Money is a powerful motivator but it’s beyond money, at a much deeper level, where the real motivation lies.
Money is what we’re taught to pursue growing up, in choosing post secondary schooling, in planning a career path, or in launching a business.
We’re taught money is the path to success and to happiness.
I got caught up in it like most others. Early on I had big dreams of how awesome and easy it would be to make lots of money, run my own business, and have the freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I can sense you out there having a good laugh right now at how naive I was.
Of course that quickly passed into the realization of how much work was needed to start, grow and run a business. Even though my real why was there somewhere inside I was blinded and unable to see beyond money.
That’s the trap of the Traditional Business Success Model. If you’re not familiar with it then check out my recent post that nicely lays out this concept.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with making money, even lots of it. We need it to get by in this world and if we’re making lots of it we do have many options of doing loads of good with it. The problem comes when you make money your primary or sole focus and it has a massively negative impact on you and your whole world.
As that message of making business my primary priority and money my main focus took hold for me it had consequences I could not have imagined.
Here’s how it become my trap. It started harmlessly enough in me working long hours. If you bootstrapped the growth of your business you likely wore all the hats out of necessity as I did which naturally led to long hours. I was young and living in a new city without much else to do. No problem, right? But over time working longer with a business and money first focus became habit, then my new normal. It was just what was done in business, right?
Mainstream media, many business “experts”, and just about everyone else kept repeating that message over and over until that belief took firm hold.
I began passing up social and recreational opportunities because there was always work to do. I made fewer trips back home and even began backing out of plans last minute rationalizing the need to do more work. Eventually it distanced me from family and friends and ultimately it cost me a relationship with a very important person in my world that absolutely crushed me. But the work never ended. There was always more to do. Even as we reached some key goals there was always more dangling beyond our reach. Just to keep up with growth and new opportunities it was a struggle of drowning in it or just keeping my head above water. Keep on pushing forward, right?
It left me overworked, overwhelmed, burned out, lonely and depressed. I hated who I had become and where I ended up but was continually pushed by my inner voice and by so many influences around me to keep working harder and longer and that with financial success I would be happy.
It was not until I was able to break free of this downward spiral of a repeating history and see the trap that this was that I finally began to look beyond money. I was finally able to connect with the deeper why that I was really in business, what success really meant to me and key in on the people and things that truly motivated and inspired me in life. Using that insight I changed my view and my inner dialogue. I changed how I did things, including business, and it all ultimately changed the results I experienced in business and in life.
Moving Beyond Money
So if you have made business the centre of your world and have become primarily money focused for one reason or another and it has not resulted in the success or happiness you had hoped for then ask yourself this…
What downward path am I on right now?
Are you waiting for some never ending financial or business result before you will allow yourself to experience the real success you truly want? To live. To be happy.
Are you allowing your health and personal well being to slide rationalizing how you can reclaim it once you achieve a specific result?
Are you letting your significant other or kids slide from your life as you tell yourself I’m doing it all for them?
Yours may not be the same path as mine but if it’s one you don’t want to continue along you might be waiting for one day that never arrives.
Begin to look beyond money to a much deeper level of what’s important to you. A why that can be your primary focus that will ultimately lead to a result of the money you seek while you are happy, are healthy, are successful each and every day of your life!