The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wealth Beyond Riches

The entire scope of my teaching, from the original "Lifewriting" to the current "101 Program" has been the question of what happens, what results if I concentrate my attention on BALANCE as opposed to any single aspect of balance.

Originally, I began with "Body, Mind and Spirit," the traditional triangle. Then in study, it became clear that while "body" was very easy to measure, "spirit" was almost impossible. It didn't seem quantifiable at all. But what was true about all major world religions is that they had some version of the "Golden Rule"--"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In other words, the core spiritual teaching of the entire world seemed to be about the integrity of relationships. Relationships are measurable. So I went there. Bingo.

"Mind" for a lot of people is their performance on tests. I say life itself is the only test that counts. And that intelligence is problem solving, and the primary problem to solve, according to Maslow's Hierarchy of human needs, is providing food and shelter. In other words, career.

Applying the triad of fitness/health, relationship and career to my own life was exhilarating, revealing, uplifting, and sometimes embarrassing. But over the years, I noted that there was still something...missing. I noted that in the SF field for instance, there were people who were at the very top of their fields, considered masters, who were still broke. Died broke. Literally couldn't provide for their families. In my own life, I began to notice that I'd made tons of money in novels and television writing, but

1) Had no ability to generate money rapidly--the time lag between cause and effect was so long that the learning curve couldn't accelerate properly.

2) The ability to create "security" in the arts seemed roughly equal to the ability to get struck by lightning at the moment you win the Boston Marathon.

3) Even if I made the money, the uneven distribution of the windfalls made it very difficult to save, budget, or plan. It is similar to the eating habits of people who never know when they're getting more food--your metabolism goes wonky, and you stuff yourself.


Marrying Tananarive, who also made plenty of money on an irregular schedule, heightened my appreciation of the problem. I began to seek an answer, a way to have a bit more control of the process. And that search ultimately led to the questions of management, investment, and production of money as a SEPARATE skill from "career", which in most minds is the attaining of excellence in performance. If I didn't separate them out, it was totally possible to become one of the best in the world...and still die broke.

Happens all the time.

So...body, career, relationships...and money. Four aspects. Spirit? Hey, if you are healthy, happy, productive and supportive in your community, have loving relationships and in control of your immature impulses, I believe Spirit takes care of itself. Spirit is the "wind." The way we are in the world with our energy, our loved ones, our community and our "temple" is the bending of the grass. Is the grass bending? Then the wind is blowing, even if you can't see it.

So, following the pattern of the Hero's Journey, I needed to find allies who understood the aspects of money I did not understand. Went back to "Think And Grow Rich" and re-read, seeking to remember what I'd forgotten, or identify my greatest weaknesses. There were a bunch of 'em. But one was marketing. The ability to promote and sell the goods and services I'd created. And the creation of the Internet opened an entire world market for those who understand sales, marketing, and advertising. What I had to do was find someone an order of magnitude (at least!) better than me at this stuff, who was also willing to teach.

And accidentally (as it often happens), I found my mentor.

I do a lot of radio and teleseminar interviews, and one was for a filmmaking brain-storming group run by a Canadian chap named Andy Duncan: marketing guru, swordmaster, loving father and all-around interesting guy. We hit it off, and he asked me if I'd work with him as a coach as he developed a few new projects. He'd made his money primarily in internet marketing, and I was impressed with the depth and breadth of his knowledge of how to start from NOTHING and make money. And I mean nothing. He specialized in helping people with zero resources build businesses from scratch, and was able to show me a hundred ways I was "bleeding money" in my online business. Wow! I was blown away, and realized that the most profitable relationship I could have with Andy was a straight exchange--I coach him in writing, he coaches me in internet business building. Our relationship grew, and I began to help him with his physical health, and relationships. And over time, we began to see each other as the "yin" to each other's "yang." That together, we could create something better and bigger than either of us could alone.

After three years of talking and planning, the first fruit of these conversations is ready, a project called "Wealth Beyond Riches."

If the idea of having health and balance and love AND building your own business appeals to you, you'll want to pick up the totally FREE "Wealth Beyond Riches" report we created.

This is new territory for me. I'm hyped, and curious about how it will all sort out. If you'd like to discover that for yourself...join me, won't you?


(PSST!! Writers: Interested in Self-Publishing? A huge percentage of internet money is made through the selling of ebooks, PDFs, MP3s, and other forms of...information. The exact same mindsets can work for you!)

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