May 24, 2021 11:04 am
I wrote my NYT bestselling book I Will Teach You To Be Rich to help people learn to live rich lives. But sometimes, teaching people how to get rich gets me a bad rap. I’ve been told, “you just want to make money.” Or “money isn’t everything.” And these people do have a point. But actually, I’d prefer to be asked WHY I teach people to be rich. Because being rich isn’t just about amassing large amounts of cash — it’s about what you want your life to look like.
When you’re thinking about your financial future, it’s important to ask yourself: why do I want to be rich?
Take a second and think about it.
Do you want to have a luxurious lifestyle? Do you want to travel? To eat at nice restaurants? To break free from your 9-5 job?
I believe it’s really important to consciously think about why you want to be rich. If you don’t, it’s easy to get caught up in a race to get more and more money without ever knowing why. What are you working towards?
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Finding Your Why
Here’s a simple exercise you can do right now to help you figure out why you want to earn more money. “I just want to be rich” isn’t a good enough answer here. Get really specific about what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to get there.
Setting Actionable Wealth Goals
- Set aside an hour and grab a notebook and pen.
- Write down your long- and short-term money goals.
- Notice any themes that emerge — are you focusing on arbitrary numbers (“I want to make a million dollars”) or do your goals reflect a greater purpose (“I want to travel internationally every year”)? Those larger goals form the foundation of your “why.”
- Next, take a look at your calendar — are you actively spending time working on your most important goals day-to-day?
- If not, adjust your schedule to include activities that will help you further your financial goals.
This is easy to say and harder to do, so I’ve taken my own advice below. And hopefully, I can use these things to explain why I teach people to be rich. It’s not just money–far from it.
Why I Wanted to Become Rich
In one sentence: I never wanted to have to make a bad decision because of money (e.g., staying at a job I don’t love because of car payments).
Long-term goals of earning wealth (in order):
- Give my parents a retirement where they don’t have to work if they don’t want to
- Comfortable, sometimes gaudy lifestyle (I love pens)
- Make career decisions because I want to, not because of money
- Stay in touch with my friends by seeing them in person often
There it is: an online, accountable list of goals for why I teach and learn how to be rich. What if you made a list like this and checked it every 6 months to see if you were moving towards your goals?
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