Want to be the life of the party? Share a story of how you, your child or your favorite team came from behind to win the game and you’ll have the entire room’s attention. Why is that? It’s really simple. Deep down inside of us, we all love to win. If you don’t believe me, ask any fan of the Miami Heat how they would have felt if the Heat lost either game 6 or game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
The Heat seemed to have mastered the art of a come from behind win as they did that not only to stay alive in the series in game 6, but also to win game 7 and move on to play the Oklahoma City Thunder for the right to be crowned the 2012 NBA Champions.
If you think winning isn’t a big deal, ask the Boston Celtics how they are feeling after having lost the chance to close out the series at home in game 6 and having blown an 11 point lead in game 7 to eventually lose to a team that they literally “had on the ropes.” I can guarantee that they’ll tell you that feeling of not winning pretty much sucked! How about Evander Holyfield? He’s been in the news lately. Here’s a guy who made over $250 million dollars over his fighting career but is now in the midst of some pretty difficult financial times. Not only is he facing the threat of jail time for failure to pay his child support payments, but his home….excuse me, his estate which at 54,000 square feet on 234 acres is really a little city all by itself, was just sold on the courthouse steps for $7.5 million. You might be thinking well, he’s got some money from the sale to address his financial needs but that’s so far off the mark it’s not even funny. Evander owes over $14 million to the bank and in excess of $200,000 in back taxes. Here’s a guy who went from winning the game of boxing to losing the money game. There are countless others in the same boat as Holyfield.
I know we teach our children to give it their best when they reach the age where they are engaged in competitive sports. We go onto to tell them it does not matter if you win so long as you give it your best shot. Even then, there’s still a sunken feeling at the thought of them not winning. While it might be OK to come in 2nd or 3rd in competitive sports, for the game of money, anything short of coming in 1st and actually winning the prize of financial independence is simply not acceptable. 2nd or 3rd simply does not cut it in making sure you’ve attained your financial goals…winning is simply the only option.
I’m waiting for you to ask the question of how then do you win the money game? It starts by first acknowledging that what you’re doing isn’t working. Quite frankly, until you get sick and tired of losing, you’re not ready to win the money game. So assuming you’ve reached that point, then the next step is a commitment to change your views about money. If you’ve accepted that what you are doing isn’t working then it’s time to realize that you have to do something different. Perhaps some of the “truths” you’ve accepted about planning for your financial future aren’t true at all. Would it bother you if what you thought to be true about planning for your financial future turned out not to be true? If that were the case, when would you want to know?
Well, I hate to bother you but I know some of the things you’ve accepted to be true about planning for your financial future and paying less in taxes actually aren’t true. If owning a term life insurance policy actually cost you more than a permanent life insurance policy, when would you want to know. If having your home paid off actually places you in more risk than having a full mortgage on your home, when would you want to know? If you could pay off your home faster with a 30 year mortgage than with a 15 year mortgage, when would you want to know? If putting money into your qualified plan actually cost you more in taxes than you think you are saving, when would you want to know? If you could earn double digit returns with less risk by investing in something other than stocks and mutual funds, when would you want to know? If a lot of what you’ve accepted to be true about planning for your financial future was actually mistakes that financial advisors have disguised as financial advice, when would you want to know?