For many people trying to create greater wealth, a lottery win would be a dream come true. There is a common point of view that if you are given a large sum of money, you will continue to generate wealth forevermore. However, the sad truth is that 70% of lottery winners lose all their money within five years. Instead of using wealth to create more wealth, most people end up squandering their money and creating poverty.
I often say that it doesn’t matter whether you have been raised in prosperity or poverty – with a healthy approach to money, anybody can create wealth. As the lottery statistics show, an abundance of money is not the answer to wealth creation. Instead, I believe, prosperity comes when you have an abundance of...
At age of 40, I was newly divorced with $2million in debt and two young sons to support. I had no understanding of how financial systems operated and no knowledge of how money could work for me. The only thing I had was my courage. So I rang every single person I owed money to and discussed with them how I could pay them back, in time. Whether you are facing awkward discussions with creditors or uncomfortable truths about your own habits and behavior, courage is one of the most important characteristics required to create wealth.
Most people like to feel in control and capable. For this reason, they might be hesitant to admit to themselves, and others, that they need help or support with their finances. But being vulnerable and opening yourself up to ask questions, learn from others and seek support is a vital component in making healthy, sustainable financial decisions. For me, having the right financial knowledge is more important to me than pride. If I don’t know something, I will openly admit it and start educating myself in that area.
My father was incredibly wealthy and I grew up observing that he never, ever said ‘no’ to himself. He always bought what he wanted, when he wanted. This had a very detrimental effect on my relationship with money and I had to learn the hard way how to be conscious of what I am spending. There have been times in my life when I have sold almost all of my possessions; there have been times when I have chosen to live with very little “stuff” in order to invest in my future. If you want to create the wealth you deserve, it is vital that you look truthfully and practically at your life and, importantly, value yourself enough to say “no” when a purchase is inappropriate.
Many people, including me, grow up completely disempowered in the area of personal finances. We are taught to be ignorant of the power of money, rely on others to take care of this area of life, or hand our wealth on to “experts” to manage. In my experience, it is naïve or misguided to think that someone else is going to be fully invested in your prosperity. Therefore, it is imperative that you take responsibility for your financial well-being. Be involved. Make the decisions yourself. Empower yourself to make the right riches for you.
A lot of people carry an energy around money that is angst, and stress and need. In this space, you will never be able to see what’s possible and create anything different for yourself. In contrast, being in a place of gratitude – for you, for the things you do have, for anything – liberates you and brings you into a space of lightness, ease and possibility.
When, at age 40, I found myself $2 million in debt, I had to draw upon these five characteristics to survive. The first thing I did was find the courage to call every single person I owed money to and explain to them, with honest vulnerability, the situation I had found myself in. I took full responsibility for my financial situation; I vowed to take whatever action was necessary to pay off my debt, and to learn more about how my money could work for me. I took a practical approach to my situation and sold everything – everything – that was non-essential in my life and used those funds to pay off the majority of my debt. I scaled back, downsized and simplified. And, in that simplicity, I learned to be grateful for the things that truly matter in life: my children, my health and, importantly, my newly discovered sense of financial empowerment.
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