What Money Means To Me

Posted on August 24, 2014

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Last week’s post about money and our usefulness to others sparked a lot of conversation and comments on the blog. It inspired me to think what money means to me and why do I push myself to achieve more in life. Is life about purpose or bucks?

First, full disclosure. I come from a perfectly average middle class family. We always had enough but we were never ‘rich’, not even ‘wealthy’. I held well paying corporate jobs, and considered myself ‘an independent’ woman until having kids. Recent years I have let husband pay the bills. It was tough at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I could never be ‘a lady of leisure’ though, and making my own money is very important to me.

I’ve always been very good in negotiating my salary and standing up to myself getting the same pay as my male counterparts in the job market. In the past couple of years I’ve been building my own businesses and the logic for earning is quite different. You can stand up to yourself all you like but if you are not making the right decisions and learning the right skills, the bank account may remain in a miserable state.

There are of course other benefits to building your own company. You get to do something you feel passionate about. Some people may argue that following your passion should be enough and the only measure to justify your choices. But why can’t I settle there?

Am I searching for monetary or spiritual riches? Both, is my answer.

I’d like to live in abundance. In abundance of love, of ideas, of beauty, of intellect. I’d like to surround myself with high quality people and products. I’d like to be able to choose exactly how I want to live, where I want to go and what I want to do. I think having some extra cash might be a good idea in that scenario!

I don’t believe one has to choose either ‘passion’ and ‘purpose’ OR financial success. Do we have to pride ourselves of choosing ‘purpose’ over money? Does it make us more noble? Possibly yes, but I’ve set myself on a journey to discover if I can have both.

So why do I work hard? Why do I keep pushing myself? Why is it important for me to make some serious money?

I want to know what I’m capable of. I’m interested to know what I can do and what I can learn in life. Where can I get to? I’m interested to see where my passion takes me. I’m curious of my own capabilities. Money both measures and fuels my growth.

I want to make an impact. I want to be useful to the universe. I want to feel a sense of achievement. I want to help people. I want to make my work matter. I can multiply my usefulness if I have access to finance.

I want to earn my own money. I’m ‘married well‘, so well that I could in theory become a lady who lunch. In theory. I would not be who I am, if I did. (And that’s not the woman he married anyway.) Nothing is more rewarding than working hard, getting the reward and feeling good about yourself. Money is just a side product.

I want to learn. Money is a great test for me to see what I’ve learned. If I’m crap at everything I’m unlikely to make any money, right? I want to improve myself in all areas from interpersonal skills to selling on social media, and beyond. If I’m able to make better decisions for my projects and my company, money will be a natural measure of my success to improve myself. Would you agree?

I want to get to a new level. If my finances improve, I will be able to hire more and better people. I will be able to outsource skills I don’t want to, or don’t have time to, learn. I can basically use money as a catalyst for faster growth, both personally and for my company.

I want to make a greater impact. Philanthropy has never featured greatly in my life. Sure, I support the Kids Company and Battersea Dogs Home with a small donation every month and I pay for two girls‘ education in Nepal, but I’d love to do much more! I’d love to do more for women’s empowerment. I know the day will come, but first I need to build up some serious resources.

I want to get to know new people. I’m interested in getting access. I’d like to know more people who have been through an interesting and successful entrepreneurial journey. I want to have Sophia Amoruso and Sara Blakely at my dinner table, and feel completely comfortable about it!

You can pursue your purpose and turn your back on wealth, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The most important thing is to make an educated and aware decision. The other extreme is to chaise riches and never find your purpose or happiness. But I believe that there’s a third way, one in the middle – to pursue things you believe in, things that make you thrive and bring out the best in you. And make money along the way.

Life is not about just settling for the cards you have been dealt, accepting your ‘fate’ or your current state of affairs.

It’s not about being either rich or poor. We all start somewhere, some at the front some at the back, but we can all move forward. Life’s about believing you can always improve your hand, little by little. And life’s about learning to make better decisions for ourselves, for our purpose, and for our finances.

What is your view? What does money mean to you?

Please leave your comments below.

~ Miisa

DrivenWoman ‘Wealthy Woman Workshop‘ is on 4th of September. Join an inspiring evening where you can learn what steps you can take now to start improving your future wealth.

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9 thoughts on “What Money Means To Me

  1. jane

    I have no desire to just get money for nothing (there’s a song there) I want to create something that people want and will exchange money for.

    This is the plan…i want money to do good things. I said in the ‘money’ blog I wouldn’t buy a ferrari but I would have my eyes on a mansion. What I meant was I would definitely get somewhere nice to live in, that’s it. The rest of the money I’d earn would go towards funding young women in business projects.

    I’ve already been daydreaming about my collaboration with camila from kids company :)

    I’ve never been driven by money because I’ve never known what I would do with it. Now I do. And I’m going to need lots of it. Loads of it…

    And this isn’t about my incredible generosity…i realise this is once again about my desire to do a very good job and to have the power to change people’s lives for the better.

    Reply
  2. Rooibos

    For me money means freedom. Freedom to eat healthy food, freedom to do things I love. To earn that money I have to sell my time and energy to a company and to spend my days with a subject that is ok or sometimes even fun, but still a subject that I don’t feel passionate about. Not at all.

    Money means also safety for me. Having some savings makes me feel that I’ll survive even if I’ll lose my job today. Some money in bank account helps me think that even if I lost my job, I’d be able to eat while I look for a new one.

    And of course money enables those so many cups of tea in cafes, occasional partying, membership at the local gym and my whole lifestyle. I’m not rich but I guess I’m doing ok. I hope that one day money will make possible that I’ll be able to settle for less and quit work and work more with the things I’m passionate about!

    Reply
  3. miisamink Post author

    Thank you for adding your view Jane and Rooibos! I think ‘freedom’ is a great word. To have the freedom to make independent decisions, independent from any monetary pressures, would mean one wouldn’t have to compromise on integrity, authenticity or quality of one’s actions and projects. And to help others, as Jane said.

    And thank you Marianna for feedback. Always helpful to know if what I write hits the spot or not.

    Girls, keep the comments coming please :)

    Reply
  4. Jennifer stoute

    We can often get caught up with what level of riches would be satisfying. Of course just like everyone else the number one drive is to have security and to take care of your love ones but beyond that what keeps that carousel spinning. I often wondered if I won the lottery today would I stop and just sit back and enjoy my freedom. The answer would be no I would still want to create push open more doors. Yes I would have the peace of mind of no financial worry which of course makes everything easier. But the hunger of success is no sweeter that your own hard work and the passion to make a difference to your environment. Is it something you are born with or something you require along your Journey. Regardless how it got there it a feeling to enjoy to embrace and not to be afraid to be as wealthy as your heart desires.

    Reply
  5. Marja

    Spot on, Miisa, and thanks for sharing your very personal view! For me money is above all about freedom to choose, as long as you do not become its slave.

    Reply
  6. Terhi Majasalmi

    So great post again Miisa!

    As we can see money is so much more than just psychical money.

    Our own numbers tell a story for us what we have learnt and what kind of thoughts we have had about money in general.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer

    Money, as I said before, is how we denote value in our society. But, what money means to you is a different question entirely. Money is a means of securing those things necessary to enable your life. Every life is different so some individuals require more money than others to enable the lives they choose or want to lead. Ultimately, money is a tool. A measuring stick for value – a means of commerce. It is a thing and only a thing like any other material good.

    Passion and purpose are not related to money in my view. Passion and purpose denote emotion, self actualization and self worth. One can have passion and purpose and be fulfilled and have little if any money and, therefore, not be recognized by society or be honored by it. Mother Theresa for example had little if any material goods or money but had an abundance of passion and purpose in her life. For quite some time I made a very good living and had little passion or purpose in my own life.

    I agree with Miisa that money, passion and purpose are not mutually exclusive. Money, however, has no meaning in my view except the arbitrary meaning that we assign to it as a culture. Money is a tool of commerce — nothing more and nothing less.

    Reply
    1. miisamink Post author

      Thank you Jennifer and everyone for your great comments! I think as women, it’s refreshing and healthy that we can talk about money – what ever our views.

      I think Jennifer raised a very important point with Monther Theresa, yes, she made a huge impact and had a lot of passion in her life. And she made a conscious choice with money. I think that’s the key – to make active choices rather than just brush away the topic because we shy away or are too lazy to address it. Everyone has a different definition of happiness, success and also different relationship to money. I wish everyone a purposeful, passionate and wealthy weekend!
      Miisa

      Reply

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