Just about everyone in America comes across a
little money at some time or another. I always say that such events
likely don’t happen more than five or six times in a lifetime.
They might win a lottery; they might inherit a sum; they might
cash in some old stock that was passed on to them. Maybe they
just received a modest refund on their taxes. Perhaps they had
an insurance settlement from a loss or an injury in the past.
We see it all the time.
What do most Americans do with a cash windfall
when it comes their way?
Most spend it on something they’ve wanted
or dreamt about for a long time. Many actually put themselves
into debt by using it as a down payment toward something that
locks them up with monthly payments.
Few put their windfall to work to grow it. So
after a time, long or short, it’s gone.
If money comes your way in any form, don’t
throw it away flamboyantly. Invest it in what you are doing or
in something that will likely ensure its growth. Use it to position
yourself. Use it to meet new business contacts. I believe that
there are only a few such opportunities in a person’s lifetime.
Some people use money opportunities wisely; some don’t.
I call these opportunities “monetary crossroads.”
You should take them when you cross the junction.
Very few people recognize these life-changing
opportunities. When I was fresh out of high school, my dad passed
away and left me an old VW to drive. I went into business working
on cars, opening a little VW repair shop. But I soon learned it
was a tough way to make a living. In 1973, two years after I started,
a check showed up in his mail for $2,000. It was the balance leftover
from $4,000 my father had left me for college. As I had stopped
going to college, my father’s executor sent me the remaining
I decided I wanted to deal in cars as well, so
I bought a used ‘71 VW Bug with the money and sold it for
$2500, taking a ‘71 Ford Pinto in trade on the deal. I had
made more in those two transactions in one week than I had working
on cars for two years, so I decided I wanted more of that action.
Within six months, while still working on cars for a month, I
had a $10,000 financing floorplan at my bank and was regularly
buying and selling cars.
That one check for $2,000 completely changed
my life. I had recalibrated my financial ambitions and was moving
into a new area of business life. You position yourself for success.
Nobody does it for you.