Ah, wealth… One of those things most folks seem to be striving for. Money for all the stuff they want, and no worries about bills. But how will you know when you’re wealthy? Have you ever really thought about it?
A lot of people think of getting wealth as some instant miracle – winning the lottery, having a long lost uncle die and leave you a fortune, or suing the pants off some company who didn’t fix the sidewalk in front of their store. That’s not wealth, that’s money, lots of it quickly. And if you’ve heard all the stories about the easy-come, easy-go manner of former lottery winners and litigious opportunist, you’ll know it’s true.
No, what I’m talking about is real wealth. That point when you’ve got enough. What does that mean to you?
No, Thanks – I’m Full
As we work to build our little home based ventures, or to get one off the ground, we imagine a time when we have more coming in than we need. It’s always some vague vision of wealth, a future point in time when our bank account has grown along with our business. It’s important to take the time to really think about and understand our own personal definition of wealth. And there’s no better time then now. Because, how will you know when you’ve arrived, if you don’t know where you’re going?
So how much is enough – $1 million, $5 million, $100 million, a billion, or more? What would it take for you to be done – money-wise that is? Lets say that your business continues to thrive, and I’m going to assume that it’s something you love doing. Now, you still love doing it, but you’ve reached a point where you feel you have enough – houses, cars, domestic staff, boats, cattle – whatever you feel you need. What does that look like? Really imagine it, feel it, experience it. What would it be like when you reach the point when all your material needs are taken care of?
This is one of the most important exercises that you can do. It’s also one of those things most folks never take the time to do. We tend to just plug along, working, building, striving, but there is no real discernable goal in mind. Just to be successful or wealthy – two very subjective words. So take 20 or 30 minutes of uninterrupted time, maybe put on some music, and daydream, brainstorm, and think about your own personal vision of wealth. Here are some questions to get the gears turning:
- If you had to pick a single figure to represent “enough” for you and your family what would it be?
- When do you expect to reach that goal?
- What things do you want or need – the stuff that you feel is important for a full life?
- What do you want to have money put away for – kid’s college, weddings, retirement?
- And once you reach the magic figure, what do you do with the money still coming in – give it all away, work for free or donations to a charity, or form and self-fund a non-profit?
Thinking about wealth, and what it means to you, can help shape the way your mind thinks about your business and money in general. By taking the time to establish what real wealth looks like to you, you set in motion the actions to begin achieving that goal. And before you know it, your coffers will be overflowing.
Tony – I found your question about wealth compelling, and your thoughtful post right on the money (did she really say that?).
For me, I’ll feel wealthy when I don’t have to think about money anymore. It becomes a non-issue. I can pay others to do what I don’t want to do. Lately what I’ve been dreaming about is to be able to fly family and friends in at will to see us, or to take off and fly back to see family who live scattered in other states. Foremost is the desire to stay connected to my loved ones.
That’s a great point Debbie. I feel the same way. To me true wealth is when money does become a non-issue, and we can do the things we enjoy and give more of ourselves back.
Hey Tony, I’m digging through your archives now. Fascinating stuff, man.
For me, wealth is about sustainability. If/when something happens to me, I want to be sure that my wife (and any kids that might be around at the time) will be taken care of. Whether that comes from interest income from the investment markets, property investments, liquid money, or whatever.
They need security.
I’m not interested in being Mr. So-and-so down the street with the 5 bedroom house and the Ferrari that he keeps in the garage (though that would be nice). In order to be in the place where my family is secure through just about any forseeable storm in the future, you need to have diversified wealth, and lots of it.
Anything on top of that is gravy and to be shared with all and my time is free and my gifts will be without expectation of return. These are things I know about me.
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