When it comes to financial freedom and mental development I'm really passionate, but just like anything else, I'm sure some others don't always view that passion as a good thing. If I let myself run wild, throwing around financial discoveries like there was no tomorrow, then a lot of people who don't share my excitement would view me as being radical - maybe even a little bit crazy! So what do you do when people start to think you've got a few screws loose because you've expressed that youth should be utilized by the young or because you don't share the "understanding" that a credit card lets you buy things you can't afford!?
Well, at that point, I realize that I'm alienating those around me. After all, to the majority of people, the ideas I talk about are too far out there - far enough out there for them to think I'm too far gone!
While my intent has always been to express my interests, show who I am, and hopefully to gain new insight, to someone who doesn't see my side of the picture, I must come off as someone trying to force my ideals onto them. This DEFINITELY isn't my goal and it never will be! When you get the impression that people are starting to feel this way, it's time to take a step back, let whatever potential negativity that might be forming completely disappear, and realize that financial freedom isn't a topic to discuss in a common presence.
I'll still preach that the subject of money should be a fairly open topic - that isn't going to change! But I believe that deep-down, people feel a sense of regret and fear when they buy something they can't afford, accept responsibility they aren't sure they can manage, or give control of their lives to someone else - making this is such a taboo conversation-piece. The general populace doesn't want to acknowledge that fear. They want to believe they're okay, independent, and on the road to success - after all, they've got what everyone else has, that's the key, isn't it? When you challenge the underlying ideas behind the way most people live, the subconscious wheels start turning and the financially-taboo thoughts start being thought about. Most people don't want to think about it.
To force someone to think about their fear is to force them to do something they don't want to do. It doesn't matter how beneficial it may be for them, forcing your beliefs on someone else who doesn't want to hear them isn't alright. It's actually pretty rude!
This isn't in response to anything but my own behavior. While nothing bad has happened in my life, I've got to ground myself from time to time to keep my head out of the clouds. If you're like me, it's easy to get carried away with something you care about!
I don't mean to put everyone here on a high horse, but the majority of you readers see the world through a successful and elusive light that others don't. I say this to try and establish that we're all thinking differently and even though we're really gung-ho about this stuff, many others won't care at all and will even find our energy annoying. You and I are receptive to this type of talk (it's probably one we already had in the past to guide us to where we now stand). We enjoy thinking from a different perspective and, unlike the general populace, we LIKE being wrong! Being wrong means that we know where to focus our efforts to improve!
But as I mentioned before, most people don't like to think. Most people are so terrified that they've been living their lives "wrong" that instead of spending their efforts to lift themselves up, they unknowingly spend them trying to drag down anyone who doesn't agree with them! To try and challenge that without permission, (in their eyes) is an attempt to shatter their world view and dominate them! I don't think anyone here will try to argue that, as individuals, we have that authority.
So today I want to discuss selective stealth wealth-ing and why you should practice it!
Stealth wealth-ing is actually a pretty common practice among the self-made successes of our time. To define it as simply as possible: "You have money, but you don't show it." For the majority of wealthy people, this is a pretty intelligent move for a lot of different reasons.
When you have money, you're treated differently. People expect you to buy expensive and frivolous things, pay for other's expenses, and even GIVE money away to your friends and family at their convenience. (Now, there's nothing wrong with doing any of this, but it should be YOUR decision, not the collective mass's!) If you're perceived as having money, people will take advantage of you - some of them without even realizing it! They think, "Well, I'm not doing so great right now, but look at that Phi... It's not a big deal if he takes the bullet, he can afford it! In fact, it's actually SELFISH of him if he doesn't pay for everything... because if I had his money, I'd be generous with it!"
If against these people, you choose to stand up for your wallet (because you realize that you only hold wealth as long as you don't spend it!), your ideas won't be given a fair chance. Instead, you'll be deemed a "miser" among some of the self-appointed "unfortunate", breeding contempt for you! The wealthy aren't viewed as dedicated, frugal, and persistent - they're viewed as privileged, spoiled, and lucky!
What a disconnect!
No, there are too many harsh feeling towards the person of perceived wealth. Need proof? Just post something to Facebook suggesting that wealth is earned and can be earned by anyone. Anyone who has seen one of these social media conversations on wealth unfold can tell you how much the wealthy get bashed (and, surprisingly enough, not very often by those who have actually achieved, or are on a path to achieving, wealth).
I don't want to live my life always on the verge of being deemed unsympathetic and selfish all because I want to keep saving and investing! Do you?
But I just said that money should be an open topic, didn't I?! How can we get our financial "fix" if we just keep it in all of the time?! Well, I'm always ecstatic to hear about a reader's financial progress and ambitions so you can leave your thoughts here (*cough, shameless comments advertising*), but seriously, we need face-to-face interactions, as well!
So here are a few rules I'm following to keep myself grounded and STILL talk about finances!
- Don't be the one to initiate conversations about anything specifically related to finances.
(Example: If your stock portfolio is killing the market average, you can only talk about stocks if someone else brings up the stock market.)
- When you do deem it appropriate to talk numbers (following Rule #1, of course), always use percentages - NEVER dollars! If people ask for dollars, follow Rule #3!
(Example: Don't say, "Today I made $x,000 dollars!". Instead say, "Today my stocks went up %10.")
- Help prevent others from thinking you're bragging by being somewhat vague and distant from what you're saying about your own finances.
(Example: Don't say, "Well, I spent 300 hours doing research, making calls, and building a reputation before my sales started coming in." Instead say, "Well, I had to sacrifice pretty hard and I wasn't ever completely sure anything would happen, but I think it's starting to pay off." Notice in the latter statement, you bring yourself back down to earth by reinforcing that you don't know everything and, by not emphasizing the result, but the process, you aren't comparing the result.)
- Shut your big mouth. Outside of friends and family, don't give hard financial advice EVER unless specifically asked!
Of course, there is an exception to this list of rules. When I really need to talk finances, there are a few trusted friends with a similar passion for finances and financial independence that I can talk to. In my experience, all of these people share an active interest in psychology. If you're trying to decide whether or not to violate these rules on a new contact, I'd highly recommend feeling them out first with discussions about psychology beforehand.
Readers, do you practice stealth wealth-ing? Any interesting stories relating to today's topic?