Good Rich or Bad Rich?

Do you want to be rich?

Ask that question to a group of people. What kind of answers will you get? How do you answer the question?

There are, of course, a lot of ways to define “rich.” Today, let’s focus on rich in the sense of material wealth, possessions and influence. Is it good or bad to be rich? Is it good or bad to aspire to be rich?

In 2011 Zuccotti Park in New York City’s financial district was the focus of a widely recognized social protest against economic inequality. It became known as “Occupy Wall Street.” Frequent references came from the occupiers about “the one percent.” By most definitions, the one percent are “the rich.”

Before the Occupy Wall Street experience, and certainly since, I sense that some people are uneasy about the idea of personal wealth. Some demographic groups more than others seem to shun or renounce wealth. In a discussion of wealth or of the concept of getting rich, I hear frequent and commendable reference to “giving back” and to “making a difference.” These are offered as alternatives to wealth, as if the choices to do good and to do well are mutually exclusive.

Not only recently, but over the course of world history, there are vivid examples of the use of material riches for bad (really bad) outcomes. The news media is reputed to use the phrase, “If it bleeds, it leads.” There is a tendency to highlight the worst and to de-emphasize the good. It’s easier to focus on the lurid, the negative, the tragically sensational. Is that why being rich has become an increasingly bad thing?

Being rich progressively removes limitations and controls to which most people are subject. Being wealthy expands choices and opportunities. The range of choices for most people is limited and tied to where they have shelter and where and how they earn money. Most people don’t have the option to choose a different city, state, country or continent where they will eat and sleep tomorrow. Once a person is no longer required to do something every day to ensure that they can get food and shelter, options emerge.

Options. Choices. Alternatives.

Let’s re-ask the question from the beginning and replace the concept of “rich” with the concept of choice or options. Do you want more options?  Would you like to have more available choices? Most (not all) of the apprehension people might feel or express about being rich or wealthy disappears when the concept is expressed in terms of choices or options.

What, then, is the challenge that many people have about being rich?

Money is neither good or bad. Money is a tool, a resource or a raw material. Like any tool or resource, it can be misused and abused. It is certain that an abundance of money has the tendency to reveal the true nature of the person with the money. Being rich tends to magnify the character of the person.

What good things do you want to do? Who do you want to help? What changes in society would you like to be part of? How do you want to live? Your time, influence and your wealth are the means you have to achieve those dreams. Your time is limited. If you have more wealth, your opportunities to do well and to affect good grow and so does your influence and ability to attract the time, influence and wealth of others.

One of my friends is fond of saying, “If you love money and use people, you’ve got it wrong. If you love people and use money, you’ve got it right.”

A good foundation for your material possessions starts with knowing clearly what you want and what you want to do. It also starts with fundamental respect for others and for yourself. There is no room for believing the worth of another person is attached to the quantity or lack of their material possessions.

Riches are a tool. Wealth provides opportunities and options. What kind of a person are you? A desire to be rich, in the hands of enough good people, changes their community and changes the world.

Let’s eliminate the stigma around being rich. Rich isn’t good or bad. It is the person that makes it one or the other. What many people lack is a clear and determined plan for their life, including an idea of what material wealth they want to accumulate and how they want to use it.

Ironically, most of us have some wealth and potential wealth flow through our lives. It is enough in many cases to “make a difference” if we will use it with purpose. The issue, in my mind, is how purposeful do you want to make your life? How will you use what you have? And, will you plan to create and accumulate more wealth than you already have?  Along the way, you’ll make some mistakes. Welcome to humanity. Do better next time. Get up from the fall and move ahead.

Good rich or bad rich? It isn’t the “rich” that should be the question. My overall experience is that the creation of wealth and the use of wealth have the potential to spread and increase wealth in general. It can be the rising tide that lifts all boats. Done right, wealth is not a limited resource that reduces another’s portion when someone gets their piece.

Do you want to do good? Wealth is one of the ways to make that happen. It’s OK if you don’t want to pursue material affluence. At the same time, let’s not discourage or criticize others who pursue riches to accomplish good. We need a healthier attitude toward material prosperity. We need more people who live their lives with clear purpose to get and to use wealth to further good causes. Call it: Cause Capitalism.

I’m going to believe that you are a good person. So, let me ask the question again. Do you want to be rich?  It’s OK to say, “Yes!”

Wealth is a Choice. Are You Choosing Wealth?

Wealth is a Choice

Having coached literally thousands of people, one of the most important things I’ve learned is that each of us are where we are in life, because of the choices we’ve made and failed to make. Hence the title of my topic, Wealth is a Choice.

To some degree, most people are misery-seeking missiles, because of the choices they continue to make in their lives. As strange as that might sound, I’ve seen it to be true many times in many individual’s lives, and it may well be true for you. In fact there are at least four reasons why most choose financial misery over financial health and wealth.

First, most of us are in a deep sleep when it comes to our financial lives.

We get up. We work most of the day. We come home. We hopefully have dinner with the family,  then become mesmerized by the television. We go to bed, and start all over again the next day.

Over the years, the American public has been sold a bill of goods thinking that all of their hard earned money taken out for Social Security will come back to them many times multiplied over their retirement years. The truth is that some never see any of it. Most only see a part of it, and fewer still will get more than they put in.

The social security fund is practically bankrupt now, and of those who do get it, who can live on it? The maximum Social Security Benefit for 2017 is $3,538.

It’s time to wake up to the fact that if wealth is to be, it’s up to me! This is what the Financially Fit blog is all about… you, making a better life for you and your family. You can do it if you will simply apply each principle we share. Wealth is a choice.

Second, most of us choose to blame others for our financial situation or failures.

We assert that we are where we are in life, because of the choices made by our parents, spouse, business partner or anyone else to whom we can conveniently point the finger of blame. Often if we can’t think of someone else to blame, we will gladly pay some psychologist to find someone for us to blame. Any excuse will do.

But you have a choice. You can make excuses, or you can make money. You can’t make both! Ultimately we each choose our level and limits of financial success or failure by our level of comfort. In other words, we set our level of success just as we would set a thermostat. We set our financial thermostat by where we choose to live, where we choose to work, with whom we choose to associate, the books we choose to read and even the spouse we choose to marry. Just as a thermostat controls room temperature by sending electrical impulses to start or stop the furnace whenever the room is below or above the temperature setting, we as human beings are controlled by our ‘electrical impulses’ of happiness, tension and stress when we move above or below our self-image.

Each of us is responsible for our own financial success and happiness!

You can change… only those things you control. Admitting you’re in control means you can change. Change is good if it means improving your financial fitness! It’s time we take responsibility for our lives. It’s time to stop blaming others for our financial position or unhappiness. We all have problems, challenges and heart wrenching trials. That’s just part of life’s learning through experience. “Tough times never last…but tough people do.” When we take responsibility, our challenges and trials strengthen and make us better people. It helps us appreciate the good times ahead.

You and your family deserve financial health and wealth. In fact, you and your family ultimately depend on it.

In regard to your financial future, make your motto: “If wealth is to be, it’s up to me!”

Third, we choose our level and limits of financial success by our level of comfort.

In other words, we set our level of financial success or failure just as we would set the thermostat that regulates our heater or air conditioner. Face it–you are where you are right now financially, because that is where you are comfortable. You might say, “No way, that’s impossible! I’m not financially comfortable in any way!”

It may appear that way on the outside, but once you really understand what a comfort zone is and how that relates to your Wealth Thermostat, you might start to agree. Once you understand the Comfort Zone Principle, you can change it… something only you can do.

Have you ever wondered why in some situations you have an uncomfortable feeling of being out of place, yet in other situations you are comfortable and at ease? The answer is simple. We each have regulators called comfort zones. When our regulator sets our financial comfort zones low, we operate on low production and the results are low. When it is set higher, we produce more and get greater results.

Your current financial comfort zone corresponds with your current self-image and financial beliefs. The temperature can move slightly up or down without the furnace being signaled to turn on or shut off. Our financial comfort zone works the same way based on where we set our Wealth Thermostat. Moving too far above or below our comfort zone range causes us to feel stress and anxiety.

We are unable to think or act as we normally do. Whether our performance is better or worse than our picture (the truth as we see it), we get that out of place feeling and desire to get back in our self-set comfort zone of expectations.

How we value ourselves and how we perform, is determined by our self-image and the comfort zone that matches our picture of expectations. Thus, the higher and more positive our financial self-image is, the higher and more productive comfort zones we set on our Wealth Thermostat.

When you earn money under or over where you have set your financial thermostat, you will subconsciously find a way to increase or diminish your incoming money.

We’ve seen it over and over. Someone whose circumstances put them under their financial comfort zone setting doesn’t stop until they find a way to get back up to where they are comfortable. And vice versa. Salesmen, who make more in one or two months than their self-image believes is right for them, do something to turn down the heat and make less.

The best news is this: You can reset your thermostat to higher levels of comfort. It’s your choice!

When we find ourselves making less than expected, our regulator sends a subconscious message to put on the heat and increase our income to match our comfort zone. We look for opportunities to increase our income and become more financially secure. It is a powerful motivator and most likely the reason you’re reading this article.

Based on past experiences, you may not know your true potential, therefore we’re going to help you move your thermostat to higher settings, as you read each post, accept each challenge and apply each principle.

Fourth, if you don’t have goals, you’ve chosen failure by default. This is a harsh reality! If you fail to plan, you’ve planned to fail.

Knowing that financial success is our responsibility helps us realize that we may have been, at times, financially irresponsible. But where we have been financially irresponsible in the past, we can now choose to be responsible in the future.

If you’ll return to this blog and read the content we will continue to post on a consistent basis, you will learn in a positive way,  the principles financially responsible people live by.

The Principle of Choice, as it relates to wealth, means we have two choices.

Deliberately or by default we can choose to participate in the rat race where we live on the financial treadmill or we can choose wealth.

I realize that the word wealth is a relative term. Here at Financially Fit, we believe wealth is the miracle of having enough money to meet all our needs and wants while still having enough money left over to help others. It’s an exciting revelation to know you can choose to achieve wealth.

I’m challenging you right now, to commit to achieve Wealth!

No matter your present circumstances, the first step to financial freedom is commitment!

Commitment is the spark that ignites the fire. Commitment is the key that starts the engine.

When one lays down a line in the sand and declares, “I am committed to do this – whatever it takes, for however long it takes then an invisible signal goes forth, like a radio beacon, resonating with whatever resources are necessary to complete the task.

These resources begin to “materialize” as if by magic. Ideas begin to flow. Time slows down or speeds up to accommodate. People suddenly arrive as if summoned.

At some level, we are all familiar with what commitment means. Yet many of us do not understand the essential elements needed to make it real, to capture its magic.

To have genuine commitment requires two things. The first is desire. The very fact that you are reading this article is proof that you have desire. The second is faith. You need to commit on faith. Through each post, we’ll continue to outline the path you need to follow; you need to have enough faith to follow the path.

With your desire and your willingness to follow our proven principles, commitment will emerge. It will strengthen you as you take each step toward the wealth you desire.

The good news is you don’t have to believe that you can become financially independent. Let us believe that for you. We know these principles work. What you need is the desire and enough faith to live the principles we present. When you do this; you’ll be on your way.

We look forward to helping you create wealth so you can enjoy a life where you have more than enough. The first step to achieving this life is to make a commitment.

The following verse, penned by the first man to photograph the top of Mount Everest, clearly describes the power that comes from making a true commitment:

“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one commits oneself. Then providence moves too. 

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.'”

W.H. Murray, 

“The Scottish Himalayan Expedition” (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1951)

If you will visit this site regularly, read each post and apply each principle, you’ll be following principles that will allow you to:

  • Gain immediate control of your cash low.
  • Decrease your expenses.
  • Increase your income.
  • Create a spending plan that will allow you to have anything you want.
  • Avoid common mortgage pitfalls.
  • Carry the optimum amount of insurance for the lowest premium possible.
  • Minimize your tax burden.
  • Become debt free, including your mortgage in the shortest time possible.
  • Establish an adequate emergency fund.
  • Create maximum wealth with minimum risk.

To succeed, you need the best strategies for achieving results and you must take action. The number one key to your success is your ability to take action. Intentions have no currency, no value to the world, to those around you, or to the quality of your life.

But action alone is not enough; it must be the correct action. That’s what the Financially Fit principles will lead you to take. But this correct action has to be focused action.

Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives. Controlled focus is like a laser beam that can cut through anything that seems to be stopping you. Your action will accomplish a lot more, a lot quicker if it is massive, focused action.

The principles you will learn in future articles are not based on doing a little here and a little there, but on focusing massive action – first on eliminating your debts, then on building wealth.

I challenge you to do whatever it takes to use what you learn in simple ways each day. This is the all-important step that is necessary for you to produce the results you are seeking.

Commit that from this day forward you will follow the principles of wealth creation in your life so you can eliminate money pressures, enjoy a life of complete financial freedom and share your abundance with others. I challenge you to make your commitment public in comments below.

Change any Negative Emotions that get in the way of Success

While working on your Financial Vision and goals, I’m sure that you realize that you are solely responsible for the successes that you gain in your life. Unfortunately, countless men and women go through life grumbling and complaining about earlier, unhappy experiences, and blaming their problems on other people and circumstances. Many people are angry about something that one of their parents did or did not do) 20, 30 or even 40 years ago!  They are trapped in the past and can’t get free.You’ll find that the greatest enemies to happiness and success are negative emotions such as: fear, self-pity, envy, jealousy, feeling of inferiority, and ultimately anger.  Negative emotions of all kinds hold you down, tire you out and take away all your joy in life.

“A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with – a man is what he makes of himself”     -Alexander Graham Bell

We believe that negative emotions have done more harm to individuals and societies than all the plagues of history.  If you want to be truly happy and successful, one of your most important goals should be to free yourself of negative emotions.

Most negative emotions are caused by four factors. Once you identify and remove these factors from your thinking, your negative emotions will stop automatically. The positive emotions of love, peace, joy, hope and enthusiasm will flow in to replace them and your whole life will change for the better.

The first root cause of negative emotions is justification. You can only be negative as long as you can justify to yourself and others that you are entitled to be angry or upset for some reason. If you cannot justify your negativity, you cannot be angry.

As long as you continue to justify negative feelings, your negative emotions will control you and absorb much of your life and energy. As soon as you stop justifying your negative emotions you will become calm, clear and focused on your goals, as soon as you stop justifying, you will become a more positive and effective person.

The Second root cause of negative emotions is rationalization.  When you rationalize your attempt to give a socially acceptable explanation for and otherwise socially unacceptable act.  You rationalize to explain it away or to put a favorable light on something you have done that you feel bad or unhappy about.  You excuse your behavior or actions by creating an explanation that sounds good even though you know that you were an active agent in whatever occurred.  This rationalizing keeps your negative emotions alive.

Rationalization and justification always require that you make someone or something else the source or cause of your problem.  You cast yourself in the role of the victim and you make the other person or organization into the oppressor or “bad guy”.

The Third root cause of negative emotions is an over-concern or hypersensitivity to the way that others treat you.  For some people their entire self-image is determined by the way others speak to them, or about them or even look at them.  They have little sense of personal value or self-worth apart from the opinions of others.  And if those opinions are negative for any reason; real or imagined, the victim immediately experiences anger, embarrassment, shame, feelings of inferiority and even depression, self-pity and despair.

The Fourth root cause of negative emotions ,and the worst of all, is blaming. The antidote for negative emotions of all kinds is for you to accept complete responsibility for your situation.  You cannot say the words “I am responsible” and still feel angry.  The very act of accepting responsibility cancels out any negative emotions you may be experiencing.  You can free yourself from negative emotions and begin taking control of your life by simply saying “I am responsible”

It is only when you free yourself from negative emotions, by taking complete responsibility; that you can begin to achieve goals in every area of your life.  It is only when you are free mentally and emotionally that you can begin to channel your energy and enthusiasm in a forward direction. This is why without the acceptance of complete responsibility, no progress is possible.  On the other hand, once you accept total responsibility for your life, there are limits on what you can be, do and have.

-From now on refuse to blame anyone for anything past, present or future.

-From this point forward, refuse to make excuses or to justify your behaviors.  If you make a mistake say “I’m sorry” and get busy rectifying the situation.

Every time you blame someone else or make excuses you give your power away. You feel weakened and diminished, you feel negative and angry inside. Refuse to do it.

-To keep your mind positive: refuse to criticize, complain about or condemn other people about anything. Every time you criticize someone else, complain about something you don’t like or condemn someone else about something they have done or not done; you trigger feelings of negativity and anger within yourself and you are the one who suffers.  Your negativity does not affect the other persona at all.

Being angry with someone is allowing him or her to control your emotions and often the entire quality of your life.

Positive emotions of love, excitement, happiness and enthusiasm make you feel more powerful and more confident.

Negative emotions of anger, hurt or blame can make you hostile and unpleasant to be around.

Once you decide to accept complete responsibility for yourself, your situation and for everything that happens to you; you can turn confidently toward your work and the affairs of your life.  You become the “Master of your fate and the captain of your soul”.

Never put roadblocks in the way of success. To fully take charge of your life, develop your own strategic plan for your life.

Your next workout is broken down into five parts;

  1. Begin overcoming negative emotions in your life that will keep you from achieving your goals. Identify your biggest problem or source of negativity in life today. In what ways are you responsible? Make a list of your answers.
  2. Resolve today to stop blaming anyone else for anything and instead accept complete responsibility in every area of your life. What actions should you be taking?  Make a list of your answers.
  3. Stop making excuses and start making progress. List some of your favorite excuses. Now, imagine that they have no basis and act accordingly.
  4. See yourself as the primary creative force in your own life. You are where you are and what you are because of your own choices and decisions. What should you change?  Make a list of your answers.
  5. Lastly, make a list of anyone you need to forgive in your life. Now, resolve today to forgive anyone who has ever hurt you in any way. Let it go! Refuse to discuss it again. Instead, get so busy working on something that is important to you, that you don’t have time to think about it again.

When you complete this process, you are going to love the way you feel!

For more information on what we offer, please visit our programs page. 

If you want to learn more about the visionary and creator of Financially Fit, Steve Down, Click Here!

Thank-you for reading.

Does Stress Get in the Way of Your Success?

About 40 percent of employees claim to be worn out due to work related stress, accounting for a loss of nearly $300 billion in the workplace in the U.S. alone (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).

In this particular message, two tools will be provided that can alleviate stressful conditions in your life. These investments of time will help you create direction and a calming peace in the storm of daily life!

Do Weekly Planning to Find Direction and Peace before the Storm!

Weekly planning helps you think in terms of balance and will bring greater peace to your life. Use your planner or organizer and hold a planning session before the start of each week. Experiment until you find the best day that works and then be consistent in doing it each week at the same time to build some muscle around it.

Such planning consists of determining what matters most in the upcoming week in each of the main areas or responsibilities of your life (Financial, parental, as a spouse, a friend, employee, and so on) and specifying an actual time during the week when you’ll do what you’ve identified. This way nothing can pile up on you out of left field and add to your overall amount of stress.

Meditation: A Tool for You! 

Meditation is a proven tool to alleviate stress. There are a number of reasons we gather and carry stress through a myriad of events, thoughts and actions that could build up each day. Pay attention so you can address how you’re allowing stress in. Many times, it can be small things that can trigger bigger things that stay with us and distract us from being our best.  We find many of our clients that have shared that stress can begin each day with the commute to and from work.

You might agree, feeling like it’s out of your control. Yet you could turn a bad experience on the road into a University on wheels to learn, or turn your car into a concert hall in enjoying the best music or books during that time. It’s all about choosing to respond versus reacting to the storm. Much like financial success, stress management is a mindset as well.

Here is a simple process for meditating:

  1. Close your eyes and relax. (Not while driving, of course!) Preferably in a relatively quiet space with minimal distractions.
  2. Take deep breaths. Exhale completely. Feel the heaviness of your hands, arms, and legs leave as you let them totally relax.
  3. Imagine a serene, safe, and peaceful location.
  4. Allow your mind to be free. Enjoy the rare chance to let your mind simply be free.
  5. After two to ten minutes, return to your fully conscious state and slowly open your eyes.

As you repeat this process frequently and diligently, you will likely feel a much greater peace and experience better balance in your life.

Financially Fit Stress Workout:

  1. Hold a weekly planning session. Identify what matters most this week and specify when and how to accomplish your tasks. This will help you stay in control of your life and bring a greater sense of peace.
  1. Do a relaxation exercise. Take two to ten minutes to meditate using the steps in this email. Get in the habit of doing this frequently.

Wishing you the best as you find greater peace and balance in your life!

For additional content and superior resources, please consider joining The Tribe

-Financially Fit team

Are you Wealth Bound?

The concept of being wealth bound is that your money can only go 1 of 4 directions (

At Financially Fit, our Wealth Compass is a simple, yet effective tool that helps people change the way they feel, think, and act towards money.
Steve Down developed the Wealth Compass to quickly identify which category of spending your money is headed. Once you gain the understanding of the Wealth Compass, as you make purchases or spend money, you will clearly know if you are making spending decisions that are in favor of reaching your personal financial goals.

We’ve all had the experience of contemplating a purchase while shopping in a store or online.

The things that we want to buy create feelings within us. These feelings may create a positive justification that the item is an actual need, or feelings of guilt because it may be an item that you know deep down is an emotional purchase that in the long run will be a waste of money. The item may create a sense of joy as you are making a purchase that will support your family, or a gift that you know will greatly warm someone’s heart.

As the feelings about spending arise, understanding the Four Directions of the Wealth Compass ( and how this relates to our spending and buying decisions, causes us to stop and think if our actions are congruent with our financial goals.

Learn more about the Four Directions Your Money is Headed ( and how to make decisions that point you in the direction of your financial goals with this Huffington Post article, written by Ben Hardy an avid writer for Medium.