Almost on a daily basis, I talk to entrepreneurs who are so eager to tell me about their new startup that is going to forever change the industry.
As soon as I hear their pitch, my next question to these people is:
You would be surprised, but the most typical answer I get is:
“I wanna be rich, man!”
So, I decided to look a little deeper into their answers and try to find out exactly why everyone wants to make a lot of money.
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I mean, there are many things that make us happy that do not require a lot of money, so why is it that people are still so eager to make lots of money?
Is it to buy fancy cars?
Or do people want to use money and search for diamonds…perhaps with the help of an intelligent diamond search engine?
May be a nice hilltop house with a 3-car garage and a 12 ft ceiling?
Well, it turns out that most people want a lot of money because they want to live a comfortable lifestyle.
They want to know that they are risk-free and don’t want to worry about money all the time.
So, then I asked myself:
“Well, exactly how much money does one need to live a comfortable lifestyle?”
I will admit, I am an entrepreneur myself because I also want to make good money, but I actually live a fairly comfortable lifestyle without stretching my budget too thin.
How much money does Rafi need?
I am not going to tell you guys how much money I make per month.
Let’s look a bit closer at my actual monthly expenses:
Food: $700 (I eat out a lot, and healthy eating out is expensive)
Gym / Personal Trainer: $500
Personal Chef: $300
Entertainment: $400 (All work no play makes Jack a dull boy)
Total expenses: $3,500
I am pretty sure I will have two types of responses to this:
There will be a group of people who will look at my monthly expenses and say that I am living way too lavish of a lifestyle (especially given that I live in the small and inexpensive city of Memphis, TN).
And then there will be the group of people who will look at those numbers and say that I am living rather frugally.
I personally think that I fall somewhere in between, closer to the frugal side rather than the lavish.
You see, I am single, and I do not have any kids.
So, that makes my expenses very minimal for the most part, when compared to my income.
I am pretty sure if I was married and had kids, my expenses would skyrocket in pretty much every one of those categories (well, expect partying, I guess).
But that’s not my case at the moment.
I also do not have much stuff either.
So, how much money do you really need?
Well, I actually have the answer for myself, at least.
I spent a year in Los Angeles and consulted with many venture-backed startups there.
My business was doing well, and I made well over $6k per month.
But, I quickly realized that there was no change in my lifestyle at all beyond the $6k per month.
It did not matter how much more than that I made, I continued to maintain a lifestyle that was suited for someone making around $72,000 per year, after taxes.
As long as I consistently made at least $6k per month, I could live a fairly comfortable, minimalistic lifestyle, even in the expensive city of Los Angeles.
And if my income does dip below $6k, I can cut back on my expenses to about $2.5k per month and go into survival mode.
How much money do you need?
I am not saying that it is easy by any means to make a lot of money.
It is really hard.
I do not even make a lot of money, to be honest.
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I want to only make enough to have a comfortable lifestyle and stay stress-free.
But, I am not saying that you should do as I am doing.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of money.
The point I am trying to drive home here is that you do not need to be an entrepreneur and make a lot of money to achieve the lifestyle that you want.
Most people just add all that pressure to make extra money each month by adding on liabilities to their expenses that they do not really need, such as fancy cars, expensive vacations, big houses, etc.
Making a million dollars is definitely not an easy thing to do.
In fact, it is much harder to make money than it is to save money.
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That’s why I am a big proponent of the minimalist lifestyle.
This way, I can live below my means and have less decisions to make on a daily basis.
This is why you see me in a Black T-shirt in most pictures.
By wearing a black T-shirt most of the time, I limit the number of decisions I have to make each day.
That just gives me more time to focus on growing my companies, rather than spending my time on these little things like picking out what outfit I am going to wear for that day.
I do not have much stuff either.
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When I moved out to LA, I got rid of almost everything I owned.
Let’s take a quick look at the things I directly own now:
- 1 Backpack
- 1 Carry-on
- A few miscellaneous toiletries — toothbrush, deodorant, razor, etc.
- 4 polo shirts
- 6 t-shirts
- 6 pairs of gym shorts
- 2 pairs of jeans
- 2 belts
- Tennis shoes
- Casual shoes
- Acer laptop (it is not the fastest in the world, but it does the job for now)
- Samsung Galaxy S5 (it’s getting kinda old now)
- 2003 Toyota Echo
- 2 basketballs
- 1 fishing rod
I have a couple of winter coats and a few dining utensils at my parent’s house in Bartlett, but that’s about it.
Having material possessions for me, is a headache.
If I’m going to spend my time and energy solving problems, I’d rather spend it on meaningful problems.
I realized that getting rid of my belongings would add to my life in the areas that mattered.
- I would have more time to work on my businesses.
- I would not waste my energy dealing with silly problems.
- I would be free of the worry of cleaning and organizing.
- I would limit the number of decisions I have to make regarding my belongings’ upkeep.
I do not have much stuff, and I certainly do not like paying bills.
Honestly, I am even kind of ashamed to admit that I spend so much money on eating out.
I really can cut back a lot on my food budget, but the convenience factor is what attracts me to it.
I would rather spend extra money to save myself an extra 20-30 mins per day and not have to prepare food all the time.
I wrote this article not to brag about my lifestyle and spending habits, or to tell you how you need to spend your money.
My main goal was to try to show you that you do not need to make a lot of money to achieve and live the lifestyle of your dreams.
If you still want to become an entrepreneur and go make tons of money, by all means, go for it!
I am going to try to help you along the way as much as I can.
But you do not need to do all that if you just wanna have an “easy lifestyle” and make decent income.
There are a few other ways you can do the same thing, which I might recommend:
- Go to college – As much as I hate the idea of college and think it is a complete waste of time, there is no doubt that going to college will help you land a decent job as opposed to not going.
On average, someone with a college degree will make approximately a million dollars more in their lifetime than someone without a degree.
However, if you go to college on a loan, you will need to think about paying that back first.
There are many IRS debt relief programs out there which can help you get out of debt quickly.
- Meet as many rich people as you can – Poeple who are successful tend to also have a large network of successful people.
The more big people you know, the better your chances of landing contracts with these influencers who can write you big checks.
So, go out to networking events near where you live and try to meet decision-makers whenever possible.
- Put in the work consistently – This is a no-brainer but you would be surprised how ineffective people are at implementing this one.
You have to work at least 8 hours a day efficiently.
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If you do this, you will beat out a lot of people and reach success faster.
Research shows that the average person works less than 6 hours a day.
You can outdo these people by working 8 hours efficiently.
- Meet recruiters wherever possible – Meeting recruiters will always keep the floodgates of opportunity open for you.
Even if you have a high paying job, still you should keep meeting recruiters since they can always present you with more lucrative offers.
I personally try to connect with as many as I can via LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Start blogging – Having your own blog gives you the chance to share your expertise with your audience.
Soon, you will be perceived as an industry Expert and people will take you seriously when you pitch them anything.
Once you build up this credibility about yourself, you can charge higher consulting fees, or at the very least, make a decent side income to add to your hustle.
Like I mentioned before, if you want to make a lot of money and become a millionaire, by all means, go for it!
But if an easy, stress-free lifestyle is what you are looking for, then there are plenty of other ways to make the money that you need to live a relaxing lifestyle.
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You just need a job that pays you well ;)
And if you are wondering why I am an entrepreneur, despite all of this:
Well, I hate working for other people.
I like being creative and like to do things in unique ways.
Working under a corporation does not give me the freedom and sense of achievement that I am looking for.
I also do not really know any other way to be.
I have been an entrepreneur since I graduated college.
So, this is all I know to do.
So, tell me, how much money do you need?
Why do you need it?