I’ve heard people talk about age being a barrier to finding a calling. I’ve heard people talk about physical limitations creating a barrier to finding a calling. And I’ve heard people talk about money being a barrier to finding a calling.
Money is a tool. You can use that tool in the most effective manner to achieve your dream – or you can choose to be the slave of money. If you commit to your goal, you’ll find a way to achieve it. For example:
Excuse #1: I can’t afford the tools/training/resources that I need. Baloney! Maybe you can’t go to that expensive MBA school. But can you take one class at the community college – or even online? Can you take your training in small shots, like 2 day seminars? Can you plan to take the training after 6 months and make a plan to save what you need? With respect to tools or other resources, can you buy second hand or borrow from an experienced practitioner? Can you acquire a basic set or just one piece (the most versatile piece) and then add to your collection over time?
Spending your money on tools, resources and training is an investment in yourself. Once you commit to making that investment, you find ways to cut back on other expenditures (okay, you can buy the finger paint – but you have to give up the lattes until you start making money), to come up with creative ways to finance the investment (partner and share with another beginner?) or to time the investment (ok, can’t do it this month but will do it in September) to work with your finances. It’s okay to start small, so long as you have your plan to work your way up. Just get started!
Excuse #2: I can’t afford to leave my job. Well, maybe. So don’t. If you have a dream that is NOT your current job, if it’s really your dream, then figure out a non-disruptive way to pursue it. Keep your current job – but spend your evenings and weekends building your dream. Read personal finance blogs like Get Rich Slowly and learn how to adjust your lifestyle. Live well below your means – and start building your war chest. Again, have a plan. Remember, you’re not saving money just to have a pile of money – how fun is that? You’re saving money so that you can eventually live your dream. And once you take that first step – whether it’s creating a savings account for the dream, identifying the first investment or expenditure and the date by which you will obtain it – things will start to fall into place. Just get started – Commit!
Excuse #3: I won’t be able to make money doing my dream: Time to get creative. The world is changing so rapidly that there are markets for just about everything now – but you may have to adjust your view of the possibilities. Are you an artist? Maybe, rather than trying to show things in your home town, you need to get a big web page and share your talent with the Big Ol’ World Wide Web. Maybe you need to think about graphic design, Etsy, corporate brochures. My point is – try to imagine all the different permutations possible with your talents and your calling, don’t limit yourself. Anything is possible.
Diversion #1: I need to buy that pretty watchamackallit to pursue my calling. No, you don’t. Think about your purchases and how you plan to follow your calling. Will the money you spend (1) help increase your skill, (2) increase your marketability, (3) provide critical inputs for you and therefore enable you to pursue your calling? If the answer is no – think carefully about the expenditure. Will buying the pretty hooha today mean that you have to defer buying something critical? Maybe there’s something better to spend your money on that will help you get closer to pursuing your calling.
Bottom line: There are a LOT of ways to get bogged down with money on the way to finding and pursuing our callings. Just remember:
- Money is not a barrier. Money is a tool. You are in charge, and you can choose to use it to advance your goals – or not.
- It’s okay to start slow – just get started!
- Sometimes you may need to get creative about how you finance the dream. That’s ok.
- Be flexible in how you pursue your dream. Flexibility may enable you to follow your dream sooner.
How does YOUR relationship with money affect your ability to pursue your calling? Please share in the comments!
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If you liked this post, you may like the guest post I wrote for Get Rich Slowly, entitled ‘Are We There Yet? How Will You Know When You’re Rich?‘