My plans to address a tax strategy this month has been derailed. One big bear hug has stopped me in my tracks. It caused me to pull off the road and reflect on money related feelings rather than strategies. Emotions are related to mindset. These two elements are the drivers behind inspiration, motivation and activation of strategies. Taking a step back, I want to peer into two recent emotional episodes that are stuck in my mind, and, I believe, will help us all.
My last major business conference culminated with an executive dinner and offered an opportunity for me to chat with several top personalities of our group. I cornered our corporate trainer who flew in from Dubai for the event. Excited, I explained a problem one of my team members was having with one of our products. I was prepared to clearly articulate both the problem and the (hopefully brilliant) solution I had devised. I knew it would help my team and others. Our trainer listened quietly, and then showed me how my solution was actually a bailout. (A plan to release her from the opportunity to build wealth based on the thoughtful design of product.) Instead of working around the problem, he challenged me in two specific ways – both a quiet convicting and a little stinging to my ego.
First, he encouraged me to exhibit confidence in her ability to tackle the problem as it came to her, rather than seeking an escape. The same life forces that brought her the challenging opportunity would also bring her the ability to take full advantage of it, without dodging the difficulty. Second, he challenged me to have greater confidence in my own ability to coach her through the process. Rather than giving up and seeking an easy solution, he asked me to press through and bring her to victory. Wow! Then, as if to put a punctuation at the end of the challenge, he gave be a great big hug.
I was stunned by his words. (He basically called me a wimp and challenged me put on by big girl bloomers and do my job.) But something happened later that brought the hug back to mind.
A wonderful new lady registered in our program and acquired a certificate (like an old-fashioned bank CD with some exciting fintec features). She was excited to begin her new wealth building strategy. With great financial savvy—she was a successful entrepreneur, married to a successful entrepreneur. She had beautiful children, an adoring daughter-in-law and the most delightful little granddaughter. Having recently moved into a fabulous new home, she served wonderful hors d’oeuvres in her beautifully decorated kitchen. All this made for a most pleasant evening.
At the culmination of our time together, she brought out several thousand dollars in cash to acquire her certificates. Her air was casual, making a clear statement that money was not at all a problem for her.
As she walked me to my car, I thanked her for listening to me and trusting our company. I commended her for all her accomplishments and for her unique financial knowledge and skill. Then she suddenly (to my great astonishment) burst into tears. After a long, awkward moment, with a low groan, she whispered two words: “I’m tired!”
Immediately the four quadrants of Robert Kiyosaki’s famous teaching came to mind. She had escaped the “E” (employee) world, trading time for dollars and working for someone else by moving into the “S” (self-employed) arena. No more boss or climbing the corporate ladder. But unlike the majority of small business owners, she and her husband were very successful. She was managing to keep all the balls in the air – balancing family and home with her business. To the outside observer, her life looked perfect. But this poor soul was exhausted.
Why was I ever under the impression that only certain women were distressed? I found it easy to understand how those caught in poverty, suffering illness, or trapped in single parenting, or in abusive relationships would sink under the strain. But I was confronted with a new reality. In our current economic culture, we are all subject to being stretched to the breaking point.
Stunned, I could think of nothing to say, so I simply reached out and passed along the message handed to me by my supportive, corporate trainer. Not his words, but his action. I gave her a big, honest hug. Honest, because it was devoid of any ulterior motive. This was not a hug to say, “I love you”, “I like you”, or “I want to comfort you”. Although none of these motives are bad, I think we sometimes need something that’s more immediately hopeful. My honest hug states, physically and powerfully: “I’m with you.” “I believe in you.” “You got this!”
Summarizing, honest hugs are found and passed around in an active, reliable, sustainable community. Even more than education, information, strategies or solutions, sometimes we just need a hug. The resulting confidence then provides the courage to build wealth. I leave you with these words:
If you don’t know what I mean – find out!
If you can’t find out – reach out!
Find more from Gail here.