4 Words That Can Kill Your Dreams

4 Words That Can Kill Your Dreams

There are literally millions of opportunities to make a living without a job, right? Ways that pay the bills and feed your soul. Opportunities to work when, where and how you want. Where you can put living first and working second. 

Unfortunately, there are also tons of excuses for letting the opportunity to launch your dream business pass you by:

  • Too young
  • Too old 
  • Too exhausted 
  • Too fat 
  • Too confused 
  • No time 
  • No support 
  • No confidence 
  • No business idea 

The least acceptable excuse of all can kill your dreams and may surprise you. It is one that most of us have said at one time:

I cannot afford it. 

Now, before you insist that you really cannot afford it, please hear me out. Or rather, hear out the author of the best-seller, Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not, Robert Kiyosaki.  In this book, Kiyosaki contrasts two money mindsets: 

The “poor dad” spends his life preoccupied by things like job security, Social Security, vacation, sick leaves, company insurance, salary raises and promotions. 

In contrast, the “rich dad” approaches money from the mindset of opportunity rather than security.   

Rather than focusing on paying the bills, the goal is to be financially self-sufficient. 

Instead of thinking of how can I “make money,” the rich dad looks for ways to make the money he does have–regardless of the amount–work for him. It is an approach that was crystalized when a young Kiyosaki was complaining that he could hardly afford to buy anything on his meager salary. That is when Kiyosaki’s dad told him, “Never say, ‘I cannot afford it.’” He told his son not to dwell on how little money you have but to dwell on answering the question:  "how can I make more money"? 

When you ask yourself, “How can I make more money,” it stimulates the brain to take action. In contrast, when you say, “I can’t afford it,” your brain effectively stops working…killing initiative and promoting passivity.   Telling yourself, “I can’t afford it” means you miss the opportunity to make more.  

Does that mean that you should go into debt to take steps to have your dream business? It depends. Some people are brought up to think that any kind of debt was bad. But the “rich dad” helps us to see things differently.  

Now we can see that the entire notion of debt and credit came from the farming community. The farmer needed credit to invest in seeds and equipment.  When the crops were big and beautiful, he sold his harvest and paid back his debt. If he had a bad year, they had a forgiveness clause for a year. If he had two bad years, then the lender took a piece of farm equipment. 

It’s the same with borrowing money to start a business. 

Good debt is when you borrow money for something that supports you in having a plan to pay it back. Training for a new career, purchasing inventory to start a business, or hiring an assistant to free you up to focus on your real gifts are all examples of good debt.  Whether you borrow from a bank, a credit card, or from family or friends, the purpose of the debt is to put you in a positive position in the future. You are planting seeds, and once they grow, you pay it back. 

flying away moneyBad debt is when you purchase things without a plan to pay it back and/or does not support your dream or you are using that thing to fill a void in your life. Splurging on new clothes when your closet is already packed with stuff you never wear. Buying a huge flat screen TV or a new car when the ones you have work perfectly well. 

So instead of saying, “I can't afford this opportunity” ask yourself, “What can I do to make money to afford this opportunity?” Can you sell jewelry you never wear? Ramp up an eBay business? Unload an old car or computer equipment?  And yes, when necessary, borrow from a credit card? 

To be clear: I am not advocating spending beyond your means so that you drown in credit card debt. Nor am I suggesting you mortgage your house. But I am suggesting that certain kinds of debt are actually very positive to have in your life. Debt that funds your dream business can be a pragmatic strategy to start living life on purpose and building a business you love. 

Life is short and it may not be necessary for you to see a particular opportunity pass you by.


About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Hi Rachel. I was just discussing this concept with a friend the other day, but from a slightly different angle. We were talking about economic factors, social constraints, etc. But I think you make a very good point — it’s really a matter of mindset! It’s so simple, but yet it eludes many of us especially if we were raised to think about money differently.

    Thanks for shedding light on this matter! I’m going to take what you said to heart and see where it takes me!
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  2. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I shall add it to my list of books to read. I love the idea of coming from a place of opportunity rather than a place of security. Thanks for sharing this Rachel, although my Kindle will be cursing the addition of another book 😉
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  3. I cover Economic Well being in my book, Welcome to the Big Leagues and find your points to be spot on. There is definitely bad debt and better than bad debt, but the goal should always be to have as little debt as possible. Due diligence needs to be performed before taking on any for of debt. So the person going to college should perform an ROI on the cost of the degree to salary expectations…to avoid coming out of school with $400k in debt with the goal of being a middle school teacher. There are too many who have made this mistake. I also know people who put vacations on credit cards, negating the stress-relief of the much needed vacation. Financial illiteracy runs rampant in this country. Just ask the lottery winners who states winning was the worst thing that ever happened to them.
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  4. Hello Rachel,

    I hear all of those statements so many times when I talk to people! It is like they are trying to find an excuse to remain poor or unhealthy. If people would just realize that our goal is the HELP THEM and get them into a better health or financial condition, then they would be much better off. There is really nothing more rewarding that helping someone achieve a goal that they never thought they could reach. Thank you for sharing!
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  5. Hi Rachel,

    Those four words “I can’t afford it” is so destructive to one’s mindset. I hear it so many times from people who do have extra reserves, and can afford it. When I ask them why I come to find out that they are not willing to let go. Not only of money, but just about everything in their lives. This inner fear keeps them stagnant. Life is change and they hold on so tightly to fight that. It is a darn shame.

    But when it comes to business, this mindset can hold you back. Not that one must go into debt, but there are so many ways to raise money like you mentioned….cash in that old jewelry you never use, put things on Ebay that are not needed anymore, etc.

    There was a time long ago when I wanted to open up my own shop. I really had no funds to do so. What I did back in the day was write 2 books. Back then, I purchased a list from a list broker, sent a good copy written sales letter and made enough to open that shop I dreamed of.

    I never went to the “I can afford it mindset” but rather “How can I afford this one” And my dream came true. I do believe it all starts in our mind. There are plenty of creative ways we can raise the cash we need to go into an endeavor.

    I read this book twice, because no matter how I study finances, this worked best because it gave me the mindset to think differently.

    Thanks Rachel!

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  6. Life is so short, we should take advantage, and do not drop the case!

  7. It is so true, you can always find ways to make money to fund your dream, there are always ways to make quick money like freelancing, or even Fiverr, some people actually have said they funded their dreams through making money on Fiverr and microgig sites like that.
    Miriam Slozberg recently posted…An Overview of Self Evolution with Dr. JoAnne WhiteMy Profile

  8. This is great teaching, which is very important . ” I can’t afford it” is a mindset issue, nowadays there are even more options of how to afford what you really want to do than before, one only needs to sit and think. I have had to sell a number of items that I did not not need/use on Kijiji. Its so amazing that you how someone would be buying from you and very excited that they were looking for that very thing at a reasonable price for a while, and you also got what you needed.
    Thanks for sharing, learned a lot.
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