Over the next three months, I proceeded to blow over $50,000. Oh, don’t get me wrong — it was fun! I bought a new car (that I still drive), some really beautiful artwork from artists I loved (that looks great on my walls), and thousands of dollars in clothes, new furniture, and other indulgences, such as $4,000 custom hand-made stereo speakers (that I’m listening to right now.)
It was fun…for a couple months. Then it got boring.
She was retired and didn't know what to do with herself. How could she use her money to make her life better?
I made a point of trying to achieve greater states of happiness on a daily basis. Instead of being merely content — or even apathetic — with my current state of being, I realized I could be happier daily. And suddenly it hit me: I understood what I wanted to do with my money. I wanted to outsource pretty much everything I hated doing.
In order to live a simpler, calmer, but more effective life, I had to drop the shackles of wanting to do everything myself. To allow time to meditate, think, write, and create, I had to get rid of the drudgery of daily tasks. I realized my money could serve a fantastic dual purpose: To allow others, whose passion is cooking, cleaning, or assisting in various ways to help me — while I supported them by giving them income to do what they loved.
She hired assistants (virtual and meatspace) to do all the stuff she didn't enjoy. And when she became ill with celiac disease, she substituted a personal chef for some of her restaurant meals. Even her relationship got better:
I treat my staff members well, and they love the fact that they can work from home and get paid great wages ($3/hour in in the Philippines is equal to about a $65,000/year wage here in the U.S.) They are happy — I can see it in their emails and text chat messages.
My partner Richard and I fight less. There’s no scrapping over who will do a certain task. If no one wants to do it, we work together to figure out how to hire someone.
Bottom line: money's not important, it's what you can buy with it that matters.
For me, even more important than holding onto my money tightly was to learn to let it go — to give it to others in exchange for work well done, and to trust that they could do tasks well. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Capitalism at its finest! She could only accomplish these things because she built a business and then sold it.