Written By: Chris Carlin

My fiancé figured out pretty early that the way to my heart is through my stomach. And I figured out pretty quickly she was a damn good cook as well. Anyone who can make healthy salads appealing to my taste buds gets my vote of approval. As someone who is a self-confessed sweet tooth, my diet has not been the best.

A Balanced Diet… (The Curious Case)

I remember my first job out of university I would walk 15 minutes between home and work. Sounds pretty healthy, doesn’t it? The problem was during that 15-minute walk I would pass a McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC. And when you are single, 23, working late and a lazy and incompetent cook I piled on the kilos pretty quickly.

My mother wasn’t impressed when I informed her that my idea of a balanced diet was McDonald’s on Monday’s and Thursdays, Pizza Hut on Tuesday’s and Fridays, etc. I always appreciate a good homemade meal – as someone who has survived on frozen meals for many years it is great to taste the real food! I love a good roast and lasagne, and I will always
go for homemade sausage rolls.

But my favourite food in the whole wide world is a hedgehog slice! The mixture of chocolate and biscuit is a combination straight from the Gods themselves! And anyone who can make a hedgehog becomes an automatic friend in my books.

Johnny's Mum

Author’s Note: Before I go any further, please note I have changed a couple of details to the story below to protect the privacy of the people involved. Don’t get caught up in the details; it is the message that is the most important. I have a mate (let’s call him Johnny) whose mum would make a killer hedgehog slice. You see Johnny’s mum ran a little café in an industrial area and would spend her whole time baking and cooking food. She always had stuff leftover, and I made it my duty to assist in helping her keep
cupboards clean…

However, the biggest issue about Johnny’s mum is she HATED working in her little café. She worked in hospitality because she dreamed of bringing joy to peoples lives through food. But her dream had turned into a nightmare. She was being paid merely $15 per hour (which I was convinced was below the minimum legal wage) and often did unpaid overtime. She had been there for many years, and while she was entitled to long service leave, her boss said she couldn’t afford to pay her to leave (which I also
believe was illegal).

Her family was begging her to quit and do something else. However, she was too scared to change. She felt the café needed her and wanted it to succeed, despite how badly they were treating her. And so she stayed.

The Price Of A Hedgehog Slice (The Curious Case)

One afternoon when I was over at Johnny’s place, the topic came back to the café. She was explaining as part of her role she was responsible for setting the prices for all of the items in the café. The more money the café made, the bigger bonus her boss offered (which was often a pittance anyway). As I was eating another of her heavenly hedgehog slices, I asked her how much she would charge for a slice. I had been to a café earlier in the week, and I was cheesed off I had to pay $5 for a piece of hedgehog slice. Johnny’s mum paused and went “Ummmmm… usually around 70 cents.”

“ARE YOU SERIOUS?”  My jaw hit the floor, along with Johnny and the rest of his family.  “70 cents? Mum that is a bargain!” Johnny said in disbelief. “Why don’t you charge more?”  “Well,” Johnny’s mum explained with a tear in her eye “If I raise the prices, not as many slices will be sold. And all my customers will get angry because I have raised my prices.”

Johnny tried to reason with his mother to even increase her prices to $1.50, far below a fair price for a hedgehog slice. But it was no use.
You see, Johnny’s mum had a real heart for people. But her self-worth was so tied up in making other people happy she was making herself miserable.

The more miserable she became, the harder she tried to help please other people. 

Increase Your Self-Worth, Increase Your Net-Wealth

At Master Your Money Now, we have a saying that to increase your net wealth, you need to increase your self-worth. Unless you know how much you are worth, not just financially but as a person, you will never increase your self-worth. It is sad to see so many people stuck in (usually) low paying jobs which they hate. However, when logic suggests they need to change, they generally refuse to do so. They would prefer the certainty of misery than face the fear of the unknown.

This is such a waste of life.

The whole purpose of taking control of your finances is so you can live the life you want to live. A good plan will show you how you can fund your dream lifestyle, whether that be to travel more, retire early, own your own home or spend more time with your family.

Take The Risk (The Curious Case)

But to live the life you want to live, you have to take some risks. Your dream life won’t be given to you. You have to do things that other people won’t do. You have to put a plan in place and action that plan. I would also suggest you have to be somewhat selfish as well. You will have to say “no” to employees and loved ones to live life on your terms.

I know I have had to say no to many good people to get to where I am today. I had to say no to spending time with my family and friends because I wanted to work more to save for a house or holiday. I had to resign from many good jobs to find a better one. I had to take a massive risk of leaving secure employment to set up my business of empowering people with their finances.

I had to fight for what I wanted. And that is how I am here today. And those who are in similar situations had to do it the hard way as well. I haven’t seen Johnny or his mum in years. We have drifted as friendships generally do in life. I hope they are both happy and Johnny’s mum has left that awful café. But unfortunately, I feel this story doesn’t have a happy ending. I feel she will keep working in a job she hates, getting paid a pittance, doing favours for people who don’t respect her. Don’t be like Johnny’s mum. Know your self-worth and increase your net wealth so you can live the life you want to live.

Because life is short. And you deserve better. But only if you believe it.

Disclaimer: This information is general information only.  You should consider the appropriateness of this information with regards to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
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