February 1999: I started in the financial advice and brokerage business; I was 23. I worked with some of the largest and most powerful firms in the world, opening my eyes to a harsher side of life, with razor-sharp edges willing to cut what’s needed to achieve a profit and minimize loss – I call this marginal wealth.
A corporation is not human and its sole purpose is to build shareholder wealth. A corporation can sue and be sued, it has no heart or soul and the meaning of ethical, empathy, right or wrong is determined by decision makers, not the corporation.
The harsh evidence is sometimes left holding a small box of personal items not really knowing what to do or where to go next or how to now provide for their family.
I was exploring the idea of forever walking away from the financial advice business when I discovered a diamond in the rough, a small light shining in the darkness and what seemed to be good vs. evil. I met a group of dedicated individuals at the Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco in 2012 and attended a workshop the next day hosted by the CEO of this company.
The content of the workshop was more about financial life strategies; learning to focus on the things you can control, no pitch, but a presentation about simplifying and improving your quality of life and doing more of what matters most to you. Here is what happened next …
My former way of thinking: Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth
The evolution of my thought process does not have a formula. Net worth, to me, now encompasses spirituality & culture, untapped creativity & knowledge, value of future income, liabilities, health, sense of humor, friends & family, cash & investments. Determining Your True Net Worth
I have worked nearly everyday for the past 15 years in the financial advice business and learned from the best of the best, but never have I heard remarks such as this and articulated in a way that a 4-year-old understands an i-pad.
My business has changed, as have my priorities. I no longer yearn for “more, more, more” but have learned to appreciate what matters most to me. I’m now teaching what I am learning to my clients helping them understand that we are born and then we die, but it’s what we do in the middle that determines being happy.
So, am I happy now that the upside down noose around my neck called a tie has been removed? Damn right I am.