3 big take aways that changed my mindset
my 99c “fortune”
Most people would consider inheriting an apartment complex on a tropical island a dream come true.
But in 2008 I was fighting with delinquent tenants, behind on property tax taxes, and struggling to keep up with the household bills on my “third-world” salary.
Bottom line: I was sinking and in over my head, and it started to visibly impact my ability to practice.
I noticed this impact gradually at first, and then more consistently.
Maintenance consts for my car became challenging to manage, making it difficult to reach appointments.
Then I couldn’t afford to donate a measly $5.00 to a worthy cause.
But what bothered me the most was that I wasn’t able to help other social workers who felt they had to move to another country or change professions in order to exist at a basic level.
“Why is it that social workers, who bring so much value to society and to the world, can’t afford to do what they love and make a decent living?” I thought.
Of course I’m not the first person that’s ever asked this question, but I was frustrated that no one had come up with the answer.
“There’s got to be a solution,” I often thought. “There’s no way that social workers – that I – can’t figure this money thing out!”
And so I set out to find out what it was.
My Journey Begins
The first book that I read about money was Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad.
This book literally changed my life.
I must have read that book at least a dozen times.
I’d like to say that after I read it all of my money problems disappeared and I lived happily ever after, but that wouldn’t be true.
What did happen is that I started to see how what I had been taught about money – or rather, what I hadn’t been taught – was keeping me poor and making others rich.
I needed a change.
A change in thinking.
A change in my feeling.
And a change in behavior about money – and I needed it STAT!
In a nutshell, Kiyosaki outlines that poor and middle class people teach their children their habits of poverty and mediocrity. These include things like the misallocation of income to buy things they don’t need and buying things on credit that they can’t afford (which puts them further in debt). In contrast, wealthy people create assets (anything that puts money into your account) and let the assets buy things with the income that they create, instead of using money they make from their jobs.
Armed with this new understanding, I got to work on creating my first asset and self-published How NOT to Practice Social Work: Saving Good People from Bad Practice One Step at a Time on Amazon.
I still remember seeing that first deposit of 99¢ in my bank account I knew I was on my way to Hey, that was 99¢ more than I had before, so I was grateful!
The next leg of my journey into entrepreneurship led me to consulting as an Executive and Life Coach. I was eventually given an opportunity to work with one of the largest employers in Jamaica and, boy, did I nail it! The success of this venture gave me the confidence and energy that I needed to keep growing my understanding of networking, marketing, and business and I couldn’t get enough.
Finally, I enrolled in an online course promoted as being a mini-business school for female entrepreneurs, which eventually led to this blog. The credibility and kudos that have followed from these actions have not only lead to some amazing opportunities for wealth creation, but have helped to foster special relationships that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
The 3 big takeaways that changed my life
What I’ve learned from my mixed bag of experiences as an entrepreneur and what I wanted to share with my friend and with you today is threefold.
THE FIRST is a principle that I have to constantly remind myself of though I know it to be inexplicably true, and that is this:
There is no shortage of money in the world and there is more than enough to not only provide for your needs, but for the needs of your clients as well.
But this is not our conditioning.
We’re taught, and especially in social work, that we’re underpaid, under-valued, and under-funded. We rehearse the woe’s of not-enough-money for our projects and worthy causes and look at anyone with aspirations for wealth as if they have three green heads attached upside down.
This rehearsal helps no one and is, in fact, a detriment to any efforts we might otherwise make to have more money.
If you’re feeling particularly poor one day a good rule of thumb is don’t talk about it, and instead do your best to focus your thoughts on all of the things you have to be grateful for. This exercise not only gives you a good opportunity to appreciate what you’ve got, but you’ll draw to yourself even more things to appreciate.
THE SECOND is that
You are more than deserving of having all of your needs and wants cared for, and not because you’re a social worker, but because you’re alive.
No one ever needs to debate whether or not social workers deserve to make more money or not. Of course they do, and most people agree. But having more money in your life is your God-given human right, and being able to to help others is a duty. The sooner we get this, the sooner we can all stop wasting time on this Given and spend more time on the last lesson. . .
and it is this:
If we truly want to ensure that we can provide the best care for our clients, then we owe it to ourselves to learn the principles of money management and wealth creation and share them with those we serve.
A better understanding of these principles means more money for social workers in general.
More money means better self-care, more opportunities to be generous and giving and, for many, more personal fulfillment. Mastery of these lessons so that we can, in turn, instruct our able clients then is the next logical step.
To me this makes perfect sense and is the only sustainable solution I see; but I’m open to suggestions.
The Ultimate Dream Come True
My dream is that one day social workers will earn not only what they deserve, but will be able to effortlessly negotiate for raises when required. They won’t be asked to cow-down on their fees and they’ll be able to afford a three week long vacation to Cancun at the drop of a hat for that self-care everyone keeps talking about.
These days for me the property’s getting easier to manage, the book brings in steady income, and I’m able to donate to the worthy cause of my choice. And although I’m still on my way to becoming a rich social worker, the view looks a lot better from here than it did when I was sinking a few years ago.
My commitment to you
I’ve made a commitment to continue my study of wealth principles because I believe that having this understanding can help me improve my practice and possibly the profession. I can’t wait to see what the view looks like from the top. Will you join me?
Your social work sister in abundance!