Jun 25


In College I played a lot of billiards (understatement) and got the chance to meet many people from different backgrounds. One the people that I met was a man… let’s just call him Mike for the sake of this article. Mike was talked about quite a bit for his cocky attitude and marvelous skills with a cue stick.  Having grown up playing the game Mike understood the art of English, angles and stroking a cue in a way that us late-bloomers could not begin to fathom.

Well what does this have to do with finances? Well there was a day when Mike faced off against a wannabe hustler who thought he was good and the battle reminded me of the way people are with money.

When Money Is Reflected In A Game of Pool…

So Mike and the hustler faced off and the difference in their game was very much like the difference in how people handle money in life. The hustler started it off but he had no real scholarship about the game other than what he had picked up from playing bad people. When we learn about money by way of allowances, small jobs as kids, and the knowledge that in an emergency someone will be there to bail us out, we tend to play life loose and assume that more money is the answer to the debt we accrue. 

Mike on the other hand grew up from childhood learning the game from his uncles, he knew all the rules, the strengths that he could rely on and most importantly he knew what his weaknesses were. Mike is like the Accountant, the student to money, or the Financial Adviser who has the game figured out enough to know that it can be beaten through as much defensive maneuvers (saving/investing) as it can by offense (earning more money).

Mike beat the guy righteously and the entire pool hall laughed at him, this made the hustler upset, so he got an attitude and began slamming the balls into their pockets. He insulted Mike telling him how much better than him he was plus more. So in the next game, Mike decided to show the guy how much better than him he was at the game by going over to the corner and retrieving a broken cue-stick which had no tip and running the table (hitting all of his balls in to win) and the hustler never got a turn. Let’s just say it was so humbling a defeat that a fight almost broke out.

Are You Able To Play Without A Tip?

In life, when you have no cushion and are stuck in a situation financially, it can be like playing pool without a tip on your cue. Now if you are a precision shooter who knows the game, then the tip makes you lose out on some options but you are able to still hit the ball. A person with knowledge of finances can always find a way to win whereas a person who is just winging it will always find a way to lose, even if they have a professional cue-stick with all the chalk in the world.

If you are in a financial spot and have never taken the time to read, take classes, or be tutored about money, then you have to get help in order to get past debt and defeat it. Do not try to wing it by spinning your financial hamster wheel faster and faster in hope of a different outcome because it will not change your situation even if you were to win the lottery tomorrow.

Money and life can be very much like that game of pool that Mike won without a proper cue because it has little to do with how much you earn but everything to do with what you know.

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