Several years ago I read an article in a financial magazine (either Forbes or Money). They had done some research that determined that having money does indeed make you happier, a whole 2% happier. (Not sure exactly how they measured that.) After this exciting news, they went on to admit that what made the biggest difference in your level of happiness was the quality of relationships in your life, health, and feeling like you had a purpose. (There was a longer list, but this is what I remember.) These factors made something like a 60%-40% difference.
When we talk about "Living Well" on our book cover this is mainly the sort of thing we're refering to. Making connections and feeling like you make a difference while you try to keep your nose above water. So while networking may sound like an abstract business term, it's really one of the most crucial elements to living as opposed to existing. The last blog post encouraged you to break out of your comfort zone and make connections with people who are different than you.
This post is about encouraging you to create a comfort zone. We all need people who "get us" and have our back. Finding those people comes more naturally to some of us than others, but it is worth the effort. Long term friends are rarely instantly recognizable. They usually start with a hello and a conversation, and may or may not grow from that.
This is a bit of a stereotype, but among my single friends who are climbing the ladder and making it financially, I usually feel like I have to schedule an appointment to see them. If they're married as well, the appointment needs to be made a month in advance. My single friends who are low income earners, even though they certainly work hard for their money, seem to have an easier time finding time. They're a little more willing to be up for the last minute request to just hang out, watch TV, play a game.
My low-income friends are also far more likely to be cool with cheap ways to have fun. They're less likely to insist on eating out. They pitch in to move furniture instead of recommending a moving service.
One stereotype that does have some statistical backing is that people in the low-income group tend to be less well educated. In terms of formal education, this is probably true. However, education and intelligence are two different things. Some of the most intellectual people I know only have a high school diploma but are extremely well read. Others, while perhaps not high I.Q., are very knowledgable in other areas, particularly about their job, hobbies, and interests.
At our Gallatin meeting a single mom asked if we'd start doing regular meetings for low income singles. That's not something I could commit to, but it's not a bad idea. If you'd like to create a club or start meetings for low-income singles, I think that could be a great way to connect to people who share your boat. Go for it. If you want to use our book as a starting point, you have my blessing but don't restrict yourselves to it. It's just a place to start.
P.S. We'll be at Hendersonville Public Library (TN) at 5:30-7:30 tonight, discussing the book. Feel free to drop by, talk money, and make a connection.
P.P.S. No YouTube videos this month, after all. We've been given the opportunity to participate in a songwriters preformance at Steve's Restaurant & Bar in Nashville Thursday night (short notice), so we've been rehearsing like crazy.