‘Big-E’ Number 2 – Environment

Today I want to continue looking at the Big-‘E’s (words that start with the letter ‘E’) that will have a major bearing on your financial outcomes in life.

Last time we looked at Emotions and I will probably have more to say about that in another message in the future. This week we look at Big-‘E’ number 2, Environment.

They say that if you look at the average of the incomes of your 10 closest friends you will be looking at your own income. For most people this is true.

The people you mix with and the places you go have a huge impact on your longer term financial outcomes. Choose them wisely!

I think you will find that most parents are pretty protective around who they let their children hang out with and where they are allowed to go. Why is this?

Quite simply, because parents know that if they let their children hang around with poorly disciplined children in unsupervised locations then trouble will be on the way. It’s the recipe for disaster. Impressionable young children can be scarred for life in more ways than one by being exposed to the wrong environment.

I saw many young people choose the wrong company when I was a high school teacher and the outcome was usually not good. It could lead to a downward path where grades would drop and behaviour would degrade. Resentment soon followed and attitude declined. It was really sad to see.

We try to nurture our children so they are not exposed to things that will take away their chance of having a healthy start to life. We do this by controlling the environment they live in.

However, for some reason we don’t treat ourselves as we do our children. Maybe we think that because we are older what applies to them does not matter for us.

There is an old saying that says “Birds of one feather rarely fly”….. Hmmm Actually I think it really goes more like this; “Birds of one feather flock together”.

That is; Successful people hang out with successful people and thieves hang out with thieves.

Who do you hang out with?

Do you hang around with sparrows while hoping to fly like an eagle?

Your friends have already imparted their financial wisdom to you, so if you want to change gears you need to find some more successful people who are in a higher gear than you are. Get to know them and learn what they do differently.

Not surprisingly it is a simple change in WHERE you go that will change WHO you hang out with.

If you struggle to make it from Monday to Friday with the Friday afternoon session at the local pub as your highlight of the week then you may need to consider changing environment. It sounds like your work is not doing much for you and your leisure environment may need a rethink as well!

My 22yr old son has adopted the attitude that employment is a smart way of choosing his environment. After spending a many hours a week for a number of years in an online game environment going nowhere and enduring the nagging from his Dad, he went out and got a base level job working for a large multi-national company and then set himself the goal of learning everything he could from the company in the shortest possible space of time. He has applied for and achieved two promotions in less than 6 months since then.

He reckons he might stay there another year and another promotion and then he will be looking for a new learning environment. Rather than paying to go to University for education he has worked out that he is better off being employed so he can get paid to learn new knowledge and skills and he is mapping out the skills he wants to learn and who can deliver them for him the best.

My friend Nhan Nguyen was a University Student studying medicine but knew he was not in the environment or on the career path he could get passionate about. He found he was more interested in becoming a property investor.

What did he do?

He went to every seminar and presentation he could get to that was about property investing, personal development and wealth creation. He got a job working in a property development company and totally changed his environment so he was getting paid to learn what he was interested in and he automatically started mixing with more successful people.

Between the age of 23 and 30 he did 70 property deals worth over $20million and he is just getting started!

Bob was frustrated with his career path and thought he would love to learn about commercial property so he took a pay cut to get a job with a commercial real estate company and put his head down learning all he could from his clients and his new environment.

Eight years later he had learnt enough to purchase a multi-story office block using other people’s money and renovated it and re-sold it making almost $8 million in the process. It wasn’t just what he learnt that made the difference, but also who he was aligning himself with along the way.

How is your environment contributing to you personal development? Are you earning and learning or earning and yearning?

Join a service club, go to seminars, join a group who regularly play the board game CashFlow 101. Read educational books of successful people’s life journeys. Listen to CD’s and mp3’s by successful people.

Your Environment has a huge impact on your life’s outcome. Choose it well. It is something you do have choice over. You don’t have to be a passenger; you can be the driver if you really want to be.

Start by stepping back and having a really good look at your current environment. Is it assisting you? If not, what can you do to change it? If so, what can you do to improve it?

Do you hang around the shops for entertainment and find you keep over-spending? Change that environment and you will instantly change your financial direction. You will be amazed at how much less you spend when you don’t go near the shops and how much you can change about yourself by choosing a better environment.

If you put yourself in the Lion’s den you will get eaten by Lions.

Changing direction without changing environment is extremely difficult. All the temptations and distractions will soon lure you away from your intentions to change. Move to another environment and remove the temptations. Success will be much easier.

Monitor yourself regularly and always ask yourself the question, what in your environment needs to change to make changing ‘you’ much easier!

That’s all for today.

Back again next time with Big-‘E’ number 3.

David Wright




CashFlow Clinics are a great environment to learn how to take control of your money. Go to https://simplybudgets.com.au/cfcoaching for more info.


I’m in Adelaide this Saturday, Melbourne on the 30h of April and Perth in Mid May.