Louis Savilli asks in the comments -
Interesting and timely topic for me personally. Here’s my question to those who already make $10,000, $100,000, or $1,000,000 per month:
What is money? What can you tell me about it and how you feel about it? How have your opinions and feelings on money changed over the years? Going further – have you always felt comfortable exchanging your services for money? For relatively large amounts of money?
Some of these questions are more about self-worth and your own opinion on the value you can provide. I’d love to hear some answers!
I like running a site that's unapologetically pro-wealth, pro-ambition, pro-building, pro-doing, pro-excellence... we wind up meeting getting into lots of good discussions and I've met lots of great people.
I've had $10k+ months, never broke the $100k+/month mark. For me, the money never felt real in the moment, it was all kind of abstract, like having 607 gold pieces in a video game. That's probably a problem to some extent, and probably part of what kept me from doing more. Not translating money directly into important things I could do with it.
I've always been spartan - I've never been into luxury. The only things I spent on really were having excellent tools, paying for knowledge/experiences that further my development, and treating people well who treat me well. That's... pretty much it. Beyond that, I just bought stocks or put it in a money market, reinvested in whatever I was running, and/or looked for opportunities to get into a deal with a mix of cash and labor (I've found bringing cash and labor/skills to the table simultaneously seems to have much higher ROI than either individually... the challenge is knowing people doing things where your skills and cash create value).
I had some screwed up views of money before - I thought it was bad. I'm still working to eradicate those. On an intellectual level, sure, I think money is a useful measure of the value you provided to society, as decided by whoever is paying you. But the emotional stuff gets deep in you. This is common among people not raised wealthy - you hear terrible things like "Money is the root of all evil," which is just clearly nonsense.
Back in Roman times, Publius Syrus said, "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it" - thinking about that and realizing it was true shifted my view of money. There's no "right" price - things are worth what people decide they're worth, based on voluntary exchanges. Thus, offering voluntary exchanges gives opportunity for others to maximize their goals - and is a virtuous thing.
I know that intellectually, of course, but I still don't hustle as much I should and would like to. Funny enough though, I have an easier time asking for $10,000, $20,000, $100,000 for a large B2B contract than I do consumer facing stuff. I don't know why. Odd, huh?
I explored some of these themes in this controversial piece - "Some Differences Between Being Low Born and High Born"
That might be worth a read, but before you go off to it, I'd love to hear your experience and thoughts. What's money to you? Anonymous answers are okay. Also, don't strictly limit yourself if you haven't done $10k in a month, I'd love to hear everyone's experiences here. Very important topic.
The great thing about money is that (as long as you don't cheat people) it is not only an excellent barometer of accomplishment, it is extraordinarily useful and even fun.
In a macro sense I believe the pursuit of money is very healthy, contrary to some popular beliefs, it actually encourages a society of people each working very hard to contribute.
In a micro sense I believe this pursuit of money is also very healthy, it gears your mind to focus on a standard of what legitimately is or is not worth doing. It is our goals that give us purpose and serve as a powerful way to bring out our power and productivity. I think it is wrong to condemn that.
Sure there's lots of things very much worth pursuing that money can't buy, but that doesn't make money any less worth pursuing.
money is what we use instead of direct bartering. It gets us material goods. As long as we don't get observed with good or paper, we should be ok. The pursuit of paper, the act of getting it in order to lift yourself up both financially and emotionally, is a fine pursuit. A way to get motivation.
As for me personally, ive always equated money with painful work, without knowing that there's more then one way to get it.
the old school references, such as Plato's Socratic Dialog "Hipparchus", are often fun to bring up, especially if people want to get beyond Rand. This also includes me since I find the unchallenged monologue tactic like the one referenced above to be a less convincing method, although it does tend to read easier.
I think there is a difference between having a problem with accepting payment for providing a service and having a problem gauging what that payment should be.
Perhaps I don't value the services I provide highly enough, but should the nature of what you provide influence what you get paid, or is it all simply a matter of getting paid what someone is willing to pay you? Do you think there is mostly a clear correlation between value delivered and payment received - an "equal" value? I would think this varies widely between cultures, fields of employment, etc.
Personally, I don't have a problem with being paid for work that I do, but I sometimes struggle with the value attached to it - do I feel awkward charging someone €60/h for a simple coding job, while a hospital nurse might make a quarter of that while looking after my kid when he's in hospital? Yes, oftentimes I do.
In terms of "money being the root of all evil", that does sound extreme. A softer version of that sentiment, however, might be someone objecting to a corporate executive cutting corners on safety in order to maximise profits (personal and shareholder), which in turn might lead to an accident (some might use this analogy for the BP oil spill). How does this square with equal value and the profit motive?
Sorry, this topic isn't one I usually philosophise a whole lot about, but I saw the link to the article posted by a friend on Facebook, I found it interesting and it raised a couple of thoughts.
Thanks Sebastian. To answer your question. To be honest with you the only answer I have found to your question is related to either religion or values or a mix of both. I think that most people believe that it is a zero sum game. Therefore the more money I make is the more money I get away from the hand of others. Which, on a value and/or religious basis, is wrong because it it considered stealing. But this is a false thought. There is creation of wealth therefore it means that you don't steal your money, you're generating value with you work or product or service. Value that others are willing to pay for because this value is of some use to them. Therefore you trade value for value like Daniel said.
There is no reason to feel bad about the money you make. And there is no reason to feel bad about how you use money neither. The use of money is personal to anyone. If you want to spend your money on cars. So be it. Its your money. If you want to spend it on travel or education. Once again, go ahead. If you want to give part of you money to charity, be my guest. You earned it, you do what ever you want with it.
Finally I think that Boris said something very important that most people overlook: money buys you freedom! How many people do I see in the traffic in the morning, with one eye shut still sleepy and a super size coffee in the hand, heading for incipid work. Those are what I call the cubicle prisoners: going to work to get their fix. A fix that will last just enough to their next fix in two weeks. Ask them what their aspirations were when they were young. I am sure that they are all good people with good and grand intentions. But now their intentions are reduced to the money they make... and the debt they owe. Money sure is freedom.
I don't possess a lot of stuff, but those things I have are usually of high quality (i.e. best laptop, ebook reader, camera, mobile phone).
But besides stuff, money can buy freedom as well - quite literary: if you are a citizen of a developing country and want to travel to a country in Europe - being wealthy makes it much easier to obtain a visa than any other way.
You can even "buy" a citizenship with more travel freedom using the Citizenship by Investment programs of St. Kitts & Nevis or Montenegro.
I'm glad that the character Francisco d'Anconia's speech in Atlas Shrugged got brought up. I personally found it as an interesting take on society's negative view on pursuing and accumulating wealth, it's well worth a read. He notes that people consider money the root of all evil - but don't ask themselves what the root of all money is and argues that money is the result of the productivity of the individual and is exchanged for value between equals.
That's fine on a philosophical level, but I think adopting the 'value for value' mentality might also be helpful when negotiating a salary or making that sale. "This is what I'm offering, this is why it's good and I believe it's worth this much."
If you are offering and delivering value in the form of product or service why should you feel bad in accepting equal value in the form of money?
Honestly I don't know for you. But I am sick and tired of always be apologetically about money. Like I should feel ashame of making a lot of money. Like money is the greatest evil that human has ever encountered. It is not money that is evil. Its the people that uses it to wrong ends. And this denotes a flaw in the person that uses the money, not money itself. Its just a peace of paper. I make money. I am proud of it. I earn every cent of it. And I didn't steel it to anyone. People have voluntary and freely paid me money because the work I provided to them was worth it. I am proud of my money and I aim for more. Not because money is an end in itself. If you believe that then you become a slave of money. Money is just a mean to an end. Use it wisely. I invite anyone who care to read it to the Fransisco Danconia's speech on money in Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) at the following link: http://rahmisari.com/2008/02/29/francisco-danconias-speech-the-meaning-of-money/
Just a quick thought. Your website has so many visitors, and I bet you could make a lot of money putting some ads on it. But I kind of admire that you don't. I understand people putting ads on their websites, because it is business and an easy way to make money can be quite nice. However, I can't help but feel that people not putting ads are more... how should I put it... I often view them as superior in an intangible sense. I'm struggling to grasp in which. Attitude, pride, standards, noble? Hmm.
With your websites and ads, I wondered why you don't put up any. You don't need the money? Or is it from some kind of internal stance, and you wouldn't put any in either way? By the way, reading your website feels, to me, nice independent of content cause no ads are there to annoy me. These days it seems you can't read many good blogs without drowning in ads.
My blog doesn't generate enough constant traffic to make me consider adding any, but... I wonder, would I? I don't know. It's like the pride matter, though not the same.
Ps. I liked your absurdity post
One thing leads to another. I screwed up my 2007 tax return and got audited (not a big scary one, just a "fix this or pay us" notice), which motivated me to go overboard and learn everything there is about taxes, as they relate to my finances.
As as side note, I really appreciate it when people suggest things to learn about or read, as they relate to my posts. I can't think of the others offhand, but I know there have been a few other big ones.