Why do you want to make lots of money?

(First of all, if you’re not wanting to explore this question, and would rather just learn how, read this instead: How to make lots of money authentically?)

When you start learning marketing, and hanging around others who are building a business, it’s easy to get swept up in the dream to make lots of money.

It’s important to reflect on the question of Why, because without continual clarity about this, you might be heading in the wrong direction…

It’s like the person who actually wants a home, but is working hard to accumulate lots of building material. What they need is not just physical shelter, but to actually feel they belong somewhere. They could’ve gotten that without all the accumulation.

Or someone who thinks they wants lots of friends, but even after the hard work of making friends, they still feel incredibly lonely because what they really needed was a deeper sense of purpose.

Some common reasons why people want to make lots of money:

  • Sense of eternal security
  • Pride of supporting their family
  • Freedom to buy things and have experiences
  • Power to support causes they believe in

And yet, these things can be gotten without lots of money:

  • True security is being part of a stable community
  • Pride is using one’s skills to uplift others
  • Freedom is truly a mental and spiritual state
  • Power is the courage and communication skills to organize people

The problem of trying to pursue lots of money first — before you believe you can have security, pride, freedom, and power — is that along the way, you can easily forsake those deeper things in the pursuit itself. Large money-making requires tremendous sacrifice. Be careful of losing your genuine spirituality, aka selling your soul.

You can work hard, but the success is never guaranteed. There are always factors you cannot control: changes in the marketplace, the culture, other fast-paced changes in society such as law and technology, and the constant appearance of new competitors.

Who gave you the idea that you should make lots of money?

Maybe you know someone who’s “made it” and you think “if they can do it, why can’t I? Imagine all the good I can do with that money.”

You don’t know what their life path was supposed to be, compared to yours. Their genetics, combined with upbringing, plus enormous amounts of luck, allowed them to make lots of money. Who knows how long they can keep it? And if they’re really even that happy?

What we know for sure is this:

You are still here. No matter what’s happened in your life, somehow the Universe has supported you and will continue to, as long as your mission is not yet complete here.

And is your life mission to make lots of money? How do you know? I’ve never read a single spiritual teaching that suggests this. If anything, it’s the opposite:

​“Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’… your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” — Jesus

The Buddha’s Eight-Fold Path:
Right view
Right resolve
Right speech
Right action
Right livelihood
Right effort
Right mindfulness
Right concentration
…there’s nothing about Right resources, Right wealth, or Right power.

Gandhi famously said: “The Earth can sustain everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.”

Plato said the income of the highest paid in society should never amount to more than five times that of the lowest paid.

​If we all pursue a “high income” it doesn’t work the way we think it would. Economics shows us that lot of money for everyone means an average amount of money for everyone. Inequality is built into the idea of “lots of money”.

A quick study of the world’s great spiritual teachings seem to align on this topic: Accumulation of money and possessions cause fear of loss, spiritual delusion, and separation from other human beings.

Rather than creating a genuine community of caring, the more money we have, the less we need other people, since we can just pay them to do things for us.

As a business coach I’m obviously not a hardliner when it comes to spirituality & money. My full-time job is helping clients create and grow authentic businesses, which include financial sustainability.

What I do believe is that a fixation on “lots of money” as a goal tends to delude and disconnect us from our purpose for building an authentic business.

So it’s not that we can’t make lots of money. It’s the constant wanting of it that becomes problematic.

Instead of having big money (compared to what we have now) as a goal, I advise that we be modest with financial goals at each step.

By doing so, we’ll have the experience of delightfully surpassing our financial goals continuously. This builds greater confidence as well as grounded understanding of our market. Then, we can set a higher goal (still modest) and surpass that as well.

When I set fantasy goals in the past, I was constantly disappointed at the results.

Now that I set modest goals, I’m often delighted by the results. This brings more positive energy and power into my business, which actually makes it even easier for me to make lots of money… but it’s not what I’m after.

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run — in the long-run, I say! — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”
― Viktor Frankl, psychologist and Holocaust survivor

Originally published at www.georgekao.com.

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