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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Irons In The Fire

Several months ago, I was watching an interview featuring one of the world's most wealthy economists(unfortunately, I did not tune in in time to catch his name). He is now deceased, but his words will live on forever in my mind. He looked me straight in the eye, piercing through my television set, and he said to me "The biggest key to acquiring wealth and happiness is the diversification of assets and interests. You must have several irons in the fire at all times."

That really hit me hard. I watched this interview during one of the lowest points of my life. I was dead broke, jobless, recently divorced, and suffering from a long term vertigo disorder. I was 1200 miles from home, I had not established any new friendships at the time, and the weather report had just informed me that we had just endured our 30th day below freezing outside. At this point, I was ready to know how to climb out of this hole.....and I knew my plastic snow shovel just wouldn't cut it this time.

So, I sat and watched the remaining five minutes of the interview, absorbing every word and every tidbit of information. To some the interview may have seemed pointless. I only walked away with one little tidbit of advice: You must have several irons in the fire at all times. While that did not do me much good right away, eventually, as my life started turning around, and my mindset started growing stronger, I started creating a few irons of my own. As I started meeting new people and going new places, I envisioned those people and places to resemble the fire. So....come up with a plan or an idea(an iron) and start sharing it with people(fires) everywhere you go. Eventually, people will become interested and you will have some kind of following. After your first project starts materializing, start taking on new tasks or ventures, or creating new projects if you can handle them.....just don't spread yourself too thin. You will soon get the hang of this juggling act. It is an art form based on organization, time management, and creativity.

So now you want to know why you should diversify rather than just throw your eggs in one basket, right? Here's my take: Anything we work on, invest in, or create, can go belly up in a moment's notice. Take for example the American economy. The real estate game was a sure fire way to make money, houses were going up in value, realtors, investors and builders were getting paid in exponetial figures and no one thought it would collapse. The same situation was true for other folks who held jobs in retail, construction, banking, and other industries for 20 plus years of their lives. Suddenly, the economy crashed. All of these great people who have worked so hard, devoting their lives to one job, and two stocks for 30 years just lost the farm.....overnight! That is horrible! Those who diversified assets and interests took a major hit as well, but survived with much more money to their names, and much less stress to boot.

While it is important to be devoted, it is also important to survive. Take care of yourselves. Put as many irons in the fire as you can without being spread too thin. You will never regret it. Usually, the only downside is a lack of downtime. Your schedule will be very, very busy. Oh well. I guess if you want to make the most out of life, sacrifices must be made.....time is one of them(at least at the beginning). Grab a match and some metal, and ignite your future! Your life is what you make it. Take care everyone!

See you next time!!!


  1. Good insight.
    A good night's sleep and making time for personal relationships are also key in providing a balance to juggling all the irons in the fire. I find this the most difficult, but essential to well being.

  2. I agree. Your comment has been a great addition to this post. Thanks again!!!