I am on a crusade!
I am on a crusade against for-profit organizations…
I am also on a crusade against not-for-profit organizations.
Confused? You should be; the whole profit vs nonprofit conversation is inherently nonsense.
What I am taking a stand against is the distinction itself. The very notion of these two different types of organization is a false dichotomy, and any enterprise that tries to twist itself into one of these either/or constructs risks undermining its own success.
The goal of every human endeavor is to profit; otherwise why bother? If it creates a loss, or even creates nothing more than it started with, it can hardly survive, let alone thrive. This is so obvious, it hardly needs be said. So where’s the complication?
I was taught once that contradictions don’t actually exist in reality, only in our minds. If I am confronted with what seems to be a contradiction, I should check my premises; there’s a lie, or at least an error, hiding in there somewhere.
The false premise at the source of this paradox is the notion that profit only comes in the form of money – that if one profits one has more money and that if one doesn’t have more money one has not created a profit. Let’s check this premise by taking a closer look at this word “profit.”
According to Webster’s “Simple Definition”, profit is “the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something.” In their “Full Definition”, the first entry is “valuable return: gain.” Notice there is no mention of money.
My preferred definition of profit, as a verb, is simply “to be wealthier after an action than before it.” But this begs three very important questions, which are the subject of today’s conversation:
What is wealth?
What is the source of our wealth?
How do we create wealth?
What is wealth?
Most would answer that it is the money in your bank account, or the numbers on your business’s balance sheet, or the size of your 401(k), or the homes you own, or the “toys” you buy. I beg to differ.
Wealth is all about Value.
Value is the capacity of anything to contribute to living a good, fulfilling life. Life is the only thing that is an end in itself; everything else serves it to some degree (valuable)…or not (worthless or even destructive). All of our decisions, choices and actions are based our ability to evaluate something on this scale. The directive of the designation “valuable” is to invest resources towards it in proportion to its value. On the other hand the designation “worthless” directs us to ignore it and “destructive,” to defend against it.
To the extent that you are functioning as a healthy human organism, the purpose of everything you seek and do in your life is simply to make the most of your life, measured against your hierarchy of values (more on this later).
Values can be spoken, but true values are lived. A value is anything you act to gain and keep. Regardless of what you may think or say you value, taking a look at your bank account and your calendar tells the simple truth about what really matters most to you… even if you are not consciously aware of it when you make those decisions. And there is the crux of the matter; if you are not paying attention to each of the choices you are making; in a multitude of ways every single day, you could be giving up more valuable things for less valuable things…in essence making yourself poorer, because…
Wealth is simply accumulated value.
Wealth is no more and no less than a quantity of things that contribute to a well-lived life. An asset is anything of value. Your wealth is the collection of all the assets you possess in your life; and at the end of the day, the truest measure of success in life is to have the most of what you care about the most – to be as wealthy as possible. And….
Wealth is more than money.
Your wealth is the measure of the total value of all the things you have in your life that you care about – the things that make your life the kind of life you want to live: people, ideas, material things, purpose, legacy, service, health and yes, money.
What is the source of our wealth?
If you measure wealth in financial or material terms, then it is easy to assume that wealth comes from outside of you – it comes from your job, the stock market, the economy. Therefore your ability to create wealth is influenced significantly by factors outside of your control, but…
What if the source of your wealth were not external?
What if the source of your wealth is within you?
What if YOU are in charge of the wealth you create?
What if you had the power to generate wealth – wherever you are and whatever your circumstances may be?
You absolutely do…if you think it, own it and live it!
The source of wealth is within you.
You decide what is valuable to you and how much. You hold the capacity to act to generate wealth. Your wealth is simply the realization of these two truths.
It is only by attending to, cultivating and growing the capacity within you to create wealth that you ultimately come to be the wealthiest over the course of your life. It comes down essentially to how you are built inside, how you look at and show up in your life and how you relate to the people you encounter along the way. We named our firm theWealthSource®, because it is focused on discovering, developing and capitalizing on the Source of Wealth inside each of us.
How do we create wealth?
This will take nothing more than, yet nothing less than a deep change in perspective – not a new wealth management tool or prosperity technique or money-making system. Becoming incredibly wealthy requires a total shift in how you look at the world and yourself in it; and more, it then calls on you to show up, think and act in your life from within this new world view – we call it Wealth Consciousness.
Instead of chasing wealth, you become a person of great value, as a way of being, who generates great value as a way of living. Great wealth follows. Just watch and see!!
Here is a powerful model for making big change, deep change, transformational change – in yourself and your life:
You change your RESULTS by changing your BEHAVIORS.
You change your BEHAVIORS by changing your THOUGHTS.
You change your THOUGHTS by changing your PARADIGM.
But how do you change a paradigm?
You change your ROLE.
To make the shift to Wealth Consciousness, you simply redefine your role in your life as an investor in the Whole-Life Marketplace. From the perspective of Wealth Consciousness,
…Every moment in your life is an investment decision.
We all have one fundamental resource – one primary currency to spend, of which all others are derivative – Time. And Time is really just the measurable aspect of our One Primary Asset – Life. Each of our lives is our one most valuable asset – the one that gives the concept of “value” its meaning – the one we all own completely and unconditionally as long as we have it. But Life, along with its metric Time, is the only non-renewable resource; each moment, once spent is gone – never to be reclaimed or relived. How much attention, let alone intention, do you pay to how you spend those moments?
In the paradigm of Wealth Consciousness, during each of those of expenditures of a denomination of our life, we have some secondary currencies to invest. Within us we have accounts of Attention, Energy, and Love (relationship). And then as we assume our adult place out in society, we acquire Money. Contrary to Time, we can create more of these currencies (if we do the right things), save them and spend them – when we choose and how we plan.
In every moment you consciously and unconsciously make choices to spend one or more of these currencies on something or someone; and when you do, you forego every alternative investment available to you at the time for those currencies. As an investor, it is your job to continually check your return on investment (ROI) from these choices. Are you getting something of more value from that experience than the interval of life and other currencies you invested in it? Will you end up with what is worth more to you than the amount of Attention, Energy, Love and Money you spent to get it?
And even more important than the concept of “value” is the concept of “relative value” – every “yes” you speak says a thousand “no”s. Even if you are better off after a particular choice or course of action, are you more better-off than you could have been with other options that were available to you for investing those resources? Is it the best ROI you can achieve from among all available alternative investments, or is it better to invest somewhere else?
Seem like a lot to continually look at, process and decide? Living an extraordinarily rich and valuable life requires time, expertise, rigor and effort. It’s a full time job!
You create maximum wealth by continually choosing to invest your Life (Time), Attention, Energy, Love and Money in the ways that you believe will generate more value than any other option you see open to you at that point. This requires that you live your life AWAKE to those moments as choices and that you accept the responsibility to think and act in your life the way a skilled investor would manage a portfolio of investments – because your life IS the most valuable portfolio of investments you will ever own!
Your Whole-life Portfolio
Your life can be seen as a group of accounts each with different assets.
In addition to your core currencies, the assets you may have in various areas of your life (accounts) can take many forms: Art, Relationships, Fun, Family, Comfort, Excitement, Health, Fulfillment, making a difference in the world, etc. You invest your primary currencies to obtain these things, and frequently trade them for one another, because you believe they will help make the most of your life – as you want to live it.
Finally there are your capital assets. Capital assets are assets whose purpose is to create other assets. These are things such as education, emotional intelligence, organization tools, strategic relationships, physical fitness, etc. Investing in capital assets is the way to build your Wealth Source. Investing in assets increases your wealth, but investing in capital assets increases your capacity to create wealth!
The paradigm shift to Wealth Consciousness is a fundamental decision, whether you are conscious of it or not, whether you own it or not. It is the decision to look at, show up in and live your life from the realization that, you are an investor in every moment of your life. It is about committing to the idea of building a successful life full of wealth – in all forms – using the same tried and true principles and techniques used for building financial wealth.
Your wealth is the collection of all the assets you possess; and at the end of the day, the truest measure of success in life is to have the most of what you care about the most.
Now back to that pesky “for-profit vs not-for-profit organization” issue…
As with a person, the objective of any rational, viable enterprise is to create the most of what its owners and stakeholders care about most, which translates to “produce maximum value with every resource it spends in order to operate at maximum profitability and thereby create maximum wealth – in all its forms!” All viable organizations are for-profit. They are striving to profit – be it in money or any other asset they value. An organization will either be for-profit, or it will soon cease to be!!
And that poses a short series of interesting parting questions:
- Are you focused on the profitability of your life?
- Have you taken a good look lately at your personal “Whole-Life P&L”?
- Is your life generating the most wealth possible?
- Are you reinvesting in your wealth’s source?
Want to see more? View the slides and handout notes from the presentation first shared at the Atlas Summit in Las Vegas. Click through the slide deck below or download to your device.
Our upcoming 360° Look@Life™ Blog Series will delve more deeply into the topic of “Wealth Is More Than Money” and its application to living more profitably.
The Series, along with the associated 360° Wealth Planning Tool™ will guide you through learning how to:
- Monitor and manage each area of your life as an account into which you deposit the things that are valuable to you in making that domain of your life better.
- Evaluate the balance in each account at any given time
- Increase that balance by intentionally, proactively and strategically filling each area of your life with things that you value – in a way that serves the success of that account, the other accounts and your Life Portfolio as a whole.
At theWealthSource, we are committed to making everyone we touch walk away wealthier, we believe wealth takes many forms and we are excited to have you join us in learning how to invest in wealth’s true source.