Joe Vitale Answers That . . .

Well, I’m done looking for ways to apply The Secret, or acquire affluence in general.

Ok, I haven’t exactly made a secret of the fact that I was uncertain about what I am passionate about – that thing the Success Guru’s call “My Calling” or “My Mission.”

After getting Natalie Ledwell’s book last week, one of the bonuses she shared was a series of interviews (usually around 15 minutes long) with acknowledged masters of the Law Of Attraction (LOA).  I’ve shared in earlier posts my reaction to interviews with Bob Proctor, and Marci Shimoff.  The most recent one I watched was Joe Vitale.

In this one, Natalie pointedly asked Joe what advice he’d give to anyone who didn’t know what their passion was – which immediately made me sit up a bit straighter.  Here was a question I REALLY wanted the answer to!  He said (and this might not be exact, but it is as close as my memory will make it) “Look at what you’re afraid to do.  Your life’s purpose will be hiding right behind that which you’re most afraid of doing.”

Geee – thanks Joe.  It only took me about a nano-micro-second to know EXACTLY what he was pointing at in my life.  I’ve had dozens of different people, from all over the social and political spectrum, tell me that I should do it, and it actually was something I entertained the idea of pursuing when I was a kid.

Surely there has to be another way!  That’s one bridge that burned beyond repair many years ago.  I lit the fire, too.

In this lifetime, I am NOT going to be the President of the United States of America.  That’s one reason why I made the joke on one of my earlier blogs about not running for president myself, but if someone who knew how to organize and finance a campaign wanted to start one and draft me, I’d do it.  It was a safe statement, because I knew in advance that it would never happen.

I am not going to live in a fish bowl and have my every behavior scrutinized and criticized by people who can’t actually DO anything, but make a living off of making others worry.  I’m not going to try to obtain a job that can’t do anything of lasting value without the cooperation of 541 elected foot-draggers and progress blockers who only care about their own profit, or their own path to power.

Besides which – someone out there kills idealists who manage to get elected and try to buck the system, or change it.

Quality or price . . .

There is a phenomena that I have observed with growing frustration over the years.  I first encountered it more than 30 years ago when I started doing leather crafting.  I make wonderful, sturdy, wallets, purses, and belts, and can design several other things without much difficulty.  My wife has a purse I made for her, and almost everyone who sees it croons about how wonderful it is, until she tells them her husband made it, and can make one for them if they want it.

The problem was, nobody wanted to pay what the finished item was worth.  For an example: if I buy a ready-to-assemble blank purse kit from Tandy Leather, it will cost me at least $25 plus shipping.  Then I have to do the tooling of the design on it, which can take more than 10 hours if I work on it steadily.  Then I have to spend 2-4 hours assembling the purse (depends on the difficulty of the purse).  So it is easy to have 12 hours invested in each piece.  If we round off to $8/hr as an unskilled minimum wage (which leather crafting should NOT be counted as – it is a skill that takes a couple of years to reach competency at) I would have to add almost $100 to the price for labor – and that isn’t even looking into anything like a “profit margin” yet.  I’m lucky if I can get $35 for even the most complicated ones.

Instead, what most people who inquire about prices of my work tell me is some variation of “I’d rather spend $5/mo. (for the rest of my life) for cheap ones than spend $160 now for something that will last me the rest of my life.”  These will last, too.  My dad also does leather work, and when he married my step-mother he made her a clutch purse of the same style I made for my wife.  She was still using it up to her death in February – after over 35 years.

I’ve run into that “no profit” problem with my soaps, too.  People think they are getting a bargain when they go to Walmart and buy bar soap at  4/ $1 (or whatever the going rates are).  They don’t realize that the junk they get there isn’t even real soap.  Look at the label – there is no lye or lard in it anywhere.  Those are the two essential ingredients for real soap.  What every department store, or grocery, in the US is really selling is chemically created detergent.

Don’t forget the old folk-wisdom adage, “You get what you pay for.”  What that is supposed to mean is that if you want quality, you have to pay for it.  For the most part, that is true.  I won’t use it to defend the ridiculous prices of a DG purse or Nike running shoe, but you can’t get a purse that will last 30 years for $10 either.

Look at the world around us.  Everyone everywhere is experiencing hardship, contraction, and lack.  Cities are on the verge of bankruptcy, people who are capable and willing to work hard labor jobs are sitting at home on welfare because there aren’t any jobs available.  Factories are shutting down as their jobs rush overseas.  And I think that not only is it all related, but due to ONE common cause.

You can call it the “Law of Attraction” factor.  In case you haven’t heard, the “Law of Attraction” basically states that you get back from the universe what you put into it.  If you focus your attention on hardship, the universe will make sure you have plenty of hardship to focus on.  Oh, and every time you say, “I can’t afford that,” the universe acknowledges you with, “You’re right.”

There is only one way to turn that around, and I’m not talking about being ridiculously “Laissez Faire” with your spending.  Just stop clipping coupons, stop looking for discounts, and stop negotiating.  If you ask someone to mow your yard and they want $40 every time – pay it.  If you do anything else (except for offering more), you are saying “I can’t afford …” PLUS you are also saying that the mower isn’t worth the time he spends doing your work – the factory workers weren’t worth the time they spent making a quality mower . . . .

And we are ALL worth our time.  Yes, even you.  If you want to be paid what you are worth, start by making sure you pay others what they are worth.

The Secret of Negotiation . . .

Ha, ha, ha. Got you.

No, seriously. I had a major brain-burst this morning. I realized that negotiations are a self-defeating proposition.

Take a lawnmower for an example. To produce that lawnmower, you must first have someone dig metals out of the ground. In a factory somewhere, someone is mixing chemicals for the rubber gaskets and tires. The metal goes to a smelter, and from a smelter to a factory where it’s shaped and assembled. The gaskets are made, the tires formed and checked. The whole thing is put together, packed, and shipped to a retailer who then sells it to you.

Before you ever see it, several dozen people have worked on it. Each and every one of them should be compensated for their labor, and you and I are not qualified to say what another person’s labor is worth. They charged their employers whatever they were paid, and if you try to negotiate a lower price than what is listed on the sticker, you’re telling ALL of them that their labor wasn’t worth what they were paid. If you’re willing to negotiate for what you’re paid for your services, you’re accepting that you might not be worth what you think you are.

There is more. This is where THE SECRET kicks in. When you try to negotiate a lower price than what is listed on the sticker, you’re telling the UNIVERSAL ALL THAT IS that you don’t believe you have enough to pay what something is worth. Or that you don’t appreciate the item, and the people who made it, enough to value it correctly. And the UNIVERSAL ALL THAT IS will answer you with, “AS YOU WISH” – and boom, you don’t have enough. You struggle to pay bills. Your vehicles break down. You’re stressed, unhappy, and sick. Because the UNIVERSAL ALL THAT IS has accepted your decision to not have enough, to not express appreciation fully, to not enjoy what you have.

I know – we’re taught practically from the cradle that the secret to being a good shopper is getting the best deals, the lowest prices. The most for the least, that is the AMERICAN WAY. What we’re never taught is the truth about money. It’s an illusion. It’s an idea. The paper that a $50 bill is printed on has no additional intrinsic value above that of a $1 bill. They both cost the same to design and print. The only difference is that our society has accepted the idea of one being more valuable than the other.

So money is really nothing more than a tool. A means of expressing appreciation for the labor, skill, service, production of others. The more you express appreciation, the more you will appreciate the world around you. And as you increase your appreciation of the world around you, the less stress you’ll have, the better your health will be, and the more happiness you will have.

Oh, and you’ll find that you’ll also worry less about money, too.