Imagine the clouds dripping.
Dig a hole in your garden to
put them in. -Yoko Ono
Imagine a world in which social status was achieved by creating the most value. By value I do not mean financial wealth-- that is a measure of how much you can take. It is easy to measure profits in digits and so it is easy to celebrate the bank or corporation that has the largest profits.
What if we were as consistent in measuring what an organization created? We like to believe that the business that does the best work in the world receives the greatest rewards, and yet the work in the world is not what we measure. What kind of "taking-stock exchange" would we create to tally the most creative corporations and banks? ("Creative" meaning those that create the most, not the most innovative in finding ways to accumulate profits.)
What if the bank that helped fund the most innovative companies-- that enabled the most great ideas to thrive-- what if this bank was viewed as the most successful? What if its CEOs and Presidents were the most admired and most emulated? What would it take for us to change our definition of success to value creating over taking?
Imagine if the individual with the greatest social status was not the one who could buy the most stuff, but the one who had done the best job bringing things into the world-- funding or making art, teaching the most scientists or funding the research with the most breakthroughs, funding the companies that had the most revolutionary impact on society. What if we held the creator in the highest esteem and saw a big house and a car as simply things-- neither good or bad in themselves? What if we thought of power not in terms of political sway or the ability to hire people-- but in terms of the ability to effect positive change in the world? If we operated under these assumptions, what would the world be like? Who would be our heroes? How would business and the economy change? Can you imagine this world? How vividly can you imagine it?
"Author Laura Lee may have well written the Brokelyn manifesto, the recession-victims’ King James Bible and the brokester I Ching all wrapped into one. Her new book, Broke is Beautiful, is a vast, thoughtful and intensely researched tome on the value of living the cash-strapped life."-Tim Donnelly, Brokelyn
"Laura Lee gives readers a good array of thoughts and wisdom and makes for a very entertaining and fun read. 'Broke is Beautiful' is a choice and highly recommended read which shouldn't be missed for those who want to live well when they have got nothing in the wallet."-Midwest Book Review
"If you're feeling down about the state of your exchequer, pick up this cheery little book...guaranteed to make you feel better about life in 'times like these.'"-Salem MacNee, Charlotte Observer
"It's not a how-to book, but more of a philosophical study, pointing out that most creative people aren't incredibly wealthy, and that happiness isn't tied to material goods."-The Detroit News
"Lee wants people who read her book to re-envision the economic culture, look past the mentality of buying and selling and find ways to enjoy life even if you don't win the lottery tomorrow."-Bill Lynch, Charleston Gazette
Broke is Beautiful is not only book, but also a philosophy of life. Being broke is not abnormal. Being rich on the other hand is freakish. While there is lots of propaganda out there in favor of wealth, little is written about the advantages of being bust out beggard and bankrupt. And broke, my friends, is beautiful! True security comes from the knowledge that you can survive in an insecure world. That is the knowledge that is gained through hard times and hard knocks. It helps if you can look on your brokeness as a way to lighten your load and a chance to test your creativity and resourcefulness. Where once the broke person felt isolated in an affluent society, today everyone is counting his pennies. Being broke is the new black! I invite you to join me in discovering new ways to think about money.