I was talking to a dear friend yesterday about a new humanitarian project for 2012. On Christmas Day we launched a project with a wonderful goal of empowering people to rise from poverty. Now is not necessarily the time and place for my personal story but in my life I was able to do just that. So naturally, out of simple gratitude, I want to give back. Nothing inspires me like a genuine rags to riches story, and I have spent a large part of my adult life trying to teach and inspire people to do just that. Why? Because few things touch my heart like seeing someone rise from nothing to greatness. My favorite bird is the phoenix, and before you say it’s a mythical creature you might want to check out my flight feathers because I have been there and done that and I’m getting ready to take off again. LOL
I was talking to my friend Najla on Facebook. Najla lives halfway across the world. I take her opinions very seriously, especially on the matter of my new “Need Not Greed” project because I must gain any knowledge I can, especially from people that live elsewhere. Naturally I don’t fully understand other cultures…I am always learning. The goal is to help people everywhere, not just in my own back yard. So Najla and I were talking, and a lot of things were shared. Many of these things concern me.
I have a hard time totally getting behind the “Occupy” movements around the world. There is a ton of truth being spoken and I like most of the message, but come on people… Do banks screw people? Yes they do. I have known that forever. But people screw banks too. Ultimately I knew the rules going in and created most of my own financial messes in life. The system is corrupt. It’s not like we just learned this in the past few years. It has always been corrupt. I may hate where I am in life, but if I owe money then I should pay it, because if I don’t then someone else will have to pay for me. Is that ethical? If they can’t squeeze me then they squeeze you harder. Are you happy about that? At one point in my life I was almost $200,000 in debt and had just suffered from a business failure. I refused to file bankruptcy. That is who I am. I don’t have to like my creditors but I do believe in paying them. With that said, I do feel that changes need to be made and possibly some very radical changes, but… I have to say what a lot of other people are thinking. Why is it that you don’t care when children in Africa are starving but you begin to get angry when food starts disappearing from your own table? It’s a fair question. I am not saying that everyone is like that, but I guarantee you that 75% of those protestors would be chillax-ing at home if they hit a powerball jackpot tomorrow. The point is that they care when it’s them but not necessarily when it’s me or you.
So do things need to be fixed? Yes they do because the corruption is real. But if the economy takes a huge upswing tomorrow people will forget this cause until the next time mass poverty, joblessness, and homelessness hits. The opinion of many is…screw Africa that’s their problem, but if it’s me then we have to do something. If people are that way then politicians will be too… politicians are people too. Unfortunately they are human. So if the current crisis does not effect their family, they may not really care. You probably have neighbors within a 10 mile radius of you that are down on their luck and how many people care about them? How many homeless people have you taken in? How many extra house guests did you have at your holiday feast? And if you did have a few…did you make it clear to them that they could stay as long as they wanted? Or did you pat yourself on the back for a day and rush them off? The bottom line is that things need to be fixed, but most people ultimately serve their own agenda, and that makes fixing things difficult.
Najla and I came to a consensus (at least between two friends) that not all people can be trusted to be given the keys to wealth. You can not for a minute deny that because the proof is in our system. Government officials and corporate superstars are more likely to be crooked than honest. It’s a shame but it’s true. These people are HUMAN. Humans are imperfect and can become very greedy, very quickly if given power and/or wealth. I have seen it too many times. As a motivational writer and success coach I have met hundreds of people who went form “Zero to Hero” and sadly many of them forgot all about where they came from once they made it. Some people are flawed and you can see it long before wealth takes hold. Najla and I talked about beggars and “panhandlers.” There are people out there who make more money begging than they ever could in an honest profession. They start out pure of heart because they have need, and then it can become a business to them. They master their craft. They learn how to dress, how to act, what streets to work, when to work those streets, etc. Before you know it, a good panhandler is making more money than many blue collar workers.
Then there are the people who abuse the system. They stay on disability insurance in my country when they may be able to work. They have more children to increast their welfare check. They take in more foster children to increase their government subsidies. They lie about looking for work to stay on unemployment insurance. They take social security when they don’t need to. They call in sick for work simply to make sure they use every one of their sick days. They fail to make good on loans from banks, but also from friends and relatives. They engage in frivolous lawsuits while dreaming of easy money. They do nothing more than they have to do to get by in life and take everything they can. Would you trust these people with billions of dollars?
A less than moral stance is viewed as somewhat acceptable when you are poor. Many people brag about screwing the government or big business. They fail to report income from mowing yards or babysitting. We all know people who skirt the system in some way. But when you are wealthy and you try to use a tax loophole you are crucified in the media. My entire point is this… If we put wealth in the hands of the wrong persons then we are simply adding to the problem that already exists. Do you think those people that currently abuse the system will change who they are just because they have money? You probably believe in the Tooth Fairy as well. It’s not going to happen. Bad people with money are what got us here in the first place. These are the things that are on my mind. I made the mistake of helping some people I shouldn’t have helped. I helped them make a lot of money and now they are just a few more people on the “Greedy” list. At the time I was convinced that people would change if given a hand up. It didn’t happen and it won’t happen because of any financial miracles. It may happen because of some spiritual awakening but I am not a man of the cloth so that’s not my department. All I know is that I can no longer freely pass on the knowledge that was freely shared with me (by some very good people). I have to find out who people are first. I am not a perfect judge of character, but I have to try.
With that said the biggest responsibility I have is to educate. Education empowers people. There are outstanding people out there. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet all took a special pledge to give back 50% of their lifetime wealth. If they will do that then I don’t really mind them being worth billions. The truth is that guys like that are supporting lots of worthless people who do nothing but look for handouts. Some people need help and I am not questioning those who are genuine, but the abuse has to stop. If it doesn’t stop at the bottom then we can’t expect it to stop at the top. Can we? Can we expect people at the top to be better human beings than the folks at the bottom? The problem is not about banks and corporate greed. The problem is about the greed of the human race. That’s how I see it. The cool thing about education is that it tends to separate the wheat from the chaff. I made the mistake earlier in life of doing way too much for people who would eventually abuse their wealth.
I can show anyone reading this how to become a millionaire. I went from food stamps to millionaire status myself. I know the way. But I will not help everyone, I have to be more cautious. I will educate people on how to help themselves and when they start to show me that they deserve to be poor, I am going to cut them off. This is the best approach I can currently offer. Until we put money in the hands of people who are not afraid to share it, then we will never have a chance to beat the problems that society faces. Those problems matter to me. But I’m sorry…the same people bitching (in many cases) would give us the same result if they traded places with those bankers and politicians. The problem is one of moral fiber and nothing else.
If you are willing to give back to people then I really want to work with you. I would consider it a privilege to teach you the things that I know and help you to become financially independent. Please realize this, however… I am not about hype. I am too old for that. If you start to show me your true colors three months from now, I will cut you off. That’s how it has to be. Wealth carries responsibility and I hope to never again put substantial amounts of money into the pockets of less than perfect people. I will always regret that I somehow allowed that to happen but I have to move forward. I am not trying to cast judgement, just being real. I wasn’t always the person I am now. I had to work on it. We all have to work on our shortcomings.
I am currently partnering with a number of very good human beings including David Wood, a man who rose from homelessness to extreme wealth. David has made it his mission to teach people how to rise above poverty as well. If you are looking for a support team to work with, then you should watch this free video and consider joining David, myself and the rest of the gang… See David’s Rags to Riches Story
For those of you who already have your own business projects and simply need help getting to a profitable level, I want to help you. I have two resources for you. First off you can visit my blog. We currently have over 200 articles written by well-known international wealth experts… www.practical-motivation.com We also launched “Need NOT Greed: The Right to Wealth Project” on Christmas Day. Come check us out on facebook at Need NOT Greed: The Right To Wealth Project
I look forward to working with you personally in 2016, and bringing new found wealth to you and, just as importantly, THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU!!! If you are willing to accept the responsibility of wealth then I will help you.