Monday, May 09, 2005

Wealth Wisdom from a Surfer Dude

Lee Silber is a surfer...and a successful author, speaker, business owner, musician, and radio show host. And he still finds time to surf every day (and sleep!)

Here's a prosperity piece from his free monthly newsletter. For more info, visit Lee online at Creative Lee Speaking

By Lee Silber

For some, the pursuit of riches means everything—they look at wealth as a means of determining their own value and worth in the world. For others, money is a means to have and do what they have always wanted—it represents freedom. There are also people who claim that they aren't interested in money and look down on anyone who wants to profit from their time and talents—but realize that in the right hands money can make miracles happen. The bottom line is, money matters. Even though I have covered this topic in one of my previous books and have written articles about money matters in the past, it's worth talking about again. Only this time, I will go under the assumption that we all could use a little more money in our lives. That's why the focus of this article will be exercises to develop both a money mindset and some action steps that will help you make the second half of 2005 your best year yet—financially.

Making more money starts in your head. Some people don't earn what they are worth because they don't believe they deserve to and/or that there isn't enough money to go around or because they are complacent and aren't aware of the opportunities that exist to increase their income. Let's look at some simple suggestions to increase our wealth.

1. Get more. Take your salary from 2004 and double it. Write down or draw how that would feel and what making that much money would mean to you. Next, double that income amount and write what life would be like with four times the money coming in. Keep doubling your income and writing your responses until the income amount feels right.

2. Get real. In the middle of a page write down what you would like to earn in a year. Now draw arrows leading into that number with the possible sources of revenue needed to generate it. Open your mind to the possibilities. Use what ever method works to find money-making opportunities. Make a list of possibilities, create a mind map, emulate someone else's success, review old invoices and bank statements, tear out ideas from magazines, free write, talk to others, talk to yourself, draw, whatever you need to do to come up with ways to make more money. (See examples listed below in "Action Item I".)

3. Get emotional. Instead of dealing with numbers this time, let's look at how it would feel and the freedom this new amount of money coming into your life would mean for you and those around you. If you made (insert your ideal income here) what would you do? What would you buy? Where would you go? How would you feel about yourself? Your life? How would you be treated by others? What would you NOT have to do any longer?

4. Get going. One easy first step to having more money is to make better financial decisions on a daily basis. What is something you could cut out or cut down on to save money today? What is something you could do or sell to earn more money today?

5. Get it together. There are several things you can do to become better at making and managing money. One is to become more aware of where your money goes. Keeping track of what you spend each day (every dime) is an eye-opener. Another thing to try is to pay for items with cash for a week or two so you get in touch with how much you are truly spending. Another thing to do is to put up pictures of the things you will do, buy, enjoy when you have more money. Use these as motivators and put them up where you will see them (as a screensaver, in your wallet or on a bulletin board). On a stack of index cards write down everything you do (skills, talents, assets) that others would pay for. Put one item per card and start doing something with these. Make a list of things you can do to increase your worth—enter and win an award, team up with someone more successful, learn a new skill—and start raising your rates. Create an affirmation that reads something like this: "There is more than enough money to go around and I will earn (how much?) more than I am earning now? I am smart, talented and I deserve to be paid well." Read about and surround yourself with people who are wealthy and wise about money-matters. Learn all you can from them.

How to Make More
Have you tried any of these ideas to increase your income? (Circle any and all that you may want to try.)

* Turn a hobby into a side business
* Rent out unused gear
* Ask for cash as a gift this year instead of worthless presents
* Sell something you no longer need or use
* Teach a skill you have that others need to know
* Rent out a room in your home
* Ask for a referral fee when you send someone business
* Give (paid) speeches on a topic you are knowledgeable about
* Collect any money that is owed to you
* Ask your parents for an early inheritance
* Start a home-based or web-based business that uses your existing talents, skills and contacts
* Do consulting on the side
* Have a garage sale
* Write and sell articles about subjects you are an expert on
* Appear on a game show
* Moonlight at a job you would enjoy so much you'd almost do it for free
* Participate in paid market research studies
* Ask for a raise or raise your rates
* Get a degree that will allow you to make more
* Enter contests that pay a cash prize for a talent or skill you possess
* Get investors or advance orders for a business
* Create something that sells even when you aren't (a how-to booklet, book, DVD or CD).

How to Spend Less
In a lot of ways, finding creative means to have what you want without having to pay full price for it is almost the same as making more money. Try this.

* Get organized so you don't buy duplicates and have the receipts to return unwanted items
* Rent or borrow before you buy to be sure you want a high-ticket item
* When appropriate, ask for a discount when you purchase a product or service
* Take better care of your stuff so it lasts longer
* Be a smart shopper and buy on sale or travel off-season
* Be more creative rather than spend big bucks on dates, gifts or parties
* Simplify
* Trade or barter rather than buy
* Cut back on bad habits
* Use coupons
* Get out of debt

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