To get where you want to go with money and in life, you need to put yourself first. As an empathetic and caring person, this probably sounds counterintuitive. But it’s not.
My premise is this; you at 100% is greater than you at 50%.
100% > 50%
When you’re at 100% (or as close as you can be), you’re positioned to do the most good for yourself and others. You feel better, you’re more confident, you’re more effective, and you’re able to show up better.
Is you at 100% versus 50% better for your work? Yes. Is it better for your kids? Yes. Is it better for your community? Yes. Would the world be a better place if all of us were closer to 100% than 50%? Yes.
This is embodiment of “In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.” When you’re running on fumes, you’re no good to anyone.
My goal is to help you put yourself first in your work, with your money, and with your impact. As a financial advisor, I’ve been helping people do this for over 20 years. I’m honored to be named to Investopedia’s list of the top 100 financial advisors many years running.
If you’re able to put these ideas into place, it will unlock a lot of success for you and benefit those you influence.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Putting yourself first
- Own your work
- Own your money
- Own your impact
Let’s get started.
Putting yourself first
Making sure your needs are met before you concern yourself with meeting the needs of others sounds like a selfish thing. But it’s not. Doing so allows you to more fully help others. Failure to address your needs will have the opposite effect of what you want.
You may be able to help others at first, but over time, your ability to impact others will be diminished. When you make your finances a priority and you accept ownership of them, you can exponentially grow your impact and influence.
I’m going to talk about how to maximize your earnings, your saving and investing, and your giving.
Own your work
What does it mean to own your work? It means you accept personal responsibility for it. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re already doing this. If you’re an employee at an organization, you need to view yourself as an intrapreneur. Just because you don’t own the company doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be fully invested in your work.
How do you do it? Lean in to your work. Become fully invested and embrace your impact.
Regardless of what you do, you’re having a positive impact on others and the world. Taking ownership of your work means finding and embracing that impact.
Own your money
What does it mean to own your money? It means you accept personal responsibility for it. Yes, there are many factors beyond our control that contribute to our success as investors. We have zero influence over the markets and the economy. But we have a lot of control over our behaviors and the tactics we use.
How do you do it? The starting point is having clear financial goals and making plans for achieving them. In service of this, you can access our Goals course for free. From there, you must pay attention to your money. This is accomplished by monitoring your cash flow, keeping a budget, being a good steward of your credit, and having the proper insurances.
From there, you need to have a fully funded emergency fund of six months’ of living expenses. You need to have the appropriate accounts based on your time horizon (brokerage accounts for mid and long-term priorities, and qualified accounts for retirement planning) and be contributing to them on a monthly basis.
When you take ownership of your saving and investing, you act with intention and purpose. You appropriately recognize that there will never be anyone more interested in your financial success than you are. Taking this important step will not guarantee your financial success, but it will position you for it. When you’re financially secure, you’re then able to positively influence others.
Own your impact
What does it mean to own your impact? It means you accept personal responsibility for it. There are a lot of ways to give. We can give money, time, and expertise. Each of those things can be extremely valuable to others.
How do you do it? In order to have something of value to give, you have to have something of value to give. If your desire is to give monetarily, you need to have more money than you need. To give time, you need to get everything you need to get done in less time. In order to have expertise to give, you need to work to develop your skills and gain mastery.
There are countless people and organizations that could use your help. But your ability to contribute is predicated on you increasing your value. As you increase your value, you can increase your impact.
You putting yourself first is not at the expense of anyone else. Rather, it’s for everyone else. When you’re at 100%, we all benefit. Start putting yourself first.
If you’re ready to take control of your financial life, check out our DIY Financial Plan course.
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