It’s a great question, isn’t it? And one I’m guessing most of us ask of ourselves from time to time. For you it may be $100m or half a million or it may not be a specific amount at all, but just ‘enough’ to allow you to forget about paying the bills.
I was with with a client recently who was trying to work out how much money he needed so he no longer had to worry for himself, his wife and his kids.
I listened to this and got quite concerned. I wasn’t aware there was an amount that meant we had to worry, and another that meant we were ok allowing us the freedom to focus our worrying skills on other areas of our life.
“Shit” I thought, “I don’t have enough money and I’ve been fooling myself by not worrying about it for at least a couple of years now, I’d better step up my game and start contemplating all the things that can possibly go wrong with my life, just in case.”
As my client wrestled with how much money he ‘needed’ to be worry-free and which direction to take his two businesses, I threw a question at him;
“If I deposited $10,000,000 in your bank account this afternoon, what would you do?”
He stopped mid-sentence and I could literally see his posture change, his face light up and then the tonality of his voice shifted completely. He was no longer weighed down by imaginary money concerns, but relishing the potential of total financial freedom.
Mixed in with the usual responses of travel the world, buy a house with a gym, pay off his and his wife’s student loan etc I had two way more interesting answers that told me a lot more than the previous half hours conversation about money had;
- Close down one of my businesses
- Start up a not for profit business
I asked which business he would close down and when he told me the answer followed up with,
“So close it down NOW then because it’s not what you want to do”
For a moment I know he was about to agree with me, but then came the hesitation before he laughed a kind of nervous laugh and said;
“That would be cool, but I can’t, I need the money”
In an instant his state had returned from whence it came. He was immediately worrying about money again and focusing on potential problems rather than looking for solutions.
At times like these clients will almost always rush to justify their reasons for not doing what they really want to do, and this guy was no different.
However, I switch off completely because the first gut response I get in these kinds of situations is nearly always the only one I’m interested in.
The reason being, it comes from our unconscious before we have time to challenge it. It’s our authentic self trying to enunciate what it really, really wants.
Unfortunately, we become skilled at intercepting these thoughts within a split-second of them arising and then rationalizing them away as either unrealistic, dumb, impractical, selfish, foolhardy or any other combination of the 101 excuses I hear on a regular basis.
So ask yourself;
“If I had $10,000,00 in my bank account, what would I do?”
Listen very carefully to the first answer(s) you get and the ones that really make you come alive?
Is what you’re doing now designed to get you there? If not, what could you do differently ? Are you reigning in your hopes and dreams because you think they aren’t achievable? What would you do differently if you didn’t have that belief?
I’d love to know what you’d do with your $10m and to kick things off I’ll tell you 5 things I’d do.
- Buy 1,000,000 copies of How To Be Rich and Happy and donate them to good causes
- Buy a house with a stables so my wife can have her own horse
- Stop charging for life coaching and only do pro bono work for those less well off
- Buy a pair of season tickets for the St Louis Rams
- Take a 3-week cruise to the South Pacific with a group of family and friends
So what about you?
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