What are you voting for this week?

Happy Saturday!

Wow, another week has gone by, that means it’s been 2 weeks since I shared some of the experiments I’ve tried and encouraged you to try one yourself (if you’ve joined since then, you can read about it here.)

For the past few weeks, my experiment has been writing 500 words a day. I missed a couple day this last week, but other than that I’ve kept up and really enjoyed it! I’m learning how powerful writing can be for working through my thoughts and feelings.

So, how’d it go for you? I’d love to hear about what you tried and what you learned.

I was listening to a Podcast this week where my boss Jason was a guest. Jason where he was stuck with a bit of a dilemma deciding who he should purchase his car from. One salesperson was far away, and would take 2 weeks longer to deliver the vehicle, but was far more knowledgeable, had a passion for his work, and was offering impeccable service, the other—not so much.

Fortunately Jason had a really lightweight framework for helping with decisions like this, it was given to him by a friend who said: “your dollars are votes.”

Your dollars are votes

When I’m thinking about budgeting, saving for the future, and trying to make my dollars work for me, I can get hyper-focused on always buying the cheapest, most convenient option available to me. But that leaves out a big part of the equation—that every dollar I spend is a vote.

Just a couple months ago I was shopping for a barbell to get my garage gym going. There’s a lot of companies selling barbells in the USA, but most of their barbells are made somewhere else in the world. But I happened to know of a great company that made The Ohio Bar. This bar gets it’s name from where it’s made, right here in the USA. I really wanted the money I was spending to go to american workers, so I cast my vote. The best part, I got a personal thank you from the guy in Ohio that made it!

Rogue Ohio Bar - Made in USA

Of course it’d be great if I had all the money I needed to always vote for the businesses, charities, and things that I wanted. But in reality I’m usually trying to balance my life’s priorities, my current financial limitations, and my desire to support great businesses and causes all at once. And as I’m sure you’ve discovered, that’s a tough balance.

Katie (my wife) and I can’t always vote for the businesses we want to though. Often a financial limitation keeps us from casting a vote we’d like to. Other times it’s that buying a cheaper alternative is what allows us to vote for something more important to us. In fact, we’ve been debating buying a high quality couch or chairs for years now. We’d love to give our vote to a quality furniture maker instead of buying cheap chairs from big-box stores, but right now, we’re voting for patience and a down payment instead.

Our daughters have loved playing with Barbie dolls when at a friend’s house, but you won’t find any in our home. Barbie dolls portray women in a way we don’t feel good about, so we don’t give their products any of our money. Sometimes voting is less about choosing what to say “yes” to, and more about choosing what you’ll say “no” to.

Casting a vote starts with a question

Do I believe in local small businesses? Maybe there’s a local business that sells that same pair of jeans I was gonna buy from Walmart. Do I believe in reducing obesity in the world? How about I think twice about voting for the company pumping my food full of high fructose corn syrup. Do I believe every person with impaired vision should have access to glasses? I bet I can buy from a company that gives a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair they sell. Do I believe in providing for myself in retirement? How about I put a few more dollars toward the future, and live with one less thing today.

Jason ended up voting for hustle, passion, and a bit of patience. What are you going to vote for this week?


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