- Ramit Sethi, CEO and author of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” says people get intimidated out of pursuing big goals because they’re just too far out of reach.
- He used to face that problem when he wanted to build muscle and get fit, and he finds people face similar mental blocks when it comes earning more money and building wealth.
- But if you break down your goals and start small now, Sethi says, you can reach big goals through small steps.
If I asked you how you could become an Olympic rower, most people would stare back at me with eyes completely glazed over.
It’s almost the same exact look as if I asked how you could make $5 million in 10 years.
Answer: Because if a goal is too big, people simply cannot comprehend it.
For example, when people see an Olympic athlete, they think, “Oh I could never look like that. I don’t have the right genetics. I haven’t even worked out in 10 years!”
Back in college, I firmly believed, “I could never gain muscle. I’m just a skinny Indian guy.” I thought this was a fact of life, like the sky being blue, and accepted it.
But then I started to see people around me – including other Indian guys – bulk up.
Slowly, I realized this belief of “I can’t gain muscle” was total BS.
I used to think lifting was only for meatheads, but I was the only one standing in the way of my goal.
The same is true for earning more money.
We don’t think we can do it because nobody ever teaches us how! And we never see people like us do it, so we have no reason to believe we can.
We’re left with a deep-rooted, toxic belief that earning more is only for “other” people. Then tell ourselves things like, “I can’t earn more, I don’t have time/an idea/the right background.”
This is just a self-limiting belief.
Just like how I was able to destroy my own beliefs about gaining muscle, you could shatter your beliefs about earning more … and actually do it.
Let’s start small
Once you realize your limiting beliefs aren’t facts, or truth, you can get started earning more money. Earning an extra $10,000 may seem impossible, but let’s break it down.
If you ask yourself instead how you would earn an extra $500, $1,000, or $5,000, coming up with realistic solutions becomes more manageable. Here I’ll break down the math:
Let’s assume you make $50 per hour. If you worked 10 hours per week for five months, you could earn an extra $10,000.
To earn $10,000 on the side in five months:
$50/hr X 10 hrs/week X 5 months = $10,000
And that’s just the start. As you gain confidence and get more clients, you can double your rates and earn that $10,000 in half the time.
To earn $10,000 on the side in two and a half months:
$100/hr X 10 hrs/week X 2.5 months = $10,000
Whether you actually make $50 per hour is beside the point.
The real message is this: If goals seem too out-of-reach, we’re not able to visualize what to do. Instead, dream big, start small.
Ramit Sethi is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” and writes for more than 1 million readers on his websites, iwillteachyoutoberich.com and GrowthLab.com. His work on personal finance and entrepreneurship have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Insider.