As a kid of the 90s, one of my favorite time periods in history is most definitely Hammer time. Thanks to hits like “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit,” MC Hammer’s fame exploded in the early 1990s, and his bank account exploded right along with it. At the peak of his popularity, he had an estimated net worth of $33 million.
Sadly, though, this isn’t a celebration of his rags-to-riches story but rather a precautionary riches-to-rags tale. One meant to old school you on why sometimes it’s okay to not achieve your goals as quickly as you think you should.
LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS
As Hammer’s fame and fortune grew so did the size of his payroll. He allegedly employed 200 people at one point, costing him $500,000 a month.
Human resources wasn’t the only way he spent his substantial wealth. A few of the additional luxuries he lavished on himself included:
- a $30-million mansion complete with gold-plated gates (sounds heavenly!)
- a Lamborghini (can’t blame him)
- a private jet and two helicopters
- and a stretch limo (but honestly, how else was he supposed to get his 40-person entourage around?)
You probably won’t be shocked to read that he filed for bankruptcy in 1996, claiming $13 million in debt. Sure, he had a closet full of parachute pants, but there was no golden parachute to rescue him from this financial predicament.
TOO MUCH TOO SOON
If Hammer knew then what he knows now, would he make the same mistakes? Perhaps he hip-hopped his way into too much success too soon in his career.
To help their players avoid a similar fate, the NFL team I used to work for has a surprising position on their coaching staff – a life coach. Imagine being an athlete in your early 20s who has never been allowed to profit from playing football. Suddenly you are making a minimum of $450,000 a season (and quite possibly much more). Would you know how to manage it without some guidance?
Probably not. I still laugh about the day that a rookie player came to my cubicle and asked me what I did with my signing bonus. He was holding a check for more money than I’ve ever made in a year. (Spoiler alert: There’s no such thing as a signing bonus for office staff.)
Success is wonderful, but it’s often fleeting compared to the seasons of working and waiting before it. It’s prudent to make use of that time to be sure you’re ready for all that comes with success when it finally comes your way.
WHY PLAN B IS A-OK
Recently my business partner moved to another state and decided to step away from our business to focus on her family. As I’ve begun the transition into solopreneurship, I’ve been thinking a lot about personal goals versus God’s timing and plan.
We were fortunate to celebrate many successes in our three years together, but, as in any business, there were also plans that never came together. Looking back, it’s plain to see that we were on a journey. Along the way we grew our skill sets, developed as entrepreneurs and were brought to exactly where we are supposed to be to fulfill our purposes.
If Plan A had worked out exactly like it was “supposed” to, I wouldn’t have learned the lessons in financial stewardship that have shaped me into a much more mature business owner and, quite frankly, adult. (No bankruptcy-bringing gold-plated gates around here!)
If the first door we had knocked on had opened, I would be in an entirely different field right now instead of having the privilege of writing and speaking to empower people across the country. The last three years have also given me the time I needed to be comfortable sharing my personal story in the hopes of helping those who might face similar situations in their lives.
2 LEGIT 2 QUIT YOUR DREAM
Is there a goal you’ve been struggling to reach? You’re not out of the running, man!
Maybe “u can’t touch this” dream of yours quite yet because there’s something you need to learn to be ready for it.
If the door you’ve been desperately trying to kick wide open suddenly unlocked, would you be ready to handle all that came with the new opportunity?
Maybe you don’t have everything in place that you’ll need to take on its demands. Perhaps your plate is already overflowing and you need to make room for what you’ve been working toward.
If you hit that big sales goal you are going for this month, would you be responsible with the windfall?
Ask yourself if you’d invest in your future or if you’d #treatyourself and be back at square one when the next month rolls around.
Examine a plan that isn’t working out the way you envisioned and determine if there’s a lesson waiting for you in your season of waiting. If there is, it’s time to drop the hammer! Take one step this week to help you prepare for when success comes your way (like signing up for a class to help you strengthen a skill or meeting with a mentor for guidance).
P.S. Here’s some tunes to get your mind moving in the right direction!