As I develop more into an adult and since I started working as a REALTOR, I have noticed a few things about myself and the people around me. The way you think about money matters. As I have taken BOLD, a class developed by Dianna Kokoszka and Keller Williams, they talk a lot about mindset especially around money. There are two main things I took away from the program about this topic. First, “Money is good for the good it can do”, and “Money doesn’t change people, it amplifies who they already are”.
As I remind myself about these two lightbulb moments and look at what I want to do as my real estate career ramps up. I come to realize that I still have a lot of work I am doing on my mindset around money. Not that I am a bad person or I wish malice on anyone, more so about being comfortable with the understanding that I “deserve” the money I am making. And that since I am making more money now than I ever have in my life, I somehow do not know what to do with it. It comes down to upbringing partly and partly about who the people are you surround yourself with. Let me explain:
I was raised by very loving parents. They always provided for us; we never went hungry, we always had birthday presents and Christmas presents, we went on vacations, etc. We lived a good life, and I am thankful for it. I also learned as I grew up that we put things on credit cards and paid minimum payments and we grew into a life of indebtedness. And I carried the same habits: you make money, you spend money. Pretty much a 1:1 or 1:1.5 ratio (Money In: Money Out). Like many middle-class families, we were slaves to debt holders. Saving was not something we did regularly or well. And that carried over into my life. Why do I tell you this? Because where we come from says a lot about our habits and mindset. I was raised a spender and not a saver.
Let us jump right back into the story. How does money and mindset correlate? Because if you have a poor mindset around money you will always be a slave to it, if you have a rich mindset around money, you came money your slave to multiply and grow.
“Money is good for the good it can do”
Remember this, burn it into your memory. That is what I have had to do. Let us digress for a moment, what is money? Money is a tool, not an idol. Money is a slave, not a slave driver. We exchange time for it, we stress about it, and we make potentially unethical decisions because of it. I see money now very differently than I use two just a short while ago.
Coming from a background of spenders, my first notion is to spend it. Save little spend a lot. As I pause, I think more about what that has done for me in the past. Not much, frivolously spending money on trinkets and good. None of which is an investment in the future, and that is where my mindset changed. I look more at investing my money, in myself, my family, my church, and my business. It is not the most exciting thing to do, and it is the right thing to do.
“Money is the most willing slave you will find, put it to work and it will gladly multiply itself for you”
-Richest Man of Babylon
When I read that, I had a massive shift in mindset around money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer because of this one, singular concept. The rich invest, the poor spend. Of course, it is only a great concept until you have the discipline to implement it in practice. Which I am now. The earlier you invest the greater your return will be down the road. Money provides opportunity.
“Money doesn’t change people, it amplifies who they already are”
Think about that for a moment, think long and hard about who you know that has money. How do they act? Now, do the same thing for people you regardless of income. What do you think it would change for them? This leads me into what I have experienced.
As I grow, learn, and read. I learn that money provides opportunity. The more I make, the more I can do for myself, my family, my friends, my church, my community, and allows me to build a business that allows me to provide opportunities for others around me. My biggest motivator is being able to do more for others and provide opportunities for others to be more, do more, and have more. It comes down to one question; Are you a giver or are you a taker? Reflect on that for a moment. Which are you?
As I learn more about myself and as I grow my business and in turn my income, I know that I am an influencer and in turn can be influenced myself. And I must be vigilant in surrounding myself with healthy influencers around this topic. People that live in abundance and not scarcity around money. Those are the givers, the influencers, and the opportunists; they love people and they love life. I choose to do good with what I am given and I choose to live an abundant life. That is why I write, that is why I work so hard, that is why I am who I am.
If you get anything out of this please share what I do with people you care about and subscribe to my blog. I plan on being more purposeful about writing now that some turmoil is smoothing out. And I plan to fill you in on what that turmoil was/is in the coming weeks.
–Michael, Just Michael