Business Development & Conflict Resolution

We assist individuals with starting their own businesses because small business is key to economic independence and community sustainability.

If You Want to Succeed, Get Your Finances in Order

One thing I have learned as an individual is that you determine your own future and your own success. One key area that many individuals are not successful in are their personal finances. America is a nation that is based on credit, debt, wealth, and money. At a young age, we are taught, money and wealth is the root of success and happiness. But, in reality money and wealth can be the “root of all evil” depending on the circumstances. I strongly believe that happiness brings success and not vice versa. I believe that money should be used to meet one’s needs and not one’s excesses. One must learn how to use their money wisely and not foolishly. Every day in the news you hear about millionaires going bankrupt and losing all their money. Also, many individuals must learn how to budget their money and manage their finances. One should always make a habit of balancing their financial books and checkbook. The most financial secure individuals’ secret is that they know how to balance their checkbook and keep a regular check of their income and their expenses. I strongly believe that every child and every adult should take a course in Basic Accounting and Finances 101.

I recommend this amazing book entitled “You Don’t Have to Be Rich: Comfort, Happiness, And Financial Security on Your Own Terms” by Jean Chatzky (Jean Chatzky, 2003). This book teaches you how to have control over your finances and not allow your finances to control you. You must get a grip on your finances, in order to, have financial happiness. “Get a grip on your financial happiness—and therefore your overall happiness—and you’re also likely to be the recipient of a little chicken-and-egg reward. Over the course of their lives, people who are financially happy are more likely to be more successful financially. That’s right. You don’t have to be rich. But you may end up richer anyway, in more ways than one.” Page 29 of You Don’t Have to Be Rich. People who tend to spend money on materialistic things normally “over want” things and tend to believe that money equals happiness. Materialism means that you place higher value on material possessions and income than you do on personal relationships, your free time, and your health. Basically, materialism means you value money and wealth over everything else.

You have to have some control over your finances in order to have true happiness in your life. “The more control you have over your finances—no matter how much you earn, no matter how much you’ve saved—the less money stresses you out. And less stress translates, across the board, into more happiness”. Page 60 of You Don’t Have to Be Rich. Important lessons you must learn about personal finances is that you must be reasonable and sensible on how your spend your money, you must budget your money, you must be willing to share your wealth with those in need, you must be a good steward with your money, and must give God his fair share by way of tithes (give 10% of your earnings to God).

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Contact information:,, and






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