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The Only Free Cheese is in the Mousetrap

Posted By: Randy GageMarch 3, 2010

A trip I made to San Francisco demonstrated some interesting lessons on prosperity consciousness.  I stayed at the Palace hotel.

The Palace was established in 1875 and was the belle of the San Francisco social scene for almost a century.  Then it faded from glory, a ghost of her once illustrious past.

Now after many millions of dollars and a complete renovation, the Palace is once again, The Palace.  If the freshly decorated splendor doesn’t convince you, then the $1.50 surcharge for local phone calls will.  Which raises an interesting prosperity issue…

In Vegas, I conducted a Mastermind Council Retreat at the Aladdin Hotel.  We selected that hotel because some of the Council members were grumbling about the high hotel rates on some of our exotic trips.  So I went along with the idea of having one luxury trip a year, and one more affordable.

Two minutes inside the Aladdin made me realize what a mistake that was.  (Although I had my suspicions when the taxi driver told me that everyone he picked up there complained about it, and that there was no water pressure or hot water on the top floors.)

Now it’s hard to believe that you can spend over a billion dollars building a place and have it not be nice.  But if you need proof, the Aladdin’s the place.  The world’s first billion-dollar-dump.

But back to our prosperity dilemma…

One of my attendees complained that the Aladdin was charging him 25 cents a page to make some copies.  I told him to get over it and concentrate on more prosperous things.

Easy for me to say – until I found out they were charging me $25 a day to work out in the fitness center that you would expect to find in a Holiday Inn.

No, I take that back.  I apologize Holiday Inn.

So the question is where does prudently managing your money end, and prosperity begin?  It’s a fascinating issue…

I had a fresh fruit cup and granola for breakfast at the Palace which set me back about twenty-five bucks.  Not even a block down the street, there’s a McDonalds where I could fill up for $2.

I think I’ll stick with the Palace.

First, I’m eating a breakfast that will prolong my life, not shorten it.  The orange juice is fresh squeezed, and there was a beautiful blue glass vase with two fresh-cut roses on my table.  Classical music was playing over the sound system and gentlemen were pulling out chairs for ladies.  I realized that I was the only guy without a sport coat or jacket on.  At breakfast!

The dining room itself is a four-story glass atrium with towering marble columns that could serve as an Opera house in many areas of the world.  Tourists are walking by just to gawk at the ceiling.  There is a large round table in the center with a floral arrangement that costs more than ninety percent of the world pays a month for rent.  There are enough ferns and other greenery in here to stock an aviary.

Can you really compare that with sitting on a plastic bench, staring at Ronald McDonald memorabilia, choking down food with enough cholesterol to drop a stallion?

And I think that’s the difference in a lot of cases.  The choice between something and a lower priced alternative offers quite a contrast.  Even when the ingredients would appear to be the same.  Since we’re on the breakfast theme, let me use the examples of the restaurants on the Hollywood Boardwalk back in Florida.

There are about a dozen restaurants all fighting over the same Canadian tourists.  So they’ve all adopted the low price model.  They all offer a special of two eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage, coffee and toast for prices from $1.99 to $2.99.  If I were in the mood to eat that kind of fare, I would rather go someplace else and pay $15 or $25.

Why?

I will get grade A, large eggs, cooked in vegetable oil, not bacon grease.  I’ll get real butter on my toast (if I wanted it), instead of something that comes out of a squeeze bottle.  And I can order fresh squeezed orange juice instead of some pasteurized, processed liquid of unknown origin.  Even better, I will get clean silverware, and I will be eating off a table that wasn’t wiped with a towel containing more germs than the floor of a porno theater.  (Not that I would know anything about that!)

So while the ingredients may seem the same on the surface, they usually aren’t.  That’s a myth started by people who have never tried the luxury model of something.  I’ve discovered a universal truth about prosperity:

The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.

That last sentence encapsulates everything you need to know about prosperity.    So what do you think?

Is it over the top to pay $400 a night for a hotel room, when there are others available for $89?  What about $800 a night?  What about a $4,000 a night suite?

What do you think about paying $10,000 for a purse?  There were several available in the Bellagio shops.  Along with a gorgeous $10,000 ostrich coat.  (Which I saw on my break, and was already sold when I went back with my wallet.)

Can you justify spending $5,000 for a pair of shoes when there are children starving in Africa/school systems going broke/diseases needing research money/the polar ice caps melting/etc/etc?

So here are the issues…

How many of your price decisions are made based on the actual value received?  Or are you holding back because you feel you aren’t worth the extra money?  Does going for the luxurious choice bring up feelings of guilt?  Are you surrounded by people who will disparage or ridicule you if you spend “too much” on yourself?   Please check in below with your thoughts.

-RG

67 comments on “The Only Free Cheese is in the Mousetrap”

  1. Good morning Randy! I have given this lots of thought...and I think, for me, the real key question would be...if I choose to spend only $100 today vs $10,000 because my mind is always on starving children, the number of homeless people in the world and/or any of the other major heartbreaking issues in the world...

    ...am I going to actually use the other $9.900 in a way that will help alleviate any of the issues facing people worldwide?

    Or do I just use a statement about world hunger/homelessness to justify my own choice of what to spend on something to make myself feel better, in the moment..and haven't backed up my verbal concern with any dollars or actions put towards helping those so in need worldwide?

    🙂

  2. It comes down to that 'self-worth' question, doesn't it.

    Even if you really don't have the money for a $1000 pair of shoes, you should be looking at the best quality you can afford at that time in your life. You're worth it.

  3. THere was an interesting article last week that Warren Buffet only takes a salary of $100 000 and has done for 20 years...

    Worth billions, he knows his worth, yet would rather give the rest to furthering his investments or giving to charity.

    I found that fascinating...

    Then there's beloved you who spends $9000 on 10 tailored shirts because you like the fit and quality...

    It's been something that wars in my mind:

    * I want to make a massive difference one earth
    * I want to be astonishly beautiful...

    Yet the thoguht that the money should go to "better" places has kept me in poverty and also meant I have less money to do amazing things in the world.

    So the realisation and challenge for me is transforming this to beleiving that I can have BOTH...

    ANd that UNLESS I am sustainable and wealthy I have no integrity going into poverty zones to teach them how to change their economy. I HAVE to be wealthy for them to be inspired by what you can do with money.

    I have a friend who's a millionaire - and finds your rich taste off putting. He says he can good get quality shirts in Saville Row without paying that amount.

    He often feels rather stingy. You are rather generous.

    Because he pinches himself - it shows up in his life. While you have a more flowing open energy....

    Hmmmm...

  4. This is the line that really hit me ...
    "Or are you holding back because you feel you aren’t worth the extra money? Does going for the luxurious choice bring up feelings of guilt?"

    My answer was yes.
    How sad is that?

    I've always gone for the cheaper version, telling myself I'm 'frugal' and that I am a good steward of the money I have.

    I rummage through Goodwill and consignment stores because I'm a 'bargain hunter' and believe in the whole 'reuse, recycle' mantra.

    But I just realized that it's a coverup - I'm lying to myself.

    What lies underneath is poverty thinking and what I call my Bag Lady syndrome.
    Ie. "No matter how much you have now, it could all be gone in an instant, so you better hold on to it!"

    So Randy, where do you draw the line between opting for luxury or the best you can afford, and not wasting money?

    Is it better to have $1000 purse, or a $500 purse and $500 in the bank.... "for a rainy day"?

    Or is planning for that rainy day also just lack thinking in a clever disguise?

    This is where my dilemma lies. And I believe it's the crux of so much non-expansion in my life and as such, requires some deep investigation.

    Not later .... now!

    I look forward to further discussion on this subject.
    Bliss and blessing and thanks,

    the Goddess known as Jacqui

  5. Dana's comment reminded me to stop and think "am I really making my purchases based on a "giving or sharing" heart; or just making excuses for the fear of enjoying moreprosperity for me?" I choose the $1,000.00 pair of shoes vs $10,000.00 pair then what happens to the remainder? I did not give the $9,000.00 away to anyone in need.

    I am focusing on building my prosperity to the point where I can purchase a $10,000.00 pair of shoes and still give all I desire to help the world. Whatever that looks like.

    Thanks Randy and Dana

  6. Most of my buying decisions are based on value, most.

    However, I have fallen into that trap of saying I would never fly first class or stay at a first class hotel, until I was bumped to business class on a flight to Hong Kong and realized I was well worth it.

    But then again, when in Thailand I will always visit my favourite street vendor for her fantastic soup.

    I always believe you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to service.

  7. I have friends who earn millions a year after taxes, all their expenses and contributions... who buy off the sales rack at Kohl's or Penny's and on their birthday Macy's but always the sales rack. Naturally if I were to wear my $100 leather jacket from Kohl's I am chastised for how it looks or fits or something. IF I wear the $1000 leather jacket I purchased in Vegas after bartering it down from $4900 I am laughed at for having paid that much for a leather coat.

    Too many crazy people in the world.

    If you have to justify what you do to yourself it is time for check up from the neck up. Who cares what others think or say. Really. As a child I was told [a lot] remember when you point a finger at someone you are pointing three back at you.

    Enjoy the day first, last, all ways and always.

  8. I think that there is a time when having the finer things in life is very important (like Heinz Ketchup vs. Catsup). But I also think that some times people spend money frivolously on things that they don't really need. I don't think that anyone should deny themselves the finer things in life, but you should look at those things in terms of "is it a need, or a want?" If you need a new coat, I say splurge on yourself... most often you get what you pay for. BUT, if you are constantly buying new coats just because you 'can' well... is there another place that that money could be better served? Probably. I think when it comes to what you are putting inside of your body, it's very important... but when it comes to material things... I think that it's important to know when enough is enough. Make sense?

  9. Wow!! What a powerful question!

    I will apply that.

    Might I be using my decision to buy a lower-priced item as a way to be "right" or to brag about my choice? Would I make the same choice if NO ONE ever learned of my purchase, be it the lesser or higher priced item?

    1. Personally, I don't care what others think about my purchase. It took me a while to realize that thrift shopping and bargain hunting are NOT EFFICIENT if you are making somewhat decent living. In my experience I ended up with things that I hardly ever use but bought because it was cheap, almost free! Who cares if it's free if you don't need it or don't like it? If you put your garbage bag with "Free" sign on it on a sidewalk, it will be gone in no time. Other magic words are "Sale", "Clearance" (I'm a victim of those too, don't get me wrong. This is not to criticize anyone). Get out of that mentality! There ARE people that can benefit from GoodWill stores but before making the trip there ask yourself, am I really that poor or I'm afraid to be poor so I better hold on to the money? The fact is YOU CAN NEVER HOLD ON TO YOUR MONEY! It will always find ways to leave you so might as well get the best out of it.

  10. I feel it's not about the price of the coat/purse/etc, whether it is a $50 jacket or a $5,000 jacket. It's about who you become when you put on the jacket.

    Can you wear a $50 jacket and still walk across the room as a confident and secure person, knowing that your "true self worth" has little to do with the price of the jacket?

    Conversely, can you wear a $5,000 jacket and maintain poise and grace, and not shout at the waiter or sneer at the jockey, knowing that the $5,000 jacket does not make you "better" than the waiter or jockey? :o)

  11. I like how you ended the post today that price is a reflection of value and I think you can get a very poor value despite the price being high. I think you need to separate value from added marketing but that value is often added through the experience and intrinsic value of the product or service at hand.

  12. You know, that's a good point Randy & Dana. I hadn't thought of it that way. Yes, people say that all the time about people starving all over the world (as an example), etc etc....but the same people never really do anything to curb these issues. Even if they do not spend the other $9,900 on that particular thing at that moment, as a whole people will still contribute to these same world issues they talk about i.e. by pollution & waste etc...never really taking action toward helping. Not saying that's everyone, but the main people I hear using that excuse still do not do anything to really help. Just an excuse to continue the cycle of poverty and lack consciousness. More than likely even if they had the money to buy an expensive item with, they would just buy it right there on the spot anyway. Behind that sounds like feelings of not deserving a thing and guilt too.

  13. Sometimes the sheer word "luxury" can trigger feelings of guilt.

    Randy, you posed the idea of prices on hotel rooms. A several hundred dollar suite can be just the pampering I'm looking for. On a more practical side, the severe allergy to cigarette smoke necessitates staying in a hotel room that has never been smoked in- so $150 per night is about the "least expensive" I can use. Money can be a godsend to provide a healthy environment for me.

    I am a firm believer in getting the best quality I can afford. Many times when that quality has an obvious physical difference I feel as if I'm wearing a target on my back.

    Some of my hesitation to buy "luxury" items or experience "luxury" can be traced to feeling awkward or vulnerable. What is the protocol for attending a "society" function? What are the unwritten rules of the event which everyone else seems to know, but I don't? How do I take care of this new item? Will I be "overcharged" for repairs now that I drive a Mercedes? Yes the parts tend to cost more than for a Focus, however I'm speaking of the labor charges.

    I am outgrowing the lifestyle of my childhood and growing into a more affluent lifestyle. Sometimes I feel caught in the middle, like a "financial teenager."

    OK, so I'm taking a leap of courage to discuss these ideas. I am diving deeply into these issues with professional help, too.

  14. Jeffery,

    I hope you don't mind me replying to you directly. Your comment is very much in alignment with how I feel and I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Patty

  15. Randy,

    This is a huge debate and one I really don`t want to get in the ring with you on. I know how you feel about it.

    I would love to be able to spend whatever I wanted on whatever I wanted. Not the case at this point in my life,

    But I do believe with all my heart and soul, that even if I could afford a $10,000 coat, I would not buy it. I can justify spending a couple hundred on a magnificent pair of comfy, quality shoes, or clothing that will never go out of style but $10,000 on a coat is just, well, ridiculous.

    Now, I do believe in buying quality and class when you can afford it, but to spend money on extravagant things just because you can, in my opinion is wasteful and selfish. Nice things, luxury thinsg, knock yourself out but when it gets ridiculous, thats where I have to draw the line.

    Just my opinion.

    Thanks for asking!

    Susan

  16. Randy - Thanks again for bringing yet another topic into broad daylight.

    I know that this is something I continue to work on. Of all the evil things to think - I'm afraid of someone telling me that I spent too much on something.

    Perhaps this is a indication of even a more festered root. Maybe I'm addicted to others' approval?

    Time to nip that in the butt..

  17. "Can you justify spending $5,000 for a pair of shoes when there are children starving in Africa/school systems going broke/diseases needing research money/the polar ice caps melting/etc/etc?"

    I laugh when I hear this arguement because if you really stop and think about it ... it's better for the enviroment/world to have one person buy a $5,000 pair of shoes they love then to have 1,000 people buy cheap ass $5.00 plastic/stuffed junk at Disney World or the dollar store that eventually collects dust and ends up in the landfill.

    The enviromental and social impact of mass producing cheap stuff is a lot harder on us (in my opinion) then creating beautiful enviroments, experiences and goods that create lasting memories, meaning and value.

    Bring on the $5,000.00 pair of shoes...and may they come in red!
    Jeanne

    (BTW- one of the biggest causes in my life, is supporting a girls school in Sudan, Africa. Shoes and social outreach are never exclusive of each other for someone who is awake to the joy of experiencing both.)

  18. You just helped me change my plans for the trip I am going to take in April to attend a business workshop. I am staying at the Marriott instead of "roughing it."

    Thank you.

  19. Great article Randy,

    When I traveled in clinical research, whether in Vegas, Boston, Indy, Miami, or Cancun, they made sure I stayed at 5* places. All expenses paid, never batting an eyelash.
    Fast forward to the non-profit world. We have contracts with LaQuinta & must try to attempt to find the best rooms for the price available. They even quibble if per chance someone charges us tax...God forbid. I do understand that we are paying for things with "donors $$" but.....trust me.....I see the appropriation of funds.

    How does the difference in the 2 scenarios make me feel? The difference b/t feeling like a queen or a slave child.
    Of course I would much rather prefer the Venetian over LaQuinta.
    The Fiesta Grande Americano is of course my choice. Fresh fruits I can't even pronounce, waiters pulling my chair and placing my napkin on my lap....fresh flowers....staff spoiling me to the max.
    Or....LaQuinta Inns (not even the Suites line) where you can close your eyes and walk to the waffle iron, boiled eggs & yogurt b/c everyone of them have the same system. Let me add...do you know how hard it is to eat healthy there? I am thankful I follow portion control and can get by with a yogurt and fruit!

    I am like my friend "The Goddess".....I purchase from resale shops. I do this, not b/c I necessarily have to, but I love to. I don't have a bag-lady mentality. I look for designer things b/c of the merchandise quality. Vintage store owners here in Dallas do the same thing....I just cut out their step! 10K purses/coats are fab, I am just not hung up on that. Now talk to me about having a Bugatti/Prevost Bus w/ driver/villa in Tuscany/cottage in Costa Rica/condo in Brazil near the M.O.R.E. Project & we can chat! It is just where your passion is.

    Traveling to third world countries has made me realize.....I can sleep anywhere and eat anything. I am easy to please. While on this subject....I agree with the statements about being thrifty b/c there are starving kids. Unless the people are staying in budget motels & sending the difference b/t the cost and that of the best hotels.....please don't criticize if I choose not to follow your lead. I never think of starving kids when I book a hotel. I think of them when I send my support, out of love, not guilt!

    The Palace is my kind of place. I abhor the "Aladdin" experience.
    Do you think their experience was memorable at the Aladdin? Do you think they went away thinking Randy Gage & this conference was off the chart? I think they remembered the water pressure/ cleanliness!

    I am sooooooo worth the luxury! My current income, while abundantly increasing, restricts my pleasure purchases--for now--, but.....I am def worth it. That is why I will work, building a prosperous biz and experience the feeling, sharing it with others and teaching them how to overcome poverty mentality. As you prosper it is not to flaunt...it truly builds belief, instills hope that others can make it too. LaQuinta's never do this for them! LOL!

    As always....thanks RG!
    G

  20. As I read all the comments the first thing that comes to mind is the real question you pose, which is "Are you worthy?". The answer is yes and no, and it's the 'no' part that keeps me hunting for bargains. And yes, I do often spring on things I enjoy that cost more than I would normally spend.

    Shifting completely our belief systems is something that requires much work and attention. And then there's the REALITY that spending the kind of money you do on things when income is nil (I'm in the early stages of starting a new business), isn't logical. So then the question that arises is: "Even though I KNOW I'm worthy, do I spend more because I know I'm worthy of quality, but in reality should not? " Hmmmm.

  21. I agree with you Randy. The only free cheese is in the Mousetrap!

    That been said, I think it's very alright to pay a lot for a room, if you can afford it...

    Paying $40,000 a night for the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas is really something out of the ordinary! I imagine you can't really feel bad while in the experience!

    And so is giving $40,000 to save hundreds of kids in your local community. Both are great feelings. And both WILL NEVER BE COMPARED AS THE SAME for the masses. Not for people that see prosperity as something finite.

    If you can afford it, get both! Get the good stuff for yourself AND help others.

    It also applies to objects or material stuff. Some people get positive emotions from wearing fashion clothes. They FEEL better about themselves and find the experience way more appealing than NOT HAVING it in their lives.

    I personally tasted both experiences and most of the time (not always) the luxurious way of life is (as Charlie Chaplin would put it) "more comfortable and secure". That doesn't mean we absolutely need it to be happy, comfortable or secure...or any other emotion for that matter.

    As far as the "guilt trip" goes, again it all depends on who you are as a person. I don't think that money states who you are. I think money only enhances the person and it's actions. If you're an a**hole with money, you are just a rich a**hole! On the other hand, if you're a generous person by nature (or you learned to become one) well, you're probably going to give more money than all your family and friends combined!

    I think these questions would definitely not be interpreted the same way by someone who's living a poverty, a mediocrity, an average, or a prosperous lifestyle. They would all say very different things... 🙂

    Good questions Randy!

    Sincerely,

    Adrian Bolosin
    http://www.formation101.com
    Personal Development in French

  22. Hey! I haven't been around for a bit, but I've been thinking about this issue lately. Randy, it seemed you were heading towards a =n opinion that seemed to change in the middle of your post... lemme show you what I mean:

    "I told him to get over it and concentrate on more prosperous things.

    Easy for me to say – until I found out they were charging me $25 a day to work out in the fitness center that you would expect to find in a Holiday Inn."

    Now, just because something has a higher price DOES NOT mean that it has more VALUE.

    We all talk about this "perception of value" being the high point of marketing, and yet if all we do is increase perception instead of actually adding value, what are we doing?

    Timberland increased business SOLELY by tripling it's price. They did NOTHING else.

    Your hotel, charging you $25 for a terrible gym actually DECREASED your feeling of prosperity, didn't it? I absolutely HATE paying a lot for a terrible experience.

    If we can increase our prosperity by paying for high-quality experiences, aren't we DECREASING it even more when we pay a lot for low-quality ones?

  23. You don't have to get into the ring, I promise. 🙂 Alas the ostrich coat was gone, so I couldn't buy. But I do have $10,000 custom shoes and bespoke suits and can tell you they are simply delicious!

    -RG

  24. Is it OK to spend $10,000.00 on a coat? YES!

    Life is consciousness! Rich or starving we are where are from what we hold in mind.

  25. It's really not about the cost of the coat but how we either work in God's economy or the economy of greed and selfishness. Prosperity is a state of mind. I know of folks who have plenty of money but have chosen to be "frugal" ( or stingy ) living in a mindset of fear and money hoarding instead of using their financial substance to better the lives of others as well as enjoying the fruits of their labors ( thus the 10,000 $ coat) And I know people who have very little actual $$$ but are very wealthy indeed.

  26. I'm in full agreement. There is a terrible thinking -- poverty mentality I call it -- that says wealth bad poverty good. It is one thing to find oneself in the circumstance of poverty or no money as just that, a circumstance, not a way of being.

    There is something much worse I think than being in the temporary circumstance of poverty, and that is what sometimes appears to be a kind of pride in poverty. This thinking is what keeps people from creating wonderful things in their lives. Like if someone is working to change their temporary poverty circumstance, and the people around them who are proud of their poverty are resentful of one's victories.

  27. I wonder about this question all the time. One thing that cracks me up is people criticizing the wealthy for how they spend a fraction of their income (while giving & growing assets with the rest) as they spend 110% of their own income grumbling on barely- get- by street.

  28. My wife insisted I buy the jacket she saw the other day for €73 instead of the recommended €199. Did I feel good about it? Like **** I did. When times are tough, sometimes that free cheese might not taste so bad. But it's where you get it from that matters. The mousetrap will kill any hint of prosperity consciousness you have. It'll snap and hold you in that place and you'll soon find that shopping in Aldi and TK-Max become standard.

    Wandering the supermarket aisles looking for that cheap orange juice you got last week, and trying to figure out which way is best to preserve that half a Red Pepper that wan't used at dinner leads to a pathetic life filled with little but one's own thoughts of a paltry unfulfilled existence. So much so that it becomes normal. Next step - WELFARE.

    Penny pinching and frugality will drag you down, until that way of life becomes dominant in your psyche.

    Randy is so right with this stuff. Nice timing (for me) Mr. Gage. Thanks.

  29. $10,000 on a coat. Think of the cheque that would be getting sent to my chosen charities every month. Like they say in the ads "because your worth it"

    Have a great day

    I

  30. Hey Randy,
    Thanks for starting such a great debate.
    This week I had the perfect experience to illustrate your point - I needed an extended IPhone battery and the one I wanted comes with a hard-shell case. From the airtime supplier it's GB£70 but I bagged a "bargain" on a friend's recommendation - a Far East made clone of the exact same design for US$17 INCLUDING insured airmail - BARGAIN!!!!!!

    Well, No. Apart from not having the instant gratification of getting it the same day (although it came very promptly), when it did arrive it was disappointing, a very poor fit on the phone and has an intermittent fault which means you can only use it sometimes!
    Lesson learned and I got a returns authorization from the vendor and promptly went to buy "the real thing". The friend who recommended the cheapo one thinks I'm nuts for spending the GB£70, and should wait for the refund to hit my paypal and buy another!
    For me, I'll add the refund amount to my tithe this week and make sure it does some good (although in honesty I may not have thought of that till I read some responses on here, thanks guys you inspire me sometimes!).

    Now - the debate over whether it's prudent or irresponsible to blow 10 grand on a coat, pair of shoes, whatever. My $0.02 is that it's down to the individual to decide whether or not they're going to get "value" whether it be in terms of years of good service or just feel good factor, or a combination of both.
    It's nobody else's business although they're welcome to their opinion and I'd fight for their right to hold and express that opinion, it doesn't mean I agree and it doesn't mean I'm going to do things their way!

  31. I am thinking that if people are in debt, they would need to get out of debt to become more prosperous. So they might not choose to spend the money now on some things so that they can enjoy them later. At the same time, it is worth buying the best shoes, vitamins, healthy food, etc. that you can afford to be healthy now & in the future. I think we shouldn't sacrifice our health but also need to get out of debt. And including some fun in our lives now as we work towards prosperity. These things are based on my values. Other people may have different values and may think other things are more important than the things I place importance on.

  32. Randy, So far my favorite comment?

    "they are simply delicious!"

    EXACTLY. And that comment is about shoes! Wooo!!! How divine and wonderful!

    The bottom line is prosperity and abundance not only recognizes but celebrates the 'AND' word.

    You CAN have this AND do that and order that AND do this!

    We can thoroughly enjoy life AND be social conscious as well!

    Sounds like the majority of us grew up with the teachings of 'you can't have your cake and eat it to'.

    WTH? Why NOT?? I teach my kids, 'babies, you can have it ALL. There ARE no limits. GO for it. Rock on.

    So many generational stinkin thinkin teachings to undo.

    But we're rockin it hard, so we'll get there.

    Kindest Regards,

    Jhanna

  33. Hi Randy,
    Questions?

    Okay, here goes:

    YOU_Can you really compare that with sitting on a plastic bench, at McDonalds, choking down food with enough cholesterol to drop a stallion?

    ME_No, there is no comparison. Personally I would rather go hungry then to eat at McDonalds.
    Cholesterol is not the only thing in question here. I have no idea what's in that stuff that drives my kids to crave it. Maybe one day we will know. For now I'll leave it to say, I just don't think it's good for you.

    YOU_The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.

    YOU_That last sentence encapsulates everything you need to know about prosperity. So what do you think?
    ME_That is the bottom line. I think you're totally right! 🙂

    YOU_Is it over the top to pay $400 a night for a hotel room, when there are others available for $89? What about $800 a night? What about a $4,000 a night suite?

    ME_When you open the door for prosperity you close the door on LACK. Concern for lack of funds would be the only reason for consideration here.
    In that "concern" you are not reinforcing prosperity.
    There must not be any doubt that these things are available to you for your enjoyment.

    YOU_
    What do you think about paying $10,000 for a purse? There were several available in the Bellagio shops. Along with a gorgeous $10,000 ostrich coat. (Which I saw on my break, and was already sold when I went back with my wallet.)

    ME_Me personally. I just don't care honestly. I don't carry a purse. And I FEEL somethings are needless. If that ostrich coat will keep me warm in 30 below then it's worth that much!
    Another question might come into mind is "Just hot will my ass look in that coat?" LOL Of course!

    You_Can you justify spending $5,000 for a pair of shoes when there are children starving in Africa/school systems going broke/diseases needing research money/the polar ice caps melting/etc/etc?

    ME_If it is that I bought a pair shoes however much they cost. then I am blessed to receive them.
    God's provides for those who give back. Who are seeking after the well being of others. It's hard to explain that you become selfless and not self seeking.
    ( But you do/will receive the benefits)

    YOU_How many of your price decisions are made based on the actual value received?
    ME_I will spend the money for the qualtilty that I recieve. But sometimes you get a bargain and I love it! There's a old saying that goes "Something is only worth as much as one is willing to pay for it." I know there's truth in that.

    YOU_Are you holding back because you feel you aren’t worth the extra money?
    ME_No, You get one life, one go around. I intend to live life in it's fullest.

    YOU,_ Does going for the luxurious choice bring up feelings of guilt?
    ME_No, Quilt is sick. I am not sick and Life is short, be happy.

    YOU_ Are you surrounded by people who will disparage or ridicule you if you spend “too much” on yourself?

    ME_I do not surround myself with negative people.

    I am a funny creature. I will go without to get what I want but
    I am not real materialistic.
    There are things that I like that are spendy like diamonds, not gaudy things. I'm too thin to wear things like that.
    I LOVE hot-rods and Harleys.

    It's the life style, it's divine.
    I won't stop till it's mine.
    And that's not EGO, it's truth.

    ~Debbie:)
    MontanaDreamaker

  34. The balance of prudent spending and prosperity. Do we feel we deserve the good stuff and without any guilt? There's the issue. One thing I must say. If anyone judges the amount I spend on myself I just have one thing to say - It's none of their business - and maybe they should channel their energy into something more useful and prosperous rather than using it to judge others. Prioritize your needs and buy what you can comfortably afford. Also know what it is that you're buying - spend prudently. As a matter of fact, I think spending prudently and prosperity go hand in hand.

  35. great post.... love it.... makes me think ....

    For me, its not so much about spending $10,000 on shoes, coat, a suit or not, its not so much about spending $89 or $4,000 a night at a hotel, its more about choices.

    Its one thing to wish to spend a night in a $4,000 hotel room, and another to having the means to do so; there is no doubt about it. Having that kind of disposable cash makes life a wonderful world filled with choices, real, tangible choices with immediate results.

    There was a time I would just say WTF and blow the savings account for the experience, and the flip side where a $2,000 room wasn't meeting my needs for my visit.

    Blowing the savings account at the time gave me a sense of freedom, a feeling of control, not to mention a day and a night of luxury I never before experienced. Once I had the experience I vowed to make this a regular part of my life. The experience was better than a picture on a fridge, and had more of an impact on me than any mind movie, or a thousand motivational pep talks could ever have.

    when I think about when i was just starting out, young, alone, two monthly commission checks still not arriving in my mail box, checking account dangerously low, there I was sitting in my beautiful apartment, with one set of silver ware, and one set of fine plate ware, one chair at my gorgeous dinning table, a single chair in my living room, and one of the most comfortable mattresses I ever slept on at the time on the floor in my bedroom. Thoughts of wishing I had not paid so much for a chair and mattress I could have bought a TV and VCR, or I could have more gas in my car, or more food in my expensive fridge or at least more money in the bank at the time.

    I had to snap myself out of that focus and it was difficult at first, over time I have learned that success does have a price and so does poverty. I would gladly pay the price for success over the price of poverty any day.

    Success does have its rewards. $5,000 shoes, $10,000 coats, $10,000 bags, those are fine; however for me those are not the rewards of success. For me it’s the freedom of choice, free to pay all my bills before they arrive, the freedom to travel, to live, to eat, and to be the best me I can be. Poor or wealthy, I think if we are not careful we can become a slave to our money, poor always pinching pennies and wealthy showing the world they have arrived.

    I am eagerly looking forward to your up coming post and your thoughts about what to do when someone first gets the money. So often this topic is overlooked by the other leaders.

    Great post, and as always thankful for your sharing this part of your world and life, really appreciate it.

    Love, peace n harmony....

  36. Randy,

    I know this is slighty off topic, but I have been reading some of Ayn Rand's work recently and noticed some parallels between your values and some expressed in her work. Who are some of your other inspirations?

    Love learning from you and everyone else here.

    Definitely can and when able, buy a quality product/service. Leaving old values behind that do not serve me. What good can I do if I am not prosperous?

    Thanks a billion!

  37. Randy, I used to feel guilty about driving a Mercedes Benz to the point that I once nearly traded one for a cheaper vehicle as I had talked myself into believing that people wouldn't do business with me because they might think that I think I'm better than them".

    A client once commented saying something like, "Who's car is that? We must be paying you too much". And he wasn't joking.

    I politely replied. "Graham, if having that car causes me to give you bad service then I will sell it but if the car makes me feel great every time I drive it and that then causes me to feel good and ultimately give you better service then I will keep it. So should I sell it or should I keep it?".

    I'm so glad he said keep it. 🙂

    The funny thing is.... now I won't drive anything else. And really, it's only a Mercedes. By the way, the new Maserati Gran Turismo is looking pretty swanky these days so I will get off this post and get to work.

    Happy days.

  38. Natalie put it so well.... ditto. I appreciate the thought provoking conversations and your insights Randy. As, for me, I love my home (we built it), I love my volvo. I would pay off my mortgage, fix up my car and drive it till it died, then get another volvo. ( I would have a Viper for the weekends) I would buy nice fitting, quality clothes in the several hundred dollar range but not thousands.... because that's who I am.... not because I don't deserve it. I would distribute most of my money in micro loans to help others learn to be abundant and teach wellness classes, make my own albums and sing internationally (which I'm starting to do now).
    The biggest difference would be that I would never miss great entertainment/art shows/opera/ballet when available and I would travel the world and explore new things. (I already travel the world, just cheaply).
    Thanks for helping me know that I have a choice! 🙂

  39. My opinion is that value is in the eye of the beholder. Most people like to spend money they don't have to impress people that don't like them and never will. I like to buy things that will be better for my health, return on investment, etc. Most people do not take the time to calculate a return on anything.

  40. Hey Bones

    I noticed you were gone. Hope all is well with you...

    I find it fascintating that what brings you out is to criticise or poke holes... Not that there's anything wrong with fleshing out an inquiry....

    But what strikes me is that you frequently want to criticise or bring Randy down or make him wrong.

    My concern isn't for Randy- he's big and can take it. But for YOU.... I think it's Wallice Wattles that says that when you criticise or are jealous of something you push it further away from you.... So in criticising Rnady - who freely shares to awaken prosperity in poking holes my concern is that you push your abundance away.

    Something to feel about 🙂

  41. We have something in common.

    It's not just a car, it's an experience.

    Now I'd better get cracking on creating a nifty life I can be proud of!

  42. I guess I am not prosperous enough in Randy's mind because I rather spend it buying 50 acres ranch where I can plant organic food and have privacy instead of buying a $10,000 coat or a luxury car.

  43. Haha!

    Maybe it's in the name?

    "I've got BONES to pick with you!"

    Yes - indeed - Bones you came back to where you left... criticising rather than learning!

    I remember once I challenged Larry Winget on something. He told me basically to shut up - that when I was richer than he was then I could tell him how to live. It humbled me a lot to learning rather than challenging!

    xox

  44. This prosperity conversation has me wondering: what limiting thinking about money and my self-worth has caused my current mind-boggling debt? I have started a new business, and the expenses have been way greater than I ever imagined. And the income has been way slower than I ever feared.

    I used to be free with spending because I value quality and fine things. (Not to say I wouldn't happily accept a sale price on an item I wanted to purchase.) But now, I pass on many things I would have joyfully purchased in the past. I am trying to be smart not foolish. I can barely afford my mortgage, and so buying a new pair of expensive shoes seems like poor judgement. (Duh!)

    In the near future my income will change, and I can resume old spending habits. My question is: I know my focus on my debt is attracting more debt, so how do I get out of this awful painful place? How can I stop worrying when the bills arrive? I wonder where I can borrow enough to keep me afloat. I know I am creating my circumstances with my thoughts. I imagine being wealthy and financially free, but then something happens to bring me back to "reality".

    Can someone give me thoughts I can use to shift faster into prosperity? I have done EFT, Sedona Method, The Work, Ho'oponopono, affirmations, prayer, meditation, etc etc. I am worthy of my desires. I am ready to fly. Yet I have excruciating debt. I cry every day. I am in wonderment at the thought of financial freedom even as I worry at this crazy place I find myself in.

    Any thoughts?

  45. Hi Randy,

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts and bringing them to light for me and all of us here. I believe that I understand the true value of things. I have never made a decision about purchasing something based on whether I am worth it or not. It is based on the fact of where I am in my life and the purpose it will play in fulfilling my purpose, vision, goals, and dreams. When thinking about this, I do have the though of not worth things when they come as a "gift" from someone else. My ability to receive needs some work and a check-up from the neck-up for renewal of my mind. Thanks for the great things you share with us all to allow this type of thinking and action to take place in my life.
    Make it a great day!
    God Bless,
    -ed

  46. awesome jeff! its all inside..when u feel good inside, u strut as if u own the world. when u have love inside and u believe in what u do, no one can put u down!thanks randy for your abundant thoughts.

  47. I don't think world hunger, etc., is really the issue here .... what we're talking about is value for money. Naturally, if you spend $30 for a meal, you expect to get better VALUE than if you spend $3. As Randy said - you are likely to get fresh, good quality food, rather than additive-laden pre-processed junk food.

    In the final analysis - if you respect yourself and your body (and you can afford it) go for the higher priced option. Now, if you find that, when you sit down, you don't receive the quality of food you expected to get, then you have 2 options: either you complain and ask for your money back, or you just make a mental note not to return to that restaurant again.

    Simple, really ....

  48. This your side here was one of the most beautiful texts I´ve ever red.I often went to lunch restaurants before and took the vegetarian choice.Just to realise that I could make it much much nicer myself at home.So if I shall ever spend any money out, it has to be a really special and luxury place which I´m worth,even in the sence of being better cookers than me!Where is the point of "eating out" when it´s worse than the home made and the restaurant is awful,well,I don´t know...

  49. Yeah if you can afford it's easy to throw money around, anyone can do it. But why really? A warrior lives a tight life, not tight like a cheapskate, but tight in control of all aspects with no waste or skimping. There is no waste on the universal level, so model after that. It's all in perfect balance and harmony.

  50. Simply killing some in between class time on Digg and I found your article . Not usually what I choose to examine, but it surely was completely value my time. Thanks.

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  • 67 comments on “The Only Free Cheese is in the Mousetrap”

    1. Good morning Randy! I have given this lots of thought...and I think, for me, the real key question would be...if I choose to spend only $100 today vs $10,000 because my mind is always on starving children, the number of homeless people in the world and/or any of the other major heartbreaking issues in the world...

      ...am I going to actually use the other $9.900 in a way that will help alleviate any of the issues facing people worldwide?

      Or do I just use a statement about world hunger/homelessness to justify my own choice of what to spend on something to make myself feel better, in the moment..and haven't backed up my verbal concern with any dollars or actions put towards helping those so in need worldwide?

      🙂

    2. It comes down to that 'self-worth' question, doesn't it.

      Even if you really don't have the money for a $1000 pair of shoes, you should be looking at the best quality you can afford at that time in your life. You're worth it.

    3. THere was an interesting article last week that Warren Buffet only takes a salary of $100 000 and has done for 20 years...

      Worth billions, he knows his worth, yet would rather give the rest to furthering his investments or giving to charity.

      I found that fascinating...

      Then there's beloved you who spends $9000 on 10 tailored shirts because you like the fit and quality...

      It's been something that wars in my mind:

      * I want to make a massive difference one earth
      * I want to be astonishly beautiful...

      Yet the thoguht that the money should go to "better" places has kept me in poverty and also meant I have less money to do amazing things in the world.

      So the realisation and challenge for me is transforming this to beleiving that I can have BOTH...

      ANd that UNLESS I am sustainable and wealthy I have no integrity going into poverty zones to teach them how to change their economy. I HAVE to be wealthy for them to be inspired by what you can do with money.

      I have a friend who's a millionaire - and finds your rich taste off putting. He says he can good get quality shirts in Saville Row without paying that amount.

      He often feels rather stingy. You are rather generous.

      Because he pinches himself - it shows up in his life. While you have a more flowing open energy....

      Hmmmm...

    4. This is the line that really hit me ...
      "Or are you holding back because you feel you aren’t worth the extra money? Does going for the luxurious choice bring up feelings of guilt?"

      My answer was yes.
      How sad is that?

      I've always gone for the cheaper version, telling myself I'm 'frugal' and that I am a good steward of the money I have.

      I rummage through Goodwill and consignment stores because I'm a 'bargain hunter' and believe in the whole 'reuse, recycle' mantra.

      But I just realized that it's a coverup - I'm lying to myself.

      What lies underneath is poverty thinking and what I call my Bag Lady syndrome.
      Ie. "No matter how much you have now, it could all be gone in an instant, so you better hold on to it!"

      So Randy, where do you draw the line between opting for luxury or the best you can afford, and not wasting money?

      Is it better to have $1000 purse, or a $500 purse and $500 in the bank.... "for a rainy day"?

      Or is planning for that rainy day also just lack thinking in a clever disguise?

      This is where my dilemma lies. And I believe it's the crux of so much non-expansion in my life and as such, requires some deep investigation.

      Not later .... now!

      I look forward to further discussion on this subject.
      Bliss and blessing and thanks,

      the Goddess known as Jacqui

    5. Dana's comment reminded me to stop and think "am I really making my purchases based on a "giving or sharing" heart; or just making excuses for the fear of enjoying moreprosperity for me?" I choose the $1,000.00 pair of shoes vs $10,000.00 pair then what happens to the remainder? I did not give the $9,000.00 away to anyone in need.

      I am focusing on building my prosperity to the point where I can purchase a $10,000.00 pair of shoes and still give all I desire to help the world. Whatever that looks like.

      Thanks Randy and Dana

    6. Most of my buying decisions are based on value, most.

      However, I have fallen into that trap of saying I would never fly first class or stay at a first class hotel, until I was bumped to business class on a flight to Hong Kong and realized I was well worth it.

      But then again, when in Thailand I will always visit my favourite street vendor for her fantastic soup.

      I always believe you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to service.

    7. I have friends who earn millions a year after taxes, all their expenses and contributions... who buy off the sales rack at Kohl's or Penny's and on their birthday Macy's but always the sales rack. Naturally if I were to wear my $100 leather jacket from Kohl's I am chastised for how it looks or fits or something. IF I wear the $1000 leather jacket I purchased in Vegas after bartering it down from $4900 I am laughed at for having paid that much for a leather coat.

      Too many crazy people in the world.

      If you have to justify what you do to yourself it is time for check up from the neck up. Who cares what others think or say. Really. As a child I was told [a lot] remember when you point a finger at someone you are pointing three back at you.

      Enjoy the day first, last, all ways and always.

    8. I think that there is a time when having the finer things in life is very important (like Heinz Ketchup vs. Catsup). But I also think that some times people spend money frivolously on things that they don't really need. I don't think that anyone should deny themselves the finer things in life, but you should look at those things in terms of "is it a need, or a want?" If you need a new coat, I say splurge on yourself... most often you get what you pay for. BUT, if you are constantly buying new coats just because you 'can' well... is there another place that that money could be better served? Probably. I think when it comes to what you are putting inside of your body, it's very important... but when it comes to material things... I think that it's important to know when enough is enough. Make sense?

    9. Wow!! What a powerful question!

      I will apply that.

      Might I be using my decision to buy a lower-priced item as a way to be "right" or to brag about my choice? Would I make the same choice if NO ONE ever learned of my purchase, be it the lesser or higher priced item?

      1. Personally, I don't care what others think about my purchase. It took me a while to realize that thrift shopping and bargain hunting are NOT EFFICIENT if you are making somewhat decent living. In my experience I ended up with things that I hardly ever use but bought because it was cheap, almost free! Who cares if it's free if you don't need it or don't like it? If you put your garbage bag with "Free" sign on it on a sidewalk, it will be gone in no time. Other magic words are "Sale", "Clearance" (I'm a victim of those too, don't get me wrong. This is not to criticize anyone). Get out of that mentality! There ARE people that can benefit from GoodWill stores but before making the trip there ask yourself, am I really that poor or I'm afraid to be poor so I better hold on to the money? The fact is YOU CAN NEVER HOLD ON TO YOUR MONEY! It will always find ways to leave you so might as well get the best out of it.

    10. I feel it's not about the price of the coat/purse/etc, whether it is a $50 jacket or a $5,000 jacket. It's about who you become when you put on the jacket.

      Can you wear a $50 jacket and still walk across the room as a confident and secure person, knowing that your "true self worth" has little to do with the price of the jacket?

      Conversely, can you wear a $5,000 jacket and maintain poise and grace, and not shout at the waiter or sneer at the jockey, knowing that the $5,000 jacket does not make you "better" than the waiter or jockey? :o)

    11. I like how you ended the post today that price is a reflection of value and I think you can get a very poor value despite the price being high. I think you need to separate value from added marketing but that value is often added through the experience and intrinsic value of the product or service at hand.

    12. You know, that's a good point Randy & Dana. I hadn't thought of it that way. Yes, people say that all the time about people starving all over the world (as an example), etc etc....but the same people never really do anything to curb these issues. Even if they do not spend the other $9,900 on that particular thing at that moment, as a whole people will still contribute to these same world issues they talk about i.e. by pollution & waste etc...never really taking action toward helping. Not saying that's everyone, but the main people I hear using that excuse still do not do anything to really help. Just an excuse to continue the cycle of poverty and lack consciousness. More than likely even if they had the money to buy an expensive item with, they would just buy it right there on the spot anyway. Behind that sounds like feelings of not deserving a thing and guilt too.

    13. Sometimes the sheer word "luxury" can trigger feelings of guilt.

      Randy, you posed the idea of prices on hotel rooms. A several hundred dollar suite can be just the pampering I'm looking for. On a more practical side, the severe allergy to cigarette smoke necessitates staying in a hotel room that has never been smoked in- so $150 per night is about the "least expensive" I can use. Money can be a godsend to provide a healthy environment for me.

      I am a firm believer in getting the best quality I can afford. Many times when that quality has an obvious physical difference I feel as if I'm wearing a target on my back.

      Some of my hesitation to buy "luxury" items or experience "luxury" can be traced to feeling awkward or vulnerable. What is the protocol for attending a "society" function? What are the unwritten rules of the event which everyone else seems to know, but I don't? How do I take care of this new item? Will I be "overcharged" for repairs now that I drive a Mercedes? Yes the parts tend to cost more than for a Focus, however I'm speaking of the labor charges.

      I am outgrowing the lifestyle of my childhood and growing into a more affluent lifestyle. Sometimes I feel caught in the middle, like a "financial teenager."

      OK, so I'm taking a leap of courage to discuss these ideas. I am diving deeply into these issues with professional help, too.

    14. Jeffery,

      I hope you don't mind me replying to you directly. Your comment is very much in alignment with how I feel and I couldn't have said it better myself.

      Patty

    15. Randy,

      This is a huge debate and one I really don`t want to get in the ring with you on. I know how you feel about it.

      I would love to be able to spend whatever I wanted on whatever I wanted. Not the case at this point in my life,

      But I do believe with all my heart and soul, that even if I could afford a $10,000 coat, I would not buy it. I can justify spending a couple hundred on a magnificent pair of comfy, quality shoes, or clothing that will never go out of style but $10,000 on a coat is just, well, ridiculous.

      Now, I do believe in buying quality and class when you can afford it, but to spend money on extravagant things just because you can, in my opinion is wasteful and selfish. Nice things, luxury thinsg, knock yourself out but when it gets ridiculous, thats where I have to draw the line.

      Just my opinion.

      Thanks for asking!

      Susan

    16. Randy - Thanks again for bringing yet another topic into broad daylight.

      I know that this is something I continue to work on. Of all the evil things to think - I'm afraid of someone telling me that I spent too much on something.

      Perhaps this is a indication of even a more festered root. Maybe I'm addicted to others' approval?

      Time to nip that in the butt..

    17. "Can you justify spending $5,000 for a pair of shoes when there are children starving in Africa/school systems going broke/diseases needing research money/the polar ice caps melting/etc/etc?"

      I laugh when I hear this arguement because if you really stop and think about it ... it's better for the enviroment/world to have one person buy a $5,000 pair of shoes they love then to have 1,000 people buy cheap ass $5.00 plastic/stuffed junk at Disney World or the dollar store that eventually collects dust and ends up in the landfill.

      The enviromental and social impact of mass producing cheap stuff is a lot harder on us (in my opinion) then creating beautiful enviroments, experiences and goods that create lasting memories, meaning and value.

      Bring on the $5,000.00 pair of shoes...and may they come in red!
      Jeanne

      (BTW- one of the biggest causes in my life, is supporting a girls school in Sudan, Africa. Shoes and social outreach are never exclusive of each other for someone who is awake to the joy of experiencing both.)

    18. You just helped me change my plans for the trip I am going to take in April to attend a business workshop. I am staying at the Marriott instead of "roughing it."

      Thank you.

    19. Great article Randy,

      When I traveled in clinical research, whether in Vegas, Boston, Indy, Miami, or Cancun, they made sure I stayed at 5* places. All expenses paid, never batting an eyelash.
      Fast forward to the non-profit world. We have contracts with LaQuinta & must try to attempt to find the best rooms for the price available. They even quibble if per chance someone charges us tax...God forbid. I do understand that we are paying for things with "donors $$" but.....trust me.....I see the appropriation of funds.

      How does the difference in the 2 scenarios make me feel? The difference b/t feeling like a queen or a slave child.
      Of course I would much rather prefer the Venetian over LaQuinta.
      The Fiesta Grande Americano is of course my choice. Fresh fruits I can't even pronounce, waiters pulling my chair and placing my napkin on my lap....fresh flowers....staff spoiling me to the max.
      Or....LaQuinta Inns (not even the Suites line) where you can close your eyes and walk to the waffle iron, boiled eggs & yogurt b/c everyone of them have the same system. Let me add...do you know how hard it is to eat healthy there? I am thankful I follow portion control and can get by with a yogurt and fruit!

      I am like my friend "The Goddess".....I purchase from resale shops. I do this, not b/c I necessarily have to, but I love to. I don't have a bag-lady mentality. I look for designer things b/c of the merchandise quality. Vintage store owners here in Dallas do the same thing....I just cut out their step! 10K purses/coats are fab, I am just not hung up on that. Now talk to me about having a Bugatti/Prevost Bus w/ driver/villa in Tuscany/cottage in Costa Rica/condo in Brazil near the M.O.R.E. Project & we can chat! It is just where your passion is.

      Traveling to third world countries has made me realize.....I can sleep anywhere and eat anything. I am easy to please. While on this subject....I agree with the statements about being thrifty b/c there are starving kids. Unless the people are staying in budget motels & sending the difference b/t the cost and that of the best hotels.....please don't criticize if I choose not to follow your lead. I never think of starving kids when I book a hotel. I think of them when I send my support, out of love, not guilt!

      The Palace is my kind of place. I abhor the "Aladdin" experience.
      Do you think their experience was memorable at the Aladdin? Do you think they went away thinking Randy Gage & this conference was off the chart? I think they remembered the water pressure/ cleanliness!

      I am sooooooo worth the luxury! My current income, while abundantly increasing, restricts my pleasure purchases--for now--, but.....I am def worth it. That is why I will work, building a prosperous biz and experience the feeling, sharing it with others and teaching them how to overcome poverty mentality. As you prosper it is not to flaunt...it truly builds belief, instills hope that others can make it too. LaQuinta's never do this for them! LOL!

      As always....thanks RG!
      G

    20. As I read all the comments the first thing that comes to mind is the real question you pose, which is "Are you worthy?". The answer is yes and no, and it's the 'no' part that keeps me hunting for bargains. And yes, I do often spring on things I enjoy that cost more than I would normally spend.

      Shifting completely our belief systems is something that requires much work and attention. And then there's the REALITY that spending the kind of money you do on things when income is nil (I'm in the early stages of starting a new business), isn't logical. So then the question that arises is: "Even though I KNOW I'm worthy, do I spend more because I know I'm worthy of quality, but in reality should not? " Hmmmm.

    21. I agree with you Randy. The only free cheese is in the Mousetrap!

      That been said, I think it's very alright to pay a lot for a room, if you can afford it...

      Paying $40,000 a night for the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas is really something out of the ordinary! I imagine you can't really feel bad while in the experience!

      And so is giving $40,000 to save hundreds of kids in your local community. Both are great feelings. And both WILL NEVER BE COMPARED AS THE SAME for the masses. Not for people that see prosperity as something finite.

      If you can afford it, get both! Get the good stuff for yourself AND help others.

      It also applies to objects or material stuff. Some people get positive emotions from wearing fashion clothes. They FEEL better about themselves and find the experience way more appealing than NOT HAVING it in their lives.

      I personally tasted both experiences and most of the time (not always) the luxurious way of life is (as Charlie Chaplin would put it) "more comfortable and secure". That doesn't mean we absolutely need it to be happy, comfortable or secure...or any other emotion for that matter.

      As far as the "guilt trip" goes, again it all depends on who you are as a person. I don't think that money states who you are. I think money only enhances the person and it's actions. If you're an a**hole with money, you are just a rich a**hole! On the other hand, if you're a generous person by nature (or you learned to become one) well, you're probably going to give more money than all your family and friends combined!

      I think these questions would definitely not be interpreted the same way by someone who's living a poverty, a mediocrity, an average, or a prosperous lifestyle. They would all say very different things... 🙂

      Good questions Randy!

      Sincerely,

      Adrian Bolosin
      http://www.formation101.com
      Personal Development in French

    22. Hey! I haven't been around for a bit, but I've been thinking about this issue lately. Randy, it seemed you were heading towards a =n opinion that seemed to change in the middle of your post... lemme show you what I mean:

      "I told him to get over it and concentrate on more prosperous things.

      Easy for me to say – until I found out they were charging me $25 a day to work out in the fitness center that you would expect to find in a Holiday Inn."

      Now, just because something has a higher price DOES NOT mean that it has more VALUE.

      We all talk about this "perception of value" being the high point of marketing, and yet if all we do is increase perception instead of actually adding value, what are we doing?

      Timberland increased business SOLELY by tripling it's price. They did NOTHING else.

      Your hotel, charging you $25 for a terrible gym actually DECREASED your feeling of prosperity, didn't it? I absolutely HATE paying a lot for a terrible experience.

      If we can increase our prosperity by paying for high-quality experiences, aren't we DECREASING it even more when we pay a lot for low-quality ones?

    23. You don't have to get into the ring, I promise. 🙂 Alas the ostrich coat was gone, so I couldn't buy. But I do have $10,000 custom shoes and bespoke suits and can tell you they are simply delicious!

      -RG

    24. Is it OK to spend $10,000.00 on a coat? YES!

      Life is consciousness! Rich or starving we are where are from what we hold in mind.

    25. It's really not about the cost of the coat but how we either work in God's economy or the economy of greed and selfishness. Prosperity is a state of mind. I know of folks who have plenty of money but have chosen to be "frugal" ( or stingy ) living in a mindset of fear and money hoarding instead of using their financial substance to better the lives of others as well as enjoying the fruits of their labors ( thus the 10,000 $ coat) And I know people who have very little actual $$$ but are very wealthy indeed.

    26. I'm in full agreement. There is a terrible thinking -- poverty mentality I call it -- that says wealth bad poverty good. It is one thing to find oneself in the circumstance of poverty or no money as just that, a circumstance, not a way of being.

      There is something much worse I think than being in the temporary circumstance of poverty, and that is what sometimes appears to be a kind of pride in poverty. This thinking is what keeps people from creating wonderful things in their lives. Like if someone is working to change their temporary poverty circumstance, and the people around them who are proud of their poverty are resentful of one's victories.

    27. I wonder about this question all the time. One thing that cracks me up is people criticizing the wealthy for how they spend a fraction of their income (while giving & growing assets with the rest) as they spend 110% of their own income grumbling on barely- get- by street.

    28. My wife insisted I buy the jacket she saw the other day for €73 instead of the recommended €199. Did I feel good about it? Like **** I did. When times are tough, sometimes that free cheese might not taste so bad. But it's where you get it from that matters. The mousetrap will kill any hint of prosperity consciousness you have. It'll snap and hold you in that place and you'll soon find that shopping in Aldi and TK-Max become standard.

      Wandering the supermarket aisles looking for that cheap orange juice you got last week, and trying to figure out which way is best to preserve that half a Red Pepper that wan't used at dinner leads to a pathetic life filled with little but one's own thoughts of a paltry unfulfilled existence. So much so that it becomes normal. Next step - WELFARE.

      Penny pinching and frugality will drag you down, until that way of life becomes dominant in your psyche.

      Randy is so right with this stuff. Nice timing (for me) Mr. Gage. Thanks.

    29. $10,000 on a coat. Think of the cheque that would be getting sent to my chosen charities every month. Like they say in the ads "because your worth it"

      Have a great day

      I

    30. Hey Randy,
      Thanks for starting such a great debate.
      This week I had the perfect experience to illustrate your point - I needed an extended IPhone battery and the one I wanted comes with a hard-shell case. From the airtime supplier it's GB£70 but I bagged a "bargain" on a friend's recommendation - a Far East made clone of the exact same design for US$17 INCLUDING insured airmail - BARGAIN!!!!!!

      Well, No. Apart from not having the instant gratification of getting it the same day (although it came very promptly), when it did arrive it was disappointing, a very poor fit on the phone and has an intermittent fault which means you can only use it sometimes!
      Lesson learned and I got a returns authorization from the vendor and promptly went to buy "the real thing". The friend who recommended the cheapo one thinks I'm nuts for spending the GB£70, and should wait for the refund to hit my paypal and buy another!
      For me, I'll add the refund amount to my tithe this week and make sure it does some good (although in honesty I may not have thought of that till I read some responses on here, thanks guys you inspire me sometimes!).

      Now - the debate over whether it's prudent or irresponsible to blow 10 grand on a coat, pair of shoes, whatever. My $0.02 is that it's down to the individual to decide whether or not they're going to get "value" whether it be in terms of years of good service or just feel good factor, or a combination of both.
      It's nobody else's business although they're welcome to their opinion and I'd fight for their right to hold and express that opinion, it doesn't mean I agree and it doesn't mean I'm going to do things their way!

    31. I am thinking that if people are in debt, they would need to get out of debt to become more prosperous. So they might not choose to spend the money now on some things so that they can enjoy them later. At the same time, it is worth buying the best shoes, vitamins, healthy food, etc. that you can afford to be healthy now & in the future. I think we shouldn't sacrifice our health but also need to get out of debt. And including some fun in our lives now as we work towards prosperity. These things are based on my values. Other people may have different values and may think other things are more important than the things I place importance on.

    32. Randy, So far my favorite comment?

      "they are simply delicious!"

      EXACTLY. And that comment is about shoes! Wooo!!! How divine and wonderful!

      The bottom line is prosperity and abundance not only recognizes but celebrates the 'AND' word.

      You CAN have this AND do that and order that AND do this!

      We can thoroughly enjoy life AND be social conscious as well!

      Sounds like the majority of us grew up with the teachings of 'you can't have your cake and eat it to'.

      WTH? Why NOT?? I teach my kids, 'babies, you can have it ALL. There ARE no limits. GO for it. Rock on.

      So many generational stinkin thinkin teachings to undo.

      But we're rockin it hard, so we'll get there.

      Kindest Regards,

      Jhanna

    33. Hi Randy,
      Questions?

      Okay, here goes:

      YOU_Can you really compare that with sitting on a plastic bench, at McDonalds, choking down food with enough cholesterol to drop a stallion?

      ME_No, there is no comparison. Personally I would rather go hungry then to eat at McDonalds.
      Cholesterol is not the only thing in question here. I have no idea what's in that stuff that drives my kids to crave it. Maybe one day we will know. For now I'll leave it to say, I just don't think it's good for you.

      YOU_The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.

      YOU_That last sentence encapsulates everything you need to know about prosperity. So what do you think?
      ME_That is the bottom line. I think you're totally right! 🙂

      YOU_Is it over the top to pay $400 a night for a hotel room, when there are others available for $89? What about $800 a night? What about a $4,000 a night suite?

      ME_When you open the door for prosperity you close the door on LACK. Concern for lack of funds would be the only reason for consideration here.
      In that "concern" you are not reinforcing prosperity.
      There must not be any doubt that these things are available to you for your enjoyment.

      YOU_
      What do you think about paying $10,000 for a purse? There were several available in the Bellagio shops. Along with a gorgeous $10,000 ostrich coat. (Which I saw on my break, and was already sold when I went back with my wallet.)

      ME_Me personally. I just don't care honestly. I don't carry a purse. And I FEEL somethings are needless. If that ostrich coat will keep me warm in 30 below then it's worth that much!
      Another question might come into mind is "Just hot will my ass look in that coat?" LOL Of course!

      You_Can you justify spending $5,000 for a pair of shoes when there are children starving in Africa/school systems going broke/diseases needing research money/the polar ice caps melting/etc/etc?

      ME_If it is that I bought a pair shoes however much they cost. then I am blessed to receive them.
      God's provides for those who give back. Who are seeking after the well being of others. It's hard to explain that you become selfless and not self seeking.
      ( But you do/will receive the benefits)

      YOU_How many of your price decisions are made based on the actual value received?
      ME_I will spend the money for the qualtilty that I recieve. But sometimes you get a bargain and I love it! There's a old saying that goes "Something is only worth as much as one is willing to pay for it." I know there's truth in that.

      YOU_Are you holding back because you feel you aren’t worth the extra money?
      ME_No, You get one life, one go around. I intend to live life in it's fullest.

      YOU,_ Does going for the luxurious choice bring up feelings of guilt?
      ME_No, Quilt is sick. I am not sick and Life is short, be happy.

      YOU_ Are you surrounded by people who will disparage or ridicule you if you spend “too much” on yourself?

      ME_I do not surround myself with negative people.

      I am a funny creature. I will go without to get what I want but
      I am not real materialistic.
      There are things that I like that are spendy like diamonds, not gaudy things. I'm too thin to wear things like that.
      I LOVE hot-rods and Harleys.

      It's the life style, it's divine.
      I won't stop till it's mine.
      And that's not EGO, it's truth.

      ~Debbie:)
      MontanaDreamaker

    34. The balance of prudent spending and prosperity. Do we feel we deserve the good stuff and without any guilt? There's the issue. One thing I must say. If anyone judges the amount I spend on myself I just have one thing to say - It's none of their business - and maybe they should channel their energy into something more useful and prosperous rather than using it to judge others. Prioritize your needs and buy what you can comfortably afford. Also know what it is that you're buying - spend prudently. As a matter of fact, I think spending prudently and prosperity go hand in hand.

    35. great post.... love it.... makes me think ....

      For me, its not so much about spending $10,000 on shoes, coat, a suit or not, its not so much about spending $89 or $4,000 a night at a hotel, its more about choices.

      Its one thing to wish to spend a night in a $4,000 hotel room, and another to having the means to do so; there is no doubt about it. Having that kind of disposable cash makes life a wonderful world filled with choices, real, tangible choices with immediate results.

      There was a time I would just say WTF and blow the savings account for the experience, and the flip side where a $2,000 room wasn't meeting my needs for my visit.

      Blowing the savings account at the time gave me a sense of freedom, a feeling of control, not to mention a day and a night of luxury I never before experienced. Once I had the experience I vowed to make this a regular part of my life. The experience was better than a picture on a fridge, and had more of an impact on me than any mind movie, or a thousand motivational pep talks could ever have.

      when I think about when i was just starting out, young, alone, two monthly commission checks still not arriving in my mail box, checking account dangerously low, there I was sitting in my beautiful apartment, with one set of silver ware, and one set of fine plate ware, one chair at my gorgeous dinning table, a single chair in my living room, and one of the most comfortable mattresses I ever slept on at the time on the floor in my bedroom. Thoughts of wishing I had not paid so much for a chair and mattress I could have bought a TV and VCR, or I could have more gas in my car, or more food in my expensive fridge or at least more money in the bank at the time.

      I had to snap myself out of that focus and it was difficult at first, over time I have learned that success does have a price and so does poverty. I would gladly pay the price for success over the price of poverty any day.

      Success does have its rewards. $5,000 shoes, $10,000 coats, $10,000 bags, those are fine; however for me those are not the rewards of success. For me it’s the freedom of choice, free to pay all my bills before they arrive, the freedom to travel, to live, to eat, and to be the best me I can be. Poor or wealthy, I think if we are not careful we can become a slave to our money, poor always pinching pennies and wealthy showing the world they have arrived.

      I am eagerly looking forward to your up coming post and your thoughts about what to do when someone first gets the money. So often this topic is overlooked by the other leaders.

      Great post, and as always thankful for your sharing this part of your world and life, really appreciate it.

      Love, peace n harmony....

    36. Randy,

      I know this is slighty off topic, but I have been reading some of Ayn Rand's work recently and noticed some parallels between your values and some expressed in her work. Who are some of your other inspirations?

      Love learning from you and everyone else here.

      Definitely can and when able, buy a quality product/service. Leaving old values behind that do not serve me. What good can I do if I am not prosperous?

      Thanks a billion!

    37. Randy, I used to feel guilty about driving a Mercedes Benz to the point that I once nearly traded one for a cheaper vehicle as I had talked myself into believing that people wouldn't do business with me because they might think that I think I'm better than them".

      A client once commented saying something like, "Who's car is that? We must be paying you too much". And he wasn't joking.

      I politely replied. "Graham, if having that car causes me to give you bad service then I will sell it but if the car makes me feel great every time I drive it and that then causes me to feel good and ultimately give you better service then I will keep it. So should I sell it or should I keep it?".

      I'm so glad he said keep it. 🙂

      The funny thing is.... now I won't drive anything else. And really, it's only a Mercedes. By the way, the new Maserati Gran Turismo is looking pretty swanky these days so I will get off this post and get to work.

      Happy days.

    38. Natalie put it so well.... ditto. I appreciate the thought provoking conversations and your insights Randy. As, for me, I love my home (we built it), I love my volvo. I would pay off my mortgage, fix up my car and drive it till it died, then get another volvo. ( I would have a Viper for the weekends) I would buy nice fitting, quality clothes in the several hundred dollar range but not thousands.... because that's who I am.... not because I don't deserve it. I would distribute most of my money in micro loans to help others learn to be abundant and teach wellness classes, make my own albums and sing internationally (which I'm starting to do now).
      The biggest difference would be that I would never miss great entertainment/art shows/opera/ballet when available and I would travel the world and explore new things. (I already travel the world, just cheaply).
      Thanks for helping me know that I have a choice! 🙂

    39. My opinion is that value is in the eye of the beholder. Most people like to spend money they don't have to impress people that don't like them and never will. I like to buy things that will be better for my health, return on investment, etc. Most people do not take the time to calculate a return on anything.

    40. Hey Bones

      I noticed you were gone. Hope all is well with you...

      I find it fascintating that what brings you out is to criticise or poke holes... Not that there's anything wrong with fleshing out an inquiry....

      But what strikes me is that you frequently want to criticise or bring Randy down or make him wrong.

      My concern isn't for Randy- he's big and can take it. But for YOU.... I think it's Wallice Wattles that says that when you criticise or are jealous of something you push it further away from you.... So in criticising Rnady - who freely shares to awaken prosperity in poking holes my concern is that you push your abundance away.

      Something to feel about 🙂

    41. We have something in common.

      It's not just a car, it's an experience.

      Now I'd better get cracking on creating a nifty life I can be proud of!

    42. I guess I am not prosperous enough in Randy's mind because I rather spend it buying 50 acres ranch where I can plant organic food and have privacy instead of buying a $10,000 coat or a luxury car.

    43. Haha!

      Maybe it's in the name?

      "I've got BONES to pick with you!"

      Yes - indeed - Bones you came back to where you left... criticising rather than learning!

      I remember once I challenged Larry Winget on something. He told me basically to shut up - that when I was richer than he was then I could tell him how to live. It humbled me a lot to learning rather than challenging!

      xox

    44. This prosperity conversation has me wondering: what limiting thinking about money and my self-worth has caused my current mind-boggling debt? I have started a new business, and the expenses have been way greater than I ever imagined. And the income has been way slower than I ever feared.

      I used to be free with spending because I value quality and fine things. (Not to say I wouldn't happily accept a sale price on an item I wanted to purchase.) But now, I pass on many things I would have joyfully purchased in the past. I am trying to be smart not foolish. I can barely afford my mortgage, and so buying a new pair of expensive shoes seems like poor judgement. (Duh!)

      In the near future my income will change, and I can resume old spending habits. My question is: I know my focus on my debt is attracting more debt, so how do I get out of this awful painful place? How can I stop worrying when the bills arrive? I wonder where I can borrow enough to keep me afloat. I know I am creating my circumstances with my thoughts. I imagine being wealthy and financially free, but then something happens to bring me back to "reality".

      Can someone give me thoughts I can use to shift faster into prosperity? I have done EFT, Sedona Method, The Work, Ho'oponopono, affirmations, prayer, meditation, etc etc. I am worthy of my desires. I am ready to fly. Yet I have excruciating debt. I cry every day. I am in wonderment at the thought of financial freedom even as I worry at this crazy place I find myself in.

      Any thoughts?

    45. Hi Randy,

      Thanks for sharing these thoughts and bringing them to light for me and all of us here. I believe that I understand the true value of things. I have never made a decision about purchasing something based on whether I am worth it or not. It is based on the fact of where I am in my life and the purpose it will play in fulfilling my purpose, vision, goals, and dreams. When thinking about this, I do have the though of not worth things when they come as a "gift" from someone else. My ability to receive needs some work and a check-up from the neck-up for renewal of my mind. Thanks for the great things you share with us all to allow this type of thinking and action to take place in my life.
      Make it a great day!
      God Bless,
      -ed

    46. awesome jeff! its all inside..when u feel good inside, u strut as if u own the world. when u have love inside and u believe in what u do, no one can put u down!thanks randy for your abundant thoughts.

    47. I don't think world hunger, etc., is really the issue here .... what we're talking about is value for money. Naturally, if you spend $30 for a meal, you expect to get better VALUE than if you spend $3. As Randy said - you are likely to get fresh, good quality food, rather than additive-laden pre-processed junk food.

      In the final analysis - if you respect yourself and your body (and you can afford it) go for the higher priced option. Now, if you find that, when you sit down, you don't receive the quality of food you expected to get, then you have 2 options: either you complain and ask for your money back, or you just make a mental note not to return to that restaurant again.

      Simple, really ....

    48. This your side here was one of the most beautiful texts I´ve ever red.I often went to lunch restaurants before and took the vegetarian choice.Just to realise that I could make it much much nicer myself at home.So if I shall ever spend any money out, it has to be a really special and luxury place which I´m worth,even in the sence of being better cookers than me!Where is the point of "eating out" when it´s worse than the home made and the restaurant is awful,well,I don´t know...

    49. Yeah if you can afford it's easy to throw money around, anyone can do it. But why really? A warrior lives a tight life, not tight like a cheapskate, but tight in control of all aspects with no waste or skimping. There is no waste on the universal level, so model after that. It's all in perfect balance and harmony.

    50. Simply killing some in between class time on Digg and I found your article . Not usually what I choose to examine, but it surely was completely value my time. Thanks.

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