No Money For Investing? Here’s The Simple Step To Begin
Artists know that there’s truth in projecting. We project thoughts onto a stage, a canvas, paper….and suddenly what was once in our head is a living work. We’re fascinated by it. We’ll work hard to bring these images into existence.
Saving money is also about projecting.
A reader last week wrote to me. She was frustrated with her financial situation, and mentioned that you had to “have money to make money.” She asked “how you can afford to invest if you can’t pay your bills?” My first answer to these questions is this: please stop saying you can’t afford it. We actually discussed this in May on the blog (read Fighting Past “I Can’t Afford It”). If you believe that you can’t, you never will. Instead, let’s find a way to project your goals onto your real life.
Investing, simply put, is the act of becoming “invested.” Similar to projecting, investing can be with money, thoughts, and with your work. We’re all investing. When you head to bed early one night you’re deciding to invest in more sleep. If you accept a job paying $9 per hour, you’ve invested your working hours in that role. If you audition for a part in community theater, you’re invested in that group.
Even if you have no money, ask yourself this question that wealthy people ask: How am I investing?
If you say you can’t afford to invest, I’d simply ask, “How are you invested now?”
The power of changing your use of the term “investing” carries huge implications. By simply changing how you act on ideas, you can change your entire financial picture.
– Do you invest money in unhealthy snacks? Choose a healthier snack to invest in your body.
– Are you tired often and not working out? Begin an “investment” program of exercise using free programs such as the couch potato to 5k run/walk routine.
– Are you horrible with credit cards? Invest in paying cash for your purchases.
– Do you feel like you’re underpaid? Invest in a side hustle to earn more money or dust off your resume and find higher paying work.
See how that works? Reframing your language and how you view your time creates the traditional investments that you think of when we use the word “invest.” It’s only a natural extension that soon you’ll be:
Investing in a saving account.
Investing in direct deposit.
Investing in a business account for your craft.
Investing in a retirement portfolio.
First Things First, Though
I know this may sound Pollyanna if you’re in a horrible situation financially. I assure you, this isn’t pie-in-the-sky thinking or just another brand of
“the power of positive thinking.” This is big stuff, and focuses on the #1 investment of all: you. By investing in yourself and learning that you can only “afford” things when you work hard to insert them into your life AND subtract those parts of your life which are holding you back, can you begin to walk the road of prosperity. Frankly, there is no other way.
Where do you start investing?
The perfect place to start your investing journey is with a clean sheet of paper.
1) Write down what you really want.
2) Next, write out a list of the obstacles keeping you from those goals.
By committing your goals and the obstacles to writing, you’re accepting reality as it is and not how you wish it was.
3) Finally, write out your path around each of the obstacles you’ve placed, until you’ve created a journey to your goals.
Can’t find a path to reach your goals? Ask a friend for help (feel free to email me!). By asking for help and trusting your subconscious mind with the problem you’ll be well on your way toward success.
I often write out goals for myself and forget about them. While my top goals I’ll keep in front of me at all times, I’ll sometimes engage in an activity like the one above that asks me to place something on a sheet of paper. While cleaning my office a few weeks ago, I found a list from two years ago. It was amazing to see that I’d completed four of the five goals I’d set for myself. It was amazing. In an instant I remembered how I’d felt when I’d written down those plans. I’d had no idea how I could reach such “huge” plateaus, but I knew that if I wrote them out, I’d begin working on them.
You can do it! Eliminate “I can’t afford it” and replace this talk with dreams committed to writing. By projecting your dreams onto paper you’re one step closer to investing in the future with every action you take.