Friday, September 11, 2009

The One Minute Millionaire

I think I am ready to shed most of my post-hippie aversion to making money. Born in 1959, I am not a true child of the 60s, but I kind of came of age with a stubborn commitment to avoid pursuing the almighty dollar. Lately, though, I have been feeling that it’s time for me to grow up and be a better provider for my family.

Why the change of heart? Why not? Life is precarious and Verna deserves that trip to Paris or wherever. And our kids deserve to be treated a little more with a few outings to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or Raging Waters or maybe even Disneyland.

I sometimes fear I won’t be able to provide as well as my father-in-law. He basically treats us to everything: Thanksgiving trips to Tahoe for Verna, her two brothers and their families; dinners; day trips to the county fair; carnivals. And he is also very generous with his time as well. My in-laws never refused to babysit for us, and then when Verna and I got back from the movies they treated us to dinner.

But I am not at all financially stable, which is fairly standard these days for those of us weathering the economic tsunami. Prior to 2009, the big problem had been my philosophical loathing to making too much money. I once spent two-and-a-half years canvassing for a community organization that routinely railed against the corporate man for polluting our waters and raping or economy. I quit a job last year at a local acoustical drywall manufacturer when they asked me to spend 2-3 weeks each month traveling to Oregon, Washington State, and Canada.

I stand by my choices to put family first, but I also question if I have the fortitude to do just about whatever it takes to make more money? Then again, do I really want to work 60+ hours a week when I’d rather push Maya on the swings in the park? Or pitch to Miguel? Or gossip with the neighbors at night? But nothing great is ever earned without some sacrifice.

So I went out and bought The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen, a phenomenal bestseller by two men who have made, lost, and made more money than the universe has actually produced about leveraging one’s talents into major, major bucks. And I even read the book and enjoyed it.

Then I signed up for a free DVD, Internet Riches Made Easy, which arrived promptly but I haven’t yet watched. And I went to the OMM website and signed up for their free e-zine and other notices from the Enlightened Wealth Institute. Now I get invited two times a week to lunchtime webinars hosted by Robert Allen about increasing my personal revenue streams and becoming an apostle for Allen’s stated goal of increasing everyone’s wealth and creating a vast network of millionaires who will improve the economy and the lives of zillions.

Normally I eschew self-help books and get-rich network marketing schemes. Many years ago, after hearing political activist and comedian Dick Gregory, I got involved in selling his ultra-healthy diet and energy powder. I sold one case to a coworker who was quite overweight. Net profit to me: $24.

I have several friends who have been hounding me for months to get involved in another network marketing scheme, er, plan to sell Deepak Chopra’s latest product, some kind of healthy juice that will help you leap tall buildings…

And these Chopra disciples are intelligent people who talk about building their income lines and expanding their base. One woman gushed that her handyman was earning $2000 a week through Chopra and only working part time.

But I hate bugging friends to get involved in network schemes, even pre-Madoff, when my income is directly related to how many suckers, er, acquaintances I can enlist. On the other hand, I am desperate. Struggling financially is not fun or easy. We are stressed out. And I hate, hate, absolutely hate telling Miguel that we can’t do something because it’s not in our budget.


I’m going to start with small steps. Hansen and Allen recommend meeting with a few wealthy people and querying them about how they became successful. I can do that. And if all else fails, I will resort to one tried and true method for earning money: begging. Maybe I can start right now. If everyone who reads this (on Facebook alone I have over 650 friends) just sends me $10, I think I can net at least $10,000. Not bad for a day’s work. Hey, I may be onto something.

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