In the next few weeks, I plan to post a series of articles dubbed ‘risky‘. The intention is to guide the development of personal financial strategies by examining risks that could cause great harm and distress to our physical, emotional, social, financial and spiritual well-being if not properly managed. Specifically, I will explore 5 risks that touch on strategy, debt, reputation, lifestyle and citizenry. For this bi-week, however, I share a captivating TED talk by Dorothée Loorbach and my reflections from her presentation.
Dorothée speaks of inherited convictions that led her to not managing money properly. Life obligations later taught her that money is important and a useful means to taking care of herself and loved ones. She goes on explain that money equals time and we must consciously spend it. If not, we will end up giving so much for so little yet we could actually make more money and have some good time left over. In her journey, Dorothée also realizes that money equals value and that self-worth is not determined by a high charge-out rate but viewing ourselves as people who are well deserving of a seat at the table.
What people say doesn’t matter is a statement that has never made more sense than it did in this TEDx episode. “It’s nothing really personal.” Dorothée says. “What people think and say about me comes from their view of the world. However, if people is you then what people say matters.” We must be kind to ourselves and know that our responses – not circumstances – define us.
REITs, derivatives, cryptocurrency are terms that sometimes make me shy away from reading business finance articles. I am sure Dorothée may have at one point shared my sentiments but discerned it important to engage in the world of finance if she was to survive. After putting in the work, Dorothée realized that it’s really simple. That everything she’s learnt could have been learnt from her grandmother. Spend less, Earn more, Invest wisely, Value self. She acknowledges that it is not that easy because Parkinson’s Law which states that our expenses will always rise to match our income always comes into play. Her call is for listeners to do whatever it takes to break this law and my call for you at this point is to do whatever it takes to watch the clip 🙂
“Day and night I felt this blind panic. I couldn’t breathe. There was no way out. I was suffocating. So the first thing and the only thing I could do was breathe.” Being broke sucks and I absolutely relate to Dorothée’s narration but love more what she says next. “I freed my mind and I made a decision that I was going to be successful in my direction of my purpose. I found my focus. I stopped sabotaging myself and I became successful.” Do you know what that success strategy involves? Staying broke. Dorothée shares a quote by Epictetus where he which puts forward that wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants. For her it is time with her daughter and self. I need more time to think about mine but hope one day I too can say money is not important.
EASY? Listening to the experiences of others definitely makes the burden light, the journey easier and perhaps even enjoyable. Okay enjoyable is a stretch. Staying broke (and other financial disciplines) is not for the fainthearted but Dorothée shows us that it is possible. The truth, however, is that breakthroughs can sometimes take longer than we anticipate. But isn’t it encouraging to know that… God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus ~ Philippians 4:19