Let’s talk about Leprechauns and Unicorns.
We’ll start with Leprechauns. Why? Because this article is being written in March 2010 – you know St. Patrick’s
Speaking of which – a big Happy Birthday to my Uncle John Kimbrell on March 17th! In his mid 80’s
and still has a wonderful sense of humor and a quick wit.
Have you been
seeking out that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Have you found it yet?
you have and you just haven’t told anyone yet. It seems like there’s not a day go by that we’re not bombarded
with yet another “get rich quick scheme”
or scam. If I were to take advantage of all those letters from Nigeria telling me I’ve been selected to help someone
get their inheritance out of the country and I would get a big percentage of it – I would have at least a BILLION dollars
in the bank by now.
Guess what! It doesn’t work that way.
You know why? The answer is the word in the middle of that last sentence – WORK!
Too many people want to get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but they don’t want to have
to put up with the rain, or walk to the end of the rainbow to get it. And then there are those people who say they want to
make more money!
Who “makes” money? The government and counterfeiters.
So to “make” more money, you either have to get a job at the Treasury Department or run the risk of being arrested
and going to prison. Instead of “making” money, the right term to use is “earn” money.
“Everything has its limit -
iron ore cannot be educated into gold.”
Here’s the problem with most people – they want more money, but they don’t want to “Work”
to earn it. I wonder how much money the senders of those email scams would earn, if they spent as much time putting forth
the effort at a legitimate business or job, as they did trying to steal from someone else?
Several years ago, I received an email from someone who claimed to be coming to town on business and wanted
to set up a series of appointments with me while they were in town. Although I was suspicious – don’t know why,
I just was – they sounded sincere. We agreed upon my professional fees for a number of sessions.
They agreed to send an advanced down payment of $500 for me to hold the time for them. I was very surprised
when the check actually came. But there was a problem – the check was for $5000 instead of $500! The day it arrived,
I also got an email from them telling me a new employee in their business department had made a mistake. Of course they suggested
a very simple solution -- they wanted me to deposit the check and send them a check for $3500 – keeping $1000 for myself
for the inconvenience, as soon as possible so they could get the mistake corrected before anyone found out about the mistake
and so as not to get the new employee fired.
Being the upstanding, honest
person I am, of course I immediately went to the bank and deposited it and got a cashier’s check into the mail to them
that afternoon. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for getting that poor new employee out of a job. They probably have
a family with a spouse, four kids, and a dog to support.
No – I did
not take the check to the bank, and I certainly did not send them any money. It was obvious it was a scam. But I wonder how
many gullible people would have fallen for it. It was a real check. I called the bank and discussed it with the bank manager.
Someone had stolen some checks from the bank the previous month, and four people had actually deposited the $5000 checks sent
At the bank manager’s request, I sent the check along
with copies of the email trail to the bank manager to see if they could possibly get fingerprints or any other useful information
from it they could use if they ever caught the thieves.
So what does this
have to do with Leprechauns? Well perhaps you don’t know this, but Leprechauns are very hard workers. Legend has it
they are cobblers (make shoes – not the peach kind) and also bankers – honest bankers – not the kind that
takes taxpayers money, won’t loan it, but give themselves very large bonuses.
know they have to work for their money – not just wish it or answer an email. I’ve also been told the more successful
Leprechauns raise Unicorns – and that takes a lot of work! And what does this have to do with us today? Well, in order to earn money, it would help to know how much
money you need to earn, how much you would like to save, what type of work or investing (still requires work to get the money
to invest) you’re planning on doing.
How much do you need to earn? Enough to cover all your needs
– shelter, food, clothing, transportation, etc. Enough to cover some (not necessarily all) of your wants – recreation,
vacations, nicer homes, cars, clothes, etc. than you really need. And of course some left over to save for those rainy days.
Saving? Yes, you need to plan to earn enough to more than cover needs and wants
to save. You’ve been doing that haven’t you? Most of us spend what we have. If our income goes up, our spending
goes up. The problem is when the income goes down, it’s hard to adjust the spending and then there’s this thing
called credit card debt! What type of work should you do? ,Something that:
* Provides a needed service or product to others
* Gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction
* You really enjoy doing – you DO enjoy what you’re
doing, don’t you? If not, maybe you need to do some career assessments here
* You look forward to doing. It’s amazing when I hear people say “I have to go to work” or “I have to go to my
office”. Have you ever heard anyone say “I have to go on vacation to the beach in Hawaii?” Yet people go
to work to jobs they hate every day and wonder why they’re all stressed out!
.Success is not the key to happiness.
Happiness is the key to success.
If you love what you are doing, you
will be successful."
People who earn a living doing what they really like to do are like Leprechauns. They enjoy life and expect
rainbows after a heavy rain. They believe in Unicorns – they believe they can actually have their DREAMS! And because
they believe, they make them happen. They take ACTION.
People who “have”
to go to work and really dread it – may dream of that pot of gold, but will never put forth the effort to actually earn
it. They do what they have to just to get by and hopefully not get fired. They keep waiting and hoping (as opposed to expecting)
things will get better. They “talk about making changes”, but very rarely ever do.
Most people don’t believe in Unicorns – why? I guess because a Unicorn hasn’t eaten an
apple out of their hands. They also don’t believe they can be happy. They don’t believe they can have a fulfilling
career or family life. They “settle for” an existence instead of LIVING!
but wait a minute! I think maybe some of you just might be thinking “Oh, that’s easy for other people, but not
for me. I’m stuck in this job (this marriage, this town, this . . . )” Now if you’re one of the people thinking that – go back and reread it. Honestly, does that sound
like a REASON to you? Or does it sound like an EXCUSE?
Other people have
been stuck before and they found a way out. And many people will remain stuck because it’s uncomfortable to take action
and actually make changes in their lives.
Which group do you fall into? It’s up to you. No one
can do it for you. You might find people to help you get unstuck. That’s one of the main things people who need help
come to me – to get unstuck. And you might find there are others in your life who want to see you remain stuck. Why?
Because they’re too afraid to take action and make changes themselves. And if you get unstuck, they will have one less
What would you really like to be? To do? Dream big, but also be realistic. .One of my clients told me he really wanted to play professional basketball. And
he didn’t think he could be happy since that’s not what he was doing. When we looked at reality – he was
in his 50’s, 5’ 4”, about 50 pounds overweight, and the closest he got to a gym was when he drove by one
on the way home – it was quite apparent he wasn’t going to make it in the world of professional basketball. When
I asked him what qualifications he had that would help him achieve this dream, he told me he loved basketball! He really,
really wanted to play basketball!
Why would I want to squash his dreams? I didn’t. But
I did want to help him find real dreams – not an unrealistic fantasy. And after some discussion, he acknowledged the
reason he thought he wanted to be a professional basketball player was because he knew that was impossible.
By having an “impossible” dream, he could justify staying stuck in his career and could settle
We talked more about what he did for a living and how unhappy
he was. What did he do? He was a financial planner – a very successful one at that! But he didn’t really like
most of the clients he worked with. And he really didn’t like going to work each day!
After talking some more, I led him with a few well directed questions to thinking about how young college
and professional basketball players might benefit from his knowledge and expertise. I asked him if there just might be the
possibility that some of the wealthy clients he was working with just might know someone, or know someone who knows someone,
who would be able to get him introduced to some basketball players or maybe even other professional athletes he could help.
It might even lead him to love other sports as well.
Then we started talking
about other possible ways he could find to put himself into contact with the people he wanted to work with. He might not actually
play professional basketball, but he could combine what he was already doing successfully with what he really loved.
Back to the “pot of gold”. The man I just told you about found his pot of gold, but it wasn’t
where he was looking. It was there for him all along – hidden in plain sight, but because he was looking in the wrong
direction, he just couldn’t see it. And besides, it wasn’t exactly as he thought it should be.
Have you ever heard the expression “Be careful which ladder of success you’re climbing –
it might be leaned against the wrong building?” That’s what he was doing. He was successful, but not in ways that
allowed him to enjoy the success. .Here
are some key points to remember:
Keep your options open to other possibilities than maybe what you’ve been focused on
* Many people sit at home with the attitude “when Opportunity
knocks, I’ll be ready.” Maybe, just maybe you should go out there and YOU KNOCK on Opportunity’s door. And
if Opportunity doesn’t answer at that door – knock on another Opportunity door! Over and over and over until finally
you find an Opportunity that’s home and will open the door for you!
* Know what you want, but be flexible!
* Set your goals, but whatever they are, add these words – “or better”
or “or more”. What if you had set a short term goal of making seven sales calls in a day. And by Noon, you already
had them made? Should you take off the rest of the day and play golf? Maybe, if you had already planned on playing golf. But
if you had not planned on playing golf, you could stay and make some more sales calls. Which would get you closer to your
long term goals?
* If you
catch yourself getting off track – get back on track. You’re an adult, you don’t need (or at least shouldn’t)
someone else to tell you to get back on track.
* Stop accepting excuses from yourself – oh I know – you call them “reasons”, don’t
you? When you want to succeed, you’ll get past the point of accepting excuses from yourself.
Now, what did you find in this article that will help you find that “pot of gold?”
Whatever it is, even if it’s just one tiny little idea – it’s worthless if you don’t
put it to work. But even if it’s a tiny idea that you do use and it gets you closer to succeeding in finding it (the
word really should be CREATING! Shouldn’t it?”, then it was well worth your time.
And that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!
think of someone else who would benefit from reading this article and forward it to them! Just imagine how good you’ll