Chasing Money vs. Financing the Lifestyle You Want

Having a successful home-based business does mean you have to focus on the finances. After all, if you’re not bringing in revenue, you don’t have a business. So while money is important, I believe it’s more important to recognize that if you’re focusing too heavily on the money side of the equation you may not end up building a business that gives you the life you truly want.

Case in point …

Recently I have seen two fairly prominent solo professionals who hit the million dollar mark within the last year … one professing that she still has to work very hard to make money because of the million she made the majority of it isn’t sitting around in her bank account. She eluded to what it actually COST her to make the million, and it sounded like a lot.

She’s also very publicly sharing that she’s now in the process of pulling back and re-evaluating her life. My takeaway – making the million wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Ever heard the saying, “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it?”

Another solo-pro millionaire admits she’s worked 70+ hour weeks for the better part of the past year to reach the level of financial success she has achieved. She says she loves her work and therefore hasn’t minded working all those hours. She also shared that she never watches TV except the occasional movie, and proposes that if you’re watching TV you’re wasting time you could be pursuing your passion.  Entertainment is wasting time?  I suppose if you do it all day everyday, but what’s wrong with enjoying some entertainment?  Isn’t life about having fun and doing things that please you?

But I’ve had mentors tell me the same thing: ban TV, it’s a waste of time that you could be spending building your business.

Now, I’m not a big TV watcher by any stretch, but I do enjoy a little TV for entertainment with my family, as well as other things in my life besides my business. And, I absolutely love my business, but a life focused 100% on business, with nothing else?  Definitely not for me.  Nor do I think it’s healthy or what most of the home-based business owners I meet want. Plus, even if I love something I think after months of doing it for 70+ hours a week I probably would NOT love it so much anymore.

After all, I love ice cream but if you made me eat it three meals a day for 7+ months, I’m pretty sure I’d get sick of it.

To me, even if you love your work, life is about more than just work.

I want time to spend with my family and my dogs. I want to go to the gym and take care of myself. I want to go running through the park. I want to go to the movies. I want to go on vacations. I want to read books. I want time to pamper myself and get massages, and manicures and pedicures. And yes, sometimes I want to watch mindless TV and just veg on the couch!

I’ve been down the road to burn-out once, and have actually caught myself heading down the same path again a few times, thankfully I caught myself in time.

I absolutely believe you can make a very good living and still have plenty of time for the rest of your life.  But if to make a million, it’s going to require me to work 70+ hour weeks or work so hard that I find myself needing to step back and totally re-evaluate my life once I get there, I don’t want it.

And just to put things into perspective … I have been a millionaire.

A few years ago, if I had sold all the property and investments I owned I would have cashed out over a million dollars. So yes, I’ve been a millionaire. And you know what, I didn’t feel any different and I wasn’t living my life any differently than I do today.

Because it’s not about the money.

It’s about the lifestyle you’re creating. Because if money is your primary focus, the more you make, the more you’re going to WANT to make – sorry but it just seems to be the American way and it’s easy to get caught up in. It becomes a never ending strive for MORE, MORE, MORE.

I say let’s re-evaluate NOW, BEFORE we burnout.

Before we realize that no matter how much we make, it won’t be enough if the money is the primary focus, and the rest of our life isn’t full

So instead of chasing some monetary goal just for the sake of chasing it, I propose you focus on financing the life you want to live. Instead of saying I want to make $10,000 or $100,000 or even $1,000,000, why not figure out what you need to make to finance the life you want to live today, and build a business that delivers THAT?

I remember a few years ago when my daughter Brianna was a junior in high school and was hot on the trail of a college softball scholarship. I spent about 6 weeks that summer traveling with her to softball tournaments. I was so happy to be able to do that, and she even shared in my book, The Career-at-Home Mom, how important that was to her. Yes, I made a very good living that year, but my primary focus was on building a business that would give me the freedom to live the life I wanted to live, including being able to take time off and travel with her.

The best advice I can give you is to choose to build a business that you enjoy working in every day, or as often as you choose to work in it. Build that business to support a lifestyle that lets you do the other things that are important to you, such as spending time with family, taking care of yourself, even watching TV if that’s important to you!

Because if you’re always working to get to another place, of accomplishment or financial status, then you’re missing out on the life you have the opportunity to live right now.

Plus, the harder you chase something, very often the more it eludes you. But when you choose to focus on creating the life you want, and building a business you love working in and that fits your lifestyle, a funny thing happens, the money follows.

 

About Debbie

After spending 32 years in marketing, Debbie now spends her time blogging, teaching online courses, doing volunteer pet therapy, and encouraging others to follow a more inspired path through life.

3 comments on “Chasing Money vs. Financing the Lifestyle You Want

  1. Hi Debbie!

    Great article. Money has to flow and if you work too hard to obtain it, then you are just telling the universe you think things have to be hard.

    One reason I am so transparent and show my subscribers all the fun I am having with my family and kids all the time is because I want to be a leader that shows them the only reason to have a “business” is to go out and create positive change in the world and have FUN while you are doing it.

    Another great example of this is Ali Brown–have you noticed how much fun she has while she builds her business?

    Everyone just needs to remember your “why”. For me, the “why” is so I can help other people work smarter, not harder — so they can have more freedom. People say “yes” to way too much stuff without even really knowing if it will help them with their “why”. Shoot, lots of people haven’t slowed down long enough to know their “why”.

    You brought up some great points for discussion!

  2. Absolute truth, Debbie. I can’t see any point in giving up a life you love to pursue the million-dollar mark. It’s wonderful to be financially secure, but it’s even better to know that you’re making time for the things that really matter, and creating an amazing life in the process. Balance is key!

  3. This so resonates with me! I’m still at my day job because I’m trying to get my business off the ground, but the pressure of making more and more money is overwhelming. I need to think about what I need to make to finance the life I want to live now instead of trying to make my first million. Thank you!!

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