“If money were no object for me I’d…”
“When I win the lottery I’ll…”
I hear these sayings all the time, we all do.
I want to take a moment to help you discover how to make money no object with very little money.
Why? Because I honestly think the idea that you need to wait until you have a large amount of resources is holding people back from achieving a reality where they can live and work from anywhere — or whatever your plans are.
I feel that eliminating excuses through simple experimentation has gone a long way towards helping me discover my own full potential, and I hope this will too.
Why the risk is really what you fear to lose.
When we truly dissect the above excuses, we can see quite easily what is really at stake: losing everything.
We’re afraid if we pursue the reality that we always dreamed of, we’ll end up losing the reality that we have now.
So we wait for the day when money is no longer an object. When we’ve made the millions that will support our every dream and ambition.
There are two elements that make this assumption completely absurd.
First I’ll break down the assumptions, and tell you why they’re wrong. Second, I’ll show you how to make money no longer an object through one simple practice that I’m sure you’re already aware of.
…and they are:
1. You’ll never make millions if you never take risks.
People think that if they sit around at a desk, someday they’ll get promoted and make millions. This isn’t true, because employers have an infinite choice of hiring potential. Who are they going to hire when it’s time to fill a new position? Someone new, exciting, and who appears more ambitious than you in a 45 minute interview. Also, while you sit around, you’re getting older and your dreams are rapidly turning to stone.
2. You’re not simply going to ‘get lucky’.
You can’t win the lottery if you don’t play. Buying a lottery ticket is a risk you have to take for impossible odds. If you don’t play, you also can’t win. This is a metaphor, of course, because it’s dumb to actually play the lottery. If you don’t risk something, you can’t move to the next level.
Okay, so now that I’ve dispelled those myths, I want to show you to beat the system. How to make the risk of following your dreams negligible.
Reduce what you’re risking as much as possible.
Risking putting everything on the table when you have a lot to lose is an awful lot to ask. ‘What if I lose the Porsche? How will I ever survive?’
In order to move up in society, you need to both take risks and learn about how the world actually works — which is oddly enough not how everyone tells you it works.
So this is what you need to do, in order to eliminate as much risk as possible in order to pursue your dreams — which could be much more profitable and ultimately rewarding than the life you’re currently leading.
1. Eliminate anything, and everything, in your life that you fear to lose.
You can’t feel the pain of loss if you have nothing to lose. Give away the Porsche, junk the flatscreen TV, downsize to a smaller house, donate the Gucci handbag to someone who doesn’t need to risk anything.
Make a list of everything you think you can’t live without.
Now, sell everything on that list.
You can keep your clothes and your laptop if you think you need them. Maybe you need shoes. Maybe you don’t!
All of you junk is holding you back from your pursuit of your dreams. It’s best if you eliminate everything to the point that you’re living out of a bag or somewhere close to that.
I’ve been living out of a bag for a year now, this is the single most important factor in my ability to take risks in order to build my business to be as profitable as it is now.
2. Pay off all of your debts.
Every debt that you take on makes it harder to take risks. If you pay off all of your debts and resolve never to take on another again, you’ll be able to risk it all so much easier.
For more on paying off your debts see my article on Minimalism Vs. Debt.
3. Start taking risks.
You have to start small. Now that you have nothing to lose, I want you to go ahead and start taking some small risks just to be uncomfortable. The object is simply to push your boundaries and nothing more:
A simple risk taking activity to inspire you:
During a busy rush hour commute I want you to go to a public place where, more than 150 people are present — public transit is best, but a mall or plaza can do, with headphones and some sort of music playing device such as an iPod.
Now, pick a song that’s danceable and has lyrics you know by heart. I usually do this with Smashing Pumpkin’s ‘Ava Adore‘, but you know what you know.
Now, turn the song on, walk into the middle of the public place and start dancing + singing as loud and as extravagantly as possible. Stay in one place in the most crowded location possible. Do not stop until the song is over. There is nothing illegal about singing and dancing, you will not get in trouble.
People will probably look at you like you’re a crazy person. That’s okay.
Once you’re done, just walk out of there like nothing ever happened.
I realize the idea of doing this is terrifying to a lot of people. Being weird is frowned upon everywhere.
The idea is not to be weird, or to attract attention, it’s to start exploring what it feels like to take a risk. You might look like a fool if your simple business bombs. You might feel bad when your wife asks where the Porsche went. Feeling weird is part of risk taking.
The truth of the matter is that you’ll never succeed if you don’t try.
And the easiest way to try is to have nothing to lose.
I believe this is one of the fundamental lessons behind Minimalist Business.