To Debt or Not to Debt… that’s not the only question
One of our readers (I’ll call her Julie) had a question about the wisdom or insanity of going into debt for training on this material. She had some real concerns. She and her husband had vowed that they would accrue no more debt. Anyway, she really wanted to attend our facilitator training program but in order to do so, it would have to go on a card. I did not tell her to charge it; instead I tried to teach a principle so that she could understand what was really going on, and make the wisest choice possible. If you’re interested in my reply, I’ve posted her question and my answer below:
Dear Leslie, Your seminar information is so compelling that I can’t stop thinking about it! I read the email you sent with further information and was also intrigued, but my face fell when I read the price. Not that it isn’t worth it–but my husband and I have made a commitment to each other that we will not acquire any more debt. And circumstances (our two cars both totaled, for one example) have made it such that attending the training would put us in further debt.
At this point, she suggested a trade for services, which at the time was not going to work out for me. So instead, I wanted her to think about the following principle…
(Note added later: Before you read my response below, I want to say that I am a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan. I wish that I had been following him back when she wrote me, because I would have been more conscious and understanding about her concerns. Click here to read how and why my feelings have changed about Dave Ramsey over the years. Regardless, read on to see how it all played out – find out how she accomplished her goal without going into debt.)
Julie, I am not going to tell you that you must acquire more debt, although my personal philosophy is that there are two things worthy of it: a home, and education. I remember attending seminars for 7 years, about 100 of them, and each time feeling sick inside about the money we were spending. True, I understood that seminars counted as education, and we weren’t buying luxuries or lifestyle on credit, but I still felt sick. If you are well enough read in the materials, you know that how you FEEL is the primary indicator of how life will look in the future. We struggled for those 7 years and things only got worse; we only got deeper and deeper into debt.
Finally there came a point where I decided, I CHOSE, to feel differently, and that shift in mentality came from reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “The Millionaire Next Door” back to back within a few weeks. Along came an opportunity for some important training all the way across the country, and we felt that we needed to be there. It was going to cost us a few thousand dollars, and at the time we were living in California on pennies. The only way for us to go was to put it on a credit card, but for the first time in my life, I allowed myself to mentally let go and get really excited about what the training was going to DO for us. Instead of counting pennies for the meals and other expenses, we just went forward with an absolute expectation that it was going to PAY huge dividends to be there. I focused on the benefits instead of the “expense”. (What we focus on, and give energy to, is what shows up in our life. If we focus on the “debt” part, that’s what we’ll get more of, in spite of our efforts to steer clear of it. Things will happen, things will break down, accidents will come, and make it impossible to ever get out.)
While we were there, we took some time and browsed some expensive stores, and allowed ourselves to pretend we were wealthy, if for just one weekend. With this shift in mentality, and with our air travel requiring us to take the trip with 3 changes of planes on the way (okay, so it was the cheapest way we could find to get there), we actually ended up sitting next to self-made millionaires on EVERY leg of that journey, even when my husband and I were split up. It got to the point where we’d get back together between each segment and say, “so who did YOU sit by THIS time??!!” Inventors, Business Tycoons, Real Estate people, whatever. But the conversations we had during that trip planted some seeds in our minds that have since borne abundant fruit in our own life.
We realized that by thinking differently, we were led to like-minded people who were able to give us the next morsel of wisdom on our path. It actually led us to make another $2500 investment on a credit card two months later for a personal coaching program (so on the surface it appeared that we had fallen around $5000 deeper within a short 2 months, but underneath, we were growing so big inside it was just about to pop and we could feel it coming.) During this time, I refused any temptation to have regrets over the way we had spent our money. I only allowed myself to look forward and be excited about what the training was going to do for us, and the lifestyle we expected to enjoy. Because of the coaching, I gained the knowledge and the courage to take a big step and purchase a second home (more debt?) and rent the first, all without using any of my own money because I had none. Suddenly it may have appeared that we were about $100,000 deeper than even before, even at a time when we were already unable to make ends meet as it was. Our income couldn’t support what we had done, but we had felt led to do it anyway, and by the time the first mortgage payment came due on the more expensive house, my husband landed a contract that tripled his income. Was this the prudent way to go? “Apparently” not, but we were not operating on appearances, we were operating on being locked on a goal and trusting inspiration to lead us there, no matter how crazy the path seemed to be. If we had told anyone what we were doing, we would have looked like a crazy dog doing insane things. We kept it to ourselves because we knew that nobody else could see our rabbit and where it was leading us.
Can you see how important one’s psychology is at this point? You might be wondering if all that craziness truly was inspiration or utter deception. Let me tell you what came of it, BECAUSE I didn’t allow myself to feel sick or have regrets. There was no looking back.
Here’s what came of it: I did it again (purchased another home) about 2 years later, and on the surface it would appear that we were another $160,000 deeper even still. But only 8 months after that, I sold the two homes for $300,000 EACH, and walked away with $250,000 tax-free income. It all started with feeling differently about, and understanding the difference between debt and investments. We have since used “other people’s money” at 3 or 6 or 12 percent or whatever, in order to do something that would yield 20 or 40 percent, or our best return ever was actually a 700% return. Now, you can use the principles we teach to get yourself the cash you need to do whatever it is you want to do… CASH. There is a way. It may require trading time for the money, and you may or may not have enough time to make that exchange before the event. But if you are going to teach people how to create a life of freedom, you can be sure that you will have countless people face the same problem you face right now. My recommendation is that you see yourself there, envision the way life will be on the other side of it, and let inspiration lead you to the “how”. Trust whatever it tells you to do, and by conquering this giant, that is when you will be equipped and ready to teach others how to do the same.
I hope this helps you in some way. Please do not take this to mean that you should put the training on a credit card. I am not saying that. I am saying that your job is to know what you want, and deciding the “how” is not your department. By taking it upon ourselves to decide how something has to happen, we often pinch off solutions that could set us free. Don’t go to the training without first having a clear picture of why you’d want to go. Get your “why” absolutely clear and on paper, and then inspiration may even tell you that the “how” to get to that “why” has nothing to do with training to be a facilitator. Maybe it will; only you can decide that. Or maybe it needs to be later. Nobody can decide that for you.
Remember also that nobody needs a “way” until a decision has been made. If you decide to be there, come heck or high water, the way will appear, but not until then.
(Take note of her attitude… she didn’t allow herself to get upset that I didn’t accept the “trade” idea, she took my comments to heart and expected to find a way.)
Thank you SO much for taking the time (goodness, with six kids to boot!) to answer some stranger out of nowhere with her crazy proposal. And then thank you again for taking the time to tell some of your story. It inspired me and gave me a better focus on the direction I want to go.
My husband and I attended Bob Proctor’s Science of Getting Rich Seminar several years ago. I agree, it is wonderful and well worth the investment. We have also attended, probably not hundreds, but definitely dozens of other seminars, in the past ten years. Additionally we have purchased countless programs from Nightingale Conant, which we thoroughly enjoy. I think, for the most part, I understand and apply the principles of success. …The little blip we are experiencing right now is short-lived and we feel things turning around for us.
What I would like to do is explore further the opportunities that the seminar will provide for me to teach in the future. …perhaps together we can determine if this is right for me…
But before I [finish this email]… I want to share with you a humorous anecdote that just happened: I told you we have two totalled cars, right? I wrote down exactly what we wanted. Free, or close to it, in good shape, suitable for a professional man to drive to work, and preferably any color except white. Well, the Universe doesn’t hear negatives! So, we got an older but well maintained Ford Taurus SHO yesterday, in good shape, suitable for my husband to drive to work, for $1000 (nearly free), and the color? White! Another little testimonial about thinking in positive terms about what we want. – Julie
I sent my list a copy of this conversation, because I know this question is a common one, and I wanted to share the principles described above. How easy it would have been for Julie to get discouraged at my refusal to do a trade and simply give up, thinking, “Oh, well.” But no, she will accomplish anything she sets out to do so long as she continues in right thinking as she has done so far. I believe it is because of her determination and expectancy that the next thing happened:
Three Days Later, from another reader:
I was reading your reply to the lady who wanted to taking your facilitator course but did not feel that she should put herself deeper in debt. I was wondering if you knew if she had signed up or not. If not, how much is the course that she would like to take? I don’t know why – but I feel a strong desire to help her out. Believe me when I say that this is a very unusual move on my part. I’m certainly not independently wealthy – I work for the federal government (as you can see from my email address). But I’ve been with them for 23 years now and am earning a decent salary. I am a firm believer though that if you help another, it only comes back in good ways to you.
So I’d like to at least help defray her costs – but I’d also like to do it anonymously. Can you help me help her?
This stranger ended up contributing thousands to cover her training fees.
Julie’s response to the good, charitable stranger:
Leslie, would you please forward the following thank-you note to my “scholarship mentor”?:
It is difficult to express how deeply grateful I am for your very generous gift. I am honored, humbled, and touched to think that someone would be moved to make an important opportunity available to me. I commit to you that I will use this gift wisely; I will utilize my abilities to learn and apply everything I can. Perhaps someday I can thank you personally. Until then, the face of every person I pass could possibly be you! That thought makes all of humanity more endearing. And so you have made the world a better place already. Blessings! – Julie