138 – May 18
“Our Accounting Department is the office that has the little red box on the wall saying ‘In case of emergency break glass.’ And inside are two tickets to Brazil.”—Robert Orben
As I work with people to help them reduce their financial stress, I look at the choices they’ve made that put them in a financial position that isn’t viable. One of the problems that seems endemic is the mental habit of considering only two options before making a decision. When I question people’s choices in spending, they always have an answer of the other choice they considered that was worse: “I have to do X because the only other choice is to do Y, and Y is unacceptable.” This polarity keeps people from continuing to search for a better choice.
For example, a recent client and I were trying to solve her cash flow problems. She was spending more than she was making, so we were looking for ways to cut her expenses. She was in business for herself in the medical profession and dedicated to building her practice. I suggested we needed to cut to a minimum all personal expenses while she built her business and she agreed. When I asked about her housing costs, she admitted she was paying a lot of money for her house, but it was either that “or live in a tiny $400 per month cracker box apartment.”
“No, that isn’t the only choice!” I said and told her of my own wonderful rental situation. Her eyes lit up and she agreed she hadn’t done the creative thinking necessary to come up with other housing ideas that might have her living in a nice place that she enjoyed and yet didn’t cost a lot of money.
Be a creative thinker! Start with a visualization of what you want in great detail. Then put the price on it that works for your current budget. Then start your detective work to find what you want at that price. Tell your friends what you’re looking for. Ask everyone you meet for ideas.
Know that the first three answers you get will be awful. Those answers are coming from your negative programming that tells you that you can’t have what you want for the price you want to pay. Most people stop at this point and give in to the negative belief. Don’t give up! Be determined to get what you want and you will. It won’t come in the usual way and it might not look exactly like your picture, but if you are flexible and open, you will see it as a good stepping- stone in the right direction.
There’s a lot of gray between black and white. Put some new shades in your life.
“I always find exactly what I want at exactly the right price!”
Thinking creatively, asking for what you want, and being persistent – these three things will get you a lot of what you want. It was demonstrated for me again when I headed off for a long weekend to Pechanga Indian Casino in Temecula with my friends, Shelley and Debby.
I didn’t realize it had been over a year since I had been there, and so my free offers had expired – no free room, no coupons for $30 off the price of dinner, etc. I love my freebies so I was a little miffed that I had missed out by a mere two weeks. I called the casino marketing VIP department to see if I could wheedle my way in anyway, but no dice.
Since there were three of us and we needed three beds, we had to either get two rooms, or spring for a suite. Shelley and I had stayed in a suite once before (for free!) and it was really nice, so we booked that (it was actually $40 less than two rooms would have cost.)
The day we were leaving, we checked the room charges on the TV, and it was $650 for the two-night stay. At breakfast, Debby convinced me to try negotiating with VIP services again, since we’d been there for 2 days and had played a lot of poker and slots. I was a little reluctant because I had tried already, but it didn’t hurt to ask in person either, so we stopped by.
The gal at the desk checked with the casino hosts, and they decided to give us one free night and one night at half-price! So instead of paying $650 the bill was only $275. Yay! We felt like winners!
Create, ask, persist…and win! I know I wouldn’t have made the request on my own – I still notice my reluctance to ask for things for myself. I can make repeated calls to potential clients, because I truly believe I am calling to help them, but when it is asking for someone to give to me, I have not exercised that muscle enough. Cheers to Debby for not giving up!