This picture is some of my kids a few years ago looking at the World’s Largest Chest of Drawers in High Point, NC.
It’s a whimsical, 32-ft. Victorian dresser–shaped building in “the furniture capital of the world.”
It has since had a modern makeover and is painted a sleek grey color. And the socks are bright orange and green. (P.S. It’s also for sale if you’re interested.)
Visiting this oversized furniture piece was about more than just a roadside novelty field trip. For me, it was also a part of healing my money mindset and understanding my past. What does a giant furniture-shaped building have to do with money mindset? Well, let me tell you a story.
Money Mindset Growing Up
Almost all of my family worked in furniture factories – even my Granny until past retirement age. They worked very hard for not enough pay, just to keep the food on the table.
I was born in the 80s, the golden era of the NC furniture industry (that also stretched to Southern VA). However, by the time I was growing up in the 90s, we saw a quick turn in the industry.
The outsourcing of production services to Latin American and Asian countries led to a large decrease in furniture production and employment in the area. China became the North Carolina furniture industry’s most effective competitor, producing furniture of equal quality that cost less.
This led to the closing of 47 furniture companies during the 1990s, and the negative trend continued after 2000 with dozens of additional company closings.
My family lost their jobs. As factories closed down, they would move to still-open factories, until those closed down, too. The local economy was destroyed. People lost their homes.
Some moved away, but most of those who stayed in the area lived in extreme poverty.
Sharing Memories with My Children
When my kids and I made this trip, I visited old memories. My Middle School was shut down. Parts of the area looked like a true ghost town. Old factories stood crumbling with broken windows and weeds and trees breaking through the abandoned parking lots as if the earth was trying to swallow it all back up.
So many memories resurfaced for me…
So many money memories, too…
“You have to work until your fingers bleed for good money.”
“Rich people didn’t get it honestly.”
“You can give your whole life to a company and have the rug pulled out from under you.”
“Nothing is ever guaranteed.”
Memories of hard times with barely any food to eat, utilities getting shut off at home, moving, moving again, sleeping in the car, babysitting my sister because my mom worked 2 jobs trying to make ends meet, getting expired and spoiled food from food pantries because it was they had (and trying to make it work anyway)…
I loved all of my family and I respected their hard work, but I vowed to never grow up like that. My dream was to create something that no one could ever take away from me.
How this Money Mindset Shaped My Future
So, I became an entrepreneur at 16. And the road hasn’t always been easy, but I built something that was MINE.
- Something that I couldn’t lose to cheap labor overseas.
- Something that I wouldn’t lose because of layoffs or downsizing.
- Something that was flexible enough to evolve with the ebb and flow of the changing industry.
- Something that I could be PROUD of.
And that’s when the money blocks show up in a new way.
Did I really deserve all of this when my own family had worked so hard for so little? Was it fair that I could live an abundant life working half as long as they had?
Part of me was still waiting for the day the rug would be pulled out from under me and I’d lose it all.
We don’t always see how much our past impacts our future, how much our childhood shapes our adulthood, or how deeply rooted certain beliefs can become.
And that’s why working through all that old “money stuff” is so important. In order to truly succeed and reach your fullest potential, you have to let go of all of that old programming and set yourself FREE.