I often say it doesn’t matter who your parents were or how you were raised; wealth is always possible to create. That is because the ability to prosper has nothing to do with how much money you have but, rather, what your relationship is with the money you have.
Sadly, the vast majority of us have an unhealthy relationship with money. That’s why 70% of lottery winners lose all their money within five years. That’s why I, the daughter of a billionaire, spent most of my early adulthood living in a panic over how I would survive. And it is why millions of people born into poverty can work incredibly hard and never seem to accumulate more wealth.
In my experience, the core reason most people struggle in their relationship with money is because they are disempowered in this area of their life. Many people (particularly women and children) are taught a point of view that it is inappropriate or impossible for them to control their own financial situation. This drains them of all personal power around money and creates a situation where they will never be able to fully create wealth for themselves.
It is entirely possible for you to have and enjoy greater wealth. But in order to do so, you must first fully empower yourself in this area.
Here are the three ways we allow our financial power to be taken from us:
1. Waiting to be rescued
I was surrounded by wealth in my childhood, but I was always reliant on others to give me the funds I needed and wanted. I wasn’t taught how to understand or use the power of money. Instead, I was raised with the expectation that I would marry someone wealthy; someone who would continue to take care of my financial needs.
The details of your story are probably different to mine, but the essence could be similar. Many of us are raised to believe that someone, or something, outside of ourselves is the answer to our financial well-being. For me, this involved a wealthy husband. For you it may be the dream of a big lottery or gambling win, bail-out loans from family members or the continuing juggle of credit card debt.
If your future wealth is reliant on the decisions or whims of someone or something other than yourself, then you are disempowered in your finances. It’s time to understand your financial destiny is in your hands, and yours alone.
“If you are born poor its not your mistake, But if you die poor its your mistake.” – Bill Gates
2. Handing control to others
When I was in my late twenties, I began to have money I could call my own. But, because my upbringing had disempowered me in this area of my life, I believed I was too ignorant to manage my finances. I believed I wasn’t capable or worthy of making the right decisions.
So I did what I believe many people do – I allowed other people to control my potential for wealth. In my marriage, I deferred to my husband in all financial matters, and my personal investments were left in the hands of fund managers. Sadly, I didn’t educate myself, ask questions or push back on questionable decisions. Because of this, I allowed myself to be financially abused by those who I trusted.
If you are going to create the prosperity that you deserve, you have to have oversight of what your money is doing. You have to be educated and aware of how your money is working for you, and you have to be bold enough to stand your ground if you see others making decisions that are undermining your wealth creation.
3. Forgetting that wealth is about choice
When you are financially disempowered – as many are – it is easy to feel like a victim. It can feel like your money situation controls you, not that you are in control of your money. Therefore, one of the most important factors in empowering yourself financially is to understand that wealth creation is a choice.
I recently fell in love with an antique couch and could have found the money required to buy it and refurbish it to its full, exquisite beauty. But I have chosen at this time to invest half of my income – I know that it will be best for my financial future. So, I made the choice to not buy the couch. The key thing is that I didn’t allow my emotions to control my decision, I empowered myself to make the choice that is best for me.
By the same token, I teach my clients that the first step in creating wealth is to put away 10% of your earnings. In this way, you will always feel like you have money. But making this commitment is a choice – you have to choose to put yourself first regardless of other influences that may sway your decision otherwise.
“Be aware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
When it comes to creating wealth, it doesn’t matter who your parents were or how you were raised. Neither does it matter whether others have empowered you financially, or not. All that matters is that you know you are capable, courageous and committed enough to have a prosperous and sustainable relationship with money. To know that you can empower yourself.