Thursday, July 16, 2009

money, it flows too

The subject of money is crass to some artists, but artists gotta eat. And the words "artist" and "starving" should never be in the same sentence! Along that line, here are some references that I found extraordinarily informative on the subject of money. Some of this information can even make the subject - dare I say it - painless and interesting. As I find out about more items of interest, I'll add them to the list below.

"Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor and Middle Class Do Not!" by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon Lechter

"Rich Dad's Increase Your Financial IQ: Get Smarter With Your Money" by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Play the Cashflow game online for free - How To Get Out of the Rat Race. Also purchase the Cashflow 101 Board Game and Cashflow For Kids Board Game.

"The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace D. Wattles, is profoundly spiritual and profoundly practical at the same time. You can download a free e-book version by going to Click on "Gifts For You" in the menu, then scroll down the page.

In a book which was a course in career design for creative people, the author made an excellent point: it's not the desire for money that is bad, it is what you are willing to exchange for that money that determines whether the desire is good or bad. Some people give up their integrity, their dignity, their happiness, the happiness of loved ones, their own true hopes and dreams, even their lives for money. In those cases the desire for money is an insane lust. (And in those cases, I'm not speaking of people so broke and hungry that they are just trying to survive; I'm speaking of those who do have other choices which they could just as easily make.)

Now, in contrast, let's take someone like Oprah Winfrey, one of the richest and most influential people on the planet, whose altruism and philanthropy is as famous as she is. I'm sure Oprah could not have attained her billionaire status if she did not have a desire for wealth, but at the same time, she is an example of how one could behave with money. Someone with wealth does not have to be a miser, or someone who uses money to destructive ends.

Money is value neutral; the desire for money is value neutral. What one exchanges for money or what one does with money once it's acquired determines the morality of the financial situation.

On a related subject, most people never learned financial management. Their parents didn't know it and the grade schools don't teach it. The result is a mass of people who worsen their financial situations (often unnecessarily) because they don't know what to do with money when they get it. The cashflows, of the middle class particularly, tend to be, if I may use a technical term, wacky! "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" was written to increase financial literacy, and I can tell you personally, it certainly did accomplish that with me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael's inspirations

There were so many wonderful things said at the Michael Jackson Memorial Service yesterday. I’m a big fan, but I did not realize the scope of Michael’s impact. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most charities supported by a pop star. Rev. Al Sharpton stated the profound truth that teenagers listening to Michael’s music and seeing him perform became more comfortable with race relations – and those teenagers grew into adults who were comfortable voting for a President of color. Michael Jackson is a beautiful example of how an artist or creative person can do so very much in his or her part to heal the world.