As an entrepreneur, money is obviously a massive motivation for why you’re doing what you’re doing. However, it’s essential to understand that money is not wealth.
Wealth is stuff we want and by that logic, people can be wealthy even if they don’t have a lot of money. In fact, because wealth is anything that is directly desired and attained, even animals and insects can be wealthy.
The reason money is so popular because it allows us to acquire (certain types of) wealth. Money will be worthless if what you desire cannot be bought, or if there’s nothing you desire. Because most of what we desire can be had for cheap in modern society, the importance of money in our society is reinforced by people who are excessively driven by status.
Enough food, a decent house, good health and peace of mind doesn’t require a lot of money. But a private jet certainly does. However, a private jet may not give as much satisfaction as something cheaper (like a good conversation with an old friend) may give.
In fact, if you’re not careful, excessive money can work as negative wealth as it may drive away friends and family or as the anxiety of not losing all the money can cause continual mental turmoil.
Many entrepreneurs feel that the reason they’re doing a startup is not because they want more money, but because they want to change the world. But changing the world is another way of playing status games in our society. In that way, it’s not much different from money. As the old saying goes: money, fame and power are interchangeable. However, none of the three are wealth.
A careful introspection will lead anyone to conclude that wealth is abundant in our society and can be easily had by anyone. This insight should make an entrepreneur reevaluate her definitions of success and failure, give clarity to the goals of her business, and less stressed about the inevitable day-to-day ups and downs that happen in all businesses.
Remember: money is not wealth; wealth is what we want and have in life.
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