Think and A.C.T. Rich (or why just chasing the almighty dollar isn’t making you happy) – The Number 1 “Coffee with Colm” Blog of 2018


Can you believe it? Did it fly? Or crawl? Are you happy to see the back of it or was it one of your better ones? Regardless, for better or for worse, 2018 is over and a bright new future is about to dawn. Here’s to a great one for you and me and ours.

Truthfully, I’m not surprised that the Number 1 “Coffee with Colm” Blog post in 2018, had everything to do with happiness and not money or achievement for achievement’s sake. I say this because I am sensing a change out there – it’s no longer about accumulation, but accommodation. It’s not about selling as much as it is about serving. Maybe humankind is becoming more mature? Wouldn’t that be nice? As John Lennon sang, “Imagine…”

The “Coffee with Colm” blog post for the last week of 2018 was first published in January and came back in at No. 1 for the year. What a wonderful way to finish!

As usual grab a coffee and think with me for a few short minutes amidst the New Year celebrations.

Let’s promise each other to raise a glass at midnight on Monday and be grateful for all we have. Sláinte.

Think and A.C.T. Rich

(or why just chasing the almighty dollar isn’t making you happy)

A “Coffee with Colm” Blog

He was only sixty eight when he died.

No one saw it coming. In fact he had been booked to go for dinner with some friends to celebrate New Years on the night of what was his last day alive.

Peter was a friend of mine for many years, during several of which we were quite close, and so when I heard of his untimely passing, even though we hadn’t seen each other in a while I thought it appropriate to mark his passing and acknowledge his influence on my life by attending his funeral.

Unsurprisingly, it was a very large turnout, a fitting testament to the man and his siblings and friends (Peter never married); we often attend funerals to support our friend if a someone close to them with whom we had little or no contact passes so many were there to support their connection to Peter, most however I believe would have known the man.

And, as with all proper funerals, there were tears and laughter both in the church and afterwards; signs of a life, though too short, well spent. May he Rest in Peace.

That was Wednesday.

On Thursday I found myself speaking at a business event, as one of a great and varied line-up of speakers and contributors and truthfully, for myriad reasons, not least of which was the saying a final farewell to a friend twenty four hours earlier, I really wasn’t in the mood. The first question I wrote in my notebook as I took my seat to listen to the Emcee and then the first few contributors reads, “Lord, what am I doing here?”

And it took some time for my mood to lift, but lift it did.

Some presentations were, as expected n a business setting, focused on material gain; most were not. I was grateful for the latter.

On three occasions presenters reflected on the loss of a significant other; one lost his wife of many years to cancer, one lost a daughter and one his mother in law. In each case they shared that it threw into perspective what life is really all about; when push comes to shove, life is more about the relationships we form, the people we touch and who touch us, than the size of our bank balance (whether black or red!).

Although we all know this subconsciously; we don’t often give it voice.

My fifteen minutes slot came at the very end of the afternoon and by that time I knew the topic I had pre-chosen, “2020 Vision” was the right one. By that time I needed to hear it, no more than, as was confirmed afterwards, others in the room needed to hear it too.

My “2020 Vision” speech asks the listener to consider their age today, and figure out what age they will be, God willing, on their birthday in 2020 and then asks them to close their eyes and imagine that day; that birthday in 2020. I ask them to get very clear on how they would like it to look; one day in their life and, mentally create the perfect day for them to mark. It covers all the bases; what who, where, when, etc… it’s a pleasant exercise that has had the effect of helping some people over the years realign their focus to what is really important.

By a majority of the assembled group, there was agreement around the reality that this perfect day has less to do with fiscal success than the more important issues of body, mind, spirit and relationships.

“So why the misleading title Colm? Why are you inviting us today to “Think and A.C.T. Rich”? Doesn’t that smack of monetary gain, Colm?”

At first glance it appears to, I grant you that, but let’s explore it, shall we?

First of all, the discerning reader will have noticed that A.C.T. is an acronym, not the word act itself, and this is important. You see at times we all act rich. It is why we tell people how much we earn, rather than how much we keep but the reality for most people is they are afloat because of indebtedness. Some people buy stuff they don’t need with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t even like! THAT is acting rich.

“So why the use of the acronym, A.C.T. Colm?”

Because I want to distinguish between the word ‘act’ and the three words the acronym stands for which are

·        A – Assets

·        C – Cash

·        T – Time

For us to be truly rich we need all three. The consultant who earns the seven figure income but trades 100 hours a week for 52 weeks in the year to keep the seven figures rolling in each year may be wealthy – but is she rich?

Truthfully, that depends. It depends on what she values. And I am no judge, nor should I be. To each their own. Live and let live.

Watch the short video, listen to the Podcast or read on below for more…

Let’s quickly explore A.C.T.:

  • Assets (according to Robert Kiyosaki’s simplified thinking and teaching on the subject) are quite simply things that put money in your pocket without your having to perform ad infinitum. They work, not you.
  • Cash* is needed. Not necessarily physical cash in your pocket, but access to money to pay for stuff now, today, in the moment is a necessity of life in the twenty first century. Perhaps liquidity is the better word, but Think and A.L.T. Rich didn’t really suit my argument. 🙂

*(there was an interesting conversation around Crypto Currencies at the Thursday event, and I don’t claim to understand it except to acknowledge two things; 1. The money marketplace is changing for sure. 2. We are all heading towards using our phones for everything, paying for stuff included)

  • Time. This is the one. Time is the key. Too many people trade too much time for too many years to earn cash, to attempt to get financially rich and then they die. And then the efforts from all their blood sweat and tears passes seamlessly to others to enjoy. A plate on some business tycoon’s desk reportedly read, “Fly first class. Because if you don’t, your children will!”

Time. You can earn more cash, you can increase your assets, but you cannot replace one second of your life.

Time is the only currency we can use to take care of our bodies, our minds, ourselves (spirit) and our loved ones.

In my opinion, of the three, time is the most important and the one most often neglected.

Therefore to be truly rich (as each of us defines it for ourselves), one requires a personally tailored combination of

1.      some assets (some things that put money in your pocket whether you go out to work or not),

2.      sufficient cash (liquidity)

3.      and enough time to enjoy all of the above

Which leads in reverse order to possibly the most important word and probably the most overlooked in the sentence – Think!

Thinking is where it all stems from and thinking is what most people don’t engage in. Most people don’t think, they just act. Ready. Fire. Aim.

Most people don’t think about how they might create assets for themselves.

Most people don’t think about how they might trade less time for the same cash or perhaps how they might earn more for the same effort currently invested.

Most people don’t think they are wasting time as they run on the hamster wheel they call life; alarm, commute, work, commute, dinner, tv, bed, alarm, repeat…

Why don’t most people think? Because thinking is hard. Because thinking throws up areas of uncomfortableness. Thinking throws up areas where we need to improve. Thinking takes time. Thinking feels (for an action oriented person) like a complete waste of time (there’s that word again).

So, my friend I am proposing for 2018 that you join me as we begin to wrestle back a little more control of our lives.

I propose you start the year with a commitment to yourself to Think and A.C.T. Rich.

  1. Think about out how much you need (Cash)
  2. Think about how you might earn some (or all of that) of that through Assets
  3. Think about how much time you would like to free up to take care of your body, mind, spirit and relationships.

Commit to yourself that by next New Years you will have made some inroads into a richer life for you.

And don’t try to take too much on at once. Tony Robbins says, “Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, most underestimate what they can achieve in a lifetime.

Make changes. Think. Smell the roses, reach out to old friends and people who are important to you, drink good coffee and enjoy great wine in 2019.

Happy New Year.


Thanks for thinking with me.

Yours truly.


“How can I help?”

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MORE. Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:

  • #2 The Runner Up in the Top 5 of 2018 – “Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try” – Yoda. Christmas week’s “Coffee with Colm” – click here.
  • #3 We’re into the Top 3… and at No. 3, from June, we have a funny, yet eye-opening, take on ageing. Giggles guaranteed in this week’s “Coffee with Colm” – What Level Are You At? – click here.
  • #4 The Christmas Top 5 “Coffee with Colm” posts from 2018 – And at No. 4 we have a post from January discussing the difference between vicTIM and vicTOR mentality. Enjoy. – Click here.
  • #5 Christmas Top 5 – At No. 5 we have my interview with nTrai, an exciting start-up that almost failed, then didn’t – click here.

HIRE ME TO SPEAK. Consider me speaking at your event, launch, awards, or as your after-dinner keynote. Find out more here.

WORK WITH ME OR THE COBM | SOUNDING BOARD TEAM. Need help with your business? Check out the areas I and The Sounding Board of trusted experts can assist with. Find out more here.

FREE AUDIO BOOK. If would like a complimentary copy of my book “Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks” in audio, narrated by yours truly so you get all the nuances, feel free to grab one here.

DEEP DIVE. If you would like to go deeper in your own personal journey, you can review the first step in my “12 Steps to Create the Life You Really Want” for FREE. Check it out here.

LinkedIn. Perhaps the thing to do right now is simply to hook up professionally on LinkedIn – if that’s of interest, click here.

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2 Responses to “Think and A.C.T. Rich (or why just chasing the almighty dollar isn’t making you happy) – The Number 1 “Coffee with Colm” Blog of 2018”
  1. audrey o neill

    First visit. Really enjoyed this so just thought I’d leave a comment to acknowledge and say hi 🙂

    • Colm O'Brien

      Hi there Audrey. Welcome. And thanks for taking the time to say hi. Hi back 🙂 Stay well and stay in touch. Colm

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