The Dark Side of Financial Abundance

January 14th, 2007 by Steve Pavlina

One thing that holds a lot of people back from becoming wealthy is the fear that their lives will actually become worse in some ways.

There is in fact a dark side to financial abundance, but it isn’t pitch black.

Here are some items that might genuinely concern you if you dramatically increase your income or net worth:

  • Your accounting and tax situation will become much more complicated.
  • Financial mistakes may cost you more than ever.
  • People will treat you differently, including friends and family members.
  • You’ll feel pressured to develop better money management skills, even if you find it absolutely tedious.

Overall these things are largely true.  Wealth has consequences.  However, none of these consequences are serious deal breakers if you’re willing to accept them.  They’re all intelligently manageable.  Plus you’ll have extra money to help you in dealing with them.

Last year my accounting situation did become a lot more complicated.  Erin and I started making too much money — in the form of personal income that is — and the reward for our troubles would be a hefty tax bill from the IRS.  While I’m OK with paying taxes, I have no interest in paying more than what’s legally required.  I’d rather reinvest the extra cash in my business, since I can easily put the funds to more efficient use than the government.

So I converted this sole proprietorship to limited liability company (LLC), and I did an IRS election to have the LLC treated as a C-corporation for tax purposes.  Soon I’ll be setting up payroll for the business, and Erin and I will become employees of our own company.  I’ll finally have a real job!  Instead of having all the business income flow to us personally (and be taxed at the highest personal tax rates), we’ll be keeping a lot of money in the business where it will be taxed at the lower corporate rate.  Although this is a more complex tax situation than the simple flow-through taxation of a sole proprietorship or S-corporation, the net effect is that it will save us thousands of dollars in taxes each year, which means more money to grow the business.

Now to be honest, navigating these changes is a real pain in the backside.  I’d rather be writing articles than trying to make sense of incomprehensible IRS regulations.  Fortunately my accountant is gently guiding me through each step, saving me a lot more money than I would otherwise.  This process isn’t pleasant, but it is tolerable, and it’s helping me make this business more structured, more profitable, and ready for further growth.

In the past I’d have been discouraged by this tediousness.  Now I just accept that it comes with the territory, and taken in that light, it’s not so bad.  Do you ever hold yourself back from earning more money because you don’t want to deal with the accounting implications?  Is that a consequence you’re unwilling to accept?

What about financial mistakes?  Even with good advisors, you’re still going to screw-up now and then.  If you had millions of dollars, would you be paranoid about losing it?  Would you worry about making incorrect decisions?

Although costly mistakes may seem bigger when you lose more money, keep in mind it’s all relative.  In billion-dollar corporations, million dollar mistakes are commonplace.  When you enjoy a lot of financial leverage, so do your errors.  If you have a net worth of $10,000, and you lose $100, it stings a little, but it’s not the end of the world.  Percentage-wise that’s the same as a person with a net worth of $1 million losing $10,000.  It’s tolerable.  Even if you lose it all, you’ll still be OK.  It’s only money.  And if you’re capable of earning over a million dollars, you’re probably capable of doing it again.

What if people start behaving differently around you because you have more money?  That has both positive and negative aspects.  While some people may turn all weird on you because they can’t handle the fact that you have a lot of money, others will turn towards you.  The relationships that don’t resonate with you will drift apart, but at the same time you’ll attract new relationships that are a better fit.  This is a fairly natural process and is really nothing to fear.  If a relationship cannot grow with you, it’s best to let it go to make room for a relationship that can.

As your financial situation improves, you may feel pressure to develop better money management skills.  When you’re in a state of financial scarcity, you feel pressure to make ends meet or to get out of debt.  With financial abundance there’s a different kind of pressure — the pressure to grow your wealth and contribute more.  Having your money just sit there won’t feel right when you know you could be doing something more with it.  While investing can be very profitable, it’s also a means of positive contribution.  You can help others turn their ideas into reality for the betterment of everyone.

If you enjoy financial abundance, will you be a good steward of your wealth?  Do you want that kind of responsibility?

You’ll also encounter problems specific to the way you generate income.  For example, as my web traffic grew, I began having more issues with spam attacks, copyright infringement, and various other problems common to top bloggers.  It didn’t take long to develop good processes for dealing with all of these issues, so none of them are particularly troublesome.  But be aware that as you grow your income, certain problems will grow right along with you.

As I worked towards increasing the financial abundance in my life, I found it helpful to think through issues like these, consider how I’d deal with them, and accept them as part of the landscape.  Rather than major problems or obstacles, they’re simply facts to be dealt with.

This process helped me develop a more realistic understanding of what financial abundance would actually feel like.  Instead of getting stuck in wishful thinking about impractical fantasies, I began holding a more internally congruent intention that was capable of manifesting.  As I explained in a previous article called Manifesting Intentions Without Resistance, for an intention to manifest, we must accept the entire package of anticipated consequences without fear or resistance.  If A causes B, and you intend A without B, you get neither A nor B.  What you get is frustration.

The main benefit of facing the dark side of financial abundance isn’t really the money itself.  The benefit is becoming the kind of person who resonates with financial abundance — someone who’s less fearful, more flexible, more responsible, more organized, and more confident.

As you work to overcome your own limiting beliefs about financial abundance, you’ll gradually develop a stronger character.  You’ll become more proactive, more trusting of yourself, and less sensitive to criticism.  The pursuit of financial abundance is the means to shine a light on your need for growth in these areas.  To attract more abundance, you must create more value for others, which requires that you recognize, accept, and embrace your own value.



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