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Senior Correspondent

I recently wrote an article subtitled “Ode to Selfishness.”

By the time I was done writing it, I had a flash of realization: the world had changed under my feet and I hadn’t noticed.

Worse yet, it had changed under my clients’ feet too and I was no longer serving them well.

Something had to change… and fast.

So I opted for my version of going out into the desert and wandering for 40 years: I hopped on a plane and flew to Peru, where I could wander around old ruins, amidst calming energies and a much grounded population. I had trekked across Peru the first time in my early twenties, so I knew what awaited me …

While there, I went up Machu Picchu.

I meditated in the center of the concentric circles dug into the ground at Moray that were used by the Incas to study how micro-climates affected crops.I stood in an enclosed ruin in Pisac as a woman played her flute in honor of Pachamama (the Andean goddess who watches over the earth and its bounty).
I went from village to village to feel the comfortable predictability of people who live closely connected to the land beneath them.I walked around day after day, filled my pockets with loose twigs and rocks, fed llamas and, best of all, talked to the gentle people around me.
And I thought.

Where I Had Been

I had been writing about personal responsibility for two years. Month after month I received calls and emails from women who had been touched by something I said or wrote and who had changed their financial lives because of it. And some of my clients literally turned their finances upside down and took total control of their financial futures. Bravo!

But, over time I was getting more and more kudos and support from women I knew were not taking responsibility for themselves or their businesses. They paid lip service to it. The term “personal responsibility” had grown empty. Like “abundance” and “financial freedom” before it, it lay dying—on life support—on the pile of expressions made meaningless by overuse and sloppy definitions.

Where We Are Headed

At the same time, we had entered a new political cycle in which economic uncertainty will continue to play a major role: political stalemates… fiscal cliffs… higher tax rates for the successful… threats of wealth-destroying inflation for all. And constantly shifting charges and fees woven throughout expected benefits and services.
Is this a cataclysmic time? No, not at all. But it is a time of swift change. And, in my books, that means great opportunity, if one is prepared. (And rapidly lost ground, if one is not.)

To take advantage of that opportunity, we need to be infinitely more grounded in our beliefs about money and in our familiarity with our everyday and future finances. And we need to be crystal clear on our most intimate vision of the future, complete with detailed plans of how to get there. Lip service will no longer cut it.

Most of all, we need to replace “personal responsibility” with a new concept, one I call “responsible selfishness.” It takes honesty and accountability to a new level. It blows away some commonly held beliefs as the urban myths they are. (And will probably blow away some readers in the process.)

The concept can be summed up in two words: “.”

I will be looking for some women who are ready to join me on this amped-up journey to true wealth.

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