Say goodbye to a million dollars: rethinking benchmarks

print by jhulligan – click image for more info

“I want to make a million dollars.”

That’s the number, isn’t it? The number that bounces out when we think about big money and how much we need to feel successful and secure.

It’s like we’re pre-programmed; when we ask ourselves, “How much money do I want?” our brains search the database, locate the file, and boop! One million dollars pops on the screen and out of our mouths.

I don’t know about you, but for me, thinking of a million dollars is like thinking about the universe being infinite; I understand intellectually, but it’s too abstract to feel in my bones. All those zeroes don’t add up to any meaning, and it’s hard to work towards the meaningless.

So let’s scrap the million dollar mark.

Goodbye, infinite space. Hello, ground beneath our feet.

Once you’ve let the million go, there’s room for you to make real money. Money that is meaningful, tangible, and more than enough to support you. Get real about what you need, what you want, and what those numbers really are. Then you can set a new benchmark that’s personalized, connected, and meaningful.

You still want your million? Girl, go get it. But build to it from where you are. If you’re not clear how to make your first $100, $1,000, or $100,000, work that out first. Then it’s infinite space for you.

Will you adjust your benchmark? Let us know in the comments.

Gathering light,


14 thoughts on “Say goodbye to a million dollars: rethinking benchmarks

  1. Good Morning All!

    I have been thinking about this, a lot, as of late. How much money do I really need, and more importantly, how much money am I willing to sacrifice my life for, to achieve?

    Do I need 60K, 100K, or no K? LOL!

    8 years ago, I was homeless for 3 months, literally, living in my car. During that time, my stuff was in storage(if I had it to do all over again, I would’ve gotten rid of all that stuff but, I digress…) my stuff was in storage and I was relying on handouts and shelters for food and the occasional stay in a hotel to get cleaned up properly.

    I had nothing but time on my hands to read, spiritual, find-your-purpose type books, and to write, until it got dark and I didn’t have access to light until morning.

    It was during this time that I had the most amazing clarity, of what was REALLY important and what was window dressing and ego fluff. What I really wanted to do with my finite time here on Earth and what I didn’t really care about, what was really “MY TRUTH” and what was false, for me.

    Roll the tape forward 8 years, and I find myself enmeshed in the nonsense once again..but realizing that I don’t want the Universe to “give” me another homeless experience to wake me up. I am awake…I know what I need and what will make me happy and how much money I need to achieve it, which is a lot less than what one might think.

    The challenge is to honor our own sense of self and do that, and only that which makes us feel fulfilled and happy.

    Spending my days creating, eating wholesome meals, prepared in my own kitchen, of my small, less than 1000 sq ft. house, with the ability to go outside as much as I want and walk along the beach, or river or stream, wherever I happen to be…that is my idea of having a rich life, which doesn’t require a lot of actual money at all.

    Thank you for this post.


  2. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in that $1 million idea. I sure know that I have from time to time. But I also know that I’m thankful when $100 comes in or any figure for that matter.

    I think that setting a goal you actually think you can achieve is important. It’s not as though once you make it to that point you can’t raise the bar. Sometimes if you set them too high you can’t work out where to even start. Even if that goal is consistently making $200 a week. Goals don’t always have to be huge. Sometimes the little goals give the most reward.

    Thanks for sharing this, Laura!

  3. “I want to make a million dollars.”

    That has a familiar ring to it 😉

    In a time of economic instability it is easier than ever to hold false illusions about what we need. Like Stephanie I am leaning into simplicity. I want to make enough money to sustain my work, be debt free (mortgage aside, that’s another issue) and be my best in the world.

    As you say a million dollars is abstract for most of us though it is not so much money over a lifetime. I have broken down my income goals to what I actually need and it’s not all that much. Getting is the trick! But when you set your sights lower it looks far more possible.

    1. Gwyn, where do you think I get my blog post ideas?!? And I don’t think it’s always about setting your goals lower–maybe you want/need 5 million! If that number is real to you, then go!

      1. I don’t mean set my sights lower really but shorter term. Looking at what I need to earn in a month is far less overwhelming than a long term goal which may be five million.

  4. I would rather read about Stephanie’s experience than have the universe give me one of my own!

    Worrying about money and income is one of the most unsettling, stressful things that can happen in your life. Most people need to experience an extreme hardship to learn to appreciate a more modest lifestyle.

  5. We have been looking at updating our life insurance, and oddly a million dollars coverage is almost double the cost of $750 000. Apparently the millon dollar ring has a wide psychological impact.
    For me feeling secure financially is more about the difference between income and spending than any magic number.

  6. Wow – did you read my mind? I’m so glad I read this. It reminds me of that phrase, “a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.”

    Going for that million dollars right out of the gate is kind of like going for the two birds in the bush. Setting a series of benchmarks with the first starting at, oh – maybe a hundred thousand – is like having at least one bird in the hand.

    And, you can always catch more birds once you’ve already caught a few, right?

  7. Sure, a million dollars would be great. But really, all I want right now from my handmade jewelry business is for it to make enough to cover business expenses and pay the mortgage. On bad days that sounds as insurmountable as a million dollars but I am trying to focus on baby steps toward that goal!

    I’m also learning that I don’t need as much “stuff” as I thought I did. Want, sure. Need, no. I would, though, like to have enough left over after expenses to be able to support other artists and causes I believe in. Maybe someday!

  8. definetly scrapping the benchmark. this is too true…a million dollars is that magic number that kind of pops up in my head. maybe it has to do with all those tv gameshows that make one million seem so attainable…

    but you are definetly right, smaller goals first.
    great post!

  9. I’ve often found it hard to realistically ask the Universe for a million dollars. I just didn’t feel right. And maybe it’s because I feel deep down that I can’t ever really have that much, or that I don’t deserve it…at least not yet…but, I usually reach for a more practical goal. I often find myself wishing I could just make a minimum of $5,000 a month. For me, that would be huge. That would be my million dollars. And maybe if (or WHEN) I start making that much, I’ll raise the bar. But for now, $5,000 a month would do just fine. Please.

  10. For me, I want enough to make a sustainable living doing what fulfills me creatively & intellectually, so that I don’t need to work day after day, week after week in what often seems like a dead end job, at least to start with. As some have said in their comments, though this often seems as unimaginable as some sky high number, but it’s still worth trying for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *