I make a lot of mistakes.

When I started my own practice, someone told me to set aside 15-20% of my net profits for taxes, and to send them in quarterly. I should have looked into this on my own. Not doing this was a mistake.

It turns out, the number is closer to 20-25% of my gross, and this cost me. I owed, what is to me, a significant chunk of taxes for last year, and I owe a whole bunch more for next year, due in January. It’s been a lot of money flowing out of my account and into the pockets of the IRS.

More mistakes.

Since then, I have been setting aside a significant amount of money, but I don’t think it is going to be enough to catch it all up in January. I’ll have to get on a payment plan, and that will cost me in interest and penalties.

Mistakes abound, but I really see these as part of the learning curve. I’ve haven’t been interested in business and money type stuff until now, so I am still sorting things out.

Out of all of this, the real mistake I made was letting it push me out of gratitude and into fear.

I let it settle into my mind, and affect my outlook. I let it get into my head and the world started to seem pretty dark and ominous.

Perspective is crucial, and I let mine get away from me. Things in my life are really cool, but this one issue, and the self-criticism and self-blame that came along with it slowly pushed me to seeing things differently. I felt overwhelmed and stupid. I believed this was crippling, that I might not be cut out to run a business, and that I had an oppressive weight over me that I would not be able to escape.

One part of one thing in my life began to become the whole.

The reality is this: everything is on the upswing for me, and it has been for 15 years now. We pay our bills every single month, and have some left over to save. My wife is driving a new car that we pay extra on every single month. We pay for Max’s daycare and go to doctor when we need to and eat at a restaurant every so often.

I just moved into new offices, with a lot more space and a skylight and a giant window (I’m pretty much P. Diddy). I have a hard time finding space for all of my clients each week, and I have a consistent referral base. We bought Tyler new clothes recently, and Barbara picks up a few things each month to build a good teaching wardrobe (when she was coaching she got to dress like a hungover college student every day).

I have kids I actually like and a wife I look forward to seeing every day and a career I love and a life no one in their right mind who knew me when I was younger would expect me to have. We aren’t just meeting our needs. We are investing in and building a better future for ourselves and our children and other people.

Fear managed to slowly erode all of this, until I woke up and realized the impact it was having.

I got pinned down into a restricted perspective and let my focus settle onto one thing. Tony Robbins (I don’t care what people think of him, I like him) says that people drastically overestimate what they can do in a year, but drastically underestimate what they can do in a decade. I lost sight of the decade perspective and it ate me up.

Gratitude kills fear, it kills resentment and it keeps our perspective where it needs to be.

We’ve looked at this in regard to the things that go right each day, but tomorrow we’ll look at it in a months/years/decades perspective.

Have a great day.