January 3, 2002

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - How Much is Enough?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 8:33 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

How Much is Enough? Harness the Power of Your Money StoryAnd Change Your Life by Pamela York Klainer, Basic Books, 180 Pages, $26.00 Hardcover, January 2002, ISBN 0465037488
Ive spent almost 19 years reading mainly about financially successful people. After all, rarely is there a business book written about abject failures. In 19 years, it is easy to develop a complex of sorts. (Just read another book I have listed this month, The New Imperialists, and youll understand how reading about millionaires can skew your view a tad). Anyway, regular readers of this newsletter probably have noticed that I seldom review a personal finance book. The reasons are many, but in a nutshell, I have no inside or historical knowledge about personal finance books, which is the intended value JCS brings to you. Also, personal finance books tend to give rarely achievable advice and make me feel worse about my money than I did before I read it! However, I was intrigued by Klainers differing approach, since reading about millionaires and billion dollar companies (and not being one myself) can really make you wonder just how much money is enough. MONEY + SUCCESS = HAPPINESS? Klainer doesnt think so.
So, I started reading this book for myself, but became so involved in the process, and so impressed by the book, that I cannot recommend it highly enough. Intuitively, I have always felt that our upbringing had a lot to do with our attitude towards money. Klainer goes one farther and asks you to look at your entire money storywhich is your retelling of significant events in your life from the money perspective. As the author states in her introduction:
This is a money book, but not a book about earning, saving, investing, spending, or giftingInstead, this is a book about your experience of money, as revealed through your money story. Talking about your experience of money is, at a very deep level, talking about youwhere you came from, who you are now, what kind of person you ultimately want to be, what kind of relationship you value, and where you find meaning in life. Talking about your experience of money has everything to do with how you understand professional success and with whether or not you can allow yourself to be happy.
Wow. Do I really not allow myself to be happy due to my monetary expectations? Klainer offers a framework through which you can explore whether your history with or predefined ideas of money are interfering with your happiness. Klainers writing style is special, almost completely devoid of buzzwords and jargon. The book is laid out with very short chapters with liberal use of italics for emphasizing key thoughts or notable points. This is a book you need to read now, or at least have on your bookshelf when you wonder how much longer you can keep up this pace.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.