“Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.”
These are two extremes. One is the yin, one is the yang. Yet the Tao teaches us to travel to the center and search for equilibrium. Sometimes, myself included, I’ve let my hunger for a commission screw up my thinking and screwed up a deal. Sometimes chasing money, chases away sales. So it begs the question, where is that perfect balance between being totally money driven vs pure altruism? Chasing money, that’s the topic for today.
Fill your calendar to the brim
Like a cup it will spill
Keep sharpening your pitch
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and fame
and you’re bound to a rat race.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.
The simplest joys are the most profound
There is more to life than acquiring wealth.
Do your work, then step back.
It’s the only path to serenity.
Chris was having a killer year. For the last 5 quarters Chris had exceeded quota. Pat was happy for Chris yet lately noticed a growing listlessness. Curious about the change of behavior Pat asked “You’re not as spirited this week. You seem a bit down. What’s going on?”
Chris shrugged, “I’m fine.”
Head shaking Pat said, “No, something’s going on, what is it? Do you need to take some time off? You’ve barely taken a day off over the last two years.”
Chris nodded, “Well to be honest, I’m just not feeling it. I’m not hopping on the sales calls with the same energy. Plus it’s getting tough at home. My family feels alienated and even my dog barely acknowledges me when I get home. I’m wondering how much longer I can do this. Maybe I’m not cut out for sales.”
“I see,” said Pat. “I know it’s been a huge goal for you to win the President’s Award and experience the prestige and acknowledgement that comes with it.”
Chris nodded. Pat went on, “And we’ve talked at length about how you want to be wealthy and all that comes with that. To be honest, as a manager I love that drive. But there is more to life than making money Chris. When you stop chasing money and start chasing purpose, everything falls into place. You’re a natural at sales. I think if you add some balance to your life, you can find peace and still find success in business.”
Chris nodded and the two of them reserved Chris’s vacation time on the group calendar
The billionaire and one time Presidential candidate Ross Perot said
“So many people spend their lives chasing money and end up as the richest men in the cemetery. I don’t want to be like that.”
In my experience when sellers work excessive hours to chase commissions they create an unsustainable lifestyle. Taoism teaches that the good life is one of balance and equilibrium. You can only live in an extreme for a short period of time. To find balance the pendulum will swing to the opposite and that’s not good for business, your career nor your mental health.
Like they say, water always seeks its own level. The same is true for each of us. Find that level. It’s the only path to serenity. To quote Henry Dave Thoreau,
“The only wealth is life.”
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