Income vs. Legacy: Setting Your Priorities

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Income vs. Legacy: Setting Your Priorities

Have you ever been torn between making more money and the impact you want to make on the world? This topic is on my mind all the time. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights, tossing and turning, with thoughts shifting from greatness to despair. Can you relate?

In this article, I’m going to show you what I’ve learned from two very successful entrepreneurs, Andy Frisella and Grant Cardone, about managing the priorities of your life.

Unless you’re ok living like Gandhi or Mother Teresa, income is that immediate red or green flag that gives you the potential to unlock your potential.

If you’re anything like me, I’m constantly pulled between two life points, one attached to immediate needs (income), whether there’s enough 1s and 0s in the bank for rent, the car payment, and string cheese and apple sauce for my kids, and one attached to what I want to leave behind (legacy).

When you get a little older and have some experience under your belt, you start to think beyond your daily grind and ask questions like:

  • What is life really about

  • How can I be happy

  • What is actually important

  • How should I live my life

  • How should I spend my time

  • Who should I spend my time with

  • What impact do I want to have on the world

Strategy for Setting Priorities

Legacy is the haunting question that follows you around, the small voice that pipes up every few months saying—will you matter when you’re gone and will anyone care?

For most, you can't have legacy without income. Here’s something I always wonder—how do you deal with the small questions and decisions you need to make that will help you handle the big ones? Have you ever noticed that your immediate needs and your ultimate plan for your life are in conflict a majority of the time?

I’ve developed a strategy that will help you prioritize the things that you want to accomplish with your life. I am in no way where I want to be in terms of income and legacy but using this approach has improved the way I operate. I’m sharing this with you because I think you’ll find it helpful to balance your everyday while building your legacy.

Your goal is to make the relationships between your income and legacy symbiotic. I’ve had so many different, unrelated jobs that had nothing to do with who I am and the legacy I want to leave behind. I just took them on to solve income difficulties: dishwasher, telephone salesman, marketing manager, cashier, live sale presenter, etc…

When things seem out of control, it’s because I feel lost and don’t know what I should be doing to get to where I want to go. Here’s how you can avoid this completely:

  • Use Andy Frisella’s Power List for daily tasks related to income

  • Use Grant Cardone’s 10X Goals to build your legacy

What this will give you is an immediate action plan of what you need to do in a given day, and give your the perspective of what you’re working towards. In my world, all hell breaks loose when I lose control over these two factors. Using this method is how I’m taking back control and it’s working. Why? Because my perspective is clear.

Lack of clarity comes from lack of focus. Writing your goals down every day is the simplest way to keep what is important to you in “focus.” It’s so easy to get distracted with all the funny videos on The Chive, sensationalized new stories, and the plethora of personal opinions circulating Twitter and Facebook…

Getting caught up in other people’s problems can be a wanted distraction from your own drama. I’m guilty of it. I’m sure you are too. Here’s how you can recenter yourself.

Tackle Your Income Tasks with a Power List

If you’ve never heard of Andy Frisella, Google him right now. I heard him speak two years in a row at the 10X Growth Conference. His companies are making over 200 million so he’s doing something right.

He suggests using a Power List to attack your day. It’s a list of the top 5 things you need to get done today. The Power List is about being productive and getting stuff done. Everything on it should be there to help you get to the next level. I view everything on the Power List as tasks that solve income issues/problems.

Important Points About the Power List:

  1. Make the items on your Power List as specific as possible. It’s not send 50 emails, it’s send an email to John about X proposal and close Y deal.

  2. Take an item off the list after 21 days. If an item has become a habit then you don’t need to keep putting it on your Power List. If you’re a new diet, and you put eat fresh vegetables twice a day, and you’re able to do it for 21 days in a row, you’ve made it a habit. You need to replace it with something else. Andy says that the #1 mistake that people make with the Power List is not replacing something that you’ve turned into a habit with a new item. Just have awareness and replace as soon as you develop that action as a habit.

  3. Another mistake that people make is adding to your Power List after you completed the 5 items. Don't do that. Why? You could knock out your list by 10 in the morning. Good. Then you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want. When Andy completes his Power List, he goes and look at guns and motorcycles—that’s what he likes. The point of the Power List is to be productive and get things done consistently. It’s not to overwhelm yourself with the endless tasks that you need to complete. That’s how you burnout, take a day, drink too much wine, stuff your face with a fistful of gummy bears, and binge watch Game of Thrones (I can’t be the only one). Andy’s point is that you might be able to have 10 things on your Power List and complete them for a few days, but you won't do it every day. With 5 items on the list, you can do it every day for the entire year. He's consistent, focused, and productive. When you finish your list, then you're free to enjoy your day.

Build Your Legacy With 10X Goals

Now how can you connect that with the impact that you want to have on the world? Use Grant Cardone’s 10X Goals. Grant Cardone is an entrepreneur, author, and creator of the 10X Rule. Cardone recommends writing your goals every day—in the morning, at night, and when you have a disappointment or setback.

10X Goals is a perspective tool that will help you step outside of your immediate needs. They are are not a set of pending daily tasks like the Power List. They are your legacy points—your ultimate goals, desires, plans for your future.

Cardone’s message is average thinking equals average results. Think big, 10 times than the average. Most people underestimate their true potential because they set their goals too low.

In addition, most people don’t have the discipline to write out their goals every day. They only write them down once a year, right after a drunken new year’s night or after some major setback—that’s a mistake…

Accomplishing goals is all about focus. What is your attention on? If you only think about what you want in life once a year, time will just pass by. When you focus on what you want every day, the world seems to conspire for you. You see things you didn’t notice before. New, helpful connections appear. There are opportunities everywhere if you’re looking. Solutions will materialize.

This isn't wishful thinking or the law of attraction. If your attention is on what you want your mind will start working out ways to get it. You’ll start to see new opportunities and make connections that you previously missed.

Using the Power List and 10X Goals Together

Use the Power List and 10X Goals together to keep your income and legacy priorities in order and in focus. Both income and legacy should work together as much as possible. The better that they connect, the more fulfilled and on track you’ll feel with what your doing.

Income can be the most uplifting or debilitating factor in the modern day. I know it is for me. Income takes precedence over legacy at the beginning because it allows you to have the scale that you need to reach your 10X Goals.

It’s very difficult to make an impact, trying to do something lasting if you’re preoccupied with tasks low on Maslow’s totem pole like credit card bills, rent, and your car payment.

Develop a system to solve those income challenges so you can move forward with your 10X Goals. Develop the discipline to write your goals down every day to have the right perspective of what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Income and Legacy Projects

If you know what you are working towards, just because other people in your life don’t get it or accept what you’re up to, know that you’re being true to yourself. Being true is a much better place to operate from then trying to please someone else.

I recommend taking the Power List and 10X Goals a step further by having an Income Project and a Legacy Project that is paired with each respectively. For example, my income project is PianoLessonBox and my legacy project is The Piano Journal. I recently launched these and only have a handful of customers and subscribers but having projects in both camps, income and legacy, is helping me keep my priorities clear. Try the same thing and let me know how it works for you.