Have you ever heard some say, “I don’t want to be rich, I want to be wealthy” and were puzzled by what they meant? There’s this notion that being rich and being wealthy are synonymous. They’re not.
Being rich is best described as someone who makes a lot of money.
Being wealthy is best described as someone who doesn’t have to worry about money.
If you make a lot of money, you’re considered rich. But, a lot of “rich” people are deeply worried about money, worried about being able to make enough to maintain their lifestyle.
It’s common for rich people to have a lot of “stuff,” nice stuff – big houses, fancy cars, they take lavish vacations, they eat at the best restaurants. They also tend to have a lot of debt. In many cases, the rich are held hostage by their need to make money and to maintain the lifestyle they’ve created.
On the contrary, wealthy people aren’t worried about money. Their money or lifestyle does not control them. While it’s true many wealthy people are rich; it’s also true that many are not.
You can’t be rich without a lot of money, but you can be extraordinarily wealthy.
There are many people out there who are wealthy, not because they make or have a lot of money, but because they have few wants.
“Wealth is a relative thing since she that has little and wants less is richer than she that has much and wants more.”
Do you see the distinction?
I’ve seen this quite a bit. I’ve seen plenty of situations where someone makes, literally, 10x less money than someone else, but is far wealthier. And often, a lot happier and less stressed out.
Wealth is about having a good quality of life, about focusing on what makes life worth living. For many, you just don’t need a ton of money to live such a life.
This is not to say having a lot of money is a bad thing. It’s not. We’ve made it clear that it’s okay to pursue money and make it a priority in your life. But, there comes a point when you have “enough” and the pursuit of “more” works against you.
Which is great news.
It means money isn’t the sole determining factor. It means we don’t always have to go after that next rung on the ladder or kill yourself to close that next deal.
It means we have the option to choose, to decide if the trade-offs required to reach that next level on the corporate hierarchy are: 1) necessary and 2) are they worth it.
I’m convinced we’d have a ton more “wealthy” people in this country if we changed the paradigm from “More Money is Better” to “Enough Money is Best.”
It bears repeating: change the paradigm from “More Money is Better” to “Enough Money is Best.”
If people truly understood the implications of the statement “Enough Money is Best,” we’d have a lot more people making Quality of Life decisions versus More Money decisions.
- More people choosing to retire earlier
- More people choosing to leave the office earlier to spend time with their kids
- More people choosing to take time to nurture their passion projects, to do what they love
- More people choosing to donate their time and money to the important causes in their life
I’m a good example. If I subscribed to a “More Money is Better” mindset, enlightenHer wouldn’t exist.
If “make more money” was my driving motivation, I would never have created enlightenHer. It would have made far more financial sense to focus all of my time, energy, and resources into my other, already established business. I would never have started a new company like this particularly one that is founded more so on advocacy than economics.
But, I mean, hey, I get it. To many, it’s safer to have too much money than to have too little, right? I get that.
But all too often, we blindly pursue more money without ever questioning if that’s what we really need or want. We forget there’s a cost to always wanting more, always wanting better. There are so many people out there who are miserable and selling their souls in the quest for more.
How much better off would they be if they changed their goal from “having more” to “having enough?”
They’d have more time to spend with the people they care about the most.
More time to do the things that brought them joy and life satisfaction. It would allow them a chance to pause and breathe, to lift up their heads and look to the horizon instead of looking down all the time at the road directly in front of them.
Truth is, sometimes, making less money is the best thing to do. It’s the best option.
If our work life is in greater balance with our personal life, and we have “enough” money to live this more balanced life, isn’t that worth exploring further?
More time. Less money. Enough money.