Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Car Dealership Moment

There was an 18 year old kid sitting in a car dealership anxiouslyCar Dealer waiting to find out if the car he wanted was going to be his. Everything hinged on the finance manager giving the final approval for the dealer financing needed to close the deal. And then it happened – Denied. My heart sank and I immediately experienced all of the emotion that comes with rejection. Anger, embarrassment, frustration, and resolve.

There are certain moments in your life that when you look back you realize it was a pivotal, life changing experience. I will never forget walking out of the dealership and saying to myself, “That will never happen again, I will never subject myself to that kind of uncertainty and pain when it comes to personal finance.” That was the day I embarked on my journey.

"Not until the pain of the same is greater than the pain of change will you embrace change." – Dave Ramsey

Guys, I was really lucky. I got to experience financial distress from a young age and I was fortunate enough to realize that it did not have to be that way. I realized that I didn’t want to stay the same any more and at a very young age I started the process of digging out of that hole. Have I arrived yet? NO WAY! I am still in process, but I am in a way better place than I was at 18 sitting in the car dealers office.

I got extreme about changing my finances.

I read every piece of personal finance literature I could get my hands on. I went to school for accounting, then graduate school for finance, and then professional education for financial planning – I still feel like I have more to learn! I surrounded myself with people that would motivate me at work and in my social life. But the most important thing I did, above all else, is I chose to talk about it.

A funny thing happens when you start talking about things you struggle with – you start to own it. All of a sudden things that were once a private struggle that you could cover up with some well placed accessories are now out in the open. People want to know how things are going and how your journey is progressing. It’s a funny thing really – the more you talk about it more the more you are committed to doing something. In fact I talked about it so much that I developed an intrinsic duty to do something more.

I have good news and it is my responsibility to share it.

You do not have to lay awake at night thinking about the bills you have to pay. You do not have to carry thousands of dollars on your credit card each month. You can retire with dignity. You can change the financial future of your children. But it does take a moment in time where you choose to change. You must have a “car dealership moment”.

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