On Struggling Financially

by Michael Simmons on Jan 13, 2013

When I think about the last 13 years of my life financially, it has been a struggle. While my lifestyle has improved drastically from subsisting on canned tuna, I’ve always been at the point of going broke in a few months if money doesn’t come in. The times where I’ve started to save money, my expenses have risen. This is true both in my personal and business life.

The excuse that I’ve told myself in the past is that I’m investing in the future and one day I’ll earn so much money that I’ll never have to worry about it again. However, now at 31, an unspoken fear of mine is that I will live my whole life like this without every making progress, because I’m not shifting my mind in the way I need to.

The word I need to become friends with is PROFIT, and the word I near to be less comfortable with is BREAK-EVEN.

This is one of my big goals in 2013, and the more I explore it, the more I need to re-examine so many parts of my life.

One realization is that I need to invest less in the future. That means investing less in things that COULD work and more in the things that DO work financially.

That’s scary for me. It means cutting myself off from being open to new ideas, no matter how good they look. It means cutting myself off from existing or new people where there is not a direct path to financial profit. At some level, that feels wrong to me.

The future has always been a place of possibility for me. It has been the place of hope when I was surrounded by things I didn’t want in my life. It is weird now that this way of thinking, when not balanced correctly, can actually hurt me.

There are a lot of great things in my life that work now. I have learned a lot of best practices by meeting incredible people and reading hundreds of books and mostly by just living life.

I used to have a huge vision for my life, but I had no idea on how I would get there. Now, I know the tools, vehicles, and strategies that I will need to follow.

Here is what I have learned in one sentence:

THE BEST WAY TO CREATE THE FUTURE I WANT IS BY SPENDING MORE ENERGY LIVING IN THE PRESENT AND DOING WHAT I KNOW WORKS.

This doesn’t mean that I will completely stop investing in the future, but the ratios will definitely change!

Now, the trick is actually implementing this and really coming to grips with this in my bones.



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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…


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