Monday, March 30, 2009

Money Monday: March 30, 2009

As we steam ahead into the second quarter, I’m settling in for a long look at the overall Goals and Objectives.

I think I’ve set the old bar a bit too low, you know?

I could be making a lot more money, but then this combination of laziness and fear of success sets in and I just kind of let it go.

The laziness I understand …shoot, everybody gets tired from time to time…but honestly my fear of actually becoming wealthy kind of stumps me.

I have no problem with wealth for others. Somebody wants to work hard and save mightily and invest wisely and become Wealthy…shoot! Good on ‘em, you know? Well done, round of applause!

And yet when I look back through the last ten years, there have been so many occasions on which we could have made that leap, gone from ‘struggling middle class’ to ‘upper middle’ or possibly even (dare I say it?) outright wealthy…and I just let it go.

I think it’s the responsibility that worries me. Shoot, I can barely handle the responsibilities I have now – when I think about the possibility of, say, having employees, I get nervous.

I know that the more prosperous I become, the more other people will start depending on that prosperity. And because I have this weird thing about taking care of the people who depend on me, it kind of frightens me to even think about it.

It’s OK for me to fail personally, as long as only I take the fall.

The idea of having, say, three employees, and maybe a couple families renting houses I own, and some charities relying on my regular contributions…and then I screw up and they all suffer?

It’s enough to make me feel absolutely sick.

And right now, with people suffering so much all around me, the foreclosures and the joblessness and the hopelessness and the general malaise infecting everybody…it almost feels a little obscene to be thinking about wealth-building.

When so many are barely surviving, I feel oddly guilty for wanting more than barest survival…for wanting to not merely survive, but to thrive.

Which leads me to an article I read last week, which gave me a much-needed kick in the pants. Compassionate Selfishness is a brilliant piece by Sonia Simone, and you really should read it…but in a nutshell, she reminded me that no one benefits if I fail.

And nobody fails because I succeed.

Quite the opposite, actually.

Furthermore, however tempting it may be to sit back and say, “Oh well, the economy is bad, guess I might as well give up!”, well.

That’s no way to outrun a bear. Choosing not to try at all, or to take half-hearted stabs at it and then throwing up my hands and saying, “Oh well, not to be, bad economy you know!” is choosing to fail.

It’s choosing to say oh well, I can’t help anybody, seeing as how I’m barely able to survive myself.

Not acceptable, at least not to me.

So I need to set that bar a little higher, work a little harder, and most of all smarter. Quit whining and start shoveling, if you will.

There’s a world of possibilities out there, I know there is. I just need to stake my claim on a few of them.

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