Do you value money and is creating wealth important to you?
If I asked 100 people, in any room, do they want to be financially free, more than 95% would raise their hand. If I followed this question with ‘How many of you are financially free or have a plan to be wealthy?’ only 5 or 6 hands would stay up.
Why is this? We all want to be financially free, we all want to be secure, to have money to ‘do all the things we have dreamt about.’ So, why do only about 5% of us achieve this?
It all comes down to Values. Values Dictate our success, failure and how we live. In fact, what we value can be seen in the way we live.
What are Values?
Everyone has a set of values or priorities that guide us through life. The top 3 to 5 of these values underlie every decision we make whether we know our values or not. One of the fastest ways to discover what you value most is to ‘follow the money trail!’
What does this mean? The clues to your top values are in what you spend your money on. Yes, of course there are essentials that we all ‘have to’ pay for. Things like rent, electricity, food! But look deeper than that.
The Money Trail
What ‘things’ do you always find money for? Is it your gym membership; make-up; things for the kids; education; investments; child sponsorship; or your ‘habits’ such as smoking; drinking; eating out etc. Perhaps, for you, it is essential to save money every payday. Or it may be that you cannot bear to ‘owe’ money, so your priority is to pay bills first. Some people ‘must’ have the latest phone, the newest car model, the best computer – there is a ‘value’ underlying these decisions. Their friends might not even own or want to own these things, and wonder ‘what’s all the fuss about.’ When you get paid, where do the $$$ go first? What happens to any ‘windfalls?’ Do you save, invest, or spend any extra dollars that you get?
Saving or Spending Mentality
Is your relationship with money a spending or savings one? 90% of people who would love to be financially successful but have no plan in place to achieve that goal, have a ‘spending’ mentality and money/wealth/financial success is not one of their 4 top values. There is nothing wrong with this. All it means is that the person places higher value on something else. It may be many things: health; family; education; security; physical assets; philanthropy or even ‘keeping up with the Kardashians!’ It is not wrong. It is simply harder to reach a goal when your values undermine your target.
Choices & Money
You do not have to have a high value on $$ or financial success. In fact, even the wealthiest people in the world may not have a high value on financial success. Frequently, what drives the wealthiest people is the complete opposite. They want to ‘gift’ and help others. The largest donations to help others come from the wealthy. Their highest priority may be to: ‘leave a legacy; vaccinate kids in Africa; build a University; fund a project, etc. Their motivation may be different but underlying it is the need to have unlimited funds in order to achieve their goal. Being financially independent gives you choices. Making money is not the priority, but without wealth, the Goal cannot be achieved. The majority of people don’t care for money, they want to have choices in how, where, why they live. The choice to achieve your Purpose, which means ‘linking’ making money or accumulating wealth to this Goal is essential.
What is Money?
Money is simply a currency of trade. It is a reward that is exchanged for service given. The value of the exchange is determined by each party. In the early days, if I had wheat and you had milk, we would exchange a ‘determined’ amount of each to exchange. Win/win for us both. This is still how currency works today. I have something you want, and vice versa, in this example, one of us has $$. We agree on a price and exchange. Each party determines what they are willing to ‘supply’ or ‘pay.’ Money is given in exchange for a service or product. The more service you give, the greater amounts of currency you will receive.
We do not, or should not, pay more than we believe a service or product is worth to us. But we do. This is where our values come into play.
We will always pay for the things we value most. The ‘currency’ may be money; time; attention; or something else. Money is the most obvious. But sometimes you haggle, other times not. Why? It depends on how much you want the item; the price asked; the person selling; your mood; the bargain?
Think about the last time you went to buy something…. Think about your thoughts:
Inside your head, a thousand memories of previous transactions are triggered and running through your computer and are filtered through your values system. Every similar circumstance, what did you do, who, why, what… etc. If you tend to ask for a discount, you will do this even if the price is a huge bargain.
Your Values Change
Values are not set in stone. They can change, and do, when life happens. How often have you heard about that guy who was a workaholic until he had a health scare? Or a smoker who suddenly gave up smoking when they became a parent! Values change. You can change them. What is most important is – if you have a goal, you must ensure it is aligned with your top 3 to 4 values or you will procrastinate, avoid and sabotage your results. The goal will be very difficult to achieve.
If you would like to know more about Values and how every decision you make is driven by this set of priorities please give us a call.