How Much Money do you Need?

Jonathan Fields just tweeted:

How much do you need to make you feel like you’ve made it? Just a little bit more… Live life differently. 🙂

To which I replied (Follow me @solson on Twitter):

I need enough to reach my goals. Money is an important tool. How much you need depends on your goal.

But what I wanted to say couldn’t be said in 140 characters.

When Christine and I bought our first house in 1994, I made $6.25 an hour. She didn’t make much more. I had big projects planned for that house. I thought – I might not have much money, but I can work hard, and I’ll fix this place up. This is an example of a classic working class mindset. We were taught that hard work alone can overcome any obstacle. It’s a lie. It can’t.

After a few months of home ownership, Christine and I joked that every trip to Knox Lumber to get supplies for a home project cost fifty bucks.

“Trip to Knox, fifty bucks!” We said.

To us fifty bucks was huge money. Although fifty bucks was worth a lot more in 1994, it still didn’t buy much. As you can imagine, our projects were small. A shelf, a curtain rod, some paint, a new number for the front of the house, and we could only afford one trip to Knox a month.

But I wanted to move the water heater, finish the basement, replace the windows, redo the siding, replace the carpet, add a bathroom, and landscape. And no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t make those things happen. I didn’t have the money.

Seven years later we were able to make many of these changes, not because we worked hard, but because we had the money.

Now you might be thinking, “Yeah, but you had to work hard to get the money, right?”

No! I have never worked harder in my life than when I made 6-8 bucks and hour. And no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t get ahead.

To make more money I had to change the way I thought, the way I thought about myself and everyone else. I had to learn to value knowledge over manual labor, be open minded, make partnerships with others, leverage technology, and work smarter. I found better ways to contribute than selling my time for money. I lost the idea that hard work was a value unto itself.

When I did get my home improvement projects done, I had the money to pay skilled craftsmen to do them for me.

When you hear someone say, “Money isn’t important.” Don’t argue, but remember to tell yourself, “yes it is important.” Money is one of many tools you will need to reach your goals. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to end poverty, build a skyscraper, play in a rock band, or start an internet company, you need money. The amount of money you need is dependent on the size of your goals.

There is no such thing as a person having “too much money.” Too much debt, maybe, but money and debt are different things… (Well… I guess money is debt in America, but that’s another post for another site.) At any rate, your money and your debt carry very different implications for reaching your goals.

Never ask,

“How much money does a person need anyway?”

Instead ask,

“How much money do I need to reach my goals?”

Then be smart, gain some knowledge, invest in yourself, and focus on acquiring that amount.

Looking for Good Small Business Advice – I've Found Some

When I find something great, I need to share it.

Many of you who come to this site, either have small businesses or want to start small businesses. No matter which one you are, you need good information about building a profitable small business.

I’ve tagged a few blogs “must read daily” in my feed reader. One is Shoemoney, written by Jeremy Schoemaker a self-made internet celeb. I’m sure most of you know Jeremy’s story, but if you don’t you can read it here.

I read Jeremy because he is a proven leader in blogging, internet marketing, and small business. But this post isn’t about Jeremy, it’s about someone else I learned about from Jeremy…

It’s about Andy Liu’s new blog, Inspired Startup.

Andy Liu is a serial entreprenuer and angel investor. You can read his story here.

Using blogs, social media, and the internet, we can learn directly from proven leaders like Andy without ever having met them. For me the internet is the classroom of my dreams. I actually feel sorry for those that don’t understand or refuse to accept the power of this new medium. We now have access to people, information, and markets in ways that were unthinkable a generation ago.

You can learn these golden tidbits from Andy right now:

The Secret to Starting a Successful Company

Negotiations 101 – Quick Tips for Successful Negotiating

How to Get a Great Deal on a Lease

I’ve found Andy’s content so inspiring and useful I’ve added Inspired Startup to my “must read daily” list.

The End of Work as We Know It

Do you want to get out of your mindless job. Do you want to be an entrepreneur, paid for your innovative creativity?

Can you handle zero separation between your work and your play?

Good questions for the budding 2009 entrepreneur. Do you know why people can’t take the entrepreneurial leap? Fear of losing the patterns that shape their work and private lives. The same patterns that shaped their parents lives and their grandparents lives. Losing the walls that separate the private from the public.

The 9-5 work paradigm is dying

People used to go off to the factory or the office, for approximately 9.5 hours a day including commute, return home, and do their best to leave work behind. But no one really did, did they? It was kinda a lie we all told ourselves. Because the only real way to leave work at work, is to leave your paycheck at work. Your home life is directly affected by the stability of your paycheck, isn’t it? In family life, there is no way to remove the home from the economic situation and if your only income is a job, your job determines the decisions your family makes.

The line between work and home is disintegrating

Even if you have a corporate job there is a growing trend toward telecommuting. And there is a growing trend toward home based internet businesses. Our home life is becoming our work life. The industrial age is nearly dead, and taking its old social patterns with it.

The line between our public and private lives is blurring

The relationships we have in our personal life are quickly becoming the same relationships we have in our business life. Our social networks are becoming our business networks. The people we associate with directly determine our economic success. Our work and home lives are not separate, they are one life.

Change your thinking and change your life

Can you handle exposing your life to the world? If you can, the internet and social media will give you the greatest opportunity to realize your dreams man has ever known. Get over your fear of losing your privacy. If you can’t, you will be left behind.