Diane, an early reader of The Difference

Name:
Diane

Occupation: Business owner and interior designer

Personal life: Married with four children, ages 25, 23, 16 and 15

Biggest financial concerns:
The last year has been a roller coaster for my family. The economy is in a state none of us has ever seen, the housing market is down, our 401(k)s are shrinking and about two weeks before I received Jean's book, my husband was told they were dissolving his division at the bank where he worked and he would be unemployed after the first of the year!

We knew it would be difficult for him to find work in the banking industry, and at the same time, I was concerned about my job—hiring an interior designer can be seen as a luxury for people in this economy. This, coupled with being located in a seasonal marketplace, gave us cause for concern. Luckily, we had very little debt, but I knew I was going to have to step up to the plate to keep things going until a new job came around for my husband.

Lessons learned from The Difference: The Difference appeared in my life at just the right time. I saw so many of the attributes Jean talked about in the book in my successful clients and friends. But, more importantly, I recognized some of these same qualities in myself and realized there were some more that I needed to implement.

I decided to make some changes in my business. I hired another employee to cover some of the office work, I doubled my advertising budget and made a stronger presence on the Web. I gained confidence in myself and a belief that I can do this and be successful. Will there be ups and downs along the way? Absolutely. Can I look at them now with a different perspective? Without a doubt!

Favorite chapter from The Difference: The chapter that really got me was Chapter 2: Choosing the Difference. Life is about choices. I choose to exercise five days a week, I choose to eat well, I choose to live a healthy life, I choose to be a good person. These are all goals of mine. In Chapter 2, Jean teaches why goals are important and how you have to see it, want it and believe in it. How you make your own luck.

The chapter hit home for me when it mentions wealth as a goal. "If wealth is a byproduct of creating a business we are passionate about, or working hard and doing well at something we truly love, that is perfectly fine." In my case, reaching for wealth not only could be achieved by doing something that I thoroughly enjoyed, but it would also help provide stability for my family. Especially so with two more college educations looming!