“The art is not in making money, but in keeping it.” – Proverb
“Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.” – Robin Williams
I remember the amount like it was yesterday. I was twenty-three years old, and it was the biggest weekly paycheck I’d ever received.
“This is it,” I sighed to myself. “My money problems are finally over.” I sank down comfortably into my couch, cracked open an ice-cold brewski and just smiled for an awkward amount of time.
I had been making six figures working straight-commission as a financial broker since the ripe old age of nineteen. I drove a luxury car, lived in an unnecessarily big house overlooking the 12th hole of a beautiful golf course, and enjoyed constantly perplexing all my high school friends who were still suffering through college, mooching off their parents, and thinking I must have joined the mafia or something.
On the surface, I was young, well off, and enviable.
In reality I was young, ghetto rich, and in need of serious monetary intervention.
Yeah, I made more money than most, but I also spent it like there was no tomorrow. Literally. Anything outside “Now” didn’t exist to me – great for Buddhists and New Agers but disaster for mere mortals who are stuck in this annoying space-time continuum having to actually accomplish things.
But this was about to become a non-issue. My income was about to skyrocket, or so I deluded.
So I did what any normal person would do. I took the week off, treated myself to a new wardrobe, and got a VIP table at the club as a much-deserved reward for being so awesome.
Let the good times roll.
A little over a month later I received a notice in the mail from my bank stating I’d bounced a check for $100.
I had spent every penny of that $8,654, and had made almost no money in the month while I was doing it, despite having worked reasonably hard at least 2-3/4 weeks out of that month.
I was officially broke. Again.
“Great. Now I’m going to have to fire my footman I just got,” I moaned.
I sank down uncomfortably into my couch, cracked a cold brewski and frowned for a sad amount of time.
You see – I had learned the Law of Income Production, but I had yet to learn the Law of Income Cycles.
“In all things there is a law of cycles.” – Tacitus
The Law of Income Cycles says simply this: money comes in waves.
Did I just make this law up? Yes, I did. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Someone has to notice these things and turn them into laws. Might as well be me.
As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so money comes when it wants and goes sooner than you expect.
Learn to save it when it comes so that you can survive when it goes.
Our problem is when the wave comes in we act like it’s the Eternal Wave. We think it’s here to stay and are shocked to death when the tide turns. Some people live their entire lives like this, and they never cease to be even slightly less shocked.
This is insane.
We need to start observing life closely, recognize patterns, and adjust accordingly.
One thing that certainly works against us here is the same self-confidence that enabled us to take a “risky” performance-based compensation lifestyle in the first place. We’re too bold for our britches.
In any vocation where you have the illusion of control over your income (sales jobs, CEO’s with big bonus structures, entrepreneurs of any sort, etc.), you have just that – the illusion of control over your income. You may have more influence than a salaried employee, but you do not have more control.
100% of the time, control is an illusion … every time. We’d be thankful for this if we could see things clearly.
Here’s what happens internally when a wave of money comes in just so you can become more aware:
1. The entire section of our brain that controls logic immediately shuts down.
2. A flood of endorphins, serotonin, and crack cocaine shoots to your pre-frontal cortex.
3. Visions of convertible Ferraris and exotic tropical vacations on Tahitian overwater bungalows with glass floors start hallucinating through your head.
4. You imagine that this new unusually large check will somehow magically come in again every single week for the rest of your life even though it’s ten times bigger than anything you’ve ever produced.
5. A voice in your head starts saying, “What can I buy with this?” over and over. A list of consumer goods is immediately supplied to the voice.
6. You are compelled to celebrate lavishly. Plans involving alcohol are made.
7. You become completely convinced that you can finally relax. All your hard work has paid off, the good times are finally here, and this time … they’re here to stay. This time is different. You can feel it.
Instead, do the following and you will live a financially sane life …
- Picture yourself in the future living in a trailer on social security because you never figured this whole thing out. Now picture a loaf of bread costing more than a years worth of your social security checks due to inevitable hyperinflation. There’s your motivation to take this seriously.
- Now picture yourself in the future living in your dream home and completely financially secure and sexy and laughing incessantly because you took the time to learn how money works, mastered it, and moved on to more important things in life.
- Don’t shop often. Shopping, in general, is for poor people. When I was broke all I could think about was shopping, and I did it all the time. owner of domain Now that I’m rich I have zero desire to shop and do it rarely (normally under compulsion from my wife).
- Save the waves. When a wave comes in don’t just save ten percent of it; save ALL of it. Pretend it never came and will never come again. It may not; you don’t know. You’re not the Wave Maker.
- Work twice as hard after the wave comes in as you did before. Don’t take even one day off. While you may not be the Wave Maker you are certainly the wave influencer. Part of the reason that wave has arrived is your previous hard work (normally). You’ve got to keep planting wave seeds so they keep coming in – especially right after the fact.
- Let a wave be a signal to you that nothing has changed … it’s just a wave. Expect your income to go back to normal shortly, and be pleasantly surprised – and slightly apprehensive – if it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, that means you are in the middle of the most dangerous wave of all … The Tidal Wave.
- Understand that there are waves of varying degrees. Some are one check big. These are ripples. Some are one month big. These are beach breakers. And the scariest of all – Tidal Waves – are one year big or even bigger. A Tidal Wave lasts an entire year or more. While this sounds good on the surface, it has the potential to literally destroy your life. The danger with the Tidal Wave lies in the fact that even the most experienced financial wave surfer tends to fall into the Eternal Wave trap after a certain amount of time. The money just gets hypnotic after a while. You start planning and spending and borrowing as if this money will never stop coming. Don’t fall into this trap. Do you normally make $50,000 a year, but last year you made $150,000? Congratulations. Make your goal $250,000 this year, plan on making $25,000, and no matter what ends up happening, SAVE YOUR MONEY.
Leave a comment below and declare that from now on you are going to save the waves!
And don’t give me any sob stories like “Save money??? Preston, I lost a leg in Vietnam. I’m on disability, and can barely eat!” I’m sorry for your leg. I have a friend who is literally two feet tall, deformed, confined to a wheelchair, is the author of a best selling book, and makes millions of dollars traveling the world encouraging other people who are weaker than him in their minds. Get over yourself. I’ve only been teaching you The Law Of Income Production for 7 years now. How long is it going to take you to get it?
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Recommended Reading: “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T Harv Eker
Ancient Wisdom To Memorize: There is a season for everything. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones.
Parable To Contemplate: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
Affirmation For The Week: I save waves.