“Purposeful Wealth” is a term that deeply resonates with me as a passionate advocate of philanthropy. It reminds me every day that wealth can create purpose in our lives beyond something that we simply measure.
I often find that unlocking the real value of our wealth is actually about understanding what your purpose is and what mark you want to leave. This may involve leaving a positive legacy, supporting your family, contributing to the success of others and charitable giving.
We first need to start viewing wealth as separate to money. Having wealth is NOT about having money - it is about having the financial freedom and flexibility to pursue the things that you really care about.
As a philanthropic adviser, I often experience and witness the positive effects that using wealth for purpose and passion can have on an individual, a family and companies. It allows you to be part of something bigger than yourself, connect with other like-minded people and contribute to positive changes in the world.
I often talk with our private and corporate clients around their own purpose and values as part of their charitable giving journey. It isn’t until you understand who you want to be and what mark you want to leave that you understand the true power and purpose of your wealth.
So how can you create Purposeful Wealth?
- Understand your Why (or your values) – Simon Senek is a famous advocate of understanding your “WHY” to pursue a career you love. This also carries through to your wealth. Why are you wanting to build up wealth? It’s not to sit in a bank account. Is it to enable you to travel, start your own business, support your family, create opportunities for others, be part of systems change?
- Determine how your wealth can help you achieve your Why – Is it by investing capital in a new start up, donating to a charity you care deeply about, providing a deposit for your children to buy their first house, or perhaps having a minimum level of savings to retire and travel?
- View your wealth as abundant and not as insufficient – I came across this term recently from a blog by Lea Schodel – creator of The Mindful Wealth Movement. She teaches her clients to find abundance in what they have now. In the western world, we are rarely satisfied with our level of wealth. Instead, particularly in Australia, we have substantially more than anyone else in the world, yet we always view ourselves as not having enough. We need to start practising gratitude – be grateful for our work, our house, our health, or ability to travel and go out for dinner.
- Share with others – sharing your wealth is one of the strongest ways to find happiness and fulfillment in your wealth; this is particularly true with why people engage in philanthropy. However, sharing with others can be achieved in many ways such as providing start-up capital to an entrepreneur to realise their dream, providing an inheritance for your family should you pass or charitable giving. There is no joy in holding onto wealth which you will never use.
As nicely summarised by mobile phone entrepreneur John Caudwell “Philanthropy gives me far more pleasure and satisfaction than making money. In fact, making money is now largely driven by the knowledge that I will be able to leave even more wealth behind for charitable causes when I go.”