Why You Need to Start Thinking Big About Money

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A huge problem that holds people back from making progress in their careers and achieving their financial goals: small thinking.

Specifically small thinking about money.

Everyone has a general sense of what is “normal” or realistic when it comes to money.

What is a realistic amount of money that they can earn?

What is a realistic amount to spend on clothes, dinner or a new car?

What is a reasonable amount to invest in a financial product?

I’ve noticed that wealthy and successful people tend to have a very different notion of what is “realistic” or “reasonable” than the unsuccessful.

And living in New York City, the most expensive city in the country, has contributed to this. I’ve definitely noticed my sense of “value for money” changing dramatically from when I lived in smaller towns.

Paying $10 for lunch and $2000 a month for rent seems totally reasonable.

My Dad went to Cannes, France for a project earlier this year. He mentioned that a hotel bar there was selling a glass of wine for fifty dollars!

The kinds of people patronizing a fancy hotel bar in Cannes obviously have a LOT of money to burn. Fifty dollars is nothing for them.

A number that would be “big” for someone else seems very small when you are making $2-3 million in your business and have $5 million in investments.

But more importantly, what we think is “reasonable” determines our income.

It’s one thing if I hope to make a million dollars one day. But if I don’t think it’s really possible, if I can’t envision a situation where $1 million is actually a reasonable number for me to achieve, how am I ever going to achieve it?

Answer: I won’t. My brain will automatically adjust my actions and behavior—large and small—to compensate for what it thinks is possible.

Instead of doing the amount of work, and the kind of work, to achieve that million dollars, I will do less.

I will automatically take less action.

I will limit the number of prospects I contact.

I will ask for lower prices for my services.

I will innovate less often and create less valuable products and services.

I will be comfortable hanging around people who have less money to spend, and who also think “small is reasonable.”

The same thing applies to your job or career if you work for someone else. If you don’t feel that it’s reasonable or realistically possible for you to get a bonus, a promotion or a raise, then you will silently adjust your working behavior accordingly: being less vocal in meetings, taking on fewer responsibilities, volunteering for new initiatives less often, and just focusing on completing the minimum necessary to keep coasting at your current level of income.

Thinking small has a direct, negative impact on your wallet.

By contrast, when you start thinking big, things start to open up for you.

When I was doing personal coaching, one of the first things I would look at with a new client was: do they even think that change is possible?

They had to believe that change, developing a new skill set and a new version of themselves was a real, tangible thing that could happen for them. Without that core belief, no amount of action or advice would work.

I recommend everybody get in the habit of thinking big on a daily basis about their business.

Come up with a huge number that seems unreasonable, and then ask yourself:

  • What monthly income does that translate into?
  • How many clients and customers do I need to close to achieve that number every month?
  • How much activity, and what kind of activity, do I need to do to get that many clients?
  • What changes do I need to make to my presentation and marketing material in order to attract higher-spending clients?
  • What kinds of services or products do I need to offer to attract those bigger spenders?
  • How will I close more deals at a higher price point, and avoid losing money in negotiations? What negotiation and sales tactics do I need to learn?
  • Do I need to redo my website and social media for this new direction?
  • What kinds of team members, assistants or interns will I have to bring on board to help me achieve this new strategy?

Questions like this bring a seemingly unreasonable goal a little more down to earth. They help you to wrap your head around the “new normal” and get your creative juices flowing.

Even if you think your unreasonable goal is just too crazy, look at this as a fun exercise in critical thinking, creativity and your “business imagination.”

After a while, crazy goals won’t seem so crazy anymore.

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