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“The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.”—Russell Lynes
It is a universal principle of money that whatever money you obtain dishonestly, by lying, cheating, swindling, or in any way taking money that isn’t rightfully yours, will be taken back from you tenfold. At least. The reverse is also true. Whatever money you gain by serving others with love and joy, will be given back to you tenfold. Wealth, riches, joy and abundance, pressed down, overflowing.
It doesn’t always appear that this is so. Resentful people are often fond of pointing out rich people with ill-gotten gains that seem to have come from deceptive practices, exploitation, or out-and-out thievery. It won’t serve you to think like that. The belief that someone else has become rich through exploiting others will only keep you from attempting to make your own fortune for fear of becoming a bad person. You can’t be worried about what other people are doing about their integrity. Just worry about your own. As you start to see your positive efforts from a center of personal integrity produce financial rewards, and whatever cheating you do result in a reduction in your wealth, you will see that financial integrity is one of your most important assets.
Mimi Donaldson is a vivacious public speaker. Over lunch one day, she was explaining to me how she works with speakers bureaus in order to get booked nationally as a speaker at corporations and conferences. She has been speaking for many years, and told me a story of how she was contacted by a meeting planner to speak at an upcoming conference. As they talked, she remembered that she had been booked for this same group three years before by a woman named Rosalind, who owned a speakers bureau.
Although Mimi was contractually free of paying Rosalind a fee for the engagement, since she only had to pay for repeat engagements for two years from the first date, Mimi felt that she would not be getting this job without Rosalind’s initial help. She called Rosalind to tell her that she was going to accept the engagement and would pay Rosalind her fee. Rosalind was so impressed with Mimi’s integrity that she substantially reduced her fee. This created great friendliness and harmony between the two of them and each appreciated the other’s generosity, honesty, and integrity. (Dolphins recognize each other.)
A week later, Rosalind called Mimi with another engagement.
It is fear that causes a lack of integrity. Fear that there isn’t enough to go around, that there isn’t enough for you to survive. But you always have survived, haven’t you? Fear is just an old habit. Replace it with trust.
“All my friends are successful and happily making large sums of money!”
When you have integrity, sometimes you’re going to get yourself in trouble.
Since I’m a recognized self-help author with a following, I am often approached by other speaker/author/seminar leaders who would like me to give them a testimonial or “blurb” for their book. I’m happy to help them, not only because I just feel good helping others (I am in a “helping profession” after all) but also because I so appreciated the generosity of the people who read my book and gave me a testimonial.
But what do I do when I agree to read their book and then when I do, I don’t like it? Or something about it offends me or they take a philosophical position that I don’t agree with? Do I give them a testimonial anyway to keep them happy and avoid an awkward conversation? It’s tempting because my inner people-pleaser Tuna self wants to make everybody happy. But I know I can’t because my first responsibility is to tell the truth and my second is to my readers who rely on me to tell the truth.
One time years ago, I agreed to blurb a book from a man who came highly recommended from some impeccable sources, and also said that I would help promote it. Then he sent me the book and when I read it I was horrified. He offered up several pieces of advice to get ahead by gaming the system or actually out-and-out lie to others in order to get your way. He bragged about having won a sporting competition by dehydrating himself for the weigh-in so he’d be put in a class with smaller men and could overpower them.
Well, there was no way I could recommend that, and I told him so in no uncertain terms. He tried to wiggle around it and said his publisher and PR person said he needed to create controversy for marketing purposes. Yeah, I said, so now you’re telling me you compromised your ethics in order to sell books? No thanks.
His book got testimonials from some big names in the self-help industry and went on to become a huge NY Times bestseller.
How could that be? Am I crazy to have standards? You know, sometimes you start to doubt yourself. But I went to his book’s page on amazon.com and found hundreds of people who had written horribly scathing reviews, protesting his values just like I had. One even said she was now doubting the word of the big name who had given him a testimonial. Ahem.
My friend and fabulous life coach Rhonda Britten says, “If you don’t have a ‘no’, your ‘yes’ means nothing.” That’s so true.
I have a “no”. Just so you know.