Love it or hate it, have it or struggle for it, it all comes down to one fact.
That we all need it.
But therein lies a commonly-held belief that can be holding you back (along with other common fears): the idea that money is greed and that it changes people’s lives.
However, just because a belief is common, that doesn’t automatically make it true.
It is important to be clear that this doesn’t mean you should be thinking about money at every waking moment, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to improve your situation, as a recent OECD survey shows that 42% of respondents worry about not making ends meet, and another 40% worrying about their financial situation.
The recent circumstances have created an impact on the way we relate and interact with others raising a concern about becoming too self-centered. Remember there is a reason why on airplanes you should adjust your mask before helping someone else: if you don’t take care of yourself, how do you expect to help other people?
If you still have doubts, let’s see what you are able to do for others by investing in yourself.
If you make money, you can share money
Seems obvious, but it’s easy to miss this point.
There is an absolute that no one is free from: you can only give what you have.
Making more money is only one part of the equation. What is central is what you do with it. If you are struggling yourself with financial matters, it is not very likely that you have any room in your worries to be able to help someone else.
At its very core, you should remember that money is a tool. And the more you have, the more possibility you are able to create.
This ranges from being able to provide for those closest to you, to supporting local businesses in times of need or being able to find a place in your budget for a charity (can we hear your moustaches grow?).
Like savings and investing, it’s not a question of choosing one over the other. One must come first.
Money can buy you time
There’s more than one way to help others.
Even though our default may associate helping with money, time is still one of the largest currencies around.
And money can help you get it back. All it takes is to take all the things that need to be done and identify those you can outsource.
This frees up your time to invest in others.
It could be something as simple as being able to dedicate more time to your friends and family. Or taking your skills to mentor someone so they can improve. It may even be taking some time to introduce them to new opportunities, especially when 77% of companies in the EU struggle to find people with the right skills (check page 372).
You may find that putting more time generates even more value.
Your business beyond the bottomline
For many, investing in themselves means doing so through their business.
And the narrative can be surprisingly close to what we’ve been talking about. For some people, it will always be companies versus workers.
That comes from the idea that the only goal for a business is to maximise its own bottomline.
But a company is very much like a living organism, and employees are a part of that.
They need each other, and as a company grows, it is able to generate more wealth on all ends, including customers, suppliers, communities and so on. And with a reported unemployment rate of 8.3% across the EU in September 2020, we need companies to thrive.
Like you and your money, for a company to give, it must first have.
If this isn’t a good reason to strive for business growth, we don’t know what is.
Remember the airplane and the oxygen mask
Helping others is at your reach. But you must find ways to help yourself.
Otherwise, you risk not being able to do either.
And if you are still worried about not paying enough attention to other people, that worry is a good sign you will do something about it.
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