****This blog is no longer updated at this address! Come check it out at http://thinkandgrowchick.com. All of the archives are available there as well****

This site is my online journal that documents my attempts to reach various goals inspired by the principles found in the book, Think and Grow Rich. Join me as I strive to meet financial goals, fashion goals, school goals, hair-care goals, and everything in between. I hope that other young women will relate and find my journey useful to read about; this blog is for me as much as it is for women seeking resources for personal development and freedom. To get a daily dose, follow me on twitter and facebook...and don't forget to follow my blog!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why a Shopaholic is Better with Money Than You

A few days ago, in between episodes of my beloved Bridezilla on WeTV, (delusionally conceited brides are, in fact, hilarious) I ran across the network's new series, The Secret Lives of Women. Normally reserved for ex-prostitutes, drug addicts, and cult followers, the last episode I saw featured shopaholics. From a teenage girl who stole her mother's credit cards to finance her habit, to a neglected housewife who had succumbed to compulsive bargain shopping to justify her mounting debt, I sat on the couch with my popcorn, gleefully entertained by the sheer ridiculousness of the rationals these women told themselves on a daily basis.

My glee, however, quickly morphed into a subtle feeling of personal failure when the show rapped up to feature their last shopaholic. Deemed the "responsible shopaholic" by her business partner, this woman lived the good life, compulsively shopping with cash only, because she knew that for every purchase—without fail—she could create a business opportunity to match or surpass the amount spent on her very frequent shopping trips.

I turned the TV off feeling salty...duped, even. "How in the world did this woman do it," I thought to myself. "Is it really possible to be that business savvy?" Before the thoughts even left my head, I knew my frustration rested not with the fact that this woman had impeccable business acumen, but that I didn't. Call me crazy, call me a lunatic for thinking I could master the art of business at only 21 years of age, but being fully in control of my own time, income, and passions has been a dream of mine since I was just 16.

Everyday, we turn on the news only to see good, hard working people plummet from comfortable salaries to poverty. Why? Because being in control of your own destiny is not taught in school. Only now, as corporations are forced to reveal that providing you with a paycheck is not, and has never been, their priority are people scrambling to make a living with the shirt on their back and the skills in their head.

As a college student moving closer to the "real world" with every semester that passes, let me be the first to say that I don't ever want to be dependent on someone else to give me the income to live my life. Though the lady featured on Secret Lives probably is a legitimate shopaholic and a slave to materialism (none of which I want to be), no one can say that she is not in control of her own income and destiny. She finances her exorbitant lifestyle with extra cash when most of us can't even make groceries without pulling out the credit card.

What's really going on here?

If you ask me, most people—particularly women—don't know what it means to be entrepreneurial. Just because you work for someone else does not mean you can't be entrepreneurial. In fact, working for someone else is often the best place to start. All there is to being "entrepreneurial" is taking the resources you have and using them to create an opportunity for yourself. Sure, your paycheck may come from your employer, but no one said your source of income had to stop at that paycheck.

What would happen if, every month you used your paycheck—even a portion of it—as start-up capital for the business called "You"? What if you spent $50 on some business cards and an ad in the newspaper offering services for something you do well? How quickly could that $50 turn into $100, even $200? Even though I work for someone else, just last week I spent $0 and 10 minutes to post an ad on Craigslist offering my services for writing business plans, and already I'm making money. Now I don't have to choose between taking time off my job for Thanksgiving and paying my rent—my income does not end at my paycheck.

The point is, your livelihood does not have to stop at your paycheck. If you are smart about it, your paycheck can simply be the foundation from which your true source of income flows, making you less reliant on your paycheck to begin with. Use your paycheck to invest in things that will provide you with additional revenue streams. The company you work for does not keep all of their eggs in one basket and neither should you. All you need is time to plan and a little creativity.

If a shopaholic can do it, why can't you?

1 comment:

  1. Warning- no spell check used :-)

    Enjoyed the post, however, I respectfully disagree with some of your conclusions (and your use of the word "glee", but that is saved for another post).No seriously, I think many today have a tendacy to glamorize entrepreneurs as free spirits while the corporate folk are trapped and torchered for eight hours a day and forced to wear donald trump like hairpieces....all while helplessly sucuumbing to their modern day slavemasters named Corporate. While, in fact, the opposite is often true. Entrepruenuers are often the ones with little to no freedom...

    You state:

    "Everyday, we turn on the news only to see good, hard working people plummet from comfortable salaries to poverty. Why? Because being in control of your own destiny is not taught in school."

    Which is a true statment in alot of ways, but those hardest hit by economic pressures are acctually small business owners. Alot of corporate jobs, especially as one climbs the ladder, are waaaaay more flexible than owning 1000 different businesses of your own. The stress that comes from NOT knowing what your next paycheck is going to look like is definately no picnic. Your shopaholic friend you admire is not free just b/c her check doesn't come from microsoft, she still is dependent on people buying her services and products in the same way a corporate exec is dependant on the company to provide his check. Only difference..corp gal/guy get benefits too.

    Now working for oneself has its advantages, no doubt, but one of them is not the ability to be "more free" as that is a common fallacy in today's society for some reason.

    Now i got to hit you with the afterschool special lesson of the day:

    In short, freedom doesn't come from the ability to work for oneself, rather, it comes from an ability to work ON oneself...in the effort to grow spiritually, emotionally, and, yes, financially, one finds that freedom (each journey is very real but extremely individualistic)....not making sense? Let me state it this way....career freedom is based on the ability of someone to maximize his/her talents and relate that success to thier personal growth. I guess you can say freedom is based on someone's ability to "thinkandgrow"....corny, but tru ...u can think-and-go shopping resposibly if your corporate OR self-made...the key is to be focused on your goals and ensure your properly using ALL of your God given talents

    Thank for posting, sorry for the long reply...good thing I had the freedom to reply while at my corporate job! lol...keep u the good work! I like the page despite my disagreements