How is that title for click bait? I see these so often and I can tell you, from experience, the biggest secret to getting rich is… (drum roll)…
There is NO Secret to Getting Rich!
If your knowledge is all that matters, everyone would be billionaires with 6 pack abs. The real trick to achieving your goals, whether it be financial, spiritual, family, physical, the first step which is DEFINING IT.
Defining Your Goal:
OK, so you want to get rich. Bad news, it’s not easy, good news it’s not easy.
Why is it good news that it’s not easy?
Well, if it were easy, everyone would do it. When everyone does it, it’s not impressive. When it’s not impressive, you aren’t succeeding, which is what we strive for in the first place.
Having definition of your goal is so important because without clarity, you do not have any way of charting the course.
If your ultimate goal was to visit the Grand Canyon, but you didn’t have that defined, you would spend years driving around the world., never actually doing what you intended on doing in the first place.
Whereas if you defined up front your goal was to go to the Grand Canyon, you could list your next steps.
Defining Your Why:
As you go along the journey of growth, be it personal or financial, you need to keep in mind WHY you are doing the things that you are doing. Why you are making the sacrifices that you are making. These are very important because when the going gets tough (which it will) and you don’t have your why clearly defined, you will not make any meaningful progress. Even worse, you may quit before the miracle happens.
If your “Why” is that you want to own your own company because you want to stay at home with your children, then you need to make it very clear that is WHY you are putting in the long hours after they go to sleep. That is WHY you are waking up before everyone else to publish your new blog.
The ultimate goal with financial wealth is not to have millions of green rectangles with presidents and iconic figures on them. That is not what you really want. What you really want is the freedom that money can buy you. The peace of mind that it can afford you. The dollars are just a representation of what you really are after and how to quantify achieving that.
Defining Your Path:
Once you are clear on what your goal is, and have defined why you want that goal, it is time to define your path.
What steps are you going to take to make your goal come to life? If you want to have $1,000,000 in your bank account, and have determined that with that number, you can live comfortably on passive income for the rest of your life and will be able to spend more time with family as a result of it, you need to define where that will come from?
Having clarity around the path of making that kind of money would look something like I will save an extra $50,000 per year for the next 20 years by cutting out frivolous shopping, eating at non-fancy restaurants, and putting any additional income, dividends, raises, “surprise money,” into the account instead of spending it.
Defining Your Time Frame
The WHEN part of the equation needs to be set so there are times to push. Parkinson’s Law states: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” AKA if you have 1 hour to write a blog post, it will get done in an hour, if you have 3 weeks, it will take 3 weeks.
This law also applies to goal setting. Many times I will see people with “I want to attend x” on their bucket list. The opportunity will come and go and without a deadline, it may never happen.
One of my goals was to sit front row at a hockey game and be able to bang my hands on the glass when the players come up to the wall.
The problem, was this was a bucket list wish that had been there for twenty years. When it first was on the list, I didn’t have the money and a perfect excuse to not do it.
As I grew older and had the money to do it, “now isn’t the right time, maybe next game” became the mantra.
When I reevaluated my goals and put timelines on them “I will sit front row at a Capitals game in 2018” I was able to get to the more specific goal of “I will sit front row at a Capitals hockey game when they play at the BB&T Center against the Panthers on February 22, 2018” it was very easy to figure out the next step and chart the course.
Had I not put a deadline on when it was going to happen, I’d probably still be sitting here without that experience.
Side note: while the experience was really cool, it’s not really “worth” it as far as getting value. The better move is getting lower level seats (say in row 20) and coming to the game early and watching the pre-skate up against the glass. It is 95% the same experience, minus the hits, and you might even get a loose puck out of it.
The secret to getting rich and achieving any goals is that there is no secret. There are steps you can take and moves you can make that will start progress toward the end goal.
Many business owners and employees live in this daze of not knowing what they actually want or planning how to get it and thus, do not get it. If you want the secret to getting rich, then you need to define what rich is, give it real number, something to strive towards. Not just “more” which is where most people are at (and without a plan, fail to achieve).
Sit and think of the path. Chart it out. Course correct when necessary, but don’t sit there without some sort of plan.
Set definite time frames on when this needs to happen by. Without an end deadline, many just float and put things off until they are regretting the past wishing they had done x, y, and z when they had the chance!