“Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” — Morpheus, from The Matrix.
Every once in awhile, someone will contact me asking for help. They want to start saving money or maybe they just want simple term insurance. Whatever it is, I ask them “what do you want to achieve, long-term?”
It’s a simple question most people don’t know how to answer.
So, they do nothing. That’s the easiest way to get old, stale, and stink up the earth with the smell of failure (or, as I like to call it, “suck-cess”).
True story: Once upon a time, yours unruly was sitting in front of a client who had made a commitment to saving money. I taught her everything she needed to know to make this plan work. We spent several weeks going over everything. I tweaked her plan to make sure nothing terrible would happen if she lost her job or something happened to where she couldn’t work.
Anywho, after crossing the “i”s and dotting the “t”s, she spent about 6 months putting away money…then stopped.
Like, full stop.
She was sick and tired of investing money in the market, so she pulled money out of her 401(k) plan. Instead of saving this money, she went on a spending spree.
Why did this happen?
She knew everything she needed to know…
…but alas, knowing is only HALF the battle, as the great philosopher G.I. Joe once said.
Implementation is (obviously) the other half of it. So…how does one start implementing? Simple.
You physically write down what you need to do…tasks you need to complete…then…
…you do them.
You prioritize what’s important, like #1 – blah. #2 – blah. #3 – blah. And so on.
But, and this is critical… you take action.
Nothing happens without action. And, for many people I know (myself included) an action plan is needed. Elsewise, we just sit on our duff and think happy thoughts about what we would like to do.
Example: If you KNOW you need to start saving 10% of your income (and most people need to do at least this much), then you make a budget or cash flow plan and start saving money IMMEDIATELY. You make this a priority…like in the book The Richest Man In Babylon.
10%. Off the top. Every month.
No excuses. No rationalizations. You just start doing it.
You pay yourself first. Is it selfish? Hellz yes it is…and every other option leads to your slow demise. It doesn’t matter whether you run a startup company or you’re a company man with 30 years in and tenure.
Now, lest you think me a fopdoodle for recommending “the obvious,” here is a specific action you can take right this second that will force you to start doing this and without any willpower: go sign up for a service like Digit to get you “off the ground” in about 2 seconds. Just don’t hang out in that nebulous space too long.
Why? Because serious change comes from serious and conscientious thought, discipline, and control. The nice thing about Digit is it proves that you can do it. The bad thing about Digit is that it lulls you into a false sense of security and thinking that this is the only thing you need to do. In other words, it’s a stepping stone, not the final destination.
OK, enough of this yammering.
If you already “know the path,” and you’re finally ready to “walk the path,” hop on my email list and let’s boogie. You get free daily tips and advice and access to exclusive info I never publish on the blog. Go sign up, now.
Also published on Medium.