It’s always useful to use metaphors to describe current situations. These metaphors help people see what’s right in front of them. In today’s world, we may be trying to grow but are people around you holding you back?
The ‘Bucket of Crabs’ metaphor is a great way of showing how our own selfishness and distrust keeps us hostile and stuck in the status quo.
There are several crabs in a bucket, one of them tries to escape and the others will pull him back down.
In other words “If I can’t have it, neither can you!”
In this episode, we pull apart this theory, and show you how to climb out of your ‘bucket’ when it comes to your finances and relationships. We also touch on the Janteloven; The Nordic code for promoting peace and happiness, and how you can apply them to your financial future. Next time you ask Are people around you holding you back You will have the tools to see the crab and no how to avoid them
Here Are The Show Highlights:
- How to avoid the ‘Crab Bucket’ Syndrome and having others hold you back ([2:50])
- Why others try to hold you back from success ([3:15])
- How a Swedish cultural code can improve the health of your financial future ([5:00])
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A hearty welcome to Grandma’s Wealth Wisdom with your hospitable hosts, Brandon and Amanda Neely. This is the only podcast for strategies to grow your wealth simply and sustainably like grandma used to. Without further ado here are your hosts.
Amanda: Hi, I'm Amanda and welcome to Grandma's Wealth Wisdom where we work with you to build wealth grandma would be proud of.
Brandon: And I'm Brandon and we've got an interesting show title today for you. Episode 29 entitled "Buckets of Crabs" and this is what Amanda titled it "Buckets of Crabs". So Amanda what is this all about?
Amanda: Yeah, I didn't know what this phrase "Bucket of Crabs" meant the first time that I heard either but it's a very common expression and the way that it was explained to me is that a bucket of crabs doesn't need a lid. [0:01:02.2]
You don't need a lid on a bucket of crabs because anytime one crab tries to climb out another crab pulls it back in and it becomes a metaphor then for what happens in some relationship dynamics if we're all crabs sitting in a bucket.
Brandon: Yeah, it really brings me back to the Red Lobster times where I would go there and watch and see them, you know, Red Lobster...
Brandon: The crabs – the crab whatever you call it.
Amanda: I guess, I have not been there as many times as you have.
Brandon: I think it's Red Lobster. I mean I'm from the South so it could have been anywhere. So married couples are a prime example of these buckets of crabs. We have come across the bucket of crabs a bunch in our work as financial professionals too. The one spouse wants to reduce spending in order to reduce debt while the other one wants to keep the same lifestyle. [0:02:04.2]
Or one wants to work with the financial professional because they see a problem and they want to better their financial future but the other doesn't want to share their financial information or address any kind of situation or problem and so they pull the other spouse down, right?
Amanda: Yeah. And it's not simply with married couples. We have seen this with siblings where one sibling talks another sibling out of doing something or a parent and child relationship; either the parent talks the child out of it or the child talks the parent out of it. Maybe it's even with friends that hold each other down from making positive changes in their lives for various reasons, right?
Brandon: Yeah, and even though many Americans pride – we pride ourselves on our individuality; we still have some streaks in our culture of conformism and non-confrontational tendencies. [0:03:02.8]
Anytime we think about making a big change for the better, we might decide not to because someone else talks us out of it or we talk our own self out of it because we might think of what they are going to say. Simply out of our own fear and insecurity.
Amanda: Yeah, let me just clarify what Brandon was saying there. So the person that talks us out of it often, I think, talks us out of it because of their own fear and insecurity. Then personally even within ourselves sometimes we don't even talk to someone else about it because we imagine what they might say so we just avoid the idea entirely. We don't even explore this possible better future because we don't want to be different than the people around us; our peer group or our family. We don't want to appear like we're trying to be better than they are and so we just push it to the side and move on.
Brandon: So there are two sides to the coin here. [0:04:01.2]
In some ways being that crab that escaped – individuality it's a blessing I mean we got some good inventions and society moved forward as individuals ambitiously seek out something better. In other words, keeping the social norms on the other end promotes peace and happiness, right? Maybe I don't know, I'm confused at these two sides.
Amanda: If we're all crabs in a bucket, it's a pretty peace, happy experience. It's when that one crab escapes that the rest of the crabs in the bucket are like, "Man, that crab escaped and he thinks he's better than us and I can't believe that crab, you know, thinking like they can get out of the bucket and leave the rest of us behind." The crab that got out is like, "Dude, I'm lonely. It's lonely out here on the outside of the bucket." There is some peace and happiness that happens when the crabs are in the bucket, right? [0:05:00.3]
Brandon: This sounds like a Pixar movie.
Amanda: It should be. This is actually a thing in Nordic countries, they are known to be pretty happy and some people explain this happiness quota – like if you look up happiest countries, you'll find out that a bunch of them are Nordic countries. It's part of this Norwegian culture and they have this set of codes called "The Law of Jante" or Janteloven in Danish, I'm sure I'm butchering that I'm sorry any Danish speakers out there. Janteloven is my American version of that but Jante is really just a set of social norms, it's a set of social rules and they are almost like the Ten Commandments of Jante. We want to share them with you and you can imagine how these might promote peace and happiness.
Brandon: I wonder if they are at Ikea, if that's some of the rules there?
Amanda: You can look for it there. See if they have a little plaque that has the Law of Jante on there. So here we go. [0:06:03.9]
The ten rules are these. Number one, you are not to think you are anything special. Number two, you're not to think you're as good as we are. Number three, you're not to think you're smarter than we are. Number four, you're not to imagine yourself better than we are. Number five, you're not to think you know more than we do. Number six, you're not to think you're more important than we are. Number seven, you're not to think you're at good at anything. Number eight, you're not to laugh at us. Number nine, you're not to think that anyone cares about you. Number ten, you're not to think that you can teach us anything. So these ten rules are often summarized as you're not to think you're anyone special or that you're better than us. You can imagine these crabs in bucket telling this to the crab that is trying to get out. "You are not to think that you are anything special or that you're better than us, get back down here in this bucket." This is how it would go.
Brandon: That sounds kind of sad actually, I don't like these. [0:07:02.4]
Amanda: But maybe that makes everybody happy.
Brandon: Or perceived happy. They think they are happy.
Amanda: Hmm. What would you do with these Janteloven?
Brandon: Well, I think we would flip them around and make them something a little more, I don't know, where we want to change; we want to better. Maybe let's take the Jante and switch them around while applying them even to our financial future since this is a financial podcast, right? We should...
Amanda: Yeah, that sounds fun and since we're going to be the crabs outside the bucket, we're going to express our individuality. Let's call them Grandmaloven – you know there is Janteloven – Grandmaloven. It's actually spelled Grandmaloven or lovin', Grandmaloven. They are going to become positive affirmations that your grandma might loving say to you. [0:08:01.0]
How she expresses her love for you and for your financial future. That's what we should do.
Brandon: So Grandmaloven.
Amanda: Grandmaloven, let's go.
Brandon: Number one, you are to think that you are something special and deserve to have a financial strategy that fit you uniquely.
Amanda: Number two, you are to think you are as good as anyone else and should have your financial goals reached.
Brandon: That's awesome. Number three, you're to think that you're smarter than the average bear and can understand the financial strategy you're using to better your financial future.
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Amanda: Number four, you are to imagine yourself better than we are. Now I have to say something about this. Like we are saying yes, you listening to this podcast, you can imagine yourself better than Brandon and me and/or whatever financial professional you're working with but hopefully Brandon and me. You can have let's say a higher net worth than the financial professional you're working with because you keep more of your money and pay them less fees. Like that's okay to imagine that kind of future where you are better than we are.
Brandon: Yeah, I mean I would still like to get paid a little bit and make sure that we are taken care of but also making sure our customers and the people we serve are in the best financial position and if that means taking pay cuts which we do for that that's exactly what I want to do. [0:10:00.5]
Number five, this one we have to leave the same, you are not to think you know more than we do. Now maybe you do know more than we do about some things, I mean I hope so but most people don't want to make money management their full-time jobs nor should they. While we want to help you understand and feel comfortable with your financial strategy you probably would want to work with someone who knows more about the strategy than you do.
Amanda: Yup, that's a good one, number five. Number six, you are to think you are more important than we are. Your financial future is more important than our financial future and we have never – I don't think shared this on the podcast before but we actually have some what we call "Our Guiding Core Values and Beliefs" that we wrote for your business and one of those commitments in those core values and beliefs is to serve first. So I want to share a quick example of how that has worked recently. [0:10:59.4]
One of my recent client's conversations, I was talking with this woman and I came up with an idea for her to save a bunch of money in interest payments that she would have paid on credit cards and she actually took that idea and went to another financial professional she's working with and implemented it with that other lady and ...
Brandon: Well the financial person said, "Oh that's a great idea."
Amanda: Right and if I was able to talk with that person I would ask them, "Why didn't you suggest that?" But that's a different story. I was tremendously glad that this strategy was helpful and was going to better her financial future. We continued the conversation. She ended up actually not working with me. She didn't buy a product from me. She didn't pay me a dime. She actually declined my offer but I'm still tremendously excited for her that her future is much brighter because of that idea that I was able to give her. I trust that in some way I'll have a brighter future and it will come from some other mechanism. [0:12:03.6]
You know maybe from a different client or from a story she tells to someone. You know or something like that. But I am just thrilled for her that I was able to serve her and give her an idea that she found beneficial and was helpful even though I didn't necessarily get anything out of it.
Brandon: So number seven, you are to think you are good at something and focus there. Do what you do well and let us do what we do well to better your future along the way. That's why we got into this.
Amanda: Yup. Number eight, you are to laugh along with us. Sometimes developing financial strategies can be fun along the way.
Brandon: Number nine, you are to think we care about you because we actually do care about you.
Amanda: Yup and number ten, you are to think you can teach us something from your expertise as long as you're wiling to learn from ours. [0:13:01.1]
So Brandon from that list of ten which one is your favorite to Grandmaloven?
Brandon: I think number five, you are not to think you know more than we do. I feel like that's one of those things that gets to me when people think they know but they actually don't know. I think it's Will Rogers that said that. He said, "The problem in America isn't so much what people don't know, the problem is what they think they know that just ain't so." That goes to me thinking about that Grandmaloven, you are not to think you know more than we do. That's again learning this strategy and really being good at it. I mean we spend a lot of time doing this stuff.
Amanda: Yeah, you want people to come into the conversation with an open mind and willing to explore.
Brandon: Yup. Amanda, what's your favorite?
Amanda: Number three is actually my favorite. Number three says you are to think you are smarter than the average bear and can understand the financial strategy you're using to better your financial future. [0:14:06.2]
There are two reasons this is my favorite. The first one is that I actually love working with skeptical potential clients who want to make sure that they understand what we are doing together and feel comfortable with it. I actually love to think of myself as more of an educator than like a salesperson. If I can help someone understand what they are getting into and they feel comfortable with it, it will benefit them more over the long term. I think that's way better than just like blindly following what other people tell you to do. You know like to take the time to really get to know it and understand and then move forward from that place. So you are smarter than the average bear, take the time to understand everything as much as you want to. Then the second reason I like this one is that when people get to that place where they understand the financial strategy and then they go and talk with someone that they love maybe it's a parent, a husband or wife, maybe it's a brother, maybe it's a sister, the person is coming to that other person that they love having gone through a process where they understand what they're getting into and they feel comfortable with it. [0:15:25.5]
They are sharing it with them. That's coming form a place of being smarter than the average bear. The person that you're talking to, they haven't put in the study that you have put in. They haven't gone through the process that you've gone through so you can't expect them to understand it like you understand it and then talk you out of it, pull you back down into the bucket. You can encourage them to understand it but ultimately you have to stand on your understanding and move forward from that place and put into action what you've learned and get out of the bucket. In some ways, better your financial future from that place of understanding. [0:16:08.8]
So I think that's nice part with number three there too. You know, you're smarter than an average bear, you can understand the strategy, and then you can actually use it to better your financial future. That in a nutshell is what I love to see people do.
Brandon: You don't want to stay in that or I don't know or start to boil in the hot water.
Amanda: Right, which is where I was going to next, you know, was back to that bucket of crabs. What happens if the crabs just keep pulling each other back into the bucket?
Brandon: I mean they get eaten at some point. It's going to be bad for them.
Amanda: Right. They all stay together and they all end up in that pot of boiling water together and they all end up on someone else's dinner plate.
Brandon: Yup, exactly. So don't be that bucket of crabs, be the individual bucket, the individual crab who has escaped, dear listeners. [0:17:00.9]
Amanda: So if you love to talk to us and see how you might do that; all you got to do is go to GrandmasWealthWisdom.com and click request a meeting. We'll talk for 15 minutes and see if and how we could serve you and your financial future.
Brandon: Awesome, so Amanda we have some really interesting stuff coming up this summer as we do this podcast. What's happening? I know – I have been hearing some rumblings from you.
Amanda: Yeah, we're actually going to be interviewing some crabs that have escaped their metaphorical buckets and are doing some really cool things in their field and thinking about the world in a different way. So we are actually switching instead of just hearing Brandon and me all the time, we're going to be doing some interviews throughout the summer. We'll be interviewing a few different people and we look forward to sharing their perspective with you. [0:17:56.8]
Brandon: So until next time, keep building your wealth simply and sustainably for your own future and the future of our grandchildren's generation.
The topics presented in this podcast are the general information only and not for the purposes of providing legal, accounting, or investment advice. On such matters place consult a professional who knows your specific situation.
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