by Kim Lavine
My mother always used to say 'just because someone has more money than you doesn't mean they're happier.' She was right.
I've met a lot of very wealthy people in my capital-raising journey. They all want one thing: what start-up entrepreneurs have.
Why Investors Really Invest
Why are all you people investing in risky start-up companies?” I asked, unable to get over the shock at hearing he had a quarter of a million into a company that hadn’t “made” a dollar yet.
“Oh, we’re all addicted to it. It’s exciting! We’re certainly not doing it for the money, if that’s what you mean. People aren’t satisfied with the money once they make it. They realize it’s the game they love, not the money. None of us can get it out of our blood. That’s why we’re always looking for something new.”
I couldn’t believe it
Some of these people were making millions, and instead of going to a Caribbean island where they could retire for life, they were looking for the next exciting start-up to back, just to keep themselves from nodding off in total boredom.
This was my second clue that money wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.I asked myself, “would an excess of money really make my life different?” The answer was a shocking and disconcerting “No!”
Did I really have everything that I wanted and not know it?
I controlled my own destiny, had financial independence, and saw an immediate and valuable return on the equity of my work; plus I could spend whatever time I wanted whenever with my kids—does it get any better than that?
I didn’t need to fill any gaping holes anymore in my heart, mind, head or self-esteem with things that I could buy. They were all filled up, doing satisfying, challenging work that was directly rewarding.
I couldn’t believe how just two short years ago, having the biggest home, the nicest car, the best corporate job, the most beautifully-decorated home was of such incredible importance to me in measuring my self-worth. I couldn’t believe that, up until now, what my neighbors thought of me was the yardstick I had used to measure my self-worth.
Looking back, when I ostensibly had it all, I couldn’t believe then how many holes I had that I needed to fill up with all things material. Instead I had discovered that I had filled them all up with gratitude, faith and love.
I had filled up my hole of fear with self-confidence.
I had filled up my hole of not having enough with a complete appreciation and gratitude for every little thing I did.
I had filled up my hole of a lack of faith with a daily appreciation of God’s daily providence and grace in my life.
I had filled in my hole of not being thin enough or beautiful enough for Hollywood standards, with a new understanding of my power as a real and self-confident woman in a world with a critical shortage of them.
I had filled up negativity and anger with a positive faith in myself and a commitment to choosing happiness wherever and whenever possible on a minute-by-minute basis.
Most importantly though, I had filled in that aching black hole of being away from my children not by choice but because of a job, with an unlimited ability to be with them along with an understanding that everything they did, said, messed up, or broke, was given to me as a special gift from God to make me laugh, cry, and love in new and more profound ways every day.
Even if I failed, I figured, I’d never be the same
It’s amazing to me that up until that moment, I couldn’t even see my success. All I saw was crisis, challenge, struggle and stress. I suddenly realized that there was always a negative and positive side to everything that happened to me on a daily basis, and I had been trained like everybody else to only see the negative.
Spend Less Time Worrying, More Time Being Happy
I see people like me just starting out now and the most important advice I can give them is this: spend less time worrying and more time being happy.
Everything happens for a reason. Have faith in this, even if the reward isn’t immediately, or even distantly apparent, it will become so. It took me a year to see that the worst thing that ever happened to me, was the best thing that ever happened to me.
An excerpt from MOMMY MILLIONAIRE.