What is your Money Thermometer?
Another fabulous discussion from the mind of Matt Lloyd.
I was reading an article the other day about this lady who’d won the lotto more than 5 years ago. She’d purchased one of these ‘scratch n win’ scratchies (that’s what we call them in Australia) and she’d won $945,000 instantly.
This was a shockingly large amount of money for her. She was a nurse making less than 40K a year, and was up to her elbows in debt. When she won she was all over the local news, the happiest she’d ever been, and excitedly told everyone how this money was going to save her and her family and set them up for the rest of their lives.
In the article, they had tracked her down all these years after winning to see how she was getting on.
Apparently, not so great. She was now even more in debt than before. Her husband had divorced her, and her children (now in their young 20’s) no longer wanted anything to do with her.
She told the story of how in the first 6 months after winning, everything was great.
Immediately she’d gone out and bought a Porsche and a Range Rover, and then put down a 300k deposit on a 6 bedroom home.
She quit her job, and took the family on an around the world trip, staying in 5 star hotels and flying first class.
The money did not last long. And as soon as it ran out, the interest on the debt and the mortgage started to pile up.
I’m sure you’ve heard these kind of stories before, and how most people who win the lottery end up losing it all. They lose it, because they don’t know how to handle larger amounts of money. They don’t know how to be comfortable with it. Their financial thermostat does not adjust with their new level of wealth – and in the end, the thermostat will always win. It will get you right back to where you’re most comfortable. If that’s debt and struggle, then that’s where you’re destined to end up, no matter how much you win.
And it’s easy to say “silly woman – that would never happen to me if I won that kind of money.”
That’s just not true. Most people would end up in a similar position, because they’d consider all the new money to be ‘excess’ money which they didn’t need – unconsciously they’d find ways to get rid of it really quick.
Believe me, I know from personal experience from my younger years; a million dollars cash doesn’t last long when you don’t know how to handle it.
The same thing which happened to the lottery winner lady can happen to the new business owner. When your new business becomes a hit, everyone is buying your product, and you’re growing faster than you ever dreamed. The money flows in fast, and you become a ‘sudden success.’
Many entrepreneurs who go through this can end up destitute, unhappy, and alone in just a few years.
Do you know why? It’s because they didn’t develop any skills to get their money, and they have no idea what to do with it once they have it. And they sure don’t know how to hold onto it!
The reality is, there a tremendous amount of self-satisfaction that comes from overcoming adversity and dealing with all the headaches and hassles that come from hard work. It teaches you how to handle the results of your newfound success once you do finally experience it.
Let’s say it takes you 10 or 20 years to accumulate the millions of dollars you’ve always dreamed about. Now you’ve got the money, and you’re on top of the world. You’ve worked your fingers to the bone, but look at what has become because of it. That’s what makes it all worthwhile. That’s what a lot of people don’t get – that the education you acquire, and the feeling of satisfaction you feel and the skills you develop, is as much of the reward as the money is.
The money is great, don’t get me wrong!
But if you ask me if I’d rather have those skills or the money, I’ll take the skills, and I’ll take the mindset that goes with them.
Because if I have those, I can go get the money. If I just have the money without those, the money goes goodbye real fast. And if you don’t know how to get it, you can’t get it back. But if you’ve got the skills, the mindset, the contacts, the self-image, the confidence, etc. – you can go get the money again.
When you go through years of work and build on smaller successes, you develop all the skills you need to handle a big success like that when it occurs. You understand what’s going on. That it could be an anomaly, or a short-term hot market, and that it probably won’t last forever. So you’re able to take all the money you can out of that, and keep it because you don’t do stupid and naïve things. That’s another good reason it’s important to face those business headaches out there, and overcome them as they occur. In the process, you’re learning how the marketplace really works.
Here’s something to keep in mind: Business could be considered nothing more than a series of constant failures, interrupted by the occasional big success. But here’s the key: The big successes can more than make up for the constant failures. When you have the proper mindset and develop the skills to overcome those intervening failures, when you get to the big success you’re able to exploit it fully, to keep all the money, and move on to the next opportunity. I’d never trade the skills for just the money; there’s no way. They are that valuable.
With that said, what works and what doesn’t can evolve over time, for reasons that might be social, legal, or otherwise. You might know that something worked in the past and even have the numbers to prove it. But what worked then won’t work today. The market changes over time, and we have to change with it, or else.
With thanks to Matt Lloyd, who will no doubt be using his skills to rebuild his businesses after the scandalous termination of his main business because of some refund complaints and accusations of false advertising.