I’ll never forget the day, more than 20 years ago, my credit card payment was due. My income that month was $300, which didn’t even cover my rent. I needed that card for food and gas. I HAD to keep my account current and make that payment, but I had no money.
I was terrified and demoralized as I was in survival mode. I wasn’t even sure I could afford to buy groceries.
To manage, I took out a cash advance on that card and used it to make my minimum payment, and continued to use my card to cover expenses until work started to flow in.
Feeling like I hit rock bottom, I made 2 decisions that day:
- I wasn’t going to live like this. I was going to build my wealth
- Survival mode was not an option. No matter my income, I was going to find a way to indulge myself, even in small ways, so I felt whole and in a forward mindset.
The only problem? I was flat broke. I had no idea where to begin.
Investing in a cup of coffee
I’m going to be honest here, I’ve never bought into forgoing a cup of coffee to save money. In fact I truly believe one of the reasons that I am where I am today, a successful business owner with a 7 figure net worth is because I NEVER did give up my daily stop at Starbucks, even though I was relying on my credit card.
I did however change my daily choice from a latte to a drip coffee, WHAT i was drinking wasn’t as important as my ritual. This wasn’t a mindless exercise in convenience, to me stopping at Starbucks every morning to simply read the paper, to sit and to contemplate the day was a ritual that made me feel so decadent, luxurious abundant and whole.
And feeling that way, kept me in a forward mindset. And in a place that I could make powerful decisions. (you can read how the story turned out here)
Broke, but not poor
Broke is a temporary economic condition. “Poor” is a crippling state of mind. Anyone can end up “broke” from time to time, however it’s our decisions and mindset that determine what happens to us in the long run.
The most important thing to me back then, and is a philosophy that I carry with me til today, was that no matter what my current financial situation was, I NEVER was going to feel poor. I did have to adjust a few of my habits to face the current financial reality I was facing, and at the same time there were some non-negotiables that made me feel abundant.
- My daily stop at Starbucks
- My preferred salon shampoo and conditioner
- Top quality 3 ply toilet paper (I still uphold this one!)
- Always eating my meal at the table
- Plating my meal up nicely
- Making my bed every day
- Always doing my hair, makeup, and presenting as my very best, even when I was just out doing errands
- Always having candles
Some did involve spending money over and above my means at the time, and others just involved a little bit of imagination and time. And while traditional financial planning would have cut them out, and I would certainly have saved some money in the short term, I would not have ended up where I am today as I would have been operating from a scarce and debilitating mindset, so my income potential would have been capped at the $15 or so an hour I was making back then.
At the time, all I knew was how I felt in the moment, – expansive and abundant – I had no idea what kind of mindset I was building or the foundation I was laying. However now, I realize that I was what has been called “unconsciously competent”, I was taking very important steps that created who I am today.
By constantly ensuring that I created experiences, meaningful rituals, and an environment of everyday simple luxuries that made me feel whole, abundant and forward, I was creating the emotional and mental strength. I created a belief system that success is a natural inevitability, I created expectations of abundance in my life.
And by having those beliefs, I took action, made decisions that were in alignment with what I ultimately wanted as I believed it was possible, unlocking and realizing my income potential.
Take action today
No matter where you are in your business, I encourage you to look at the places where you can start to incorporate everyday luxury into your life. What rituals and experiences can you bring in? How can you set your environment up for abundance?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating spending recklessly or without meaning. There is a difference between spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need just because you feel you “deserve it” or to numb another void. What I am speaking about are the small things that create that feeling of luxury, expansiveness and abundance, where you can be fully present in the moment and enjoy it.
Even if you need to make some practical adjustments like I did, such as changing what coffee I ordered, so that I could still enjoy the feeling it gave me; make sure to determine what are your “non-negotiables”, get clear on the feeling you want to have, and find a way to make it happen, even if you need to stretch yourself financially in the short term.
The biggest stretch however will be your mindset and your beliefs, as you step into a new paradigm of what you believe is possible for yourself and what you expect. The good news is that once something is stretched it cannot go back to its original form. You will start to unlock your new income potential and what is possible for you in the long term.
How cool is that? You can start creating the future you desire simply by living it now. Tell me below what are your everyday luxury “non negotiables” and how you will be implementing them! (your email address will not be published)