I Woke Up Thinking About Money

Hello and happy Monday! This is Susan Hyatt and it’s GO time. This is episode number 124.

In today’s episode we’re talking about a Facebook post I saw recently, where someone accused another Facebooker of lying about how much money she made because she thought her house was “dumpy” and she didn’t have a nice car.

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Wanna read the full transcript? Here ya go:

The other day, I woke up thinking about… money.

Specifically, I was thinking about a post I saw on Facebook recently. Unfortunately, it was not a very pleasant post.

It was someone complaining about a business owner who has publicly stated that she earns over $1 million per year. This Facebooker was basically saying, “She’s lying. There’s no way she could be a millionaire. Her house is dumpy. She doesn’t have a nice car. She must be lying about her income. She’s trying to trick us. She’s a con artist.”

Lots of women were chiming in. Some agreed. Some disagreed. The whole post has a very ugly, vicious tone, like villagers marching around with burning torches and pitchforks. After reading the thread for a few minutes, I closed that tab on my screen. And I thought to myself, “Whoa. There’s a lot going on here.”

First of all, I felt empathy for the woman who was being accused of lying. There’s something about being a successful businesswoman that magnetizes critics and haters. It’s like there’s people lining up around the block, just waiting for a chance to tear you down and accuse you of all kinds of things, usually without any proof whatsoever. It’s ugly and sad. This tear-down culture has got to stop.

Secondly, this got me thinking about colleagues of mine who make fifty thousand a year, one hundred thousand a year, one million a year, and more. What I can tell you, for sure, is that being wealthy has NOTHING to do with designer clothes or how fancy your house might be. Often, the markers of wealth are invisible, not visible and obvious.

There are a lot of wealthy people who lead very quiet, humble lives, and looking at them, you’d never guess what kind of money they’re generating. And vice versa. They are plenty of people earning very little money who put out a flashy, glamorous appearance. Appearances can sometimes be misleading.

There are lots of signs of wealth that you don’t see. For example, people with sustainable wealth save a good portion of it. They pay their quarterly taxes. They save for retirement. They might pay college tuition in cash. They might pay for experiences over shoes or jewelry. So, they might not have a brand new Masarati or a Gucci bag. Or they might! You can’t tell that much about someone’s wealth based on appearances alone.

The moral of the story?

We’ve got to be careful not to make snap judgments based on appearances.

Also, if you notice yourself getting upset and accusatory because someone claims to be making a lot of money… before you post something online, check in with yourself. Ask, “Why is this upsetting me so much?” Anxiety, fear, and jealousy can sometimes compel us to write and say things we later regret. Check yo’self before you wreck yourself.

And lastly, I encourage you to think about what “wealth” would look like and feel like for you. How do you define wealth? What are the specific benchmarks you’d want to hit? Get really specific.

For example, do you want to pay off your mortgage within 15 years?

Do you want to have six months of emergency savings in the bank?

Do you want to wipe out your credit card debt?

Do you want clients booked and lined up for the next three months so you feel secure and don’t have to stress about it?

Do you want Christian Louboutin shoes in your closet and Chanel perfume on top of your dresser?

Do you want to be able to send your kids to the best private schools?

Do you want to be able to buy a house for your mom?

Do you want to be able to buy organic food AND donate to your favorite charity every year?

Write down a list of experiences, achievements, and possessions that represent “wealth” for you. Be specific. Be honest. We all define wealth in our own way, so write whatever feels true for you. If you want fancy shoes, that is OK! I’m right there with you. It’s OK to want whatever you want.

And then—instead of wondering if OTHER people are lying about their wealth—focus on building your OWN wealth.

Other people’s private lives and bank accounts are really none of your concern. Stay focused on your own goals. As my friend Melissa Cassera often says to her clients, “Keep your eyes on your own paper.”

Your life. Your habits. Your wealth. Stay focused on what YOU can be doing to get where you want to be.

It’s GO time.

Susan Hyatt

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