I hit up my second ever coin show over the weekend, and as I salivated over all the rarities I could only DREAM of acquiring one day (some of them were in the tens of thousands of dollars! For just ONE!), my eyes – and wallet – were struck by one coin in particular. An old 5 cent nickel piece which looked to be gold?
I asked the coin dealer what the heck it was (who was rockin’ a KILLER handlebar ‘stache btw – hadn’t shaved in 42 years!) and he told me the story of the “Racketeer Nickels” dating back to 1883. When the US Gov’t failed to mark these new “V” nickels with “cents” anywhere on the coin, and they started being pawned off as $5 gold coins instead! (I forgot to ask if they were actually gold plated, or just gold painted, but either way they *looked* like gold when in fact they weren’t). Apparently one of the more popular racketeers was deaf and mute, and ended up conning a ton of people out of money, and then walked away scott-free even after being arrested. It was a pretty neat story :)
The Gov’t eventually wised up and started producing them going forward with “cents” allocated on the back, but for a while these “racketeer nickels” flooded the market and I, now, was holding one 130 years later. And after some sexy little bargaining moves, I managed to pick it up for only $13 instead of $15 – woo! A lot more than the 5 cents they were initially worth, haha, but still a fun buy :)
Now I know you didn’t come here today to learn about the awesome hobby of coin collecting, so I “rack”ed my brain (get it?) to tie this into some sort of personal finance lesson for ya instead. That way I could *sneak in* this little history gem which you can now use for the rest of your lives at cocktail parties ;) You’re welcome.
And that personal finance lesson is: Don’t hide behind these popular cover ups!
“I don’t have the time”
This is one of my favorite cover ups. Every single one of us has the same amount of time as the next guy – 24 hours a day – the only difference in success is how we USE them. Are we prioritizing them to get us farther to our financial goals? Are we wasting them away doing who knows what when people aren’t looking? Is your sleeping or TV watching or all that sex you’re having getting in the way of your goals? ;) If so, then change it!
Yeah some people are strapped with a lot more responsibility than others, and also going through much harder times as well, but generally speaking we all have complete control of our hours. And it’s completely up to US on how to use them. The ones that are paying off their debts faster or saving up their retirement funds quicker are usually the ones making better use of their time. And they have the exact same hours in the day as we do. As my ex-girlfriend once told me, “If something’s really that important to you, you’ll find the time.” Wise words to live by, which unfortunately took me too long to figure out (hence, the “ex” part ;)).
“They got lucky”
I hear this one a lot too – and it drives me bananas. Especially when it goes down that “overnight success” path, when most people have actually FAILED a good 313 times before, only to finally make it on their 314th try. I believe the perfect quote for this goes something like, “The harder I work, the luckier I seem to get” – a very true fact! People like to cover up their laziness/insecurities/jealousy by telling themselves successful people are just “lucky.” Unless they’re winning the lottery over there, it’s usually not luck. It’s hard-ass work.
The same can go with money: Want to have a million dollars? Start saving something today. Want to start paying off debt? Start throwing money at it! And then take up a side hustle or start selling things off your walls. The opportunities to earn more money are endless, but it’s up to US to again *prioritize* these goals and start making things happen. $hit doesn’t appear out of thin air – you gotta go out there and EARN it. And if you happen to grab a little luck on the way, even better.
“Wanting more money means you’re greedy”
Oh man, this one REALLY chaps my hide! I won’t get too into this right now because a) I’ve already said my peace on this a few months ago, and b) I don’t want to ruin the good mood I’m in :), but let’s just say money is a *tool* and nothing more. It’s up to the PERSON who has it to determine what to do with it – good or evil. And there’s a TON of good things that money can do for humanity too, outside of our own desires which there’s nothing wrong with. Including these 10 which I’ve previously blogged about:
- You can help the less fortunate
- You can help your friends
- You can help your family
- You can help your future kids, grand kids, great grand kids
- You can help someone adopt
- You can help someone rescue a pet
- You can start a foundation
- You can quit your job and VOLUNTEER 40 hours a week
- You can invest it and make a million dollars and THEN give it away or quit your job and volunteer
- You can get rid of stress and help yourself live longer and be there for all your loved ones!
There’s a lot more to this statement which many a books and essays have written upon already, but the point is there’s nothing necessarily wrong with *money* itself. It all relies on the person utilizing it. You can check out my post on this if you want to get more into it and see what others had to say too – there was a pretty good discussion on it in the comments.
And I think I’ll stop there :) It’s funny what one random coin can conjure up on a blog, haha… But hopefully this gives y’all some good food for thought… I reckon most of you already know most of this, but it never hurts to get a reminder, right? Especially in the “what are you doing with your time?” department – something I’m constantly working on myself.
I literally had to put sticky-notes up on my wall to keep me focused and in check lately. One says, “What are you doing RIGHT NOW?” and then points to other sticky notes with important projects written on them in hopes I’m, indeed, working on one of them ;) It sounds lame, but it’s been working like a charm lately. And one of them even says “Dumb $$$ Work,” haha… Cuz even if you’re doing your dream job, you’ve still got a bunch of crap to deal with! No one ever said this stuff was *easy*, just DO-ABLE. But it is up to us to set things into motion…
What are you doing that you “don’t have time for” lately? How are you staying motivated?