Over the years I have coached and spoken to many entrepreneurs surrounding money, debt, and business finance. I remember just over a decade ago, I was massively in debt to the tune of $172,000. I always share the story of climbing out, and the challenge of conquering debt and kicking it in the face.
The reality for many entrepreneurs I speak with is, they are not climbing, conquering or kicking anything in the face. They tell me they feel like they are drowning. They work all day to produce income only to see it get washed away by a current of debt. They swim up towards the light and the surface, only to have another wave come crashing over them to knock them back down, many times below where they began. Not only are they drowning, they are not coming towards to surface to catch any air. Can you relate? Do you feel this way in your life or business surrounding your finances and debt.
As I have coached very successful entrepreneurs, and spent time with self-made people, millionaires, billionaires, here are a few points they have shared about getting to the surface.
- Do you even care to not drown? Many people are drowning in debt and that has become a lifestyle and mindset. Are you okay living this way? If so, the rest of this blog really does not matter. If you are fed up, pissed off, and done being in debt and drowning, keep reading.
- Forget becoming a millionaire for a minute. For now, have a plan to get to the surface. Create a baseline savings, and then pay off all debts except your house. Dave Ramsey would call these ‘Baby Steps 1 and 2’. When you have no savings and all your income is eaten my monthly commitments to unnecessary debt, that is where drowning occurs. When all you want to do is breathe, all that must happen is popping your head above water to grab some air. What is your plan to get to the surface? How long will it take?
- Remember, the swim is one stroke, one penny, one dollar and one small win at a time. If you are 500 feet under water, or $50,000 in debt, you kill that debt $1 at a time. Are you putting one foot in front of the other every day as you attack debt?
- Money is simple. It flows one of two ways. It flows to you, or away from you. If you have more leaving then coming, you lose. More coming than going, you win. Changing your financial snapshot requires creating new habits, wirings, and mindsets surrounding money and how it flows in and out of your life? How does money currently flow in or out of your life?
- As you look forward, look back a little. I encourage you to look back every 6 months to a year to see how far you have come towards the surface. Many times, as you are still drowning, it is easy to forget that you are now only 25 yards away from the surface, not 500. Looking back is important, not to remember the past and the pain, but to see the advancement. When is the last time you have looked back to see how far you have come?
- Label and categorize your financial out-go. Determine if your payments are absolute needs, or only personal wants. Which of these out-gos currently fuel your debt? Is it truly a need?
I hope this inspires and ignites you to own your financial situation with excellence.
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