Sharing Successes

Amanda and her husband are only 28 years old and have no debt whatsoever. They don't share this information due to being treated differently by others. How should they handle this situation?

QUESTION: Amanda in Ohio and her husband are only 28 years old and have no debt whatsoever. They don’t share this information due to being treated differently by others. How should they handle this situation?

ANSWER: One thing you start to figure out as you start to win with money and build wealth and achieve some of those goals is you have a very, very small group that you can celebrate with. A lot of friends, a lot of family—you just can’t celebrate with them because it just comes off as bragging to them. That’s not what you’re doing. You’re just trying to celebrate milestones. But it feels like to them you’re bragging or you’re being a big dog or something, and it feels like a putdown to them for some reason. You learn to keep a lot of it private. You don’t share a lot of it.

I’ll give you an example. There’s only a handful of people on the planet that know my income and just a handful of people that know the gross revenues of our company even. It’s privately held. The reason for that is that most people don’t even know the difference between gross and net. They don’t know the basic P&L structure.

If you hear a company makes $1 billion or a company has an income of $500 million or a company has an income of $10 million, people think they made $10 million. They may have had expenses of $11 million. They may have lost $1 million on that gross revenue. People immediately go, “Well, that guy owns that $10 million company. He’s making $10 million.” It’s as dumb as these politicians saying that somebody that makes $1 million a year is a millionaire. That’s not what a millionaire is. That’s stupid. It’s an indication we have idiots in Washington. Oh! We knew that. Okay. My gosh. It’s just ridiculous.

You do have this narrow group of people that you can share your successes with. You just have to enjoy the successes, and they are what they are and those kinds of things. Just enjoy that part of it. Find a few people that you can celebrate with, but some things you’re just doing that indicate that you’re successful. You have a nice car. You have a decent home—those kinds of things. Even if it's a small percentage of your world, sometimes that still generates people that are jealous or envious.

Jealousy is: “I want what you have.” Envious is not: “I want what you have.” It is: “I don’t think I can have what you have, so I don’t even want you to have it.” That’s envy. Those are two really evil spirits, and they’re really loose in the land. They indicate that the people that are carrying those are small-minded individuals. You just have to kind of go, “That’s it.” You know? Part of the price of winning is that people don’t understand when you win. They’re not okay with it, and you kind of get where you’re okay with them not being okay with it.

I’ll give you an example. In our situation, it tickles me to death that some little liberal jerk on Twitter thinks somehow that I have to engage him because I’m on Twitter. I don’t have to engage you. That’s not arrogance. I’m just not going to argue with you. I’ll tweet back and forth two or three times and have some fun with something, but pretty quickly, once I realize I’m not able to take somebody and teach them, I just dump them. There’s no point in it. I’m not going to argue with you. I’m right. Why would I argue with you? I’m not going to argue with you.

But there are people out there who feel like I’m obligated to engage. I’m not obligated to engage, and I’m not obligated to explain myself. That’s true about you winning with your wealth. You’re not obligated to explain your net worth or your income or the fact that you’re winning, and you’re not obligated to be ashamed about it either.

Just enjoy it. Enjoy the fruits of your labor—your success. You earned it. You’re generous. You’re a giver. You do a lot of wonderful things with the money. You take care of your own family so I don’t have to pay extra taxes to take care of your family. All of that. It’s a good thing. Enjoy it. If people don’t understand it, the louder they are about their misunderstanding and the more crazy they are about it, the further the boundaries are put out because I’m not going to deal with you on it. That simple.

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