these circumstances, which formed the foundation of ‘Creating a Wealthy Mindset’.

It soon dawned on me that my identity (idea of who I was) was so closely tied to being financially independent that not being in that place (no matter how temporary) was messing with my self esteem and causing great pain.

What did I have to offer now?

Who was I?

I felt diminished.

The issue wasn’t a lack of money. I certainly wasn’t starving. I ate each day satisfactorily and slept each night in safety. But the very thing I had identified my values with, was stripped from me.

People will fight and claw and do anything to protect that which identifies them.

Whatever you get your value from, is what you will fight tooth and nail for.

Getting and having money is great but what are your values and how are they tied in to how you make money, how you invest that money and your general contribution to the betterment of the world.

In other words, why the hell should you be wealthy?

If you are comfortable where you are right now, smooching off some relative, barely making it by each month what motivation is there to change, to move from where you are?

You need to tap into your pain source

What is the most painful thing about where you are?

Do they feed you but complain about it or give you attitude as they throw food in your mouth?

Do you long for freedom from other people’s idea of living.

So, what identifies you? What are your values? How do you define yourself?

This is your pain.

Use it. Wield it.

Put all that frustrating energy into creating your own life. Design it just the way you want. Let your pain help you to remain uncomfortable until you are where you want to be.

Transform that energy

That pain you feel now is your potential energy. Like a stone being pulled back in a slingshot. That stone holds within it massive energy to buss someone’s head if released (lol), but it won’t do any damage until it’s released. The pulling back of the stone increases its potential energy (the farther back it’s pulled, the greater force it will have when released).

The greater your potential energy (your pain), the greater the force when you become released. So, increase that pain when you can. Use it as your motivation to keep planning, keep going.

This is not the end of your story, merely a dark chapter. That middle chapter of your amazing biography. No great book goes without having a dark scary chapter for the hero/ heroine to overcome.

Dare you to move…

Stephanie ♥