to know everything & do nothing about it
Let’s play pretend. Let’s pretend that you and I want to be great chefs. We love to eat wonderful foods that taste great and wow our family and friends, so we want to absorb as much information and instruction as possible to leap from decent kitchen cook to great culinary artist.
We start by reading a bunch of books: Recipe books, books on technique, books by famous chef predecessors that we want to emulate. We read 25 books on how to make exquisite, succulent meals with passion and gusto.
But we don’t stop there, most certainly not. We even decide to spend hours watching Food Network, furiously scribbling notes on food combinations, presentation, and how to pair wines with main courses.
We take it a step further by enrolling in a local cooking program taught by well-known chefs. We’re getting hands-on instruction with an expert to guide us!
Now, imagine that we go home and nuke up a couple microwave dinners.
What a let down.
What a waste.
I’ve encountered a couple in recent months who need to make some serious headway with their finances. He’s been out of work for six months. She cosigned on a six-figure student loan for a child, a loan the child is having difficulty paying. We’ve seen them in classes. They’ve definitely read books.
They know what they have to do: Simply apply what they’ve learned. (Believe me, this couple could teach all the same financial concepts I teach.)
And yet, I’ve heard complaints from them on a few occasions that nothing in their life is changing. The stress and tension is still there. They were even disappointed at the end of a recent Financial Coaching Program that they didn’t see any results while all the other families involved did.*
At this point, I can think of only one thing to say to them.
Cook, or get out of the kitchen.
*In seven weeks, six of the seven families in the program paid off $18,000 in debt and saved an additional $6,000. This couple didn’t experience any results and frequently resisted the activities that helped the others achieve what they did.