Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy, one of my favorite books by Thomas Stanley is about the habits of first generation millionaires - millionaires who are self-made. According to the book, only 1% of millionaires actually drive a luxury vehicle. The vehicle most often driven by millionaires? The Ford F150. Crazy, huh?
It makes you wonder..what does that mean for the people driving the remaining 99% of luxury vehicles on the road?
Instagram has further catapulted our obsession with keeping up with the Jones's and it seems the majority of "influencers" conveniently capture their Louis Vuitton in every other post.
Let's call this trend out and get real and raw for a second.
Design a life you love waking up to
My point is not to discourage you from buying the Louis Vuitton. I very much believe in working hard and rewarding yourself how you see fit.
However, I am discouraging you from chasing things to build an appearance that you have built your dream life, when in fact you haven’t.
Find happiness that comes with the satisfaction you’ll receive in building a life you want to live, then own the Louis Vuitton as a byproduct of that journey.
Let’s start with three questions:
- On a scale of miserable to happy, where do you fall?
- When was the last time you were overcome with gratitude for living an insanely incredible life?
- What was the last thing you chased that you thought was the answer to happiness only to realize later you still felt empty?
Listen here. Building a life you love waking up to in no way means you have a perfect life. Building a life you love waking up to means finding true personal satisfaction in the activities you’re responsible for on a daily basis.
Chasing the life you see on Instagram, OR setting your sights on looking like you have the perfect life so no one suspects otherwise, OR thinking that acquiring things is the answer, is one big recipe for disaster.
I’ve been in a season of "survival," tunnel vision unhappy and just getting through the day, and I’ve been in a season of happiness where my soul is on fire the moment my feet hit the ground in the morning. I can speak to both passionately.
I followed my heart to build my dream job and create a life I love waking up to. I've literally built the business I would want to work for. Today I want to talk about how to build a life you love waking up to.
How do you find happiness?
- Find out what you’re passionate about.
- Cultivate a life of insane gratitude.
- Give back in a way that feels right to you.
- Chase the dream that’s been sewn in your heart.
Three out of those four things are things I know brings happiness, but I can’t really help you with.
One thing I can definitely help you with is chasing the dream that’s been sewn into your heart.
Here’s how to do it.
How do you build your dreams?
You build your dreams by creating margin. Sweet, precious dreamer, listen to me. It’s that easy. Building margin into your life allows you to take small steps, day by day, that move you closer to achieving those dreams.
Want a hard truth? You aren’t busier than the people you know who are tackling their dreams the way you wish you were.
In fact, you’re probably less busy than them. The difference is that they’re building margin. What that means is they’re managing their time, creating space to create, prioritizing, and planning for opportunities.
If it’s a priority, you’ll build the time into your life. If it’s not a priority, you won’t. And guess what? If you think it’s “too hard” then it’s not a priority. Period.
"Before it worked"
Here's my "before it worked" story:
Build the momentum
What exactly does ‘building margin into your life’ look like? Welll….that’s in the next section, so hold tight because we’ll get to it.
But first know this: as you build margin to dedicate time to your dreams, you’ll build processes that carry forward the momentum and inertia you’re dedicating so much psychological energy to cultivate.
Tweak and refine those processes so they get better over time. Remember, compounding, compounding, compounding. Your good habits build on each other and exponentially impact your business over time. Not today, not tomorrow, but over time. Keep at it.
There is no magic pill. Actually, scratch that. There is a magic pill but people don’t want to believe that this is the answer because, after all, it has to be easier than that, right?! Nope.
Wanna know The Magic Pill? Grit, determination, resilience, willingness to work really hard, and strengthening the muscle to keep pushing forward, baby step by baby step, day by day, moment by moment.
That’s how whomever you admire did it, and that’s what you need to do if you want to build your dreams too.
Building margin is messy
What does building margin look like? It’s messy, friends, but it’s oh-so worth it.
Building margin looks like getting up an hour earlier to dedicate time to your dream before the kids wake up or before your full time job.
Building margin looks like dedicating time on the weekends to produce outcomes even when you don’t feel like it instead of starting a new series on Netflix or subjecting yourself to other distractions.
Building margin looks like spending your hard earned, precious bonus or that week of vacation on learning how to take the first step, then the second, then the third instead of splurging on a new wardrobe (or a Louis Vuitton).
Building margin looks like CRUSHING the demons telling you that you aren’t good enough, that you don’t deserve to achieve your dream, or that it works for everyone else except you.
Building margin means building an action plan that outlines the steps to get from where you are now to where you want to be, and then disciplining yourself to check off something each week.
Building margin means sharing your dreams with an accountability partner who will help keep you on track.
Building margin means having an open mind about changing your behavior, thought processes, and habits to replace them with behavior, thought processes, and habits that are more aligned with the new life you’re creating for yourself.
Building margin means intentionally and regularly pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and into uncomfortable places because if you want something you’ve never had before, you must do things you’ve never done before.
That’s right, this road isn’t going to look or feel familiar. How could it? You’re forging new territory.
Through all of these things, you’re making room and expanding your capacity. You’re making space in your calendar, in your priorities, and in your thought habits that will open the development for diligently working at your goals and dreams.
You cannot create a different life for yourself if you’re stuck in survival mode because your time, priorities, and thoughts are bursting at the seams; you have to make room to grow into the new life you want to live.
Here’s the kicker. That means intentionally and consistently saying “no” to things, people, and obligations that aren’t priorities.
“It’s your responsibility to manage the dream that was sewn into your heart.” – Brendon Burchard
Why on Earth would your Maker sew into your heart this beautiful, wonderful dream and totally NAG you with it if you weren’t supposed to chase after it?
Stop for a second and read that sentence again. Why on Earth would your Maker sew into your heart this beautiful, wonderful dream and totally NAG you with it if you weren’t supposed to chase after it?
He has tasked you with this dream and he has equipped you with every single thing you need to succeed. What more do you need to know than that?! You just have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The more I study successful people, the more I hear them say that there’s nothing special about them that differentiates them from every other person besides “The Magic Pill.” I’ll reiterate The Magic Pill here:
Grit, determination, resilience, willingness to work really hard, and strengthening the muscle to keep pushing forward, baby step by baby step, day by day, moment by moment.
Again, that’s how whomever you admire did it, and that’s what you need to do if you want to build your dreams too.
Build your dreams so they can finance the lifestyle you want to live
I’m sharing the following information so you know I practice what I preach. I’m not creating content that sounds good to get views; rather I’m serving as a transparent vehicle to deliver a message to people who need to hear it. I’m actually living out these principles.
The only debt my husband and I have is our mortgage.
We don’t have students loans because we paid them off with cash, essentially paying ourselves the extra 7% we had previously been paying to the bank while the loans were outstanding.
We own our vehicle outright and we pay our credit cards off every month without exception. I truly believe managing money well is the first step to running a successful business.
I own a Coach purse…and it’s the same Coach purse I’ve been carrying for 8 years.
Would it be cool to tote around a Louis Vuitton? I don’t know…I’m awfully messy.
Just kidding. Hell yes it would be, but here’s the thing.
My mission and life goals are exponentially more important to me than any material thing ever could be. Ever. I
In fact, I’ve heard Rachel Hollis speak about how money motivated she is. She (hilariously) shares information about their incredible wealth. She shares that her goals like ‘only flying first class’ and about the first time she walked into a Louis Vuitton store and bought a purse in cash. These goals helped drive her business success.
But what I think a lot of her followers get mixed up is that the Louis Vuitton equates to success and that if they want to look successful, they need to have one…so they buy one now thinking they’ll just be able to figure out the success part later.
Friends, this is detrimental because having that thing you think represents success could never take the place of learning how to actually get it.
Learn how to build the success first by building your dream, then reward yourself for that hard work.
Wrap It Up
If you want to find happiness, pay attention to this:
Find out what you’re passionate about. Cultivate a life of insane gratitude. Give back in a way that feels right to you. Chase the dream that’s been sewn in your heart.
Notice I didn’t equate building your dreams to running a business? You may have made that correlation, but I didn’t. Running a business isn’t for everyone; however, if your dream is to run a business and it’s the dream that has been sewn into your heart, I can help take you from where you are right now to where you want to be as a business owner.
I can help cut the confusion. I can provide resources that provide an actionable plan forward. I can guide you in the direction you need to go.
The small business blog posts you see on my website about building your business and marketing, the Live videos I do several times each week, and the printables and guides you can find on my website have all been created with YOU in mind. YOU! To guide you, to help cut down on the confusion you’re feeling, and to help push you forward closer and closer to building your dream.
That dream that has been sewn into my heart? It’s to help people start, grow, and marketing the successful and profitable business they dream about. I’ve been through the trenches so I can help set you on a straighter path to building your dreams. I can’t guarantee you won’t still get muddy.
In fact, I hope you do. But I can help make the process more efficient and less painful for you.
I only want you to think about this. What’s the next step to building your dreams and how are you going to create the margin to do so?
My goal in every post is to make the most of your precious time and pack these articles with insanely actionable content. Have I done that for you today? I'd love to hear your feedback. Contact me or comment below.
And please do me a little favor and share this post with one other person because there's a good chance it will help them with their business.
Your business matters. Now go do something awesome in the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, FRANCIE
Hi and WELCOME! I'm Francie. I started my business, Simply Integrated, in 2015 and have fallen madly in love with teaching small business owners how to start, grow, and market the successful and profitable business they dream about.
My knowledge and experience comes from earning an MBA and from coaching small business entrepreneurs while managing and marketing their projects.
I focus solely on business strategy and marketing and created this blog to help others run more successful businesses. If you’re interested, you can read more about me on the About page of Simply Integrated’s website.
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