Assertive, Aggressive, or Inappropriate? You Decide

“Every choice you make has an end result.” Zig Zigler

Realize this universal truth and act accordingly. As long as you make a conscious choice in how you live your life, you will be content.



MAIN TOPIC: Sell Stuff & Make Money

Picture this; I’m drinking my coffee in the local café, working on my laptop, and minding my own business.  Having forgotten my standard ear plugs, I was subjected to a rather loud conversation by two moms at the next table. Normally, I’m quite adept at tuning out extraneous stimuli, but for some reason (maybe because they were rather loud), I picked up way more of their conversation than I desired. Amid the comments about Johnny’s lengthy swim practices and hubby’s golfing, mom #1 mentioned that 7 year old Sammy was interested in the keyboard, and that she really should pick one up for him

This is when the wheels began turning. Although I lean towards the assertive, I do attempt to attend to social conventions. Here’s the dilemma, I have a perfectly adequate keyboard sitting in the basement in the “pending garage sale” pile, do I mention it or not? (I am on a campaign to DECLUTTER, inspired by Jacob at Early Retirement Extreme and Man vs. Debt. )

MY PROBLEM: Do I mention the keyboard FOR SALE to the stranger (risking appearing nosey and aggressive), or do I leave it in the “to be sold at garage sale pile”?

You probably figured it out already, but I politely mentioned the keyboard to stranger mom #1 who took my phone number.


What do you think, was I out of line or not? My thinking was as follows, “I have a keyboard that will be sold soon and if this woman was looking for one for her son, I WAS BEING HELPFUL.”  Although, I would benefit if she bought the keyboard, she would too, as I would save her time (easily available, in her neighborhood), and money (discounted and lightly used). 

Contrast this story with Simon, a neighbor, who is so UNASSERTIVE, that he recently purchased a juicer for $150.00 at Williams Sonoma, because he worried that if he declined the purchase, the sales clerk would think he was not wealthy! And Simon thought that being thought of as poor was worse than buying an appliance he could not afford! (And Simon is by no means wealthy!) 

Every day we make choices about how we wish to spend our money and our time. Those choices add up over a lifetime and can make the difference between wealth and lack thereof. I chose to risk challenging convention a bit by offering the keyboard to a stranger, mom #1, in the hopes of making a quick $80 bucks. Did I care if she thought I was a bit quirky or out of line? Not really, I define myself by my choices and living true to my values. I saw this action as offering a “win win” proposition. If she didn’t see it that way, that was her problem. 

What do you think? What would you have done?


Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.

Take a risk and be assertive in your quest for wealth. Do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do either personally or financially. Remember to be sensible, not foolhearty!

image credit: Dogdejaya 

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