I was reading a book on the plane that was given to me as a present, thanks Sue!  The book is entitled “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.  Research was compiled for five years by 21 graduate students (one who I actually had as a teacher for a finance class at Iowa), and they came to their conclusions of how some companies can become superior while leaving all the rest behind.  Interesting findings with research the on the topic.  Definitely a great book so far.

One chapter of the book talks about executive compensation and how it links to performance.  (By the way, they find that nothing in executive compensation is linked to performance, like how much money, stock options vs. cash, etc.)  This got me thinking about something that I have always thought about but never really talked about.

Many people link the amount of money someone makes to their success.  Why is that?  What if someone makes $1 million a year, is hated by most people he/she works with, has a terrible marriage, and never has time for anything else besides bringing home the money to buy all the fancy cars and houses?  Does this still make them successful? 

In my opinion, success doesn’t just come from the numbers on the paycheck.  Success is measured by the impact on others and the level of happiness in the person’s life.  If you’re doing something for the greater good of others (whether it’s a company, a family, helping people in need, etc.) and are happy while doing it, you are successful in my eyes. 

Here is a question: who is more successful?  Someone making $1.2 million per year living a miserable life with greed?  Or someone making $35,000 a year, loving his family, volunteering, and making the world a better place?  I’m not saying that everyone making a lot of money is greedy, but I don’t think it’s rare.  Money is money.  There is much more to success than money.  Debate is welcome. 

About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.


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