Value is in the eye of the beholder and can be found in time, places, relationships, as well as … [+]
Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash
I Bought A Bentley
When I had my first extended bout of success, I bought a Bentely. And I can tell you right now, for me, it was a waste of money. It was something that other people told me I should have at that level of success. But to me, it wasn’t worth the money.
I took a picture of me with my new Bentley at the Salt Flats thinking this would be good advertising. Well, it was, that is, if we were looking to impress teenagers.
My first and only Bentley | Salt Flats, Salt Lake City, UT.
It did however, create quite a few comments about people thinking I was arrogant, the opposite of how I want to be viewed. Plus, when I drove it to my hometown, they weren’t sure what it was, but thought maybe it was a defunct Chrysler 300.
I also bought an airplane, a Lancair Turboprop. But instead of loving it, I was just scared of flying in it (it eventually crashed). Why did I buy it? It was simply about the level of success that came with it. It was more about bragging rights than it was about enjoyment.
Ultimately, it wasn’t worth it.
Now, if you love Bentlys and private planes, this might all sound insane to you. You might be thinking it’s crazy for me not to think that those things aren’t worth the money if you have it. But herein lies the very definition of value.
Let me explain…
To understand value at its core, context has to be provided and it comes from perspective.
Value is personal.
To illustrate what something is worth, there are three key components.
- Price – what you pay
- Cost – economic impact
- Value – overall feeling of satisfaction
So, value is the overall feeling of satisfaction, fulfillment or enjoyment that a purchase can afford you, the net impact on your finances (cost), and the actual amount of money to exchange (price). But what actually brings you satisfaction? What is truly worth it at the end of the day?
Is It Worth It?
Most people work because society wants them to believe that if you get the big house, or if you buy a nice car, you will be satisfied. But do you value a big home, expensive cars, or elaborate trips?
For some a big house is awesome, because they like to entertain, they like to garden, they like to have different rooms where they can go read or work on their various hobbies. I really experienced this when I recently decided to upgrade my cabin so we have more space and land to do the activities we love.
How do you find what is valuable to you?
It comes down to value-based spending. Value can be found in your own perspective. It is your own fulfilment, your own enjoyment; it’s what matters most to you. For me, I value laydown seats on a flight, I value Etro brand jackets, the best fishing gear and workout equipment.
To me the Bentley wasn’t worth it, but then I bought my Ford Raptor, and I love it! I can throw all my bags and supplies in the back when I head up to my cabin, I can pull a trailer with it, I can take it hunting—it has all the features I utilize often. And it might not be as fast as the Bentley (closer than you might think) but it is more comfortable. It takes me back to my youth when I had a 1975 chevy pickup truck that I was fond of. It was originally my dad’s, who eventually passed it on to me. I even went out and bought a 1976 Chevy not long ago, because I like the stick shift and the sound of the engine, the neatness of the look and how it takes me back to a nostalgic place.
The Ford and Chevy both made me feel good, and both of them have a personal value to me that the Bentley and the Lancair never could.
Worth More Than Gold
But these are just material things. It is important to remember that you can put your money towards investing in other things of value, that have a much deeper, lasting impact. Consider investing in satiating experiences. Maybe it’s a trip with family, a night out with friends or you hosting a client. You can invest your money into having real connections to the people around you, where you can talk and get to know them on a deeper level than you might in regular circumstances.
Another place to invest, if not the most crucial, is in yourself. You are your greatest asset.
Often, start up companies tell stories of people sleeping on the floor, gaining a bunch of weight, and having zero time for themselves. This can leave you lethargic and worn out; a shell of who you were. You can lose your creativity and connection to what is most important in life.
And some things might be lost forever- whether that’s relationships or health. People who sacrifice for their business at all costs have misidentified what investing and value really are.
Why have all that money in the first place if you don’t enjoy it? Have you forgotten the future you originally dreamed of that drove you into entrepreneurship?
The Essence of Life
I use to drown in my drive to succeed. Now, as I have learned the true definition of value, I dedicate more time to relationships, hobbies and I make more money.
Learn how to truly delegate. This is about delegating roles for people to own rather than tasks for them to fulfill. Tasks are like boomerangs, once one is finished, the employee comes back to find out what to do next. A role is having someone take ownership without being an owner of the business.
This is a gateway to redefine retirement and eliminating the things that have people dream of leaving their business.
Instead, retire IN your business, not from it.
For me, this means I invest time and money into becoming a sort of renaissance man, so I can learn things that might not have anything to do with making money, but have everything to do with improving life. By doing this, I show up refreshed, creative and as a contributor to my business rather than only living for ‘success’ like I did in my twenties.
Seek to live a life of value, find the things you truly value and ask yourself: What is actually worth the money?