by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
Last week, I had the opportunity to help an extremely wealthy woman sort out her finances. Now, my favorite part about this is not the fact that she is one of the largest clients I have ever signed, but that she is an interior designer. She personifies evidence that the money myth holding so many people back from their true potential – that the key to financial success is the right occupation – is not true. Indeed, many lawyers and doctors make a decent living. But so do many musicians, caterers, animal chiropractors, and contractors. With this in mind, allow me to sort out four other money myths that hold people back.
1. Wealth is the result of hard work. I’m amazed that this myth has survived for so long. Just look at all the people who, after a lifetime of hard work, are now struggling to retire. If wealth were truly the result of only hard work, wouldn’t they be loaded? I am not saying that you should quit your job and meditate about wealth as the answer; just that making money is about much more than hard work.
2. Making money is boring. I would beg to differ. Success and passion go hand in hand. If you love what you do, you will prosper. If you couldn’t care less, your apathy will show in the fruits (or lack thereof) of your labor.
3. Money is like fossil fuels; there is only so much of it in the world. Therefore, if your wallet is stuffed, someone else’s must be empty and you should feel bad. Out of all the myths, this may be the most destructive. Devotees tend to resent rich people, and this stops them from getting ahead because if they did, they would have to resent themselves. Sounds silly but many people believe this.
4. Finally, many people hold on to a false belief that money cannot make you happy. Statistics, however, point to the contrary. Age and gender make very little difference, but people who make good money are significantly happier than those who don’t.