I know about being poor . . . I know about poverty . . . I've lived it. It's been part of my family, it's attacked my friends, it attacked me on a daily basis and in some cases beat me down. I've had to fight and claw my way out of the poverty-mindset and I can say to you, there is a difference between being poor and living in poverty.
Simply explained, being poor means you are in a state of insufficient funds. You are broke. But this can be fixed easily . . . a second job, a on-the-side gig, a six-month educational program . . . these things and other endeavors can get you out of the "land of broke."
Being "in poverty" while living in the United States is a mind-set of an individual that just says "I give up."
- Not trying anything to better your life because it's too hard
- Feeling as if anything you do , you'll fail anyway so why try
- Don't want the problems that happen with money (more money, more problems)
- Don't want to be responsible for having more (security, keeping track, doing additional stuff)
- Afraid of success or failure
- Don't want money because you will lose all your friends (respect of friends)
- Afraid of ridicule or (not being able to fit in) with your friends
- Focusing on "one thing" to get you out of your situation
- Looking for someone else to get you out of your situation
- Unwilling to LOOK for ways (learn about) ways to get out of your situation
Changes in your mind-set that can get you out of the poverty:
1. Stop looking at the "scarcity" of money, opportunity and possibility. Instead try to focus on abundance, possibility and opportunity. Begin to say to those obstacles "there has got to be a way around this." And take the time to really try to find a way. Don't worry when you find lots of ways that stops you or lots of ways that don't work. You only need one way to get through it, so focus on that finding that one way.
2. Poverty-minded people won't take the first steps to begin because they don't see the full outcome. Don't worry about the finish line, if the first steps clear themselves go for it! If you come upon some obstacles down the line refer to step 1 above. Think about it, if you are at rock bottom with no where to go, even taking 3 or 4 steps higher puts you in a better position then you were before.
3. Stop looking at what you lack and be grateful for what you have, right now. You may just find a opportunity using the thing that you do have. Have you heard about the guy that started with a red paperclip and traded his way up to a HOUSE? Or the guy that made a million dollars with ONE web page?
4. Don't concentrate on one thing . . . or better yet, don't stop at one success.
Understand that a good job is great, it's excellent . . . but it should just be a spring board, a foundation for other endeavors, opportunities, chances. I think everyone would agree that:
- A business with one client, soon dies if that client decides to go elsewhere.
- A freelance artist with one contract, soon becomes a starving artist when that contract is finished.
- A store or restaurant with one customer soon closes it's door.
As people who are looking for financial freedom we should be creating income outside of our primary jobs. We should be looking for ways to make our money grow, or better yet, produce income. Why is it so damned hard to think . . . (no scratch that) live this way?
As the average-everyday job employee, I mentally understand these concepts but find it so very hard to live it. Why? Anyone have any answers?
Photo by Erin Mason (found on Flickr)