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Sometimes I’m afraid to be rich

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AntEmpire

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Before you guys call me the stupidest person alive, please hear me out. I’ll make it as short as possible.

The biggest fear I have about being rich is my family. They are typical sidewalkers. Begging is something I’ve known all my life. Everybody always needs money to pay this bill or buy a necessity for that baby. Money has always been the sore point in my family. Arguments regularly break out over who is paying for what. This is probably why we don’t do typical family events together, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, because few want to commit to pay for something as basic as food.

Last year, when my maternal grandmother turned 90, it was myself and another cousin of the same age who paid for the entire party, because her own surviving children and grandchildren either didn’t have the money or just didn’t want to pay for it. But they still managed to show up to the party…

Part of this problem is my grandmother’s fault. I love her but she has turned most of her children and now grandchildren into what I call stray cats. The free milk was her money and like stray cats they continue to come back for more. Her regular saying is “You gotta help family out.” But her constant helping has made them take advantage of her so badly that now, even at 90, they are still begging her for money, not to mention crashing on the floor of her studio apartment in a retirement community because they can’t afford places of their own.

But the biggest offender of begging is none other than my mother. She has lived nearly her entire life subsisting on the help of others from my father, stepfather, her children, grandchildren, and public aid. For as long as I’ve known her she rarely contributes anything, just takes. If you refuse her requests, she calls you selfish. She has stolen mines and my brother’s identities for services, told people I was on my deathbed in the hospital to get money (I had bad asthma as a child), and yes, stolen. I’ve never met someone so unwilling to work or take responsibility for their actions in my life.

You know those stories you hear about kids who grow up poor in violent neighborhoods, with bad schools, little food in the house, familial substance abuse, homelessness, but still manage to graduate high school, and college, and go on to be a working member of society? That was her kid – me. In many ways I know I beat some high odds, but no matter how much I succeed or how far I go in life, I can’t escape the regular cries for money that come from home. When other people get a call from their mothers, they can reasonably expect a nice conversation with her. But when I get a call from my mother, I don’t know if she’s calling to talk or ask for money. Usually it’s about money.

Because of my grandmother, the ‘help family out’ attitude is strong in my family. You can screw up over and over again, never pay someone back, call them selfish, and even get physically abusive with them (my cousin, not my mother) and still have the right to expect them to open their doors and wallets to you.

And this is why I have such an apprehension about making a lot of money. Yes, I want the freedom and success that comes with it, but I don’t want to deal with the begging that will follow. Sometimes, when I’m about to start on a business related project, I think to myself what’s the point. If I sacrifice all my energy to gain the world, I’ll likely spend equal energy fighting off the cold hands of my begging family.

I know it seems silly to fear making money because of begging family members. It’s not saying no to them that I’m struggling with (I do it often). It’s dealing with the emotions that come with it. It’s an annoyed/sad/angry feeling the grates on me with every request. I guess this is more a rant than a question, but I do wonder if other aspiring and established entrepreneurs have these worries regarding the sidewalkers in their lives. I want to be successful in my business pursuits, but I don’t want to deal with the expectations of taking care of people who don’t want to take care of themselves.

Sorry for the long read and thank you for listening.
 

RogueInnovation

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You paint it so bleak ;) but I get that its not the whole story, just a part of it.

Look, you are right when you asked if you are not alone in those feelings.
Everyone fears people clinging.

The only thing I can say to help is. When you earn your success, you sure as f#ck will fear those emotions much less.

It just is innevitable, you have to take responsiblity for yourself no matter how much anyone isn't helping out.

Those family fears evaporate eventually, but some of it remains. But you won't speak of it like you do now, it'll be tolerable.
 

AntEmpire

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You paint it so bleak ;) but I get that its not the whole story, just a part of it.

Look, you are right when you asked if you are not alone in those feelings.
Everyone fears people clinging.

The only thing I can say to help is. When you earn your success, you sure as f#ck will fear those emotions much less.

It just is innevitable, you have to take responsiblity for yourself no matter how much anyone isn't helping out.

Those family fears evaporate eventually, but some of it remains. But you won't speak of it like you do now, it'll be tolerable.

Yeah, there's more to it but I would have to write a book to explain it. Thanks for your comments.
 

Zl1996

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I have several uncles who are parasitical similar to your own relatives. One of my uncles is living with another uncle, mooching off of my grandmother at the age of thirty. Another of my uncles lives off of his girlfriend.

Something that you may not see about the situation is the possibility that your grandparents and great grandparents could have abused their child, in a similar manner to my mother/ uncles being abused (repeatedly beaten, fearing for their lives, their mother being hit by their father,etc.). This could lead to the dependency.

There are several things to be learned from this:
1. Don't abuse your children (look up the term 'peaceful parenting')
2. Don't permit others to mooch off of you. Being kind to others is one thing; but government aid and handouts create laziness that ultimately hurts the recipient.
3. You should look into therapy if you feel that your childhood could adversary affect you.
4. Don't be afraid to limit contact with people who hurt you. I imagine that parents and family would be much better if they had the threat of their children not wanting to talk to them ever again.

I know that these things are tough, and you will receive grief if you agree with me on any of this, but it will help you out in the long run.

PS. If a woman chooses a sh*tty husband, she is responsible for her choice. Likewise if the roles are switched

PSS. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Be careful who those people are.
 

BigBrianC

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If your family begs you for money, tell them you're hiring. That's how id deal with it. "I'd love to help but unfortunately I've got all my money tied back up in my business. One small expense and I get crucified. But hey, Im hiring if you're interested" would be a nice way to put it.
 

AntEmpire

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If your family begs you for money, tell them you're hiring. That's how id deal with it. "I'd love to help but unfortunately I've got all my money tied back up in my business. One small expense and I get crucified. But hey, Im hiring if you're interested" would be a nice way to put it.

LOL! Nothing would make them run away faster than asking them to work.

Ironically, a distant cousin of mines opened a restaurant some years ago and made the brilliant decision to hire only relatives to work for him. The business folded in less than a year. What happened? He hired people that could never hold a job and, well, they proved why because they didn't do any work. And others actually pocketed some of the profits.
 

Ninjakid

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I actually don't think this post is stupid at all. In fact, I think you're shedding light on some very real issues.

Steve Pavlina actually wrote an incredibly good article about family issues. I've talked shit about Steve before, but I've actually warmed up to him quite a bit after reading his articles. I'll send you the link:
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/01/understanding-family-relationship-problems/

The thing is your family is clearly of a very low socioeconomic status, and they're stuck in their ways. There's no way that the people you describe would ever do anything to help their own situation. They're never gonna change, just accept that fact. If you ever make millions, which I hope you do, you're likely going to have to distance yourself from a lot of your family members. Doesn't mean you need to cut them off, you can help them by making sure they at least eat. But they're going to want a lot of shit from you and they'll going to try to guilt you into giving them everything. I guarantee you that that's what's going to happen. You're going to have to learn to make use of one of the most empowering words: "no".

Does it sound mean to do that while they still live in squalor? Okay well what's gonna happen when someone uses your car in your name, and uses it to run drugs or something? Then suddenly you're being investigated for something you would otherwise want no involvement in, and this sheds a bad light on you despite being completely innocent.

There's not really an easy way to handle this, but there's no good reason you should halt your own success because other people around you are going to try and derail you. Understand that for some people the worst thing you can do is give them more money to fund their debauchery. If you actually care about them you won't give them everything (or anything) they ask for.

Also, perhaps you should form closer ties to people of a higher class. That way you're less and less associated with the people who will likely bring you down. No one is an island, and the people closest to you definitely impact where you are in life.
 

AntEmpire

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I actually don't think this post is stupid at all. In fact, I think you're shedding light on some very real issues.

Steve Pavlina actually wrote an incredibly good article about family issues. I've talked shit about Steve before, but I've actually warmed up to him quite a bit after reading his articles. I'll send you the link:
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/01/understanding-family-relationship-problems/

The thing is your family is clearly of a very low socioeconomic status, and they're stuck in their ways. There's no way that the people you describe would ever do anything to help their own situation. They're never gonna change, just accept that fact. If you ever make millions, which I hope you do, you're likely going to have to distance yourself from a lot of your family members. Doesn't mean you need to cut them off, you can help them by making sure they at least eat. But they're going to want a lot of shit from you and they'll going to try to guilt you into giving them everything. I guarantee you that that's what's going to happen. You're going to have to learn to make use of one of the most empowering words: "no".

Does it sound mean to do that while they still live in squalor? Okay well what's gonna happen when someone uses your car in your name, and uses it to run drugs or something? Then suddenly you're being investigated for something you would otherwise want no involvement in, and this sheds a bad light on you despite being completely innocent.

There's not really an easy way to handle this, but there's no good reason you should halt your own success because other people around you are going to try and derail you. Understand that for some people the worst thing you can do is give them more money to fund their debauchery. If you actually care about them you won't give them everything (or anything) they ask for.

Also, perhaps you should form closer ties to people of a higher class. That way you're less and less associated with the people who will likely bring you down. No one is an island, and the people closest to you definitely impact where you are in life.

Thanks so much for this. And the link. I'm always interested in hearing how successful people deal with family issues like money. And no, I wouldn't let them starve or be homeless, but I don't want to end up like a personal ATM like my grandmother until the day I die.
 

BruceWayne

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Interesting post. Not stupid.

I think it's far more black and white, however, than you might think. First, you either choose to go Fastlane or not. If not, no worries. No ones says you must work to make more.

If you decide to go Fastlane, understand that there will be some family issues. There are several ways to deal with this. One of the simplest may be to take a page from MJ's book and move. He's not the only one who found that some distance helped.
 

AlterJoule

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Ant,

You're scared you'll fail. Like everyone else. And again, like everyone else, you make things more challenging and problematic so you have a "valid" excuse not to succeed.


Your fears are remedied by one very simple answer.

They don't need to know shit about your financial situation.


Your dream-life is getting tired of waiting for you. Give yourself permission to succeed and get going already.
 

AntEmpire

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Interesting post. Not stupid.

I think it's far more black and white, however, than you might think. First, you either choose to go Fastlane or not. If not, no worries. No ones says you must work to make more.

If you decide to go Fastlane, understand that there will be some family issues. There are several ways to deal with this. One of the simplest may be to take a page from MJ's book and move. He's not the only one who found that some distance helped.

I agree with this. When I lived away from home, the only time my mother called me was when she actually wanted to talk, because sending money from a distance is a lot harder than simply showing up at my place to borrow money. I'm actually moving to Japan in July, having accepted a teaching position there. This isn't the first time I've moved abroad, but once I return to the states, my intent is not to move back home, but to set up residence in a different state permanently.
 

michael sorgi

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Ahh, The feels.

I know exactly what you mean, but I mainly get it from people I used to be friends with.

I get it a bit from family members, but not near as bad as you. Hell, I only make about 6k a month and I cop the shit a little bit.

I guess we can relate.

But, I have lost a lot of friends ... sorry, I mean "friends" due to making more money. It appears people really hate the word "no" :p
I personally love the word, so I wonder that their problem is ;) LOL!
 

MoneyDoc

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I have a similar family.

When I get asked about my financials, I reply "Doing well enough to pay the bills".
 

RogueInnovation

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Yeah, move away, don't tell them you are getting rich.

I don't even tell my parents I work on businesses, I just say "I'm doing my thing" and change topic.

Parents have a way of cheating you for your time, or your candid opinion on things. Problem is, they don't often earn it, so you just have to be the tough one.
 

Lucifer911

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don't flaunt wealth when you are in their company - money is a sensitive issue for most people. Most lazy people consider wealthy people as lucky people - they never see the process of adversity in building a business. MJ explains this people are too focussed on events (striking rich lottery style) over process (hard work). Create distance between yourself and your family so your fears do not become a reality.
 

JDRose

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You are not alone my friend. I just say yes and I don't expect anything in return because I know they won't have it. I am not rich or successful by any means (yet ;)) but I remember having tears in my eyes the first time I wrote my dad a check because they needed money. It wasn't tears of spite or anything like that, but tears that my dad actually put his ego aside and said he needed something from me. My family is very important to me and I would do almost everything to help out. I am very fortunate to still have both parents and I continuously try to persuade them to get out of the slow lane. Every time I talk to them about finances though they are quick to shut me out like I have no idea what I am talking about. One day they will listen, hopefully. Good luck with your situation, and I hope the best for you.
 

AntEmpire

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I would never flaunt any wealth I may gain. I don't share what I earn at my day job, live well below my means, and aside from another relative who has the Fast Lane mindset (I actually persuaded her to buy MJ's book) I never talk about the business I'm working on.

But the hang up is that, because I actually have a job, I'm viewed as someone who has extra money to give, particularly since I don't have any children. Thankfully, as I've gotten older, I'm beginning to notice the requests for money are not as regular and persistent as they use to be, probably because I've gotten stronger with my no's and better at dodging requests.
 

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