Understanding money to understand life
We're all in business to make money, right? But you should spend some time thinking how you feel about money. Are you blocking it or is it free flowing towards you?
What is your relationship with money? Does this sound like a daft question?
Many feelings about money are hard wired into our brains. How often as a child were you told "Don't be greedy" or “Money is the root of all evil”?
When you have it, do you simply spend it? Having money is a responsibility and some people can't cope with that. Their comfort zone is to be always needing and struggling rather than comfortable with a safety net of finances.
They say we earn the average of the five people we associate most with. Are you frightened that if you have money people will disapprove? That you will change?
All money does is magnify the person you are, so if you are innately bad then money will magnify this, but if you are innately good then you’ll do good. It's not about the money - do not love money - love what it can do. It can build hospitals and schools, there is nothing evil in building a hospital. Money is a servant and will serve good or evil. When you have it, you get to choose how it will serve you.
Let's talk about making money. Ask yourself, whatever your business or profession: are you adding value and therefore earning more money?
Markets exchange money for value so what value are you bringing? Markets do not make moral judgements, markets are just weighing machines, weighing up the value of what you bring and paying you accordingly.
There are two different kinds of value:
If you believe in a creator then you will say we are all created equally and indeed we are, but it doesn't stay that way for long. There is a difference between human value and economic value. Let me explain and please bear with me. Two generations ago it was all about education - the working classes became socially mobile through education. People gained qualifications from universities and the daughters and sons of mill workers moved away and became doctors and lawyers, accountants and teachers. Now there are so many people with degrees that its value has gone down. There are about 19 graduates for every graduate job.
I get paid because I make myself valuable to the market. I'm building a business at the moment in the UK, the UAE and Kenya, so me and my team are adding value and because of the training and support they are also becoming more valuable to the marketplace and therefore earning more. It doesn't mean I'm more valuable in human terms, just more valuable in terms of what I'm putting into the marketplace.
3 things we need money for
Money for Living - needs; mortgage/rent, food, clothing, warmth
Money for lifestyle
Money for life
I want to look at the latter two, as we all know about the first one.
1. Lifestyle money - What do you want to have/do/become? Expand your thinking from money for needs to money for lifestyle. How you would like your life to look? This is a level above money for needs, number 1.
2. Money for life. What do I mean by that? It's the money that works for you, building up investments to keep you and your family secure. It builds a financial wall around your family. For instance, when I did a show at ExCel last year I met guys from a company called Enertor, who are now crowd funding and I’ve been able to invest in this. The money I’ve put in is at risk, but I like their product and have a good feeling about them, so the money I’ve invested may pay me further down the line. This is money in the 3rd category. Within this category only use money you can afford to lose.
Psychologist Dr Tom Barrett defined 6 ‘realities’ about money:
1. Most people have been taught how to work for money, they’ve not been taught how money works.
2. Most people make just enough money to qualify to get into debt, they don’t make enough money to get out of debt or avoid it completely.
3. You are not ‘well off’ until you can take time off and still live well.
4. Being around money is not the same thing as having money.
5. Most people prepare for retirement with a little bit of planning, a fair amount of hope and a great deal of denial.
6. Income producing assets are the key to financial freedom.
Most people fall within the 'reality' statement. They earn enough money to be able to get a loan, but carry on living with loans and debt and never really get out of it. In fact many people get deeper into debt as their salaries grow
Where are you? Where would you like to be? Are you willing to do what it takes to change your circumstances?
So money is simply a commodity, something we exchange to get other stuff, in fact money is a bit like oxygen - we need enough, and when we have enough we can do some good with the rest. So what should you do if you have a bit of extra money? Save? Yes, this is a great idea but If you have credit card debt start paying it off, starting with the highest interest cards. It might feel great to have a bit of money in a savings account but the reality is, the interest you will get is negligible. If you have credit card debt you will be paying far more in interest on your debt than you will get on your savings, so clear your debt first. Trust me, when you start paying off more than just the interest, you will feel great and you'll want to pay off more. It may even help you to tighten the belt a little and think about what you don't need. After all, it's just 'stuff' and we really don't need it. If you feel you are blocked and stuck in a lack of money trap read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki