you ever tell yourself, “Some day I will…” ?
going 16 straight months in my new entrepreneurial life without taking a single
day off, I slammed head first into a mental wall.
sought help from business strategist Alexis Martin Neely. I figured we’d dive
right into my business model, but one of the first things Alexis asked was what
I did for fun. Silence. Terrified that if I slowed down for a nano-second
in this economy I would plunge into the deep dark abyss of permanent career mal-function,
the only word that I could manage to utter was a feeble… “Work?”
asked me what long-term dream I’d fulfill after all this work was done and I’d
finally “arrived.” No hesitation. “Take
a luxury cruise,” I immediately blurted out. That was something I’d
fantasized about for over 15 years but never felt I could afford to take the
time off to actually do. With the encouragement of my wonderful husband
and Alexis, I finally went on a Caribbean cruise.
enjoyment scale I’d give the cruise a 5, but on the life lesson scale it was an
absolute 10. Here’s what I learned and how it can help YOU spend your hard earned money
& time more mindfully.
Experiences give you the ultimate
bang for the buck. The average age of my fellow
travelers was roughly 75 (by comparison, I’m 40 years old). Many had climbed to
the top of their respective industries. When I chatted with them about the
most memorable moments during their working years – time and again they spoke
of simple experiences: a good meal, a memorable outing, a daily ritual
that brought them joy. Not one mentioned the acquisition of THINGS.
female breadwinners = no men in the laundry room. Given the
age of the average traveler, it probably comes as no surprise that virtually
none of the women I talked to had careers outside the home. But what really
struck me was that not once during the cruise did I see a man in the on-board
launderette. Instead I saw female guests of every nationality washing and
ironing their husbands’ clothes. That really got me observing the dynamic
between the couples. Time and again I saw the connection between earning money
and having choices in a relationship. And as politically incorrect as it
is to say… it was very clear to me the first often drove the later. For
more on this – I highly recommend reading Leslie Bennett’s wonderful book, The
Test driving your dreams can save
you money and time. Because I booked the cruise at the last
minute and deliberately sought out ships that were close to sail date and had
extra rooms, I was able to find an Italian liner with a nearly 50% off special.
It was lovely to save that money. But what was really wonderful was
realizing this “dream” that I’d had for so long really didn’t make me that
happy. Cruising is for many people – I’m just not one of them. So now
I know. And I’ll waste no more time day dreaming about the month-long
cruise I’d once thought I’d wanted at 5x the price I had paid this go around!
about you – what dreams are you waiting for, and what can you do today to take
them for a spin?
Want more financial love? You can
follow Manisha on Twitter at @ManishaThakor and sign up for her weekly email
updates here. Manisha also teaches an
innovative online personal finance course called "Money Rules."
Founder of the Women's Financial Literacy Initiative, Manisha can be
reached via her website: www.ManishaThakor.com.