Every now and then, a few times a year at most, a book comes along that changes my life completely. More now and then (perhaps, at the most, once every two or three years) one of these books happens to be so good, but so good, that I can barely muster up enough intelligence and wit to talk about it. This is a text about this second type of book.
The book in question, the star of the show, is this one: You Are a Badass At Making Money . I met him through the instagram of a girl I follow (she talks about branding, design and running your own business) and this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen someone recommend this book. After a few years of reading self-help and hunting for personal development references it is inevitable, at some point, to come across the same leads over and over again. But understand: I am a difficult woman. Literarily difficult.
I read very little these days, compared to the average number of books I read in my teens and college days, and I have increasingly hated, with all the strength of my soul, wasting my precious time on a book. that it doesn’t totally change my life or that it doesn’t give me something very valuable and intense in return. Even if it’s a fiction, even if it’s a story. I no longer have beauty-patience-time for books that, next month, I’ll forget I’ve read. Or that, then, I won’t want to reread in a few years.
And Jen Sincero (a very famous American financial coach and writer) definitely joined the Hall of Writers who will live forever in my heart. Before reading some of the amazing gems I’ve brought you (and please note that this was one of the most Herculean and difficult jobs of my entire life, because what I really wanted was to talk, expand and discuss virtually every sentence in the book), let me make some additions to this book. It doesn’t exist in Portuguese yet, number one. A fatality (FATALITY!) that needs to be corrected. SOS publishers who want to make money: invest in this book. Get translators, buy the rights and bring them here.
It contains a lot of spiritual and sensitive concepts, ideas and discussions, number two.
Talking about money without talking about energy is impossible and talking about energy without talking about this Great Mystery that is the Universe is even more impossible. Whether you believe in God or not, it doesn’t matter. If you keep an open mind and try to understand, even “theoretically”, all the concepts in this book, that’s fine. Jen is one of the most bizarrely funniest, funniest, and humorous writers I’ve ever read in my entire life. Along with Jon Acuff, writer of the last book I brought here to the blog , she wins this award without the slightest effort. Really. I had a huge laugh with this book all the time.
This is one of the most fundamental and transformative points in the entire book, and I’ve highlighted several phrases that, distilled and summarized, mean more or less the same thing: work more within your growth potential than within your limitations. Get things done, start projects and embrace risks that mean growth, expansion and new opportunities instead of just accepting that reality is like that, oh life, oh heavens, oh bad luck and stay forever inside your world of shit and whining .
And the truth of life is that we often need to balance two opposing, radical and equally true thoughts with both hands at the same time. It is difficult but necessary.
Change your thinking (or your mindset, as they say) so that you get out of the mental misery zone and, at the same time, know that not everything in life is flowers – and that you can’t make the mistake of thinking that a handful of positive thoughts and self-affirmation phrases will solve your life – it is difficult indeed. However necessary (2). There is no magic answer here in this world, my people.
And I always vote for the middle way.
I completely and completely understand what Mark Manson says in his book when he says that we need to accept our “ugly side” and our flawed and limited humanity entirely. Self-help books are not going to solve your life overnight. But I also understand, even more fully and deeply, the power our mind has – it is very immensely immense. And putting yourself in the place of a victim of the Universe, complaining all day about how things never work out for you and assuming that you need to work just to have a minimum amount of money at the end of the month are not attitudes that will take you away very far. And they definitely won’t help you make more money.
Pause for a very important PS, too: this is too sensitive a discussion to have here in Brazil, I know that. Talking about money, about a prosperous attitude towards wealth and about changing our mental model in a country like ours, and at a time like ours, is practically a calamity.
And that’s precisely why I highly value this type of discussion. If you are part of the extremely wealthy Brazilian range (with a home, food, family that loves you, decent job opportunities and connections), please read this book. Take the infinite potential you already have, couple it with the privileges life has given you, and stop focusing on what’s missing.
That little mental attitude makes all the difference in the world, believe me.
There’s enough money for all of us – that’s the starting point of Jen’s argument. These ideas can be very challenging for some people (and again, I know that saying this in the context of Brazil is practically heresy), but I am a firm believer in all of them. None of this means, by the way, that you should spend your money unknowingly. The root of this philosophy is in the word abundance and not in the word inconsistency. Everything you do has consequences, obviously.
And starting from the principle that you will never have enough money (that you will always lack, that life is really unfair, that you are a poor bastard unable to go after the money necessary for you to live well) is one of the most important thoughts. malefics and poisons that exist. Having faith, in this context, means having real faith and simply believing. This is easier for some people to do than for others, but I beg you: even if you are a skeptic and you refuse to put your hand in the fire for any kind of unproven future event, choose to have faith. What does it cost you?
So what if you don’t believe in God? Belief for belief, placebo effect for placebo effect, decide to have faith that the money will always come back to you. Embrace the ideas that can transform your life, in a very practical way, into a better life. You have nothing to lose anyway.
The flow of life is a rich flow. It is a flow of abundance, of generosity.
As much as not all people are like that, nature is like that. Jen brings this example and it’s so scientific and truthful that no one would be able to contradict it, man. She talks about how trees, flowers and fruits always have what they need right there, at their disposal. If we took the human factor out of the equation, all of nature would be untouchably perfect and self-regulating forever. She doesn’t know what it’s like to need something (sunlight, oxygen, certain animals or a certain weather condition) and not have it right there. Everything she needs (and you, being a part of nature, are in that same boat) is possible to exist and/or is always at your disposal. Why would it be different with you?
A more philosophical and argumentative side of the book, this one. Part of Jen’s speech is aimed at demystifying and cleaning up the negative charge and the pejorative sense that we put on top of money. These loads and meanings we learn and are forced to swallow throughout life, in fact. Misuse of money by some people has given it a very unfortunate reputation.
But actually, money is energy. And all kinds of energy are just a blank check.
You can use it as you please, for any possible and imaginable purpose. Jen will help you, throughout the book, in a calm and gradual way, to undo the limiting beliefs you may have about money. For example: money is a bad thing. If I get rich I will turn into a terrible person and I won’t ever be able to hug puppies or do acts of charity. Being rich is just not something I can do, and if I did, everyone would hate me.
The amount of counterintuitive thoughts we have about money is bizarre, folks.
Bizarre indeed. Especially if we remember (and assume) that money is something good, intrinsically powerful and that, if used for good, it can do wonders. And the definition of the exchange of money as the exchange of energy between two people made me even more fond of it and even more a fan of the act of buying things and charging for things. Exchanging energy is what we do during sex, for example. It’s another kind of energy, but it’s energy nonetheless. And choosing the people you have sex with is just as important as knowing who and what you’re spending your money on.
That’s one of the things that impacted me the most during this reading: an exercise that Jen asks us to do in the middle of the book. Imagine that all the people you love the most (your family, blood or not, your closest friends, your husband, wife, or children, everyone) are rich.
Really rich, with a lot of money. Imagine that reality for a moment, really.
What would these people do if they were rich? Imagine that each one of them (within their profession, with their tastes and with their own family and friends) had all the money in the world to make them the best possible version of themselves. What would this version look like? What would they spend that money on? The answers vary, obviously, but a common point ends up appearing: the fucking amazing and beautiful initiatives that they would start if they were rich.
Exercising the thought that there is enough money for everyone, accepting and entering the flow of wealth in life and the prosperity of money, from the inside out, is genuinely one of the best things we can do. Because all this internal work is also reflected in the practical world. And throughout the book Jen gives tips on how to associate this shift in thinking with practical, visible action, of course. Hell is full of good intentions, you well know. That alone (wishing, imagining, conjuring in your mind) is not enough, but it is the kick that will start the whole thing.
Tell yourself: I love money. I want to get rich. If some voice in your head thinks this is too ridiculous and starts criticizing you, continue. It means you are on the right track. 🙂
After all, wanting money is like wanting to live. Accepting, deep down, that you can allow yourself the desire to have money and the desire to be rich is the most important thing of all. We need money to survive – and if you, like me, would like to make the most of the limited time here in this world, you also want a little more than just surviving , I imagine. Not just because everything in the world really requires money (even from a capitalist and practical point of view), but because, as Jen said, money is energy. And everything in the world is energy.
We need many types of energy to exist.
And we need even more options for us to be able to exist with abundance, authenticity, joy and power. All of this contributes, in the end, for us to be able to materialize our best possible version. The version of us who have money to support and help our family, to contribute to practical social changes, to learn more and more, to produce and work more and more and, why not?, to rest and have fun with tranquility, presence and taste. In order to live, in short.
Accept what allows you to live. Accept with all your strength. That’s the moral of the story.