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I get this question about once a fortnight when I’m talking to people around Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, and the subject of money comes up. Scott has done so much for a generation (generations?) of people looking for the secrets that will unlock the mysterious world of money.
I love what he’s written (especially the updated version which just reads so relatable) and as a set of money foundations or principles that you can get yourself into a solid financial position, there’s nothing else available that’s as useful, hilarious and popular.
When I read his book, I kept thinking to myself, why didn’t I get my hands on this earlier! It should be required reading in school! It’s part of the money education I never got.
For the few of you out there that haven’t read it, the book covers money basics (like what you‘ve always wanted your parents to tell you about money, and things like how property works, and how shares works), how to create money habits, how to think about money – basically how to set yourself up and get into a position where you can feel financially secure. It’s tricky to wrap up a book in 65 words but that’s my go at it.
So yes, I most definitely have heard of Scott Pape, his words and newsletters have shaped my approach to financial advice and my approach to my financial situation (though I do wish, like most people I talk too, that I’d read his words years before).
My barber (based in Peregian Beach) who asked me the question, is about my age – 33. After giving him the affirmative, that I do indeed know of him, we went on to talk about what we loved about his words. We high-fived on it for a while, but there just seemed to be more to the conversation we weren’t having.
In my opinion, Scott’s words are great when talking to the volume of people he does – the Facebook page has 110,000 followers, there are other sub-pages with 10’s of thousands of followers, 134,000 newsletter subscribers.
(You’re right, there’s a but coming.)
Each person’s situation is unique and individual. It’s not possible for advice given to literally ten’s of thousands of people can be tailored to one person’s specific situation. And truth be told, that’s not what Scott is trying to do either. He openly admits to not taking any responsibility for his words.
We’re too close to our own situation to see challenges and possibilities. Our actions and our beliefs/behaviour can be on completely different pages. There’s a whole school of psychology dedicated to better understanding our behaviour and how we can get in our own way – despite knowing what we want.
It’s also tricky to get on the same page as your spouse. Even if you get all zen, and understand yourself, that doesn’t necessarily mean you and your partner are great at having these types of conversations. How are you feeling about life and money at the moment? What do you want from life and from money? What don’t you want? You know, the deeper ones. And then once you agree to what you both want and don’t want, are you able to agree how to make it happen?
You need help now! A book is super helpful if you’re reading it before you need it, or as you need it. But if you’re in a position where you want action now, and you don’t have time to fully comprehend what you need to know to be able to create change in your situation, then you’re going to need *more* to have confidence in learning the lessons and applying them.
Time is of the essence. There’s just not enough of it. You want to take responsibility for where you are and the change you need, but there is just so much going on. You just need some help to get started or you want someone to do the heavy lifting and just tap you in where needed to make sure you’re on course (and help you understand what you need to).
Accountability. Let’s face it, we both know that it should be enough that you want a better life for yourself. Though, sometimes it can be tricky to set actions and goals and work towards them – over and over (and over) again.
Because sometimes the best answer comes from a back and forth conversation (with someone unbiased). What about the pros and cons of an idea? That thing you heard at a BBQ or from your mates, you want to know more. And not necessarily just what Google can tell you, as it will no doubt deliver you hundreds of thousands of results, full of people on forums or blog posts (like this one) where someone’s offering their two cents.
A book is fixed in time (unless there’s a reprint). Life is ever changing. If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed, it’s that. Strategies become superseded, products are replaced by new ones, legislation changes (and changes and changes), and the biggest one of all – you change. As discussed above, Scott’s book is great for principles and foundations, but unfortunately life isn’t as simple as that. Goals change, situations change, focus changes – and then you need to do something different.
I want to make it clear. I like books. I have books on my bedside table, my desk at home, in the bag I carry everyday, I have audiobooks on my phone, and I (consistently) have over 100 books on my Amazon wishlist for when I want to pull the trigger on something new. Without the lessons, insights, stories and understandings from brilliant authors all over the world, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Though, in better words than I could put it:
“If [more] information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”
– Derek Sivers
It takes more than information. To make the most of your situation, it’s important to consider working with someone who can complement or at the very least banter back and forth the work of some great authors and thought leaders.
What’s missing is context - the important ability to overlay your individual situation with a general rule or principle (or chapter). The ability to overlay the experience of working with other people to your particular situation. It could be a story that brings realisation and deeper understanding. It could be that you want someone to explain something to your parents or your kids or your Accountant. It could be that you want to banter.
Ask yourself, of the great books you’ve read how many have you put into action and continue to put into action and get results from?
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