As part of my work, I’m dealing with a book from the early 90’s by Tony Robbins. It’s amusing, but isn’t surprising to me, that much of what we talk about in the space of persuasion and self-improvement came from him and the people he rolled with in those days.
One of the chapters in the book, Awaken the Giant Within, goes over the power of questions and the influence they have over our minds. Thoughts, Robbins says, come down to questions and answers. When we think about anything, we’re really only posing a question and then answering it. Ultimately, we’ll find the answers to the questions we ask ourselves. Our brains will look for the evidence, or just make it up. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias will give us the answers that we want to have. These passages got me thinking about my theme this year, which has been expanding my ways of making money independently, so that I never need to work in an office again unless I choose to do so, not because I’m compelled to do so for financial reasons.
While I’ve been reasonably successful at this, I wondered if I was actually asking myself the right questions when I began the process.
Most people unfortunately don’t believe that a life of financial freedom is attainable. They imagine it, but they don’t actually believe it. Consequently, they don’t take the action to achieve that dream. Why? Because they’re not asking themselves the right questions.
Most people only ask themselves how they can get through the day. How can they avoid their boss? How can they avoid arguing with their spouse when they get home after the drudgery? Is it possible to get out of work early?
Don’t misunderstand – most people don’t want to ask these questions. They have bigger imaginations than that. Years of reality have simply taken their toll. They’ve been beaten into it and stopped asking the more meaningful questions. It’s understandable. Life sucks for a lot of people. That’s where the challenge lies. The first step is to recognize this and realize that something good needs to come out of it. Nothing that’s ever worth doing is easy.
To ask yourself a more empowering question, one which will start your journey to financial freedom, ask this: “How can I make $10,000 a month?” There are a few reasons to ask this question. First, it’s precise. It isn’t a vague question like: “How can I make more money?” Making a few more cents is making more money. Obviously, that isn’t enough. Your brain won’t be forced to really work to find the answers that could change your life.
Second, this is actually a modest question. It shouldn’t be your end goal. However, it’s perfect for your immediate needs and happiness. $10,000 a month will let you live comfortably, with no worries, in nearly any area, even with taxes. With your immediate needs taken care of, and life being pleasant, you can start asking the bigger questions. You’ll be in the mood to do so.
Third, this is actually achievable, and therefore, believable! If you ask yourself how you can go from zero to a million dollars, you’re setting yourself up for failure, frustration, and ultimately, surrender. However, most people make at bare minimum a few thousand dollars a month, and usually more. $10,000 is certainly within striking distance! Once you’re making that money consistently, you’re on the way to finding total financial freedom.
So, I’ve begun asking it of myself. How can I make $10,000 a month?
If you aren’t there yet, burn the question into your mind. Your brain will begin to seek answers for it. How can you increase your monthly income by a significant enough percentage to get closer to that $10,000? Would making that one extra phone call increase your productivity a little? Would a certain rule about where you direct your attention make you more productive in the moment of your work?
Are there extra ways you can bring in money relatively quickly? Have you sought out all the opportunities you can in this area, and really put the effort in?
This isn’t me getting on a high horse. Far from it. These are all questions I’m asking myself! The goal should be to construct a system of reinforcing behaviors that makes you more likely to earn income, whether the opportunities are small or large. Try to find as many different options to earn income as you can.
How can I get to something closer to $10,000 a month? I’m asking myself this question every day. My brain is slowly finding the answers. Some people will arrive at them faster than others. I might be lucky in this regard. My remote work has exploded this year and gotten me closer to that benchmark. Still, I need to do more.
Truthfully, this is the major reason my post count has declined here this year, though I know I should never abandon the audience I’ve built up over nearly three years! Thank you for sticking with me all that time!
On that note, please feel free to share some of your moneymaking methods below. I’d like for this to function as an open forum on the subject.
Understanding the power of questions can change your life. Commit to a question, ask it repeatedly, and your brain will be forced to find the answers. Don’t let yourself descend into indolence by only asking about your own entertainment. This was my unknown weakness for years. I was only concerned with entertaining myself every day. That was it. Obviously, I got the answers I sought, unaware of the price I was paying until much later.
Ask yourself serious, specific, and achievable questions. Do it consistently. Let autopilot do the rest.
One question you should be asking is about the new skills you can learn every year. Persuasion is one of those key skills. Ask yourself, “How can I become more persuasive?” Get started on the answers today by reading Stumped.