So let’s get right to it: Why is it that we live in one of the richest countries in the world yet so many of us seem to have some level of fear around money?
Most of us, including me, have experienced one or more of these thoughts in our lifetime, thoughts I refer to as “scarcity” thinking:
What if I lose my job?
What if I get sick and can’t work?
What if the car breaks down?
What if my house burns to the ground?
What if the stock market falls apart and my retirement funds are cut in half?
What if I have some health crisis in my later years?
What if I live too long and run out of money?
Now that I’ve accumulated all of this money, what if I lose it? (I hear this all the time from clients who have sold a business, or retired and now have access to all their retirement funds. Seeing all that money in one place at one time can bring up some fear, no doubt about it.)
The good news here is I’ve been working with clients for over 35 years now and I can tell you from my experience almost nothing we worry about ever happens. That’s the truth.
Do you want to hear another truth? Did you know that according to the Global Rich List, a website that brings awareness to worldwide income disparities, an income of $32,400 a year puts you in the top 1% of income earners in the world? Now that’s pretty mind boggling, don’t you think? How does it feel to realize you are one of the richest people on the planet?
But most of us don’t feel rich. And some of us don’t want to be rich because somewhere in our past we picked up some message that rich people are not nice people, which is NOT a truth. Throughout my career I have worked with people of modest means all the way up to multi-multi-millionaires and some of the nicest people I’ve ever met also happen to have money, although with some of them you’d never know it. If you don’t believe me, read the book The Millionaire Next Door. It was written many years ago but it’s still relevant today.
If we started thinking we were rich on a daily basis, we’d have far less fear around money. That’s one thing that differentiates the rich from those that think they are not rich: they rarely, if at all, worry about money, and it’s not because they have it.
The truth is rich people think differently than people who don’t consider themselves rich. They expect to always have money. They are confident they can always earn income if they want to. Most live conservatively (again, read The Millionaire Next Door) and they use debt wisely.
I want to challenge you today to start feeling rich. Write down all the things you have that most people in the world don’t: your cable subscription, your cellphones, WiFi, your car(s), a beautiful home to live in, access to healthy food and water, world class healthcare and education, and the opportunity to be anything you want to be in this lifetime.
Years ago I started doing work around feeling more abundant. When you are starting a business and money is tight it’s easy to fall into scarcity thinking, but in reality, there has never been a scarce money moment in my lifetime.
Fear is not the enemy here. It’s our thoughts. Our perceptions. Our worldview.
We are abundantly wealthy in this country so set aside your fears, take advantage of the opportunities afforded to us here, and as my late, wise friend Dick Wagner, CFP®, used to say: “Spend less, save more, and don’t do anything stupid.”
I’m always here if you’re afraid you might be about to do something stupid. Just call. 😉
And if you’re not feeling rich, I can help with that too. As some really smart past-president once said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. And fear comes from our thoughts.
So today, set aside all fear and think rich thoughts, because you truly are one of the richest people on the planet.