8) Make a commitment
Marriage is a commitment. Marriage requires sacrifice, compromise, patience and tolerance … and marriage requires a written contract issued by an authority (a marriage license). But most people today don’t get married. Living together without the benefit of marriage is popular for a variety of reasons. There is no danger of alimony after a break-up. There is no danger of having your individual assets attacked if your partner does something stupid and gets sued. There is no danger of becoming liable for your partner’s tax liabilities.
But if you look at all of the reasons people don’t get married; they all point to a lack of commitment. They point to an easy exit when things go wrong. They point to a quick way to get un-tangled when times get tough. A marriage is a commitment requiring the taking and sharing of risks, and making that commitment holds one accountable for the welfare and success of the relationship.
This is not a blog about the virtues of marriage though. This is a blog about accountability.
The reasons that people don’t commit to a relationship are often the same reasons that stand in the way of financial success … lack of commitment. If you are sincere in your desire to become a Prince or Princess, commitment which drives accountability is an absolute must. In your business, investments and personal finances, there are going to be tough times. There are going to be times when you make bad decisions, things go wrong or people or circumstances simply refuse to cooperate.
I sat on a plane next to a young woman who is married to a high earner. Despite the fact that the family produced an income of about a half-million dollars per year, she was concerned about their financial future. I asked if they had a written household budget. She said, “why would we need a budget if we are making a half-million dollars per year”? I then asked if they had any savings. She said, “No … and that is what worries me. Why can’t we seem to save any money”? I asked: “When do you plan on writing up a budget”? For her, having a written budget represented a level of commitment to saving that she was not willing to make. A written budget is like a contract with yourself and your partner. So, I said: “You realize that things are not always going to be this way … sooner or later your husband’s runaway income is going to cool off and you are going to have tough times financially”. She replied, “Oh, that won’t happen to us …”. Even acknowledging that the future could be uncertain was a level of commitment that she was not willing to make. I worry for her. I worry for you … the economy is a runaway train right now. But remember, things are not always going to be this way.
Will you be committed to see things through and stay the course? Or will you look for the easy way out? Remember the blog about John Akwari? He made the commitment to finish the marathon and he did so, even though severely injured. Your race towards your Princely right is a marathon, not a sprint. Are you committed to finishing? Write a contract with yourself. Literally sit down and write a contract and sign as both parties agreeing that you are not going to quit when times get tough. Keep it in a safe place and pull it out and read it when you need a push.
BTW … Interestingly, Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., whom I have quoted a number of times, reports in his work “The Millionaire Next Door” that almost 95% of American millionaires are married, and the vast majority of those have been married to the same person for their entire lives. Correlation? Of course! The ability to make a commitment and see it through.