“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” – Erich Fromm
When we are motivated to build wealth, sometimes we tend to look towards a figure or a figure value that we look forward to achieving. It could be $500,000. It could be $1 Million. It could even be just $10,000. It could be the fictional character Gordon Gekko, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates.
Regardless of the figure, it is a fact that if you focus on the dollar figure you want, you may lose your way and end up with nothing. The reasons this may be could be because you take on illegal acts in order to get money or sales, you spend thousands on material things that you would want to buy once you “made” it, or you fall for scams that take more money from you than you make with them.
The focus should always be on creating the best business, the best brand, the best product, whatever your actual form of business should be.
Here are two ways that you can get over greed.
(Wall Street: An amazing movie, a real life ending)
Buy A Major Item
How many expensive items do you have on a list that you plan to purchase by a certain time? It may be a Louis Vuitton purse, a piece of valuable art, a beautiful watch. I’m sure you have plenty. You must overcome that feeling. You will get that rush feeling when you buy it and then after that, it becomes a bland item.
Think about every iPhone you upgraded to. Why did you upgrade your phone if the one you wanted before was so awesome? This is a major reason why Apple makes so much money from you. They know how the human brain works and they feed that drug.
You need four things in life: food, water, shelter, and warmth. Okay, you also need relationships and what not (but I hope you don’t need to pay for those). If you cannot get over dreaming about a specific item that you want and you know that is what is driving your desire for wealth, you could buy that item now (unless it’s a $100,000 car).
I know you must have an item that isn’t going to leave you broke. What you will find is that you will buy it, use it, then look at it and realize “this is what I was obsessed over?”. For me, one of the things that I was obsessed with were Rolex watches. I decided to just get this obsession filled. I went into Raffi Jewelers, tried on my favorite Rolex and got that “this is it?” moment. I still love Rolex’s watches and I will be buying one after a specific milestone, but materialistic desires do not drive my motivation for success.
Go To A Third-World Country
I realized a few years ago that many people have never traveled outside of their home country – you are TRULY missing out. In order to get over your desire for greed, I advise you to go to a third-world country and see how they live on so little and how happy they still are.
I am not talking about Africa. First of all, the WHOLE of Africa is not poor. Do not let Western media make you think so. Plus, you have seen so many commercials about Africa that it doesn’t affect you enough to give money to a charity that doesn’t even put the entire amount to the country in need. I am referring though to countries in South America and others where they have a man who is essentially the wheels of the taxi he is riding.
For me this was Cuba. Being so used to my privileged life as a kid, I forgot that there were people who had real life problems. We met a man at the resort we were staying at and he told us his story about how he was taking care of his kids and his sister and her kids from the one job he had as a cook at the resort. The detailed story he told us broke my heart! Don’t ever say you have it hard until you are busting your butt every day and have to fund the lives of 8 people BY YOURSELF.
Once you are exposed to the real world, your positions on life change. You no longer think about making millions in order to buy yachts, big houses, and spending on the biggest bottles of champagne at the club. You start to realize you don’t need that much. You may still want those things (I still want a large estate on acres) but you understand that these things should not drive your desire to be wealthy. For me, everything I do now is for my future children. I want them to live well, build, and continue our generational wealth while helping those who need it most.
Consider where greed is on your list of attributes and work towards understanding what being happy and wealthy really should mean.
Until next time,
Live Long and Prosperous.
Value Investing Millennial Jahnome McEwan provides FIFTY tips for Young Adults looking to build wealth from now. If working a 9-5 until retirement twists your stomach, Jahnome has a way to get you out of it!
Click here if you are interested in learning how!