I know that I’m stressed when I start crunching financial numbers in my head.
“There’s ‘x amount’ in that account… and ‘y amount’ in that account…
“OH S***! That account is LESS than it was last month! I’m doomed!
“Am I okay? Am I safe? Am I gonna make it?”
I’ll toss and turn that night, wondering how much I have to earn to be “rich” or “set.” Then, I pull out my laptop and check my bank accounts to make sure that it’s all there.
It’s stupid. And unhealthy. And selfish.
And yet I’ve found that most entrepreneurs do it.
When I was young (pre-22), I had an obsession with being a millionaire. Being a millionaire meant that I would be safe. It meant that I would be “set.” And if I wasn’t a millionaire, then I must be destined to be uncertain and unsafe, because I hadn’t “made it” yet. After all, being a millionaire is obviously the ONLY measure of if you’re successful or not.
What I know now is that the obsession with “safety” and my obsession with becoming a millionaire is what kept me from being free.
I believed that if I was going to be successful, that it would be a steady climb up. I couldn’t let things go down at all. If things ever slipped, then I was destined to be a failure. I refused to believe that things could go up and down – they had to be going up ALL the time.
My friend Travis Sago and I recently had a conversation in which we concluded that one of the dangers of life is to mistake trends as permanent. In other words, we mistakenly assume that when things go wrong, they will always go wrong, and if they are going well, that they will always go well.
Jim Rohn calls them seasons of life. Winter is when the old dies off, and we have to wait for it to pass. Then the spring comes, when we plant something new. In the summer, we work like heck to grow those seeds, and in autumn, we enjoy the harvest of our labor.
As I write this, I find myself in winter. The old is dying to make room for new things.
Three years ago, I would have been freaking out… I would have felt a sense of urgency to “fix” things. If I didn’t fix things, then I would lose all of my money, I would have to go back to Ohio, I’d have to move in with my mom, I’d have to get a job at Wal-Mart, and then everyone would think less of me.
My net worth, which was an obsession of mine at an earlier time, has shrunk modestly because some projects haven’t worked out, and the temptation at times is to freak the heck out.
What is interesting is that if I try to “fix” stuff, I do my worst work, because it comes from a place of trying to “get.” When we are trying to get something selfishly, it’s impossible to be creating from a place of abundance.
When I remember that I am already complete, I am already “secure” (since security is an illusion), I am free to give from a place of abundance. And THAT is when I get back on track and start crushing it again.
Rather than trying to “get” something or “fix” something, our focus must be on what we BECOME.
After all, when we get the thing that we want, all that really matters is who we become as a result.
So when things don’t go well, can’t we also use that as an opportunity to become more?
I’ve discovered that no entrepreneurs have a steady climb up. Instead, they climb up, and then they stumble. Then they get back up and keep climbing.
The danger comes in believing that the trends can’t change. The truth is, they always change. The spring always comes. Winter comes every year. Opportunities are everywhere, and the “opportunity of a lifetime” shows up about every six months.
The quest for “safety” or ultimate happiness is an illusion based on the false belief that there is anywhere to go at all. There is no “destination,” there is only progress. There is only a continuous climb upward.
Our brains play a trick on us in believing that there is an “arrival point.” We believe that when x, y, and z happen, then we will be happy. Or safe. Or successful. Or whatever. But when they happen, we feel pretty much the same.
There is no destination. There is only progress.
Here are a four things that I consistently tell myself when I begin to go into “the sky is falling” mode:
1. Everyone on this planet… EVERYONE… is one offer and/or project away from being a millionaire. And making a million dollar offers isn’t THAT hard.
2. Things have to die off in order for new stuff to show up. Your brain cannot see the new stuff that’s going to show up, but they are almost always better than what died off.
3. Rather than trying to go out and “get” something, work on who you want to BECOME. When you do that, everything that you want just tends to show up.
4. Finally, enjoy the process. Enjoy the ups, enjoy the downs. You get to choose your response to it all.
We all go through seasons. But spring always comes after winter. The sun always comes up in the mooring. And opportunities show up on a daily basis.
If you’re going through a time of winter, celebrate. Something new is about to fill the space.
Ryan’s motto is “live life to the fullest.” And, he certainly lives up to the challenge. As a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University, Ryan started a small internet business from his dorm room to help pay his tuition . . . and by the age of 20, he was earning a 6-figure income and other online ventures – all while continuing to study full time. Needless to say, Ryan’s “side business” allowed him to graduate debt free – with a nice chunk of change left over. After college, Ryan expanded his online business and set out to see the world. His next big adventure? Inspiring others to live free lives and create their own destinies . . . just like he had.
With that vision in mind, Ryan created the Freedom Publishing Group LLC, which offers life-changing products in the financial freedom, health and fitness, and self-development spaces. The Freedom Fast Lane is a group of likeminded entrepreneurs who have a passion for sharing their skills to help others succeed in achieving their dreams. Ryan is a world traveler, an avid Cleveland Indians fan, and a big fan of freedom.