So many times I sit down with my clients and ask them what they want for their business. Rarely does money ever come up. When I challenge them on this and ask for them to make a money goal, there's a lot of hemming and hawing and typically they'll then throw out a random number, "I don't know, a million dollars?" No heart. No thought. No drive.
The worst thing to me is when people say "6 figures." Why? Because 6 figures could be $100,000 or $999,000, which are two drastically different numbers, business models, and lifestyles.
When these patterns became the norm instead of the exception, I realized, we needed a spreadsheet. I believe that a lot of the world's problems can be solved by a spreadsheet. And this, is one of them.
This is what I have my clients do. And this is what I want you to do.
STEP ONE - WRITE IT DOWN
I want you to write down all the details about your dream lifestyle. Get really insane and go for broke. If you want a $1.5 million house on a private beach in the Seychelles Islands, write it down. The only thing is, this has to come from you - make it true to yourself. So if a red hot Jaguar convertible isn't what will make your heart sing, then don't put it on your list. We're not talking anything practical here. We're not in the mindset of "I need to be grateful for what I have." We're in the mindset of, "I want it all."
And then get really specific. For example, if you're going to write about your dreams when it comes to food, I don't want just one line. Oh no - I take my food seriously. For me, I have a budget for how many times I want to eat out a week (2-3), a budget for when I'm not eating out, one for how I would like to eat in (recipe prep service like Blue Apron) and one for when I have friends over for dinner and really want to treat them to a personal chef experience (4 times a year). And to top it off, I have a budget for groceries. Be as specific as you can.
STEP TWO - RESEARCH
So if you want to have a baby and you think you'll need to save $100k to cover the first year of expenses (this is from a real conversation with a client of mine!) you may want to do some research. What I've found is that the typical needs for a new baby hover around $12k. This is assuming that a bugaboo, stokke and anything restoration hardware for children aren't on your list of "needs" (which they totally can be). Just get really clear on what all your needs are - the key is to find out what things actually cost. Don't just assume.
It's important to put an actual figure next to all the wants in your life - big and small. I'm not a huge car person and don't really need the latest and greatest, but what I do love are old Volvos. We are traveling right now (part of my dream list) so we don't have a need for a car and don't have a current home. But with a quick google search I found my dream car for $5,500.
STEP THREE - START ADDING THINGS UP
This is very, very simple. Once you have your long, long list of your dream world lifestyle and you have done the research on what things actually cost, it's time to add it all up. Keep in mind that you may need a few different totals here - one for a monthly budget, another for yearly and third for one time costs.
STEP FOUR - SIT WITH IT
Now that you have your totals in front of your eyeballs, sit with it. Does it seem like a lot to you? A little? Just about right? I haven't done this exercise with anyone who hasn't been surprised with their results. Some are surprised with how low the final numbers are and some are surprised with how high. Either way, just let it be and pay attention to how you feel.
Does it totally freak you out? Get you pumped? Make you want to throw up? Ask yourself why you're feeling whatever you're feeling and then tell yourself you got this. Because...you got this!
STEP FIVE - MAKE A PLAN TO MAKE THE MONEY
And now the fun part - start making a plan on how you are going to make all that cash money. And then go out and make all that cash money!