The Money Mirror  

monkey mirror.jpg

Money is an emotive issue for most people and is often closely associated with one’s self-worth. Those that don’t have enough money are often viewed by others - often subconsciously - as lazy, feckless or stupid. Those with plenty of money - or the outward appearance of it - on the other hand, are often viewed as industrious, frugal or smart.

What neither of these perspectives considers is the role of luck. It’s a fact of life that you can do all the right things with money and bad luck can cause you to be poor or not as financially well as you would wish. And you can do all the wrong things with money and still end up financially well, if not wealthy.

But just because luck plays such a big part in your financial wellbeing, it doesn’t mean you have to accept fate or the hands you are dealt. And this is the difference between those who make money their servant and those who don’t. How you react to your own mistakes or bad luck is key.

The ancient Stoics said you can only control your attitude and actions - and everything is as it will be. It’s human nature to blame our failures on bad luck and attribute our successes to our own capability.

In my latest Real Money Stories podcast - Phil bounces back from the brink- marketing agency owner Phil explains how he almost lost all his wealth when his business went bust. Although he did have some bad luck, Phil was honest enough to accept that his ego and lavish lifestyle were the main cause of his financial downfall and the several years it took to rebuild his finances.

Phil learnt from his mistakes and has now built a very profitable business of which he retains total control, and which enables him to spend quality time with his family, as well as the ability to work with nice staff and customers.

You can’t control lots of aspects of your financial life – things like inflation, the economy, stockmarkets or tax rates – but you can decide how you react to them and learn from your own money mistakes. Taking responsibility for those things that you can control and accepting those you can’t is the essential first step to improving your financial wellbeing.

But I’ll leave the last words to the chorus of the song Man in the Mirror written by Siedah Garrett & Glen Ballard and made famous by the late Michael Jackson.

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

Jason Butler