What Is Your Money Strategy?

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When dealing with money, most people spend their time asking these questions:

  • What should I be doing with my money?

  • Should I focus on getting out of debt?

  • Should I focus on building retirement?

  • Should I try to build a college fund for my children?

We can find ourselves growing confused and frustrated as we try to wade through all the financial information being thrown at us. We live in a time of dense information, and it can be hard to know what to do.  

However, it’s possible to answer questions of strategy with wisdom and peace.

The Seven Stages of Strategy

With all the financial advice at our fingertips, we need to realize we’re the experts when it comes to us. We are the ones with the deepest understanding of what we actually think, need, feel, and hope for; no one else knows like we do the pressures we experience, the weight of our dreams, etc.

So please recognize that I’m simply coming along as a brother and displaying one way of thinking that hopefully will allow you to gain some traction in your financial life.

When we were very young children, you and I had no context for dreaming, expressing, or innovating because everything was decided for us. But as we grew up and gained experience in life, we developed in stages.

Here are seven stages of strategy I’ve identified. This list is essentially my life story written out in a strategic way:

  1. Learn a skill (ages 15–25)

  2. Build a career (ages 25–35)

  3. Start a business (ages 30–40)

  4. Serve a purpose (ages 35–55)

  5. Master an innovation (ages 40–50)

  6. Advance a movement (ages 55–85)

  7. Leave a legacy (ages 85–105)

I am currently in the sixth stage, where I am advancing a movement. However, many people I talk to are in other stages. They’re asking strategic questions, but they’re in stage 2 or maybe stage 3.

If you and I are not in the same stage, the strategies I employ might sound interesting, but they probably won’t apply to your situation. What you need, then, is to understand where you are in the greater process.

Where Strategy Comes From

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about an alignment tool called the Purpose Train. You can go back and watch these videos for more information:

One of the key principles of the Purpose Train is that life can be pulled by something greater instead of pushed from behind by less important things. When we’re “pulling from the front,” we’re led by who we are, why we are, and what we are. We are not led by questions like “What should I be doing with my money?” Or “Should I focus on getting out of debt?”

All the strategies under your Purpose Train will fit the stage you are in. Like I said, I’m in stage 6, which is why I resigned from a wonderful job at Bethel Church—a church I still love and attend. Beyond my ability to deny, I felt the unction to go do something, to engineer something. So one of my strategies was to resign.

Now that I’m in stage 6, I’m following a simple plan: I’m building excess cash so my wife and I can buy future cash flows.  

Obviously, that can mean a lot of different things, and I am not trying to tell you what you should do with your money. Nor am I recommending a certain kind of investment—that is a legal boundary I do not cross.

But for me, I don’t care to accumulate more assets at this point. Instead, I want to stack passive income streams that will activate when I’m older. That’s one of my strategies.

Build Your Life on the More Important Things 

Anytime we’re trying to figure out money strategies, we need to approach them from the top down, beginning with identity, purpose, and vision.

Once we get those three things figured out and articulated well, we can ask an important question that will help clarify our strategies:

“What do I need to do to bring my vision to pass?”  

To watch Stephen’s video on this topic, click here.

Lauren Stinton