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Larry Winget: On tough (financial) love with clients

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1. How to make more money. You can’t. That’s right, you can’t make more money. You can only earn more money. You aren’t the Treasury Department and you don’t get to print it up when you need it. Money must be earned.

Some of you will immediately respond with “semantics” because you like to argue and would rather argue than think. But there is much more to this statement than mere semantics. We are at a sad place where people seem to have forgotten that wealth at every level is earned at some level.

Too many people don’t understand that their money is a payment for a service rendered. They certainly don’t like facing the idea that the reason they don’t have much money is because they don’t offer much of a service or don’t offer a service that is worth much.Sadly, I have discovered people don’t really want to earn more money; they just want to have more money. So if you want to have more money, read on.

2. How to have more money. There are only two ways to have more money: increase income and/or decrease expenses. Hopefully a combination of both. This little principle works for government, business and individuals.

I’m not going to spend any time here explaining what you could do to increase your income, as that is up to you, your talents and the time available. And if you want to know how to decrease expenses, just look at how you are spending your money and figure it out. It’s not hard to look at your spending to evaluate what you need, what you want and what you can live without. It’s all about priorities.

3. Set good priorities. Your time, your energy and your money always go to what is important to you. When I was doing my A&E television show, “Big Spender,” I would spend 10 minutes walking through someone’s house, another 10 minutes looking at their checking account and then their credit card statements and I could tell exactly what their priorities in life were. I had a couple that spent 40 percent of their income on food. You can guess their size probably, but it was more than that. Food was their obsession. It was their priority to the point that their bills and house and cars and even their appearance suffered.

Finances are like a good crime novel; if you want to know who is guilty, follow the money. Take a few minutes and evaluate your spending to see what your real priorities are and if yours need some realignment, then start now.

4. Get your mind right. Each of these points I’ve made here are as much about how you think than anything else. It’s about getting your mind right. Begin to think in terms of earning money, instead of magically making money. Get your mind wrapped around the simple idea of increasing income and decreasing expenses, instead of easy outs and get-rich-quick ideas. And, most important, get your mind right about what is really important to you. Is the temporary exhilaration of the moment more important than the long-term satisfaction that comes from investing your time, energy and money in things that really matter?


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