The Crazy “Truths” Holding Us Back

They are the salt of the earth.

In these few weeks of transition of moving to Georgia, my parents are staying with us to help with the kids. Last night at an “adults only” dinner after my kids went to bed (Cheesecake Factory take-out…delicious) my husband was sharing a story of his time working while in high school.

He talked about the times he worked at a country club, and I was struck by a line in his story.  It wasn’t when he shared how he would get great tips or the fantastic staff meals he had or the long hours he worked. It was when he talked about the members, when he mentioned “the crazy people who paid more than $10,000 a year to be members.”

I called him out on this phrase because this wasn’t the first time he had made a critical comment about wealth, wealthy people, or spending money. When he tells stories of others with wealth in his past, it often has a negative slant to it.

And it is completely crazy pants…

The reality is, we just left New Jersey, where we paid that much to be a member of a beach club each year that was only open for a few months. We just went on a weeklong vacation that was more expensive than many annual salaries. And we just bought a house that some would consider an “estate.” And by golly, we are freaking rich.

(Thank you, Jesus.)

But “Poor Ian” still has a hold of this hardworking man.  A man who worked his way up from the loading docks to be president of his company. A man who now runs a very large business and makes very good money in addition to his wife, aka me, who is bringing home an incredible living. Together we are able to tithe to our church, donate to charity, and still have enough money left over to enjoy this incredible life of ours.

In spite of our reality, he still sees people of wealth as a different breed.  One that is in some way “wrong,” even though he is one of them.

It’s funny…I didn’t grow up with money either. We were fine and my parents always made sure we had what we needed/wanted, but I always knew money wasn’t free flowing. And my parents didn’t tend to speak highly of people with wealth.   They are amazing, loving, and kind parents, and I thank God almighty they are mine and living and healthy… but they never gave me the impression that “being rich” was a good thing.

To their credit and Ian’s last night, they listened with opened ears, minds, and hearts and really heard me as I shared how working really hard is how Ian and I earned our incomes.  Working really hard is how I turned my company from bankruptcy to a multimillion-dollar corporation and eventually sold it for a really nice exit. Working really hard is how I already had another multimillion-dollar company in place before my exit.

And this hard work has afforded us opportunities to travel together around the world, take care of loved ones in times of need, give to charities with abundance, and support our church.

And the same is true of others with wealth.

According to CNBC, 95% of all millionaires donate money to charity.  And 89% donate their time as well.

But they have a bad rap. For so many, even inside our own home there is an “us versus them.”

And frankly, it is complete B.S.

The acquisition of wealth and success isn’t a game of “starting out right.” Just ask Oprah who started in a poor family and a life of abuse.

It isn’t about being “lucky.”  Just ask Julia Child or Andy Andrews who each worked for more than 10 years to get their first books published.

It is a choice. A choice to say “no thank you” to the doors that close in your face.  It is about finding a window to climb through, a wall to scale, a new flipping hole you punch in the wall yourself.

It is a choice.

And sure, that means that the good, bad, and ugly are all OUR CHOICE and that is scary and maybe something you aren’t willing to accept. And I get that.

But if you are willing to question the “head trash” that is taking up valuable space right now that could clear out to give you room for something better, then it is an incredible first step.

Ian really impressed me, as often happens with The Tall One, and he looked at his “negative talk” differently and shared he will start being conscious of the words he uses to describe wealth.  Not just for his sake, but our kids’ so they have a different recording playing in their head.

One that says, “Oh, yes, you can.”

And guess what?  So can you.

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5 Responses
  1. Kim, I love this post and thanks for sharing!

    I felt like I was a fly on the wall at your house listening in on the conversation.

    Also, your programs and conferences help so many people so that is a huge gift .

  2. Hi Kim,

    I really admire you for all your success you have created for you and yourselves; so keep it up!

    Here is my question for you both . . . I want to hear your hubby’s definition first (before I give you mine), which is this:

    How does Ian (you did say his name is Ian right?) define “true” wealth or “real” wealth? . . . . does he feel that he is undertaxed? . . . ’cause if he does he can write a check to the IRS anytime he wants to. Sounds like to me he has worthiness issues to being, therefore, having wealth.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      yes, he recognizes it is a “head trash” thing that fogs up his clear view of what is happening. The question to always ask ourselves is what lies do we personally believe as truths that may fog our vision?

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