I’ve been through the challenge of not having enough money. I grew up in a small town in Montana, in an economically depressed Irish mining town. There was a lot of struggle there. It was a pretty tough town, pretty tough weather and pretty tough economy.
I remember one time when the heater went out. And when the heater goes out in Montana in the winter, it is a dire situation—wind chill can drop to 20 and 30 degrees below zero. It was freezing and we didn’t have enough money to fix the heater. My parents were waiting for their paychecks to come in at the end of two weeks.
I grew up with nothing, but I grew up with total abundance.
You have four kids in a house with no heat when its 20 degrees below zero, what are you going to do?
My mom went out to the garage, grabbed our camping tent, sleeping bags, every parka and blanket we had and brought them in the living room. She set up the tent, and threw all those things and us kids in there. The electricity went out at some point, so there we were, cooking dinner on Bunsen burners and just waiting for the paycheck.
My parents were good. They made it fun. We’d walk to school and they’d be like, “What did you do last night?” We said we were camping in our living room! We had no idea the situation was so dire. I grew up with nothing, but I grew up with total abundance.
Sometimes you don’t have to have money to make life fun or fulfilling or engaging, and sometimes even when you don’t have money, you can make things work out.
My parents worked so hard, and I have no idea how they raised us four kids. Later on, I went bankrupt chasing my dream trying to be a writer, trying to be a trainer and trying to do videos like this one. I was struggling. What did I do? How do you overcome that?
1. Begin with yourself not your bank account.
If your self-worth is low, your value in the marketplace will always be as low. If you don’t value yourself, no one else is going to value you.
You have to realize that you have something to contribute, even if you don’t know what that contribution is yet. That if you’re really going to reach another level of financial success in life, you have to dial in and own the reality.
2. Accept responsibility.
Whatever mess or challenge you’re in right now, it’s your job and it’s on your shoulders to fix it. You might need to get some help. You might need to get some training. You might need to get some support, but it’s your job to right the ship. Nothing is going to suddenly emerge. You aren’t going to win the lottery. You’re not going to get lucky at this.
There are only two things that change your life. Either something new comes in, so yeah, maybe you win the lottery, you get an inheritance and things turn around. The second thing is that something new comes from within. You get a greater hunger, a greater passion, a greater commitment to go out there and crush it again.
3. Add so much value that you can’t help but get paid for it.
But you can’t make money if you don’t have anything to sell. You have to have something to sell. What is it you’re offering? What are you selling?
First and foremost, you’re selling yourself. You are selling the ability for you to serve. You are selling your character, your ability to offer something valuable to the world. And when I say selling, obviously I don’t mean you’re selling out. You’re offering yourself. You’re persuading the world that you have something to contribute, that you’re a hard worker, that you care and you’re going to get it done. If you can’t do that, then you can’t grow. You can’t invest. You can’t build.
You have to find that power from yourself to be able to change things around, and once you find it from yourself, then you have something to offer.
If you’re an entrepreneur: Do you have a product, a program or a service to offer to the world? How well have you dialed in the offering of that thing to the world? Is your messaging tight? Is your marketing world-class? Are your distribution, capabilities and customer service all world-class? If not, keep dialing those in. As you dial those in, you bring in more money.
If you’re an employee: It’s time to look around again. To check back into that company. What if they’re going to choose who’s going to get fired based on who is willing to learn the most and who has been willing to contribute the most? You need to start contributing way outside of what’s put on your desk every day or what shows up in your inbox. You actually need to push away from your inbox and your desk and think, How could I add more value here? That has to be something you do every day.
4. Be obsessed with serving.
You have to be obsessed with contributing more than anybody else. You have to bring more ideas to the table. At some point, you have to make the decision to contribute. If you’re going to fly and get shot down, then you got shot down, but at least you lived!
Go contribute more at work. Look around at who else you could help, who else you could contribute to, who else could you mentor and bring up. How could you become the lynchpin in the organization in some way or another to keep climbing, serving and adding value? You deserve that, because at minimum, that’s what makes employment or work fun. Taking care of people, adding value and giving new ideas.
5. Busywork isn’t your life work.
Some people are busy at work, but their busywork isn’t their life’s work. They’re doing the wrong thing. They knew they should have gotten out of there five years ago, but they didn’t have the guts to face themselves in the mirror and say, Today is my day, and make the decision to leave.
If you’re in the wrong thing, face it at some point.
You’re never going to make a lot of money in the wrong thing. And if you do, then you’re more likely to start doing the wrong things. Makes sense, right? Because there’s no meaning there, there’s no significance and no real contribution. You made some money doing the wrong thing, so now you start turning into that character who starts pursuing money for the ends of money.
6. Value your day.
Life should be incredibly valuable to you. If you really value your days, if your day is valuable, you get stuff done.
People end up feeling broke because they aren’t valuing their day. They’re broke because they added no value to their day. They’re reading celebrity gossip magazines. They were screwing around online. They were doing nothing that actually moved the needle in terms of their personal and their professional progress.
So value this day.
Get serious about tomorrow. Ask how you can add more value into the day. Really work the day, and as you do that over and over again, you ask, How can I serve? How can I contribute? How can I take it to the next level? You do that long enough and the breakthrough happens. The magic happens.
And the money takes care of itself.