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Money, money, money – read all about it

October 2, 2008 at 7:32 am
Money.

It’s everywhere in the news. It’s the hottest hot button we know. And, when it comes to money we love to lay blame.

In 2005, HCI published a little red book called, The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge: 5 Principles To Transform Your Relationship With Money . It was written by, of all things, two psychologists and a financial planner.

The book had a funny name, but its content was intriguing. It told us that the money issues we experience largely stem from our “money scripts.” These are the self-limiting beliefs about money that drive our behavior. A lot of them stem from our childhood (doesn’t everything?!) Often, it’s what we heard from our parents, like, “money doesn’t grow on trees,” “there’s never enough,” “what goes up must come down,” or even messages that are positive.

From my vantage point as a publicist, back in 2005, the book had a message that would apply to a large audience. We all deal with money. We all had parents. Most of us struggle with money on some level.

The book actually got some coverage in the Wall Street Journal. One of the authors Ted Klontz,appeared on the weekend version of The Today Show.  Impressive exposure, but not enough to move books.

Oh well. Such is life. (I often think we publicists are innately masochistic)

Fast forward to 2008. Financial mayhem. Markets failing. Busy banks with people scrambling to withdraw life savings.

Chaos.

Enter co-author, Brad Klontz (son of Ted and the other therapist author). He publishes a psychological  study that examines money disorders. Ah, it’s not all about externals after all. Dr. Klontz thinks our recession begins internally. Interesting idea.

The media loves it.

I’m happy to say that Brad’s study interested The New York Times. They wrote about it last week. Without mentioning his book. Drat. But, all is not lost. Yahoo Finance called. So did ABC’s 20/20 and a producer from Oprah.

Today, the elder Klontz is being interviewed by Good Morning America. It should air this Monday.

(Please, God, make them show the book – publicists don’t usually pray for media coverage, as far as I know, but why the heck not?)

Better news is that he’ll appear with one of his clients. Her name is Wynona Judd. I asked if we could make her wear a Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge T-Shirt. If only there was time. (Just kidding, sort of.)

I can truly say, with or without publicity, I respect these authors a lot and find their work to be more than just timely. The word important comes to mind. For those who know me well, they would love to see me have my head shrunk by these guys.

Money issues? Not me. Sure, Kim.

I thought I’d share some of the wisdom from the book. I know it probably won’t apply to you and your life (ahem) but, you may want to pass it along to someone in need.  And, remember, sometimes it can take two to three years before a book hits its stride with the media.  Case in point, our mega-seller ‘A Child Called It’ by Dave Pelzer. Two years after it came off press, it hit the big time and hasn’t stopped selling yet. Stayed on the NY Times bestseller list for years.

So, be patient and don’t give up too soon. You, too may be sitting on a sleeper.

Oh, by the way, the little red book has grown a new cover and is now in paperback.

From The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge by Ted Klontz, Brad Klontz, and Rick Kahler:

1. Face Your Fear. You must admit you have a problem before you can solve it. While financial denial relieves stress in the short run, it can lead to financial ruin. Open your bank statements, look at your investments, and take an honest inventory of your financial choices and what they have cost you.

2. Visit Your Past. Self-destructive financial behaviors are often linked to painful financial experiences in your past. Maybe you were poor and could never afford the things you wanted. Perhaps you grew-up wealthy but felt guilty about it. Identifying those experiences and the resulting money scripts that accompany them can help release their grip on your life.

3. Open Your Present. Gaining clarity on your money scripts and where they come from helps open your eyes to your current financial reality. This clarity inspires you to gather information and explore new strategies.

4. Envision Your Future. Identifying your long-term financial goals will help inspire you to make needed sacrifices and take steps to achieving your goals.

5. Transform Your Life. When you get honest about your financial reality, explore your past experiences around money, replace dysfunctional beliefs with accurate ones, and get a clear vision of what you want, you are ready to take action. Find a professional you trust to help you review your goals, asset allocation, and risk tolerance, and create a plan to help you move forward.

Wise words. I hope they help you.

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