Today, let’s expose a lie a lot of people believe… a lie genuinely detrimental to your success. But the truth is so encouraging and so refreshing, it has the power to propel you forward in every area of your life.
Recently, we were sitting outside under the evening stars, and one of my coworkers asked my husband what the turning point was to start him down the path he is on today – the path to true wealth. It was so interesting to sit and listen to Hans’ answer to this question, because it really took me back through everything we have both been through to get where we are today.
You see, so many people have this notion successful or wealthy people just woke up one day and then happened to get lucky. Somehow the sun, moon and stars all lined up perfectly for everything to just work out. But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
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You may have heard my story before – I grew up on welfare in a home filled with drugs and violence and abuse. I was unmarried and pregnant at 17, then ended up homeless at 21. (Hello! Do these circumstances even remotely sound like the perfect situation for me to end up wealthy? Ummm..NO!) When I was homeless, I started a business out of the trunk of my car and a payphone booth, and I made my first million within 2 years.
I could leave my story there and tell you today I’m a multimillionaire with several companies, 3 best-selling books and mountains of testimonials from satisfied clients all over the world. But that would do you a huge disservice.
Because what happened between making my first million, and today, REALLY tells the story!
I made a lot of money – and lost a lot of money – several times. I spent it just as fast as I made it. My lifestyle grew with my income. I went from traveling coach on an plane to flying first class. I went from McDonald’s to 5-star restaurants… from JCPenney to Nordstrom and Saks 5th Avenue… from Motel 6 to the presidential suite at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. I went from a small apartment to a $250,000 condo filled with expensive furniture.
I literally spent everything I made – and then some! I somehow believed this flood of money was going to last forever. I saw it as a bottomless well that would never run dry.
And then one day, my business was embezzled… for the SECOND time. Ouch! I had a lot of expensive stuff, but no money. I had a $50,000 overhead each month between payroll and business expenses, but no income.
I wish I could say I learned a lesson from this bad experience… yeah, no! Hans and I picked ourselves up, but a few years later we did it all over again… on a much larger scale!
We had a $900,000 mortgage. We went from no car loans to $70,000 of car debt. We went from carrying no credit card balances to $30,000. (Do the math… that’s $1 MILLION of debt!)
We decided to move to a cheaper town, where we promptly bought a 6,000-square-foot house with 10 acres, a pool, tennis court, guest house, 1,000 flowers blooming year-round and a 4-car garage to fit 3 cars and more stuff. And with a bigger house, of course we had to buy MORE stuff.
Right after we spent a small fortune remodeling our third dream home, we hit some horrible, devastatingly hard times – again. I was diagnosed with a fatal heart condition on the same day Hans lost ALL of our life savings in the stock market.
Long story short, my first decade of making money was filled with some major financial failures, a lot of pain, terrible suffering, too much stuff, tons of debt and stress I couldn’t handle.
This last decade, however, has been a completely different story. It has not been about making money just to spend it. It has been about financial responsibility and accumulating wealth. We have so much less stress and so much more prosperity. It has been a steady journey upward.
Listening to Hans tell the story filling the space between my first million over 2 decades ago and amassing true wealth today, I kept thinking about how we had to hear the message for SO long, before we obeyed.
The difference in me 20-something years ago, and today, is this: I followed directions. We obeyed the message of monetary responsibility, we have learned the skills we needed to become financially independent. Hans has become a brilliant businessman and investor. But it didn’t happen overnight. We didn’t just happen to get lucky.
So, be encouraged! You may have heard the message of “War on Debt” before, but you just haven’t taken action to annihilate your debt. You may have heard it 20 times before, but still spending your money in all the wrong places. Or maybe you’ve become debt-free, but just haven’t crossed the line from debt-free to accumulating wealth, yet.
Take heart – Hans and I heard the message for a long time before we obeyed! We faced some really difficult financial situations, until we decided to obey the message of financial responsibility. And look what has happened since!
Don’t think you’re too far behind, thinking, “Man, I should have started this a year ago or 5 years ago!” That’s not important. What IS important, is you are reading this right now. If you were not meant to turn onto the path of true financial freedom, you would not have received this message today. But you did! Now it’s up to you to take action.
I want you to think about someone you know who needs to hear this. Who do you know needing encouragement to press forward and to get on the track of wealth, instead of following the path to financial ruin? Just pass this along to them. Forward this letter or post this link on Facebook and Twitter. Then, tell me about your financial turning point in the comments below!
And, don’t forget to join me for The Dani Johnson Show today for more insights and inspiration. You can find the show on your TV and radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right here on our website.
In great faith,
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