What if you invest in your financial health and wellness the same way you invest in your physical well-being?

Roughly eleven years ago the world economy was in shambles. Remember when global credit markets came to a near standstill in September 2008? Were you too young to recall? Or did you already allow that terrible moment slip out of your memory? History tends to repeat itself so it could happen again if you and I (and millions of others) aren’t careful or responsible with our money, or others.

Not to get too technical (or go down any rabbit holes), but it involved a lot greed on Wall Street. The sub-prime mortgage meltdown collapsed millions of homeowners ‘American Dream’ and real estate markets. Years prior, Enron decided they weren’t the smartest guys in the room anymore, which left many going to jail, including Bernie Madoff.

Then financial ‘powerhouses’ Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch went under. Major financial institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac experienced severe financial problems, including the U.S. federal bailout beginning with $85 billion to American International Group (AIG). Lehman Brothers going bankrupt didn’t make the financial health of the American economy any better. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had to change their charters to become commercial banks, in a last-minute attempt to stabilize their capital situations. Last but certainly not least, the lovely stimulus package called the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), prevented further failure in the U.S. economic system.

Are you still with me? I’m coming in for a landing here and have a purpose and reason why I’m sharing all of this madness with you…

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you sell or make, but about the stories you tell.” — Seth Godin

TARP was signed into law by George W. Bush on October 3, 2008 with the passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. The program was pioneered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in a “bid” to address the subprime mortgage crisis which had already spiraled out of control. It was initially designed to increase the liquidity of the secondary mortgage markets by purchasing the illiquid mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and through that, potentially reduce the losses of the institutions that owned them.

Initially, TARP gave the Treasury purchasing power of $700 billion to buy illiquid MBS and other assets from key institutions in an attempt to restore liquidity to the money markets. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (simply referred to as Dodd-Frank) later reduced the $700 billion authorization to $475 billion. That’s where I’ll end this toxicity…

I believe your relationship with money is one of the greatest influences on your well-being. That’s why I got into studying economics in college and now work in financial services after witnessing the Great Recession of 2008, hearing arguments about money, people not understanding finances, the complexity of the “system” and the sheer lack of literacy behind this all.

By no means and I calling myself an expert or master of money. I’m still learning and earning along the way just like many others. However, I am aware that finance must be more simplistic, human, coached, taught, expressed, felt and discussed on a daily basis.

If you’re a good person, money will make you an even better person with the resources and wherewithal to do as you please. Money isn’t everything but in our country it affords us choices. It decides where we live, where we buy groceries, where we travel, where we find jobs, where we start businesses, where we go to the gym, where we find a doctor, dentists, supplements and so on. Jim Rohn once said,

“Find a way to serve the many for service to many leads to greatness.”

If you’re a bad person, money will only bring out more of that evil out as we discovered in 2008 and 2009. Money is not the root of all evil but the love of money could be. We have to change our focus, from making money, to serving more people. Serving more people makes the money come in. I’m not the spiritual or religious type but there’s some truth to all of that.

We’ve got to master money, our well-being, and health. You’re probably asking, WHY right. Well, what’s the alternative? A miserable life? No one wants that and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

The difference between those who make it and those who don’t in life is one simply wanted their WHY more than the other. A mentor of mine once said, “The difference between success and failure is simple, the individual who succeeds simply did what the individual who failed didn’t do or was not willing to do.”

Ask any entrepreneurs, or individuals seeking to be change agents around the world, if they want to succeed, and you’ll get a firm ‘Yes’. But ask them what they’re willing to give up, sacrifice, suffer, accept, tolerate and forego for it all — and you’ll get a wide range of responses. I can only imagine them now! You can make excuses or you can make money but you can’t make both.

A few expect success to be automatic, instant, effortless. We usually call these folks ‘dreamers’, just like people who waste money and have the Lottery mentality.

Some are willing to invest a little time and effort to get results, and help others, but won’t go much farther than that. Don’t be satisfied with only reaching for whatever you can achieve, or complaining that this isn’t going to work. You have to master a few fundamentals and skillsets along the way.

A very small minority are willing and able to give it their all. They’re inclined to impact the lives of other individuals, develop those hard and soft skillsets, build up other leaders, teach entrepreneurship (by actually getting results and helping others do the same) and spread the messages of financial literacy all throughout the world.

These people don’t know or put any limits on themselves. They don’t settle for less than their ambitious goals, dreams and aspirations in life. They are ready to do whatever it takes to reach them — because they expect nothing but achieving their WHY.

I challenge all of you to find yours. Dream big. Start small. But most of all, start. Simon Sinek once said,

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.”

Do not allow short term profits, gains, shiny objects, material items and money to blind you like it did for many others a decade ago. If you want to create anything long-lasting, with a legacy attached to your name, that’s both sustainable and profitable, and has the ability to impact hundreds of thousands of others, you have to understand and master your financial health.

Allow me to help you invest by doing just that. Thanks and I appreciate you for reading this far. Keep growing!

My Very Best,

Donovan Vogel

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Philadelphia based teaching financial literacy | Prospering all other hours | Writer | Lifter | Reader | Traveler | Freedom & Wellness

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