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Many of you don’t know we’ve been working on a special project for men called Wired to Wealth. It actually started out to be in an area of life I don’t at all profess to be an expert – “wealth creation.”
When asked to develop such a program for men, I at first thought my partners wanted something about “how to be a millionaire” through any of a number of popular markets for goods and services, or perhaps an accounting expert style step-by-step course in the specific mechanics of some profit-generating marketing model.
In short, I said no. My area is psychology models and new ways of literally envisioning behavior through visual media, diagrams, maps, diagrams and video. However, after saying no, I thought a lot about the subject. All the programs out there on how a man can get a toe-hold on financial advantage always seemed to me to be of two “camps.”
The first was of the “how-to” type in a specific area I don’t know any specifics about – for example, real estate, or stock trading, or running advertisements. And that sure isn’t for me – it doesn’t interest, educate or excite me all that much, those most “lucrative areas.” I like the mind and its workings – for me, the most exciting thing that can be studied.
All Careers Are Creative Careers
Chances are that you are in a creative career, or you wouldn’t be here looking at new ideas in psychology for your personal and financial growth. And if you aren’t in a creative career, you ought to be, even if that means that you steer your organized, analytical career in a new, innovative direction.
The second “camp” was the far more annoying one – where motivational people say motivational things, and it’s a kind of rah-rah financial cheerleading. “Envisioning” money dropping into your lap without any work at all – or perhaps a very short “work week” is involved. The wishful thinking concept that if you can only be POSITIVE enough, or believe in magic (and NOT hard work) enough, and “pray hard enough to the universe,” money would somehow “just find you.”
And yet it is so true that in building a life, what men MUST face is that at the end of the day it’s not good enough just to “do work” or “go to work.” As we say in the Mature Masculine Power Program, “to find your mission as a man.” The mission you find for your life DOES need to pay you back at the very LEAST to the degree of the amount of work you put into it.
In other words, there needs to be REAL VALUE coming back to you for the psychological resources that you put into it.
The MMP helps you find only the RIGHT career activity, and one perfectly suited to you, but it doesn’t show you a “nuts and bolts” way of making that wildly profitable.
Some people don’t need or want all that much money. They want to be doing what they know they were meant to do, and it is in fact highly likely that they will prosper as a result. At least they absolutely will not “get in their own way.”
Still, in that same MMP program we lay out how it is that a man’s identity – and masculinity itself – is rooted in just two things:
■ How you do with women
■ How you do in career work
If this is true, and if in that same program we discover how one of the ways a man can actually measure his progress in the area – and in himself in general – is to QUANTIFY success relative to other men, and the most efficient, effective and accurate way to do that is through the dollar amount you make per day, month and year frankly.
It’s a hard lesson to learn, and we’d all wish it to be some other way – something that finds us valued as people for “what we have on the inside,” or something about how worthy of love we are, how many friends we have, and all the spirit of the film, It’s a Wonderful Life. “No man is a failure who has friends” is the moral of the film. And while these things are very true, we also know that it feels great as a man to have the kind of income that literally buys you the other things that make a man – the FREEDOM to travel and have adventures, the resources to protect what’s yours and expand your territory as a man, the funds to afford to support a large family if you so choose, and even to provide an education, nutrition, comforts of housing and health for a next generation we create if possible. And hopefully with a woman who appreciates and honors how hard we work to afford those benefits and security as men and leaders of families.
The saying I once heard about value, and as we are about to see – wealth itself – is about as candid and honest and dead accurate logic as I’ve ever heard from a mentor: “You’re worth what people pay for you.”
Income Versus Assets
I didn’t feel worth very much while making $4/hour as a medical intern. That’s right – I had taken the number of dollars I was paid monthly, after taxes, and divided it by the actual number of hours I had actually put in at the hospital, leaving me an indisputable number I was staring at on my calculator.
It was the middle of the night, and I was still at work. For a resident doctor, it’s a seven-day work-week, and I caught myself thinking about that and projecting it out to the future. Depending what specialty one chooses, it really does mean the possibility that one will never officially have a “weekend” again. Literally – ask an on-call OB-GYN or surgeon. There would never be another “end” to my “week” – life as one massive, ever-extending “week” of upwards of 29000 total days (that’s actually our whole average lifespan in days if you live to 80 ripe years.) Ending only in death.
Needless to say that with those kinds of calculations of my value, my worth, my “wealth” and my life, there wasn’t much to look forward to. Kind of … depressing…
…and a slap to the face…
…given that I’d never been given any advantage in the first place. My parents had no money, got divorced, gave me no support in the years getting started, and I’d had to scrape by on a diet of ramen noodles that some of you, I’m sure have enjoyed subsisting on at one point or another. And I mean “enjoyed” – they’re tasty, and I still indulge in them, voluntarily now.
Ramen aside, maybe you know what I’m talking about regarding your wages, your life, and your future, even if you haven’t calculated those numbers for yourself. Maybe you’re in debt, and you get this “feeling” about that instead of actually crunching numbers. Or maybe you have had a number of years pass in the absolute WRONG job for you, and it makes you sick to your stomach where all the time went.
They always told us that getting a good education in a professional career was a sure way to success and financial stability. Boy did that seem a lie then. As I looked around at lawyer friends that didn’t seem to be much different for them either. So many people chasing after what everyone else is chasing after, thinking that if everyone else is doing it, it must mean security and success for us too.
It made me start to stagger, wondering if I could have been wrong to believe that “hard work equals sure success.”
I secretly became jealous of my “creative” friends in the arts – the ones who took acting or music and got all the girls, or the graphic designers and computer programmers who seemed to get hired into great jobs right out of school and were already buying houses. And didn’t appear to be working so hard for that.
It would be a number of years until I ran into the actors working tables at the nice restaurants in Los Angeles, or hired the musicians (whom had taken up videography, and shooting weddings) to man the camera at some of my early video programs. Or the programmers let go in favor of project-based call centers in India or the Phillipines. (A few of them really did make it big, but were working the kind of hours I was doing in order to reach that.)
It was an “A-ha.” Yes, working hard is an absolute, crucial MUST-DO, but not WITHOUT creativity and a plan – creative careers being the best, but doomed to fail without the work ethic and the organization.
It took me back to the one book I’d managed to get through other than my coursework while a resident doctor – Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
In there, he said something utterly angering to me, and utterly fascinating – that “income are not assets,” and that only assets lead to wealth. I had been working on a career training that leads only to a potentially big INCOME. But when I looked at his list of all the “assets” one may gather over the lifetime – stocks, real estate, bonds, gold, rare art – I was saddened to see that I had no possibility anytime soon, of having ANY of them.
Except for the very last one. It gave me hope.
I didn’t have that either… yet.
But I did have a brain. And I figured that with that brain, I could manufacture a whole lot of value in this area called “assets.”
I got to work, IMMEDIATELY, and I really mean that. I started writing in the middle of the night, on-call, in between emergencies.
It would be years later that I would learn that in a special way that our minds work, it’s true in the end that ALL assets are actually “intellectual property.” That it is ONLY the workings of your mind and what it produces that lead to DURABLE assets (of all the other kind too) and therefore DURABLE wealth.