“Money doesn’t change men. It merely unmasks them.” – Henry Ford
You’ve worked incredibly hard to become successful, and with success often comes financial gain. Whether you’ve built up a thriving business, sold off valuable assets, exercised stock options, or taken another route to success, you may have come into more wealth than you’ve been accustomed to.
Now, you want to ensure your relationship with that wealth is a healthy one.
Contrary to popular belief, as Henry Ford pointed out, wealth doesn’t change people. However, it does magnify the values they already hold. Money also opens up a world of possibility, one where those values can be “funded” to create change in the world. The result can affect multiple generations down the road.
To create and maintain a healthy relationship with money for yourselves and your family, there are a few tools and strategies to assist you.
Start with the Basics
Being wealthy and feeling wealthy are two different things, and the difference comes down to mindset. You must start by defining what wealth means to you. For most, wealth is not tied to a specific number or the amount of money you have. It has much more to do with how you are using your wealth, what you are able to accomplish with your money, and whether or not you are satisfied with the result.
Simply put, why have money? What is it for? What is your goal for your wealth? Perhaps you want to afford certain things or have the ability to make any purchase you want, when you want. Maybe it’s so you can pay for all the essentials in life without ever worrying about it. Or, it could be that you want to save for the future, for both yourself and your children.
Whatever the case, you must define it. Clarity in your intentions and motives go a long way in managing wealth.
Align Spending with your Values
Far too often, wealth can result in mindless spending driven by a “never enough” mentality. This can be true no matter how much money you have. When your wealth goals are not defined, the focus moves to more stuff and away from more impact. When you clarify your values and define your goals as a result, you’ll spend in a way that moves you toward those goals.
This produces a deep sense of satisfaction.
Do you want to advance a cause? Is there a need that is close to your heart? Do you want to support and build your community? Behind all these goals is a reason why. When you understand that “why,” you will spend accordingly. After all, wealth is just a tool to amplify your values. You’ll always spend where you focus your attention.
Avoid the Trap of Comparison
The fastest way to a life of dissatisfaction is comparison. Although wealth itself doesn’t change you, it does set you apart from most people and puts you into a much smaller, often more elite group. When you try to live like, keep up with, or compare yourself to other wealthy individuals, then that actually can change you, and not necessarily for the better.
The result of comparison is the pursuit of someone else’s goals. It’s like trying to achieve the same dream as someone else, but with differing values. The dissonance associated with this activity leads to dissatisfaction in life and a feeling of not being “wealthy,” even though your bank account may say otherwise.
Again, this is why it’s important to define your own values and the goals supported by those values. You can never live by someone else’s personal values and still be content. Avoid comparison at all costs, no pun intended.
Confront and Acknowledge Unhealthy Money Habits
If you suffer from unhealthy money habits, they won’t disappear when you have more wealth. All of our unhealthy habits can often be sifted down to one thing: fear.
As such, the root of comparison is really fear, fear of not measuring up. Other fears can also come into play, such as fear of the future, fear of looming uncertainties, fear of sudden changes in markets or unknown threats – all of it points to a fear of losing your money that can sometimes not make sense. Even the belief that you don’t really deserve your money, or that someone else is more deserving than you can be crippling. Feeling guilty is never healthy.
If you want to have a healthy relationship with wealth, then fear and guilt must be eliminated from the equation.
This is why clarity in your values and goals is so important. This sets a good foundation for your money actions. Wealth magnifies what’s going on inside you, and when you clarify your motives and intentions, it helps remove fear and guilt. Being clear about your goals, properly planning for them, and managing your risk can help alleviate some of the worry and anxiety about losing your money.
Generosity is the most effective tool in eliminating the feeling of guilt. If you do feel that there are others that are as deserving of wealth as you are, you may be able to be generous in a way that aligns with your goals and values and does not jeopardize your own prosperity in any way. Find a way to make generosity a major part of your goal planning.
Take a Professional Approach
For wealthy individuals, navigating the road ahead can be tricky. In addition to providing strategies for managing and growing your wealth, a financial advisor can help you clarify your values and goals. When you do, you will make more confident decisions with your money, invest in the things that matter most to you, and create a plan that ensures generational wealth.
If you want to see how I can help you make the most of your wealth, schedule a call with me today.