"Money has never made man happy, nor will it. There is nothing
in its nature to produce happiness." – Benjamin Franklin
One of the concepts taught by Conscious Transformation is that we are always in relationship with the people, places and things in our life. One of the more dynamic relationships we experience is our relationship with money. Money impacts our daily life, from paying the monthly bills to the cars we drive and the homes we live in. These everyday choices are influenced by money and our beliefs about it.
In my former career as an estate-planning attorney, and now in my work in wealth management, I’ve had the unique opportunity to peer into the financial lives of hundreds of people. My clients have ranged from those with very modest means to multi-millionaires. It’s been fascinating to see first-hand how different people relate to their finances.
One client was an elderly widow who grew up during the Great Depression and held a strong belief that she would "never have enough." Even though her net worth exceeded $4,000,000, she didn’t enjoy her abundance. She lived in a small home in a sketchy neighborhood, and still bought her clothes at the thrift store.
My client and her husband worked in government jobs and never had children. Growing up in the Depression, they deprived themselves in an attempt to save as much money as possible, "for a rainy day." They invested regularly in blue-chip stocks which, over time, grew to a sizeable sum.
After her husband died, this sweet woman could not bring herself to enjoy her wealth despite my urgings to "live a little." Her relationship with money was one of scarcity and she simply could not enjoy the freedom her wise investing had created for her.
Another client had always been financially supported by her father and never worked or earned her own money. After her parents died, she inherited millions of dollars. Even though she was in her sixties, she had no concept of how to live within a budget or make sound financial decisions. Instead, she spent her inheritance buying material things in an attempt to fill an inner need for love and self-worth. But no amount of money could buy the happiness she desperately searched for, so she kept spending.
Working with wealthy clients challenged my own beliefs around money. I grew up in a middle class home in a small Kansas farming community where everyone "worked hard" to earn a living. I was expected to pay for my own education and by the time I graduated law school I was $40,000 in debt. I was technically bankrupt!
As I started my legal career I took advantage of the opportunity to study how my wealthy clients handled their finances. I observed that many of them had little or no debt, so I began to pay off my school loans as quickly as possible. I started eliminating the smallest debts first and gained a sense of pride in accomplishing these small, but attainable, benchmarks. Soon, I paid off all my student loans and began to relate to my income as a tool to create wealth.
I vividly recall reviewing the balance sheet of a new client and was stunned to learn that he had paid off the mortgage on his home and owned it free and clear. I didn’t believe this was even possible! However, I challenged my belief when it dawned on me that if he could do it, why not me? Within the year I paid off the mortgage on my townhouse. The sense of freedom and empowerment I realized in accomplishing this financial milestone was exhilarating!
Another client was someone I admired greatly when it came to having a healthy relationship with money. He retired from a successful career and, as a way to give back, made an investment in a small company and served on the board of directors. The company quickly became extremely successful and my client’s modest stock ownership turned into a multi-million dollar investment.
This client lived in a beautiful home where he and his wife enjoyed entertaining friends. They were generous donors to charitable organizations and gave freely of their time. They adored their children and helped them purchase their own homes. They enjoyed taking their grandchildren on adventures around the world to introduce them to new cultures. My clients were unassuming, generous and delightful individuals to be with. They respected their wealth, but believed they could use their money to enhance their life and positively impact their community.
I’ve engaged the practices of Conscious Transformation for over a decade now, and most recently began implementing the strategies Joey Klein teaches in Money Mastery. In that time, I’ve seen my income more than double and my net worth quadruple. I’ve shifted old beliefs like "I’m not good enough" to believing that "I’m more than enough." As I cultivate a more loving state within myself, I enjoy an outer abundance in my health, relationships, and my finances. I continue to examine my inner beliefs and evolve the relationship with myself in order to realize my vision of living an extraordinary life.
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J.D. Bloom is a trainer in Denver, Colorado. J.D. is an attorney, businessman and ordained minister. As a lawyer, he was a partner in a firm that specialized in corporate law and estate planning. He then went on to serve as part of the senior management team for an international spiritual organization. He currently is a certified trust and financial advisor working with high-net-worth individuals.