This week’s Money Master is Bob Wheeler of The Money Nerve. Bob is a CPA with over twenty-five years of experience. His world travels lead him to diverse points on the globe, especially those at high altitudes. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, arrived at Everest Base Camp in Nepal, and conquered several smaller mountains in between. Using his experiences on the road, at the office, or participating in a Greek marathon – his wit as a stand-up comic brings warmth and humor to the subject of money and personal finance.
Bob grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee, and he graduated from Rhodes College. He now lives in Santa Monica, California where he owns an accounting firm and serves as the CFO of The Comedy Store. Learn more at www.themoneynerve.com.
1. What’s your story?
I am a certified CPA in Los Angeles and have been “in the trenches” for over 25 years, listening to people’s stories. People generally have a love/hate relationship with money and I found that many people consistently make financial decisions based on emotional reactions. I realized that when my client’s made choices based from fear, shame, and concern about what others would think; they held themselves back. People can sabotage themselves with old emotional choices or poor decisions and I call that pain and shame a “Money Nerve.”
2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?
As someone who had to carve out a new financial path myself, I encourage people to determine where they are in their journey, help them find a new approach to reach specific goals or destinations, and to learn how to make conscious choices to build a life of abundance. What’s an abundant life? It is a life where you choose what is truly valuable, where you determine your course go and where you have embraced the fullness of life. Living an abundant life is a mindset; not necessarily based on your salary. I have known many rich people who were always poor or in financial trouble. This is a fresh approach to financial thinking!
3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?
You have the power! Stop waiting for your ship to come in – take action to go and find your ship. Be proactive in your financial future, making thoughtful choices ahead of time instead of waiting for “things” to happen for you.
Here are a few thoughts to reflect on as you move forward in your financial life:
Fearful? What are you waiting for? Are you still in the same spot?! For most people, the idea of climbing Mount Everest is scary. The thought of walking along a narrow trail with a three-thousand-foot cliff at its edge may leave you frozen in your tracks. It is literally freezing up there! But with thoughtful planning and eyes on the trail, many small steps will get you to the top.
Most of my adult life has been spent confronting that which I fear most, one item after another. I have finally arrived at a point where I live with minimal fear—and I still have occasional bouts of thoughts of financial fear. I fear a lack of money in my bank account. If I don’t have enough money to cover three months of expenses, I start to worry. I get butterflies in my stomach. I look at my bank account not just for my own sake—I have employees and other responsibilities to think about when it comes to my money.
The most successful people I know are always active. They try new forms of exercise and food; they read books and attend seminars. They are on the lookout for a new way of thinking to stay innovative. They may not be successful in every venture they undertake, but they have so many irons in the fire that one eventually gets hot.
Financial fear can make you stop in your tracks. Not taking a look at your account balances, not making any decisions, ignoring your family, and disregarding your financial advisor are a few examples of how people start to freeze up.
Moving forward doesn’t require a huge step. Every so often, organize everything in your life: the garage, the medicine cabinet, and finances. When I do a personal inventory, it helps me clean out what I don’t need, mentally and otherwise. It will also give YOU a much better idea of where you are and what you have.
Every six months or so, go through your previous budget and look at finances with fresh eyes. To continually make strides, you have to regularly take inventory in all areas of your life. You may be living with fears that no longer make sense and need to be tossed out. Today is the day!