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$200,000 in Income in 2015 and Five things I Learned from It

First off let me begin this post by thanking God for my life, my mind, and my body. There are lessons for you to learn today and there are victories for you to earn today so let’s forget about yesterday and march proudly into the present.

I’m working on my taxes this week for my personal income as well as a few properties I have and I had a few thoughts to share with you…

ThereAreTwoDays

When I look back at my 35 years of living and I really think about all of my experiences I have truly lived a wonderful life since birth. I can honestly say that I have been afforded opportunities that most people would die for.

I’ve served in the military, I’ve traveled the Earth, I’ve been afforded the opportunity of higher education at the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral level, and I’ve also had the luxury of working for some top companies and government agencies such as IBM, AON, and the FBI.

I also have a beautiful nine-year-old son who I adore with all of my heart and a few good friends.

As I sit here to write this post I am writing with the hopes of inspiring you to keep going. The reason being, we are conditioned to think that success is supposed to come to us in 15 minutes or less.

We’re judged by our peers and our family when we can’t meet their expectations as they see it – success from their lens as I would define it.

Even when you are “successful” the problems don’t go away. You think to yourself, “I hit xxxx amount of income in my business or in my corporate career and I’ve arrived!”

I think not.

Last year my mother passed away unexpectedly and every time I think about how it happened my brain stops working. You never really understand what it means to lose something or someone until it actually happens.

You’re left to grieve, you’re confused, you’re nervous, and quite frankly you’re left not knowing what to do next. And making decisions when someone dies is probably the worst thing you could ever attempt to do.

I had very little in way of guidance when she passed, although I had a lot of supportive friends. My life and the decisions I made in the last 12 months could have been completely different, but I am where I am.

I can’t account for being born to my parents, the wider family network I was born into, or the circumstances that I was born into, but I can account for some very good decisions that I’ve made throughout my life.

Most people would look at everything that I’ve done and are doing now, and judge me and say, “You aren’t really successful.” At this stage in my life I am really seeing with my own eyes that everything that has transpired up until this point has transpired for a reason.

I find that I am continuously being called to people and experiences that are supporting my bigger vision.

This is all divine to me. I am a believer.

I have to be a believer because someone is responsible for putting this big white round thing in the sky called a moon, and it wasn’t a human being or the U.S. government.

So I always believed in something more. Call me crazy, but I believe the best way to materialize anything in your life is to believe that it’s already there for you to take.

Even at times when my bank account was negative, somewhere deep down in my heart of hearts I just knew that I would be re-aligned to the path.

This path that I am referring to is leading me to my ultimate purpose of being a blogger, author, and speaker. I am self-proclaimed in my success and who I am. I answer to no one when it come to the desires of my heart because I know my desires were put there by God and if he didn’t want me to have these things I wouldn’t have these desires.

I made well over $200,000 last year in income.

I can honestly see how Kanye West spent $53 million pursuing his career ambitions.

It amazes me how people think that following your dreams is a path that requires very little investment. If you think that putting a little in will give you a lot out, I probably need to have a conversation with you.

As I look at my expenses–most of which the majority of my income went to my business and my house–I can see why most people don’t take the leap to do big things.

The last two jobs that I’ve worked have all been in the six-figure range as far as compensation goes, but it was never really enough. It was just enough to get by from week to week.

I made so much money last year that I actually had enough to do three major projects: Home renovation, my first book, and a major overhaul of my blog at deancantave.com [more coming soon!]

Do you realize that most people in my position would have purchased a new car, gone shopping, took a ton of trips, or wasted money on things that have very little value?

Here is what I’ve learned:

  1. The amount of money you have in your pocket at any given time can change. I made the decision that the timing for pursuing all of these projects had to be tackled all at once. After my mother’s passing I worked overtime on my book and my blog, both of which are still not complete but I realized that if I didn’t finish these passion projects now they would never get done. If not now, when?

  2. There is a very freeing feeling associated with having a certain amount of income. One of the many things I’ve known over the years is that I’ve always enjoyed working, but I never enjoy not having time and money to do the things that are important to me–spending time with my son, traveling, etc. My goal now is to engineer and design my life so that my income covers my living expenses 24-hours-a-day. This frees me up from having to work 40 hours a week, unless I choose to.

  3. Money is only as valuable as what you choose to do with it. The basis of my life is predicated off of two ideas: (1) Building my life around my legacy and my son and (2) doing purposeful work that impacts the masses while affording me the life that I truly desire to live. It’s not the pursuit of money that I want but more so the pursuit of purpose. It is the gratification that comes from knowing that I am doing something that is truly helping other people be better, do more, and have more. I invested my money into my business and my brand because ultimately serving others is what I truly want to do. There is very little value in things and so much value to be had from people.

  4. You can hold on to money forever, but it will never change your quality of life. This is in line with #3. If you had $1 million and you let it sit in the bank you would still have the $1 million, but unless it’s doing something much bigger than yourself it doesn’t matter. There are plenty of people that have money that aren’t happy and I know some of them. This is why the pursuit of purpose and continuous personal development–spiritually, mentally, and emotionally–is so important. Money is a tool, what you do with it is where the value is created.

  5. Money opens doors. There is a stigma among most people whenever you have a conversation about money. The mindset most times can be negative and quite the opposite of progressive. Last year I attended several events that allowed me to meet people that could further aid me in growing my business. These opportunities cost me, but because I was in a good financial position I was able to take advantage when the opportunity presented itself. I’m not saying money should be your prime motivation but when you position yourself to earn more of it through your passions and your gifts, you not only open doors for yourself, but you open doors for others.

 To your success,

Dean

@DeanCantave

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  • Mike Steele

    Great Blog,

    I knew you were a person destined for greatness from the time I met you years back in Washington Park and just listening to your insight back then about your goals and just life in general. Very proud of you and keep up the good work. The only way to go is up my brother! God Bless

    Mike Steele

  • Mario Willis

    Hey there dean, it’s been a long time hasn’t it? I know, I really like what you said in your blog bro, cause reading that made me think about the creative projects I have in mind that I have put off for so long. You really made me think and I like that…. That helped me a lot bro

  • Robert Lewis

    Awesome Blog!