In these bizarre economic times when almost everything we believed about money and finances has turned out to be incorrect, how do we know where to turn and what to do next?
A practical approach to turning around whatever challenges occur in your financial life has just been released by Gary Douglas, founder of Access Consciousness seminars, and his business partner, Dr. Dain Heer.
The newly released Right Riches for You is a combination of workbook with tools to uncover your irrational but limiting beliefs around money. It gives you pragmatic information on how to look at and use the basics of financial life such as insurance, credit cards, and assets.
Douglas’ experience in the real world is vast. A veteran of two marriages to women with incurable spendthrift tendencies, he has started over from nothing financially four times in his life. At one point, he was living in a closet with his young son and owned little more than his car. He lived on cornflakes and milk because that was what he could afford. He now runs a multi-million dollar international company, which offers classes and products throughout the world.
His business experience is also extensive. He has worked as a real estate broker, antiques dealer, restaurant manager, horse trainer, as well as run upholstery and landscaping businesses, among others. He currently owns 22 businesses through his 20 year old self-improvement business, Access Consciousness.
His business partner Dr. Dain Heer is a living testament to the success of Douglas’ methods. From crying every morning and setting a date for his own suicide 10 years ago, he has created his own reality regarding finances in which money is no longer the issue in any of his life choices. He travels the world, with Douglas and on his own, teaching seminars and individual sessions using the tools proposed by Douglas.
According to Douglas and Heer, there are four keys to creating your financial freedom. They are 1) having money, 2) generating money, 3) educating yourself about money, and 4) generosity of spirit.
“Having money” might seem a strange first step to someone whose complaint with their life is the lack of money in it. Isn’t the key to getting money having some? Exactly, but it’s not what you think! Having money, according to Douglas and Heer, is a choice and demand of yourself which is required before the reality of actually having those numbers in your bank account with a string of zeroes after them, can actually show up.
Both revision of your points of view on the issue of having money and the practical steps of actually having money, that anyone in any financial situation can apply are required to fulfill this first step. And Right Riches For You is filled with these practical steps.
“Most people complain about not having money do not actually wish to have money,” says Douglas. “They wish to spend money, not have money. But you will never have money if the only thing you want money for is to spend it. The only way to have the money you would like to spend is to be willing to have money first.”
Easier said than done, especially these days, you may be saying to yourself. Douglas and Heer have a couple of practical steps to get you started in the right direction.
The first step is to tithe to what they call “the Church of You.” In other words, for every dollar that comes in, take 10 per cent of that and never spend it. If the prospect of having money which you cannot spend seems pointless to you, then you fall squarely in that very large category of people who only value money as it flies out of their hands. Would you consider that you like spending money, not having money?
When your budget is stretched to the max, sparing that 10 per cent can seem quite difficult at first. But doing this religiously, no matter what, soon reaps its rewards. If you are chronically out of money, do you really think you would be more chronically out of money on a budget of 90% of what you are now spending? Or would you be able to create the same financial disease, while also accumulating a stash of cash—for perhaps the first time in your life?
Douglas and Heer point out that it is a principle of the universe that what you honor expands. If you religiously pay your bills before honoring yourself, the universe rewards you with — guess what — more bills. Some of you may have noticed this! Hence the recommendation to honor yourself first. Those who have applied these methods often refer to this 10% as their “honor money” or “honor account.” Honor money can be saved wherever you like — in the bank, under your mattress, in hard assets such as gold, antiques, or jewelry, and other items that have intrinsic value and can be sold easily if required.
Other benefits soon accrue if you are willing to apply this tool religiously. Obviously the amount in your do-not-spend account tends to grow and grow. (Think about it — it can only shrink if you spend it.) Before long, you will be looking at a substantial amount of money. Often without realizing it and before you know it, you will arrive at an amount of income you have created that you might never have noticed before, obsessed as you were with meeting the crisis of your daily bills.
A second tool Douglas and Heer recommend to begin the process of having money, is to always carry in your wallet or your pocket the amount of money a wealthy person always have. This can vary from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on your point of view of what a rich person would carry. If you don’t have this amount available on hand at the moment, you can use the 10 per cent you’re putting away to build up these reserves. Again, for this to work, for you to get the change you are really asking for, you have to be demanding of yourself that you do not spent it, ever.
Some people using this tool put the honor money in front of their regular spending money. (You have to have this regular spending money on hand at all times as well, because otherwise you will spend your honor money the minute the need for it arises.) Seeing this money every time you open your wallet will create a daily reminder that you have money. It is truly astonishing the amount of peace you can start to have around money with this simple step.
The second component to turning your financial life around, according to Douglas and Heer, is learning how to generate money. “Exactly,” you may be saying, “and isn’t that easier said than done in these economic times?”
To the contrary, according to Douglas and Heer. They point out that times of great economic change are also times of great financial economic opportunity, for those willing to live in the question and look for those opportunities. Despite the horror tales we have heard of “The Great Depression,” not everyone lost money during that time, and many people made a lot of it—including some of the pillars of current society, such as the Kennedy family.
Smuggling guns and bootleg liquor may not be the way you choose to make money today, but what else might be possible if you were to look for what opportunities were possible, instead of buying the gloom and doom forecasts so common in the media and the general public these days?
The third element of creating and keeping wealth in these times is educating yourself about money. How many of our parents did that? Did you receive practical useful information about finances from your family, or did their guidance to you consist of clichés like “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” and “You have to work hard for your money”? Money is something most families teach you not to talk about, yet you are still somehow expected to “use it wisely.”
The first step in educating yourself about money involves taking a look at exactly what you spend your money on each month, as well as determining exactly what it costs you to run your life. This amount should include not only the necessities like food and rent, but it should also include entertainment, self-improvement seminars, and other necessities to have a life you consider worth having. Then add 10% to that, for your honoring account.
In addition to getting crystal clear about your own personal expenses, educating yourself about money involves reading up and learning what our financial institutions are really about, how they work, and how they may or may not be useful to you. Insurance companies exist not to benefit you in any way (contrary to the advertisements), but to make money for their stockholders, Douglas and Heer point out. They do not advocate abandoning all insurance, but they do advocate being an educated consumer and purchasing only what you require, based on your own awareness and not on conventional wisdom (doing what everyone else does), industry claims, or your own unquestioned assumptions.
Credit cards, according to Douglas and Heer, are the modern version of the “company store,” that old-fashioned vehicle for keeping employees inescapably enslaved forever. Take stock of your debts, recommend Douglas and Heer, and determine how much additional income it would take to pay them off in a year—or two if it’s more than $40,000. Then figure out what it would take to add that much income per month, and do it.
Far from being dull and dry reading, the process of educating yourself about money can actually be a lot of fun. They recommend investing not only in hard assets, but in things you know—so the logical result of this is to realize that you may need education in what those hard assets might be. For those starting on a shoestring, they recommend another book, “The Penny Capitalist,” which shows how to build a fortune on next to nothing.
“Invest in what you know,” admonishes Douglas. As an antique dealer, antiques and antique jewelry are something he knows. This knowledge makes it easy for him to follow Rockefeller’s recommendation to “buy low and sell high.” If your life experience leans more towards trekking through Asia, what did you learn about art and culture and customs there that would allow you to recognize genuine antique art at a yard sale or street market?
The fourth and final component of becoming wealthy is developing generosity of spirit. Generosity of spirit is the willingness to gift totally without obligation, to celebrate the good fortune of others as well as yourself, and to be willing to use your money for what Douglas calls “the only reason to have money” which is “to change other people’s realities.”
How often do people give “gifts” which are actually thinly veiled attempts to create obligations? How often do people not do that? Gifts which create obligations are part of what Douglas and Heer call the “give and take program” which governs most “gifts” on planet earth. A gift which is truly “gifted” carries no expectation of getting anything in return. It is given for the pure joy of giving it.
Douglas and Heer, for example, annually give $500 to the sister of one of their former employees, whose husband was a Mexican truck driver killed by robbers on Christmas Eve. Their only stipulation for the gift is that half of it be used to provide Christmas for the woman’s sons, while the other half can be used for whatever she chooses. Far from diminishing them, this act of generosity expands their whole universe.
Another aspect of generosity of spirit is celebrating the good fortune of others. If your reaction to your friend’s winning the lottery would be, “How come they got it and I didn’t,” you are NOT demonstrating generosity of spirit. Generosity of spirit is the willingness to celebrate whenever anyone receives or creates something.
Having “had it all” in this reality — the fancy expensive cars, the big house, the kids in private schools, socializing with wealthy friends — Douglas discovered that while it was fun, none of it meant anything to him. None of it made his life worth living. What he learned is his own true bottom line, which is that “there is really only one reason to have money, and that’s to change other people’s realities.”
The book abounds with examples of this, from giving a $10 tip to a baggage handler to gifting a $15,000 racehorse to a friend because the horse itself desired to belong to the friend. Generosity of spirit is one of the four keys to turning around your financial situation, any financial situation, according to Douglas and Heer’s plan in Right Riches For You.
In order to exercise this fourth tool, you must give without consideration for how or whether the favor, gift or money you give away is returned, if it ever is returned. “None of this is linear,” Douglas points out, and Heer adds that the return is “guaranteed to look nothing like you thought it would.”
What is guaranteed is that if you will practice generosity of spirit, not only will your own bank account expand, but so will your deposits in your own personal bank of life satisfaction. And isn’t that the million dollar deposit you would really like to make?
More information about the seminars, teleclasses, and products which can remove obstacles to having not only the money you desire but everything else you would like using the tools of consciousness are available at Douglas and Heer’s website, www.accessconsciousness.com. Their books are also available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. You can also watch a one hour video replay of a Right Riches for You class with Curry Glassell HERE