Bigg success is life on your own terms. We talked all about that last week in a series of five posts where we painted the bigg picture.
Now we want to get into the nitty-gritty. What keeps us from living our lives on our own terms?
The challenge of irregular inflows
One of those things is not having enough money – one of the five elements of bigg success – when we need it. It’s one thing if you have a regular salary. However, a lot of people don’t have a steady income. It fluctuates from month-to-month.
What if you’re a salesperson working on straight commission?
What if you own your own business and don’t draw a regular paycheck? You may be a freelancer or a solo entrepreneur. You may be in business and have employees. You not only feel responsible for putting food on your table, you also have a group of people to whom you feel responsible.
I certainly can relate to this subject, having been a business owner for pretty much all of my adult life. Come to think of it, before I went into business for myself, I worked on commission as a sales person so I’ve seen both sides of it.
Of course, with George, I now am a business owner too.
Welcome to the club, Mary-Lynn!
We have a couple of businesses in their early stages. I left a job in the corporate world with a regular paycheck, but I sure understand now what it’s like not to have that. I know I’m not alone. A number of people in our community have mentioned this as a major challenge to living their lives on their own terms.
So what can you do if your income fluctuates from month-to-month?
Understand your cycles
One thing that I found is that I had to understand my cycles. I’ve struggled with this one. When I wasn’t busy, I’d spend time and money promoting and prospecting. Then I would get too busy – I don’t have time to promote and prospect. So I stopped doing it. The thing I knew, I wasn’t busy again and the cycle would start over!
If you can be consistent with your most important activities – those things that generate the most income for you – you may be able to smooth out your inflows.
You might even find that you can hire an assistant to perform some of these activities for you. You spend a little money now to save you time and make you money a little later.
What if you can’t afford to hire someone to help you? Then you’ll have to invest the time yourself. When you find yourself in your next “up” cycle – you’re too busy to spend time on crucial prospecting and promotional activities – take a look at it again to see if it makes sense.
Another thing I’ve found is that I can be more consistent if I carve up my activities into smaller chunks. For example, I may send out five e-mails every day of the week instead of thinking that I need to send out 25 e-mails. If you don’t have the time to do that, start with three e-mails a day.
Stabilize your outflows
Risk is often measured by volatility. So by definition, if we have irregular inflows, we are taking more risk. Because of that, we should strive for less risk in our outflows.
We do this by keeping our standard of living relatively low. Our businesses are in their early stages. So we watch what we spend and live very frugally. For example, we watch how much we shop and go out to eat less than we did when our incomes were more regular.
One of our newsletter subscribers, Randy, says “rowing his own boat” by working for himself are his terms for his life. He’s been on his own for about 25 years now. He’s put his two sons through college while remaining debt free. He says he did it by having a plan when his boys were just babies. That plan paid off. He just turned 50 and plans on living the way he wants from here on out.
Congratulations Randy and thanks for sharing your story with us!
Randy’s story also helps us understand a second part of stabilizing our inflows:
Be very, very careful with debt.
We have to resist the urge to pile onto our outflows by adding principal and interest payments. It puts even more pressure on our inflows and more stress on us because we have to earn even more.
What do you suggest?
Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for checking in on us today.
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Until then, here’s to your bigg success!
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(Image in today's post by kikasha)