The biggest goal of my life right now is to learn how to manage and generate money, to never again live from hand to mouth on someone else’s terms. According to Bob Proctor, almost everything about that sentence is wrong-headed, and that is why I live as I do.
It’s Not About the Money harnesses the concept of the entrepreneurial mindset. To Proctor, it’s about shifting your mental perspective in order to see things that most do not due to the rather effective social messaging of “how we’re supposed to live.” As he sees it, no one but you can decide your worth, and if you add value to the world, no one can tell you how long it should take. The forty-hour work week for an hourly wage is arbitrary on both points, and it leads most to dissatisfaction and depression on the hamster wheel of endless busy work. Life, he says, is what’s happening out there while you’re stuck in a job that sucks the life out of you.
I came to much the same conclusion long ago, but I didn’t really know what — or if — I could do anything about it. Perception defines reality. If we think we’re stuck, we’re stuck. It’s the ultimate prison, wherein we don’t know we’re free to move out of it at any time. That’s where this book comes in. Proctor’s years of experience are offered here to aid in reshaping the perspective that was twisted by societal expectations. For him, experience is learned by doing, business can be learned, and given a free society in which to operate (such as here in the States), a person can remake themselves into an entrepreneur regardless of starting capital or level of education. It comes down to what you are willing to see, what you are willing to believe, and what you are willing to do. The rest are details, which are always a moving target on the road to success.
I’m also currently reading Tony Robbins’ Money: Master the Game. While Robbins is more direct with how financial systems work and consults many of the top financial wizards of our age, much of what he and his experts have to teach is built upon the same groundwork in principle that Proctor offers here. The idea is to first learn how to think successfully, and the rest follows once we learn to see with new eyes. Or as Master Yoda would say, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” To that end, since I’m already in the position where I’m ready and willing to make that shift in perception, I found this book insightful and ultimately invaluable on how to enact it. The ideas presented here are simple in theory, but they take a determined spirit to act upon them. Much like in any prison system, many of us are institutionalized and feel safe and comfortable only within the prison to which we’ve become accustomed. No matter how bad it gets, “out there” is somehow scarier. This book represents the first steps in overcoming that and seeing new opportunity. The words of encouragement offered within go a long way towards achieving that end.