It’s March 26, 2014.
In today’s podcast I talked about my immensely successful launch of Learn Lettering. During the recording, I recalled an email newsletter that I sent out a couple months back that was very relevant.
I hadn’t shared the email anywhere except on my newsletter, but I promised in the podcast that I would publish it as a blog post so you could read it.
With less than 5-figures in my bank account 2 months ago, I wrote about how I’d handle $100,000 cash—before I had it.
As I write this, it has been 42 hours since my launch, and I have made $93,587.
I thought it would be interesting to share a look at the mindset I had before the money:
February 9, 2014, 8:29am CST – seanwes newsletter
Ever Thought of Planning for AFTER You’re Successful?
While getting thrown off my recording schedule was super frustrating, I certainly learned a lesson on limitation. I was also really encouraged by the tremendous support shown by listeners when I was unable to put out shows this week.
I got messages of encouraging words with people telling me how much they felt my absence and noticed when the value I regularly provided through the podcast was gone for a week.
I’m super thankful for the support, but I’m even more excited to be returning this week. I’ll start by tackling the topic of Dealing With Lack of Motivation later this week. It’s definitely going to be a good one.
Planning for After Success
In the mean time, I’ve been thinking about success. Not so much the path to get there, but more what I’ll do when I meet my goals.
Have you ever thought about what you’d do with an extra $100,000? I mean really, seriously, sat down and thought about it? I think most people don’t, and probably for two reasons:
- You don’t think you’ll ever have an extra $100,000.
- Maybe you do think you’ll have it, but you figure you’ll decide what to do when you get there.
The problem is that in both cases there is lack of a plan. In the first scenario, there’s the lack of a plan to even get to that point in the first place. In the second scenario, there’s the lack of a plan as to what you’ll do once you’re there.
I want to focus on the second scenario. The danger here is lifestyle creep. If you don’t plan for success, it will happen to you and you will unconsciously adapt your lifestyle to the increase. This is typically something that happens gradually over the course of time, like a frog boiling. You don’t think of having an extra $100,000 because you absorbed it and inflated your expenses accordingly.
Believe it or not, there are people making $100,000, $200,000, even $500,000 more than you do a year that still live month-to-month or operate with debt. How can that be? It’s because it’s a mindset.
That is the danger of lifestyle creep and that is the danger of the lack of planning.
“Are you successful?”
I recently received an email from someone asking (among other things) if I considered myself to be successful. The thing is, success is a relative term.
I do believe I am successful in that I wake up and do what I love every day and I am able to pay bills. However, in terms of goals, my aspiration is to build my residual income to the point where the cost of bills that maintain my current quality of life are completely covered by passive income.
This would bring an even greater freedom in allowing me to pursue the creation of any project regardless of immediate monetization. Currently, my projections are that I will reach that point within the next year.
This is what has me thinking about success. I want to plan for success. Arguably, I am successful now, but I want to make purposeful strategies for how I will steward my resources when they grow beyond the point I’m at.
If you don’t do this, you won’t maintain your current lifestyle. By default you will allow your lifestyle to inflate with your income. Unless you always want to be living paycheck to paycheck, this is what much be actively fought.
78% of NFL players go bankrupt within 5 years. They make millions a year, but lose it all because they have grown accustomed to maintaining a lifestyle that is unsustainable. They allowed their lifestyle to be defined by what they were making.
It’s easy to picture wealth as having nice clothes, or a fancy car, or a big house. But those are front-facing examples. Would you rather spend your money on things that make other people think you’re wealthy, or have actual wealth in the bank that can be used purposefully?
These questions may seem silly, especially if we’re at a place where we haven’t attained such a level, but I think it’s precisely the right point at which to ask them. If we are not intentional ahead of time, then we make ourselves susceptible to carelessness and irresponsibility.
2014 is going to be a big year for me. I’ve spent close to a year investing virtually all of my time and money into providing value, solving problems, creating resources and building infrastructure for things like my podcast, the Community, and Learn Lettering.
I know I’m soon going to start to acknowledge returns from these investments this year but before I see these returns, I’m making a point to lay out a plan. I’m setting my standards, and breaking down how I will allocate my resources for each of a variety of different possible outcomes.
Whether you’re working on a big project, or product launch, or maybe just looking forward to that next raise if you’re working for someone else, I’d encourage you to take time this week to sit down and establish a written plan ahead of time.
How will you allow future changes in income to affect your lifestyle?
I hope this helps generate some valuable thought and reflection for you this week like it has for me.
Wishing you all the best,