The Surroundup


  • by Gillian Stovel Rivers, MA, CFP®, CEA
  • April 27, 2022

What are the mechanics of wealth creation?

It starts with finding something you love to do, and then learning to do it well. Which will translate into making money, yes, and also earning and learning a lot more than that.

Here’s how I learn: CrossFit. It has officially been a while since I referenced CrossFit in my communications with you, and today is the day. In case CrossFit is new to you, it is defined as “constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity.”

For those of you who don’t know, this sport is my church. It’s my people, it’s my therapy, it’s my teacher of all things and all lessons.

I spend upwards of three hours a day, six days a week, developing myself with this particular way of life. Many people say to me, “Are you kidding?” Or, “Who has time for that?”

Fortunately, not everyone reacts like that. Instead, some people say, “Are you crazy?”

Well, maybe, but so far it’s to everyone’s benefit including my own. I don’t have time for TV, I love to move, I think and learn kinesthetically, and the dedication I have to this kind of grunt work and problem solving is what gives me what I need to be for you, for my kids, and for anything that life throws at me.

I’m even a CrossFit Level 1 Coach. In the process of earning that certification, one of the first things I learned is the CrossFit Charter: Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity.


In future blogs, I will write about consistency and intensity. Today, I will write about mechanics. And here is the thing about mechanics:  you must learn them before you try to do anything repeatedly. To broadly define mechanics in terms of sport, it means the physics of the movement: the relative positions, angles, and velocity of body parts involved in the movement being performed. When it comes to wealth creation, the essential idea is the same. We will get to that in a minute.

Have a look at the image. It’s of me, with a sled that has a bunch of weight heaped on it (270 pounds in the workout shown). My challenge was to push and pull that sled 300 feet, four different times (two pulls for 300 feet, and two pushes for 300 feet, with other physical challenges in between).

As you can imagine, the problem solving that goes in to learning how to push and pull something nearly two times your own bodyweight…well, that takes some thought and some practice. It takes trial and error and in case you’re interested, it actually requires you to focus on creating work from the midline out – something called the core to extremity rule.

As it happens, it’s very much the same idea as the mechanics required to earn enough to buy a house, or raise another human, or even retire. How many more times larger than one’s annual income does the bag of money have to be in order to know it’s enough? It’s a lot of pushing (earning) and a lot of pulling (knowing how to spend, save or invest those earnings). But if you can make sure the work and the decisions are coming from your inner core – your truest self – the pushing and the pulling start to feel like second nature, even when the load becomes intense. Stack a couple of decades of good mechanics next to each other and the results are astounding.

When you master the mechanics based on your own unique makeup and also on some fundamental physical realities, your journey is going to be so much easier and effective than it otherwise would be. Not to mention, you will have a better chance of actually arriving at where YOU intended to go.

It’s Just You Against You 

After all, how I define wealth is completely my choice. I can define it this way, or I can define it that way. That’s the meaning I take from the sign – It’s Just You Against You – in the photo. In other words – and here’s something I hope you recognize – There’s more than one way to wealth™.

For you personally, what are the mechanics of wealth creation? I proposed at the top of this post that it starts with finding something you love to do, and then learning to do it well. After that comes this:  knowing the value of your work, and being compensated appropriately for it in a currency – being things and experiences – that matters to YOU.  There are no commercials that can tell you what this is, and it can take decades to figure out truthfully.

What results is the profit and loss statement of your honest and true self. Of the life you wanted to live.

Want to talk about that life?  Contact me at