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The Power of Your Investment (repost)

posted Jun 27, 2013, 3:12 PM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Jun 27, 2013, 3:12 PM ]
"Your life is perfect," I said to the group of ladies at Friday's Coffee & Dessert gathering.  A little startled and stunned by my statement, I could tell by their expressions that they were grappling with the disconnect between what their lives looked like and their idea of what would make it perfect.  Referencing the article I wrote on the topic in 2006,
Perfectionism: A Life Without Flaw, I told them that our lives are the perfect result of the decisions we have made.  It didn't matter whether the decisions were made in ignorance, bad advice or plain ole rebellion, we have the perfect results for the choices we have made. As the truth of this settled in, I could see nods of agreement from the attendees. 

Our investment in our lives is powerful!  It is also our responsibility.  I think if we realized that, we'd be more mindful before we get into a relationship, declare our major in college, have unprotected sex, join that church, or buy that car.  So many of our decisions are impulsive, allowing a moment of discomfort, hype or greed to drive us.  As I reflected on the power of that message, I began to take stock of two things:  where my money was going and where my relationships were going. The relationship part is definitely for a separate!

I anticipated my friend and host of the event, Lisa Jeanette, introducing me and I questioned whether I had chosen the right topic for the occasion.   Not only were there authors and coaches present, but also women enduring some painful circumstances.  I sat quietly as ladies gathered and began to talk about the grim outlook to unemployment benefits and how many people would be in desperate situations as a result.  How could I talk about money?  I didn't want to seem insensitive or out of touch.  

I stood up with my latest issue of Essence in my hand and I read the strategies offered by a black woman who had been fired-- now a millionaire.  The last strategy was "hire a mentor or coach."  Of course, I had to point that  As I shared my story of struggle financially and struggle to find fulfillment, I knew in that moment that I had laid a foundation that supported the nuggets I had to offer.  I knew what I had prepared was exactly what I needed to talk about.  Scribbled on the back of an envelope from the IRS that I purposeful wrote on were the financial nuggets that my Inner Wisdom revealed to me earlier that day about my own financial path.  Yes, I wrote on the back of an agency that just the name intimidates us.  I was sending a message to the Universe that I refuse to be intimidated by anything even the IRS.  

The first nugget was you will always be held captive by money until you break out.  "How many of you have bills, financial obligations or financial commitments?," I asked the attendees.  Everyone including myself raised her hand.  "How many of you, whenever you are presented with an opportunity, have to consider how much it cost because your money is committed to other things?"  All our hands went up.  "How many of you have complained that something is too expensive?"  All of our hands went up.  "How many of you have talked yourself out of an opportunity because you heard how much it cost and you said either loudly or in your mind, 'I can't afford it?'"  I felt the energy in the room get pretty reflective.  

"So how do I break out Sister Suzette?," I asked out loud as if they were asking me the question. "Isn't it responsible to consider the cost and whether you can afford it?  Isn't it responsible not to overextend yourself?"  "No," was my answer.  "Not in this context."  For if the truth be told, the reason we are in our situation is because we made some irresponsible decisions.  If you cannot embrace an opportunity presented to you that can liberate you financially forever and you let it pass you by because of bills, clearly there is some irresponsibility that you have to own.   

Again, I acknowledged that my message was a real downer.  "Don't worry, y'all, there is a light.  I'll bring you back up," I promised them.  Of course there was Light. That Light is God.  Thank God that He is not limited by our circumstances.  In fact, He doesn't take any of it into consideration.  His will is preeminent. He is only governed by the timeline he has for our lives. Doesn't matter what happened or hasn't happened, whether we have the money or we don't, whether we are prepared or not. He is not limited.  He's God. 

I remember praying to God for an answer to how to move my businesses forward after launching them.  Wasn't that long ago, as a matter of fact.  It wasn't too hard to prime the bookkeeping pump or the playing-for-the-church pump.  Both those arenas were pretty familiar.  I had a strategy for both of them that had worked previously.  The challenge however was coaching.  I knew in every fiber of my being and still do that I am called to coach.  It is my lifeblood and my purpose; yet, it was met with the most resistance.  As I shared in my book, THE SOUND OF MY LIFE, God, The Symphony Conductor, tapped on the podium and summoned me to take my rightful place at the microphone as a coach. It was time for my coaching voice to be heard.  Yet, I was a bit bewildered.  I didn't have a coaching client, a paying coaching client at that.  "I'm not coaching anybody," I lamented.  His response?  "You aren't coaching because you aren't coaching."  What a powerful statement!  I realized that when you are something, you do it.  I am a coach and coaches coach.  I realized that I had been holding myself hostage to a prison of my own thinking.  Without money, in my mind, I wasn't legitimate.  I had forgotten that God's call made me legitimate.  

Even now, like at the meeting, I've gotten a little ahead of myself.  So back to praying about how to move my businesses forward.   It was definitely of major consideration.  Though I was playing for a church and doing bookkeeping, they still weren't generating enough revenues to truly liberate me from working for somebody else.  My prayers led me to a chance encounter - more like a God encounter - in a bathroom of all places.  The woman I talked with told me what was going on in her life and asked what I was doing.  I shared my journey and heart's desire.  She told me that I had to meet her friend.  "Your stories are so similar," she said.  Outside of the conference room in Crabtree Valley Mall's Food Court, I came face to face with her friend, my next level.  I knew it in every fiber of my being.  

Everything inside of me leaped for joy.  Then she told me how much she charged.  And the leap gave way to my mind soberingly trying to figure out how I could pay her.  After all, I was working for a staffing agency at the time and had just begun to play for the church.  I didn't let her see me sweat but my insides were shaken a bit.  Despite this, I knew I would not try to talk her down.  That would have been offensive to the value that she placed on what she was offering me.  Why should she lower her price to suit me?    

So, on the way to my car, I said to God, "Okay God, I need you to help me.  I know she's the right person so I'm trusting you to help me to pay her and meet my financial obligations too."   Amazing to me, I did.  I paid her and met my financial obligations.  Was it easy? No.  I'm going to tell you why.  What I thought made me quake.  There were times when I needed to pay my bills at the same time her invoice was due.  Every time that happened, my mind whirred with that same old tape.  "You better pay your bills."  Each time though, that Wise Voice inside of me would say, "Pay your bills.  Yes, do that.  But invest in your dreams!" This was the second nugget and the way to break free.   Pay your bills but invest in your dream.   Do it first. Investments bring returns.  Even the investments we have made in our ignorant purchasing choices or ego-driven consumption. The reason we have so many bills is because we've invested.  We created them and hold every decision to them.  They are an investment of our time and energy.  They are our warden who tells us what we can and can't do and threatens to harm us if there is a misstep.  We've focused our creative energy in the wrong thing and have reaped a whirlwind of it.    

BREAK OUT!!!!!!  You have to take your power back and tell your money what it will what you do with it.  Now, I don't recommend that you put your money into things that boast of success but aren't authentic.  That was what I did when I sold Mary Kay and sold Amway.  There's nothing wrong with doing that if it comes from an authentic place.  But for me, it was a lot of overachiever's complex, a smidgen of coveting the good life that it represented and a dollop of wanting bragging rights for doing it on my own.  It wasn't a worthy investment.  Thousands of dollars down the tube.   

When we shift our energy from making bills to making our dreams come true, it changes our world.  We tap into God's "Let There Be" power.  We no longer need to buy an expensive dress from Macy's that depreciates in our eyes after the first time we wear it or a brand new car that chains us to 5 or 6 years of car payments.  Rather, we hold every decision to a Greater intention.  We take our money and invest in opportunities that advance our intention.  As a result, that energy attracts more of the same.  I use to dream of not having to live from paycheck to paycheck but I didn't know how to break the cycle.  There was no peace.  I would feel such guilt if I'd buy anything I couldn't justify as a need.  What if something comes up and you don't have the money?, was my torturous thought.  And if the truth be known, I had put a hole in my finances.  I was putting my money into bills - something that eroded my freedom. 
The first time I heard anyone talk about paying myself first, it was somebody selling me insurance consisting of retirement, life insurance and investments.  This, they promised, would secure my future and ensure that I would be better off.  I'm currently contributing to an investment portfolio.  I think that is important.  However, that alone isn't enough.  The Universe wasn't stirred by that alone.  It wasn't until I started investing in my dream that the Universe stood at attention and started joining in.  
I like the home I'm building.  For the first time in my life, I don't have to check my checkbook balance as often as I use to. When something inspires me, I don't have to grapple with whether I can do it and pay my bills too.  God, the Divine Strategist, is showing me various ways of creating streams of income.  I've begun to declare, "Every time I turn around I have $10,000 in my bank account."  It probably sounds silly to you that I'd declare that.  I tried declaring something less and more "politically correct," but it didn't feel authentic.  Something about $10,000 feels right, so I'm declaring it.  Do I have a clue how it's going to happen?  NO! But I don't have to.  All I have to do is stay in the posture of abundance and God, my Universe, will take care of the rest.