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Are You Stuck in Noble Poverty? Comments

  • By Mikelann Valterra
  • January 12, 2010

 

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Mikelann Valterra, director of the Women's Earning Institute, is a prosperity teacher and money coach dedicated to helping women earn what they're really worth.

When you live in Noble Poverty, you tend to believe there is some unnamed virtue in not having money—or that Truly Good People shouldn’t want a lot of it. Your mantra is something like: "I may be struggling, but I'm a thrifty soul who doesn't need material trappings to love life!"

While there is immense value in avoiding senseless consumption, Noble Poverty takes that principle to an extreme, where the pursuit of comfort or even solvency is suspect. The result is a series of decisions that a) keep you in financial straits; and b) never earn you that halo.

You may be mired in Noble Poverty if…

  • You say you want to earn more, but never raise your rates or pursue better-paying work.
  • You "make do" with a beater car, worn-out boots and a toaster that occasionally flames up because you believe deprivation is macho.
  • You judge friends with money as bourgeois and slightly sad.

Because it's easy to justify Noble Poverty as “anti-materialism”—you end up keeping your income low to avoid the danger of becoming materialistic. But materialism has nothing to do with earning money, but how you spend your money!

The real danger is that when we decry the wastefulness in the world, we deny ourselves the money to live a truly full life.

If you've taken an unconscious pledge to keep your income in line with your internal financial beliefs, revoke that pledge. When you charge and earn enough money, you can enjoy life, take care of your family, your self and give back to the world. It is time to be bigger.

There is nothing noble about poverty. Nothing.

Mikelann Valterra, director of the Women's Earning Institute, is a prosperity teacher and money coach dedicated to helping women earn what they're really worth.

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