Lee Cooper

4 months ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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How to Define and Find Financial Success

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Finding financial success can be easy. Simply follow these steps (and if you believed that last sentence that easily, please contact me, I have some "can't miss" investment opportunities for you):

First, define what financial success mean to you. Does it mean having a million dollars in the bank? Running a successful business? Being able to send your seven children to college? Retiring at age 50? Buying a cabin on 40 acres in the mountains?

Spend some time thinking about what your goals are, how those goals align with your family (if applicable), and whether these goals are realistic and achievable. Write this all down in a journal or a planner and be honest with yourself.

Sure, you may be a materialistic hedonist if your goals are to drive the newest BMW and go out to chic clubs every Friday and Saturday night, but if that's what is going to make you happy, so be it.

Sure, we'd all love to have $6 million dollars in our checking account and be able to indulge in all of life's luxuries, but that isn't realistic.

Second, set measurable, achievable benchmarks for attaining these goals. Start with small goals and work your way towards the bigger ones. Having an investment portfolio of a million dollars may appear to be a daunting task, but when you break it down to smaller increments it may mean saving only $6,000 per year for the next 25 years, which only breaks down to $500 dollars a month. Saving $500 a month is certainly a less intimidating task than trying to amass a million dollars.

Sure, this is only an example, but you're more likely to stick with your program if you find some successes along the way. The simplest way to find successes along the way is to build achievable, smaller goals into your larger long-term goal.

Thirdly, exercise the willpower necessary to achieve these goals, and understand that you will need to make sacrifices along the way. Saving money may mean cutting back on current expenses, taking fewer vacations, or forgoing that latest electronic gadget.

Working additional hours now in order to save money to send those seven kids to college may mean spending less quality time with them. Is the sacrifice of seeing your kids less now worth the happiness you will gain from sending them to college?

Lastly, revisit step one on a regular basis. There is a strong possibility that your definition of financial success, and the priorities of how you spend your time and money will change as your life stage, family, and worldview changes. Keep a journal of what decisions you made and why you made them. And remember to not be afraid to fail.

"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success." Samual Smiles

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