A trip I made to San Francisco demonstrated some interesting lessons on prosperity consciousness. I stayed at the Palace hotel.
The Palace was established in 1875 and was the belle of the San Francisco social scene for almost a century. Then it faded from glory, a ghost of her once illustrious past.
Now after many millions of dollars and a complete renovation, the Palace is once again, The Palace. If the freshly decorated splendor doesn’t convince you, then the $1.50 surcharge for local phone calls will. Which raises an interesting prosperity issue…
In Vegas, I conducted a Mastermind Council Retreat at the Aladdin Hotel. We selected that hotel because some of the Council members were grumbling about the high hotel rates on some of our exotic trips. So I went along with the idea of having one luxury trip a year, and one more affordable.
Two minutes inside the Aladdin made me realize what a mistake that was. (Although I had my suspicions when the taxi driver told me that everyone he picked up there complained about it, and that there was no water pressure or hot water on the top floors.)
Now it’s hard to believe that you can spend over a billion dollars building a place and have it not be nice. But if you need proof, the Aladdin’s the place. The world’s first billion-dollar-dump.
But back to our prosperity dilemma…
One of my attendees complained that the Aladdin was charging him 25 cents a page to make some copies. I told him to get over it and concentrate on more prosperous things.
Easy for me to say – until I found out they were charging me $25 a day to work out in the fitness center that you would expect to find in a Holiday Inn.
No, I take that back. I apologize Holiday Inn.
So the question is where does prudently managing your money end, and prosperity begin? It’s a fascinating issue…
I had a fresh fruit cup and granola for breakfast at the Palace which set me back about twenty-five bucks. Not even a block down the street, there’s a McDonalds where I could fill up for $2.
I think I’ll stick with the Palace.
First, I’m eating a breakfast that will prolong my life, not shorten it. The orange juice is fresh squeezed, and there was a beautiful blue glass vase with two fresh-cut roses on my table. Classical music was playing over the sound system and gentlemen were pulling out chairs for ladies. I realized that I was the only guy without a sport coat or jacket on. At breakfast!
The dining room itself is a four-story glass atrium with towering marble columns that could serve as an Opera house in many areas of the world. Tourists are walking by just to gawk at the ceiling. There is a large round table in the center with a floral arrangement that costs more than ninety percent of the world pays a month for rent. There are enough ferns and other greenery in here to stock an aviary.
Can you really compare that with sitting on a plastic bench, staring at Ronald McDonald memorabilia, choking down food with enough cholesterol to drop a stallion?
And I think that’s the difference in a lot of cases. The choice between something and a lower priced alternative offers quite a contrast. Even when the ingredients would appear to be the same. Since we’re on the breakfast theme, let me use the examples of the restaurants on the Hollywood Boardwalk back in Florida.
There are about a dozen restaurants all fighting over the same Canadian tourists. So they’ve all adopted the low price model. They all offer a special of two eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage, coffee and toast for prices from $1.99 to $2.99. If I were in the mood to eat that kind of fare, I would rather go someplace else and pay $15 or $25.
I will get grade A, large eggs, cooked in vegetable oil, not bacon grease. I’ll get real butter on my toast (if I wanted it), instead of something that comes out of a squeeze bottle. And I can order fresh squeezed orange juice instead of some pasteurized, processed liquid of unknown origin. Even better, I will get clean silverware, and I will be eating off a table that wasn’t wiped with a towel containing more germs than the floor of a porno theater. (Not that I would know anything about that!)
So while the ingredients may seem the same on the surface, they usually aren’t. That’s a myth started by people who have never tried the luxury model of something. I’ve discovered a universal truth about prosperity:
The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.
That last sentence encapsulates everything you need to know about prosperity. So what do you think?
Is it over the top to pay $400 a night for a hotel room, when there are others available for $89? What about $800 a night? What about a $4,000 a night suite?
What do you think about paying $10,000 for a purse? There were several available in the Bellagio shops. Along with a gorgeous $10,000 ostrich coat. (Which I saw on my break, and was already sold when I went back with my wallet.)
Can you justify spending $5,000 for a pair of shoes when there are children starving in Africa/school systems going broke/diseases needing research money/the polar ice caps melting/etc/etc?
So here are the issues…
How many of your price decisions are made based on the actual value received? Or are you holding back because you feel you aren’t worth the extra money? Does going for the luxurious choice bring up feelings of guilt? Are you surrounded by people who will disparage or ridicule you if you spend “too much” on yourself? Please check in below with your thoughts.