Integrity first, then hustle + 10 fresh lessons on money

Serving up a fresh batch of money nuggets, from random theories to daily habits.

  • You should go to open houses before you can actually afford to buy a house. Hover over your dreams. Signal to your psyche what’s possible. Make some connections, learn about what it’s going to take. Same goes for managing your money. Get some financial planning and money expertise (from books to workshops to consultants) before you have money to make plans with. You’ll make better decisions, you’ll get real and you’ll get motivated.
  • “He made some real money and turned into an asshole,” a friend said about a start-up star we both knew. “Nah. He was always an asshole.” If finally having some bucks changes your personality for the worse you were probably a goof to begin with or just immature when the cash came in (and immaturity is always forgivable).
  • “Socially responsible investing” is a racket. A big oil company can buy a little solar power company and call themselves “green”. Your friendly local co-op bank is investing in the same blue chip funds (think: pillaging the earth, wage gaps, HR atrocities) but because they have “co-op” designation, they can call themselves socially responsible. Whatever. Same bullshit, different bank.

       Few funds you’re going to invest are squeaky clean. Some companies have amazing people policies but crap eco standards. Some green organizations have dismal employee benefits. Choose the least of the evils or get out of the game.

  • Speaking of the male-to-female wage gap that still prevails…I have ten women on my core team and one man. We pay competitively and eventually, generously. I was wrestling with my financial advisor on matters of social responsibility and my deep desire to make a difference. And we landed on this: 
    Paying your entire team well is an act of feminism.
  • Totally random, hopefully useful…Have it delivered. I was trying on some shoes at a store. Right size, wrong colour. “We can have the brown ones brought over from the other location and you can pick them up,” the salesman offered. “Can you deliver them to my house?” I asked. (You’d be surprised how many stores will deliver.) And yes, they could, for $15 bucks. I wanted those shoes. To come back and get them would cost me $8 for parking and at least an hour of my time. Delivery, please.
  • Why resent paying your bills? I’m speaking generally of course, because some charges are ludicrous and you need to swat those down. But you use it, you pay for it. That’s basic empowerment. And the fact that you have the money to pay your bills is always something to be grateful for.
  • Just pay your taxes. I’ve got a smart accountant and we certainly leverage the system, but we don’t get “creative”, we don’t hide shit. Just keep it clean and simple and get on with making money.
  • If you’re restraining your earning potential because if you “make too much money you’ll pay more taxes”…then…think twice. Sometimes that makes sense. But usually, almost always, that logic is just super dumb. Go make more money, pay your taxes, and you’ll probably still have more money in the end.
  • Resentment kills your money mojo. Bitching about the cost of doing business and living life the way you want to is wasted precious energy. Spend that energy on saving, earning more, and living to the fullest within your means. Speaking of resentment….
  • I try not to think of money as ever being wasted. It’s incredibly liberating. Let’s take parking tickets. Always a pisser. Before you flip off the parking guy, breathe and ask, Where’s the money go? To city hall, or to the private company that owns the parking lot. Bottom line: Your money is going to other humans. Assume that they’re decent people (because most people are.) They’re looking for opportunities to make money, just like you. They probably have school fees, or staff, or kids, or pets, or aging parents to care for. Money circulates from human to human – energy is like that. So your shitty parking ticket is helping someone, somewhere. And next time… plug the metre.

My next point is contradictory….

  • Get mad about wasted money and financial injustices. I don’t stay at hotels that charge for wifi; I’m willing to change phone companies because of over-charging; if I get served a bad meal, I don’t expect to pay. Do I want my tax money to go to war funding and pesticides? Fuck no, but I have to choose my battles, the little ones, day by day.
  • Integrity first, then hustle.
     When I used to jam with entrepreneurs who were holistic or ethical champs, they would often defend their “goodness”. “We broke even in the first quarter, but we gave away X dollars to charity.”

“Why does there have to be a ‘but’ in that sentence?” I’d ask. “Because, WOW, you’re making fast money AND giving it away! No need to apologize.”

On Team D we ask two questions: #1: Are we in integrity, doing something good and useful? Yes? Great! Then we proceed to question #2: How do we move boatloads of our goodness?

Cash & consciousness,

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