It seems that the majority of people believe that in order to be rich and famous, or just financially secure, they need more money. But studies have shown that people with comparatively low incomes can become millionaires – and their success lies in their behaviors. (Buy this book. Now).
Defense wins championships
There’s an adage that says, Defense wins championships. Case in point, the 2004 Detroit Pistons. In the championship series, they matched up against arguably the first team hoping to “buy” a championship – the Los Angeles Lakers. During the previous offseason, they signed Karl Malone, who took an almost $18 million pay cut, and Gary Payton. With the all-time second-leading scorer in the history of the game and one of the best scoring point guards in the game, along with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, they planned to obliterate the competition and expand Phil Jackson’s ego championship ring collection.
The Pistons on the other hand, had Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince. All solid players, but only one of them made the All-Star lineup that year (Ben Wallace). The Lakers had the third best offense in the league, the Pistons the fifth worst. In fact, the Pistons only scored more than 90 points twice during the entire series. To give you an idea of how crazy that is, in the 2013 Finals the losing team scored more than 90 points five times. So how did they win?
By freaking amazing defense.
Implement Some Stingy Defense
When it comes to your financial security, defense rules. You can’t just wing it. You can devote your life to earning more and more money, but if you don’t put enough effort into trying to keep that money, you may end up as a Walmart greeter in your 70s. The sports world is riddled with former players who earned tens and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars during their careers and have nothing to show for it. I know what you’re thinking. How could they possibly waste so much? You’d never do that if you had that much money.
Those players didn’t have an offense problem with their money, they just sucked at defense. They earned more than most of us will ever see, but their behavior precluded long-term freedom from the start.
What’s Your Defense?
Forget about offense for just a moment. You’ll have plenty of time to work on that. Are your money behaviors killing your dreams? Or are they setting you up for success? Is it hard for you to give up what you want now for what you want most? Is it easy to spend money on things you know you won’t care about in a couple of weeks? Do you spend too much on things that depreciate in value rather than on things that appreciate?
Take a moment – right now – and write down one behavior you exhibit that is screwing your financial freedom. Just one thing. Then make a plan to replace that bad behavior with one that will contribute to your financial awesomeness. It won’t be easy. It might cause you severe withdrawals. If it’s too much, go back to step one and pick something easier to tackle. Then once you’ve mastered that behavior, start with something else. Over time, you’ll realize that you are on your way to becoming a champion.
Defense wins championships? It worked for the Pistons, and it’s worked for millionaires all over the world. It can work for you too.