For the Love of Money — The Almighty Dollar…Doesn’t Matter
“For a small piece of paper, it carries a lot of weight. Call it lean, mean, mean green, almighty dollar”
“For the Love of Money” The O’Jays
Kenneth Gamble/Leon Huff/Anthony Jackson
A potent lyrical message written 45 years ago. The O’Jays expressed an important message the business community is wise to heed. Money in itself is not bad. It is a device, a trading instrument. If it weren’t for paper and coin currency, commerce would rely on a barter system, such as: I will trade four dairy cattle and a flock of chickens for your boat. Currency is an effective method to easily assign a value to a pending transaction.
Somewhere early on, the greed factor became inseparable to money. By no means is every successful person greedy. Be no means is a person without a bank account with a lot of zeros inferior to someone with a big bank account.
When hiring a business to develop a product campaign, complete a valuation, compile an inventory report and so on, the size of the agency may be a determining factor. There are plenty of highly skilled professionals who will accurately and effectively manage the project. Humans naturally gravitate to people who appear successful however success needn’t be measured by appearance alone. The level of experience, years of practice, areas of specialty are also forms of currency.
It is important to make decisions personally and professionally on one’s merits and not on the seller’s (or buyer’s) perceived wealth. In fact, most “rich people” are only wealthy on paper. Their liquid worth (assets in dollars or other currencies that can be exchanged for cash in less than 3 business days) is usually a fraction of total wealth. A professional who outwardly wears the badges of wealth, who leverages debt to appear more than he is, is chasing a downward spiral. People with a plan to lever debt to increase exposure or purchase equipment do so with a calculated approach, are more likely to continue their success. She does so with a plan in mind to pay off the debt before taking a loan. Therefore, taking on debt is not always a negative. “Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way”. A lengthy title, yet an excellent true story of sir Richard Branson’s rise from common UK subject to knighthood. Don’t take my word for it, www.goodreads.com rating is 3.96 out of near 1,000 reader reviews.
People financing expensive cars, suits, and other signifiers of wealth without a decisive plan are usually drinking the “cool-aid” with respect to image is all important. Image itself is certainly a key element of winning a large account however; there are plenty of ragged-y looking, very talented, and ultra-savvy professionals who understand their worth is in their work, not their appearance or the car he drives.
Be mindful of how you portray yourself. A $5,000 suit by itself is not a golden ticket to winning a contract, what you say is the biggest determining factor to your prospect. Thinking through a big purchase before swiping your credit card is a smart move. The salesperson is only doing her job, she doesn’t need to care whether you will benefit from the purchase. It may sound cold however; a seller of luxury goods is not your mother or personal financial consultant. If you are unable to or unwilling to leverage debt to buy an expensive suit or finance a luxury car, be confident your skills will set you apart. And, it may be a prudent choice. Believe in your intelligence and creativity, your greatest assets, assets that no one can take from you, unlike a car note, line of credit or bank balance depletes just as quickly as you choose to spend it.
If you believe your skills alone is not enough, a fair approach is to schedule your meeting with your prospect either over the phone or in a more casual setting. A nice café, a country club or a sporting event for example.
Borrowing money is an epidemic. Television, video and radio ads abound with agencies offering loans on any type of asset, from pay day loans, to legal settlements to auto title loans. In any of these instances, the company is only acting in their interest. The statement, “buyer be ‘ware” is essential to consider before taking on such a loan. The company is in it to make money on advancing you money already coming to you or taking on new debt on an asset you already own. If you think about it, 90% of the people using these services really don’t need it, it is just a quick fix or an impulse decision made because of a clever advertisement.
If you are in a financial bind, breathe. There is always more than one option. Too many people are in a rush to get through a challenging financial issue. It’s OK to feel anxious or upset about your situation. Money often brings out the worst in us. It is a topic people hold close to the chest, feel it is a determining factor how others perceive us. It is a truth unfortunately. For those who do choose to judge us by how much (perceived) wealth we have is a person to keep a distance from and to not turn your back on.
Greed is an illness. If you feel caught up in the wealth generating frenzy, you will likely continue to dream big without much success. If that statement upsets you, it is OK. Our society is unfortunately obsessed with material wealth. If we re-think what true wealth is, it is not cool hard cash, it is a quality circle of friends, an inspiring career, knowledge to name a few.
The good news is, there is a growing trend of responsible wealth generation. Understanding money and how it works itself does not wholly equal one’s value in the world. What we do with our days is far more valuable than seven figures in a bank account. Maybe you have a modest savings or none at all. Your true wealth is best summed up by how you impact others for the better, that is true wealth.
Across the globe, it has been a slow burn, more people using their knowledge and expertise to better the lives of others. When we help others, they in turn can help someone with lesser means. We have these “do good” actions to reflect upon, learn from and add to our resume’. Over time reputation builds to a point when the hustle to make money either becomes a non-issue because we found a higher calling or the universe brings it to us, the lifestyle we desire. If you think it’s some over the rainbow, glitter party then of course it won’t work for you.
Showing faith in your capacity to live the ideal life without the feelings about money is what makes a person genuinely successful or valuable. Once we free ourselves from “cash is the answer”, we can focus on what really matters, being of value.
Originally published at clarastellabc.com.