“Making money isn’t hard in itself… What’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
In the past 12 months I have made well into 6-figures.
But this is still not good enough.
I’m not saying this to brag but instead I’m writing this to make a point. We all continually get worked up in the world of ‘money is everything‘.
Depending on your circumstances, you may feel that earning 6-figures is a lot of money and it would make you incredibly happy to be earning this much each year. On the other hand, you might be earning more than this and feel that 6-figures is not enough to allow you to achieve the things you want to do. Either way, it’s not actually about the money.
When you break down how my income was earned over the past 12 months, the majority of it was earned through salary or related work income. The other smaller portion has come from passive income through investments in shares and real estate.
How much money did I make from The Start of Happiness? A bit… We only started towards the end of last year (1st birthday coming up soon!) and I don’t intend from profiting from the cause, rather, I’m using this as a platform to help and connect people worldwide. Although the Change Your Life course has been a huge success, 100% of the profits have been put back into The Start of Happiness for making it bigger and better for you guys. I’ve even got videos coming your way and potentially some redesign elements. But more on that another time 🙂
So, does making money really lead to happiness?
The answer to that is really “well yes, and no”.
Does Money Lead to Happiness?
Money can lead to happiness.
We explored this in an earlier post titled Money Can’t Buy You Happiness, But Happiness Can Get You Money!
With money, you have more options. You have more choice in what you can do with your time and energy. When you are out for dinner, you can decide to go to the super-expensive restaurant and pick the most expensive meal without feeling guilty. When you are buying a new car, you are able to get the one that you have always dreamed of – brand new, in black and with all the bells and whistles you have ever dreamed of. When you need a break, why not go on that holiday to Fiji that you have always been dreaming? You have the money.
Does earning 6-figures per year enable me to do the above? Well, I could, however the opportunity cost of what else I could spend the money on is huge, so why would I? I still eat on the cheap, I bought a second-hand car and I often opt for shorter, cheaper ‘mini-holidays’.
Spending money on more expensive items now is simply a form of short-term, instant gratification. Longer-term, delayed gratification can result in greater happiness.
And do you remember our Happiness vs Income graph?
It’s a simple graph I developed in Excel, however it’s based on the work of Daniel Kahneman – a thought-leader in psychology.
Why Earning 6-Figures is Just Not Good Enough
We know that earning 6-figures a year has absolutely no difference on levels of happiness when compared to earning $60k a year. So even though it’s significantly higher, why is it just not good enough?
It’s not good enough because of the method of sourcing that income and the way that time is spent. As I mentioned up front, the majority of my income is through salary and other work related income. What comes with earning a salary and other work related income? A lot of office politics, paperwork and things that you generally do not want to do.
Now I’m lucky in that I actually do enjoy what I do. MOST of it. However as with all jobs, there are certain aspects that I do not enjoy. The main thing that bothers me is the time and effort I need to put in with a ‘static’ income. My role is not your typical 9 – 5 day-job with periods of down-time. I’m constantly going at 110% capacity, responsible for managing a magnitude of service providers, contracts and processes for training, learning and development as well as a tonne of other areas of HR across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands.
I’ve seen so many people reach such high and ridiculous incomes but look miserable on a daily basis. Is this what we really want in life?
The question is how can I spend more time doing just the things I love? And the second question is how can I get rewarded to the level of my output, rather than just having a static income?
Well, it all sounds a little entrepreneurial.
And it is…
Being an entrepreneur is about taking a risk. It’s the same as living your best life… it’s about taking a risk. It’s about taking that chance to make your dream a reality.
Time is the most valuable resource we have. If we’re not spending the majority of our time doing what we love then what are we really doing to ourselves?
If you’re not waking up each day energised and excited by what you do, then you need to ask yourself the question why?
Earning 6-figures can be amazing… but it’s only amazing if it’s earned by spending your time doing the things you love.
And that’s why earning 6-figures a year is just not good enough.
For the Comments
Do you get caught up in the trap of money is everything?
What do you do to overcome this?
To what extent would you trade off money for happiness?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!