There’s more at stake when it comes to chasing paper.
Before we begin, I just want to say I’m not knocking anyone who has huge aspirations to make bank and maybe one day become a millionaire.
I have nothing against you.
My fiancé is one of you.
I love and admire him for his determination, hard work, and aspirations. That’s what makes him, in my eyes, so damn sexy.
But I have my own aspirations… they just don’t involve making a million dollars a year through my social media and copywriting business.
Actively keeping one’s financial goals humble is not an indication of laziness, either. Like most things, it’s simply a personal choice.
And here’s why that personal choice can be so damn valuable.
I witnessed what too much wealth can do to people early into life.
I’ve always had humble financial goals.
Not because I have zero drive to work hard (I work my a$$ off), but because I’ve seen what an incomprehensible amount of money can do to a person’s soul.
Also worth noting, I’ve always been good with money. I was raised by an accountant and learned from a very young age how to save up for big goals and make it work despite what I’m bringing in that month.
At a very young age (the earliest I can remember is maybe 6-years-old?), I came to the conclusion that “money can’t buy you happiness”.
One of my family members, who have been previously filthy rich, remains to this day the most miserable, entitled and greediest person I’ve ever met.
He was, and is, never satisfied. No matter how many cars or houses or boats he buys, he’s still a desperately empty and sad alcoholic who will throw you in front of a bus for a quick buck.
I’ve seen how dramatic wealth can absolutely destroy a person.
And I take cautionary tales very seriously.
There will always be more money around the corner.
In our capitalistic economy as a whole, there’s no shortage of money.
Yes, of course, the distribution of it is anything but equal, and the gap between the rich and the poor is absolutely despicable… but that’s another topic for another article.
The point is, there’s always a way to make money. Whether it’s finding a quarter on the sidewalk, hustling your online business, or begging for change on the street — money is always being pumped out in our society. That’s why the inflation we see from our parent’s generation to ours is so mind-boggling.
Money is always going to be there, and there will always be a diverse amount of ways to obtain it.
The thing we can’t obtain more of is TIME.
It’s the one thing that is constantly slipping between our fingers like sand. When patients are lying on their deathbed, their biggest regret isn’t, “Gee, I wish I’d worked more and made more money.”
Their biggest regret is realizing how much they squandered their time by chasing a paycheck rather than chasing happiness.
Freedom doesn’t have a price.
I jumped into my first business as a 22-year-old, dewy-faced millennial completely starstruck with the prospect of working for myself and being able to call my own shots.
I was going to grind away with everything I had to find out if this lifestyle was possible for me.
Even as I was pinching pennies for the first year as my business was getting off the ground, and barely had a dollar to my name, still living in my parent’s house, I felt incredibly overwhelmed by how lucky and fulfilling my life was.
I want to work to live, not live to work.
My business and I can sometimes be considered a synonymous pair. We share a brand, we share a lot of time together on the daily, and our efforts can directly reflect one another.
But I don’t consider my business my baby, or part of my identity.
I do consider my ability to control my own day and dictate my own freedom as part of my identity.
While that vision was fairly romanticized when I first began my entrepreneurial journey, I have to admit, it’s 3 years down the line and that isn’t too far from the reality of how I live now. Obviously, there are a few more stresses and obstacles which come along with business owning I didn’t daydream about, but I’ve become more adept at managing my anxieties related to those less-glamourous realities.
I don’t want to be working more than I have to. I want to make a comfortable income to pay my bills, travel and alleviate financial burden or stress, but that’s where I draw my line in the sand.
I’m more interested in spending as much time as humanly possible enjoying every single aspect and second of this precious thing called life.
I’m not chasing millions, because I don’t want to be chasing millions.
I invest in experiences, not in stocks (although my financial advisor does invest my retirement fund, that’s just good sense).
I have a very healthy relationship with money, I budget well, and am slowly but surely paying off my debt.
I’m also likely to be the first person who will say, “hell yeah!” to put a trip on my credit card so that I can travel if the opportunity arises. I don’t mind taking on a bit of debt if it means I can travel and explore the beauty this world has to offer. Because the biggest thing I value is experiences, and as I said, there will always be more money.
Keeping my money goals humble keeps me humble, and helps me focus on what really matters in life.
If my business does end up making millions (it won’t, I have an idea of just how much blood, sweat and tears that takes and have mad respect for anyone who’s done it), then so be it. But I’m not going to sacrifice my freedom or quality time with myself and loved ones to achieve it.
When we leave this life, the only thing we can take with us is our soul. Our money and possessions stay behind.
I want to depart this world knowing that I have enriched and nourished my soul as much as I possibly could.