How Rich Are You?

How Rich Are You?

By Bill Auxier, Ph.D.

My older brother is a CPA.  Early in his career he did individual tax returns.  As you know, whoever does your annual tax return, especially if they do it year-after-year, gets to know your financial situation fairly well.  My brother told me that I would be surprised how many people I thought were well off financially who were actually living paycheck to paycheck.

I was fortunate to start making good money in my late twenties.  I was all in on the concept of external achievement equals power.  I drove a BMW, had a sailboat and lived in one of the wealthiest communities in the United States.  I had come from humble beginnings and now I was somebody!  I had power!  I made the choice to do what I needed to do to make money.  I also made another choice to spend that money on me.

During this time period I had a colleague who was on a similar track.  About one week after he purchased a shiny new Corvette, he confided in me that he was disappointed in his purchase. Buying the Corvette had made him happy for a couple of days, but that joy had quickly faded away.

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That is when I realized that quite often people spend money on things when they want to feel valued.  The less valued one feels, the greater the tendency to spend money on things with the hope of bringing greater value to one’s life.

Only you can determine your value or your inner worth.  The external world cannot.  Only you can define you, can define who you are, who you want to be.  If you earn decent money, it is easy to be tempted by external achievement and the perception of power, but effective leaders look beyond this temptation.  Effective leaders provide their own definition of leadership and who they are as a leader.  Be the leader you want to be!  Define yourself!  Only you can determine how rich you are!

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