What Motivates Me More Than Powerball


What Motivates Me More Than Powerball

In two words…my clients

It’s very difficult right now to not think about the Powerball lottery and the difference that close to $1bn in winnings after taxes will mean to someone or a group of people, but Powerball, like any other lottery is temporary. It’s a one-time event in someone’s life that only requires the effort of actually purchasing a ticket.

While I confess that I have thought about what I would do if I were to win Powerball (see my bonus section at the end of this), I spend more time thinking about and getting inspired by my client’s daily grind toward financially healthier lives.

I always feel for my January clients because just like most of us tend to gain physical weight over the holiday season, most of us tend to gain money weight over the holiday season. It’s tough to have a “weigh in” with your financial planner after one of the worst periods of your year, yet rather than stick their heads in the sand and avoid me; every single one of my January clients is stepping up to face their realities.

Despite cautioning me in advance as to their financial state, all of my clients scheduled a time to meet with me. Truthfully, I expected a number of them to try to delay our meetings until February to give them some time to catch up, but not a single one opted to delay.

What’s So Motivating?

Unlike winning the Powerball, financial wellness takes months and years to achieve and even after achieving it, you still need to work on maintaining it. Where most of us would love to have overnight success, the reality is that success takes time and I love watching my client’s commitment to achieving success despite setbacks.

No matter how much we might focus on getting financially fit, we are bound to run into obstacles like the holidays, or emergencies or emotionally challenging times, and when we do, we have to remember that our journey is not defined by the obstacles but rather the way that we overcome those obstacles.

Each one of my January clients has felt some degree of failure as they struggled to meet their goals, but I don’t see their failures as they do. First of all, I think they are a success just for committing to a meeting and facing their results. Second, I think you can only define yourself as a failure if you do nothing about your setbacks. As long as you keep pushing forward and keep focused on your goals, in my eyes you are not only a success, but also you motivate me to continue to focus on my goals.

I Know How My Clients Feel

I remember sitting down to a performance review with a previous manager of mine and I felt a lot like many of my clients, despite the fact that I worked hard to achieve my goals, I didn’t reach a few of them. I expressed my dissatisfaction to my boss, and he immediately told me that he felt the opposite. He shared with me that despite my results; my behaviors were on target and that eventually he knew that my behaviors would pay off.

I truly understand what he was sharing with me 10 years ago because I feel the same way with my clients. Even though a handful of them may not reach their number goals, they are continuing to practice financially responsible behaviors that I know will start to show results. The more that they practice those behaviors, the better their numbers will be, so I never want to see any of them disappointed. Disappointments can lead to quitting and quitting is not an outcome I like to see from anyone.

So if you don’t win the Powerball tonight or sometime in the future, continue to work towards your goals and understand that it’s not always about the results, it’s also about the process and the more you practice, the better you will get. I thank my clients for continuing to show this to me. They inspire and motivate me all the time and I am proud of their commitment and focus on living financially fit lives.



While I love the focus and long-term commitment of my clients, I would be remiss to not talk about Powerball and share with you what I would do if I won the money. The first thing I would do is fully fund The Financial Gym and begin the process of building financial gyms in communities across the country. I would fund my son’s college education. I would pay off my mortgage. I would establish a charitable fund that would provide scholarships to graduates from my high school (which was an all-girls high school) who wanted to pursue degrees in business or finance. I would establish another fund that would provide grants to women business owners; and finally I would set money aside so that I could take my son on one big international trip a year so that he could experience the world.

Gif Source: Giphy

Did you buy a Powerball ticket? What would you do if you won? Do you feel like you gained financial weight over the holidays?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.


  1. I did buy some tickets. A commentator on my blog mentioned the best thing would be to win 2nd prize so you wouldn’t have the spotlight of the the big prize. I like that idea. I similar to you would pay off my mortgage, and set up fund for my three children. I would set up a charity or foundation to help spread financial literary to students. No financial weight gain, just a few extra pounds. 🙁

  2. Id buy a modest house all with cash. Pay off the mortgages of my siblings. Give most of it to Charities. Fund my kids education. Travel 3 months every year for life. Build a new school in a third world country and start a scholarship as well. OF course we all feel a bit out of wack during the holidays, this is the new reality in our society. But I still saved some, and paid all my bills on time so no worries.

  3. I didn’t buy a ticket. I’d travel a lot more that’s for sure, but I’d quit “work” and only “work” on passion projects. You make very good points Shannon. We are such a now generation and it’s hard to wait for things to happen gradually. I know that’s one thing I have a very hard time with. But to answer your question…nope, as you know my finances changed for the better in Dec!

  4. My husband bought some powerball tickets. I’m just hoping that they draw a winner tonight, because to be honest I’m sick of hearing about it. I ended up turning off the news channels and I’m keeping off of my personal social media accounts until it’s over.

  5. The biggest negative to winning the powerball is that no one will ever take you seriously. If I won I would love to start a small venture capital fund. To actually be taken seriously in business, though, would require working 10x harder than everyone else. You also would never know if someone genuinely likes you or not. It would always be about the money you have. Ultimately I think the pros of winning outweigh the cons, but whoever wins will pay a steep price.

    Minnesota does not allow you to be anonymous, either…

  6. I bought a Powerball ticket for the first time ever, which I posted about today. It was worth the price just for the dreaming it allowed me to do.

    We did spend some money on household stuff in December. I don’t enjoy spending but it was long overdue and planned so I don’t feel bad about it.

  7. I usually buy a Powerball ticket. Who knows I may be the next winner. Just to try my luck. I wish I could win this. If I did, I would totally be the happiest person on Earth. I would take the half and share the other half with charity of my choice.

  8. It’s kind of funny; in the days leading up to the Powerball lotto, my husband had to stop by the counter where they sell tickets a few times. There was a huge line-up, and when he finished his order, the employees behind the counter seemed confused when he didn’t also buy a ticket!

    I’ve never bought a lotto ticket in my life and I don’t think I ever will. I’ve got better places for that money to go, even if it is only a wee bit o’ cash!

  9. Great post! I also bought my first Powerball ticket ever. I believe that the diligent attainment of financial well being probably increases your quality of life more than winning $1B. As Mark Cuban said, “If you weren’t happy yesterday, you won’t be happy tomorrow. It’s money. It’s not happiness.”

  10. I’d set up a scholarship fund for theater students where I was an undergrad. And possibly where I got my M.A. as well. But since I didn’t even buy a ticket, I didn’t put much thought into it. My mom had a plan to win it though – turns out it wasn’t to be. Surprise, surprise ;o)

  11. I managed to stay more financially fit this Christmas than past ones. That is one thing to think about though is the gaining of financial weight, I like it…I’ve never heard it put that way. With that in mind, I plan on working out my bank account this year!

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