I met a lady in Tokoroa recently who was somewhat excited to speak with me. She approached me at the conclusion of a Financial Health Check seminar to speak to me about my first book, Becoming Money Wise. She introduced me to her husband and then they began to both speak at the same time! They were excited to share with me how they had discovered my book four years ago and had followed every piece of advice to the letter. Why were they telling me this, I wondered. Well, they hoped I would be happy to hear that they were completely debt free as a result of following the advice laid out in my book – no credit card debt and no mortgage. I was happy to hear this news, very happy indeed.
There’s an old saying regarding fruit: “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.” In the context of financial advice it’s worth saying that where you choose to take your advice from is going to determine the results you can hope to achieve. If you pick from a bad tree you’ll only get bad fruit, and if you pick from a good tree you can expect to get good fruit.
For me, personally, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. There was a time I needed help in my business and I turned to someone who had appeared to do well in the past. But what you see on the outside isn’t always a true representation of what has happened out of sight. The short version of that story is that the end result for me was sour tasting fruit that was very bad for me.
One of the simple keys to wise living is to take advice from a wise person. It sounds so simple and yet not everyone is able to do this. I often say, “common sense is not that common.” The best thing you can choose to do is shun the advice of a fool, turn away from it and look to a different source for healthy fruit. A person will reveal whether they are wise or foolish by their words and their actions – you can see the difference clearly when you look closely.
I’ve found developing the discipline of self-assessment to be a valuable tool in determining a prosperous course for my life. As I review how things are going honestly I find that I can see the small errors of my ways and quickly correct them. This is something I do regularly to ensure I don’t get too far off track. But I also know that feedback is the breakfast of champions and so I seek input from my circle of wise counsel.
None of us are above taking advice and all of us should seek the wisdom of others to deepen our knowledge and strengthen our financial position. When we find a good tree to eat from we should enjoy what it offers.