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The $1,000 Rule? These 3 Successful Entrepreneurs Live By It (And You Should Too)

Are you willing to give up a little now to reap a larger reward later?

Let’s say you have $1,000 in your pocket. It’s yours. You earned it. You worked hard for it.

Now, would you spend more effort to keep someone from taking that $1,000? Or would you risk losing it in order to learn how to make that $1,000 back again?

In a sense, this question perfectly summarizes the mentality of someone who works hard to earn a living, and an entrepreneur. Most people work for their money and then do everything in their power to make sure they keep it—by either withholding spending, or cutting up coupons to save a few extra dollars at the grocery store. Entrepreneurs, however, tend to share the mentality that sometimes it’s worth giving up a little bit now in order to reap a larger reward later.

This wisdom comes from Branden Hampton, one of the largest independent social media publishers in the world. He has over 30 million followers across various social platforms, and owns popular handles such as @CEO on Twitter and @money on Instagram.

“I know so many people that say, ‘Oh, there’s a deal at the store. Let’s drive two hours to some place in L.A. to save 15 cents on something.’ I don’t understand that thinking. I can’t even comprehend it because for the 2 or 3 hours I am investing in saving a few dollars, I could have invested that time elsewhere and made more for myself. It’s a reactive v.s proactive way of approaching money,” said Hampton.

Another entrepreneur, Mark Lack, the host of the #1 radio/TV show for entrepreneurs, Business Rockstars, and author of the best-selling book, Shorten The Gap: Shortcuts To Success and Happiness, had some commentary of his own on the subject. He said, “Most people spend all their time flipping through the coupon book, spending hours a week looking for how they can save money, instead of investing the same amount of time in learning how to acquire more for themselves. I think most people in life, using the $1,000 example, would rather keep what they have than go after something. And they do that because they are afraid that if they spend time learning how to make more for themselves, and it doesn’t happen right away, then they feel like they’ve lost something.”

What you have to remember, whether you’re an entrepreneur or just someone who wants to be more financially abundant, is that each time you figure out how to make $1,000 for yourself, then week after week, month after month, you will get to the point where you have gotten really good at getting those $1,000s. That’s when the mentality shifts, and you begin to focus on improving your ability to earn more for yourself, rather than spending time keeping the, say, $40,000 you make in a year.

A third entrepreneur, Mike Arce, CEO Founder of Loud Rumor—an advertising agency for studios and gyms—and the host of a top fitness business show, The GSD Show, shared his own perspective as well. He said, “Once you learn how to make $1,000, you now know how to make $1,000. So then you can start learning how to put that on autopilot and focus your efforts on learning how to make $2,000, or $3,000. But if you’re completely focused on protecting the income you already have, you don’t have the same amount of control because you can’t control $1,000 vanishing from your pocket if your air conditioner breaks, or your car needs a new part. Those things are going to happen inevitably. You can’t always hang on to your $1,000. But you can always look for ways to go out and get more.”

When it comes down to it, money and financial freedom either controls you, or you control it. And your relationship with money greatly dictates the way you go about making decisions in your life—whether they’re made out of fear of loss, or ambitious gain.

“Most people would rather have certainty and consistency in their life. That’s why they never climb much higher than average, because they like to keep things the way they’ve always been. But it goes back to the question of what you would do with $1,000 in your pocket. If you want to spend all your time protecting it, by all means. But just know you are trying to keep a little bit more of the pie for yourself, instead of just learning how to bake a bigger pie,” said Lack.


Written by Brian D. Evans

Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world's top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.


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  1. Great piece of article for every one out there who stopped himself to hit the Rock Bottom. It made me think again what I am doing. The greatest point is that – You should be the controller who turns out making great things possible.

    @Brian – I’ll read you more and more.

  2. I’d put it into this Trump market and buy a few shares of some surefire wins. Would turn that $1000 into $1100 in a month. Guaranteed. Ok maybe not guaranteed, but it’s sure hard to lose right now.

  3. Brian– smart advice on the $1,000 rule, especially from Mark Lack!
    Most people are risk-averse, the larger the figure is, but are often risk-loving for small amounts of money (like a $1 lottery ticket).

  4. Great article Brian! When money issues are addresses in simple ways like this it can really help people to see that they may have been sabotaging their own financial freedom, albeit unintentional for most. This is the spot where I see that I was only a short time ago. Holding on to that dollar that I worked so dam hard for, there was no way I was giving it up. We’ll at least not until the bills came or something new and shiny that I just had to have or what ever the reason. Either way we look at the money, no matter how hard we think we want to keep it, it will be gone soon enough and all we have to look back on is how we decided to spend or invest that money. Did our decision allow us to enrich our lives and add to our abundance or did it disappear like a cloud of smoke destined to not do us any good moving forward. I have spent many years doing the latter, until I finally saw the value in taking what I had worked hard to get and not squeeze it in my hands and fight tooth and nail to keep it or to spend it frivolously. No but to reinvest it in myself, in my future So when it came to making the dollar back, I now know how to make 2…

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