Our dreams become our desires, our desires become our reality. A plan can help us expedite our desires manifesting into our reality. The story of my Montblanc pen.
Our dreams can start in the strangest of places. Planning for our dreams can happen at any time.
About 20 years ago, my husband closed his self-employed gardening business to enter the corporate world. One of his gardening clients gave him a beautiful leaving gift – a Montblanc pen.
A while later, the pen was stolen on a work conference. He was really disappointed. I was gutted for him. The gift had meant a lot to him.
A few years later, his company re-located to Geneva Switzerland. We were re-located too (it was SO exciting, but that’s another story entirely.) In the airport, we saw a Montblanc pen shop. I nearly fell over when I saw how much the pens cost!!!
Back then, I was working an un-skilled low paid job whilst I completed my counselling training. I couldn’t comprehend how anyone could spend that much on a pen! When I saw the price tag, I re-experienced the guttedness I felt when my husbands’ pen was stolen. I just hadn’t realised how valuable (financially) it was.
There’s a moment that you decide that you want something.
At that moment I decided that one day, I wanted to replace the pen. The thing was, my husband didn’t want to replace the pen. He was worried he’d lose it if he got another one.
Over the years, I just couldn’t let it go. I was both angered that someone had stolen the pen, and mesmerised that people would actually spend that much on one! (Let’s face it, it’s a fancy Bic!)
Since discovering the teachings of Abraham my money mindset had shifted from a fairly extreme poverty mindset, to one of abundance. I began to believe that I could do, be or have anything I want.
When I first met my husband, I was so entrenched in the belief that ‘I didn’t deserve nice things’ that I managed to subconsciously ruin, lose, or break everything he brought me. He brought me a lantern a couple of days after we met. As we crossed the road outside the shop, I dropped it and a car ran over it! Flat as a pancake! I was horrified!!! I just didn’t seem to be able to keep hold of nice things.
‘The Teachings of Abraham’ changed things for me.
Once I began to put into practice ‘The Teachings of Abraham’ things changed. I gradually allowed myself to buy things that weren’t on the sale rail. To buy branded goods rather than only the supermarket’s own brand. To choose what I wanted from the menu in a restaurant rather than the cheapest thing. I got a fancy watch for my Birthday, I booked nicer hotels on our holidays. We had my wedding ring custom made. I booked excursions which previously would have made my eyes water. We went on a cruise to Alaska. I bought a Thermomix.
All these things would be perfectly normal purchases to millions of people. To me, (and millions of others) they were huge. It took a massive mindset shift to allow myself to have these things, even though we could afford them.
A beautiful Montblanc pen began to feel like the next logical step. My husband didn’t want one, but why couldn’t I have one???? I started looking in the Montblanc store every time we went to the airport. I played the ‘If I had to buy a Montblanc pen from this shop today, which one would I buy?’ game.
One day I found a BEAUTIFUL one and I thought I HAVE to have that pen. It was probably about three years ago. I saw a half navy-blue shiny textured material and half silver (I Love silver, I’m a white gold/platinum/silver kind of gal.) It was shiny and elegant.
I decided I’d buy it for myself one day.
I decided I’d buy it for myself one day. At that point, I needed a laptop. I knew my iPhone wouldn’t last toooo much longer, so it wasn’t at the top of the purchase list. It seemed like a very long way away. A luxury that would stay out in the distance. I realised, that it would probably never be at the top of the purchase list! There’s always some new software I ‘need,’ or a cool coach I want to work with, or a course I want to study. All my income was being invested back into the business.
I realised if I wanted the dream of owning this pen to be a reality I needed a plan. I knew that ‘Profit First’ would be the way to get there. I’d heard the concept on Oprah years ago, well before I had a business. It made total sense to me even then.
It’s all too easy to plough all your earnings back into your business, especially in the first couple of years when you’re in start-up. There’s a whole host of things to learn and get into place – right?
Profit First is a system for managing your business finances which enables you to have much more awareness of what’s going on financially in your business. You pay yourself every month and you pay your profit first.
Many traditional Accountants don’t like the system, but it works. It helps people out of debt, it enables you to know exactly how much you have available for operating expenses – can you really afford that shiny new thing you want to invest in? And you always have money set aside for taxes.
Not paying yourself is unsustainable.
I knew that not paying myself was unsustainable. I’d paid for big purchases from my business. Although they were for my business, they were things I’d have loved to have had even if I didn’t have a business, but would have struggled to justify (# Big Apple products) – so it felt like I was benefiting from the financial abundance from my business. But there’s no way I’d be buying a Montblanc pen as an investment for my business. I needed to start paying myself so that I could buy those luxuries that would bring me pleasure long into the future, guilt-free.
So one year ago I started to implement the Profit First process. It took me about three months to get my head around it (if maths and book-keeping are not your zone of genius and you have the cash flow to hire someone to implement it for you, I’d recommend it!)
I diligently began to start paying myself each month. Not a lot, but a bit. Being able to transfer money to our joint account and my sole account from my business account every month felt so good. How many of us feel like we’re ‘playing’ with our business? If you want to grow up in your business, this is a sure-fire way to contribute to your maturing process.
I then started moving money from my sole account to my Montblanc pen fund and my charity fund each month. I’ve benefited from a great sense of stability and steadiness, because even in lower-income months, I still get paid. I now have this great system which allows for the ebb and flow of income.
Month by Month, my dream fund grew.
Month by month, I saw my Montblanc pen fund increase slowly but surely. Whilst at the same time contributing to the household and charity, and knowing exactly how much I have available for operating expenses and money for taxes set aside. It’s a really really good feeling!
Back in the summer, I went in the Montblanc shop in Geneva to look at my pen. I wanted to see if I was still in Love with it. Tick. I felt so ‘fancy’ as the friendly assistant gave me a test drive. I was worried it wouldn’t meet up to my expectations. It did! She showed me another one in the same range which was slimmer and lighter, and I loved this one even more!!! The fact that this one cost less meant I knew it could be mine even sooner!!! (SO exciting!)
The visit made the dream of owning the pen come even more alive. I knew that the day I purchased the pen for myself would be a milestone. Little old me would have made enough money in my business to make a significant luxury purchase purely for pleasure. I could also replace the uneasy feeling about that pen being stolen all those years ago. I discovered a newfound delight of this sparkly luxurious item that would be mine!!! It felt like a metaphorical two fingers up to the thief!!
I’d have proved that I can run a profitable business by sharing my gifts and skills with the world, and that I’d transformed my mindset from one of poverty, that I don’t deserve, that nice things are for other people, to one of abundance – I deserve beautiful luxurious things that give me pleasure, whilst at the same time contributing to the household AND to charity.
Our dreams contain so many layers of meaning.
I can see the real Mont Blanc (the highest mountain in Europe) from my studio office window on a clear day. It seems fitting that this purchase which holds so much meaning for me is named after this gargantuan snow-capped landmark of exceptional natural beauty which towers in the distance.
I Love to write, but despite my best intentions, I don’t write as often as I’d like. So this week I embarked upon a year-long journaling mastermind (with journaling for business coach Carol Brennan.) It seemed like divine timing that my pen fund hit the jackpot the month I’m beginning my journaling Mastermind.
If I hadn’t put profit first into action, I wouldn’t be buying the pen this week. To put profit first into action, I had to create a business plan which prioritised ‘implement profit first.’ Had I not done that, I wouldn’t be buying the pen this week. But I did do that. So this week, the shiny blue pen shall be mine!