He told me he had a gun, but it turns out to be a friendly neighbor trying to do some good.
To say that perception is important just doesn’t do the term justice. It is the sole contributor to our decision to purchase, and the reason why some of us make more money than others. In essence, perception is one of the most crucial factors of personal finance, because it affects the two main avenues of accumulating more wealth – our ability to earn and our discipline to save.
Let me explain.
Saving is Spending in Reverse
You weren’t born wanting to buy my budget travel book, but through the glowing reviews on Amazon or through a recommendation from someone you know, your perception of the book changed. At some point, you realized that paying for it actually saves you money as long as you read and study the tips and tricks, and hence, you made the purchase. This is before you have seen the content. Buying is all about perceived value.
In order to save more and spend less, trying to curb your spending is hardly effective. Instead, see the value of being out of debt, and the value of delayed gratification. Think of the freedom of not having less monthly payments, while developing a love for a growing account balance. The only way to be successful in saving is to see a higher value of having that wealth instead of the stuff that you buy… and let me tell you a secret – you will be much happier because you aren’t trying to keep yourself from doing something you like.
Show Me the Money
Ever wonder why your coworker got a promotion instead of you even though you work harder than him? The reason is simple. He/she is perceived to be the best candidate for the job. No one can guarantee that it’s the right choice or not, as anyone being considered obviously haven’t been in that position before. If you want to earn more money, then start acting like you deserve better pay. Here are more little tips you can start doing immediately:
- People You Are With – We all naturally gravitate towards people we see as equal but it doesn’t help our career at all. It’s a little unfortunate how this works actually, but start hanging out with coworkers at a level above you more often and people will magically give you more respect. As an experiment, if you befriend a department head, note how people within the department will start treating you.
- Funny Is Not Always Good – Many young guys fall into this trap because it earned them many brownie points with the ladies at an early age. Injecting humor is always good but there’s a fine line between clever jokes and being goofy.
- Hold Yourself Together – Learning to stay calm gives everyone the impression that you are a competent individual who knows what to do in every situation. I had dinner with a friend the other day after not seeing her for a couple years. She no longer appeared as a clueless girl and her transformation was incredible. She told me that little has changed, but she stopped herself from overreacting and sending out signals that she actually has no idea what you are talking about half the time.
Surprisingly, reality counts little, while perception is everything. Change the way people perceive you and how you perceive the world. It could mean big bucks.