The reason for this blog post is a series of events that have changed what I do and more importantly, why. I’ll expand on that in a moment.
Here’s a very short introduction video (apologies for the occasional blurriness, I set the wrong settings on a new camera I’m testing out) :
As one of the team at Prosperative I hear a lot of comments from our members and general subscribers. Many of you work really hard to achieve your goals and that’s great. But my contention – after many years of experience – is that maybe we focus on the wrong goal sometimes.
Based on the things I hear from the people I speak to, I think it’s true.
So what might be the “wrong” goal? I think for many of us it’s that dream of “making money online”. Nothing wrong with making money. Nothing wrong with making lots of money.
But is that really the dream? Really?
Doesn’t that sometimes just drive you crazy, chasing and working for what is, when all is said and done, a dream?
Wouldn’t you really rather have the freedom to do the things you love?
Do you love travel? Photography? Fishing? Spending time with family?
All those things are activities that are end results. They are what money makes possible. You need (some) money to do them. They are what I would call true end goals. Money is merely the means by which you can have them.
For me, photography is probably my number one hobby. And it can be expensive, but what it creates is priceless. That first photo of your first child?
How can you put a price on that? Its value will increase with time.
The photo of a family member getting married? You have to be there to take it.
The last photo of a parent before they pass? How precious would that be as you grow older?
Fishing trips with friends? If that’s your thing you will remember the trip long after you forget how much it cost you to take the trip.
The money is just a means to an end.
Money is just a way to make other things happen – the good things that we all want deep down.
So what’s the point I’m making? Let me give you a little personal history before I get to that point. Whatever job I’ve done (I’ve had several careers in my life) I’ve always put the job first, second and last. I’ve done that because I thought it was the right way to earn the money to do the things I wanted to do.
The catch was – oh boy here’s the sting – in spending all my time earning the money I left no time to enjoy it.
How many times have I done that? Every time.
It’s frustrating to look back and see the same patterns play out. That’s not 100% true – if you generate patterns that work to enhance your life, those you want to keep seeing.
But you don’t want to keep seeing the “mistaken” patterns. Those are not welcome. No, you want to learn from them.
In the video I talk about an internet addiction.
Many of you have told us that you sometimes feel like you’re on a treadmill trying to keep up.
I want to ask a cheeky question: Do you sometimes value the attempt to earn a few more (or a few hundred/thousand) dollars more than you value your own time?
I’ve done that many times. I know some of you have too. I hear regular tales of people staying up until ridiculous hours, trying this new thing and that new thing. I hear tales of people who spend a fortune on buying every shiny new object, but won’t spend a cent on training that helps them work smarter not harder.
Life probably won’t be one long vacation for most of us. Frankly, I’d hate it if it were.
I like doing what I do. I love doing what I do.
But I sometimes find myself doing more of it than I should, or need to do.
Sometimes, just sometimes, I’d get more out of life spending a few hours with family and friends than chasing another $100. The money will be spent and gone soon enough. The memories of time well spent with family and friends will never leave you.
I’ve canceled so many family vacations because work “needed me”, back when I worked for “the man”. I’m ashamed to admit that. I thought I was doing the right thing.
I wasn’t. It was the wrong thing. The extra money I made is scant consolation for the loss of family time. I can make more money. I can never get back that time I lost.
Do I still make mistakes like that? Well not so much these days, but I do find myself slipping into addiction mode and wanting to do one more thing, or try one new shiny object. I know I’m not alone in looking up at the clock and wondering how Monday evening suddenly turned into Tuesday morning.
Be under no illusion – I think it’s important to work hard. But first work smarter. When the Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of your effort may only bring you 20% of your results, why not focus on the 20% of effort that brings you 80% of your results?
To do that you have to learn, test, analyze, adjust, rise and repeat.
When you look back over your life, do you think you will remember the $478.34 you earned with a particular affiliate promotion?
Or do you think you’ll remember the sunsets and barbecues you shared with loved ones?
Will you count your dollars, or count your blessings?
I have one final point for you to consider:
When you’re chasing making money online, do you have a very clear idea of what it is you want that money to achieve? Many of the people I’ve asked that question to struggle to give a comprehensive answer.
“So I can do what I want to do.”
“So I have freedom.”
“I want to fire my boss.”
All very cool – but why? Why fire your boss? So you are your own boss, or so you can vacation when you want to, visit with family when you want to – even just to kick of your shoes and feel the grass under your feet on a sunny day, when you want to.
The saying “time is money” works both ways. As I mention in the video, you can use your money to release time for the things you want. But you can only do that if you stop chasing money long enough to enjoy the time!
Finally, I will share this with you. Over the last few weeks I could have made some nice chunks of money spending all my time setting up various affiliate offers and emailing my own subscribers.
I didn’t do that.
What I did instead was comfort my daughter when she was assaulted (everything fine now and she wasn’t hurt, but of course emotionally distraught). At that point the thought of worrying about making money was completely out of the window. Who would put the mighty dollar before their own child?
I wasn’t sure whether to share that with you, but the truth is that I was able to be there for my daughter because I make enough money to be able to do so (working smarter so I have very flexible time). But frankly, what parent would even think about making money at a time like that? Even if you had a boss who was a real idiot about time off, you would put your child first, right?
Some things are self-evidently more important than making money. That was one of them.
I’ve entertained relatives and friends from the US who were attending a family wedding.
I cooked several very delicious (I’m biased!) meals for our guests.
I attended a family wedding and was able to give it my full attention and enjoy every second of it.
I created a special family video of the wedding, with a ton of special effects.
I danced with my wife many times.
And I “lost” the money I could have made if I’d put a lot of effort into the affiliate promotions.
Do I care that I didn’t make that money? No, not one bit.
The whole point of money for me is to enable me to do the things I want to do. During the last few weeks making extra money would have cost me a lot of time – a poor bargain.
What do YOU want money to do for you? The clearer you can answer that question, the less likely you are to fall victim to the internet IM addiction cycle.
Please let us know your story. We want to hear from you. Do you sacrifice to try to get ahead in this IM game? Are the sacrifices you make worth it to you? Or do you feel that sometimes it shouldn’t be this hard? Let us know.