The Affluent Entrepreneur Show

My Greatest Money Lesson Came from a 6-Year Old

August 21, 2023 Mel H Abraham, CPA, CVA, ASA Season 2 Episode 167
The Affluent Entrepreneur Show
My Greatest Money Lesson Came from a 6-Year Old
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today, we're diving deep into a lesson that shaped not just my business, but my entire life.

I'm taking you on a journey back to my roots and sharing a pivotal moment that taught me what true affluence really means.

The real gem of this story is the life-changing lesson I learned from my six-year-old son, Jeremy. A simple drawing he made opened my eyes to the fact that while I was working tirelessly to build a successful business, I was missing out on what truly mattered – being present for the ones I love.

You won't want to miss this episode if you want to learn how to redefine success, create a wealthy life that fits with your values, and find out what financial freedom really means. It's a story that has shaped my journey and will undoubtedly inspire yours.

IN TODAY’S EPISODE, I DISCUSS: 

  • Unexpected twists in my journey from CPA to entrepreneur
  • Debunking the myth of work-life balance
  • How pursuing our passions can lead to personal and financial affluence

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This is the Affluent Entrepreneur Show for entrepreneurs that want to operate at a high level and achieve financial liberation. I'm your host Mel Abraham and I'll be sharing with you what it takes to create success beyond wealth so you can have a richer, more fulfilling lifestyle. In this show you'll learn how business and money intersect so you can scale your business, scale your money and scale your life while creating a deeper impact and living with complete freedom. Because that's what it really means to be an affluent entrepreneur. I get asked a lot, how did you get into doing what you're doing? You're a CPA. CPAs don't do this. Well, here's the ain't. I didn't walk the traditional journey and I want you in this episode to understand a little bit more of how I ended up doing what I'm doing, why it's important to you and what you need to do next, and how this came at the hands of a six year old boy. See in the episode hey there, I hope you are doing well. I wanted to jump in here and do a different kind of video for you. I had a call or I had a question come in from someone asking the question of how did a CPA, how did I end up in this place, how did I end up doing what I'm doing and how I'm doing it and that type of thing. And it got me to start thinking about it and saying sometimes we take for granted the journey that we have been on. And life is a journey. Lots of twists and turns, ups and downs and arounds. And my life isn't any different. I certainly feel blessed to have the life that I have, to do the things I get to do to serve you, to help people build their dreams, build their financial dreams, find freedom. I knew those things. But it wasn't all that way, always that way. And I think about back on how did I even get into entrepreneurship? Why did that even attract me? And it goes back to when I was a young kid, when I was eleven years old, I was watching a movie with my dad and watching a movie with Tony Curtis and Janet Lee. And it was about Harry Houdini. Harry Houdini's life. And I was fascinated with this guy that no boxes, no chains, no nothing could hold. And the more and more I researched, the more and more I read about his life and his times and the things he did. Man, I fascinated him more the realization that there was this idea of being able to go and do things that you loved and make a difference and everything. And so I got fascinated with magic at eleven years old, 1011 years old, and started to learn and read. And literally during the summer months when I wasn't in school, I would literally take the bus down to the magic shop across the valley every day and spend time there. And one time someone came in and talked about them doing a gig. And I go, what is a gig? He says that's when we get paid to do a show. I go, you're getting paid to do magic? And he said, yeah. So I said, how do I do that? Now I'm eleven years old. Because I'm thinking, well, if I can get paid to do what I love, that would be really cool. So I went on to start doing magic shows, half hour magic shows for kids, birthday parties at eleven years old for $50. Now we're talking about 1971. So it was a long time ago. $50 was a lot of money. But what it really did is plant the seed in me about, well, what if I could just live my life? And as a child, you automatically think that everything's possible, anything is possible. And I kept that spirit. And then that's what drove me to start looking at business as I got older and I went into college and things like that. I ended up as a CPA, working with businesses and everything and doing the kinds of things I wanted to do, but at the same time also knew that I'd always do it on my own, always was going to create my own firm and do that. And I had a firm, I was a managing partner of a firm, and we were doing well into the seven figures. And I had a team of 29, 32 at the max. And next thing I know, my partners came to me and said, we don't want to be partners with you anymore. And they pretty much shoved me out the door with no clients, no client backlog, no cash flow, nothing. And part of it was because I was going in a different direction. I had that entrepreneurial spirit. I wasn't doing the typical accounting stuff. I was doing valuations consulting. It was a different animal. And so they wanted to keep with the traditional business. And I totally get that. But I was left with nothing and figuring out, how do I make this work? But that was the same year that one of the greatest gifts came to live with me. And that was my son. I became a single full time dad. My son Jeremy was five and a half years old. And here I was as a father with this gift of a child, trying to figure out, how do I make ends meet? What do I do to take care of this child? How do I nurture and do the right thing for this five and a half year old, six year old boy? And some of you might be in that situation where you're trying to take care of your loved ones, you're trying to take care of your spouse or your children or your grandchildren. And you might be struggling these times. I get it. It's a scary situation. I was scared. And the good news is, I had a support network around me, but that still didn't mean that I still had to go out and make the money. So I did what most entrepreneurs do. I got on the treadmill, I started working. I started promoting, I started speaking, I started writing. I was doing everything that I knew to get clients and to get business in. And next thing I know that the business starts coming in, and all of a sudden, I've got cash flow, I've got clients, I've got work to do. And I'm looking at I'm excited. I'm saying I just looking at Jeremy and realizing, saying, hey, this is going to work. We're going to be okay. I had just purchased a house when this happened, so I was over 300,000 in debt. So I had that on my head also. But I was okay because I had these clients coming in, and now the cash flow was coming in. And now all of a sudden, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. And then Jeremy comes walking, running in from school one day, and this is probably one of the most pivotal points in my financial journey, my business journey, my life's journey. He says. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. I drew a picture of you at school today. And I kneeled down, and he was so excited, I had to stop everything. And I kneel down to his level. I take this picture in my hand, and I look at it, and there it is. I'm drawn in blue felt dip pen and a stick figure. It still pains me today seeing two computer screens on the desk, a phone in each ear, and one on the desk ringing. And it was in that moment that I realized I was totally screwing it up. Yeah, maybe I was getting the money in. Yeah, maybe I was building the business, but I wasn't building my relationship with my son. The only thing he saw in me was that I worked. And I get it. I have to pay the bills, and I can use those as excuses, and I can do all those things. But the fact of the matter is, I was ripped up inside because I felt like a failure, because I felt like the one gift that was so important to me and I thought I was doing the right thing, and I realized I wasn't doing the right thing. So I had so many people telling me, mel, you have to get work life balance, you have to get things done. But here's what I figured out. Work life balance, that's a myth. It doesn't exist. I mean, the fact of the matter is that to have balance, what it insinuates is that you have weight on this side, you have weight on this side. They counterweight. There's, like this tug of war. And that's what it was, a tug of war between the personal life, between fatherhood, between work and the professional life and all these things pulling at things. It's not balance that we need. I realize that it's harmony that we need. Things that work in concert with each other. How could I be the entrepreneur I want to be to build the business, to serve the clients, but be a great dad? I don't know. Maybe in your life you're sitting back looking at the same thing. How do you be a great parent? How do you be a great spouse? How do you be a great son, daughter, sister, brother? How do you harmonize those things, integrate those things? And that was the thing that got me to start to really look at my life and say, how do I do it differently? There had to be a way to reinvent, reinvent how I did the business. So I had the time to dedicate to him and to be present with him because he didn't want my profits. He wanted my presence. He wanted me there, he wanted me to be with him. And so that's when I started to understand this idea of living an affluent life versus a wealthy life. See, the wealthy life is chasing the money. The affluent life is chasing the meaning. See, I truly believe that an affluent life has four aspects to it. And the first aspect is that it's a meaningful life, that it means something, that it brings joy to you, it warms your heart that each day, even if it's a tough day, has meaning to it. The second aspect of it is that it is an impactful life, that you're having a positive effect and impact on those you serve, that on those you love, the people you share life with. The third aspect is that it's fruitful life. One where you can pay the bills and then some and do that. It's the only aspect of affluence that actually has money attached to it. And then the fourth aspect is that it was a peaceful life that you can live in peace knowing that you lived it your way. Kind of like the old song, that you had a chance to make the decisions, design your life, live it your way. Know that it was in alignment with your values, with your value, with the vision that you have for your life. That's affluence. That's true affluence. And that's the thing that came out of a felt tip pen picture of me and a six year old boy. Because it's through that that I developed the processes and the systems of the affluence, blueprint and all those things to really bring that to life, to live an affluent life in a way that gave it meaning, impact, fruitfulness and peacefulness in order to make that happen. And that's what I want for those that I serve. It's what got me here, because it's through that people asked, how did you do it? How are you doing it? How are you helping your clients do that? And that's what got me out here doing this. It's not what I set out to do when I became a CPA. But the fact of the matter is I realize that richness is an experience and feeling game. Wealth is just a money game. The wealth part of it is actually easy. There's principles, there's processes, there's priorities and all that stuff, that's easy. But we can get all that right, and if we don't get the richness part of it right, the way we live, the way we experience life, the way we feel life, we're going to feel poor no matter what's in the bank account. That's what drives me. That's what makes me do what I do. Thank you for listening to the affluent entrepreneur show with me, your host, Mel Abraham. If you want to achieve financial liberation to create an affluent lifestyle, join me in the affluent entrepreneur Facebook group now by going to Melabraham.com/group and I'll see you there.

Introduction
Early interest in entrepreneurship
Transitioning to becoming a CPA and facing setbacks
Challenges as a single dad
Pivotal moment: Son's drawing highlights imbalance
The need for a better work-life balance
The four key aspects of an affluent life
Embracing richness beyond wealth