How to create the change you want in society?

Are you political? Are you an environmentalist? Are you a woman’s rights advocate? A men’s rights advocate? It’s likely that there are some causes you are extremely passionate about. It’s also likely that at times you feel helpless to affect change that impacts the causes you believe in. What if I told you that you hold one of, if not the most potent tool to affect change in the modern world? You probably wouldn’t believe me, particularly when I say “you’re going to do it anyway” you would raise a brow and stare.

What is it? It’s your consumption.

What you spend your resources on is the greatest driver of outcomes in the modern western world. You are going to spend money on things you need and want, imagine if you focused that spending on companies who support the causes you care most about? It is true when people say “follow the money” or “money drives the economy”. Basically large corporations, political parties, celebrities all drive outcomes that usually involve economic benefit to them. The only larger entity in the world then some of these institutions is consumer spending.

How you spend your money drives change.

Imagine if a shoe company made shoes that were made completely out of recycled material. Imagine that that shoe company blew up and got as popular as NIKE. Do you think Jordan would be endorsing their shoes? You think their branding and social messaging would be all over sports? Of course it would, but what would it take to get to that point? Your consumption.

None of this happens if those with disposable income don’t purchase the product. You start, you tell your friends, they follow, bam you have created change. It takes a long time, but as an example, I remember when the first modern electric cars were introduced in the 90’s. Many people laughed at it, then consumers started buying them, there was demand. More companies made cars like this. Now? Electric cars are poised to supplant combustion based vehicles in the next 50 years. If you told someone in 1962 that in 2062 there would be all electric cars they would laugh their butts off.

You want to affect change? Where is your money going? Do the companies you send money too, say Amazon, support the causes you believe in? They don’t? Why are you giving them money then? What is your excuse exactly?

Want to create change in society, your consumption is the quickest most direct way to get the change you want. Do business with companies who support the causes you believe in. In doing this you create the economic conditions supported by supply and demand economics that may result in large cultural changes. Don’t believe me? That’s what they said about Electric cars in the 90’s.

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5 things I have learned in my 30+ years of working

We all have work experiences, right? I started working when I was 14, I am now 50. I have seen a lot and been through a lot at work. I have picked up a lot along the way, here are 5 things I have learned while working that I feel are super important:

  1. Advocating for yourself: If you are lucky, you have a great boss who will go to the wall for you. If you are like most of us, you don’t have that luxury. When its your review, when you have completed a project and when the company is going through transitions, you have to advocate for yourself. Ask for good raises, point out you did project “X”, affirm why you are an asset.
  2. Keeping the boss happy: This will be very unpopular but its an important lesson to learn. It requires a pretty large degree of humility but if you can keep your boss happy you will be happy at work. I mean this of course within reasonable context, but the bottom line is when my boss at work asks me to do something I try and do it as quickly and efficiently as I can. This simple thing, while challenging at times, has resulted in my getting good raises and bonus’s over the years.
  3. Keep showing up: Excessive absences create negative conditions as work still has to get done. If you are out a lot, someone else has to pick up your slack. If you show up everyday chances are, you’re picking up slack for others. This is extremely valuable, at the end of the day companies want work done they are less concerned with how you feel about it. If you show up everyday this enables the first item, advocating for yourself to be an easier sell.
  4. Deal with issues early: When you put a group of people together inevitably something happens, or people don’t get along. The last thing you want is someone bad mouthing you behind your back. If you have a problem with someone at work, even if its not your fault get it resolved. I’ve seen several examples of people being undermined at work but unhappy people. Deal with it quickly.
  5. Its about the money: You are 1 of 2 people in my opinion when it comes to work. You love what you do and are thrilled to do it, or you go to work to get money to do the things you love. Know your value, at all times. Every quarter you should be looking up online what someone with your degree and experience is being paid in your area. Don’t be lulled into benefits packages (they are nice, don’t get me wrong) or “corporate culture” memes from HR. Money is why you are working, the more you have the more things you can do with it.

I’ve got another 10-15 years left of work, how long do you have and what are your biggest take away’ s from working?

Anxiety and your money – Income

Anxiety takes on many different forms in the way it manifests itself within us. Often times we are unable to think clearly, so things are overlooked. A bill is due, the laundry hasn’t been done. We curl up in our safe spaces and wait it out. These times don’t often lead to productive outcomes, its essentially just holding on until the mood passes, sometimes it can take days. For some people it can take years. Regardless if we have anxiety or not, we all have to deal with money.

Money or your income is the basis in which you can survive in modern society. The degree to which you understand your income often leads to the quality of the survival. In simple terms, the more income you have the more resources you can muster to “weather the storm” we talked about in the first paragraph.

Let’s be clear on income first, Gross Income is the sum of all sources of income you have before deductions or expenses. Net income is the income you have left after all of your deductions or expenses. I know this is basic information but finance, for those of us with anxiety is often easiest when we establish the basics. The goal is to figure out how much gross income you need to pay all of your expenses, so you don’t end up with negative net income or a loss.

Many people get preoccupied with the amount of money they make or have. What’s critical is you make enough money to provide your necessities. More and more traditional income sources are falling by the wayside. There was a time where you worked for one company for decades and they were your primary income source. Today there are side hustles everywhere and you may be deriving income from multiple sources.

The important thing to remember is all sources of income have to be looked at carefully. What I mean here is if for instance you live in the U.S. and you are contracting, or you get ad revenue, or you sell items on eBay. In these examples the income is “true gross” meaning nothing has been deducted. You sell your marketing services for 1000, you get 1000. You then have “salary income” you work at a job, they take out taxes, you receive the net.

Its critical to understand your sources of income and where they come from. Most important here is to understand if you need to pay taxes on this income. The government will always get their money, its not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. So, for those of us with Anxiety we need to be acutely aware of our income source. If for example you received 1000 and spent a 1000 but at the end of the year were required to pay 250 taxes on the 1000, you would have to get it somewhere else.

Income is the most important financial gauge you have to determining your future outcomes with money. Debt is often a choice, income is a reward for something you provided. If you have multiple sources of income and suffer from anxiety remember to keep it as organized as you can. Spend 15-30 a week focused on your finances, understand where your income is coming from and what kind of income it was. This can save you a lot of pain later on, as often we get money and we spend it. Understanding your income portfolio is extremely important don’t ignore it !

If you need help or have questions, feel free to email me directly and I will do my best to help you.