Saturday, November 01, 2008

Money Clubs

While I don't like the name (just a personal thing), this is a great idea for anyone having problems with their finances.

In order to achieve any goal, you must first gain clarity around that goal. That means the goal must be well defined, succinctly, measurable (e.g. quantifiable), achievable, and all that other good SMART stuff. As Napoleon Hill said, "A goal is a dream with a deadline". How important are your dreams to you?

You have to create an environment conducive to achieving the goal. That means creating support structures, as we like to say at Landmark Education. In the arena of money, creating a group like this is an ideal structure for the achievement of a financial goal (or goals). While the article does not go into heavy detail, the basics are there along with pointers to specific resources.

Those who follow me on Twitter know that I have an intense workout schedule, Monday through Friday, usually starting at 10:00 AM for an hour to 90 minutes. I also hired a personal trainer through my gym, to coach me on matters that I was unfamiliar with, and generally push me harder than I am inclined to push myself. (Even better, he has taught me HOW to push myself harder - safely - so I don't absolutely have to depend on him in perpetuity for that role.) These are all parts of the support structure I have created to achieve the fitness goals I have for the rest of my life.

The final piece, and the piece that this article is suggesting and encouraging, is creating a group of like minded individuals with similar goals. With these people, you share your successes and failures, coach each other, congratulate each other, and help each other grow toward the goal. My group takes the form of an e-mail list with about 9 of my really good friends around the country. And it works. By creating this group, not only have I enhanced my overall fitness, but I have people who will hold me accountable (along with my trainer) for doing so on an ongoing basis. I learn from these guys, I let them know how close I am to my 5 clearly defined goals (which I shared with them), and I share what I have found with them so they might benefit from my experience. I think we've created a supportive environment for all, and I love that. The same can be done with your financial goals, if you really want it.

The same concept applies in personal finance. If you're not where you want to be, and you're honestly committed to achieving a goal, then you NEED to do this! Period. It is one piece of the puzzle.

My only request is that you don't lie to yourself. In order to lie to others, you have to start by lying to yourself. Now, lying is a sign of disrespect for the person in its own right. (I'm not making judgments about anyone for doing so, but just consider that by itself.) However, by lying to yourself, you are showing your disrespect for YOURSELF (just as working in a job you hate and not working to create a job you love is disrespectful to your mind, or not exercising and eating poorly is disrespectful to your body). If you won't show yourself the respect of honesty -- no matter how bad it "looks" or "feels" to do so -- then no one else will, and rightfully so. You aren't deserving of respect from others beyond basic human respect for your existence.

The final consideration is that lying to yourself typically leads to wasting your time. There is no resource on this planet of more value than your time. EVERYONE gets the same 24 hours in a day, and what you create with that time is your choice. However, lying to yourself, for any and all reasons, will lead you down the path of pursuing activities that waste your time. Treasure your time, because it is the one resource you can NEVER get back.

So, on that note, go create your support structures. Start with a "money club". Please!? What's the worst that could happen?

NOTE: Whatever the voice in your head is saying in response to that question, I call BULLSHIT! Most bad things only happen in our minds, and we spend our lives avoiding theoretical bad shit. Go get a real world problem which exists in physical time and space, THEN we can talk.

I can't wait to hear about more of these popping up all over. Its so very overdue.

Okie, I go to sleep now. G'night all, and until next time...

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