Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When I grow up.

There's this old song that we used to sing when we were little kids about being a mom.

"When I grow up, I want to be a mooo-ther, have a family
One little, two little, three little babies of my own."

I'm sure there is more to the song than that, but that's the only part I remember knowing. It would get a little out of hand because when the song gets stuck in your head, pretty soon you're saying "10 little, 11 little, 12 little babies of my own." and it doesn't take long to get there. Anyway, I've always wanted to be a mom. But I've also always liked working. And right now I have "no little babies of my own", so I'm exploring my professional future.

When I graduated from high school I went to college, because that's what you're supposed to do. I didn't really know what I wanted to study, there were a lot of things that interested me and I didn't really know what I'd do with any of them. There was always some aspect of whatever vocation that wasn't really appealing.

I'd go into Accounting - but I don't really want to do taxes, and that's all Accountants do.
I'd go into Psychology - but could I really handle dealing with other people's problems empathetically on a consistent basis? Realistically I'm probably not mentally/emotionally stable enough to keep myself sane, much less other people.
I'd study Business - except what are you supposed to do with that?!?! The classes you take for business are EASILY the most applicable to real life of any other degree, but you don't really do anything with it. "Hi, I'm Amy and I have a business degree - would you like me to be the CEO of a company I know nothing about? I could do it because I have a business degree." While you learn a zillion very helpful, pertinent things, it seems like you still have to study something else to make your Business Degree valuable to someone else.

Since I couldn't find anything I really loved, I figured being an assistant lets me help other people do what they love, and that's good while I wait for something to come to me.

Today, I think the solution came. I'm not quite sure how to make it happen, but it involves all of my interests. Here's my plan - tell me what you think:

I will be a "financial counselor" (aka money shrink). A friend of mine asked me for some help in his financial world. He went to his regular shrink and found that he's been feeling really anxious and up tight lately. It's because he's worried about money. I know this guy (let's call him John), and he spends money faster than anybody I know. I know a lot about his personal finances because I see a lot of his bills. He had a horrible childhood and some pretty traumatic experiences, he moved out of his druggie parents' house when he was 15 years old, got a job and an apartment (fully furnished with milk crate furniture) and finished high school. Now most 15 year olds get a job at a fast food restaurant and spend their money on dates, movies, fast food, electronics, music, etc. Instead, he spent his money on rent, utilities, and groceries with very little left over. Since he had to be a grown up (financially) when he was 15, I think that now (he's in his early 30's) he's ready to have the financial freedom and be stupid about his money. He spends it on stupid stuff, and gives a lot of money away. He makes a ton, but manages it very poorly. What he needs is to develop a healthy relationship with money and build wealth for his future. He recognizes this and asked me to help him make a budget and figure out how to get him out of debt.

I'm SOO excited for this! I'm fascinated by his attitudes and habits. I want to learn not only why he spends like a maniac but how he can still feel like he's living comfortably without being stupid. I want to examine every aspect of this relationship with money, and it's making me look at myself as well! Why do I spend money on the things I do? What about the people around me? What can I do better and what can I learn from him?

So, if he needs it, and I need, I think other people probably need it too. So, why don't I become a money shrink? I'm sure there are tons of people who need help learning about money (a lot of parents just never bother to teach their kids basic principles) and not only learning how to manage it in a way that makes sense (numbers-wise) but that also meets their emotional/mental needs.

I read a book once where the lady talked about needing to feel rich. She went to the store and picked 1 thing that she thought only rich people could afford (for her it was fancy olives) and bought it. She felt rich. She wound up getting rich, but more importantly, it met her emotional need of feeling like she had enough. So many people go through life thinking there will never be enough money and when they think that, there usually isn't. BUT the people who live comfortably always feel like there is enough.

Obviously there are limitations, and restrictions must be set, but I truly believe that everybody is capable of feeling wealthy. I've felt wealthy making $6/hour before. I really think it's possible.

People just need a coach. A cheerleader. A club. Something to help them stay motivated and keep their goals. It'll be like AA, group therapy, and weight watchers but with money! Why isn't there something like this already? I'd love to get a degree in money-shrinking, but I'm pretty sure they don't offer that - so I'll have to build it myself. Now if I can just figure out how to get started.....


  1. I think you would be great at that. And I'm sure you would get a lot of clients! There's definitely the need out there.

  2. That sounds so awesome, and so interesting. What a great idea, Amy. Sign me up!


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