When was the last time you took a hard look in the mirror at yourself and your life? Did you ask yourself, what is your life’s purpose? Are you truly living your calling?
Related: Why philanthropy is good business
For as long as I can remember, I have been focused on making money and building true wealth. Part of this journey has included surrounding myself with people who are living the life I want to be living. But after a series of events in 2013, the vision I had for my future changed, and as a result I needed to surround myself with a new group of people.
Fast-forward to today. I am being mentored by major CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, and high-level real estate investors. What has surprised me most about these people is not the amount of money they make, but rather that they make their money matter. This is what they refer to as thriving!
What does it mean to make your money matter and how does this lead to happiness?
I interviewed my friend Cole Hatter, the multimillion-dollar entrepreneur, for my podcast The Mentee on this exact topic. Hatter went from being broke to a self-made millionaire in less than 20 months and is now on a mission to teach others how to thrive by making their money matter. I asked him, could money really buy you happiness?
He shared with me that, “Every person should aspire to make as much money as they possibly can, but not just to get rich, but to create wealth in the things that really matter.” In his case, this means using your money as a vehicle to make a bigger impact and leaving a legacy.
Here is how Hatter is leveraging his wealth to make an impact and the three ways he says money can buy you happiness:
1. Decide that making money matters.
Imagine that you are holding a glass of water that is filled to the top and that thirsty people surround you. You could pass the water around and quench the thirst of as many people as possible, but very quickly your cup would run dry and you would not have any water for yourself. This is the way most people view money and their ability to give. They only have so much and therefore are limited in their ability to give to others.
The other option is that you can focus first on filling your cup so full that it is constantly overflowing and that excess can be used to infinitely quench the thirst of all of those around you. The moral of the story is that you need to decide that making money matters. Give yourself permission to fill your cup so full that you consistently have excess resources to make a bigger impact.
2. Choose to leave a legacy.
Align yourself with an initiative, cause or purpose that resonates with you and from which you can witness measurable results as a result of your efforts. Many people donate money to charity, but do not feel an emotional connection or fulfillment because they are not able to witness the results of their efforts.
This connection is important because it is where fulfillment and happiness is created. To create this, interact with those who benefit from your efforts. One example is, instead of just donating money to feed those in need, make the monetary contribution and then get involved and serve the food yourself. When you hand a hot meal to a hungry person and see the gratitude on his or her face, a moment is created. These moments are what lead to happiness.
3. Create a “for purpose” organization.
Many people have the idea that they will get rich and then give. Why not get rich while giving?
Design your core business model around the legacy you want to leave by incorporating a specific “give element” into your sales model.
One example of this is Tom’s shoes, a “for purpose” organization. For every pair of shoes sold, Tom's donates a pair to a child who does not have shoes. While Tom’s shoes is not the low-cost leader, people choose to purchase its product because of this “give element.”
Hatter predicts that these “for purpose” organizations will dominate the market in the near future. The great thing is that you and I have the opportunity to be on the front end of this wave by adopting this model now.
Hatter feels so strongly about the concept of making money matter that he is using his own money as a vehicle to make an impact and create fulfillment in his life. This October, he is hosting an event in Las Vegas called Thrive—Make Money Matter. He is flying in some of today’s most notable entrepreneurs to teach you how to make money, protect it and establish “for purpose” companies so you can truly make an impact.
His goal with this event is to empower the next generation of “for purpose” leaders by giving them the knowledge and contacts to start on their own “for purpose” organizations, while also donating 100% of the profits to a nonprofit he and I are involved in called A Human Project.
Whether you choose to begin your journey as a “for purpose leader” by attending Thrive or, in your own way, commit to making a lot of money and to making your money matter is not what's important. What's important is that you start.
If you do this, you will find that money really can buy you happiness.
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This article also appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.