Monday, July 30, 2007

What is Wealth?

I have had the good fortune to hear Alan Weiss speak a few times and have greatly enjoyed some of his books. Dr. Weiss is a successful consultant and is even better at teaching how to be a person that provides true honest value to clients and how to maintain those relationships. In speaking with him in person one also senses that he really really enjoys what he does and even more communicating that skill and joy to others. Dr. Weiss puts out a free monthly newsletter, "Balancing Act: The Newsletter", that is more about life than about consulting and I enjoy reading it each month. Here is a tidbit from this month's newsletter that gave me some thinking moments and perhaps it will you:

Wealth, to me, is the creation of discretionary time. You can always make more money, but it's impossible to create more time. You have 24 hours in the day, and that's it. Money is just means to an end. Riches are not wealth. A bank account is not a lifestyle.

But, the time to do what you choose when you choose constitutes inestimable wealth. Watching your kids play soccer or dance at a recital, going to a spontaneous lunch with your spouse or a special friend, engaging in charity work without feeling it's "robbing you" of time otherwise needed elsewhere, are all displays of great wealth.

If you drive a 10-year old car and haven't purchased new clothes in ages because you have no money to do so, I'm concerned about your wellbeing. If you've denied yourself those items because you're using your money to sit in vaults, then I'm concerned about your wellness. I'm not suggesting we need lavish houses, large yachts, and legendary cars, but I do think that the ability to engage in activities with families, support good causes, and nourish your soul are legitimate investments.

"There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich," observed Oscar Wilde, "and that is the poor." A poverty mentality is not related to how much money one owns, but rather to one's view of how money should be used.

I continue to be amazed, not only at how stupid I was two weeks ago, but also at how many people I find myself coaching to whom I have to say, "You're approach to money is subconscious and your approach to time is unconscious." No one, not even people truly in poverty, should have a poverty mentality, which is akin to a victim mentality.

As Cher said in "Moonstruck" as she slapped her ardent suitor, "Snap out of it!"

Check the links above to read past newsletters, subscribe to the newsletter which I encourage you to do, or to find his main web site.

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