Nobody’s Family Is Going to Change

Nobody’s Family is going to Change is by Louise Fitzhugh. The story is about the Sheridan’s; a brother and sister Willie and Emma and their cruel, judgmental and disapproving father and dysfunctional mom.

The story is mainly about the daughter Emma who goes to great lengths to reform her parents into being kind and decent people. While Emma’s efforts and her good nature are wasted she does reach a new and powerful understanding of her family. Near  the end of the story while she is listening to her brother and father argue Emma realizes that her father will never be caring because he doesn’t want to be.  

When Emma sees that her father’s cruelness is something he values, she decides to stop wasting her time trying to change her family.

When we treat emotional abusers as if they are merely ignorant or emotionally inept we neglect emotional abuse and its serious and devastating consequences.  

We can’t change people. People behave the way they do because it works for them. Love your family while coming to grips with the problems and live your life.   

 Nobody’s Family is going to Change is a great book.

What lawyers can learn from writers

The publishing industry has fallen apart. The big brick and mortar bookstore chains have all but disappeared leaving a few indies. Ebooks are outselling hardcovers and paperbacks and layoffs in publishing have been catastrophic. But in all the chaos and devastation writers have benefited. Writers have always made very, very little money (8-10% of sales) and have gotten little attention in terms of promotion and time from publishers. Now many writers have gone independent doing Self Pub with vendors such as, Amazon’s Createspace. Self Pub has given authors about 65% of sales and has freed them to actually write. This has been a boon for readers and writers.

Last post I talked about lawyers and how many are unemployed and adrift. For years writers believed that they needed a publisher to anoint their work as publishable and to fix and promote their work. Now writers use the Self Pub system and its sales numbers and feedback from readers on Amazon to make writing and publishing decisions. The Self Pub system has freed writers to write; literally nothing stands in the way because putting a book on Createspace costs nothing.

The last few years have taught writers that the publishing industry has existed on many false claims defining who is a writer, what is good writing and who get good sales. 

Lawyers need to ask themselves if they really need the affirmation and direction of the big firms and associations. If they could just practice law what would they do?

What has happened for writers can be direction for lawyers:

  • what is legal practice / services?
  • what is the role of the client in system and who else should be involved (lots of non-writers are now important)
  • and what is missing - all the stuff the big firms and associations have ignored because it undermined their needs / identity.
How do you change?

Money is a deep and powerful emotional force.  I focus on helping people to change the way they talk about money and success. I don’t force new words or concepts but I delicately and slowly challenge their standard story. Everyone, me included, has some sort of standard story that reflect our emotional relationship with money and success. These stories keep us from dealing with the real facts of money and potential.The way to change the future is to change the story.

Mike is an Underachiever, a highly competent employee working far below his ability. When Mike spoke he repeatedly talked of being “overwhelmed and stressed” at work. When he talked about being a Dad he described himself as needing lots of improvement. His wife said he was a great father and she admired his parenting.

I don’t debate people’s standard story. The standard story is emotional, not factual and not worth validating. I use the missing narrative; the facts covered up by the standard story. For example, when Mike talked about how much he had to do at work I answered by saying “You are really good at your job. Do you think about finding a more challenging position? Mike looked upset and said “I am good at this job.”

By talking about “being good at work” Mike started thinking about his fear of finding a role as a manager and the conversation gradually shifted to his discomfort with being smart and capable. Once the story changes, everything changes.

Lawyers: The new lost tribe

Are young lawyers the new lost tribe? Over the past few years many articles have described how overcrowded the field of law has become and how many lawyers can’t find work. Last year the New York Times reported that many major law schools had significantly increased their tuition; the extra money was used to pay firms to take students for what had formally been paid internships.

Last week I wrote about how North America is experiencing major change to its work force and how this type of change is part of a massive and lasting shift in middle and upper class work and life. Law is one of the professions hit hardest by this shift and has left many young lawyers as part of a lost tribe ; cut off from their fellow colleagues and unable to play out their professional skills and interests. 

Aimee (was a co-founder of

MONEY 2.0 (a new world)

The advice our parents gave us; go to university, get a job in law, medicine, sales… buy a house in the suburbs is no longer viable.

The reasons (to name a few):

  1. The North American economy has changed, the demise of  manufacturing and white collar work.
  2. The ongoing global debt crisis.
  3. The stress and change from the democratic revolutions. 

When it comes to making decisions that impact our financial life we need new thinking and an approach which doesn’t ignore the major changes we are going through. This new approach; Money 2.0, starts by understanding that the old rules and ways of making a life and supporting a family operate differently.

Here is an example: Sending your kids to university may not be the best way to ensure their success.   

It is incredibly difficult to forge new ways of thinking about financial choices because we are brought up to believe that we can map our future on our parents successes.    

Avatar to Zoolander: Movies and Money Letter F & G

Movies and money goes hand in hand. In this series I look at movies in which money plays a major role.  Where I can, I connect money to Money Plain & Simple.  Please feel free to argue, or add your own movie favorites, starting with the letter F or G.


Fargo (1996)

My favourite Coen Brothers movie. Jerry Lundegaard organizes the kidnapping of his wife for ransom. The kidnapping goes very wrong, and it may still have succeeded if it wasn’t for Marge Gunderson, the local police woman, who relentlessly works at solving the crime.

Fargo is a story about what you shouldn’t do if you need money. What makes this lesson enjoyable is the quirky nature of the characters.  

Falling Down (1993)

William Foster (Michael Douglas) is a mild-mannered office worker who is laid off from his job at the Department of Defence.

During his commute home, William cracks, leaves his car in the traffic jam and starts to walk home to see his ex-wife and daughter. As he is walking home, he channels his anger to those he encounters - the gangs to fast food burger restaurants that won’t serve him breakfast.

Although Falling Down was released in the early 90s, the issues presented in this movie are seen everywhere today.  A man who loses his job. He’s estranged from his wife. And he gets stuck in a traffic jam. It would not be unrealistic to see someone crack under these pressures.  

Depending on your money role, the situations the main character faces would be stressful in different ways:

Martyrs would be able to relate to this character directly. Losing a job can be stressful because of the responsibility you feel for not only yours but other people’s financial well being.

Underachievers – losing your job would undermine your self-confidence, and you would question your abilities to earn and retain money.

Reckless may throw caution to the wind, and do something that would cause further tension and stress in the future; hopefully not to the same degree as William Foster.



The Godfather, Parts I, II & III (1972, 1974, 1990)

This trilogy is the generational story of a New York Mafia family and the violent means they use to retain their power and empire. And of course at the heart of it all is money. 

Gandhi (1982)

Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, who led the non-violent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, for which he won an Academy Award. The film was also given the Academy Award for Best Picture and won eight Academy Awards in total. It’s a powerful film that looks at the life of a man who completed rejected materialism.

Stay tuned as I look at movies from A to Z and the connection between Hollywood, Wall Street, and Money, Plain & Simple.

Image from


My Legal Briefcase the first on-line Small Claims service in Ontario

Weareplainandsimple introduces a new product.  

The first of its kind in Canada!

My Legal Briefcase is an easy-to-use, secure and affordable on-line way to get Ontario Small Claims forms and make a claim. My legal briefcase is up and ready for action!!

My Legal Briefcase makes Ontario Small Claims Court accessible and simple. My Legal Briefcase is a new kind of  legal service, one that simplifies the process and provides a superior online customer experience.

Money Plain & Simple’s FREE iphone App. is out today. Download it for free!!!

Money Plain & Simple’s FREE iphone app. is out today. Download it for free!!!

Avatar to Zoolander: Movies and Money Letter E

Movies and money goes hand in hand. In this series I look at movies in which money plays a major role.  Where I can, I connect money to Money Plain & Simple.  Please feel free to argue, or add your own movie favorites, starting with the letter E.

Edtv (1999)

Edtv was the first reality show, or a movie about reality shows, before there were reality shows. It is an introspective look at the dangers and the impact of putting a person’s life and their relationships under scrutiny 24/7. 

More importantly, it’s a story of what people will do for money. Where do we draw the line ethically when money is involved?  When both Big Business and regular people get so caught up in what they are doing they lose their ability to tell what’s wrong or right.

The English Patient (1996)

"Beginning in the 1930’s, "The English Patient" tells the story of Count Almásy, a Hungarian map maker employed by the Royal Geographical Society to chart the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert along with several other prominent explorers. As World War II unfolds, Almásy enters into a world of love, betrayal, and politics that is later revealed in a series of flashbacks while Almásy is on his death bed after being horribly burned in a plane crash." (IMDB, English Patient, This subplot, the love affair between Kip and Hana, reveals to the audience that the true price of war, besides the deaths of thousands, even millions, is great losses of wealth, social status and power.

Easy Rider (1969)

This classic American counterculture film tells the fatal story of two bikers (played by Henry Fonda and Dennis Hopper) whose travels across the American Southwest highlight the different social issues, and tensions in the United States during the 1960s. 

Finally, in Enchanted (2007), the main character is Unfulfilled money role – he appears to have the ideal life, but he is still not happy, he sacrifices his time and energy for others but not for himself. It’s not until he meets someone who is so grounded in what she wants that he allows himself to expand his thinking.

Stay tuned as I look at movies from A to Z and the connection between Hollywood, Wall Street, and Money, Plain & Simple.




Anxious, crazy spending

Money Plain & Simple is all about understanding the power emotion has on our relationship with money. A simple and effective way to evaluate the functioning of a person, family, company or society is to look at their emotional financial habits and assess for extreme choices. For example, at the individual level a person who dresses poorly at work and doesn’t look professional despite having plenty of money fits into the very low-functioning category because his financial choices undermine his well being. Likewise when a popular and successful company like Costco sells dehydrated and freeze dried bunker survival kits, we can assume that extremely anxious spending choices are mainstream and prevalent.