Financial Freedom Heres The Only Real Question

Financial Freedom Heres The Only Real Question



PREAMBLE: The only way to​ take control of​ your life, raise your standard of​ living and move beyond merely surviving is​ to​ create your own unique product or​ service that you offer to​ increasing numbers of​ people in​ exchange for the things of​ value that you desire. This simple formula applies to​ countries as​ well as​ people. a​ self-sufficient economy has its own products or​ services of​ value to​ export to​ the world. Similarly, a​ self-sufficient individual has something of​ value to​ exchange in​ the global marketplace. That thing of​ value is​ based on your natural talent, skill, or​ interest-in other words, your passion.

NOTE: The following article was originally written for the citizens of​ the island nation of​ Saipan. it​ therefore includes references of​ a​ nature unique to​ that nation's economic situation.


When you think of​ what can help the you elevate yourself from your current economic situation, it's important not to​ lose sight of​ a​ few important ideas and truths about money, value, and economics.

I. MONEY is​ a​ MEANS of​ EXCHANGE
No one ever gives you money except in​ exchange for something of​ value.

II. EXCHANGE is​ THE REAL ISSUE
Don't let anyone mislead you. The only reason we focus on money is​ simply because the world has agreed that money is​ the basis of​ exchange that we're going to​ use. I have eggs. You have a​ cow. if​ you want what I have, and I want what you have, then we can exchange my eggs for your cow. But you may not want eggs. You may want something that I do not have. And I may not want a​ cow. I may want something you do not have, like a​ car. So we all agree that eggs are worth a​ certain amount of​ money, and that a​ car is​ worth a​ certain amount of​ money. I can now sell my eggs for money, and get the money to​ buy a​ car. But all I really did was trade eggs for a​ car, using money as​ the means of​ exchange. So it's not the money that's driving the economic engine, it's the exchange.

Now, then, there are four ways that one can engage in​ the process of​ exchange:

1. You can accept money but give nothing in​ return (rip-off)

2. you can accept money and give a​ partial or​ corrupted version of​ what was expected. (short-changing)

3. you can accept money and give exactly what was ordered. (fair exchange)

4. you can accept money and give more than was expected. (exchange in​ abundance)

By the way, Exchange Method four, (accepting money and giving more than expected) is​ the only way to​ ensure one's long-term survival and prosperity. But more on that in​ a​ future column.


III. PRODUCTS ARE THE BASIS of​ EXCHANGE

"When a​ whole society demands a​ high
standard of​ living and yet doesn’t concentrate
on the personal production of​ exchangeable
products, it​ is​ finished."—The Dynamics of​ Money

So how does one engage in​ exchange with the world? Simple. You need a​ product. a​ PRODUCT can be defined as​ “a high quality service or​ article in​ the hands of​ the consumer in​ exchange for a​ valuable. it​ is​ something that can be exchanged with other activities in​ return for support.”

IV. THE QUESTION IS…
So the single, most important question to​ be asked of​ those who steer the course of​ nations, its citizens, investors, business owners, and potential Saipanpreneurs is: WHAT ARE WE PRODUCING?

When someone suggests a​ solution to​ the economic situation, ask him, "Great idea, but what are we producing?"

When someone suggests an​ idea for how to​ get loans and federal assistance, ask her, "Great, but what are we producing?"

When someone suggests an​ idea for a​ business you can start, ask yourself, "What am I producing?"

If there is​ no production, there is​ no money—no real, long term money.

A FLAWED PLAN
I always tell my clients that any plan that relies too much on another person's whim, good will or​ largess for its success is​ inherently a​ flawed plan. it​ may provide a​ short-term stop-gap measure, but there is​ no dependable future or​ control built in.

Selling someone the hope or​ possibility of​ doubling their money based on the internal programming of​ a​ slot machine is​ not exchanging something of​ value. It's essentially giving nothing in​ return. It's a​ rip-off.

Sure, you can call it​ entertainment if​ you wish, but at​ the end of​ the day, you've not improved your lot in​ life, because you're not exchanging anything of​ real value that can grow, improve your reputation, bolster your self-esteem or​ raise your standard of​ living. Furthermore, since it​ is​ not based on anything over which you have any creative input or​ control, you cannot use it​ dependably to​ improve the welfare of​ the masses.

It's not an​ industry into which any average person of​ entrepreneurial aspirations but meager means can venture. It’s a​ limited industry with power concentrated in​ the hands of​ the few.

Having people running around throwing their money into slot machines doesn't automatically improve the lot of​ the general population. Sure, there may be some collateral spending in​ stores, new jobs in​ the hospitality/service sectors, but by far the biggest winners are the casino owners. From my own limited travel experience, I've been to​ Atlantic City, in​ New Jersey, and witnessed stark poverty just beyond the fences of​ prosperous casinos. There’s no guaranteed “trickle down.”

The danger in​ basing economic growth on simply providing a​ place for people to​ throw their money into slot machines is​ that the world doesn't need another place to​ do that--least of​ all a​ place way out in​ the Pacific Ocean. Any place with better entertainment, a​ more convenient location or​ nicer hotels, will win the competition for tourist dollars.

And, it​ would be sad to​ think that the only thing this beautiful land and its people have to​ offer is​ a​ place for people to​ gamble money in​ search of​ an​ easy payoff. It's a​ slap in​ the face of​ the traditional creativity, natural beauty, the spirit of​ self-sufficiency that have existed here for centuries.

A NEW DIALOGUE
If you continue to​ perpetuate the idea that we can be saved only by someone else's money, then those presently without money are rendered powerless in​ the discussion. If, on the other hand, you change the dialogue to​ discussions of​ finding our "value" in​ the marketplace, then everyone can participate.

Without such a​ new dialogue, and the real, long-term solutions that come with it, we'll perpetuate lowered expectations, and witness the downward spiral of​ self-esteem and hope that comes with the exclusive dependency on others for salvation. When a​ people subjugate themselves and their inherent value to​ the value of​ a​ dollar, there are things you cannot see that will be visible only in​ their absence. For a​ nation’s humanity, once lost can never be replaced.

IV. SUMMARY
Money is​ a​ means of​ exchange.
Exchange is​ the challenge to​ be solved.
Products and Services form the basis of​ Exchange
No production=No Money
The only real question, therefore, is: What Are YOU Producing?




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