“Thanks, but I think I’ll keep my soul…” Anyone, anytime, anywhere
Do you wanna get filthy rich?
I may have another clue for you here.
But I guarantee it’s not what you’re expecting.
You may even bristle at the insight.
First, however… I want to thank everyone who logged on to comment on the last post. The whole concept of reading struck a nerve, didn’t it.
I’m very pleased that so many folks still respect and seek out good fiction.
As I said — nearly ALL the top, super-wealthy marketers I know read their weight in books each year. A lot of biz stuff, sure… but just as much cool fiction, too.
Reading a damn good novel does things to your mind no other pursuit can match.
Personally… I’m gonna have my assistant order up every suggested novel from the comments section I haven’t already devoured. I think my reading list is set for the rest of the year.
… on to “true wealth”.
I just spent a week with family — mostly my sister’s boys and their wives and kids.
Plus my wayward cousin Don. I first met Don when they brought him home from the hospital with his twin David. I was one and a half. They were just born. Our parents were related, and also best friends.
What a lucky break.
We’ve shared our entire lives together. And when I rant about my childhood of adventure, vandalism and really stupid risks… it was Don sharing most of them with me.
I’m not close to all of my extended family. There are other cousins I rarely hear from or see, and many I’ve completely lost track of.
But Don — we make a special effort every year to get together and see what kind of trouble we can get into one more time.
That’s a rare thing in life. Someone you’ve shared the entire ride with.
My nephews are two of the finest young men you’ll ever meet. They inherited just enough of the Carlton bloodline to be defiantly independent (and enjoy crazy-good adventure)… but also enough of my brother-in-law’s juice to be intense family men.
I’m not gonna tell a long story here.
The message is a short one, anyway.
I was sitting in my sister’s living room, watching the great-neices and great-nephew play (ages 2, 4 and 6) with rambunctious glee… and I realized that all the adults were reading books.
No TV blaring. No radio jangling.
In fact, we’d just finished playing some guitars together, and having an intense discussion of world affairs.
You know… like really intelligent people enjoy doing.
And then, while the kids burned off the last of their pre-nap energy… everyone picked up a book.
It wasn’t all great literature, of course. There were volumes of happy trash being devoured, along with some really good stuff.
But I was kinda stunned, just the same.
This was a room full of very educated people. Three were teachers, one was a school shrink, another ran a program for troubled youth.
All involved with written stories. All deeply involved, too.
No one wanted to talk about marketing bullshit. Or ways to get rich. Or how to game any systems to get ahead.
These were family-oriented people, content with doing their jobs well and living their lives as fully as possible within their means.
I felt a little… humbled.
I don’t apologize, of course, for my entrepreneurial DNA. Unlike most of the rest of my family, I was miserable trying to be like everyone else. I chafed at authority, and needed desperately to find my own path.
However, as I hang out with more and more of the elite “winners” in the online marketing world… I become acutely aware how little I am driven by the desire for money.
Not that there’s anything wrong with making money.
But throughout my career, I’ve felt out-of-place among the guys for whom business success was the ONLY thing that mattered.
I honestly do not “get” people who need piles of cash to justify their existence.
I am often offended by gratuitous displays of wealth.
The path I took veered away from the glistening skyline of power and fame most of my colleagues were attracted to.
I like having lots of dough, don’t get me wrong. But long ago, I figured out what “enough” was, and I’ve not sacrificed my other life-long interests to build my pile bigger than my humble little self can handle.
We used to call it “Fuck You Money”, to be honest.
True independence comes when you are no longer desperate for whatever your current client is offering you. You can walk away, and not worry about the consequences, if he turns out to be an asshole. Or the deal seems squirrelly.
You don’t need his money… because you’ve got enough stashed to be confident.
Both Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert spoke of the power that FYM provided, which cinched it for me.
It’s a stash you put aside, and never touch unless you absolutely need to. If you die without every dipping into it, you’ve won.
The psychological juice behind knowing you don’t “need” anyone’s money is staggering.
The size of your FYM stash, of course, is dependent on what you feel you “need” — in cold, hard, liquid cash — to be confident you’ve got enough to tide you over until circumstances change again.
For me, it’s not a huge amount. Enough tax-paid moolah to survive for a year or so with no other income. Being frugal — like Travis McGee — and I could stretch it out for much longer. And still have fun, and still indulge in things I love.
But the key thing is… it’s your support system. It’s not an investment.
… once you get a taste of business success, it’s easy to be lured into living each day FOR that business. You put off other pursuits, you start to obsess on projects, you become…
You’ve suddenly got twenty times your basic FYM, and yet still get up each day focused on bringing in more.
I’ve been lucky. My other urges are too strong to ignore.
I’m seeing a group of old college buddies this weekend, for example. None are “successful”, according to any measure a businessman would use.
And yet, all are happy. And all are good friends, and I cherish the time we get to spend together.
They don’t envy my success. And they don’t treat me differently. (I’m still the nutcase, to them, I was 30 years ago at the university. And I embrace that character with gusto.)
We don’t need lots of money to have a great time. So much of life’s best adventures are actually dirt-cheap.
All this gets me thinking, every year around this time, about what “true” wealth is.
Being broke sucks. No getting around that.
But somewhere between being broke… and being stupid-rich, with twelve cars and three homes and more boats than you can count… is a sweet spot where many people live in near-bliss.
Minus the expensive toys.
I think, by now, you know what I’m getting at.
It’s sappy, yes.
It’s all about love, and living well with what you have.
Ambition can be a curse. I’m very lucky to be ambitious… but also to be lazily moderate about pursuing it. I’ve done most of what I set out to do at this point in life. The goals remaining on my master-list are good ones, and I hope I’m around for another half-century to knock them off, too.
But more urgently, I am reminded of how amazingly “rich” my family and friends are who sink their teeth into life without driving ambitions.
Sometimes, playing with your grand-neice on the old swingset at the park is enough wealth to last an eternity.
There is a lot going on in the entrepreneurial world right now. And it’s going to get more intense as we move into Fall and Winter.
Lots of opportunities, lots of cool things happening.
If you have ambitions, this could be your year to break out.
When you do, though… keep a little Zen awareness in your brain about what truly counts in life.
You can’t take your FYM with you when you die.
But you can’t tell me that the love you generate and receive doesn’t travel well to the Other Side.
What do YOU think?
P.S. I’m sending out a number of emails this week about a special opportunity ONLY for people on my list.
I know your inbox is crammed… but please pay attention to these emails from me this week.
Especially if your ambition is raging, and you’re freakin’ ready to finally bust loose…
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