Monday, September 11, 2006

The Earthquake and the Talking Dog

An earthquake hit the Florida-Louisiana region on Sunday morning. I thought I was crazy, but I learned a few frugal lessons.

Scenario: 11 am Sunday, Miami Beach. I am on the couch. It’s a large heavy couch, but it’s moving. Initially, I think that I’m experiencing the side effects of a sugar-caffeine overload. But no, the world is moving. I am caught in the Matrix and my reality is shifting

Me: “The couch is moving!”

Hubby: Someone’s kicking the couch.

Me: “No! The couch is really shaking.”

My Daughter, age 8: “And the dog is talking”

Everyone: Laughter. I feel spacey--as usual. But I'm amused by my daughter's wit. My kids are funny.

But about 10 minutes later, my news savvy parents call from Central Florida with a bulletin about an earthquake in Florida. I tell them my experience and I feel validated.

Here’s what I learned from the Earthquake:

1) Trust your gut. Like Neo from the Matrix, I felt a glitch in the Matrix. It was real. But too often, I’ve made silly financial or professional decisions because I’ve denied gut feelings about glitches in products, services or events.

2) Little Things Matter: The couch did not move a lot, but my world view was definitely altered. Small movements can count a lot. Sometimes, in a push to achieve slam-dunk/big-ticket/fill-in-the cliché success, I ignore the “loose change” or the minor gains and focus just on the Major Savings. But honestly, nickel-and-dime moments in savings, in debt reduction and in career growth can add up to Major Shifts in lifestyle. It’s The Long Tail as noted by Chris Anderson.

3) Talking Dog Moments: A sense of humor is worth a large fortune.

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