It’s that time of year again – my birthday!
Okay, well technically my birthday is on March 31st, but the way I see it all of March counts for a birthday post.
Ever since I started blogging back in 2010 I’ve always put together an annual birthday post. If you’ve been around as a reader that long then you might remember I started blogging as a means to figure out the whole “how to be an adult in the middle of a Recession” thing. I was broke, unemployed and completely lost.
Fast forward almost six years (whoa!) and I’ve turned a little blog that was once called Grad Meets World into the Make Money Your Honey brand. I’ve become a millennial personal finance expert and get to write for a living. I have an Amazon best-selling book. In 2015 I brought in double what I was making at my last desk job. I’ve increased my savings, begun traveling a lot more and generally have a pretty awesome career. The best part is that thanks to my work I literally have friends all over the world.
As a result, there’s no shortage of “I wish I could do what you do” emails in my inbox. Occasionally I’ll also have someone insist that it’s all been a matter of sheer luck. I assure you it has not. My life was created with clear intention, a whole lot of hustle and some serious heart.
When Dreams Become Reality
Not to sound like a complete douche, but I do have to pinch myself sometimes. On the one hand, a part of my mind and body have known for years that this was to be my reality. On the other hand, it’s really trippy to see some of the dreams you’ve held in your vision for years coming into your current reality.
Sometimes it feels flat out strange, especially after having such a rough start just out of college and struggling for years, so I have to do the work to remind myself that my life is pretty awesome now.
This reality, however, is that this hasn’t come without some major lessons needing to be learned. I tell my money mindset coaching clients all the time that everyone has different lessons they need to learn as they figure out their business and their finances. No two people are going to have the same experience because everyone is on a different journey. It’s one of the many reasons that it’s totally unfair and downright detrimental to compare ourselves to other people.
That being said, we can learn a lot from the experiences of others. I, for one, have found it very helpful to see many of my friends and colleague’s killing it online and sharing their stories with the world.
I hope that my story inspires some of you, which is why I insist on interrupting the regularly scheduled programming each year around my birthday. While you may not have to learn the same lessons as I have, I assure you some of these may sound familiar.
6 Lessons Learned About Money, Business and Life
Lesson #1: There is no such thing as luck, but there is such a thing as good timing.
I’ve recently told my Periscope followers that now is when I’m making the amount of money I told one of my coaches I wanted to be making two years ago.
The reality is I wasn’t ready to hold the space for this abundance back then.
I didn’t have the systems in place to manage the money (I didn’t even have an accountant!)
I wouldn’t have known how to reinvest some of the money.
I didn’t even know why I wanted to be making that much.
This stuff does actually matter when you’re learning to make and manage money. Sometimes it’s simply just not the right time because there’s some work we need to do on the backend.
Lesson #2: Stay in your own lane.
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others, and as I mentioned earlier it’s completely unproductive. As soon as I stopped comparing myself to others and simply started focusing on my own life and business, things started to flourish a whole lot faster.
Lesson #3: It’s okay to spend money.
I don’t tend to feel guilty about spending money on big things like travel or investing in my business, but I do tend to feel guilty when I’m doing something nice for myself.
I noticed that I used to give myself hell for getting a mani pedi every once in a while. I would think things like “Well, that’s $30 that could have gone toward my IRA.”
Mind you, it’s not like I couldn’t afford it and it’s not like I’m getting my nails done every week. It’s also not like I don’t work these things into my budget or that those $30 would derail me from my financial plans. I just simply love having nice nails and get them done once in a while.
This, in and of itself, is lack based thinking. It was as if I didn’t believe I could make $30 again. I understand this is probably residual thinking from being broke and having a struggling business for so long, so I’m working on it.
Additionally, I have to learn that it’s okay to spend money. I don’t need to hoard it all the time.
Lesson #4: The only financial decisions you should be making are the ones that work for you.
I sometimes get asked why I’m still living at home and without a car if I can actually afford it now. It’s because I refuse to pay the overinflated rent in Miami and since I’m traveling so much this year it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Let’s also keep in mind that every decision I make is based on wanting to feel free. Getting roped into a lease doesn’t feel freeing right now, it just feels like a waste of money. Money that could go back into my business or toward my travel fund.
The point is that personal finance is exactly that, personal. What works for some doesn’t work for others. There is no one-size-fits-all plan and everyone wants different things. That’s why it’s important to look at your situation and figure out what works best for you in this given moment. Lots of financial headaches could be avoided if we simply took a second to think about whether or not something makes the most financial sense.
Lesson #5: You can’t think your way into confidence.
I often times get asked, “How did you become so confident? Give us some steps!” The reality is I actually do still struggle with confidence a lot of the time – especially if I’m trying something totally new. Additionally, I’ve learned that you can’t analyze your way into being more confident. Instead, you need to act even if you’re scared shitless.
The only thing I can tell you is that I feel the fear and just decide to move through the discomfort. I used to think this was some crazy thing I always did, but now I realize I choose to live this way because life exists outside of your comfort zone.
The confidence has come with time. I’m certainly not afraid of things that scared me a couple of years ago, but I do have new fears to deal with.
Lesson #6: You need to remind yourself that you have choices.
I often times hear people saying “I can’t do what you do because of x, y and z circumstance.” To be honest, I’m getting kind of sick of hearing excuses. Especially because I know plenty of people with the same circumstances or worse who’ve made it.
You want to know the difference between people who are successful and those who aren’t? Successful people know that, despite outside circumstances, they have choices. They also know that it’s up to them to take responsibility for those choices and act accordingly.
Here’s a very simple example to show you what I mean. In 2015 I barely traveled. By the end of the year I was complaining saying “Well, I can’t travel because my business requires so much attention.” I had to call myself out on my own bullshit. The reality was I can run a business from anywhere, so I was really just making excuses instead of taking responsibility.
Lesson #7 You need to make tough choices sometimes.
I also hear excuses all the time with people who want to quit their jobs and run their own businesses, but won’t do what it takes to make it happen. Those of us on the other side of a day job have all made uncomfortable choices and taken risks. We’ve all done things most people would consider unconventional to get to where we want to go. No one is exempt from that.
I was recently asked in an interview whether or not I see a brighter future for myself. I responded by saying that if I’ve learned this much by the age of 28 then I’m totally stoked to see how my life improves from here on out.
Online Store 25% Off Birthday Sale
Because it’s my birthday, I’ve decided to do a sale on the online store. Here you’ll find books, classes and workshops you can use to organize your finances and start your own business.
Simply visit the online store and use the code BIRTHDAY25 to get your discount 🙂