What does it mean to be wealthy vs. poor? As most of us grow up and develop, there’s usually one answer modeled for all of us: Money. While it’s true that acquiring money is a form of wealth that correlates to success for so many of us. In this week’s piece, I challenge us to consider the tough question: Can increasing your income (i.e., more money) make you poorer in life?

Last year, I did an incredible amount of business, and it was a great year, financially speaking. But something was missing. I didn’t have the successful feeling I expected. I’m just starting to realize it was because I was time-poor. 

My kids are both young, and I felt like I had less time to truly play and engage with them. Also, because I was booked solid, I made less time for my other interests, building new relationships with my friends and community, hanging out with my spouse, and doing many other things that brought me joy. 

It’s why I wrote Sometimes we already have what we are looking for last year. The idea was instead of trying to create new joys, maybe I should double down on what I already have that brings me joy. However, spending a little more time doing things you enjoy requires you to be not time-poor.

Yes, we all need to provide for ourselves and our families. But for most professionals, there comes the point where we will be faced with this question: Will taking the next steps to increase my income make me feel poorer in life? 

Sometimes, it isn’t even about the hours, either. Sometimes it’s the promotion or taking on the high visibility project, or the client requires mental energy even when we aren’t working. Do you know what or who I am talking about in your work? 

This year, I’ve been working to balance creating an excellent income to support my family and creating time to feel wealthy in life. Over the past few weeks, here are a few ways I’ve used time to feel more wealthy:

  • Taking off a Wednesday afternoon to do something with a friend 
  • Going on a beautiful snowy hike with my dog earlier this week
  • Just hanging out and laughing with my spouse over a quick lunch break

When I was putting this piece together, I thought of offering some research to support it. But we don’t need it because it’s understood or intrinsic when I say there is only so much emotional or mental energy available to all of us. 

We often think financial wealth creates a sense of freedom because it means you can do what you enjoy. It means you have the freedom to spend more time, you know, attaching to the things that you love to do. But it’s important to really assess that. Did working around the clock create the time for you to do what you love to do. So many things that bring us joy don’t cost much…..they just cost time.

This week, I challenge you to decide what it means to be truly wealthy.


Share this