Should I Have Given This Homeless Guy My Rolls Royce Phantom? (True Story)

Should I Have Given This Homeless Guy My Rolls Royce Phantom? (True Story)

The Rolls Royce Phantom.

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Here’s The DM With My White Rolls From A Few Years Ago. (I Drive A Black One Now.)

It’s a beautiful car and it turns heads wherever we go, especially when Mark III climbs out and looks charming… just like his old man 😉

Recently, the Rolls needed to be fueled up so I pulled into a gas station and I climbed out to pump some gas. (Yeah, even The DM is stuck with self-serve sometimes.)

Meanwhile, some lady pulls up to put gas in her minivan.

Is this your car?” she asked.

I said it was – lots of people ask and I’m happy to tell them it’s mine. Not in a cocky way but in a way like, “Yes, I’ve busted my tail to own this car.” And most people I meet appreciate the work I’ve put in to earn it as well as the craftsmanship of this amazing vehicle.

She put on her frowniest face and said condescendingly, “I wonder how many people could have been fed and housed for the money you threw away on that over-the-top obnoxious car.” She pointed down the street – and there, sitting by the stoplight with a cardboard sign, was a man with begging people for money.

I looked at her and smiled. I’d heard this before

I don’t know the exact number but it’s helped a hell of a lot of people,” I said.

She looked at me like I was from Mars and asked what I was talking about. I could see the wheels spinning in her head as she tried to compute what I just said. After all, the guy at the stoplight was still sitting there with his sign!

I said…

The car dealer and sales guy I bought this car from earned a commission – enough to pay their mortgages and feed their families.

The sailors on the cargo ship who brought this car from the UK earned some money to feed and house their families.

The factory workers where the car was built earned their wages building this car and that helped to pay their mortgages and put food on the table for their families.

Don’t forget about the other companies that make components for the car or that extract the raw materials – the miners who mine the metals, the company that makes the tires… I could go on and on.

Her mouth hung open. I could tell she was angry, and since I’m not one to back down, I continued…

My parents were hard working people who never asked for a hand out. When money was tight, mom and dad worked extra shifts. I learned a strong work ethic from them that has helped me to this day.

My parents also taught me that when someone is facing difficult times, like the guy sitting over there with the sign, ‘helpful’ folks mistakenly think that a hand-out is what he needs. But that just robs him of his dignity. What he needs is a hand-up… a job that gives him a purpose and allows him to earn a wage.

If I gave away the money I spent on this car to someone like that guy with the sign, he may benefit in the short term from the money he didn’t work for; meanwhile, what happens to all those workers who didn’t get paid because I didn’t’ buy this car?

It’s about a value exchange: the guy who built my car wakes up every morning to go to work so he can feed his family… we don’t know what he went through to get this job. Meanwhile, I’ve seen the guy on the corner standing at that corner for 2+ years now… what value is he giving to the world and to himself?

And where does it stop? You can criticize me for the car I drive, but there is someone who rides the bus but looks at your minivan and wonders why you aren’t distributing your money in the same way.

What I love about capitalism is this: This car keeps feeding families. Because, when I’m done pumping my gas, I’ll pay for my fuel and that money will be combined with the money you’re paying for your fuel to help feed the gas station employee, the gas station owner, the trucker who brought the fuel here, and the hard workers who extracted the oil and turned it into gas.

… And none of that would happen if I just given out my money for free. But because capitalism rewards value, this car will continue to feed the gas station and the mechanic and the guy who washes it.

I finished pumping my gas, went to the gas bar attendant, and paid the guy… a small contribution toward his mortgage and his family’s food.

What do you think? Was I clear enough to the lady? Was I too harsh? I’d like your input

Your Friend And Mentor,

Mark Evans DM,DN

closeup of one hundred dollars on wooden table

I Waited For An Hour To Get The Meal I’d Ordered, But What Happened Next Will Surprise You…

I want to share a story with you that happened to me and Deena recently… I don’t share it for recognition but hopefully it can bring a smile to your face… and maybe even change how one sees the world. If your day is a bit brighter because of it, I’ll consider this a success. (Make sure you read all the way through to the end for a couple of additional observations and to share YOUR perspective…)

At A Restaurant In The Poconos

There’s a small restaurant on the lake near the Poconos. Deena and I thought we’d try it out. Looked nice, seemed like it had good food, and of course the surroundings were beautiful.

When we walked in, there were maybe 30 people there.

The server, Sara, was really nice and she seated us and took our drink order and went to get menus.

Minutes passed.

Fifteen minutes later, Sara finally showed up with the menus, then left again, and came back another 5 minutes later with our water.

(Honestly, back in the day this would have pissed me off and I would have walked out. But I’m a little more mature now so I looked around the restaurant while we waited patiently. 🙂 )

While looking around, Deena and I noticed something: our server Sara was the only one working. She ran from table to table, taking orders, delivering food, clearing the table… she probably would have run if she could… and some of the people she was waiting on weren’t very kind to her.

Sara was nearly out of breath when she brought our waters back and she smiled and apologized every time she came by. Finally I told her that there was no need to keep apologizing, we were just enjoying the view out the window. I added, “And it’s not like you’re busy!” She laughed and thanked us for making her smile.

I also noticed something else: while she had stepped up to serve her customers well beyond what she was capable of doing, and really pushed herself to be positive and apologetic at the long wait times, many customers left without leaving a tip and even one person left without paying the bill!

Deena and I sat in awe that others would treat someone like this, especially when it was clear to see how hard she was working.

We Waited And Waited… Finally Our Food Came

A tad over an hour after order, we got our food.

Sara came over and laid the bill on the table as if she was afraid to. She had been berated and yelled at so much in the hour we were there that she was afraid of what we might do.

Deena and I looked at each other and smiled as we were on the same wavelength.

Deena used to serve and we’ve talked about how hard it can be, especially if the manager screws up the scheduling and leaves you to fend for yourself as the front-line staff to a restaurant full of pissed off people.

So we paid the bill (it was like $32 bucks) and then left $100 dollar bill as a tip.

Our meal came to $32 and we left a $100 tip.

Our meal came to $32 and we left a $100 tip.

A couple days go by and we went back to the restaurant… and guess who our server was?

Yep, Sara.

She smiled ear to ear when she saw us and came over and said, “THANK YOU. I don’t know you but you changed my life.

The puzzled looks on our faces prompted her to continue, “I was having a bad day, as you could clearly see that day. But I came to work because I have bills to pay. But I’ve been having a difficult time lately and I’ve been praying for a sign to keep on going.

Then she said, “I didn’t know if I would ever see you two again but I wanted to give you something.” She handed us a card – it was a thank you card.

It was a moving moment and a very powerful one. And I’m writing it to help me remember (for the days when I may not be as patient) and also maybe this story can help others remember, too: always treat people with kindness. And when you’re frustrated by something, observe the situation and realize that the person you’re frustrated at may have the least control – they just happen to be on the front-line, taking a beating because someone else screwed up. And, a simple gesture can change someone’s life forever.

Plant the seeds and reap the rewards. I thank my parents for this… they are amazing and helped me understand this powerful lesson.

Folks, we’re only on this earth for a very limited time. And there’s already enough negatively in the world. Let’s do what we can to make each moment and each interaction a little more positive – you could change someone’s life because of it.

I’ve shared the lessons I learned from this. What did you learn? How would you have handled the situation? Share your input below… or if you a have a similar story I’d love to hear it.

Your Friend And Mentor,
Mark Evans DM,DN

mark-evans-dm-dn-rolls-royce

Are You Focused On Getting Rich Or Getting Free?

I’m writing about getting rich… and frankly, what I’m writing about is probably going to piss you off

… because I’m about to blow up this topic in your mind by suggesting: You shouldn’t bother trying to get rich.

Instead, you should try to become free.

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The DM says: “Don’t bother trying to get rich”

There is a massive difference between rich and free, yet most people confuse the two and end up trying to do one when they should really be doing the other… or when they could even have both.

Let me explain…

Imagine that you’re sitting at a coffee shop at 3 in the afternoon. You see two cars pull up.

The first car is a beige family sedan, nothing exciting. Mom and dad get out of the front and their two kids get out of the back. They go into the coffee shop to order.

The second car is an ultra exclusive Italian sports car, like a Lamborghini. One guy gets out and he’s dressed in an expensive suit. He also walks into the coffee shop to order.

Now, which of the people in these two cars is rich?

Most would guess that the guy in the Lamborghini is rich because of his car and his suit. But what if I told you that he may have a lot of money but he’s stressed out, he’s on his third marriage, he doesn’t have time to hang out with friends, he hasn’t taken a vacation in years, and he works 24/7 just to pay for his lifestyle?

(And if you were measuring only in financial terms, you’d be correct.)

Meanwhile, the family in the modest sedan didn’t work because they had enough money coming in passively to easily cover their bills; mortgage, utilities, trips etc… and they were just stopping here because they had decided to drive across the country on a fun-filled, spur-of-the-moment family road trip before the kids went back to school in the fall?

The guy in the sports car is rich (but isn’t free at all) and the family in the sedan doesn’t seem rich at all (but is completely free).

Sure the sports car might be nice… but which life would you rather have?

Chances are, you answered (like most people) that the free life actually sounds pretty good, even though my description above is far more modest than a rich life.

I’ll bet most people reading this would give up a sports car and fancy suit if it meant that they got to spend more time with their kids.

Well here’s the amazing news: you can have both.

Most People Are Focused On Getting Rich And Totally Overlook The Power Of Getting Free

Getting Rich

If you’re sick of the 9-5 grind; if you know your retirement is at risk because you can’t save enough (plus your kids also need braces); if you know that you’re stuck in this work-every-day-until-retirement grind because you have so many bills to cover… then you’ve probably thought that “getting rich” would be the way to improve your situation.

You’re not alone! Like many others, you might decide that if you’re rich, these problems go away. So you start to think about what it means to get rich and how to get rich:

  • It’s not surprising that legitimate “how-to-become-rich” opportunities abound – from franchise information to small business start-ups… to the lottery.
  • It’s also not surprising (and, indeed, quite disappointing) that illegitimate opportunities abound, too – from pyramid schemes to downright theft.
  • Nor is it surprising that Americans spend A LOT of money on the lottery and in casinos every year. It’s because they’re hoping for an easy windfall to get rich as quickly and easily as possible.

Getting rich can be a frustrating and very elusive challenge. It can take A LOT of work (if you try to get rich without winning the lottery) and IF you do get rich, you may end up a few years later with nothing to show for it but a stack of money but not a lot of happiness.

I completely understand the desire for riches… and the stress it takes to try and acquire them (I’ve been there!!!)

… but RICH will not solve your problems the way you’re thinking. Sure it’s nice but you should really be striving to be FREE or, better yet, FREE AND RICH (which is very different than just being rich).

Getting Free

So what do I mean when I talk about getting free?

… free from having to go to a job every day

… free from “bad” debt

… free from financial obligation

… free from ANY responsibility that you don’t want to accept

What would your life be like if you had that kind of FREEDOM?

12 years ago I had a pretty successful business and I was on a quest to get rich… and unfortunately I was also on the fast-track to burnout too! Then I asked myself an important question (which I’ll share with you in a moment)…

And suddenly the answer became clear. I realized that burning out to get rich was costing me so much.

Instead, what I really needed was to become free.

So I made some changes in my life and that freedom allowed me to spend more time on the beach, to travel the world for 7 years with my then-fiance Deena, and to visit amazing places all around the world!

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The DM – “Livin’ the FREE life!”

This shift in mindset from “rich” to “free” is a game-changer in life.

Here’s The Game-Changing Question To Ask To “Reset” Your Thinking About Rich Versus Free…

What if, instead of thinking about how you can get rich, what if you asked this critical question: What would I do if I didn’t have to go to work every day?

I would suggest that’s the key question to ask, and the answer is far more informative. I believe the answer you get to THAT question is what you REALLY want out of life… not to be rich but rather to be free.

Chances are, if you didn’t have to go to work, you would probably…

  • Spend more time with your family
  • Get up early with the kids and walk them to school – without an alarm going off.
  • Hang out with your spouse a little more
  • Spend more time on the beach or on the golf course
  • Maybe hit the gym a little more often (after all, you’d be less tired than you are when you get home from work)
  • Perhaps you’d take up a new hobby you always dreamed of having
  • Maybe you’d even take the kids on a cross-country trip to build memories!

Maybe your list was similar… and probably longer than the example I listed above.

But see how different you feel answering this question of What would I do if I didn’t have to go to work every day? than trying to figure out how to get rich?

It’s a profoundly different answer (and probably one that brings you more joy).

It’s the difference between RICH and FREE. Rich is just a dollar figure; FREE is a lifestyle. (And yes, it’s possible to become free and rich… but riches without freedom is just a different type of prison.)

Free Is More Attainable Than Rich

Most people who aspire to be rich set a number that they think they need in the bank. Was it $1 million? $5 million? $10 million? I ask this question to people and often get numbers like that.

But now think about the financial “cost” of being free. What was it? Well, what if you could simply replace your current income dollar-for-dollar but just not have to go into work? Would that make a difference?

The people I talk to about this concept are usually shocked to discover that it’s often actually a LOWER amount than what they currently make (since they don’t need to commute every day, pay for parking and lunches, etc.)

So now your task is no longer the near-impossible “how do I save $10 million in the bank?” but rather, “how do I replace my existing income (or almost that mount) so that I no longer have to go to work?”

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The DM: Perfecting the FREE life since December 31st 2005!

And THAT is an entirely different way of thinking that opens up so many possibilities and is far more achievable and realistic… and many can even accomplish this sooner than you even realize!

Let’s talk about how to get free (and rich) in your own life…

How Many Turnkey Investment Properties Would You Need To Be FREE?

There are many ways that you can get free and rich in your life – from starting a business to investing in real estate.

I like turnkey real estate because it’s a hands-off investment that provides consistent, predictable cash flow. (Even with a business you’ll probably have to put in daily effort to find customers but with turnkey real estate, you get an asset that is cash flowing right from day one.)

And the best part is, if you have an IRA or 401k then you can even use that money to invest in turnkey properties so you may already have the money you need to become financially free today!

So let’s look at how turnkey investing can help you.

Here’s a simple exercise you can do to find out your “Freedom Number” – the price you need to become truly free.

(Print this, fill it out, and post it on your wall so you can look at it daily).

  1. How much money do you need each month to live comfortably? (Some people start with the wage they’re making; others add a bit because they want to earn more; others still don’t require as much as they make right now.)
  1. Assuming your turnkey properties can earn an average of $500/month (it varies but that’s a good average to start with) then how many properties would need to have to invest in to pay for your free lifestyle?

My Freedom income number per month is: ___________

I’ll break down the numbers in an example: Let’s say that you currently earn the national average of $50,000/year and you’d like to try and get close to that without having to go into work.

Well, you can invest in approximately 8 turnkey investment properties, each earning around a $500/month net. That’s $4,000/month or $48,000 a year… WITHOUT going to work.

Now, you might be wondering how achievable that is. (After all, you might not have thought before about buying 8 properties.)

Well, if you have the national average of $119,000 in your IRA or 401(k) then you can probably acquire 3-6 properties right now, which will get you pretty close to your freedom number. And you could use the cash flow from those properties plus working (or even some other creative strategies) to fund the purchase of the remaining 2-5 properties.

When people hear this, they’re shocked — retirement is often closer than they ever thought… it’s often a matter of a few months (or a couple of years at most) instead of long decades of toil! Some will even be able to retire by the time they finished reading this blog post, based on their ability to buy turnkey properties to replace their income.

When you started reading this post, did you think that it was possible to potentially retire right now by the time you finished reading this post? Probably not… but when you switch from focusing only on rich and instead focus on getting free (and rich) then it changes the possibilities and you’ll discover that a financially free lifestyle is far more achievable, faster.

So, stop trying to get rich. It’s an elusive challenge that most people fail at. Instead, figure out how you can get free. THAT is a more fulfilling, worthwhile, and ACHIEVABLE goal to work toward.

Your friend and mentor

Mark Evans, DM DN

PS, I’ve been careful to use the words “rich” and “free” in different ways here… with “rich” meaning a high net worth, while “free” means “financially free”. But if you hang around with people who are financially free, you’ll learn that they are truly rich… because they have built a life that is invaluable and full of wonderful experiences and memories.