“I wanted to create something on my own… my sense of security was based on, ‘I need to make money.’ Because I didn’t have it as a kid.”

This was how I began my response the other day when Adam Cox asked me how I made the mental shift from a young man scraping by in a new country to an entrepreneur with an eye towards building wealth.

But the truth was, there wasn’t a big mental shift for me. Not at first.

We think of these two things—the experience of surviving on a paycheck provided by someone else and the experience of running one’s own enterprise—as two entirely different states of being. 

One is powerless and one is powerful. One is limited and one is limitless. One is based around a scarcity mentality and one is based on creation and growth.

The struggle I ran into as a young business owner was that I carried that scarcity mentality with me into entrepreneurship. I didn’t charge into this bold, new adventure with the true belief that I was limitless, that I could innovate and create and leave behind a meaningful legacy.

Nope.

I was—and always had been—a guy who was just doing what he had to do in order to eat. In order to have a roof over his head. In order to provide for a family one day. 

Don’t get me wrong; I did want to be wealthy. But I saw wealth as something I had to suffer for… and something I could never get if I didn’t fight for it tooth and nail. 

Adam asked how I made the mental shift from survivor to thriver, and the truth is, it took a long time. It took a lot of missteps. And thankfully, the process involved a lot of career-defining epiphanies. 

You can watch the interview in full if you’re interested in hearing the full conversation. But here are the big-picture bullet points:

  • I learned that because my family had struggled financially as I was growing up, I didn’t actually believe I deserved to be prosperous. This was reflected in the fact that I always made the same amount of money, even as I expanded my business and became involved in other ventures. I became busier, but my pockets didn’t get any heavier.
  • I realized that I based my sense of self-worth on how much money I could earn.
  • I discovered that my true value lay in my ability to change… to learn and improve. The more I tested my own ability to transform, the more I valued myself and the more I believed I deserved.
  • I came to understand that to be human is to be limitless.
  • Instead of chasing down financial security, I focused on my purpose and passion. I believed in running a customer-obsessed company and wanted to give my buyers a Fresh Start after life-altering disasters. By doing this, I found not only success, but fulfillment and joy as well.
  • I finally realized that money is simply a tool. It should never be the driving force in our work. Lean into your purpose and the money comes.
  • Perhaps most importantly, my journey showed me that even just seeing a problem does a lot to help you overcome the problem. It’s so easy to avoid our shortcomings and internal struggles. But when we find the courage to shine a light on the parts of ourselves that hold us back, those obstacles dissolve.

I encourage you to watch the entire discussion when you have a moment. Not only do I have a lot to share about my own errors and life lessons, but Adam brings his own powerful insights to the conversation. You can watch it above.

Created: 18th Jan 2021

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