You may not be the CEO of your workplace, or even your marriage. But you are the CEO of your life. Many people go to jobs they don’t like to finance life’s they don’t like. To continue living this life we don’t like, we have to continue spending money which we can only get from the job we don’t like. It is a cycle.
Money has a powerful ability to help you continue the current cycle or to create a new and better cycle. If you want to create a better life for yourself you just need to boss up and become the CEO of your life. Money is very powerful in the sense that it can help you choose which cycle to take.
Sure, bad things happen in life that we have no control over. But what we do have control over is the way we react to life’s experiences. We can choose to continue to live with a victim mentality or we can boss up and develop a boss mentality. One in which we take control for our life. Where we become responsible for managing our money. Our money is like our employees. Each dollar coin has a job to do and we must know exactly where each dollar is going. If a dollar is not doing their job and is not going where they are supposed to, then that dollar needs a disciplinary meeting. The poor performing dollar must improve their performance or they will find themselves homeless on the street corner without a job to do, only to be replaced by a better performer.
Someone who is not a boss will let their money (employees) get away with ill discipline and unproductive work. Their money is going to fancy dinners, nice cars and houses. Things that only bring short term pleasure, not long-term happiness. Wasteful spending hits your bottom line and reduces savings. This means that your profit for the year will be much less than someone who earns the same as you but is more efficient in running their life business.
If someone earns enough money where they can afford to waste, then good for them. We can’t resent that. The key performance metric for any business is profit margin. In personal finance that is our savings rate. This is the difference between what we earn and what we spend, expressed as a percentage. A high-income earner can spend more and still have a high savings rate. A low-income earner needs to be much more mindful of their spending in order to have a good savings rate. A $50,000 income earner with a 30% savings rate will be better off than a $200,000 income earner with a 20% savings rate.
If in this example, both had a savings rate of 30%, then the $50,000 person A would be spending $35,000 per year, and the $200,000 person B would be spending $60,000. Person B is spending more money, but their higher income allows them to. In saying that, person B is in a much better position to save more than 30% if they reduced their expenses even further and didn’t succumb to lifestyle creep.
If your earn-spend cycle is something that you are not happy with then understand that you have the power to change that.
Let me give you an example from my own life
In my late 20’s I was spending every cent of my income. I was the definition of living pay check to pay check. I was working in a job I didn’t enjoy, resigned to the fact that I would be working a soul destroying job another 40 years if I was lucky. It was a cycle of earn, spend for a quick thrill, broke, earn and so on. I was not moving forward with my life. I was floating.
After learning a bit about personal finance, I realised that life does not have to be lived in this self-fulfilling cycle. It is a script that I had the ability to change. So, I learned about different types of investments and instead of wasting money on short term thrills, I found more productive uses for my money through investing. My happiness levels did not suffer at all. In fact, the extra freedom I gained from having more money and by simplifying my life to have less material needs, my happiness has increased. Because I have invested in myself I am now in a position of leverage where I am not afraid to start my own business. A job where I will get great satisfaction instead of a mundane grind it out day to day job. If I had no money I would not have had the confidence to make that leap.
We unconsciously develop money scripts that may not necessarily be true. These are beliefs such as:
Rich people are greedy
There is not enough money to go around for me
I deserve to spend money
I don’t deserve good things
The government will take care of me
Money is evil
Money will give me meaning
The first step is to recognise that money is very important, and it affects everything we do. In saying that, money itself does not give life meaning. It is how that money is used that is important. Money is only a vehicle to get us what we want. It is not what we should want.
I created a new cycle by becoming the boss of my money. I changed my relationship with money. I stopped letting money control me. I started to control money. I transitioned from an earn – spend cycle to a earn – invest – spend cycle.
It is important to be comfortable with money and comfortable talking about money. It is a means to an end. Just like employees are needed to achieve company goals, money is needed to achieve life goals.
You either need to find ways to earn more of it or spend less of it. Every change you make in your life will have some financial impact. The significance of the impact of money cannot be ignored. Once we can recognise how important money is we can make positive change. As CEO of your life and finances, it is your job to educate yourself and learn.
If you think you deserve more at your job. Ask your boss what you need to do to earn more. Then go and do it. Don’t wait for your manager to give you a raise. Ask for it. A boss takes responsibility, they don’t wait for things to happen. If your manager doesn’t fulfill their end of the bargain, you can always find another job. Either your manager will give you what you deserve, or you will get what you deserve somewhere else. That is the beauty of having money. It gives you the safety net needed to make bold decisions that will improve your life. Bold decisions that can pay off in spades. Maybe you have a business idea that you want to explore by starting your own business. Money gives us a safety net that allows us to step out of our comfort zone. Should we fall, the net will help us to bounce back and try again.
When you are boss you have to do it. The buck stops with you (excuse the pun).
You’re not waiting on circumstances to be right. You’re not waiting on someone to make a choice for you. You’re saying “this is my life and I’m the boss in it. I’m going to do whatever needs to be done to get to the destination I want to get to.” A boss doesn’t rely on other people to fulfill their wants, needs and desires. You have no control over other people. Realise your responsibility in making things happen.
It can be scary not knowing what is ahead. But no CEO ever got a roadmap to success. You just have to make the change one step at a time, figuring out what is best for you with the information you have at hand. Fear of failure is not an option if you want to be a boss. With every failure, you are one step closer to success. Embrace it. I failed at about 30 job interviews before I got my first job offer. If you wait for that roadmap, you will never get started.
I do not know everything. Not even close. I don’t have all the answers to life figured out. But I am the boss of my life and I will take any steps necessary to get me going in the right direction. Some steps may be misguided, but I will find my way eventually. You are the only person to get to your vision. Life doesn’t just happen, we must make it happen. It is time to step up and become the CEO of your life.
The information contained on this site is the opinion of the individual author(s) based on their personal opinions, observation, research, and years of experience. The information offered by this website is general education only and is not meant to be taken as individualised financial advice, legal advice, tax advice, or any other kind of advice. You can read more of my disclaimer here