Your Financial Wealth

How You Think About Financial Wealth Can Change Your Life

This is straight from Gary Keller’s Book The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

Financial Myth: I Don’t Need or Want To Be Financially Wealthy – I’m Happy with What I Have.

Financial Truth: You Do Need To Want and Be Financially Wealth

You have no idea what you will need or want beyond today.  You cannot predict what life will offer down the road for good or for bad.  As hard as you may try, you can’t predict with any confidence the resources you’ll need to deal with life’s uncertainties.  Complicating everything is the fact that it takes time to grow money.  Financial wealth building is not something that can be accomplished in reaction mode.  It is really difficult to find more money just because you all of a sudden want or need it.

Becoming an investor – someone who pursues financial wealth building every day – is all about preparing for the minimums and maximums in your life: the unpredictable financial minimums you may need and the unforeseen financial maximums you may want.  If choose not to pursue financial wealth, your future more than likely will be defined by extremely limiting financial choices.  You may have to scramble to meet your changing needs or do without the things you eventually may wish for.  At a point in your life when settling for less might be devastating to you, you might have to do just that.

Great Story

Let me share with you a revealing conversation I had with one of my students on the pursuit of big financial wealth.

Student:

You know, Gary, I hear you talk about building financial wealth, and I understand the logic of what you’re saying. The problem with that is I’m not motivated by money.  I’m happy with what I have.  I really don’t need or want anything else.  Life is going great just the way it is.

Gary:

Fair enough.  I truly appreciate your honesty and respect your answer.  Now, I’d like to ask you a question. Do you have insurance?  Do you have any care, homeowner, disability, or medical insurance?

Student

Sure.  It’s the prudent thing to do.  Insurance takes care of the unplanned or unexpected, right?

Gary:

Right.  That’s exactly the way I feel too.  Things can happen that are beyond your control, and it’s good to be prepared.   My question for you, though, is this:  How can you be sure that the unexpected won’t happen in areas of your life that insurance won’t cover?

Student:

I’m not sure what you mean.

Gary:

Well, what happens if you suddenly lost your job or, worse, your ability to earn a living?

Student:

Honestly, I haven’t ever really thought about it.  I guess you just don’t expect things like that to happen.  I have no idea what I’d do in that situation.

Gary:

I understand.  But it is a real possibility, and you really should think about it.  And by the way, we’re just talking about you.  What if that sort of thing were to happen to someone you loved and that person wasn’t financially prepared?

Student:

You know, that scares me a little bit.  The thought that a friend or family member might someday need my help and that I wouldn’t be able to provide it saddens me.  If they had health issues or experienced a financial disaster, I think I might feel very bad if I were not in a position to help in a meaningful way.

Gary:

That’s actually what I’m talking about.  If something like that happened and you weren’t prepared, at the very least you might have to make incredible sacrifices in order to be of any help.  You’re giving, caring person, and I’d hate to see you in that position. But you’re not alone in this.  No one can know beyond today what he or she might or night not need in the future.  And because that’s true, doesn’t it make sense to pursue more financial wealth than you currently need if for not other reason so that financial wealth can serve as an umbrella insurance policy for your life?

I gave my student a moment to let the truth of our conversation sink in, and I honestly think it did.  Sometimes it’s hard to think in terms of future possibilities, especially unpleasant ones.  As we talked more, I also let her know that all unanticipated needs aren’t bad.  What if she had a gifted child who needed special educational opportunities? What if an unforeseen opportunity arose that required more money to take advantage of than she currently had?  I wanted to go in this direction because we hadn’t yet discussed the other side of the issue: the idea that some needs are also about seizing valuable opportunities to move forward in life and that sometimes you may want money beyond your current needs and necessities.  Here’s how the rest of the conversation went:

Gary:

Just for argument’s sake, let’s imagine that you have all the money you’ll ever need.  You also have enough to take care of the critical unforeseen needs that might arise for your friends and loved ones.  Now, if you still had an abundance of financial wealth after all those needs had been taken care of, are there other things you might do with your money?

Student:

Sure.  I guess everyone daydreams about what they’d do if they had a lot of money.  My first thought is that I’d love to take my parents on a long trip around the world.  They’ve always wanted to travel, but they’ve never quite been able to.  That would make me feel great.

Gary:

That’s awesome.  I love the idea of your traveling the globe with your folks.  Is there anything else you’d do if money were not object?

Student:

Oh, gosh, that so hard to imagine.  I guess maybe I’d help out a friend of mine.  She’s a single mom, and I know that helping her out a little would be a huge lift for her.

Gary

That’s great, but now I want you to think even beyond your family and friends.  Are there things you’d like to see happen in your community?

Student

Well, of course.  I’d go crazy with this.  I’d fix up the homeless shelter downtown.  I’d donated money to provide meals for the needy; I’d set up an after-school recreation program for kids.   And actually, we need an emergency blood bank, and I’d fund that too.  Honestly, Gary, there is so much that is needed right here in town.

Gary:

Absolutely.  I got it.  But let’s go even bigger than that for a second.  What if you had financial wealth such that even after you did all those things, your reach could extend even beyond this town?  What could you do?

Student:

Wow, that’s even tougher.  Who thinks about that?  I mean, I guess I’d do something huge like support cancer research.  Or maybe I’d want to create an organization to help fund the fight against heart disease.  I might even be able to help put a dent in world hunger.

Gary:

Now listen to yourself.  Earlier you said it felt bad to think about pursuing more money.  Now it sounds a lot like you’re imagining a very exciting life where you’re able to make a difference in the world and in the lives of people.

Student:

I’ve never really thought about it the way we’re talking today.  I guess I’ve always been afraid that money might own me.

Gary:

That’s perfectly normal.  I think a lot of people feel that way.  There’s this idea that having more money or pursuing it will change them or, even worse, corrupt them in some way and make them bad people.  However, it been my personal experience that having more money won’t change you at all.  What it will do is amplify who you already are.

Student:

That makes sense to me.  More money just makes you more of what you already are.

Gary:

Exactly.  Your hypothetical responses jus prove the point.  You’re one of the most generous souls I know.  Having more wealth would just amplify your generosity.  So tell me, how does this new view of your financial potential make you feel?

Student:

Honestly, it makes me fell inspired.

Gary:

Inspired?

Student:

Yes, inspired.  Inspired that my life could be so much bigger than I ever thought was possible.

Gary:

You know what?  You’re inspiring me too.  See, this is the kind of thinking that happens when you pursue maximums for your financial life instead of minimums.  Suddenly money can become good for the good it can do.  And the more you have, the more good you can do.

I appreciated the candidness of my student and her willingness to allow me to talk to her in this manner.  What’s fascinating is that she really did get it.  She realized that there are two types of people in the world:  First, there are those who (because they chose not to build financial wealth) have limited opportunities to care for themselves and their loved ones.  Second, there are those who (because to pursue financial wealth as an investor) have much larger opportunities to care not only for themselves and their loved ones but also for so much more. It’s the difference between a focus on the minimums life can require and a focus on the maximums life can offer.  It comes down to what kid of person you want to be and the life you want to lead.

Later, as you might expect, she and I began to talk about how to make more money.  This curiosity is the natural result of imagining how big your wants and needs might become.

You progress from seeing that it might be possible to believing that it should be, and then you realize that you are now motivated to seek financial wealth to your highest potential.

Most people are taught to live within their means, but I was taught differently and encourage you to think differently as well.  Instead of forgetting your dreams and living within your means, try pursuing the means to live your dreams.

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I couldn’t agree more with this story and would ask anyone who reads it to take a look at their own life and dreams and then open up your thinking to what could be.  It’s pretty surprising what a little planning and consistent effort over time can produce.  So whether your wealth comes from investing in real estate, by growing your business, or some other way I encourage to START NOW and always push yourself to think big because it will make your life incredibly exciting and it’s simply a lot more fun.

Learn more about Real Estate Investment by attending our seminar on Friday, March 11, 2011 at the Grace Lutheran Church in Destin, FL.  The keynote speaker will be Mr. Jim Reitzel, North America’s leading Real Estate Investment Trainer from Ontario, Canada.  The event will be FREE to the public and starts at 8:30am, ending at 3:00pm.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements for the event!
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About JohnMoran

John Moran is the Team Leader of Keller Williams Realty’s award winning At The Beach Team and a Resort Property Listing Specialist servicing the Destin / South Walton County communities. Call or text John today at 850-217-7618 for more information about real estate at the Beach or email JohnMoran@AtTheBeachTeam.com

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