Does it Take a Million?

Have you ever started something only to hit roadblocks along the way? Have you had a dream of doing _____, and left it behind because you didn’t think you had the resources, time, encouragement to do it? Doubt and discouragement love company.

I want you to try a quick exercise with me. Ask yourself: “If I had $1 million, what would I do?” If you are having a hard time getting started, here’s some things to think about how to spend that money: start your own business, retire, travel the world, buy a bigger, newer ____, etc. Ok, do you have your idea?

Now, how would you feel once you had that “dream” accomplished with that $1 million? Would you feel successful, secure, fulfilled? What would bringing that kind of money into your life mean to you?

I’ve always been an advocate for thinking big.  I love being around people who are visionaries, and who see the possible from the sometimes impossible.  A couple of years ago, I was thinking about this “If I had $1 million” concept.  What I came up with for myself was to create something much bigger than  just me and my family.  What if I had enough money to not only accomplish some financial goals (paying off the mortgage for example) but also extra to do something more?  My dream was to start a charitable foundation.  Something that could be sustainable and everlasting for generations to come.  In thinking through this idea, one doubt kept creeping up – I didn’t have $1 million to get this fund started.  What was I to do?  Or even better, how in the world was I going to raise $1 million?

Julie Andrews’ character Maria from the movie The Sound of Music shares a remarkable lesson with this memorable quote “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”  Now whatever your religious belief, there is a lot of truth to that statement.  When I couldn’t get past the idea that it would take $1 million that I clearly didn’t have to start a charitable foundation (door closed), my window opened.  A friend asked me this simple question: “Does it take $1 million to start something like that?”  That threw me for a loop, because I honestly didn’t know.  That one probing question opened up a large window that allowed me to see something possible.  I did a little research, and discovered that it doesn’t take anywhere near $1 million to start something like this.  In fact, what it took was attainable to even me, the non-millionaire.

Let me go back to my earlier question – “If you had $1 million, what would you do?”  Take your answer and ask yourself this question – “Does it actually take $1 million?”  My guess is that you can get started on that million dollar dream with nothing at all.

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