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