100 Day Challenge: Money and Success

How you make money and how you spend it, all reflect your character.

How You Make Money Reflects On Your Character

I was going to start out this post with this sentence, “While most of us have consciously thought about the ethics and morality of how we make our money…” But as I pondered this declaration, I'm not sure it is true anymore.

Last week we listed a printer for sale on a local news agencies classified ads website. In response, I got an all-too-familiar email from “Handy Ark” (SICs included).

  1. Why are you selling ?
  2. What's the present condition ?
  3. Are you the first owner?
  4. More Pictures?
  5. Final price?
  6.  phone no
  7. Home address
  8. the Name that should be on check

Thank you for getting back to me. Though I'll be using the services of a mover who will come for the pick up of the item on my behalf because nature of my job will not permit me to come down, but I will send a Check through my Bank to cover the cost of the item. The check will be delivered to you by a reliable courier company within 2-3 working days. Please do provide me with your full mailing address and also indicate your final price, the Name that should be on check and finally a cell phone #. Kindly delete the posting because am serious in buying it, The pick up will be made after you have cleared your payment.


A few times in the past when I've received these distant buyer scam emails, I've gone along with them for a number of weeks, just to cause trouble to these criminals. I've accepted the overpriced, fake checks (while never attempting to deposit them), stalled and made excuses, and strung them along for a while. Then I tell them off. I have the faintest bit of hope that one of them will clue into the fact that getting scammed is bad…and so they should stop being the perpetrator.

I almost did it again with Handy, but decided it was a waste of resources. So I just skipped right to the “tell them off” phase.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

You think you are justified in corrupting society and harming others for your personal gain? Please, tell me what you do when others cheat you? Do you just smile and accept it? Or are you pissed off? Yet you think you should be the exception to civilized, decent, moral behavior? You think it's OK for you to commit fraud, but people should deal honestly with you?

Get a real job and a real life. Grow up. Be a decent human being. If you don't know how, ask. I'll be happy to point you to some references. I'll be happy to assist you in finding good and honest things to do to make a living.

Scamming people who are selling things is not a good life.

Do we, collectively, even think about this work ethic anymore, or do we try to get the most we can for the least effort? Do we try to “screw the man”? Do we arrive late and leave early? Do we check personal mail or Facebook on the clock? Do we cut corners? Do we take home office supplies? Do we use cheap materials and provide shoddy workmanship, that won't be noticed until we are long gone? Do we justify our dishonesty and lack of integrity by blaming others?

Do we believe in providing our best honest day's work for a day's wage? Or do we go along with the currently popular thinking that we are owed a job, owed a “living wage,” owed benefits, and have the right to demand that others provide us with everything from birth control to cell phones?

Last week I was the parent volunteer at a fundraising event for Monica's musical theater competition tour. We were serving concessions at a BYU basketball game, selling popcorn, hotdogs, drinks, and the like. Some of the kids were literally rushing around the room, trying to fill orders as quickly as possible and filling any downtime prepping or cleaning the area. A few leaned against the walls, chatted and laughed loudly, and took multiple soft drink breaks.

To be sure, none could be called slackers. But some were definitely more interested in providing their best service than others. And I can easily tell you which ones I would hire for my own business. (Yes, Monica was one of the “rushers.”)

How You Spend Money Reflects On Your Character

Money isn't the root of all evil. The love of money is. Money is tied up with your deep emotional needs for:

  • Love
  • Power
  • Security
  • Independence
  • Control
  • Self-worth

So how do we manage those connections? How do we use our money appropriately?

For years I've pondered those questions and I don't have any clear answers. Why should I have a television when some people don't have food? How can I hire employees if I give all my money to charity? Is if noble to support a big box grocery store owner but greedy to patronize a family-owned luxury furniture business?

My purpose in writing this is not to tell you how to spend your own, hard-earned money. As a huge small government advocate, I think the earner is the only one qualified to make such a decision. But I hope we all look carefully at how we spend and how we give and prayerfully use that which with we've been blessed to be our brothers' keepers.

Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!