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2 big things happened this month. I turned 29 years old and I got engaged. :)
In this post I share 29 tidbits of advice and lessons learned:
Separate your business and personal finances.
If you have a business, immediately open a checking and savings account that are just for your business and separate your business finances from your personal finances. This makes accounting smarter and easier.
Pay yourself out of your business.
Don't see your businesses' money as your own. Pay yourself a "paycheck" from your business. One thing that this really helps with is the ability to create your personal budget with a "paycheck" that doesn't fluctuate.
Start working with a tax professional.
Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can just do it by yourself and don't feel intimidated about working with a professional. Part of taking personal responsibility for an area of your life is by working with people are professionals in that area.
"You can help 1000 people, but you can't carry one on your back."
Regularly and consciously audit your relationships. Are you "carrying" people by helping them in a way that hurts your own progress? The best way to help others is always to help yourself. The best way to lead others is always to lead yourself. Let people choose to follow or fall behind. Les Brown says that when two people walk together, one person will ALWAYS speed up or slow down to match the speed of the other person. Have you "slowed down" for someone?
Overcome your patterns.
Overcome your patterns by becoming engaged in something that is going to specifically help you in that area. If you know that you're bad with money, enroll in a course on taking control of your finances and do the action steps it provides. If you know that you keep sabotaging your health, invest in working one on one with a professional who will coach you and hold you accountable. If you know you keep putting off your goal, tell your friend that you will pay them a $100 if you don't complete your goal by the end of the month. We carry around negative patterns for so long because we don't do something deliberately to break them. That changes...NOW.
There's ALWAYS a silver lining.
If something doesn't go the way you planned, ask yourself, "How can I make this work out in my favor?" See life as something that happens FOR you and not TO you and you will find that you are always one mindset shift away from the silver lining of any obstacle or setback.
(pic: An Airbnb I stayed at in France during a trip that I basically booked a YEAR in advance. I didn't know how it was all going to work out, but I made THE DECISION anyway.)
Make decisions immediately.
Let's say you want to take a trip to Spain in September, but there are so may variables and "what-if's" that you suspend your decision until you have it all more "figured out." Stop doing that to yourself and go ahead and make the decision that you are going to go to Spain in September. Why? Because your brain can't go to work for you until you make a decision. Solutions and opportunities will pass you by as long as you are in decision-free-la-la-land. My attitude is "I don't know exactly how it'll work out, but I am going." And if something DOES pop up later that keeps me from being able to leave or do exactly what I planned, then I switch gears and make a NEW decision. I go from decision to decision to decision. Not making a decision because you're waiting on clarity is its own kind of mental agony.
It takes 18 months.
My life is so much better than it used to be. Just a few years ago, I spent all day running around cleaning houses and babysitting so that I could pay bills and then would work all night till 1, 2, 3 am on my other businesses. This went on for 2 straight years. I had no life, no free time and no lifestyle. I bought my financial freedom with those 2 years of sacrifice. It takes at least 18 months to see the fruit of a decision that you consistently act upon. Don't throw the towel in early.
Know what season of life you are in.
We don't make perfect progress in every area of our life all the time. We have to tap in to the season that we are in at the moment. Right now, I am in a season of setting the foundation for growth in my personal life and in my business. I'm getting my finances in pristine order, setting up workflows and systems, mapping out the rest of the year in actionable detail, and paying for coaches to help me uplevel. A few months ago I was in a season of dramatically eradicating distractions from my life and making more money. One season, properly tended to, sets the foundation for the next. What season of life can you sense calling to you right now?
(my desk - I've even minimized down from having a desk at this point! Now I just work at a small table or on my laptop away from home.)
Batch your work.
Our brains are exhausted from flipping back and forth between a hundred unrelated things every day. I get so tired of it, and I know you do too! We need to take charge of our mental energy by creating boundaries around what we choose to focus on. For instance, I realized that a regularly recurring project that I would give myself a whole month to complete actually just takes me one day if I focus on it. Sure it can get a little tedious pushing through, but the peace of mind I feel throughout the rest of the MONTH because I no longer have to even think about that project is worth it. It creates a snowball effect because now I have even more time and energy to batch the next project.
Okay, the rest of these tips are going to be a lot shorter to read. :)
Dave Ramsey's EveryDollar app IS the best personal budgeting app out there.
We should look and wear our best all the time, even at home.
(a casual pic of my tiny apartment)
Minimalism to me means that everything that I own supports the person that I want to become - nothing detracts or distracts.
(This pic is outside my 5 star hotel balcony this past April when I and my small mastermind group booked a fancy stay-cation to reflect on our wins and set goals for the next quarter).
Do something every quarter of the year to reflect on the last 3 months and celebrate wins - even better if you do this with your mastermind group.
You always get what you focus on. Keep checking in with yourself to make sure that you're focused on the GOOD stuff and your amazing future.
(pic: I'm always dreaming of the home I want. I have a Pinterest board with hundreds of home style pins.)
Life gives you what you picture in your mind's eye. You are always either recreating your current reality or manifesting your vision.
Long to-do lists are a sign that you need to batch tasks, systemize, delegate, or eliminate.
Turn time driving or cleaning into time spent listening to personal development audio books or podcasts.
If you have a hard time minimizing or letting go, look at each belonging and ask yourself, "If I did not already own this, would I go out and buy it?"
Keep a running list of ideas for how you can get better at making money, saving money, and managing money.
Remember that simplicity happens on purpose. Complexity is easy. Simplicity is hard...but worth achieving in all areas of life.
Choose quality over quantity always and you will spend less money over the long haul.
Drink more water. You will feel better, look better, and think more clearly.
Do one really courageous thing every month. See tip number 25 for help.
Start a $100 Dollar Mastermind in which you and an accountability partner must complete your own specific, scary goal or end up forfeiting $100 to the other person. Get some skin in the game and watch your productivity spike!
Have one planner system. Don't spread your schedule across multiple tools. Whether it's paper or digital, just use one.
Keep a running list of purchases that you really want to make - a nice, new laptop bag, a pair of leather ballet flats - and hold out until you save up to buy exactly what you want instead of squandering your money settling for less. For months I wore out a canvas tote bag until I had the extra money to buy the really nice, quality laptop bag I've always wanted. I could have settled for a cheaper version "in the meantime," but by doing without, I was constantly reminded of what I REALLY wanted.
Don't be afraid to invest in yourself. Successful people invest in themselves.
Remember that taking the time to PLAN - plan your week, your life, your business, your leisure - SAVES you so much time that would have been squandered without a plan. Get in the habit of starting your week with a plan.