Money is more than a tool. It’s a foundational need.
Why haven’t you got your money situation sorted?
Seriously. Get it together.
I ask everyone who comes to me this question.
People come to me for help getting their money situation sorted, and so the first question has to be, well, why isn’t it sorted?
Diagnosis is always the first step, obviously. A mechanic can’t fix your car if they don’t know what is wrong with it.
This process of diagnosis is obviously easier said than done. It can take years of soul searching to really put your finger on it.
(Time well spent though. Once you know what the problem is, the solution is usually easy.)
Anyway, point is, that’s my first challenge to people. “Why haven’t you got your money situation sorted?”
And I get a variety of answers (although most people have never thought about it), but do you know what the most common answer I get is?
It’s something like, “Well, I’ve never made money a priority. I value other things. Money can’t buy you happiness.”
I got that answer again on the weekend, and rather than complain to my wife about it again (“Seriously, if you want someone who listens, get a dog babe”), I thought I’d unpack it for you guys.
Ok, so yes, money can’t buy happiness. This is so obviously true I wonder why people waste their breath on it. And I have literally never met a single individual who did think money could buy you happiness.
Happiness comes from other things. Meaning, relationships, service, top-shelf whiskey etc.
We all know that. There’s no martyr points for restating it.
But people talk about it like they’re in a garden with two trees. And rather than take some fruit off the money tree, they righteously decided to take some fruit off the relationships tree or whatever.
But this is not what it’s like.
A better analogy would be that you are in a garden with many different fruit trees. The fruit on most trees is high-up, beyond your reach.
Money is the ladder.
And so “focusing on other things” is a bit like saying, I’ve decided to only eat the fruit I can reach from the ground. I righteously turn my back on more elevated fruits.
And this is more than making a point about money being more of a tool than and end.
This is about saying that money is a foundational need.
That is, money, or probably more accurately, wealth, is only marginally above food, shelter and water on the hierarchy of needs.
I mean, have you ever tried to live without money? For an individual to be totally self-sufficient is incredibly difficult. We’re talking about living an incredibly unique and incredibly challenging lifestyle.
And so you need money just to get by.
Again, I’m stating the obvious, but we talk about money like it’s this end-goal thing – like it’s a luxury that only shallow people take an interest in.
But the reality is that money makes stuff happen. It gives you options. The more you have the more flexibility you have to determine the flavours of your life.
And so you need to get it sorted. You don’t really have an option. You don’t have the luxury of ‘focusing on other things.’
That’s avoidance pure and simple.
Money is hard. Getting it sorted is hard. But who said life was easy.
Maybe that’s a sh!tty reality. Maybe humanity could aspire to better.
But the reality is you’ve got to get it sorted before you even begin thinking about anything else.
So I’m going to ask you again.
“Why haven’t you got your money situation sorted?”