In contrast to the many business gurus that define “success” as having a 6 or 7-figure income, I am here to share a different message:
Earn what is enough for you.
Question whether you are getting swept up in the ambitions of others.
Be mindful and clarify your own definition of success.
Do you actually need 6 or 7 figures to live well? Or might you live happier if you increase your mindful appreciation of what you’ve got, and become more creative with existing resources?
The more money you set as an income goal, the more pressure you give to your business. The more money you require, the less freedom you have to be authentic in your business relationships and content.
The less you’re doing it for the money, the more liberated you are to pursue your passion.
So it’s important to occasionally question and clarify for yourself what is truly enough money.
“There is great freedom in simplicity of living.
It is those who have enough, but not too much, who are happiest.”
~ Peace Pilgrim
How do we assess what is enough?
How much income, how big a house, how much in savings?
Consider the following…
Who are your heroes?
What is the “enoughness” mindset of the people you learn from, your business & marketing experts, your personal development teachers, the authors and speakers you follow?
If you’re following experts who constantly tell you that a Good Life is having lots of money, then you won’t ever feel you have “enough” until you are earning lots of money.
It’s so important to get clear about who your “money heroes” are.
Whom do you hang out with?
Your sense of what’s “enough” is deeply influenced by the people you frequently talk to.
What is the “enoughness” mindset of your friends, family, and colleagues?
If you’re continually around people who aren’t satisfied with how much they are earning, then you’ll keep absorbing that feeling of discontent.
Look for people who are wise enough to live happily even with a modest income or frugal spending. Being around them will change your sense of what you “need”.
Needing less means you’re less needy.
Where you live influences your sense of enough.
Do you have high rent or mortgage costs?
Broaden your perspective about what’s possible: You always have the option to move!
(Even though I live in San Francisco, I am blessed with a mortgage payment that is far less than most people who live here… otherwise I would move!)
Check out the Quality of Life Index for various cities. You might be surprised at which ones have the similar quality of life, yet much lower costs, than where you live.
A few years ago I was considering a move out of the USA. Here’s my research on the most affordable countries with a high quality of life:
How you’ll feel about what is “enough” is very different if you lived in Mexico versus the USA, for example.
Also, do you live in a country with high medical costs?
You may want to do your medical procedures in a lower-cost country that has high quality healthcare.
For example, Thailand has better overall healthcare than the UK or Canada, and Mexico has comparable healthcare to the United States yet at much lower cost.
See the Healthcare Index for an overall score of quality & cost.
(On that page, the “Health Care Exp. Index” does not mean “expense” but “exponential”. I recommend just using the simple “index” number.)
How satisfied are you with work?
How meaningful and stressful is the work you do?
I find that when I love my work, and aren’t stressed about it, I need less junk food, less media (movies, books, music), and less traveling (saving a lot of money.)
The happier we are at work, the less we spend to make ourselves happy, and the fewer vacations we need.
One of the best ways to spend your money may be to hire a life coach, career coach, mental health counselor, or therapist. They can help you increase the meaning of your work, decrease your stress, and become more mindful to appreciate what you already have.
How satisfied are you in your relationships?
The happier we are with our social life, the less stuff we need to be happy.
So many people are replacing being in community with being an isolated consumer: spending money to feel good, rather than spending meaningful time with people they love.
Choose friends & social activities that don’t require spending much, in order to enjoy each other’s company.
Get involved in some kind of community group that gives you a deep sense of safety and meaning.
What does the media you consume say about what’s “enough”?
Pay attention to your media consumption habits: videos, articles, TV, podcasts. What messages are you getting about what’s enough?
Are you viewing advertisements that suggest you need more stuff to be happy? At a relatively low cost, Netflix, Hulu, and YoutubeRed allow you to enjoy thousands of shows & movies without ads.
Become aware of the lifestyles of the characters you follow on TV shows: how they live, what possessions they have, what experiences they buy, are continually influencing your sense of what you need to be happy.
What’s your relationship to your inner source of abundance?
Your thought life, your relationship to your inner source of creativity, will determine how much “outer” spending you need to be happy.
It is my belief (and personal experience) that my frequency of connection to my divine Source, my inner source of abundance, has a great effect on what I feel is “enough.”
The more that we can derive joy and meaning from some inner source of creativity, the less we require externally to feel happiness.
How can you more frequently and deeply tap into your inner resources?
Remember that the more money you require to be happy, the more pressure you give your business, and the more your business relationships become transactional, because you need to meet your numbers.
Be aware of the business gurus that tell you that you need more money.
I’m here to say: find your enough. Question what you think you “need”. Learn to tap more into your abundant inner resources — this may be the most important personal development project you take on.
The less you need, the more you can be authentic with your actions and generous with others.