Wealth and Wellbeing
Helping businesses make more money is not solely an individualistic motivation but a collective, regenerative wellbeing strategy.
It’s not about just increasing the volume of cash one person or one business has, even though this is an important consideration.
It would be great if we could have a more nuanced conversation around the distribution of resources amongst us all so we can really understand the link between Wealth and Wellbeing, yet it’s infrequent that I see this happening. So why not start a discussion, right?
I’m bringing this up because many people head my way to increase their wealth, in the hope that it will increase their wellbeing. But that’s not always the case.
The topic of wealth and happiness has been discussed at length, but what about wellbeing. What if wellbeing is not reliant on wealth? Maybe that’s not the right question.
How much of our wellbeing is reliant on our wealth? Feels like a better question.
Some people will be responding saying, of course it’s not reliant and others will be saying of course it is. I think in this modern world there answer is somewhere in between. In many places we no longer know how to grow our own food, make our own clothes or build shelter. We also have services that require payment in money, like electricity or the purchase of solar panels and batteries. And then all the things that make life more rich and add depth like art, culture, learning opportunities, exploration and expression of self and creativity. Not all of those are free nowadays.
I also know that the individual and community wellness is not just about the ‘volume’ of cash. Wealthy societies are not more well. We can see that. And a correlative issue with increasing wealth unequally is inflation creep, everything costs more, but not all people earn more, equally.
The work I do around helping caring, considerate, creative business owners is also about navigating the widening inequality of wealth in our world. I believe that small and privately-owned businesses are a great way to redistribute wealth.
When I read Doughnut Economics the penny dropped!
Kate Raworth wrote (to paraphrase) 40% of people live in countries where income is distributed highly unequally… national inequality NOT national wealth most influences a nation’s social welfare.
She explains through her research that inequality damages the social fabric of the whole society. It erodes social capital. And democracy is jeopardized as wealth inequality grows.
We have systems and structures in our countries that increase inequality. Mostly brought in by the influence of companies and wealthy individuals on our politicians.
Many mechanisms need to change, such as taxation policies (not just tax rates), subsidies, trade agreements, limited liability companies, focus on shareholder value and profit, to name a few.
But while that happens (which how we participate in politics and consumerism helps) we can consider some ways we can help ourselves and others:
1. We can be intentional and focus on our own wellbeing and community wellbeing in ways that work currently. Making sufficient money to live in line with our values and voting with our dollar. We can also look at non-monetary factors that influence our wellbeing, such as shared resources, sharing skills, providing support, being a community citizen instead of consumer.
2. We can look at our triggers around money and business. What happens around us or in our lives that trigger our survival response or fear, scarcity, challenging financial behaviours or patterns? Our discernment around where we spend money and how we earn money changes during those periods.
3. We can address ‘martyring’ tendencies that plague empaths and considerate biz owners. You don’t need to go without or burnout. Over-doing, over-giving around your livelihood can be cultural conditioning and doesn’t help business owners being financially well.
4. Ignore messages it’s greedy to have our needs met. That is black and white thinking, if I have this… then you don’t. Instead we circulate resources and share.
5. Be conscious of media led wealth shaming. If we think being financially well is something to be shamed for, we won’t want it for ourselves. Just because someone else is wealthy and makes poor decisions it doesn’t mean you will do the same. Being wealthy doesn’t = being like Donald Trump. Find healthy, balanced wealth mentors.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic, how can we understand wealth and wellbeing in this modern money world?
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