What is True Wealth?
The dictionary defines wealth as:
1. [n] - the state of being rich and affluent
2. [n] - an abundance of material possessions and resources
3. [n] - property that has economic utility: a monetary value or an exchange value
4. [n] - the quality of profuse abundance
None of those definitions sound too bad, right? The quality of profuse abundance - I like that definition!
However, wealth as it is defined in the dictionary is only a small aspect of such a grand and often controversial word.
The definition of wealth can be quite divisive. Ask your family and friends how they define wealth and then sit back and enjoy the conversation! Ask any political candidate how they define wealth and you’ll get vastly different answers.
There is of course the capitalist definition of wealth which states that all wealth is earned, not distributed.
Conversely, socialism states that there is a more equitable distribution of wealth and wealth is better shared.
That being said, all political theories and ideologies aside, we know deep down at our core that there is more to ‘wealth’ than dollars in the bank.
Consider the following quotes:
“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”
-Henry David Thoreau
“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”
“Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time”
So wealth is:
- Having time
- Having health
- Having quality of life
- Possessing freedom
- Finding inspiration
- Having peace of mind
- Wealth is having compassion
- Being loved
- And of course money in the bank – how much money in the bank is defined by you.
And so on and so on.
I’d argue that wealth, true wealth, may be a combination of all of these things.
Wealth, when it is defined as more than simply dollars in the bank, when it is defined as quality of life, health, peace of mind and all of those things that do often come with financial security is a fine and wonderful thing. However, each attribute of wealth i.e. peace of mind, time, passion and dollars in the bank can be at risk if one focuses one attribute to the exclusion of all others.
For example if you live solely to have more money, you’ll inevitably lose time, quality of life, and quite frequently your health.
It’s a fine tightrope to walk.
Do you focus on earning money to support a better quality of life, to have more time and so on?
Do you focus on quality of life and have faith that the money will follow?
It’s the whole success before meaning or meaning before success question.
Success before meaning.
There’s a well established school of thought which dictates that you work hard, you earn a good living, build a good life and then reap the rewards of your hard work. There are various scenarios this may entail.
For many it may entail spending 20 years working a 9-5 desk job, living frugally and saving as much money as possible. The reward is then quitting or retiring and living the life you’ve always wanted to live. Whether that means traveling, spending your days in your garden or workshop or starting that small business you’ve always wanted to start.
This is the place that many people come from. They spend their lives focused on the goal of achieving financial success and freedom.
While setting and achieving goals is a great thing, the problem with this mindset is:
1. One forgets to enjoy life while it’s happening and waits to enjoy it at some future date.
2. That date may never come
Meaning before success.
Another school of thought follows the path of doing what they love and hoping or trusting that wealth will follow.
Those who follow this school of thought believe that the goal to success starts with finding a business or trade you’re passionate about. Passion and desire breed wealth.
While it’s true that passion for your business or trade will bring about day to day quality of life, satisfaction and contentment – financial wealth isn’t a given. In fact there are many people who are barely getting by who absolutely love what they do.
I propose that there is actually a third approach to obtaining wealth without sacrificing quality of life.
Starting an internet based business, yes even in today’s economy, can provide the kind of lifestyle and complete wealth you’re seeking.
Starting an internet based business, while it takes a bit of time at the outset to get a business up and running, once it’s established and you’ve automated as much as you can humanly automate and delegated the rest – the profits are in your pocket and you’ve as much free time as you can humanly stand. Time to live the life you’re dreaming of but instead of dreaming it, you’re actually living it.
Time to pursue your passions. Yes, this third option means the business you start doesn’t have to be something you’re passionate about. You can make your business your passion, however it’s not mandatory. You can in fact sell t-shirts online, make a mint, and not give a hoot about t-shirts.
Timothy Ferriss talks at length on this in his book “The 4-Hour Workweek”.
The concept is defined as the new rich or NR as he calls them. It’s the idea that it doesn’t have to be success versus meaning or wealth versus poverty or freedom versus being chained to a desk 9-5. Life, and wealth, can be defined by you.
Starting an internet based business isn’t as simple as setting up a website and watching the profits roll in. There’s a process. There’s a science behind profiting online. It begins with specialized knowledge.
THERE are two kinds of knowledge. One is general, the other is specialized. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of money.
Mr. Hill also goes on to say in Chapter Five of Think and Grow Rich, KNOWLEDGE will not attract money, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical PLANS OF ACTION, to the DEFINITE END of accumulation of money.
Now specialized knowledge is something you can possess, like knowing how to take apart and put back together a 1964 Ford Mustang blindfolded. It is also something you can purchase or acquire.
You can obtain specialized knowledge by:
- Participating in a mastermind group, hiring a coach, or finding a mentor.
- Going to school or getting specialized training
- Reading everything ever published on the topic including participating in forums and chat rooms on your chosen topic.
As we move through life and make our choices it’s nice to know that there are options. You can choose to live your life pursuing financial wealth at the expense of the other gems life has to offer, you can choose to pursue health, art and happiness at the expense of financial wealth or you can decide that you deserve both. You can decide that the world and its abundance are available to you.
The internet makes it easier than ever before. It gives you access to specialized knowledge and wonderful tools which enable you to automate almost every process and system required to run a successful and profitable business.
The definition of wealth can be quite divisive. Ask your family and friends how they define wealth and then sit back and enjoy the conversation! Ask any political candidate how they define wealth and you’ll get vastly different answers. Let's take a.