“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”
— Will Rogers
We all grew up hearing a variety of clichés about money. Some of them are useful but many need further thought.
Here are a few thoughts about money that definitely need further consideration:
1. Expensive cars, house, clothes show how financially successful people are.
To put it another way, money = success.
However, as Warren Buffett (arguably the worlds most success investor) says “you can’t tell who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.” You have no idea about others financial positions based on what they show to the outside world. They might be carrying a mountain of debt or financial stress.
2. Money is the root of all evil.
Or some variation of this theme
This assumes there is something inherently wrong with money. Really money is just energy. It’s what you use if for that counts. In the words of Maxwell Smart you can choose to use it for “niceness instead of evil”. Let’s be frank here, it’s easier to change the world for the better when you have some money than when you are scrimping and saving to get through the week.
3. You’ve got to work hard to make money.
Yes and no.
Sure, it won’t just land in your lap by thinking happy thoughts but working more efficiently rather than harder is a good choice.
We all know someone who prides themselves on being the first to the office and the last to leave and spends a good part of their day telling anyone who will listen how busy they are. Compare that to the person that gets in and gets the work done and goes home.
So yes, you have to work to make money, and sometimes you will need to work hard. But never confuse busyness with working hard.
4. You’ve got to spend money to make money.
Again, yes and no.
Let’s take education for example… You can’t learn to be a doctor from a free online course. You will need to go to spend the money going to university in order to make money from being a doctor. Compare this to someone who wants to try their hand making money from blogging. There are a plethora of free or relatively inexpensive online resources to help you on this path.
If you think you need to spend money, spend time doing your homework and research instead. And be honest with yourself. Sometimes it’s just another way to procrastinate and avoid doing the actual work.
5. The myth of the struggling artist.
Too many creative/spiritual types buy into this one thinking they can’t be authentic or true to their craft and make money. This myth places way too much importance on the energy of money and too little value on your skill, time and contribution. The world is a much better place because of the arts and you deserve to be rewarded for contributing.