Monday, January 26, 2009

Money and success – Three steps to becoming smart about money and thriving

Money and success – Three steps to becoming smart about money and thriving
By Doris Roper

Becoming smart with money and thriving requires more than a basic financial plan. Knowing how much you need to put away for retirement or college is all very well but to achieve your goals and dreams you need a lot more than mere time-value-of-money calculations. There are many more aspects to being successful and I will discuss three of them here.

1. Awareness

The first step is to become aware of your money blueprint. Most of us are blissfully unaware of all the underlying issues and beliefs that govern the decisions and actions we take.

Have you noticed how some people earn large salaries but are still barely able to make it? Or have you heard about lottery winners who squander all their winnings within the first few years? Why do you think this happens?

They have unconscious beliefs about money that keep them poor or struggling no matter how much money they make or receive. These beliefs usually start in early childhood. The words and actions of our parents concerning money can have a profound influence on our own beliefs about money and wealth.

Did your parents say things like “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “we can’t afford it”, “he’s stinking rich”. These are all statements of scarcity and have a negative effect on our beliefs about money.

How did your parents manage their finances – poorly or frugally? Did dad handle the finances and give mom an allowance? Did they create a lot of debt?

Delve deeper and try to discover your own unconscious programming where money is concerned.

2. Your values, purpose and vision

The next step is to discover what is important about money to you. Money means different things to different people and the amount of money you desire should line up with your values, your purpose and ultimate vision for your life.

Some people think that if they had a million dollars in the bank they would be happy, but we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness as evidenced by all the unhappy rich people in the world.

Do some soul-searching. Figure out what it is you really want, what would give you fulfillment. Ask yourself, “If money were no object, if I could do anything I want, if I had only one year to live, what would I do?” Write down whatever pops into your head no matter how silly you think it is. Don’t limit yourself by worrying about ‘how’ you can achieve it. Just let your imagination go.

3. The nitty gritty

If you realized that you have some negative beliefs about money, you should start reprogramming your mind with positive thoughts.

Hopefully, you figured out what you would really like to do and have in your life. Now you can plan accordingly. Now you can work out the numbers.

Get organized, figure out your net worth, create a spending plan, get rid of debt, establish an emergency fund that will cover 6-8 months of expenses and make sure you save for your goals.

Many people think that carrying out step three is enough. However, unless you uncover and reprogram any negative beliefs you may have about money you are likely to sabotage your own chance of success.

Step two is very important because if you do not know where you are going and what you ultimately want to achieve, you may be swayed this way and that and never reach that place of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Begin taking the necessary actions today that will help you achieve your dreams and thrive!

Doris Roper is president and founder of the W.I.T. Institute and senior partner of CRB Wealth Management in San Diego, CA. She is a financial life planner, certified divorce planner, mediator and author of WAKE UP your life! A woman's guide to real personal power.

See her website at and the Institute's membership site at

During January 2009 -- post a comment for Doris and be entered in a drawing for great prizes.

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