Tag Archives: United States

Love Yourself, Leverage Your Money

Is there any way to protect ourselves from the financial insecurity (and drudgery) of work in today’s economy?

Studs Terkel once said that working should be “about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread”. Too often our work is disconnected from our life values and passions, leaving us disconnected from ourselves. We then try to compensate for unfulfilling work by spending our money on things to make ourselves happy. Unfortunately this work-spending cycle creates a drain on our money and life energy.

The best way to rescue ourselves from this cycle of money/life drain is to stop spending our money and start leveraging it. When we spend money the face value either stays the same or decreases. This happens when we trade our hard earned money (and life energy) for a car that depreciates as soon as we drive it off the lot. Or when we spend it on food and experiences that are consumed and no longer have value.

Leveraging allows us to increase the overall quality of our lives by using money according to our life values and priorities. When we leverage our money, we receive a bigger return than the face value of our initial investment. Purchasing a house that appreciates in value or financing education that enables you to earn more money in the future are common examples of leveraging money. But so is moving closer to work so you can walk and save gas money, or buying a large freezer so you can buy food in bulk. One often overlooked, but very useful way of leveraging money is through self-employment.

Having multiple streams of income is an important resource to protect your financial and life energy

There are many advantages to self-employment including:
wealth/asset building, tax advantages, increased autonomy and flexibility. While self-employment has always been a core component of the American Dream, some groups have historically been blocked out of these opportunities. OIC of America has launched an Entrepreneurial Mindset Initiative to increase under-represented populations preparation for and involvement in self-employment.

Self-employment need not be an either/or activity. Many people engage in self-employment on a part-time basis or use entrepreneurship as a way to phase themselves out of a current job they dislike. Having multiple streams of income can serve as an important resource to protect your financial and life energy.

Consider how you can transform your current spending practices into business that leverage your income. Do you enjoy baking and purchasing the latest cooking gadgets from Williams-Sonoma? Perhaps you can add an additional income stream baking cakes for birthday parties. Love working out? Have you ever considered teaching an exercise class or becoming a personal trainer? Enjoy helping people? Consider becoming a life coach or a life coaching consultant. Or perhaps you can grow extra vegetables/flowers in your garden to sell. The possibilities are endless.

The key is to investigate ways to turn your passions into sources of revenue. You work hard for you money, shouldn’t it also work hard for you? The best use of money is to leverage it to create security and self-sustaining wealth. Your current passions and interests are the clues to discovering your wealth potential.

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5 Symptoms of a Money/Life Drain

Can we have more money without more problems? Money is just another form of energy. The true value of money is not based on how much we have, but rather how well it supports our life purpose and values. If money were not an issue, what would you do with your time? These are the truly valuable parts of life and the presence (or absence) of money influences the extent to which we are able to enjoy these priorities. Since our money is intimately linked to other ares of our life, a money drain is also a drain of our life energy. Below are five symptoms of people experiencing a money/life drain.

There are five symptoms of money/life drain.

1. Financial burdens, debt, out of control expenses. Whether on a household, local, or national level, debt has become an American staple and many of us are crippling under the weight of our debt burden. Debt implies that we are spending money that we do not have and requires that we pay for that “privilege”. While it can be reasonable to go into debt for things that will increase in value or increase our income potential (housing, education), carrying a large debt or going into debt for things that do not appreciate undermines our financial security both now and in the future.

2. Inability to save and pressure to earn/work more. For many Americans, the immediate response to the earlier problem of debt and financial problems is to work more and make more money. Imagine that there is a hole in the bottom of a cup. You want to drink a cool glass of lemonade but as you fill the glass, the lemonade continues to pour from the bottom. Adding more lemonade to the glass without filling the leak is not going to quench your thirst. Likewise, until you address the leak in your financial system, adding more money will not relive your financial burden. As my financial coach Lynn Richardson always says “more money does NOT solve a money problem…if it did millionaires would not go broke.” Although working longer hours to earn more does not solve our financial problems, it does help to exacerbate the next symptom of money/life drain.

3. Stressed relationships. There are studies that suggest as much as 90% of all divorces are connected to conflicts about money. Again conflicts about money cut across all income levels. However, the attempt to solve money problems by working more exacerbates the strain on relationships because people have less time to spend with family and friends.

4. Increased stress and decreased health. Stress is both an emotional and a physical condition. The stress and worry that accompanies financial burdens decreases our sense of security and self-esteem. It can also produce headaches, frequent infections, muscular twitches, fatigue, skin irritations, breathlessness as well as host of chronic illnesses.

5. Financial/emotional/and spiritual depletion. Even those individuals who have accumulated all the most treasured “toys” may be haunted by the question “is this all there is?” Like energy, money is intended FOR a purpose, it is not the end value. The pursuit of money for itself can lead to a spiritual crisis both for those who get lots of it and for those who never reach their financial goals. A person’s value cannot be measured by their net worth or credit score.

More money doesn't solve a money problem.

Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of the money/life drain? If more money is not the solution to this chronic illness, then what is? Wisdom and choice are our key resources to correcting the money/life drain we are experiencing. Making wise financial choices implies making wise life choices and vice versa. This requires us to inspect every area of our lives to see how it feeds/or detracts from our life vision. True prosperity (more money without money problems) requires that we restructure our thoughts, words, and actions so that they align with our life purpose and reflect our values and priorities. We have described the symptoms of a money/life drain. The condition is deadly but the prognosis is good. You can have a complete and permanent recovery, but it requires that you take the medicine daily. Today choose life, choose health, choose abundance!