Either Inherit or Earn
My father was a school teacher, and my mother was a homemaker. When I was still a rather young lad I realized that there were other children whose parents had more money than mine…and, there were those with less. It hardly mattered in our small town, but those on “Snob” Hill did find some things a bit easier, I guess. Still, until I became a bit older and realized that everything I needed/wanted seemed to have a price tag, I didn’t really pay much attention.
Then, at age 12 I got my first job working for a neighbor, Farmer Bassett, mowing fields, chopping corn, and other assorted farm duties. I remember he told me that he would pay me six bits an hour, and I had no idea how much that was. Well, that was about 30 dollars extra a month for only working 10 hours or so each week, and I liked him and his farm. I probably would have worked for less…maybe free. So, it was a great situation, and I had a little extra money to buy soft drinks and save for a car and college (not my idea, as I recall).
They flooded Mr. Bassett’s farm when they created Lake Ray Hubbard outside Dallas while I was in High School, but I had moved on by then to pumping gas (about 23.9 cents a gallon then) and checking oil at the County Line Service Station where the pay was a bit better and I could get a 10% discount on gas for the 292 V8 gas-guzzler in my 1955 Ford Victoria. I had come to realize that while my family had given me wonderful gifts, money would have to come from my own earnings, and I began to like having the things money could buy.
A brief venture into college football proved that my future was not in professional athletics, so I concentrated on my education. I worked throughout college where I met some incredible entrepreneurs like Ross Perot, spent time in the service, and later moved up rather swiftly into upper management including a time on Wall Street. Sadly, I got overawed by the hypnotic attraction of money, and I earned a great deal and lost a great deal…in relationships as well as money.
There is a point to this little stroll down memory lane, I promise. First, I learned that there are many, many things more important than money. That, however, is a subject for another time. And, no matter how much we want to do things simply for altruistic reasons, the mortgages must be paid, food must be purchased, colleges expect their tuition, and almost everything else has some sort of price tag. We must deal with money effectively regardless of our not wanting to be controlled by it. Tragically, in my almost 20 years in the dental industry, I have observed that this is one of the biggest problems for many dentists. Dentists make a lot of money, relatively, but they also waste a lot of money.