Archive for the ‘Success / Wealth’ Category
Now, perhaps more than ever in our lifetime, things are tough. Money is tight, prices are up, revenues are down, globalization, the Internet and mobile technology change almost everything we know. As a result, pressure is mounting and many parents struggle to cope with it.
In the past week, two things happened that made me think of using buffers or “lines of credit” as a strategy for reducing pressure, both financial and emotional, and keeping ourselves sane, while being better parents for our kids.
The first thing was Eden’s presentation of her research on corporal punishment. You may remember we invited our readers to participate in this research, which examined the links between parents’ disciplinary methods and things like the number of children in the family, age differences, financial situation and more.
When she analyzed parents’ and children’s’ responses to her survey, it occurred to Eden that stress may be a mediator between the various characteristics of each family and the amount of physical punishment used by the parents. Turns out, it is. She found that when parents experience more stress in their life, due to having more kids, having them close together and/or not having enough money to support them, they used less positive reinforcement with their children and were more abusive towards them, both verbally and physically.
Money is very tight in many families. We want so many things for our kids and for our family that it seems like there is never enough. This week, I had sessions with many clients who wanted to improve their financial situation. One of them earned $50,000 a year and owed $42,000. One was a single mother who had spent all her savings on tutoring. Another one spent a fortune on supplements and health professionals, and all the rest told me variation of the same story: money is tight.
Every family may reach a point in life when there is just not enough money to survive the next month. It is inevitable that some life circumstance will change the flow of money that we count on to manage our daily life. If you go over your life and ask yourself when your supply of money was at risk or when it stopped entirely, you are likely to find that it happened a lot.
We were in this situation many times in our life. It happened when Gal’s company had a wave of redundancies, whenever his contract ended somewhere in the world and we had to move ourselves from one county to another (no income, lots of expenses), after September 11 2001, when Gal had cancer and took time to recover and when we had something big and special that ate into our savings, like going overseas to see our families. Every time we stopped working, our family was at risk of not having enough to pay the bills.
Saving for a rainy day was always our solution for those situations, but saving is never enough. Sometimes, a big wave comes along and wipes you out. Gal lost his job twice after we had bought a property. We are not fortunetellers.
When I was about 15 years old, I learned the hard way that sometimes you want things and only when you get them, you realize they were not what you wanted. Addiction is like this too – you want something and shortly after you get what you want, you realize it was not what you wanted.
As a life coach, I talk a lot about wanting. I believe wanting is essential in life. It is the driving force of our existence. But today, I want to tell you about a session on my life coaching deck that reminded me again why the question “Why?” is as important as the question “What?” Chris, one of my wonderful clients, taught me a wonderful lesson about what happens when you do not know why.
All I knew about Chris was that he was a businessman in his early fifties, married, with no kids and a lack of motivation who was looking for a life coach. Nothing special. We all have those periods in our life when we just find it hard to get up in the morning.
This is what I told myself when I prepared for his session. The first time he came, when I opened the door, I saw from the corner of my eyes a classy Mercedes Benz parked outside. Well, the first thing I could think of was “Oh my god, what a beautiful car”. I have to say it made me more curious about the reason he came. I thought that car was the result of lots of motivation.
“Why are you here, Chris? What do you want?” I asked him.
He looked confused. “I really don’t know. I think something’s wrong with me”.
I had my first business at the age of 25. I finished my Special Education studies and opened an Early Childhood Center that became a very successful business within a short time. I was a mother and a wife and had a mortgage, a car and a personal loan for my business.
If you hear parents tell you that kids are an obstacle for them, I can tell you that having kids is a bad excuse for not doing business. When the kids grow up and leave the house, they will be left with their excuses. So when they have to explain why they have never done what they have always wanted to do, they will start saying, “It’s too late now”, which is just another excuse.
If you are thinking of starting a business and will need to juggle business and family, it is a good idea to discover what you will have to do to succeed at it. Some people are not cut out to own and operate a business. Others do not know how to balance a home and a business. Managing your business, your home and your parenting well requires some skills and attitudes that will determine the success of your business, the quality of your family life and even your health.
Unlike people who do not have kids, business parents risk a lot more than their own time and money. They risk their relationships with their partners and with their kids, as well as the quality of preparation their kids get for life. You go into business because you want a better life for your kids, not to destroy your relationship with your kids, so do it right!
The first thing you learn about starting a business on the Internet is that everyone can do it. I remember the first seminar I attended. You may have had the same experience yourself. It is a free event that makes hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales in one day. The food, the venue and the free gifts are nothing compared to how many suckers come to those events for the promise of sitting on the beach in a swimsuit with a laptop, sipping cool drinks and watching the dollars appearing on the screen every day and every hour.
Gal and I went to our first event as life coaches. It was an awesome weekend. It was a great seminar and I learned a lot. For 2 days, they promised the world “Be your own boss! Work 3 hours a day! Money will be coming out of your ears!” and … “Everyone can do it!”
I have to say I almost believed them. I wanted to believe them with all my heart, but because our life coaching course had promised exactly the same thing, I had the suspicion there was a pattern there. Luckily for us, it was not a test of our trust. We just did not have $10,000 to buy the product on offer. We were shocked that our fellow coaches spent so much money just weeks after they had spent thousands of dollars on the life coaching course.
If you have ever heard these slogans about trying to build a business on the Internet, be warned, someone is convinced you are a sucker and might be taking you for a ride.
Every parent wants to raise kids who will be wealthy and manage their financials well. The best way to raise kids with a wealth mindset is to be a family in which good financial management is part of daily life. It is best if your family is also wealthy, but it is not necessary.
I grew up in a very simple family, you could even say a struggling family, with 5 children, and most of us are in a very stable financial status. My dad, who worked very hard all his life and was the money manger it the house, taught us very well. My family is proof that you do not have to be rich to raise kids with a wealth mindset. I think that if my dad could do it, you can too.
Here are my parenting rule about money, saving, investing and raising children who know their way through financial management.
Our highly commercialized world pumps us with the idea that being rich and famous is a good thing. Even things “mere mortals” find difficult to deal with, like going on a diet or breaking up with a partner, are leveraged to create more fame and more fortune for the celebrities. Scandals are just useful ways to sell the next movie or the new album. So useful, in fact, that some of them are manufactured.
In their song Lifestyle of the Rich and the Famous, Good Charlotte sing about how celebrities complain all the time and say their life is hard, even though they have money, mansions and other things money can buy. By contrasting fame and fortune with living on the streets, this song reflects general public sentiment very well.
But it is not true.
If you have been anywhere near a TV set in the past few weeks, read any newspaper or even glanced at a magazine at the checkout line, you have seen them – Prince William and Kate Middleton. Their lives and upcoming wedding were covered from every angle and then, their wedding was covered in even more detail. Anyone who had anything to do with them at any time was interviewed ad nauseam and every bit was replayed over and over again.
Compare two kids, one who goes to a beautiful, clean, well-built school that requires excellence and maintains a high level of academic achievement and another who goes to an old, run-down, dirty, crumbling school where students can come and go as they please and learning is not high on the priority list.
Which child has a better chance in life?
Ronit and I are reading a brilliant book called “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book, there are many bits of amazing research, which we can all use to avoid trouble and get more goodness out of life.
In one experiment, two groups of black students were given college entry tests. The tests were identical, except for one question. One group was first asked to specify their race.
That group scored 50% lower on average. Fifty percent! When asked why they scored so low, the students said they were apparently not smart enough to be accepted and had no clue what had gone wrong.
In another experiment, two groups of students took a trivia test. Before the test, one group was asked to imagine what it would be like to be a college professor for 5 minutes. The other group was asked to imagine what it would be like to be a soccer hooligan.
The “professor” group scored 23% higher on the test, simply because they had put themselves in a different mindset.
When individuals bully at work, the problem is not as severe as when the organization has a culture that supports bullying. The organization as a bystander can choose to be a defender, protect victims and create a cooperative atmosphere, or to be a major supporter of bullies and increase the problem. Unlike the kids who are bystanders at school, organizational bystanders suffer from the bullying directly through loss of productivity and money.
This chapter includes many tips to help the organization condemn, stop and prevent bullying. Each tip here can make a huge impact on someone’s life and has the potential to stop the bullying cycle – victims feeling powerless and bullying others to regain their power, causing their victims to bully others to regain power and so on.
When I was 15, I had a very special teacher who supervised our school’s student council. He was a very devoted teacher and we felt he really cared for us. One day, I asked him, “Reuben, why do you do this? Why do you work so hard to empower us?”
He said, “If I convince 5 of you to make a change and each of you convinces another 5 who will convince another 5 each, eventually, we will have a better world!”
I am spreading his words. If you are part of an organization, particularly in a leadership position, and you help condemn, stop and prevent bullying towards one person, you will make a difference in the lives of their partner, their children, their grand children, and their great-grand children for generations to come.
We need strong and courageous people to put a stop to this cycle. If we stop one bully and then one more bully, we can gradually change the world. I believe this with all my heart.
Bullying at work is a big problem in our society. In fact, many employees are abused regularly as part of their job description. The owner of the business, organization, farm or factory rules everyone and often bullies them on a regular basis. I take my hat off to those courageous people (past and present) who fight for justice and do all they can to prevent this bullying, because it is so widespread and “built in”.
As an organization, the first thing you must understand is that with every bullying incident in your workplace, you lose productivity and, as a result, money. It is in your best interest to stop it and as soon as possible. It may not be easy, but it is a must. In workplaces where there is bullying there are many problems that quickly affect the “bottom line”.
Some companies even close up because they are unable to manage their people properly.
Workplace bullying can be caused by individual factors and cultural factors. It is very important for every organization to understand those factors and address them as a matter of course.