The Wealthy Spirit Insider

    A Fire in Malibu

    Posted on December 21st, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

    355 – December 21

    “All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost.”—J.R.R. Tolkien

    Be careful whom you judge. Sometimes the person who looks like a shark and swims like a shark isn’t a shark.

    I remember hearing Tom’s story, right after a big firestorm had raced through Malibu canyon. He told me how scared he and his neighbors were the night that the fire approached their homes. They waited breathlessly by their radios and television sets, waiting for news, waiting to hear if the wind had changed direction, was coming their way, if they’d have to evacuate. They leaned on each other for help and support.

    No one paid any attention to the old man at the end of the block. He was a gruff old codger, not very friendly, always complaining about too many cars being parked in front of his house. By general consensus, they left him alone.

    Finally, the word came; they had to get out of the canyon. They had to leave their homes to the caprice of the winds and the fire. Frantically, they searched through the piles of their belongings, deciding which treasures to take with them as they made their escape. As the first flames leapt over the ridge above their homes, they knew that time had run out. Now they had to run. They hugged each other, said prayers and goodbyes, and fled.

    The next morning, the fire had run its course; the firemen had once again performed their miracles and drowned the flames. Tom and his friends steeled themselves to drive to their homes. Would they find them still standing? Or would only ashes greet their eyes? Anxiously, breathlessly, they drove up the canyon. All around them were blackened tree stumps and brick chimneys—all that remained of the beautiful houses that once stood there. Their hearts beat heavily and their mood was somber as they reached their street and rounded the corner.

    What a glorious sight met their eyes! Although every house around them had been destroyed, all of the five houses on Tom’s street were still standing! And in front of them all stood the gruff old codger, with a garden hose. He had stayed behind and watered down all of their homes, all through the night. He had saved every one.

    Is there anyone on your street you have written off as an “old gruff codger?”

    Take another look.

    Today’s Affirmation: “I appreciate the goodness, seen and unseen, in everyone around me.”

    “Cause we all just want to be big rock stars and live in hilltop houses driving 15 cars.”-Nickelback

    The older I get, the more I appreciate my family. I am one of those fortunates who grew up with a loving, functional family group – mom, dad, and three of us girls. My sisters are married, and some of their children are married now too, so our little group has expanded over the years.

    Three summers ago, all 13 of us went en mass to Hawaii, and stayed in two condos near the beach at Napili Bay, Maui. Oh, we were so excited! We saved our money diligently in our vacation accounts for a couple of years, all our Christmas presents to each other consisted of Hawaiian shirts, sandals, snorkeling equipment and the like. It was fun just to look forward to it!

    The day of departure arrived at last, and we jetted off, laughing and snacking on the plane, then unloading into a bunch of cars (the teens and twenty-somethings in the “Cool Car”), oohing over the magnificent rainbow that spanned the entire island, and settling into our condos. We basked in the sun, snorkeled with the sea turtles, shopped, luaued, hulaed, and had a marvelous time. Each condo group hosted a dinner party for the other, and we barbequed and played a poker tournament and a game of “spoons”. We got in the water early in the day and got out of it at suppertime. Heaven!

    The only thing I missed were the dolphins. The guys had seen them on a fishing trip they took, so I knew they were around, but I hadn’t seen them. The people at the resort said the dolphins rarely came into this bay. That was disappointing news, but the night before the last day of our trip, I meditated and gave a call to the dolphins: “Please come into the bay tomorrow and visit me!”

    The dawn of our last day came, and we all trekked over to the beach, to enjoy our last Maui surf and sand day. We didn’t know that this bright, sunny, serene beach day would turn dark and filled with danger.

    “Help! Help!” a young boy screamed as his mother collapsed in the waves. My brother-in-law, Dick, who is a fire chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department, and my brother-in-law, Lloyd, who teaches gymnastics and had just completed a CPR review course, jumped to the rescue. They hauled the woman from the sea, started CPR, called the paramedics, and in their calm, cool, professional manner, handled the emergency.

    “Help! Help!” Not three hours later, another emergency struck just paces down the beach from us. A man dove head-first into a shallow wave and struck his head. He couldn’t move. People struggled to drag his inert body out of the water. My neice Lindsey’s husband, Tyler, a paramedic with the LAFD, ran down the beach to help, followed closely by Maxie, her sister Marissa’s husband. Maxie watched in awe as Tyler took control of the situation and gave orders to all of the horrified onlookers, “Stand back.” “Give us some room here.” “You – have a cell phone? Good, call the paramedics.” “You – stop yelling and get towels.”

    The man was scared because he couldn’t move and was afraid he had broken his neck. Tyler spoke reassuringly, calmed him, and said that it could just be a sprain and a temporary paralysis. Again, the emergency rescue squad arrived on the beach and took over, and my nephews by marriage returned to our beach towels. I’ll never forget the look of respect on Maxie’s face as he related to the rest of us how masterfully Tyler had handled the emergency, finishing with, “Man, people talk about rock stars, but you’re the real rock star!”

    Never mind about the same old celebrities that capture the headlines of our media in endless repetitions. There are wonderful people in your life beyond the superficial vagaries of fame who are worth more than gold – paramedics, firemen, teachers, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers. I looked at the unique individual rock stars of my family with deepest love, and thanked God again for the people in my life that make my life beautiful.

    And as I turned to gaze across the sun-sparkled ocean, the dolphins swam into the bay.

    Joe To Go Coffee

    Posted on December 20th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

    354 – December 20

    “The only person who never makes a mistake is the one who never does anything.”—Theodore Roosevelt

     

    My friend, Erik, gave me a pound of Joe To Go Coffee. It was a delicious blend called “Chocolate Hazelnut.” I thoroughly enjoyed it, and when it was gone, I wanted more. So I called Erik to find out where to get some, and he offered to order a five pound bag for me. Delighted, I said, “Great!” and waited for the delivery of my yummy coffee.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    No coffee.

    Finally, I called Erik and asked what had happened. He assured me that he had ordered the coffee and the company had said they shipped it. “I’ll call them today and find out what happened,” he said.

    He called back a few minutes later and said that somehow my coffee got shipped to Boston. He apologized for the mistake and said I should get my coffee in a couple of days. Sure enough, two days later, I got my coffee and considered the matter settled.

    Five days later, I received another package from Joe To Go Coffee—two five pound bags, one of Vanilla Nut and the other of Chocolate Amaretto. “Oops!” I thought, “Another mistake. I didn’t order this. These people are going to have to get their act together.”

    I called Erik and reported this new error. Imagine my pleasure and surprise when he told me that the company had sent these ten pounds as a gift to apologize for their late shipment to me of my original order! They could have blamed the shipping company, they could have blamed a “clerical error” or “computer glitch,” they could have said nothing and done nothing. Instead, they sent me a present.

    I am loving my coffees. I serve it to all my clients and guests. And I tell them all this story. I am giving Joe To Go Coffee oodles of free publicity, great testimonials, new customers, and now they’re in this book. Because they not only have a high quality product, but they have high quality care for their customers: They cared enough about me to send me a present to apologize for a mistake. I was delighted and impressed. For ten pounds of coffee, they got a customer for life. Send out a little ship, in comes a big ship.

    So what do you do when you make a mistake?

    Today’s Affirmation: “I blaze trails of happiness everywhere I go!”

     

    I ordered coffee from Joe to Go for years, and then they either changed the name or were bought out, because they answer the phone “Supreme Bean” now. Since I stopped doing my workshops in person and now do them as a teleclass, I don’t have to provide coffee for my participants, so I don’t buy that much coffee any more. And the grocery stores sell the fancy coffees now, too, so I just buy my small quantities there.

    Right now, I’m on a diet to reduce the acid in my system, so have had to stop drinking coffee. Yikes. No caffeine, nothing spicy, no fruit juice, no chocolate, no tomatoes. Giving up tomatoes and tomato sauce was hard (do you know how many things you eat use tomatoes? Pizza, spaghetti, all the Italian and Mexican dishes, BLTs, chili…but no coffee?? Jeez-o-man. Kill me now.

    None of this
    None of this

    This isn’t really the point of my Wealthy Spirit story, but I just need to vent here a little bit. I’m feeling quite put out by having restrictions on my diet. I know it’s probably very good for me to have a cleanse and release toxins from my body. I can put a good spin on it, too, see?

    But I remember the ad I saw for coffee once that said something like, “Sure, if you don’t buy the latte every day, you can save $1,500 this year. But man, you’d be cranky.”

    What makes you cranky?

    Storage Lockers—The Sequel

    Posted on December 19th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

    353 – December 19

    “Isn’t it frightening how soon later comes, after you buy now?”—Earl Wilson

     

    After the “The World’s Largest Writing Workshop” at the Barnes and Noble bookstore, I wrote to Billy Mernit, thanking him for his time, his expertise, and his relaxed and friendly teaching style. I enclosed a copy of the “Storage Lockers” page and asked if he would allow me to print it and use his name. I also mentioned that if he had any changes he would like to suggest, I would be happy to make them.

    I was delighted to receive his charming response, in which he said he was flattered and happy to receive my story and letter. However, he let me know that “the storage space only cost $60.00 when I first rented it—and has gone up in price at $5.00 increments every year since—so the sum total of my ‘toehold debt’ is actually a bit less (you do the math) than $12,000.” He went on to say that “If you can find a succinct way of stating that (i.e., in a sentence that doesn’t distract from your narrative flow and brevity), I’ll feel a little less silly—and your point will still be made. If you feel it messes up your story, on the other hand, you know what they say: Print the legend.”

    I thoroughly enjoyed his letter, and his term “toehold debt,” which will now become a part of my vocabulary.

    As requested, I did the math, so the actual “toehold debt” Billy has on his storage locker is, as of this writing, only $9,900 instead of $12,000, so that correction is here noted. However, I noticed that since the price will escalate $5 per month next year and the year after that, etc., it will be $12,600 by 2002. By 2010, barring any increases, the total cumulative expense for the storage locker for twenty years will be $22,680. But what if a similar amount of money were saved instead of spent? To use round figures, if $100 per month were invested at 8 percent rate of return for twenty years, it would result in a total of $56,991.

    The Billy Mernit lessons are:

    1.     Write thank you letters—they’re fun to give and fun to receive.

    2.     Do your research—people care that you get your facts straight.

    3.     “Toehold debt” accumulates over time—keep track of how much you are willing to pay.

    Today’s Affirmation: “Whatever I pay for gives me a great payoff.”

     

    And here it is, 2010, when I estimated Billy’s cumulative expense for the locker would be $22,680. I wonder if he still has it?

    I notice that what I didn’t tell you in this story is that I have a little “toehold” debt of my own. I joined the Screen Actors Guild in 1973 when I was an actress working in Hollywood. I quit acting around 1980 and went on withdrawal from the union, which means that I a non-working member and don’t owe dues. When I was hired to do a Dove Soap commercial in 1987, I reinstated my active membership…and I have paid my dues every year since.

    It isn’t all that much money – $100 per year or so – and I get all their mailings, the magazine, the casting notices, etc. And I really enjoy keeping up with things, even though I am not active in the profession now. It’s a gift to the actress part of Chellie to stay in touch. I think it’s worth it.

    Do you have a “toehold” debt?

    Storage Lockers

    Posted on December 18th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

    352 – December 18

    “Teach thrift to all with whom you come in contact; you never know when you may need their savings to finance one of your ventures.”—Don Marquis

     

    One Saturday, I went to a local bookstore for “The Largest Writing Workshop in the World,” which hosted local authors to speak on the craft of writing. As I had just signed the contract for my first book, I had several agendas: 1) I wanted to participate and learn something new about the craft of writing; 2) I wanted to find out how events like this were done; and 3) I wanted to introduce myself to the store manager, let him know of my upcoming publication and see if I could arrange to speak and do a book signing at his store (sending out ships early!).

    Old Typewriter

    The first speaker was author Billy Mernit, who has written Writing the Romantic Comedy. Charming and upbeat, he introduced himself, telling us that he was an expatriate New Yorker: “Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker!” he exclaimed laughingly. His eyes twinkled as he confessed that he still had a storage locker in New York filled with couches, lamps, tables, chairs and other furniture along with “forty to forty-five boxes.” He shook his head as he considered the quirk of character that kept him paying $100 per month for this piece of home in New York.

    My ears picked up at this news. “How many years have you had this locker?” I asked.

    “Ten!” several members of the audience shouted, as Billy now tried to claim only “Nine.” Everyone laughed as Billy sheepishly acknowledged the total expense he had accrued in order to keep his toehold in New York: $12,000.

    To a New Yorker in Los Angeles, this expense to remain a New Yorker is probably worth it. But the rest of you might take a look at where your past is dragging money away from your future and let go.

    Billy led us through some thoughtful writing exercises, then told us how he had created his latest book, That’s How Much I Love You with his wife of two years, artist Claudia Nizza from Italy. They had met on a moonlight hike in Hollywood and love blossomed quickly. They dated for several weeks before her vacation was over and she had to fly back to Rome. He bought her a ticket back to Los Angeles, but she couldn’t return for several months, so they talked on the phone often. He would ask, “Have I told you how much I love you?” Claudia would say, “No,” and he would make up little stories to explain his deepening love for her. And one time he called and she said, “Okay, we do a book.” They married on a hilltop in Malibu and their book is beautiful.

    Everyone laughed when I asked if she had a storage locker in Italy. “No,” he replied. “But she has a studio there!”

    Today’s Affirmation: “I am rich in life and love and all the world is my home!”

    If I wasn’t writing this book at the time, I probably would have forgotten all about this incident. How many fun, upbeat, quirky, sad, disturbing, or interesting things happen to us every week that we enjoy for the moment, but then never think of again?

    My sisters have memories of childhood incidents that I have forgotten completely, and I have some that they don’t remember at all, either. Memory is selective. You retain what you determine to remember, or what makes a special impression on you, or that you have a strong emotional reaction to.

    A funny thing about going to this bookstore event was that many of the Barnes and Noble bookstores across the country were participating, and I called around to several of the stores in the Los Angeles area to see who the instructors were going to be. One store was having John Voorhees, who writes about poker and has a regular column in the Card Player magazine. As a poker aficionado, I thought that would be great, so I decided to go there.

    But somehow, I got my wires crossed and ended up at the Marina del Rey bookstore instead. I don’t know how that happened, but once there, I decided just to stay and make the best of it. What’s that quote? “Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out” or something like that. I definitely think this turned out for the best – I loved meeting Billy. And I got two more pages for The Wealthy Spirit out of it, too!

    Ownership

    Posted on December 17th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

    351 – December 17

    “Few things are necessary to make the wise man happy while no amount of material wealth would satisfy a fool.”—Og Mandino

     

    Ownership is a myth. As we travel through this brief life, we have temporary possession of some things, that’s all. In a larger sense, we have joint ownership of many things: The air we breathe, sunshine and moonglow, a meadowlark’s song, the laughter of children playing in a park. Since we leave everything behind when we die, what’s all the fuss about ownership?

    What matters is usage and enjoyment. A Vincent Van Gogh painting was once auctioned for about ninety million dollars. I wonder how much time the person who owns it spends sitting in front of it and looking at it? I’ll bet it’s not that much. If a possession is just locked away and not looked at, admired, and enjoyed on a regular basis, ownership is just a number on a piece of paper. Some people have many numbers on many pieces of paper, but no enjoyment.

    Me and Vicent
    Here’s looking at you, kid

    Years ago, I visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. It was fabulous. It is so clear, when you stand in front of one of these masterpieces, why it’s a masterpiece. Energy and power radiate from the brushstrokes and the colors shock you with emotion. I enjoyed that experience immensely, and I carry the memory of it with me. I own the experience. That’s as much ownership of a Van Gogh painting that I need.

    We can make ourselves unnecessarily unhappy because we lack ownership of things we desire. We can lust after the new dress in the store window and cry and moan that we “can’t afford” to buy it. Or we can treat shopping like a sightseeing trip where we can see, admire and enjoy the beauty of wonderful creations, without having to take them home and put them out of sight in our closets. The enjoyment of an experience is a pleasure we can treasure.

    Erik Dreyer-Goldman, a computer whiz in Los Angeles, devised a creative solution to the ownership dilemma. He was driving along the Pacific Coast Highway one day with his wife, when she said, “I’d like you to buy me a Porsche convertible to drive along the beach.” He had already looked into the expenses involved in Porsche ownership, and they totaled a larger percentage of his budget than he wanted to commit to an automobile. So he said, “Why don’t we just rent a Porsche whenever you want to go driving on the beach? Then we are paying for what we want when we want it, and not paying for it when it’s just sitting in the garage.” She laughingly agreed that was a good plan. So you might see them breezing down the road, laughing and enjoying the sun in their favorite automobile in a very cost-effective outing!

    What do you use and enjoy that you don’t have to own?

    Today’s Affirmation: “I appreciate and enjoy all the beautiful treasures of my abundant life!”

    I’m delighted to be writing this blog and having more room to write than the 520 words I was limited to when I was writing the book!

    It’s fun to reminisce about my visit to Amsterdam and seeing the Van Gogh paintings. The picture books don’t do them justice. The energy of the brush strokes through the thick paint leaps out at you, and you know you’re in the presence of genius. The Vermeers and the Rembrants at the Riks Museum had the same effect on me. I wept at the Anne Frank House where we could actually go into the small back room where Anne and her family hid from the Nazis for two years. Did you know that Shelley Winters, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress playing Mrs. Van Daan, sent her Oscar to the museum where it is still displayed?

    This was on my first trip to Europe in 1987. I had been wanting to travel more and when my Norwegian friend, Ranja, told me she was going home for a visit, I said, “I’m coming with you!”

    We planned a 3-week trip starting with a visit to London, and then to Oslo. I left her with her family and went on a 3-day tour of fairy-tale castles in Denmark which was heavenly. Then she met me in Copenhagen where we rented a car and drove down the autobahn through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and into Paris.

    Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark

    This was back-in-the-day before the Euro, so in each new country, we had to change the money. When we had lunch in Amsterdam and the check came, I looked at the bill and couldn’t remember the name of the money where we were. So I said, “Okay you owe me four…um… things.” She laughed at me, but she knew what I meant.

    I am really, really, glad I spent the money on that fabulous trip and have a mind full of memories instead of a closet full of stuff.

    Doubts

    Posted on December 16th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

     

    350 – December 16

    “We are each the parents of our dreams, so we must support them as best we can until they can support themselves.”—Paul and Sarah Edwards

     

    Two of my favorite singers are Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, so I eagerly bought their Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions CD as soon as it was available and enjoyed it immensely.

    Robert Hilburn interviewed them for the Los Angeles Times. One of the things that most impressed him was how much they talked about other artists they admired. Generous in praise of each other, Emmylou spoke of having seen Linda for the first time in the late sixties. Harris was living in New York then and trying to get started in her music career. She said, “I thought I was pretty good. But when I heard Linda do this a cappella thing, I thought that no voice could be that beautiful.”

    Hilburn asked if that intimidated her, and I was struck by her reply: “Absolutely. I knew I could never sing like that. It really shook my confidence. So for a while, I thought I’d concentrate on writing songs. Then I went to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and I heard Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. I thought, ‘How can I compete as a songwriter?’ because Joni was singing my heart and my soul. Then Bonnie got up there, playing slide guitar and singing great. At that point, I sort of gave up pursuing a career for a short period of time.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Emmylou Harris, with one of the most beautiful, angelic voices I’ve ever heard, felt intimidated by the competition?

    Then Linda was asked the same question about the first time she heard Emmylou and she answered: “It was really a crisis for me. I felt she was doing (country rock) much better than I was. She was so much farther down the road. It was a time where I had to say I can either let this make me feel really terrible and I won’t get to enjoy the music or I could accept it as really great and enjoy it. And that’s the choice I made. And it was a great lesson, because music isn’t a horse race and you can’t have it be a competition….There’s room for us all, and we all have our own stories.”

    This interview was amazing to me. Here they were, two wonderful, brilliantly talented, successful musicians—and they were talking about their feelings of inadequacy! I had forgotten that incredible people have doubts, too. Sometimes I think I’m the only one who thinks like that. Who do I think I am to be writing a book? I’m not as funny as Annie Lamott, I’m not a financial planner like Suze Orman; I’m not as good at sales as Zig Ziglar….Thanks, Linda, for reminding me: There’s room for us all, and we all have our own stories. I’ll be the best me I know how.

    Today’s Affirmation: “I am loved and acknowledged for my unique and wonderful talents!”

    I wonder if this feeling of being “not good enough” is something innate or if it’s learned– the old “nurture or nature” question. We just don’t know exactly how it happens. This article in the paper really helped me the day I read it, because I was struggling with getting my book finished. I was getting close to the finish line and beginning to doubt myself.

    Isn’t it comforting to know that others—even talented, successful celebrities that we admire—feel the same way sometimes?

    Soon afterward, a student of mine Donna called me the day after class.  Intelligent and warm, I enjoyed meeting her and was glad she enrolled in my financial workshop.  She worked selling advertising for a small publication and wanted to increase her sales and income.  I wondered why she seemed a bit anxious that first night as each participant introduced themselves.  Now on the phone, she explained.

    “Last night, listening to the other people talk about their goals, I didn’t feel I belonged in the group.  I felt their goals were so much higher than mine; that they were smarter, better, more experienced—more whatever—than me.

    “But I had a realization as I walked down the hill to my car.  When I arrived for your class, I had parked at the bottom of the hill, thinking that others would have gotten there first and taken all the convenient parking spaces.  But I was the first to arrive!  Why did I assume that others would be there before me?  Why did I park at the bottom and walk up that steep hill without even trying to see if I could park at the top?

    “I saw that this was a metaphor of how I have been living my life.  I have assumed that others will take the top spots, so I automatically settle for the inconvenient place, the lesser place—and lesser income, too.  But now that I’ve seen it, I’m going to stop it.  I will find my space at the top of the hill from now on.”

    Do you park at the bottom of hills?  Do you take a back seat, let others do the talking, let others get the clients, the sales, and the cash?  Who told you to do that?  Who told you that you had to go last?  The little child inside us needs nurturing and support as much as the little child in our arms.  As Marianne Williamson said, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” We don’t encourage others to shine when we hide our own light.  Let us strive to be the best we can be, and empower others to do the same.  Let us all look for the top of the hill.  And if today, you don’t get the premium space, oh well, there’s another day tomorrow.  We can fail sometimes and be last sometimes.  But we don’t have to settle for last as our default position every time.  At least drive up the hill and look around.  You may find you’re the first one up there after all.

    Whatever work you do, you have to fight inner demons as well as the outer ones.  You have to stay focused on positive thoughts in order to have positive outcomes.  The first positive is you.  You are the only you on the planet and there are people out there just praying for you to show up.  They want what you have to give and will pay you richly for it.  But you have to reach out and ask.  To do that you need confidence in your self-worth, which is what it takes to produce your net-worth.  You are worthy, worthwhile and worth it!  You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t.  You can do anything you want.  Fill your mind with positive statements, repeat affirmations, listen to encouraging audio tapes, read enlightening books.

    See you at the top of the hill.

    For Your Children

    Posted on December 15th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    349 – December 15

    “Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.”—Phyllis Diller

    “I have no trouble selling someone else’s products or services, I just have trouble selling my own!” Joan despaired. A chorus of agreement rumbled through the class.

    “I used to be much more motivated when I had children,” she went on. “I knew I had to make a living to support them. I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. But now the kids are grown, I have enough money to get by, but I want more. But I just can’t seem to make the calls and do the work.”

    An idea came to me: “I want you to get four pictures of yourself,” I said. “One picture of you as a baby, one from third grade, one from high school and one from college. Put these pictures on the wall above your desk: These are the children you’re working for now. They all still exist in you and deserve your best efforts. Nurture them, care for them, and love them. Work to buy them things to enjoy, work to make them happy. They deserve ‘above and beyond money,’ not just ‘getting by money.’ And you deserve it, too!”

    I’ve met many women who work easily “on behalf of the children.” It makes them feel less selfish. Usually these same people they can promote and sell someone else’s products or services much better than their own. To promote their own feels too much like bragging. It’s the “good girl” syndrome: Don’t brag, don’t be forward, be nurturing, be giving, be nice. If this was your upbringing, you’re going to have to work to get over it. Or use it: It’s not bragging if your service can really help the other person—it’s your duty to them to convince them to buy the service that will make their life better. It’s perfectly okay if you benefit, too, and make a profit! If you don’t make a profit, you’ll be out of business, and then you can’t help anyone any more.

    See how this works? It’s called “re-framing” in psychology circles. Give yourself good, positive reasons to be successful, and help people at the same time. You don’t have to choose. You can do both.

    Today’s Affirmation: “My wonderful contributions flow into the Universe and great wealth flows back to me.”

    “Oh, I need your products!” said my friend, Sarah, to the woman at the networking meeting who was a skin-care representative. “Please call me tomorrow morning so I can talk with you about what I need to buy.”

    Then she met a woman who did graphic design. “Oh, I need graphic design for my new flyers and my web site, too!” she exclaimed. “Please call me tomorrow morning so you can help me decide what I need to buy.”

    Neither woman called the next morning. In fact, they never called.

    What’s up with that?? Aren’t they networking to get more clients for their business? And here was a client with money who wanted to buy – why wouldn’t they call her?

    Sarah’s experience wasn’t the only one. Throughout my networking career, I heard stories like these over and over again.

    Once I called a woman who had been a regular at a networking meeting and stopped coming. When I called and asked her why, she said the group didn’t work for her – she never got any business from it.

    “How many meetings did you go to?” I asked.

    “I went to one every month,” she replied. (Only one?)

    “Did you call people after the meeting?” I inquired.

    “No,” she said. “If they wanted my services, they would call me.”

    I knew she wouldn’t be in business for long.

    Let me give you a tip: They aren’t going to call you.

    Why? Because they have a life, they have priorities, they need clients themselves, they have another appointment, it’s their mother’s birthday, they have to wash their hair. You and your stuff are way down at the bottom of their priority list. Even if what you have is what they most need and close to the top of their list, they aren’t going to call you. They have fears. They have objections: You’re going to charge too much, they really should remodel their house first, it’s their daughter’s birthday tomorrow, maybe you aren’t really the best one for the project, it’s too far to drive, they’d have to convince their Significant Other and that might mean an argument and that would lead to problems and oh it’s just easier to forget the whole thing…

    And you don’t call them, because you don’t want to hear all their objections. You want to hear “Yes!” so much! But not as much as you are afraid of hearing “No.”

    So most small business owners continue to network and not get the results they want, and make a lot less money than they deserve.

    If you have any struggles around money these days, obviously, you are not alone. The whole world has been affected by the financial debacle of the real estate bubble. The financial hardships I see are even harder on women, who still only make 77 cents to a man’s dollar, largely because women still feel badly about “asking for money”. But in the marketplace, we must ask to be paid for our services!

    Women have a lot of negative emotional baggage around that request, and so often, women don’t ask for what they are worth and settle for less than they should expect. Did you know that men are 8 times more likely to negotiate their starting salary than a woman? And if she settles for $25,000 per year and he negotiates $30,000, over the next 30 years (with the same percentage raises, bonuses, etc.) he will have made over $500,000 more than she!

    In the book “Women Don’t Ask”, the authors told of studies comparing men and women and their ability to negotiate:

    • Men think of negotiating as “winning a ballgame”
    • Women think of negotiating as “going to the dentist”
    • When men negotiate, they get paid approximately 30% more than women
    • By failing to negotiate their starting salary, a person will lose $500,000 by age 60

    I understand it – I think it’s partly biological – a woman needs to be able to put others first in order to raise children. This giving quality makes us great care-givers, nurturers, teachers, and workers in the helping professions. And so we naturally think of others and the stress they might have in paying us. So we make allowances, reduce our rate, and even give it away for free. We wait for people to call us because we don’t want to “bother” them. Even when they ask us to call them!

    We have to change our thinking and our behavior with money. Because the real money we lose is the money we fail to earn.

    My Favorite Enrollment

    Posted on December 14th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

     

    348 – December 14

    “You have to take it as it happens, but you should try to make it happen the way you want to take it.”—German Proverb

     

    “My friend, Judy, told me I had to take your workshop. When is your next one?” said the female voice on the phone. I was so happy to get the call—a ship coming in to harbor that I didn’t send out!—that I made a classic mistake: I answered her question.

    “The next eight-week session begins on Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon.” I replied.

    “Oh, I can’t come in the afternoon!” she exclaimed, “I work during the day. Where are you located?”

    “I’m in Pacific Palisades.”

    “Oh, no. I’m in Pasadena, that’s much too far away for me. How much does the seminar cost?”

    “One thousand dollars,” I answered.

    “Oh, no! There’s no way I can afford that!”

    Do you see the problem? This woman called to enroll in my seminar and proceeded to ask questions about the features of the seminar (when is it, where is it, etc.) instead of the benefits of the seminar (how will it improve my life?). I then proceeded to answer her questions, instead of telling her what she really wanted to know. It is a classic mistake salespeople often make. I gave control to the prospect, I talked instead of listened, I addressed the wrong issue. Finally, having realized my error, I turned the conversation around:

    “I understand,” I said sympathetically. “But let me ask you a question. If the seminar was at a time you could come, a place that was convenient, and a price you could afford—what would you want to get out of it?”

    “Well, I don’t know exactly, but I have a lot of stress around money in my life….”

    With one question, I had taken back control of the conversation. I asked more questions: What do you see as your biggest problem with money? How long have you had this problem? What would you most like to change about the money in your life? And so on. After she answered these questions, and told me her vision of success, I saw that she would benefit from taking my course. Then I shared with her the success stories of people just like herself who had benefited from the workshop in the specific ways she wanted to benefit.

    By the end of the conversation, she got so excited about the possibilities, she exclaimed, “Okay, I’m in! Tell me how to get there.” She voluntarily threw out all her objections and enrolled in the class, because she wanted the benefits.

    What do people come to you for? How do they benefit? That’s what you have to give—and what you have to sell.

    Today’s Affirmation: “People love to buy from me!”

    Even though it was years ago, I remember that conversation so well! I learned a lot from that experience that helped me with sales conversations ever since. Isn’t it funny how often we learn the most from our mistakes?

    Being able to have a good sales conversation is a skill everyone needs to develop. You might be selling your product or service, or you may just be convincing your child to pick up their room, or a friend to go with you to the movie you want to see.

    The biggest mistake most people make is that they start with an “I” message. As in, “I want to see this movie, do you want to come with me?” or “I’m a coach and I have 20 years experience and here are my credentials…”

    I tell all my clients to start a sales conversation by making a new friend. Find out about them by asking questions like, “What do you do for a living?” “How long have you been doing that?” “What do you love about it?” “What did you do before you discovered this profession?” etc. Be sincerely interested in them!

    This cannot be faked. If you aren’t truly interested in the person you’re talking to, they can tell. Can’t you? Do you remember some fakey schmaltzy salesperson who was “acting” as if they liked you but you knew they had an agenda to sell you their stuff and they really weren’t listening to you. Most people are really bad actors.

    The second biggest mistake is people are so afraid of making a bad sales call that they don’t make any sales calls. It’s unbelievable to me how many people go to networking meetings and then never call anybody afterwards. They think if people are interested in their product or service, they will call them.

    Let me give you a tip. They aren’t going to call. They’re afraid you’ll turn out to be one of the fakey people and they don’t want to feel uncomfortable turning you down and so it’s just easier to forget the whole thing and write another email…

    If you’d like to get better at making calls and having great conversations and wildly improving your sales, you might like to take my 8-week Financial Stress Reduction telecourse. You can read the outline of the course here http://www.chellie.com/financial-stress-reduction-telecourse-information.html.

    I also have a new one-year program starting in January! It hasn’t even been announced yet, so if you’re reading this and want 2012 to be a big multile six-figure year, you  call me at 310-476-1622!

    Little Wins

    Posted on December 13th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

     

    347 – December 13

    “Celebrate what you want to see more of.”—Thomas J. Peters

     

    My mother often got nervous if I got excited about something. I remember once having met a nice young man and hoping that he would call. He did. After I hung up the phone, I danced into the living room and crowed, “Steven asked me out—we have a date for tomorrow night! I’m so happy!” Mother visibly cringed and said, “Now, honey, don’t get your hopes up.”

    Ouch! This really put a damper on my mood. She was afraid for me to expect or want anything for fear it might not turn out the way I wanted and then I’d be disappointed. But I was just happy over the little win—I wanted him to call and he did. I wanted him to ask me out and he did. I wanted to celebrate the wins I got—I didn’t know what was going to happen on the date. Maybe it would be a win and maybe it wouldn’t. That took away nothing from the win today.

    Some people never want to get excited so that they won’t get depressed if it doesn’t work out. But the trap they set up for themselves is that they talk themselves out of feeling anything other than caution. When we talk ourselves out of emotion and circumvent our feelings, it becomes a habit that deadens us to the world and each other. I think that’s why we revere actors so much—they show so much real emotion. Most people don’t. They keep a “stiff upper lip” and die inside. Once I said enthusiastically to a man, “This is stupendous!” He looked at me quizzically and said, “I never use words like stupendous. Nothing seems to rate that much excitement to me.” How sad! Someone in his past must have told him that it wasn’t okay to get excited.

    Pick some exciting words and use them! It’s fabulous, terrific, stupendous, extraordinary, superior, amazing, astounding! Write in exclamation points! Celebrate your little wins and enjoy them. You earned it! And your happiness will infect everyone around you, too.

    Today’s Affirmation: “I celebrate all my stupendous wins every day!”

    I still celebrate the little wins. If you have to wait for the big win, you’re just not going to be very happy in the meantime, are you? I want to be happy all the time, every day!

    Marci Shimoff, wrote the NY Times bestselling book “Happy for No Reason”. In her travels as a speaker and author of several “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, she came across very happy people and very miserable people, and their happiness quotient didn’t seem to have much to do with their circumstances.

    She decided to research happiness, asking everyone she met, “Who’s the happiest person you know?” Usually, the first person they’d mention would be someone fabulously successful, but then they’d stop and say they weren’t “really happy.” She kept searching and interviewing people. She discovered habits that happy people share and determined to write a book to show people how to consciously develop lasting happiness.

    I was honored that she chose me as one of her “Happy 100”, and included one of my stories in her book. How she found me is quite a serendipitous chain-of-events story:

    Marci’s co-author of her book, Carol Kline, had also helped write Jack Canfield and Gay Hendricks’ book “You’ve Got to Read This Book: 55 People Tell the Story of the Book That Changed Their Life”. I had been invited to submit a story for that book, and it was chosen for publication.

    As Carol and I worked together, we became friends and had great fun sharing ideas and stories with each other. One day, I asked her how I had gotten an invitation to write a story for the book. I knew Jack slightly, but many people knew him, so I wasn’t sure he had thought of me for this.  Carol said she didn’t know, but she’d ask and find out.

    She called me back, laughing. Someone in Jack’s office was reading another book I was profiled in – “How to Run Your Business Like a Girl” by Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin. They called Elizabeth to ask her to submit a story, and Elizabeth said, “Have you asked Chellie? You have to ask Chellie for a story!” And that’s how I got my invitation.

    But how had I gotten profiled in Elizabeth’s book, you might ask? Elizabeth had gotten an early copy of “The Wealthy Spirit” and called to introduce herself and interview me for her book. See how it works? There aren’t six degrees of separation any more. I think we’re down to two or three!

    The point is, I was chosen to be a role model for happiness because I celebrate little wins. Want to be happier? Find reasons to be happy right now, where you sit, in whatever circumstances you find yourself. Happy without regard to circumstances, but because you’ve chosen to be. You can always find evidence to back up whatever position you choose to hold.

    So today, choose happiness. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, how happy are you?

    Bon Jovi

    Posted on December 12th, 2011 in The Wealthy Spirit by chellie

    Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

     

    346 – December 12

    “Age is something that doesn’t matter. Unless you are a cheese.”—Billie Burke

     

    Why does the music business target only teenagers and twenty-somethings? As a middle-aged female, I’m a member of what seems to be the “despised demographic”—the one nobody cares about. Although youth and beauty are lovely qualities, they don’t hold a candle to the ones developed later in life: self-esteem, wisdom, success, depth, and happiness. We still have passion and excitement, and money, too! The Screen Actors Guild reported that Americans over the age of fifty own 77 percent of all financial assets, account for 40 percent of total consumer demand, and control a net worth of nearly $7 trillion. Don’t you think someone in the music business ought to sit up and take notice of that?

    Because I became a Bon Jovi fan at age fifty-two. It took me by surprise. I happened across them on a segment of Behind the Music on VH1 and was struck by the band’s passion and charisma. Joy of life and living throbbed through their music. I watched the entire show, and before long, I was hooked.

    The next day, I bought their greatest hits album and sang along with it for the rest of the week. Then I bought all their other albums and a video and signed up for their fan club.

    I admit I struggled with myself at first. We don’t break out of boxes without interior battles. I’m a grown woman; I own my own business. I’m not a young chicky to be seduced by a heavy metal band. I didn’t think I fit the hard-rock profile at all. I loved Country, Bach, Broadway, and the Beatles. But I broke out of my music box and found a passion for a hard rock band.

    Am I having a mid-life crisis? Have I lost some part of my sanity? Well, maybe I have. But if so, then I recommend it. Lose your sanity; your self-descriptions that keep you locked in your current self, making each day a replay of the last. Life is a banquet; it’s rich spread lies before you in glorious diversity. You may like fried chicken, but if you don’t keep exploring, you may never discover the chicken curry, chicken cacciatore, or Chicken Kiev. White rice is wonderful, but if you stop there, you miss the shrimp fried rice, the rice pilaf, the curried rice, the basmati rice. There’s a world of delightful tastes beyond what you know. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too old to enjoy it.

    Break out of your music box today. Join another party; feast at another banquet. Eat up life. Who cares if it’s young, or new, or “just not you”? Your capacity for joyful experience is immense, but you have to take it out of the box and use it.

    Who knows?  Maybe I’ll see you at the next Bon Jovi concert…

    Today’s Affirmation: “I’m glad to be alive and enjoying the rich music of life!”

    Beyond the music, as I have followed Bon Jovi, I have been most impressed by Jon Bon Jovi’s business acumen. When I watched a documentary about a recent tour, Jon was on the phone talking to some high level investors about purchasing a football team. Brushing aside his star status as a rock star, he said, “I’m the CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation that’s been running a brand for 25 years.” Whoa. I hadn’t quite looked at him that way before.

    Let that be a lesson to all artists who want to succeed in the entertainment business. Back in my acting days, that lesson was impressed upon me by an old character actor who was on a Screen Actors Guild committee with me. He told me quite succinctly that “show” is an adjective modifying the noun “business”. Never forgot that!

    I saw a video recently of some 8 or 9-year-old boy who, when asked who his favorite band was, enthusiastically replied, “Bon Jovi!” The brand of the band is working strong, attracting new customers in new demographics! Gotta love it.

    What do you enjoy that’s a little outside your box?