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  • Heather PresleyCowen

Attributes of a Wealthy Community - Part 1

When you consider the word "wealth" what images come to mind? So often we may think of money or riches or some other form of material wealth, but consider that wealth comes in other shades of green, too. For instance, the color green, itself, is known for being a very truthful color. When we are in nature we are surrounded by wealth in its truest form - a beautiful sunrise or sunset, an ocean or lake or pond view, or even a hike through the woods. In fact, if we break it down, there are actually four kinds of wealth: Financial, Social, Time and Physical. In the next few weeks, I'll be digging into each of these types of wealth with the goal of expanding the definition of what it is to be "wealthy" for anyone who wants to truly build wealth.

Capital Stacking Is a Form of Wealth Building

By definition, "capital" is defined as, "#wealth in the form of #money or other #assets owned by a person or organization or available or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a company or #investing." When working with communities, I love to talk about leaders with "swagger". A leader who has swagger is one who knows what is necessary and refuses to settle for less, and that mindset is evident in the (oftentimes very difficult) decisions they make. They bring with them a certain attitude that creates a reverberating effect that amplifies the community's ability to accomplish key outcomes it is wanting to achieve, such as addressing a workforce housing crisis. I have always seen the idea of "capital stacking" to be one that's synonymous with this type of "can-do" attitude.

Wealth and Resiliency

My definition of "capital stacking" is that it is a wealth #mindset that comes from a place of abundance, that sees a crisis as a problem to be solved rather than a condition to endure. This mindset is also the root of #resiliency. It's an important distinction when you consider that while the human brain can process 11 million pieces of information every second, our conscious minds can only handle approximately 40 to 50 pieces of information per second so what we choose to believe about our own ability to truly build wealth becomes mission critical in the wealth building process. This means I may very well be surrounded by one or several forms of "wealth" and yet because of my mindset, I may be completely unable to perceive it. This is why we always begin with considering and appreciating all of the wonderful attributes of a community before we delve into specifics about the housing "problem". By simply designing a housing program around those things a community loves most and building from that place of #gratitude, we are able to bridge an important gap between what is and what will become without giving place to the fear that often accompanies change.

Steven Covey had the right idea when he inspired us to "begin with the end in mind". When we can refocus ourselves on the bright future we would like to see and then take affirmative steps in that direction, we are able to direct our steps toward what we want and this opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It is in this state of mind that we are able to see the abundance that surrounds us and the many forces that are at work on our behalf. This is where true wealth building begins.

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