Time For a Change #10: Wealth Network vs. Poverty Network

by William Reed on April 12, 2012

Melodius Beans

The character shown here is the word for Abundance (豊 yutaka), and interestingly is made of two radicals, the upper radical meaning melody (曲) and the lower radical meaning bean (豆).

It may take a stretch of the imagination to connect melodious beans to abundance, wealth, and richness, but it is a happy image, and abundance is different from the scarcity mentality which leads to winner-takes-all competition.

Beans take on a magical quality also in the classic children’s tale Jack and the Beanstalk, in which Jack is first portrayed as a fool giving away the family cow for a set of “magic” beans, which however then grow into a giant beanstalk towering above the clouds, and eventually to great riches stolen from the ogre’s cave. You can probably still recite the ogre’s lines from the tale, “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.” This is a moral tale of trust and courage eventually leading to great reward, lessons that apply as much to adults as to children.

In Japanese there is an expression called mame ni hataraku, which is often understood to mean work like a bean, that is diligently and full focus. Although the word mame does mean bean, in this expression it is written with characters that give it an interesting nuance. 忠実 (chūjitsu, mame) means loyal or fully engaged, being made of the radicals for centered 中 mind 心 and to bear fruit or results 実. This expresses the wisdom that although the bean appears small and humble, it can grow into something great. Although our work may appear to be small and humble, with a centered focused mind it can also produce something great.

Time is Money

Benjamin Franklin is famous for having penned the phrase that Time is Money, though the earliest known appearance of the phrase was in the book Maxim (430 BC), by the Greek orator Antiphon. This is ancient acknowledgement that time is precious, and not to be wasted.

It is not just idleness that wastes time. Dealing with the wrong people and spending your energy on the wrong activities can also waste your time. From another perspective, time wrongly spent can leave a person wasted. This applies of course not just to money and health, but also that if we let time slip by, opportunity can be missed or wasted.

Despite the associations of this phrase with diligence, real opportunities often come in short spaces of time. Opportunity knocks, but doesn’t linger long waiting for a reply. Significant change often comes about in quantum bursts, triggered by decision and action. Perhaps in the broader meaning you could say that time is opportunity.

Wealth Network vs Poverty Network

Roger J. Hamilton, founder of Wealth Dynamics, says that we create wealth by leveraging our value, and this is done largely through the people that we associate with. He further describes the anatomy of our network as consisting of 3 tiers and 12 types of people who ultimately determine how our fortunes rise or fall.

Our Resource Network consists of Advisors, Opportunists, and Financiers; the people who can most significantly lend power, energy, and ideas to our projects, and help launch us to a new level. More closely we are surrounded by our Support Network, consisting of Advocates, Peers, and Supporters; the people who provide us with encouragement, endorsement, and emotional support.

Often not recognized because they may include friends and family, we also have a Poverty Network; consisting of Doomsayers, Doubters, Passengers, and Distractors. They may be friendly and well-meaning, but ultimately they can drag you down or keep you in poverty because they carry  with them a scarcity mentality that is contagious as a cold. Help them if you can, but take care that you do not share in the attitude that you must somehow slave for a living.

Craig Valentine, the founder of World Class Speaking, describes how you can take the lid off of a barrel full of crabs and none will escape. Whenever one crab tries to climb out, it is immediately pulled back down by the other crabs in the barrel. Crabby people do the same, because misery loves company.

We also have a Production Network, consisting of Managers, and our Team. These are the people who help make things happen. In order to generate wealth you need to have products or a service that you can sell. What is your product? Do you have a production process that can help you create and deliver your value to others? Consider who the people in your network are, and what position they occupy in your Wealth Network.

4 C’s in Opportunity

Once you have identified the people in your network, then you can find ways to engage them by clarifying your content, and then connecting with them through communication and collaboration. Here are 4 C’s to help you make the most of your opportunities with other people.

Collect your resources

Find containers to collect your output over time. This can be a blog, a diary, a book, a product, anything which takes a shape that remains over time for other people to recognize its value and potential. And that value will grow over time as the contents become increasingly relevant.

Connect with people

Find networks to connect with people over space. This can be a group or association, online or offline, any group that regularly communicates and trades through a system over the same channels, and one which grows stronger by association. That value too will grow over time as your contribution to the network becomes increasingly evident.

Collaborate on projects

Form partnerships to collaborate with others whose resources and networks complement and enhance your own. This can be a project, a product, a company, or even volunteer venture based on trust, similar values, and mutual merit, a bond which strengthens through action. The value of this too will increase through synergy, as the value of the partnership exceeds the value of the separate partners.

Celebrate by sharing

Make commitments to share the benefits with others who recognize your value and want to share in the process. This can be a social enterprise, donation of money or services, teaching process, or rally of support, one which gains momentum through inspiration and gratitude.

If you can value and use time in this way, you will never lack for ideas or support.

Make a Difference

At the end of the day, and throughout your life, the important question is did you leave the world a better place than you found it? Did you make a positive difference? Your real legacy is the influence that you have and have had on other people.

Ask yourself how you will be remembered, and how you want to be remembered? It is never too late to do something about it.

Carpe Diem: seize the day. This ancient advice still rings true, but it doesn’t contain any instructions  as to how it is done. Each person must find that answer for himself or herself. Whatever your answer you will be more successful if you have clear goals and keep focused.

The 80/20 principle states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the activities, the ones that matter most. For this we recommend a powerful software tool called GOALSCAPE, which can help you visualize, track, and achieve your Goals, and really make a difference in a way that most matters to you and other people.

You can download a WEALTH NETWORK MANDALA which summaries each of these ideas and strategies in key phrases for review and application. Take care the company you keep, and take care of the people you care about. As you feed and provide for your network, it will feed and provide for you.

William ReedWilliam Reed specializes in applying practical wisdom from Japanese and Asian culture to solving the problems of modern business and living. He is the author of the Flexible Focus column on Active Garage, the syndicated column Creative Career Path and the book A Zoom Lens for Your life. William is also a Representative Director and Co-Founder of EMC QUEST Corporation, which provides Coaching for Communication and Change, World Class Speaking™, and Accelerated Action with GOALSCAPE™.
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