Prosperity is within everyone’s reach. It’s not easy, and it often requires sacrifices that others are not willing to make. But each and every day, people like you are making their financial dreams a reality. Here are five things that successful people understand about achieving financial freedom.
1. Stop living in the past. Your future starts right now
It’s easy to get discouraged by a past chock full of financial blunders. Many of us have made so many financial mistakes that we begin to believe that we’re inherently bad with money. Some of us internalize our past failures and start to think that we’ll never have anything. “I came from nothing, and I’ll never have anything,” becomes our mantra.
But your past doesn’t define your future. None of us is born a financial superstar. Financial prowess is a muscle that must develop. The more you practice sound money management skills, the better you’ll become. Don’t beat yourself up over past mistakes. Your future begins today.
2. Realize that you are the sum of your choices
The late author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer once said, “Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.”
Financial success is created one decision at a time. Yes you can blame your poor financial state of affairs on a job loss, divorce or racism, but in the end, you are responsible for your station in life. Once you take responsibility for your situation, instead of blaming other external forces, life takes on a new perspective. You are no longer a victim but but become an active participant in your destiny.
You have the choice to track your finances, to create a budget, to delay immediate gratification that a new purchase brings, to ask for a raise, to learn a valuable job skill or to gain more education. Just as bad choices lead to financial catastrophe, good choices, made day in and day out, can take you places you could never have imagined.
3. Understand that nobody cares about you or your financial situation
In our capitalist society, everyone is focused on taking your money. Marketers seduce us with the greatest and latest electronic gear, fashions and entertainment. They don’t care if you don’t have enough money for retirement. No one is concerned that you’re racking up debt or living paycheck to paycheck—certainly not the car dealer trying to get you in that late model car with “low monthly payments” or the real estate agent determined to shoehorn you into more home than you can afford. You have to be your own financial advocate. If you don’t take stock in your financial situation, no one else will.
4. Recognize that attitude determines altitude
If you believe you’ll never have enough money, you won’t. If you believe you’ll become wealthy, you will. Your attitude determines your altitude. Whatever you believe will come true. Don’t believe it? Ask any number of Black millionaires. According to Dennis Kimbro, author of The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires, most Black millionaires have lived in poverty during some point of their lives. Kimbro is eager to point out that wealth first begins in the mind and ends in the purse. Dream it, and you will achieve it.
5. Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good”
Too many of us are waiting for the perfect time to get our finances right. Maybe it will be after we get our next promotion or when we get our hands on our income tax return. While others are formulating the perfect financial plan. The simple truth is that there will never be a perfect time to straighten out your finances. Nor will there be the perfect financial plan that will suddenly make you rich.
You don’t have to transform your financial life overnight, but you do have to overcome the inertia of doing nothing. It’s said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Just one baby step, followed by another, and then another will start you down the road to financial freedom.
Commit today to making that first simple step, whether it be directing 1 percent of your salary into your 401K account, paying yourself first by setting aside 1 percent of your take-home pay into a savings account, becoming determined to eat at home a couple nights per week or setting a time to shop for a less expensive car insurance policy. Keep building on each step; and in a few years time, you’ll achieve more financial success than you ever dreamed possible.
BMWK, what will you do today to ensure your financial prosperity tomorrow?