Still playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Stop being an ass.

December 13, 2021

Published in MMR  Magazine August 2021.Jaimie Blackman. Sound of Money column.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Stop being an ass.

Do you have enough compassion for yourself to align your financial decisions with what you feel is right, rather than what others are obligating you to?


Pin the tail on the donkey is a children’s party game that dates back to 1899, and is attributed to Charles Zimmerling. A blindfolded player, holding a paper tail, is turned around several times until the player is disoriented, and attempts to place a tail on a large picture of a tailless donkey. For the child it’s a double whammy;  the child is blindfolded and then disoriented. The entertainment factor is seeing the children stumble around trying to put the tail in the right place. Perhaps it’s how you feel when deciding out of obligation rather than making decisions that are aligned with your heart. In essence, you become the entertainment for your employees. All the fun is at your expense.


How often do you feel like you’re disoriented and walking in total darkness when having to make quick decisions in your music business?  It’s like one stress ball coming at you after another. Often decisions are made quickly simply because we feel obligated, not because the decision is aligned with our heart, creating internal dissonance which leads to stress. It’s time to stop playing the game.


According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of Becoming Supernatural, recognizes that the elevated feelings of the heart connect us to the consciousness of love, compassion, gratitude, joy, unity, acceptance, and selflessness. These are feelings that fill us up and make us feel whole and connected, rather than the feelings of stress that divide communities and drain us of vital energy. The problem is that these elevated feelings of the heart often occur through chance-dependent upon something external in our environment- rather than as something we can produce for ourselves on demand.


In my “Hello” column for MMR Magazine published in November of 2017, I wrote the following.


My column will offer sound advice to help the MI retailer:

  • Grow and monetize its intellectual capital; its knowledge assets
  • Train employees to be Value Creators
  • Get profitable customers to keep coming back
  • Build a culture of knowledge sharing
  • Implement a customer learning-process 
  • Accelerate business value now and maximize value when it’s time to exit


It all sounds great. Right? But I was missing the most important part. Your own personal wellness. How do you feel? Are you happy? Are your financial decisions in harmony with your heart? From the outside, you might appear successful. Your numbers are great. You have all the trappings, but still, you feel a gap. You already have everything you need to feel complete. Looking at people and things outside of you is never sustainable for your inner harmony. In your moments of silence, you know this is true from your own experience. For some, the tension is in their chest. For others in their stomach. You can feel the dissonance. It is as real as the chair you are sitting on. Over time stress can be the cause of physical or mental disease.


My recommendation is simple. When you feel like a top spinning around without direction, take a breath. The breath is magical. It’s your entry point to calm. Then use your five senses and just observe. When you feel like you are spinning around just breathe observe and listen. Listen to your inner voice.


You can’t succeed your way into feeling calm, happy,  and fulfilled. No amount of education, motivational talks, or books can do it unless you realize that you already have inside of you what we all yearn for... Peace and Harmony.


Making decisions about your employees, customers, and information systems ought to be aligned in your wellness capital where decisions can be made from a place of calm rather than fear.



This same calmness principle applies equally to your personal finance behavior.

As a result of making fear-based decisions, from September 1986 to October 2008, Dalbar’s Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior Study found 70% of average investors sold at the wrong time and as a result, underperformed others who stayed in the market. During the 2009 financial crisis when the market declined 30%, the investors that didn’t make fear-based decisions to sell would have fully recovered their investments by 2010. In other words, there are real-world financial implicaitons for tuning into your feelings when making important decisions.


What sound do you attribute to the financial decisions you make?  Dissonance or Harmony. Let your heart, be your guide and the money will follow.