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Can’t Buy Me Love

Anybody who tells you money is the root of all evil doesn’t fucking have any.” – Jim Young (Ben Affleck, Boiler Room, 2000)


When I was coming up my mother was always badgering me to be polite, respectful, and use my manners around adults. I learned one evening that “having respect” also meant “not talking about money”.

We were sitting around the table getting ready for dinner and I asked my mother how much money she made. After absorbing a swift back-hand from “Mum”, I quickly realized that THAT question was not a question that was “respectful”.

You didn’t ask: “How much?”, because, for us, it wasn’t very much. You didn’t ask: “How much?”, because someone else may have a lot. The respectful way to go about that question in my head was to not ask it.

You don’t talk about money, it’s not polite.” she said. From that moment on we NEVER spoke about it. We didn’t have it so we didn’t worry about it. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even learn about it. Money was bad. No, money was EVIL.


I never believed in that ideal.

Money buys shoes, money buys food, money buys transportation, money buys a home for your family. Shit, the last time I checked those are all pretty legit needs for a human being. So how is money the root of all evil?

After I got my government required education I enrolled in an institution that was a little bit tougher. A lot of my peers, and even some of you readers may have also attended. It was called the “School of Hard Knocks“. And I promise you that it was the toughest education that I ever received.

Now, when attending the “School of Hard Knocks” the Admission Department (life) will tell you that tuition is FREE. It’s not. As a matter of fact, that may have been then most expensive tuition bill for schooling I ever received.

One of the courses I failed while furthering my education was Finance 101.

One fateful day, at the ripe old age of 22, the car business came calling. I was so excited to have a real job with real potential. I was finally going to earn the one thing that had eluded me my entire life. Money.

I’m sure that you can imagine that a 22 year old who knew NOTHING about money was super frugal, right? Right.

The first thing I did, after I passed my employment test, was purchase  a new car (I had already purchased a home when I had a modest salaried position.).

On my 90th day, at 10pm at night, we were closing the dealership down. I stopped by my boss’ desk and asked if I had done a good enough job to be kept. (I HOPED that I already knew the answer to that question.)

After a few minutes of him stroking my ego and telling me how much potential I had in this business, I popped the question.

Great. Thanks.”, I said. “Do you think you can work me up a lease on a new Durango before we leave?“.

He kind of looked at me, stunned for a second, and then smiled a sly, half confused smile.

You do realize, that in this business,  we have to save for nine months to pay for three. Right?“.

I shook him off (like I had passed finance). After all, having a one year old, a house, and a new car (that had a payment four times the size of any car payment I ever owned) was no big deal. I was a goddam Car Salesman!

I was now the PROUD owner of a 2004 Dodge Durango. Not a single one of my friends, outside of the car business, owned a house or a new car. I was the cat’s ass.

Eighteen months later I filed bankruptcy.


The moral of the story, for me at least, is that money isn’t scary. Money isn’t evil. Money makes the world go ’round.

Don’t believe me? Do yourself a favor and tune into MSNBC one night after the stock market closes. You will see that NOTHING moves in this world without the transferring of “The Almighty Dollar”.

After I flunked out of LIFE I made a promise to myself: Earn more money.

I have been on that quest ever since. I have had bumps in the road, and tough times since, but I focus my life around the ability to earn money.

Before you freak out, I will agree, money does not buy “happiness”, but it buys all the things that make me happy. It does not buy love, but it lays a good foundation for relationships to flourish. Money cannot mend a broken heart, but it can buy a gallon of Jim Beam.

Money is a tool, and we need as many tools as possible to live a happy and secure life. It may even be the most important tool in our  belt to conquer the struggles we encounter in our journeys.

Learn about it, earn as much as you can, and share it with those who aren’t as fortunate as you. THAT is not evil.

The lack of money is the root of all evil.” -Mark Twain


You May Now Get That Promotion

Marriage can mean multiple things to many different people. It can be a legal and religious bond between two people who love each other, it can be “common-law” and convenient and still buttoned up with love, or it can be the foundation for a family. What really blows my mind is that it also seems to be a golden ticket to that cushy front office-type job you have always wanted. Or at least a free step on the first rung of success.

Maybe that is just my perception. But, in the car business we preach, perception is reality. And in this scenario it is MY reality.

At one time I was a young professional attempting to blaze my own path, blasting through life single with no rods or strings attached . It seemed to me that no matter how hard I worked, or how many hours I logged, I just wasn’t taken seriously enough to be looked at by management to move up the ladder of leadership.

Four years ago I met the love of my life and things began to rapidly change. The way that I looked at life changed. The things that were important to me changed. I changed.


All for the better, of course. But what was most odd to me was that the way OTHERS started to look at me changed too. People could see that I was settled down, with a family, and that SHIT JUST GOT REAL.

People started to look to me for advice, managers seemed to put more stock in my suggestions, I was sought out to double date and network with other “married” couples that were more successful than myself. It was like I was cruising down the road of life and the highway began to float. I was finally taken seriously.

And the crazy thing about it all: As much as I changed, I stayed the same.

I was (am) the same old dude that likes to party. The same loose cannon. I’m still that “Same Ol’ Me”.

Soon after, my career dramatically changed course. I was recruited and promoted within a short period of time. I was thrust into a cushy front-office type job (WARNING: Front office jobs aren’t THAT cushy!) and was loving every minute of it. I was finally living my dream.

But wait…was this all because I am in a serious relationship? Am I all the sudden stable enough for my employer to invest in me?

I scoured my memory of all the managers I have worked for or with in the car business. I was looking for something to dis-prove this insane theory of mine.

What about him? Yup, married. And her? Yup, married. But there was that one guy. Nope, he was married too.

Every single person I have worked for is married. Some of them multiple times, but were married during the time I worked with them.

I started to panic. What did this all mean? Does it mean that, in this business, you are not thought to be capable of leading a team of salespeople if you are not married!? But why not?

I’m sure that you can guess that these thoughts ran through me like MiraLAX through a wrestler making weight.


I tossed and turned at night trying to decipher this coded paradigm. Why were the golden keys of the kingdom bestowed on me, only because I was able to keep a long-term relationship?

A couple things happened while I was pondering this great life mystery. 1) I realized that I take people more seriously when I find that they are married, and 2) My perception of myself being more hard-working, stable, trustworthy, and accountable, now that I am among the “married”, has increased dramatically.

But what causes this? Do stability and marriage hold hands in business? It seems to be a social deficiency for someone to be single and focusing on numero uno, while advancing their career.

Single<Married. In the business world it seems.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Why does the business culture view an unmarried man or woman as less advance-able?