No matter where you turn, you see people telling you to do what you’re passionate about, have fun, make money, and live your dreams. All of those things are great in theory, but not everyone can earn money from something they are passionate about. That’s why we have hobbies.
Luckily for me, I did find something I’m passionate about and I do earn a full-time income from it. It’s certainly not easy and I work way more than I ever have before. It started as a side business to my 9-5 job, which I quit almost two years ago, but it sprung out of a passion of mine. Having said that, when it becomes your business and job, it can consume you. You focus on it every day, you can’t turn it off. Running your own business is hard. Very hard. It’s no joke and takes dedication to the nth degree.
You don’t just stumble onto success, you create it. You work for it. It drives you. The problem is many of us have to work at any job we can find. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed, kids to raise, etc. I worked and built a business for nearly four years before I left to go out on my own. I worked upwards of 18 hours per day. Yes, per DAY!
Some like to say I’m lucky and to a point that’s very true. But most of what I have wasn’t luck. This was grit, determination, and just hard work. Many don’t see what goes into creating a successful business, but it’s no unicorns and rainbows.
But what happens when you start only focusing on the money and stop focusing on what’s around you? You lose your true focus!
Memories Should Drive Us, Not Money
My wife and I took our two boys over to Europe for the entire month of May. We’d never been, but since her sister now lives over in England, we were able to swing a long vacation with a place to stay. We visited England, Scotland, and Italy while we were there and it was amazing!
Even better, we were able to convince my parents to meet us in Scotland, so we got to enjoy some family time while traveling around in another country. We don’t regret one minute of it. My only regret is we didn’t do it sooner.
You see, I’ve been so focused on building a business, a brand, and earning money to support my family, that I forgot the most important aspect…spending quality time my family creating memories!
I’ve been hunkered down in my basement helping people, getting new clients, and earning a living that I stopped focusing on what’s most important to me. I stopped focusing on them and only looked at the money. It was growing and it made me push harder. The bottom line consumed me in almost every aspect of my life.
But what was I doing it all for? Why was I pushing myself so hard?
I couldn’t really answer that question and that’s when I realized I had lost my focus. I’d lost my purpose.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You Can’t Take Money With You, Only Memories!” quote=”You Can’t Take Money With You, Only Memories!”]
You Can’t Take Money With You, Only Memories
In the United States, we’re a society driven by money. We associate it with success, wealth, and power. Money is the king in our culture for sure. It drives people to do things they normally would not. It corrupts people, changes our ideology and motives. Money certainly isn’t the root of all evil, but it just pulls evil out of those who have it inside.
For the longest time, I’ve focused on making more money. I equated more money with more success. Unfortunately, success is different for each person, but I wanted those around me to think I was successful. It just meant I didn’t believe in myself that I could be. I had to get validation from those around me to tell me I was successful. I was misguided and one of the big reasons I got into debt. I was trying to be the Hollywood definition of success.
A change in mindset and philosophy is what got me out of debt and on the right path.
During our time in debt and even as much as a year ago, I never thought I could travel. The expense was too much and it was taking me away from my original goal of making money. Traveling was on the bottom of my list. That all changed when we went to Jamaica.
I realized there what I had been missing all of this time. I got to spend 5 days with my wife at Sandals and it was the most relaxing time I had in a long time. I didn’t focus much on actual work, even though we were there for a blogging mastermind retreat. We did talk about business, but didn’t implement anything, just talked, learned, and enjoyed our surroundings. This was what I worked for, this is what I needed!
That trip gave me the travel bug and I don’t mind that bite at all.
When we were getting ready to go to Europe for a month, I had to continue to talk myself into spending the amount of money in order to take the trip. It’s expensive to travel to Europe, even if you can pay for much of it with travel rewards (we were able to pay about 60% with our travel credit cards). That expense weighed on me. It stressed me out.
It wasn’t until I was talking with my mom to convince her to meet us in Scotland that I said we can’t take money with us when we go, but we can take memories. It came out of my own mouth, yet I wasn’t following it. Talk about being a hypocrite. That’s not what I wanted to be and I don’t like labeling myself as one.
It was time to take my own advise. It was time to create those memories that can last a lifetime and beyond.
Stop Making Money and Start Making Memories
OK, don’t really just stop making money. You still need to feed yourself, pay your bills, and take care of your obligations. What I mean by stop making money, is stop making it your sole purpose in doing something. Stop focusing on it 100%. There are more important things in life than money and you need to find your focus, your purpose, your goal.
We’ve been back from Europe for a few weeks now, but it was one of the best times I’ve had in my life. I got to spend time with my wife and kids each day. I got to travel to different countries, make memories with my parents, my wife, and my kids. Yes, I had to spend money, but those memories won’t go away. They’ll be in our hearts and minds forever.
While I did work when I was over there (a huge plus in being self-employed), the time was minimal. I enjoyed the days with my family and I worked late at night. It was a giant relief to be able to enjoy my time there not focused on getting more clients and how my books were doing. The best part is I’ve worked so hard in creating systems and most of them worked well when I was gone.
I’m extremely grateful of the opportunities my hard work has provided, but there have been times I wonder what I’ve missed in the pursuit of that money.
Can more money better your situation, heck yes it can. I know my focus over the last few years has changed my life completely. But what is your life without spending time doing things you love with those you love? Maybe slightly less money, but more time to make memories is the key to true happiness?
What is having more money if you can’t take time to enjoy it?
Don’t get lost in the never ending quest to do more, earn more, consume more.
Use your money wisely, save it for creating memories, spend it on things you need, but still enjoy things you want. Money is only a tool to help us achieve what we want in life, but don’t forget we should want to create awesome memories in order to look back at them knowing we spent our time and money wisely!
My plan is to continue earning money, building a business, but also be cognizant of what’s around me, the time I spend with friends and family, along with working to create memories with the money I work so hard for.