It’s been said a million times the web over, that it’s not about the money; and yet somehow there’s always someone new popping up for whom it IS about the money.
At the same time, I’ve been learning a lot about Lean methodologies, and how they apply to startup and product life. So I wondered if it might be useful to look at the lack of money as a problem, and apply the famous Five Why’s to solving for the root of the problem and see what results could be. We’ll start with the classic phrasing of the macro-problem:
- I need more money.
- Because I need to buy “x” or “y” or “z”
- Because I need to have food, shelter, clothing, a Bentley, jewelry, etc
- Because I need
- food, shelter, clothing to survive,
- _______ goods, Bentley, jewelry, etc, to
- feel better about myself
- demonstrate my worth or superiority to others
- because it’s something I’m entitled to
- to increase value for others (entrepreneur?)
- Because it will make me happy
I hope I’m not doing this wrong, but it feels to me like #5 right there gets to the heart of non-survival, or non-professional related quests for money.
Because it will make me happy.
I think the one most depressing and freeing thing I learned early-on in Hollywood, that some of the richest people I met, were the most unhappy. It was really a revelation. In some ways, I think knowing that put up a roadblock to me learning that I could derive satisfaction from a financial return until later in life. Once I met some people who were wealthy AND well-adjusted, it because a lot more clear that money really, honestly, has little to do with being happy.
So the next time you catch yourself being All About the Benjamins, run a quick “five why’s” and then put the results to use. I suspect that in most applications, it’ll speed your way towards really being happy.