Money can’t buy everything, but it can buy a special kind of freedom.
So a student was sharing this story with me and I asked him and he said he didn’t mind if I shared it with you.
Basically he was part of a small boutique construction firm. He was one of the founders, but kind of in a junior way. The project was the brain-child of another fellah who had stumped up the start-up capital. Let’s call him Fred the founder.
Anyway, our mate was bringing his skills, and he felt like he was part of the team. Things were starting to get moving.
Anyway, long story short, and a feud starts to emerge between Fred the founder and another person on the team. She had a strong personality and a low-threshold for BS. She would get out the samarai swords and start hacking, ask for permission later.
Anyway, out mate felt himself pretty squarely on the side of the samarai woman in this feud. He thought the founder wasn’t being entirely honest, and his aggression to the woman had more to do with his inability to deal with strong women than it did with any consistent philosophical position.
He started to lose respect for the founder as the feud dragged on.
Anyway, out of nowhere, Fred just ups and fires the samarai woman. No notice, no severance pay, no thanks for all the fish, nothing. Just fires her.
At this point out mate finds himself in an interesting situation. He liked the company and the vision and where it’s all going. But he feels this was a pretty unfair and crappy decision, and an even worse process.
There’s a few themes in the mix, but the dominant feeling is that it’s a moral issue, and to our mate, a pretty clear one at that.
And so he quits. Not really in anger or a F-you kind of way. He just says, there’s a line that’s been crossed here for me. This isn’t an organisation I want to be part of any more.
And so Fred finds himself down two of his key staff and scrambling to pick up the pieces.
But this isn’t about the mistake that Fred made (he probably should have sounded that decision out with the others in the team… or at least sought counsel.)
It was the epiphany our mate had after the whole process was finished with.
“I’ve often found myself in situations where the right thing to do was pretty clear.
But it’s not always easy to do the right thing, even when you know what it is.
Particular if it’s all caught up in a money story. I’ve been in situations before where a moral line has been crossed for me, but I couldn’t quit just because I needed the money.
I couldn’t just up and quit because I had to eat.
And so you twist yourself up in knots trying to justify why you’re staying. Why you’re not acting on your convictions.
And inside, you’re dying, just a little bit.
But this time it was different. Over the last three years, I’ve developed a strong portfolio that’s putting money in my pocket month after month.
It’s actually going gang-busters. And so I was part of that firm because I liked the vision and where it was going. I needed to get paid for my time, but I wasn’t doing it because I ‘needed’ the money.
And so it was just so easy for me to do the right thing. I could act on my convictions because financially, it didn’t touch me.
I’d never seen this side of wealth before. Obviously money allows you do more things – live life more on your terms.
But there’s the moral dimension too. The ability to say ‘I don’t have to put up with ANYTHING I don’t believe in. I have my own money so I’m not a slave to anybody.
You can’t touch me.’
It was a revelation to me. And now I’ve become even more passionate about setting myself up financially because it allows me to be true to myself.
It just felt so good to be true to what I believed in. And the crazy thing is that it was money that allowed me to act with such clarity.
There is a freedom that comes with money that is actually beautiful.”
Bravo lad. Bravo.