Living above your means is the greatest thing you can ever do for yourself. While it sounds entirely unorthodox and downright stupid (even scary at times) it’s a GREAT thing. You’re going to read the rest of this article thinking I’m a lunatic at first but stick with me till the end and I may just convince you to live a lifestyle you can’t afford.
A Necessary Scary Experience
When I was living in Portland, Oregon I had some very low standards. I was paying $550 to rent a single room in a 5,000 square foot mansionette and it honestly scared the shit out of me. I had only lived outside of my parents house twice in my life
The first time I moved out was when I was 17 years-young. I was earning an income reffing little kids soccer games and getting paid cash money. Did I spend it on my rent and build responsibility early on? Absolutely not. I spent all of my money ($1,200/mo) on food and dumb shit. No lessons of being fiscally responsible were learned at all.
Take two was when I was 22 years-young. I had moved to Redding, California with some guys I played soccer with. We had all had soccer scholarships to this private christian school and the objective was to study and ball. We did neither and instead partied until hangovers became as common as religion itself. And through it all the majority of that experience was paid for and funded by the mommy and daddy foundation.
So when I moved out at 26 to Portland, I had BARELY started to create a sustainable income with this direct sales company. I had been earning $500-$1,000/mo from my old internet marketing website prior to the move but I never directed that money to living expenses since I was living at my parents house for free. I was officially on my own and afraid. Who would have thought that managing finances would be so scary.
Opportunity and Raising My Standards
In my most recent article of how I made $10,000 in door-to-door sales, I talked about how I made the move out to San Jose, California to start a new endeavor so you can check that entire story out there.
$550/mo for rent turned into $1,330/mo for rent. When I got out to California after living in Portland for about 8-9 months, I had basically almost tripled my living expenses. What with all the money I was going to be making in this new industry, I thought it would be a walk in the park. Nope, nope, nope. Not even a cake walk. Shit was tough.
But because I had put myself in a new position of signing this luxury living lease, I had to raise my standards and my work ethic in order to meet the new living standards I had just committed to. I was either going to level up or get buried in the stupidest decision ever.
Once I paid that first months rent, nearly three times more than what I was paying in Oregon, it felt amazing! There was only one problem… I was still broke! Funny how you can make more money, look like you’re making it, yet are still broke.
Regardless, I had showed myself what I was capable of and I think that’s the most important thing about leveling up. You set a new standard, reach it, and then go beyond it all by making the decision to challenge yourself. You’ve got to go through the battles if you’re going to reach the other side of what’s possible.
Positive thinking is dope and I’m all about it. I can remember listening to Les Brown audios in the morning before hitting the doors. He’d say, “repeat after me, it’s possible!” And I’d yell, “it’s possible” while eating a poorly made bowl of oatmeal.
Les Brown was right. You’ve got to believe it’s possible for you even when you haven’t reached that level of success you want for yourself. I’d always told myself I wanted to live in a luxury apartment complex and earn $10,000/mo. And after doing it, it’s been one of the greatest learning experiences ever.
Now that I’ve hit the $10,000 marker, I know I can hit $20,000/mo. Why? Because I’ve hit the $10,000/mo marker and I know what it takes and feels like to achieve it. I’ve lived in a $3,500/mo apartment with a couple of roommates. I’ve networked with multi-millionaires and have learned that they’re ordinary people with an extraordinary work ethic who didn’t give up when they heard the word ‘no.’
But what if I hadn’t put myself in this expensive apartment position? What if I would have stayed in Oregon and paid $550/mo? What if I had moved out to the bay and crashed at a friends place and agreed to pay $500/mo to sleep on the couch? Would I have raised my standards? Probably not…
When you put yourself in situations or leases that can be perceived as expensive or risky, it’s really just other people’s perceptions of what expensive is. Don’t make other people’s negative or low standard perception of the world become your perception. Put yourself in an uncomfortable position and watch how quickly you raise your standards.
Remember This Truth
If you can’t afford something then just get what you want anyways. If you’re going to be broke at least be broke with what you want out of life. I wanted to live in the Bay Area and I did it knowing I may or may not have been able to afford it. While I’m getting relocated for work to Fresno, California now – which is 3x’s cheaper than the Bay Area, I’m keeping my $10,000/mo standards because anything less than that is unacceptable after achieving it.
Anyone that tells you something is too expensive is really just projecting their own self-limiting beliefs onto you. Fuck that. There is no such thing as something that’s too expensive. The real issue isn’t the price of something, it’s the lack of income coming in to pay for whatever it is that you want.
Never feel bad for wanting to live above your means. It’s a great thing and I advocate you to do it (at least once in your life). It will force you out of your comfort zone and will make you level up. And if you screw up and default on some lease, so freaking what? Look at it as a lesson learned that you had to pay a price for. But I promise you this: if you don’t challenge yourself and put yourself in risky situations, you will NEVER level up.
You’re going to learn how to sell yourself. You’re going to learn how to become resourceful. You’ll learn how to take ownership of your shit. You’ll learn that things are happening for you and not to you. You’ll begin to see opportunity everywhere and if you don’t see it you will create it. You will grow beyond your current limitations. You will grow into whatever standard you set for yourself.
So what are you waiting for?
Make the decision, take the risk, and let’s see what you’re really made of.