Through our work with business owners, we have seen some who have had access to significant money.  Not all, but some.

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with a business owner who has what some would consider to be “life-changing” money…meaning, he wouldn’t have to work anymore if he didn’t want to, and he still has at least half of his life left to live statistically.

He has houses, boats, cars, toys, investments, commercial real estate, and access to a lot of other people who have the same.

We talk frequently, but this one particular conversation he ended with, “it’s ain’t what everybody thinks it is”.

When money becomes THE thing instead of just A thing, then EVERYthing changes.

Lynne Twist wrote a great book entitled The Soul Of Money.  In her book, she writes of money, “Money alone does not guarantee a fulfilling life, and excessive amounts of money more often become an obstacle to it.”

“Money is the most universally motivating, mischievous, miraculous, maligned, and misunderstood part of contemporary life.”

“Money has only the power that we assign to it, and we have assigned it immense power.”

How do we know when money has become THE thing?

It was said this way of a rich person.  “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter into freedom.”

Why can money be so dangerous?  Why is it warned against and yet lauded and cheered?  What’s our obsession with money?  

SO WHAT’S BEHIND OUR OBSESSION WITH MONEY?

It’s not the joy that money brings, it’s the fear that we might not have it.

Scarcity.

Twist calls scarcity a lie and even goes on to define the lie as “the mindset that tells us we can never have enough and drives us to strive above all and against all for more and more.”

Scarcity is not only a lie, but it thrives under the umbrella of three myths…

Myth #1: There Is Not Enough To Go Around

  • Like musical chairs…when the music stops, somebody will lose
  • The truth is, there actually is enough to go around although the systems to distribute may fall behind…the resources are there.

Myth #2: More Is Better

  • Twist said, “more is better is a chase with no end and a race without winners”
  • All we have to do is evaluate our demeanor 24 hours AFTER opening Christmas presents.  Are we really happier?

Myth #3 That’s Just The Way It Is…

  • Stroll back to the perms and rat tails of 1986, Bruce Hornsby and the Range
  • Reflecting back on Civil Rights and the gap between rich and poor they sang over and over “That’s Just The Way It Is…something will never change”
    • MLK Jr or John Lewis…”that’s just the way it is”
    • Martin Luther The Reformer
    • Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill
    • Rosa Parks
    • Oprah Winfrey
    • Chimamanda Adichie
    • The boy who harnessed the wind
    • Can you imagine telling
    • Ema and Tofunmi Solako
  • “Awe, but don’t you believe it”
    • You CANNOT believe these myths
      • It will rob you of your skillset
      • It will rob you of your soul
      • It will rob you of the gift that you have to share with the rest of us…when you BUY IN to a mind of scarcity, you buy yourself a pair of mental and emotional handcuffs
      • You’re bound, limited, stuck, unnecessarily handicapped

How can you help employees with money problems?  Train them about the myths of money.  Embrace the mindset of sufficiency and abundance, and live your own life in a way that shows that money is not an obsession, but a tool for generosity!

Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters.  Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.