Manifest Money: What Else Can You Leverage?
I knew a young woman who made a very large mistake. Actually, she made a series of mistakes, some small, some large, all of which combined to give her a very messy life at a time when many of her friends were graduating college.
“I’ve ruined everything,” she told me.
“You’ve bought wisdom,” I told her.
She blinked. “What does that mean?”
“Wisdom is never bought cheaply. You’ve paid a pretty stiff price for it. Now you’ve got to decide: Will you pick the wisdom up and use it, or will you leave it sitting on the shelf at the store with a Sold sticker on it?”
It took her a couple of minutes to understand what I was saying. Young people hear the word “wisdom” far too rarely, in my opinion, so it’s usually an unfamiliar concept. But when she got it . . . she got it. She’d already made the choices; she couldn’t undo them. She could either learn from her expensive mistakes, or she could repeat them, paying the same price again and again without ever reaping the benefits.
Obviously it’s in her, and our, best interests to gain wisdom as cheaply as possible – ideally through the mistakes of others. We will make mistakes, though, so then we have the same decision:
Leverage the mistake, or let it go to waste?
We’ve been talking this week about Manifest Money: Using Leveraging To Your Advantage. By know you know that you should leverage your time, influence and money by using joint ventures and every other possible technique.
Today I want to talk to you about leveraging everything else. And I mean everything. You have an extra 100 square feet in your office? Leverage it. You have an unused, unloved antique in your attic? Leverage it. You have an idle hour while your child is in ballet lessons? Leverage it.
Here are some examples:
- You have a talent creating brilliant appetizers. Once a week, on Sunday afternoons, you experiment, write down the recipes, and photograph the results. A year or so later, you have the makings of cookbook, and a potential income stream.
- On the advice of a good friend, you buy a work of art that is supposed to triple in value over the next five years. Instead, the artist becomes known as a hack and a mimic. You interview several experts on how to avoid the same mistake in the future, and turn the information into an article. After writing several more articles, you become recognized as an authority in spotting frauds. You create a blog which draws heavy traffic from the art community and bring in revenue from advertisers on the site.
- After years of working in a corporate environment, an unexpected, life-threatening illness forces you into early retirement. Once you’re on your feet, you turn your photography hobby into a business. You supplement your retirement income by photographing events, and eventually add another stream of income by teaching photography at the local community college.
I’ve said that leveraging is using a little to get a lot. Another good definition of leveraging is: the art of starting where you are with what you’ve got and converting it into the future of your dreams. All financially successful people use the art of leveraging in one way or another, and as you prosper, you’ll need to learn more about how to use the kind of leveraging described by head financiers. But the sooner you tailor your thinking to focus on leveraging of all times, the sooner you’ll get there.
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