Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wall Street Wednesday - Thinking Like a Millionaire

About eight years ago, we were in a pretty sweet position financially. It wasn't that we had "great" income, for by many American's standards, we were pretty close to the bottom of the pile. That sweet position was that we were debt-free. We were in a time of transition, having lost a loved one,and we made some very poor choices. Had we listened to the words of  a dear friend of great means, we would have avoided that trap at all costs.

It took years to extricate ourselves from the web of debt, and to come to the realization that getting out of debt is just the first leg of an exciting journey to financial freedom. After a full year of being debt-free except for the house, I am just now getting used to the fact that I have a little bit of spending money, which still  sometimes  sits for a very long time while I mull over spending on this or that.

Resorting to indebtedness kills resourcefulness, creativity, and your capacity for generosity. It chokes out belief in change, and stalls progress in personal growth. Deleting debt has the opposite effect, for it instills self-confidence and anticipation of the future. 

I've developed a loathing for the wildly popular mindset of creating piles of cash to throw at your debt by going in debt. This is at best confusing, or as the Chinese say, going south while heading north! How many individuals with weak resolve have fallen prey to "business" debt because they equated it with emulating some millionaire! No, hard work is what makes these people, and hard work is what you will hear them talk about most. Also, if they had debt starting off, they now avoid it like the plague. (Ask!)

I once made the mistake of going in debt to start a direct sales business, without an a clear picture and plan of just what work I ought to do to "foot the bill." That cost me years of self-doubt and guilt, which actually slowed me down from moving forward in the business. Toward the end of my involvement in that business, I read an inspiring story of a top leader in that company who started off selling tamales, and scraping together investment money week-by-week, and building with "real" money. That's a financial hero to me, and someone I am certain who has rock solid confidence.

If you are struggling with a large amount of debt, don't give up! I don't pretend to be a financial expert, but have learned the benefit of handling personal finance expertly. I don't even take credit for steering our financial ship, but I held the rigging like a sturdy sailor and rowed like mad right along with our boats' "captain." When you daydream about what you would do if only you had $$$, change it to your dream life vision of what you GOING to do on the other side of your debt ocean. Hang onto that picture when you are discouraged. 

When you are done daydreaming, go over to for the step-by-step process of getting out of debt.

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