A Money Coach in Canada

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What goes on in the House on the Hill is not ALL that different than what goes on in your house. It’s just writ large.
They negotiate, forge alliances on some things and will forever disagree on others and they HAVE A BUDGET.

If in your house, your partner or family member wasn’t fully forthcoming about the budget or how he or she spent your joint money, how would you feel?

This video (Thanks, Andrew Coyne) gave me a bit of an AHA moment – I hadn’t previously made such a direct comparison, but now that I think of it, it’s obvious. It’s 3 minutes to watch and don’t panic when he introduces himself. It’s accessible. Just keep doing the mental comparisons between your house and The House.

Dear Groupon and Clorex,

I hear you sponsor NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.

The stunt Trump pulled, fuelling the whole birthers nonsense, was beyond the pale. I’m not even American and I’m disgusted!

I can only assume he played to the basest, racist instincts of a portion of Americans. Is that who Groupon and Clorex wants to get behind?

I’ll assume so, unless I hear you’ve stopped sponsoring his show.

Groupon, I’ve unsubscribed from your deals effective 13 minutes ago.

Clorox, I was happy with your Green Works line but I won’t be purchasing any more.

I’m voting with my dollar. Trump has disgraced himself, disgraced NBC and disgraced the USA at least in this Canadian’s eyes. Lose him, and I’ll come back.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

A couple weeks ago I said the first step in achieving your hopes and dreams is to write them out. I later said that actually, the first steps should be to begin with the end in mind (which should bring clarity to your priorities) and also to ensure you set your goals into a broader financial context.

Here are 5 further sure-fire ways to achieve your hopes and dreams:

1. Make it tangible. In other words, move it from a general hope (I’d love to be a homeowner) to a concrete goal (I want a 2-bedroom home in Neighbourhood ABC by the time I reach 35 years of age.)

2. Start saving for it regularly, right now. If you’re not willing to start saving regularly, it’s not a goal you’re going to reach anytime soon. If it’s a hope and dream, but you really feel you cannot afford to save even $10/paycheque (if it came down to it) then it may be time to find a way to increase your income or do some serious analysis of how you are currently allocating your income.

3. Hang around other people with goals. There are plenty of people who set and achieve goals. They are usually inspiring and quick to encourage others along the way. Find them. Spend time with them. Let their energy push you along.

4. Create a series of “next actions”. Your dream, whatever it is, will likely have a whole set of constituent parts. Create a list of all the discreet “next actions” that will be required. For Example:
To purchase a home I’ll need a down payment.
Next Action: Start a savings account. next action: find my bank phone number next action: book time into my calendar to call
Next Action: Ask my employer to deposit 3% of my paycheque to the Savings Account instead of my chequing account. next action: print and fill out the form next action: take the form to my employer

5. Create and celebrate milestones. Make one milestone something you can accomplish in the next 24 hours, then another milestone something you can accomplish within a month, and from then on make sure you have milestones at least once a quarter. Find some way of celebrating each accomplishment. It could be, at minimum, updating some sort of thermometer, or it could be a romantic evening with your partner or it could be attending an inspirational talk to simultaneously celebrate and re-energize you to keep going. But mark and celebrate your accomplishments.

Ah! I’m an epicurean at heart, no doubt about it.

I’m too lazy/intimidated to make croissants from scratch and was thus utterly delighted to discover some frozen *these* at my local co-op:
20100703 making croissants 13
Photo Credit: JStove

But that is not all, friends. That is not all.

Consider this image of my stove carefully (don’t pay attention to the clock):

And a last hint:
Photo Credit: cygnoir

I’ll paypal funds for a latte to the first person who figures out what’s got me so excited – a new gentle source of Contentment in my life.

Feature Image credit: konqui

UPDATE: @Al, sir, I’m shooting you a little latte fund! You got it — I put one in the oven the night before and awake to the aroma of freshly baked croissant. Le voila:

Have you absorbed the beautiful Mythology about pursuing your hopes and dreams, or passion, with everything you’ve got? Rags to riches is a great storyline, isn’t it. It’s inspiring. It creates a sense of confidence that anyone, in any circumstances, can achieve great things if only they put their mind to it and believe in themselves and work hard enough. How could that not be attractive?

I lived into it when I started my business. I had the opportunity to continue part-time with the job I had. But I chose instead to be “all in” with Your Money by Design. I was smart, I had a well-written business plan with conservative estimates, and a certain amount of savings in the bank. I was determined to give my business 110%. No half measures for me.

Eight months into it, the penny dropped: I wasn’t getting nearly the numbers in my seminars I’d anticipated. And I wasn’t the only game in town after all. And everything they say about expenses always being higher than you anticipate had proven true. And hardly anybody could figure out just what was a money-coach anyways (oh, you sell mutual funds? No! I don’t!)

Anyone ever eaten at Hamburger Mary’s in Vancouver? That’s where it all sank in for me. It all sank in as if the air turned black, and my stomach clenched up such that I couldn’t even look at my plate of food when it arrived. My then-boyfriend kindly excused me for a moment – so he thought – and as fast as I could I found a quiet set of steps on an apartment building around the block and there I began to sob and sob and sob. I not only felt the pain of disillusionment but the weight of failure.

And you know what really sucked (to use blunt language)? I was as passionate as *any* entrepreneur and would likely have been one of those people who live without electricity or even in the back of their car (well, maybe not quite) and ultimately become super-successful and get to tell their passion-driven story. But being a money coach … well, you can see why that wasn’t an option.

Nevertheless I carried on valiantly for another 1.5 years (didn’t want to quit just one day before I’d finally make it big, right?) before succumbing and taking part-time work to ensure I could practice at least a baseline of what I preached about managing money effectively. And for a further 3 years I made an acceptable go of it. My electricity stayed on, my mortgage payments were made, my dogs and I were fed. But. I didn’t take a holiday, not a real one, ever and I denied and denied myself so much over the months and months that my energy and enthusiasm, those spades and spades and spades of it, ultimately got sucked away.

There is nothing newsworthy, nothing exciting, nothing thrilling about that story at all. And the final failure was utterly banal: I’d set one “STOP AND SERIOUSLY REASSESS NOW” boundary at ever having to touch my RRSPs. And it happened. I got tripped up on something unforeseen and had to withdraw from my RRSPs. So I stopped in my tracks right then and there. What a boring end-of-the-road, eh?

I reassessed. I concluded I needed to rest for a while and hold my dreams less tightly. I decided for this reason along with a cluster of other rather awful events (which *would* make an interesting story) to move north for a v. good-paying job with full benefits (sick days! extraordinary!) and paid holidays and a pension. I can tell you, it has been a respite. A real respite.

And after two full years of respite, I’m replenished and ready to go again, but this time in and from a different place. I am pursuing my hopes and dreams (ie. creating a rockin’ social-entrepreneurial business that helps people and helps the planet) with the same deep passion …and with significant and ongoing financial stability and security around me. From that firm ground, and rooted there, I am able to re-venture. Is that sexy? Dramatic? The stuff of legend? No. But I honestly think there’s a much higher probability of attaining my personal hopes and dreams from this place.

So. You and *your* hopes and dreams. I’m not about to say don’t go for (ha ha) broke. We all have our journeys to make. And I understand too (do I ever) that entrepreneurialism in particular has exceptional risk and uncertainty. But … I strongly encourage anyone pursuing their hopes and dreams to anchor that pursuit as deeply as possible in a broader financial context. And give yourself permission to follow the road less travelled in your pursuit, even if it sometimes looks remarkably ordinary compared to rags to riches!

Photo Credit: Ann Douglas Her website is here.

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