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Feed the Golden Goose that Produces Wealth — No Matter What

America needs an economic diet; we’ve become economically obese, both individually and as a nation. Let me explain:

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There are two uses for your money:

  • One is productive
  • One is wasteful (and possibly even destructive).

Productive spending of money is actually not spending at all, but rather investing.

Non-productive spending of money is consumption.

The difference between the two lies in what is accomplished by the outgo of your (I’m assuming) hard-earned money.

The key question: Does that outgo result in a return, or is it gone forever?

At all times, but especially when economic times are tough, spending should be done strategically to minimize the amount that goes to waste and maximize the amount that goes to something productive.

Again, productive means it is building your wealth by being placed into something of value, something that “cash flows,” something that brings back more dollars.

I belabor these seemingly simple points because financial intelligence is an extreme rarity.

It seems few people have ever been taught that money has a purpose beyond its use toward their immediate comfort and gratification.

As a result, people making a six-figure income have spent themselves into oblivion and have nothing to show for it. Incredible.

Difficult financial environments in which the economy slackens, the dollar declines in value, jobs become scarce, salaries go down, overtime is retracted, concessions are demanded, etc. only serve to emphasize the point and amplify poor habits.

When these winds blow, the sloppy and financially ignorant (or consumptively addicted) are exposed. This is where panic sets in, and cutbacks in spending are made violently.

The trouble is, most people cut back in the productive areas, too.

They have wasted so much money and gotten themselves into so much trouble financially that they can no longer (or will no longer) put money into feeding the goose that lays the golden eggs.

As millionaire financial advisor Todd Tresidder stated:

“Those with credit card debt and too many bills are more committed to their lifestyle rather than to building wealth.”

The financially mature understand that the golden goose must be fed no matter what.

This means during the good times, when consumptive addiction and wasteful spending are at their most tempting. It also means during the tough times, when panic sets in and constrictive cutbacks are rushed to like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

It is the discipline to use money productively and predominantly that separates the wealthy from the rest (with the exception of second-generation wealth-holders, whom we do not acknowledge as having any useful financial wisdom beyond the skill of good birth).


Chris Brady co-authored the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Weekly, USA Today, and Money Magazine best-seller Launching a Leadership Revolution.

He is also in the World’s Top 30 Leadership Gurus and among the Top 100 Authors to Follow on Twitter. He has spoken to audiences of thousands around the world about leadership, freedom, and success.

Mr. Brady contributes regularly to Networking Times magazine, and has been featured in special publications of Success and Success at Home. He also blogs regularly at Chris Brady.

He is an avid motorized adventurer, pilot, world traveler, humorist, community builder, soccer fan, and dad.

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