The latest book I’ve read is also a classic, an evergreen and a bestseller on the subject of money. I’m talking about Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I wouldn’t say it’s a must-read for everyone. He talks a lot about starting your business and I know that’s just not for everyone. However, the first three chapters are about the general relationship you have with money. I came up with a metaphor about money, that I have found so mind-blowing that I wanted to share it here.
First of all, I completely agree with Robert Kiyosaki, that it is ridiculous that we aren’t taught personal finance at school. It’s taught at home and that’s why most people end up with the same financial habits as their parents. They just don’t know better. And if you haven't been taught personal finance, you get pushed around by life. Pressured by bosses, managers, tax collectors, bill collectors, and landlords. This is because you’re dependent on some of those people.
I’ve learned a big lesson about this when I was working for one of the companies I was employed by. The company was not doing financially well and after some time they had to let go of some people. All of them had a permanent contract but that didn’t matter.
We have been taught by society it is our duty to work hard and get a degree so we can secure a good job. Find a job that gives you a permanent contract and you’re safe. In my humble opinion, the permanent contract is the biggest lie there is. It is the illusion that you’re safe and you’ll have a stable income. But no contract can ever give you the assurance that your income is safe. The only assurance that your income is safe is if you deliver massive value. The easier it is for you to switch jobs the more secure you are about your income.
Now moving on to the metaphor I was talking about earlier. I talked about the relationship you have with money. I have always found this interesting yet difficult to grasp. How do you define something that is not visible to the eye? So imagine that you know someone at work, you just don’t like. Whenever he walks into the office you’re quickly behaving as if you’re busy, so you don’t have to talk to him. Whenever you want to grab a coffee and see he is in the kitchen, you wait a little longer until he is gone.
The relationship you have with money is just like this. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you, and you will elude it. If you value someone else more than you value yourself, it will harm you. If you value a thousand dollars more than your self-esteem, it will harm you. The more we worship a thousand dollars the harder it becomes to obtain. The more we worship that pretty boy or girl, the harder we gain their attention. Treat money as any other friend and it will grow automatically. Don’t give it any attention and it will leave you because you’re distracted.
One way, I have found to give less value to money is in the way we talk. For example, do you talk about 5000 dollars or 5k? 5000 dollars sounds a lot more than 5k, doesn’t it? We can use small words like these to give it less value.
Finally, the meaning we give to our relationships with friends, define our relationship. What is the meaning you give to money? One way to find out is to complete the following sentence with 6 to 10 answers. Preferably with a digital device so you can write as fast as you think.
Money to me means…