Thelanguageoflight’s Blog
Just another weblog

Toot Your Own Horn & Help the Economy


I am partly responsible for the economic situation we are in and I am standing up and taking responsibility by looking in the mirror. I ask myself every day how my thoughts and behaviors have contributed to its existence and I am committed to doing the work to change, which lays the foundation for prosperity for all of us.

Over indulgence and greed have gotten us here. All of us are guilty in some way. You may not believe that driving a Porsche defines who you are, but is your pantry overflowing, do you have a closet full of unworn clothes or shoes, or have you turned away from someone who has less than you? Poverty consciousness is the one thing that’s been abundant and it is the flipside of greed, which couldn’t exist without the fear of there not being enough.

Some of us have begun clipping coupons, forgoing the morning latte, and eating out less, which helps discern the difference between “need” and “want.” This is a healthy and necessary step, but there is more that can be done.

We have been well taught to prostitute ourselves for money. How many of us have pleaded with the mortgage company, the credit card bank, or the electric company to give us more “time?” How many are dodging collector phone calls and ignoring letters sent by creditors? This victim energy prevents us from having the very thing we say we want – prosperity. Stop begging and take back your power!

It is time the people to whom we’re indebted realize that an empty house serves no one. A poor credit score benefits no one. A hungry belly honors no one. And feelings of despair and hopelessness affect everyone. Taking responsibility for where you stand and changing the way you think and act cleans out the mind and makes room for clarity, which leads to creativity and innovation.

Instead of waiting for the president, or the state or the county or the city to fix our problems, let’s take the initiative to do what President Obama is talking about – change. We can start by changing our perceptions about money and our need for it.

Here is a way “yes, we can” looks. Is it guaranteed to work? Nope. What is guaranteed is that looking at any situation from a place of victimization and inadequacy is how we got here. Stop whining, complaining, worrying and grumbling and use your human intelligence to interpret your inner messages, your gut feeling, so you can take action.


What are your God given talents? Surely you have some strength, some skill, some talent that brings you joy when you employ it and is valuable to others. Why not use them to get what you need? If you’re in need of food, instead of standing in a soup kitchen line, tell your friends, “I need food and I know you need electrical work done, let’s figure it out.” We don’t need someone to take us by the hand to show us how – we merely need the germ of thought to spark ideas.

I have created a page on my blog for you to post both the skills and talents you’re willing to trade and the needs you have. There’s a format to use and there’s nothing to join, no profile to create, no cost involved. Go to and add yours. Contact those whose posts interest you and respond to those who contact you if you resonate with them. Also check out Freecycle – an organization with almost 7 million members world-wide who get and give stuff for free in their towns.

For those who need support with mortgages, utilities and other debts, below is a sample letter that can be adapted. Do the research. Know who you’re addressing. Be bold. Toot your own horn about your talents and skills. Who’s to say a mortgage company, or anyone else for that matter, won’t realize they’re losing too? Start somewhere. Just start!


March 13, 2009

Mr. Mark T. Harmon
President & CEO
USA Bancorp, Inc.
5151 Corporate Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Dear Mr. Harmon,

I have something you want. The monthly payment to the mortgage USA holds on the house in which I live. As of today, the February payment has not been made. Nor March. This puts both of us in a situation that requires innovation, leadership and creativity to resolve.

The forbearance paperwork has been completed and it could take two months to resolve because of the number of applications you’ve received. If I’m denied, or can’t meet the stipulations, you will begin the foreclosure process. Considering the average loss on a foreclosure is around 25% and comes with steep administrative costs, you’ll be lucky to lose only $75,000. And that’s if the short sell market doesn’t fall off any more than it already has.

As for me, I may “lose” my home, but I’ll find somewhere to live. Yes, my FICO will be dinged – but few banks are issuing credit even to those who have exemplary scores right now. My motivation for offering you a different perspective on how to solve this is because I enjoy the house I live in and I love the work I do.

I know there is a way for USA to keep the mortgage on this house, protecting your investment, and for me to continue doing what I love. To that end, I am willing to barter my talents and skills in a way that benefits your bank so that I can remain in this house. Crazy? Many might say so. But let’s look at the facts. Right now banks aren’t lending and consumers aren’t spending. The economy is at a standstill. I may have transferred out of the business school in college, but not before I learned about the concept of marginal utility – and right now, even though the supply of staples like butter and gasoline has not decreased, the demand has.

The Stimulus Package laid out by the new administration is not going to provide such stellar results so quickly that we’ll all be back in Kansas any time soon. The only solution for our country’s current economic situation parallels the metaphor of the flywheel that Jim Collins refers to in his book From Good to Great. It is going to take constant and continual micro-steps to reach the “breakthrough” necessary for the economy to begin moving with any degree of speed. In the meantime, why not dust off an ancient concept and retool in a way that fits smoothly into our current culture?

The Bush Baked Bean empire was founded on the principle of barter. When customers were unable to pay for the goods at his general store, A.J. Bush took trade. Unwilling to let the bushels of tomatoes he’d received as payment rot, he began to can them. He was willing to believe that everyone could have what they needed. His creativity, leadership, and innovation built a multi-million dollar company that now has over 40 products on its roster.

I know that USA has taken innovative steps before – the Bank-o-Matic software integration for example. Digging deep for solutions far beyond what anyone has conceived of in the moment and implementing them is what changes the world. And from what I’ve seen, this world is aching for change.

Instead of subscribing to the concept that in order to gain, someone has to lose, why not see past that illusion to realize that when someone loses, we all do? Why not utilize your Penn MBA and all that you’ve learned in nearly 25 years of banking to help create a bridge between economic despair and the prosperity that belongs to each of us by Divine right? I want to work with you to create a solution so both of us have what we want. Perhaps in doing that, we show others how as well. Here is my proposal.

Insert your idea here – can you maintain houses already in foreclosure-cutting
grass, landscaping, cleaning the interior? What skills and talents do you have
that you’re willing to trade? See the possibilities not the limitations.

In exchange, the hours I spend are calculated at my standard hourly rate and applied to the monthly mortgage payments.

I believe profits and peace can exist simultaneously. And I know I can serve you and your bank by shining the light on how. I look forward to hearing from you.


Maria Woods

Please post a comment and share your ideas about how you and others can empower yourselves during this economic climate.


One Response to “Toot Your Own Horn & Help the Economy”

  1. Great site this and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: