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TOPIC: Stress Spending Money on a Big Idea [ST-M3]

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Hey there, it’s Dan. I want to talk to you about money, let’s talk about money; most people don’t like to talk about money. Several years ago, I got packaged off, I’ve been good at saving money, yet you can never save enough money. One day I got packaged off, and my thought, “Oh fine, I can just kind of found myself stuff for a couple of years” But then I hit a brick wall because I work through my severance.

Maybe you’re at a point in your life where you’ve got some savings, and you have a project that you’re passionate about. You think you can fund it forever; then you realize that you’re getting pretty low on funds. You start to panic. You believe that you’re not going to be able to pursue your goal.

I bought a sailboat; my boat cost me like 10 thousand dollars a year to upgrade and maintain. I’m not afraid to talk about money here, I’m not a rich guy, but I bought this boat a considerable commitment. Maybe in your case, you’ve got kids, and they’re even a more significant commitment, perhaps you’ve got a dog, and that’s an even more substantial commitment. 

You realize, “Oh my gosh, how am I going to come up with the funds for my special projects” … Gosh, I’m looking at the screen here, and there’s this. I got my GoPro, and there’s this blob on the GoPro, and it’s driving me crazy. Lots of things drive me mad when I do these recordings. Anyway, I keep rolling with it.

Today I went out, and I bought a 400 dollar light. The other day I committed something to something that was several thousands of dollars, yet I still keep doing it; why? Because I have a bigger picture in mind, I’m not racking up debt. I’m amortizing things over a particular period. Yet, I’m still spending money, but money is not coming in. It’s a scary thing. I work

with an editor that I’ve got to find the money to pay him. I’m not in the danger zone, but I’m an entrepreneur who’s always worrying about money.

I cut my hair so I can save 30 bucks or 20 bucks or whatever happens to be for a haircut, but I did it. Does it make sense? Maybe not. Why will I spend thousands somewhere else, and then I will pay only 30 bucks on something, or I’ll do anything to save 30 dollars. We do rational and irrational things, and yet somehow, it always comes together.

Do you know what keeps me grounded? What keeps me grounded is I have my eye on the ball, on a bigger picture. I understand the bigger picture; I’m confident that somehow it will come together. Somehow the universe will bring me opportunities and clients. I’m not this naïve out of touch with real people. I keep working in my plan, and it keeps getting better and better; I keep getting more and more subscribers, I’m confident I will always have a roof over my head. I will still be able to eat and pay my bills. You know what, if I have to get a roommate, which at my age, I don’t want, but you know, we’re seriously thinking that we’re going to rent out a room because that’s like 800 bucks a month, that’s 8 thousand dollars over ten months that can be used for somethings.

Split between myself and my partner, that’s 4 thousand dollars. I could buy some cool camera equipment for 4 thousand dollars. You have to do whatever it takes to come together. You also have not to be afraid to talk about money. When my friends “Let’s go out for nachos,” I don’t have a problem saying, “I ain’t going out for nachos, because I can’t afford it this month” then they laugh and say, “you know, you’re full of shit, Dan. Because you just bought a 2000 dollar piece of equipment”. But when I buy this equipment, I’m investing in the long term. I’d buy something, this particular light that I purchased, that was 400 and something dollars, this is going to last me a long time. It’s a cool light. I need it—you go to the edge.

I have even heard stories of entrepreneurs who are on the verge of bankruptcy, and I’ve been bankrupt before. I’m not embarrassed to say it because of the more significant the risks, the greater the opportunities. Boy, I won’t make those mistakes twice. I’m proud to say that I don’t carry any debt today. If I screw up, I can get a second job as a barista or doing whatever I will. I lose a lot of money; I make a lot of money. I find a lot of money. I lose a lot of money. It’s just the life of a creative entrepreneur or culturally creative person. I know an artist that is only going month by month, paycheck by paycheck.

You have to learn to deal with the fear of that. You have to learn to be able to go to bed and say, “I don’t know where it’s coming from next month.” What keeps me grounded; however, is the fact that I have a vision, I have a long term vision. I keep working my stuff; I keep doing my property; it keeps getting better; I believe. 

People may think I’m crazy, but I believe in me, so you need to have trust in you. You need to have deep, rooted confidence where everybody around you thinks you’re freaking crazy, but you believe in the passion of what you’re doing, you’re willing to make the sacrifices.

I destroyed my resume. I have exceptional skills, a perfect resume; I can get a job tomorrow, almost tomorrow somewhere. 

Maybe not an ideal job, but I can get the revenue stream coming in. I’m choosing not to go down that path because I’m living life on my terms and doing what matters to build a project and create something that doesn’t exist. Sometimes that may be spending. I just spent two months working on my sailboat in Toronto Island, thousands of dollars later, because I’m converting it into a recording studio.

Because next year I have this cool idea of just putting camera equipment, lights and stuff, part of the reason I bought this particular light today is its LED. It also works off 12 volts, meagre power, low heat, and it’s excellent for being a portable light that we’ll fit on the sailboat.

But I have this vision of doing these cool interviews with really unique, interesting, smart people on my 30-foot sailboat. My sailboat will now be an office. It will be home because I can live on it. It will be a creative space. It will practically make me broke by the time I figure it out and get it finished, but the revenue will start coming in; I believe in it, I’ve got a plan B, I’ve got an exit strategy. I don’t have an exit strategy, I could get an exit strategy, I’d like to say I have an exit strategy, but I don’t, because I’m going down a path that I can’t deviate from my vision. 

Why am I telling you this?

Again, you know that I sometimes turn the camera on for those of you that know me. I start rambling, it’s that I want to touch a part of you that says “You’re not much different than me, that you are struggling with the same thing,” and hopefully when you look at me, you’ll say “Gosh, if Dan can do it, I can do it” and I look at you, and I say “Gosh, if you can do it, I can do it.” There’s a gentleman by the name of Brendon Burchard; I talk about him all the time. Brendon is pretty amazing. 

Because he makes millions of dollars a year doing his stuff, if there’s one message I keep getting from Brendon, it’s that you, really, really got to believe in yourself. You’ve just got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to believe in yourself.

You’ve got to have confidence. I’m in the funk these days because I keep turning my camera on, I keep buying more pieces of equipment, I keep creating backdrops, I keep working on the script, I keep writing, I keep editing, I keep fiddling, and every single day I’m getting better and better. I’m getting more and more people calling me and saying, “Can I connect with you? Do you want to coach me? I’ve got this budget and I can pay you something.” 

I’ve got someone else who says, “We’re going to be working on this project, we’re looking for someone with your skills” I’m just putting myself out there, and a big part of my process is to expose myself to the world. Because I think that when you expose yourself metaphorically speaking, you tell your emotions, your hopes, your dreams and your fears with me and with someone else, we do it with each other that we will support each other. We will enhance or validate our sense of significance, contributions that we’re making, and our understanding of belonging.

For really creative people, that’s tough to do because you get up in the morning sometimes, and you sort of say, “What the hell am I doing to day?” Then you just put one foot in front of the other, and you keep moving. I remember in an interview with Cher where she said, “I just get up and I put one foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other” I’m chatting with you right now, and there’s all this noise going on in the background. I keep moving my equipment around, trying different looks and feels. Some of you will like what I’m saying, some of you won’t give a shit for what I’m saying today.

Tomorrow I might say something brilliant that’s highly scripted, today [inaudible 00:10:50] might be just rambling craziness. Every single day, every day, I’ve got to create something new. Every day, whether I’m sitting on a park bench with a camera, whether I’m picking up the phone and calling somebody, whether I’m tuning out the world and riding for seven straight hours, whether I’m going to go sailing in the middle of the night when there’s a full moon and I’m scared to death. Still, I’ve got the safety equipment, I’ve got the training, I know what I’m doing, but I’m still going out to challenge my senses.

To expand my comfort zone. A little bit more each day. To use a different part of my brain to challenge the status quo. That’s what takes your stuff to the next level. It’s not always easy, but at the same time, I can’t see myself doing anything else. Because at 56 years of age, I want to do what matters to live and work on my terms.