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Prototype Your Way to Financial Freedom

Judgment can be the enemy of creativity. Our culture obsesses over perfect performance, optimization, and getting it right the first time. We hate to swing and miss. We loathe waste. So, we judge our ideas to the point that we narrow it down to one great idea. Then, we try it and it sucks. We’re stuck. #fail

Stuck can be a good place if you use it to imagine lots of new ways forward. Instead of chasing that one great idea, the perfect plan, you decide to shrink the risk and the fear of failure and you prototype several ideas. You try them for a bit and if they fail, oh well–nobody expects prototypes to work. But, you’ve learned something. Rinse. Revise. Repeat. You can always say, “Hey, it was only a test.”

What’s one small thing you can do today that will advance you toward your financial dreams? Without betting the farm on it, get unstuck by trying that small idea. Maybe someone actually will buy your peanut-free granola bars. Maybe the world is waiting on your delectable double layer chocolate cake. Try that yard sale that will help you get rid of one credit card payment, even though it won’t eradicate the entirety of your debt.  Write that article that, if accepted, will generate a few hundred extra dollars. See if there’s a market for that old bike in the corner, and then buy another and sell it, and then another (I paid my way through graduate school doing exactly this).

This isn’t about having financial acumen. People say that to me and they’re dead wrong. It’s about desire. We call it hustle. Get after it. Be smart. Use wisdom. Go!

Give up hopes of the perfect plan. Prototype your way to financial freedom.

Tommy Brown

Tommy Brown is a writer, speaker, and develops strategies that support financial development. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Winston-Salem, NC along with their children Seri and Seth. He served in leadership at two churches as an ordained minister from 2001-2014, leading congregations into financial wellbeing and a holistic approach to integrating faith and finances. Tommy has a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry and Masters degrees in Divinity and Management. His entrepreneurial endeavors over the years have extended into real estate development and church consulting on stewardship matters. Now, Thomas works alongside an award-winning team of storytellers at Wake Forest University, performing strategic planning and project development for initiatives that fund the university¹s $1,000,000,000 capital campaign. Thomas was instrumental in forming Wake Forest University's financial wellbeing initiative. He has a heart for seeing churches, students, and people of faith form connections between faith and finances.

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