I’m not trying to be rich

There are a lot of books out there about money and personal finance, many of them with really good advice. Most of them have titles about being “rich” or a “millionaire,” like Courage to be Rich (Suze Orman), Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (T. Harv Ecker), Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert T. Kiyosaki), Millionaire Next Door (Stanley & Danko). I didn’t resonate with these titles, was embarrassed to be seen reading them.

Oh, I did buy them. And I read them. And I would sometimes start doing what they suggested. But in the end, I didn’t like the premise and I didn’t keep it up.

See, I didn’t want to be rich. Having that as a goal in and of itself just doesn’t inspire me.

The newer books that talk about “financial freedom” are more in line with what I’m interested in: being freed from stress around money. That could mean equally choosing a simpler life that fit comfortably within what I earn now, or finding more ways to make money.

“Financial freedom” also suggests to me the possibility of ending the obsession around money, whether it’s background noise when I’m doing OK, or a loud migraine-causing alarm bell when I’m feeling strapped. The thought of working towards a sense of freedom feels motivating and inspiring. It also points to the idea that much of what I need to do has nothing to do with the logistics of making more or spending less. It has everything to do with how I’m thinking about it. I’ll be posting more in the future about how to defuse old toxic ways of thinking and replace them with new thoughts that lead to a more settled place.

This language thing seems like a little shift, but it’s one that really matters.


  1. I think the opening point of “getting rich” vs. “Financial Freedom” is an important one. My favorite investing theory guy describes it as “striking it rich” vs “reducing to a minimum the chances of eating dog food when you end your working days.” The first is unlikely and trying to win via investment exposes you to way too much chance 9and way too much downside) while the boring “doing work other people are willing to pay for and living within your means and saving” has a very high likelihood of working out. Lower ceiling, higher floor. Low floors SUCK.

    You know I’m working on something potentially very valuable (and I do try to keep that in mind) but what I really most hope to do is LAND THE PUNCH. To really make an impact with the stuff only I can deliver. I’m not sure I identify as a brokeaholic but I do have some related freakouts so I’ll think on ways to back you up on this! (keep prompting us to come back here from facebook too it helps me keep up)

    • I think money freakouts are pretty universal, and also highly personal in their form. The fact that you’re a creative who’s most interested in LANDING THE PUNCH not in “make a bunch of money” does put you at risk for brokeaholic behavior. However, you’ve also been good about not dismissing the potential revenue from it. Good for us all to keep an eye on that tricky balance!

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