There is a widely accepted but rarely named enemy that pervades our culture and handicaps our people. I hereby resolve to name it and identify it in defense of those with the capabilities which this enemy stifles. I want to give cover to all of you who have thought it but were afraid to speak it; to those who have muttered it but where silenced by the shrill cries of indignation. I will scream it in proud defiance atop the rock of natural law. Simple common sense and cause and effect will be my shield and my sword though I know they have proven useless against the squishy formless subversive weapons of the warriors of the enemy. I will be called greedy, heartless, and hateful by the merciless minions of the enemy but I will bare it as a patriot to the cause of productivity.
This enemy is guilt. Its weapon of choice: charity. Its result is the abdication of our free will to think, to speak, and to act in our own best interest. Guilt is the weapon that turns our strength against us. The more successful you are the more reward that natural law endows upon you and thus the more guilt you are expected to feel. In the end the most successful among us are left questioning their own rewards and sabotaging their own business by questioning whether they deserve to make so much money.
In turn the enemy is shameless. He comes with indignant scowl on his face with hand extended demanding his share of any profit. He grins and turns his back when a deal loses money as if saying, “That’s what you get.” Never would the enemy consider giving back a portion of what he took from the last deal. His interest seems to lie in taking from those who are successful and keeping down those who are in need.
Too many people dare not ask why. They will shout you down. They will lecture you about the needy. They will tell you that you are greedy and evil for even questioning. Like the broken mule that makes no protest when load on his back is increased while he is given neither additional reward nor his route reduced. Imagine the beating the mule would take if he were to question the loader as to why he should carry that additional item and is it really needed and, heaven forbid, what’s in it for me. Because the mule is not allowed or able to ask questions then how will he be protected from working in opposition to his own best interest?
Know the Weapons They Use Against Us.
Money is the root of all evil. No! No! I say no! Money earned honestly is the product of that which is good. I have seen many examples of cheats getting rich but only on T.V. news broadcasts. In my personal experience I have seen cheats prosper for only a short time, in rare cases. The wealthy that I know personally have prospered because they demonstrated the highest of all virtues, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. They provided the best product or service for their communities and the communities pay them and forsake those who cut corners and produce poor products and or offer unreliable service. This person may not be a saint. He may be hard and impersonal but that is besides the fact and is not the reason he is paid well.
“How could you understand,” they say, implying that you have always been privileged, that you have never suffered, that you have been handed success. I see so many young suburban kids who have been shouted down and made to feel guilty because their parents had worked hard enough to provide the child with the resources needed to send them to college. Now that parent’s gift is made into an anchor about the child’s neck. They feel they can’t argue with the guilt peddlers. They shut their mouth and take the blame for crime and poverty. They turn over their paychecks. They lower their eyes and question their income.
Seeking wealth is noble. Attaining wealth is a sin that can only be absolved by giving a cut to those who are unable to match your abilities. The word corporation is now synonymous with the word corruption and corporate is equal to thief. You can hear it in discussions about big business. Corruption is blatantly implied, accepted and quickly moved past. Watch the fallout in response to the person who stops the discussion with the question of how are they corrupt. Even the most innocent request for evidence will bring the most indignant responses. The argument is rarely made even if there is evidence of corruption. The questioner is just dismissed as simpleton or half wit and the conversation moves on to dripping sympathy for the victimized.
Stay Focused on the Deal
This is a critical ingredient to your success in real estate. I wrote a blog on Aug 30th entitled “My Entrepreneur Manifesto” and I mention enthusiasm as a valuable business asset. Yes you need to have knowledge but knowledge won’t save you from every obstacle. You must also have resolve. Enthusiasm is a key ingredient for bolstering and maintaining resolve. Guilt will make you question your purpose. Questioning your purpose will clutter your mind, drain your enthusiasm and stifle your action. Hesitation will strangle your pursuit of success. The pursuit of success is in a way your baby. You can and must question anyone who pulls the bottle from the mouth of your baby.
Do not let someone waste your time with talk of altruism when they are pitching a deal. This is one of the greatest pitfalls in our business. I hear all kinds of talk about charity and helping community as reason for doing a deal and yet I see investors behaving exactly the opposite. They speak of giving someone something for nothing out of their deals and yet they take every step possible to cut out the people who worked and contributed to the deal like the contractors, wholesaler, and Realtors. Don’t tell me you’re charitable show me.
If you want to be charitable then go find a deal. Choose your deal based on hard financial and market facts. Run your deal with shrewd, diligent, competence. Protect your deal and your profit like your baby. Hold your head high. Look people in the eyes with pride in your performance. Pay those who performed for you that which they have earned. After you have your money in your pocket then go give a portion of the profit to the cause of your choice. Then you will show me your humanity but don’t be hijacked by the guilt peddler telling you to do this deal for the people. And, do not dare to lecture me that I must lay down my money and precious time and energy to do this deal because of charity.
Beware of he who protests too much, he who is hurt too easily, and he who cries disproportionately loud to the harm he is claiming. These people are guilt peddlers. A villain who knows and admits he is a villain is very rare. This type of villain would rate at least minimal respect for coming out right up front and telling you that he plans to take what is his and as much of your share as he may possibly get. No, the worst and most common kind of villain is the one who is cloaked in righteousness. He is the most dangerous because he attempts to make the victim into the criminal the very moment any suspicion falls upon him. You end up cheated and often feeling quilt or unsure if you were to blame. It will bog down your progress while you sort it out and likely be the death of your baby.
You always have the right… no… the duty to question any attempt to take food from the mouth of your children. In a world where it now takes two bread winners to support one family how can they continually demand that those bread winners support more and more families and accept no questioning of their demands. Do not be silence by their sneers. Do not be quilted into silence. Ask, what’s in it for me. And run screaming at the answer “it just the right thing to do”or, “it’s our moral obligation.”
Friends you must lay down this burden. Success is a mountain top that is already so perilous and illusive. Do not strap on that extra load. Do not handicap the most productive and energetic among us. These are the people who will lead us to the next level of prosperity. We will benefit from this prosperity by working, WORKING, in their assistance not by looting their rewards.
Charity is based on and justified by need. In a world that is based only on charity there can be no justice. Justice is based on the fact that you must bare the consequences of your actions. Irresponsible action normally leaves the actor in need. Responsible action is normally rewarded. If need is the justification then the bank robber will always be able to justify his need of money, rapist his need for power, and the drug addict his need of a fix. In a purely charitable system the responsible will be left to pay the bills for the irresponsible every time.
Never feel guilty about protecting your baby. Tell them Justin gives you permission to maximize your profit on a job well done. If no one else appreciates your accomplishments then email me. I will give you that pat on the bank and thank you for your contribution.
Photo Credit: Blacklord