Central to all successful companies is thriftiness. I once read that the acclaimed investor Warren Buffet invested in two separate companies after seeing serious thriftiness. At one company whose name I don’t recall, the CEO came out to meet him in overalls and did not have a secretary or separate luxury office. He bought the company right then and there. At another company, when the CEO was asked about buying a Christmas Tree for the annual office party, the CEO said firmly “no” and told the company employees to raise the funds themselves if they so wanted. Major thriftiness=Major success.
I am of course not suggesting your income sources will grow to the size of the General Electric Company, but you can see why it has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for a 100 years (and the only one left of the original 30). They make everything from light bulbs to Hospital CT Scan machines. They make airplane engines, have a GE finance side. They have their investments in everything. That provides the company with so much dexterity and diversification compared to a company which makes just one product.
And if you are living your life as a corporation runs its operations, you must keep a very close tab on expenses as they all stare at their balance sheets every day. Moving to the analogy of your own life, it means putting a solid curb on your material wants/needs. Change your thinking to your own self being like a large company. Large successful companies do not throw money around. They don’t buy luxury company jets. They send their officers on commercial planes.
On your personal level, you may “think” you need that new expensive glamorous “purse”, but you really don’t. Why do you need to have a collection of a 1000 DVDs if you get bored watching the same movie more than once? Do you really need a second vacation home? Do you need a designer watch? Do you need an expensive membership in a golf club? Do you have to have designer clothes? You really don’t need any of that. Must you have all your meals out on the town? Do you need a new leased car every three years with all the frills?
If your equanimity and peace should last, you need to curb your greed and bring your spending down to the minimum, or at the very least, well within your means. Just like a real company does…when a real company saves money, they pore it into a branch called R & D (or Research and Development). That is the same as your continuous thinking, writing, and testing new ideas for income generation.
The ideas we are discussing that you can turn into profit centers need time and at least a little money. If you want to chase your dreams then proceed towards that with all your energy as there are endless possibilities, but you must at the same time curb your materialism. Living well beneath your means affords you the time and money, and lowers your stress levels, just like a major corporation that can weather economic storms while trying out new ideas after researching them.
Remember what Equanimity really means: an “evenness of mind”, a quality of remaining calm and undisturbed; composure; emotional stability at all times. Living well beneath your means allows you the mental softness and flexibility to go about your plans without worrying about a giant lump sum payment on your credit card for something you don’t even remember spending your money on.
At any income level, if you just have to have an expensive Mercedes Benz in your driveway for your neighbors to envy, a 5000 sq ft McMansion to show off to your friends, fancy new clothes, jewelry, accessories, new iPad, iPod, etc., then you will never be free, ever. Even if you became an oil tycoon, you will not be free to enjoy your life if you are drowning in status and materialism. Rampant materialism is like a cancer that will eat up all your organs. You will simply spend everything that comes in. You will buy more homes, have expensive silver and gold collections, artwork, etc. There is no end to greed and being pompous.
This does not mean that you never enjoy yourself. If your businesses you created thrive, there is nothing wrong with a little spending now and then. But when you are starting out, begin small and keep your spending to a minimum until your ideas (and income) gather steam and blossom.
As I have shared, I still spend money on myself now and then, but just like the weather and economic tides, when things slow down, I have trained myself to be happy on very very little income. So much so that my friends are in awe. Regardless, I have self confidence and inspiration that I can rise again in my path in economic freedom from a traditional 9 to 5 job. Just relax, find peace and equanimity…out there is a field where you and I are the same. Let’s meet there someday…