Some of my friends know that I own a shop talking about wealth and finances. If you are on my Facebook or Google Plus (Like or + me btw! –>) or visited this blog, you would know about this.
However, on a personal level, I don’t share that as a co-worker or a friend. Why is that so?
I am not a preacher and nagger
One of the main reason is that after being nagged at by my parents to do so many different things in life, I really don’t like the idea of forcing people to accept something good, no matter how good that is.
I hate being seen as a hard core evangelist that during my primary and secondary school days, I encounter numerous waiting outside my school telling me I have to convert to Christianity if not I will go to hell.
Most of the time forcing it down people’s throat, it is likely they will conjure the strongest Stone Wall spell from their spell book to block you out.
People don’t like to talk about money
While we can lament about not making enough, bitch about how bad our increment is, the inflation rate and the nasty government, no one wants to talk about their actual financial situation.
They also don’t like others to know how bad or good their financial situation is. That is why I don’t usually trust the stats when they say the indebtness of Singaporean’s is like this. I fear the figure is much larger.
It is almost like a taboo topic. Don’t ask me why.
One of the main reasons of not talking deeply about it is because I know this.
People know its good. It doesn’t mean they accept it
We all know that you should eat your vegetables. Smoking is bad for health. You shouldn’t drink too much soft drinks.
We should save more money and spend less.
Yet we won’t be receptive to it.
Its no point telling people about it again. They won’t accept it.
Until they are ready for it. Until they are willing to make a pact with themselves that they really want to do this.
When are they ready for it?
When its from someone they looked up to
People connect better to folks they respect. In Andrew Hallam’s Millionaire Teacher, he has a fellow mechanic everyone revered to for his acumen with money.
In life, you hope that you encounter someone like that to guide you early in your life.
Remember, everything compounds. Meet someone that set your career and wealth straight early on and you reap the benefits throughout your active working life.
If you meet that someone late, then you probably have to spend much effort righting the wrongs.
When they have hit rock bottom
People usually accept things when they have no other way.
I always tell folks I wouldn’t be so strict on my diet had my Psoriasis isn’t this bad.
Similarly, there are many friends saying they want to lose weight, they want to party less, spend less money.
All those are just noise. People usually make a pact with themselves only when
- Their loved one leave them because they cannot cut their partying ways
- When their medical report shows they are greatly obese, with high cholesterol or hypertension
- When they have a mountain of debt
That is when you tell yourself to be really serious about this.
What does it mean by making a pact with yourself ?
This means that you totally buy into the idea that only you can stop this rot and put yourself in a better financial situation.
By that it means that you have elevate the priority of wealth building and management in your immediate goals.
And your actions should show that
- You start reading up on it
- You start asking about this from your friends you know that are better at this than you
- You start experimenting and taking notes
- When what you do fail, you take notes why you fail and tweak it
- You create an environment where wealth is the priority or high in the priority. You avoid places where you will spend too much. You tell your spouse and family you want to do this
Studies have shown that those people that have the greatest success quitting smoking, reducing their weight did 2 things
- They make a decision to do it
- They take notes and monitor their progress
How My 2 friends did it
I have 2 friends that I have known for a few years. They are around my age. I don’t talk to them about money stuff. They know I blog about it.
Its just that. Money is not something we pry a lot.
One of them decided that they have to figure out his financial situation, so he engage a friend who is a financial planner.
I don’t agree with the direction this is going but I am happy. At least it is one step forward!
The thing that I admire about this friend is that he will buy into what he is interested in 100%.
This friend buys into what he wants this to work so much that he designs his life around it.
Prior to this, he had a hard time controlling his weight, even after regular 5km runs. So he decided to read up and found that there is this no carb diet that looks to be useful.
To execute this no carb diet, requires him to buy into it, redesign his life around it
- No grains, cakes and bread
- Only vegetables and meat for all meals
- No fried stuff
That is a difficult thing to do consider he is working.
When people see such a limitation, they don’t embrace it, they will give all sorts of excuse, but the truly successful ones designs their life around it instead of saying “Wah! how can this be workable? I cannot live without my rice!”
He succeeded and now is in the best shape of his life.
So he will read up and figure out about budgeting and investing. Because he bought in, he is willing to track his spending so that he can visualize his spending pattern.
To a lot of folks, including my best friend, they find it so hard to do this tracking.
Well, it is a matter of how much you want it.
I actually brought up the topic of personal finance with a family issue my friend is having. That triggered him to realize that in order to make sense of the family issue, he has to get educated himself.
The good thing is like the other guy, he is very receptive to buying or borrowing a book by Andrew Hallam titled Millionaire Teacher.
Borrowing the book is one thing, making a point to read and finish it is another.
My friend is studying for his certification exam.
He is able to schedule his time to prioritize his certification exam study and any free time goes to reading this book.
That is a person wanting this enough in life.
Like my other friend, he also learnt to track his spending and practice envelope budgeting. The next step will be restructuring his various endowments and unit trust.
No one say it is going to be easy
Changing mindset, executing it, is suppose to be hard. Its not easy for my friends to break their old system habits, and cultivate new ones.
The winners will test, and if it doesn’t work tweak it. Until they arrive closer to the goal.
The losers give excuses.
If you work on something hard, and get some where further, that sense of fulfilment and ability you build up to overcome it will resonate to building and breaking other habits and goals.
No spoon feeding on my end
Until then, I am not going to waste your time or my time.
If you really want to manage the situation better, you would have read most of the articles here, or the links that I provide both here and on Facebook and Google+.
If you really want to improve, go read Andrew Hallam’s The Millionaire Teacher as a first cut.
I don’t want to see half hearted attempts to improve when you are just deceiving yourself and taking others for a ride.
And this goes for other goals in life
- Weight issues
- Improving family relationship
- Managing health issues
But I can guarantee you, once you set down this path, your situation will be a lot better than how it used to be.
I probably didn’t ask both my friends but they probably would prefer that we had this sharing 6-7 years earlier.
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