Alternatives to The Switch

How much do people really want to be rich? If you check in to the Web regularly you might be forgiven for thinking the answer to that question would be ‘everybody’. The internet is so full of ‘opportunities’ and Get-Rich-Quick schemes, that there must be a million gazillion people out there desperate for big finance. Oh really? Okay, let me make it easy for you.

Let’s imagine that I know how to do it. I can tell you – right here, right now – how to fatten your wallet and put banknotes in your pocket. Yes, if I were to say to you, ‘It’s like this. Lookee here. Here’s a switch, (small and round, plastic, like a key fob, an electronic lock for a car).’ I say, ‘All you have to do is press it and you’ll be rich ever after’. That’s it. That’s the whole deal. (Okay, it’s a bit like that film where the guy found some kind of Universal Remote that he could use to ‘change’ everything in his life. Hey, my image is simpler. It’s just the one button, dammit.) Take the switch in hand, press the button and whammo. It’s done. Okay, now how many people would do it? I mean, how many individuals wouldn’t hesitate?

My answer? Most would. Most would look at me, look at the switch. Ask themselves questions. Yes, hesitate. You see, most would be suspicious. ‘How much will it cost?’ might be the first question they would spin at me. Then, ‘What’s the catch?’ might be the next challenge. And then, just to start on the process of convincing themselves that I’m not a total charlatan and there might be some sense in what I’m offering, maybe ‘Did it work for you?’ would be the final thrust.

Trouble is, what I’m offering isn’t so crazy as you might think. In fact, and in effect, it’s exactly what you need – but, and here there really is a catch – the switch is in your head. What you actually do need to do to get those dollars rolling in is to flip the controller you’ve built up over the years in your noggin from ‘poor’ to ‘rich’. Do that, and you will be. Yes, it’s a bit like the secret of dieting. You want to lose weight? Then don’t eat like you’re overweight, eg the place you are now, say 14 stone. No, or even like the person you think you need to be on the way down, ie a skinny little 7 stone person who hardly ingests a pound. No, you need to start – here and now – to learn how to eat like the person you want to be become and do that first, eg 11 stone. Once you get used to that regime, with all the rules and self-imposed restrictions that it involves, ie what you’re going to be like in that golden future when you truly get to the weight that you want to be, then that is what you will become, from now on.

So, what does The Switch need to do? Why it needs to result in you acting like you’re rich. Which means – well, you don’t book that cheapo package holiday at the seaside that you always go on every year (the only one you can afford). You stop acting like the someone who does what they do with the assets that they’ve got and the actions that result. Instead, think of the ideal for you, maybe a week in a luxurious hotel in the middle of the Riviera, in the middle of the South of France. Go ahead. Find out where it is, the arrangements you’d need to make, the cost to you. Do everything but pay for it and get on the plane.

Or, you want to think about the best car you could possibly buy yourself – if you had the money? Fine. Shop around. Find prices, suppliers. Go and look at it in the showroom. Take it out for a test drive. Then excuse yourself, go out onto the lot and take out your chequebook. Write out the cheque that you would be writing to buy the car. If you could. After, go to the most exclusive restaurant you can find. You can do it – just skimp on a few trips to the fast food joints and save up. Get enough money in your pocket that you don’t have to compromise, you can go to your ‘ideal’, say the Savoy Grill, in London. Dress up, take your time, take your seat and examine the menu. Okay, maybe this time you are restricted and are forced to order only what you can afford – but, well, you’ve moved on. Now, you’ll know what’s on the menu, and know how much you’re going to need to really eat there. After all, what’s the alternative? Carrying on, year after year, fed up, no money. Going to the pub and not the cocktail bar, spending money that you can’t really afford anyway. It’s much better not to go down the pub this night, save the money, and then you can have a little of what you really want, yes, that Savoy visit or a day hiring the posh car you really covet.

Why? Because, as the wise man said, if you don’t have a definite aim – with the details – it’s not a plan. It’s a vague hope. Get definite. You want to own an expensive car? It comes quicker if you know what the leather smells like. Same with handling money. Don’t juggle credit cards now and dream about saving and investing in the future. Turn to the Business Pages in the newspaper and start picking your stocks today. Follow their progress and then you can say you save and invest like a rich person does. Above all, don’t say ‘I’ll do all that when I’m rich’. You won’t. Check out the Lottery winners. They don’t change. They spend and waste money like they always did, they just have a bit more paper than they used to. And, finally, try that daydream, over and over. Say to yourself ‘What I would do if I won a million’ and write down a detailed and timed programme for spending and investment. If you can’t do that, if you can’t walk in a rich man’s shoes, if you don’t have a detailed plan of what your life would be like once the riches come flooding in, then you aren’t serious. Don’t be surprised if your current life, your day to day habits now, are all you ever experience. If you want to avoid that future, flip the switch and tell your brain to start acting like the person you want to be, not continuing to cope with the life you’re trying to get out of.