At dinner the other night my five-year-old son started talking about someone being rich. That provided my wife and I with a wonderful opportunity to discuss “rich” with our children (I also have seven-year-old and two-year-old daughters). I asked each of them to define “rich” for me. My son said rich is when someone has a lot of money. My elder daughter said rich is when someone has a lot of stuff. My youngest daughter said she wanted more apple juice. And after a pause… peez!
The answers left me realizing there have been some aspects of our children raising where we haven’t done as good of a job as we should have. To me, “Rich” can and should mean so much more than having a lot of money or a lot of stuff. And my wife and I have been incredibly blessed to experience more richness in our lives than we ever deserve. If my kids think being rich is about money and “stuff”, that means I haven’t shared with them all the ways that we are already rich. I haven’t been living in gratitude. And there are so, so many ways that I am rich, so I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the many things that make me rich:
- I have a wonderful wife that puts up with my idiosyncrasies and the bringing home of my work stress.
- I have three beautiful and healthy children that I love very much. They are constantly teaching me about myself and life.
- Both Melissa and I have loving extended family units that are involved in our daily lives and support us in so many different ways.
- We share a spiritual/religious bearing that provides a reassuring focus of life and brings us closer together as a couple.
- We have great friends who love us for us, and who have been there to support us during difficult time periods of our lives.
- We have a roof over our head, plenty to eat, and no immediate concerns of wants.
- I have a career that keeps me constantly challenged and pushes me to grow, and…
- I have a career that allows me to work daily with intelligent and solid human beings, and…
- I have a career where our “clients” are all people that have found success in some aspect of their lives, and who are so generous with their time in sharing what they have learned in obtaining those successes.
- We were born in a country that, while problems exist, still provides more freedom and opportunity than most anywhere on earth.
With Thanksgiving now upon us, the timing of our family’s conversation about Richness was excellent. It is my favorite holiday. In our business no one, and I mean no one, will be working on Thursday, and very few will work on Friday. It gives us all dedicated and quiet time for us to spend with our families and friends. And a time to reflect on all the ways we are truly rich.
Next month the Altus Insight will get back to discussing the opportunities and challenges of investing in the current age. In the meantime, may I have some more apple juice…peez?
About the Author: Forrest Jinks is CEO of Altus Equity Group Inc and a licensed real estate broker. Forrest has decades of experience as principal in a variety of alternative investment segments including real estate (residential rehab, in-fill development, multi-family, office and retail), debt, and small business start-up (online marketing and site retail). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.