This week we are talking about the seduction of money. Money can seduce you to do all kinds of things, some of which are not in your best interest. If you want to be successful, one of the things you need to figure out how to do, is that you need to take control of your money. Your money should not control you. WATCH NOW
How do you keep from being seduced by money? What does that even mean? It is really about awareness. You need to be aware of the pitfalls that happen with money so you can avoid them. So many people never stop to think about what is going on when they make money decisions. They just react. But it is better if you can be more mindful about your decisions around money.
The biggest problem that people have with money, is they have wrong assumptions about how money works. You might be making all these money decisions, and the whole time they are based on faulty assumptions. So let us start with these false assumptions.
- Money = goodness. This is wrong. Money is not good or bad. It is helpful, and it provides valuable information. But that does not translate into right or wrong. People think that money equals goodness because we all know what it feels like to have more money in your bank account. It feels good. But when it comes to making business decisions about money, the alternative that makes the most money, is not always the right decision. You need to be aware you are not making this false assumption. The reason this assumption is false is that there are many examples in economics where the decision that makes the most money actually hurts everyone involved. The most famous example of this is called “The Tragedy of the Commons.” But there are many examples of this. So it is overly simplistic to make decisions by blindly picking the solution that makes the most money. You should not do that, because it might be the wrong decision.
- Your goal is to make the most money. This is wrong. A lot of people think this, but it is not really true. Your goal in life is to be happy and that may or may not come with money. Money can be helpful, but it only goes so far to get you to the things that you actually want in life. It is very easy to get sidetracked with acquiring money, when money is what is distracting you from the things you actually want. The things that matter are the relationships and experiences. And you can do all those things without any money.
- The most money = the best. This is wrong. So many of us, myself included, want to be the best at what we do. It is so easy to think, “If I am the best, I should be making the most money.” This is very misleading, because there can only be one richest person in the world, and that does not mean they are the best at anything. How much money you have, has a lot to do with luck. A lot of it depends on what country you were born in, what parents you had, what advantages you had. If you have the assumption that the most money equals the best, that is just incorrect, because there are so many other factors involved besides talent.
Just looking at these three assumptions, it is really easy to see how people fall into these beliefs about money that are false. Money is helpful. Yes, it is good to make money and create value. But there is no right or wrong inherent in money. That is where people go wrong. People rely on money to tell them what they should do. In fact, in corporate America today, your shareholders can sue you if you are not making decisions that make the most money for shareholders. But actually, I think that if you are making decisions only based on money, you are missing the whole point.
There is an example that illustrates this better than anything. Imagine you had three different people:
- Bank robber
- Worker who hates what they do
- Worker who loves what they do
Imagine that all these people will make $100,000 this year. The bank robber will work one day, rob a bank, and walk away with $100,000. The workers will work the same amount of hours throughout a year and both walk away with $100,000.
If you had to choose one of these three lives to live, which one would you choose? This is an easy answer. Everyone would choose option number three. So even though each person makes the same amount of money, you realize, that $100,000 is not equal between those three experiences. The bank robber gets $100,000 from only one day’s worth of work, but you have the risk of spending the rest of your life in jail. The worker who hates their job is making good money, but they are living the horror of being trapped in a life they hate every single day. If you had the choice, you would choose to be a worker that loves what they do. This example shows that money is not the only thing that should drive your decisions.
But this example also shows how seductive money can be. If you are working on the wrong assumption that money drives your decision, you will choose the wrong answer. Maybe you do not exactly know what job you would want to do. So maybe you start spending time doing a job you hate until you can figure out what you love to do. You start getting sidetracked from your goals in life. So now you hate your company. What if you just start stealing money from the company credit card? If money is the only thing that matters, you should do whatever it takes to get money. No one would probably even notice. Now you are moving into being a thief. Money is seducing you into doing the wrong thing.
You are probably watching this video, because you are making decisions in your life about money, and you want to know what to do. What I wanted to do today is just share with you an idea that you might find helpful. Get very clear about the hopes and dreams for your life. What do you want to accomplish in your life? Figure that out and then, make your money work for you.
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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.