Opportunities

OpportunityYesterday was the last game in the 2014 series of Cashflow financial education days which take place here in Streatham Hill, South London, in my Abundance Shed. Once the clocks go back, I put the games on hold for the winter months until such time as it’s a joy to be back down in my garden office again in spring.

I always learn something from these games as teacher, banker, coach and facilitator, and yesterday was no exception. I’ve been thinking and assimilating overnight about what I learned this time by observing the way players approach opportunities.

The game teaches the principles of financial freedom, namely how to get out of the rat race by making more in passive income than your monthly expenses which then gives you many more choices about how you live your life and what work you do, if any.

The little rats go round and round in circles, buffeted by the market, bouncing from pay check to pay check, having babies and wasting money on doodads a.k.a.  having fun and shopping and buying the things we all need every day. The aim of Rich Dad’s game at this point is to land on an opportunity, big or small, and use whatever cash and resources you have to get into a deal which will enable you to earn some passive income.

The opportunities which present themselves are to buy stocks and shares, invest in property or start or your own business. And in the mix too are a few red herrings, lending money to friends and family, making heart-led purchases which create neither passive income nor have an exit strategy.

Yesterday one of the players began the day very anxious about drawing any opportunity because it meant making a decision. Actually, to be more precise, it meant making any decision about finances. By the end of the day she was confident in her ability to do that, she recognised that she had a good gut instinct for decisions despite her initial anxieties around the financial jargon. And, once confident, her whole demeanour changed back to that of the very able and gifted business woman I already knew her to be. It’s interesting how fearful we can be of the maths. No need, Beloved, no need. As I shall demonstrate when you come and play with me in 2015.

Sometimes we feel in the game (and in life) that opportunities simply do not present themselves, that we just don’t get the breaks. I put on two games during one of these days and usually what happens is that each player gets at least one of those experiences, an easy game where everything comes to them and a harder game where hardly anything does and not necessarily in that order, it can be quite random.

I believe that I create opportunity with my energy and with my anticipation of it and so I often encourage people to sit up, pay attention, get stuck in, allow it, anticipate it, taste it, expect it and manifest opportunity. This is just my strategy. There are plenty more. Some players are just plain lucky. Others expect The Big U to have their backs. You see the opportunities you believe in, the ones you believe are possible for you.

In the morning we play a learning game by the rule book and that feels quite restricting to a group of entrepreneurs, this time four doughty members of my Club 100 where one Cashflow day is included in their membership for free. These intrepid ladies set out on long journeys or made special family arrangements – or both – to free up a day to learn. This is a great start. And I often think that the further a player travels, the more she learns. I can cite precedent for this.

In the afternoon we have a freer game. The rule book goes out the window and we buddy up, doing deals with each other and helping others out, being abundant and collaborating. We realise that playing a solo game is lonely and hard. I also give each player an intermediate hand to play, closer to their real life income and expenditure, whereas in the morning I give them an easy hand while they learn the ropes.

Players are often more engaged by the tougher game and challenged by the amount of opportunities they have to take advantage of in order to get out of the rat race holding a hand which many of us typically have in real life, one of higher income but high expenses to match plus usually plenty of debt to go with it. Sometimes it is exhausting and emotional to be reminded how much work you have to do to get out of the rat race at that level, just like our real lives. Sometimes an abundance of opportunity can feel like a burden.

What’s your attitude to opportunity?

  • Do you give it a wide berth or ignore it because of what it might require of you, ready or not?
  • Do you manifest loads of opportunities and get overwhelmed?
  • Do you block them, or simply not see them?
  • Do you fail to see the value in them to a third party if it’s something which is apparently of no value to you? Despite the fact that each opportunity card says “use this yourself or sell to another player” our natural instinct is to decide Yes/No for ourselves and, if no, simply to put it back in the pack. Initially, at least. Until we learn better.
  • Does opportunity come your way thick and fast or do you just not get the breaks?
  • Do you feel exhausted by the sheer amount of work involved in doing enough deals to get out of your particular rat race, or do you relish those opportunities?

Keep your eyes peeled this week. Opportunities are everywhere. If you don’t see them, change the energy, make a different choice or walk a mile in another’s moccasins. When you learn how to change your attitude to risk, everything becomes an opportunity.

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If playing in one of these Cashflow games sounds like something you need to do, make sure you are on my newsletter list and you will hear when I publish the 2015 schedule.

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