Spending Money To Make Money

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

What if someone guaranteed you that if you spend $1,000 today you would make $10,000 in return? It would be a no brainer of a deal.

Well, at least on the surface it would seem like a no-brainer. But for most that idea of making such a high return is unheard of and seems more like a scam then a can’t miss type of opportunity.

The way that we have been taught to view things is that nothing in life is free. Which is definitely true. But I think that attitude has effected the way we do business.

Let me give you a quick history of the last two years for me and my spending.

I was very tight when it came to spending any money on software, conferences, products, and even clothes. I would not go to any event unless I could get in for free. Would not buy any software, would only shop at the goodwill, and lived at home with my parents. To say that I was cheap was an understatement. Now a major reason for this was because I had a job that you could not make a living off of. But the underlining issue to all of this was that I wanted a reward without ever having to risk anything.

I remember a story my dad told me about our first family computer. It just so happened that we were on our way to the apple store to both get Mac Book Pro’s. As we got in the car we started talking about 56K connection, napster, and galaga. Then the subject of our first family computer came up. It went something like this:

Dad: You know why I bought that computer when you were in 3rd grade?

Me: No

Dad: Because I knew that computers were the future and that you needed to start learning early how to use them. I saw it as an investment into your future

That conversation is still vivid to me. I was struck by those words that my dad wanted to invest in my future by buying a product that he was not familiar with. He went on to tell me a story about how when he was in college there was no such thing as making a major purchase for the future other then a car or a house. It just wasn’t something that could be done. But as we reflected on the “good ole days” I realized that a purchase my dad made almost 15 years ago has so greatly affected me today that I am now able to use that technology to make a living.

Coming back to present day I have realized that you have to make investments to get a return. I have to purchase flights, buy books, and purchase software that is an investment. But this new way of thinking has only been present in me for about 6 months.

As I sit here and write this I wonder why it took me so long to catch on? Why wasn’t I taught this earlier?

We need a shift in the way we view risk and reward. I wonder if today you started to view your dream as a business and started investing in that business rather then hold it as a dream. I wonder what opportunities would open up for you if you bought that computer that would allow you to start designing websites. Purchased that coffee machine that would help you start your future coffee shop. Bought that one way plain ticket to Africa to work with orphans. I could sit here and list out the “I wonders” all day. But I think the one thing that can move your dream into a reality is to start treating it more like a business rather then a dream.

But see, if you are a dreamer you would will never make that purchase? How do I know this? Because it is easier to sit there and hold onto and idea of the future rather then going and making the future. It is easier to use excuses like money then to have to be held accountable to customers and deadlines.

You have to have a dream, but you also have to have something that moves you from a dream to reality.

It is time we start looking into what we can start spending (not just money) today so that we can start getting a return.

What holds you back from spending money on a dream?

For me, I doubt if it is the right place place to spend it or if I should save it for later.




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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • http://www.cartoonrebellion.net Jenny

    Kyle, this is so timely it’s not even funny. :) I have a couple opportunities to spend some big $$ to maybe make money, or do some incredible things for the kingdom. Im scared to death about debt though. I bought a mac pro to replace a water logged mac book in the fall and im still paying it off. less than $1000 in debt and im freaking. So investing in a education certification or a seminary degree (thousands upon thousands of dollars) , unsure of how long or how ill pay it off scares me to death. I’d rather not follow my dreams then end up in debt. And even in small purchases like the $79 is between me and Cat Dallas (my moms investing in my future with the rest of it) and I am honestly thinking i may not jump on that opportunity. $79 is a lot of money for this college student. Let’s not even talk about the thousands for post grad education.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      what is the $79 for?
      How can we help you out?

      • http://www.cartoonrebellion.net Jenny

        The rest of my cat dallas ticket. i think my dad and older sister will work something out.

        They, like your dad are supportive of my dreams and future.

        • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

          hmmm, trying to think of a way figure some stuff out.
          Let me see what happens

  • http://www.felicitywhite.com Felicity

    Preach, brother. Good stuff. We’re learning this, too, and trying to find the right places to invest. Our time at Dream Year has already paid for itself in our shift of thinking but it didn’t produce a direct connection like we were hoping for. However, because it made us more willing to search out help, Dan has recently met up with a mentor that he’s been wanting for years. It is called risk because sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but I think it usually does, just not always the way you always expect.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      that is awesome. I think dream year is a great example. You are so correct

  • http://gbrenna.com Graham

    Hey Kyle… great stuff. I think I have the same mentality as your dad when it comes to technology. For a long time now I have been investing in the latest gadgets. Just got my iPad 2 a little while ago and last week I upgraded from a Droid X to a Thunderbolt on Verizon. I am of course frugal with money though and other areas of spending are way below what people might consider normal. I should point out that I my Droid X -> Thunderbolt upgrade was free.

    Anyways… I keep upgrading the gadgets because I want to stay on the forefront of technology. I consider those types of things “the future” and I know someday I will probably be making money off of them. I am already in a weird way I suppose because they help me stay productive.

    Great thoughts here Kyle. Thanks for posting.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      yes, and like you said, investing in technology now will bring you money in the future

  • http://www.thedailywalk.net Adam

    I have the same thoughts Kyle. I want to try to do as much as I can without dropping a lot of money into it, and stash the money away for when I actually need it possibly down the road.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      i wonder sometimes when that time will come to drop the money i have been saving

  • http://billdjohnson.com Bill D. Johnson


    Great post! I can so relate.
    Many times I don’t invest for my dreams because I’m really not convinced it will all work out in the end… Then I’ll just have a bunch of adhesive, rubber ducks and velcro sitting around.
    Know what I mean?

    Bill D. Johnson

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      I think the thing is, if we don’t even believe in our dreams who will?

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    I’m a lot like you – the biggest thing holding me back is wondering if it is the right area to invest in, or if I should save it for something else.

    Plus I really am not making enough money right now to pay my bills, so there is no money left over to invest in anything. Sad but true.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      is there another way to bring in money with your skills?

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    For me the challenge is to be wise with my money in the first place. As a married man with kids and financial responsibilities the “disposable” income available to fund blogging is limited. I’ve had to be strategic with purchasing a theme, registering a domain name and paying for hosting fees without straining the family budget. This means I have had to be incremental in thinking about design and purchases related to upgrading my blog.

    That being said I am grateful for the opportunity to jump into the blogosphere and not waiting until everything was in place or I could spend all the money at once. So far the ride has been fantastic and I’m definitely addicted.

    Great post, Kyle. Thank you for sharing and encouraging people to take the leap for the dreams.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      And I cannot even imagine what that is like. Often times (well almost always really) my decisions are based off of selfish reasons because I do not have a wife or kids. That would add in a whole other element.

      Glad you are investing though. It is definitely worth it. The sacrifice makes the hard work a little bit easier to want to do.

  • http://jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy’s Confessions

    For me its not so much the fear of losing my investment. Its more the pain that comes with waiting for an investment to finally pay off. I like to see instant results. If the google analytics graph isn’t trending upwards on a daily basis, I struggle. The truth is that most investments take time.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      I am much in the same way. The immediate payoff of something that you have invested in, and that doesn’t have to just be money.

      That is why I think retirement plans are hard to setup. You invest all this money up front and then have to wait 40 years to get it back. That sucks