Entrepreneurism: Balancing Money & Happiness

Entrepreneur.

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I’m not sure how to define a word so weird that I honestly can’t spell without spell check. For me, it means being independent and happy. I want it to mean doing what I instinctively know I was born to do, what I inherently love. I don’t want it to mean wearing a suit and trading real estate and owning a plane. In other words, entrepreneurism shouldn't be about being rich.

The myth of money=happiness is crazy fascinating to me. The only reason I can see someone wanting money is to achieve the ultimate goal of happiness. Having a big house, impressing your brother-in-law, financial security, all those other reasons to want to be rich...don’t they just serve the ultimate quest for happiness? I mean, even if you’re thinking “No, I don’t want money in order to make me happy, I want it so I can move out of this small town/build wells in Africa/own a restaurant" you want to do those things because you indirectly hope they will make you happy right?

And that is why when money stops helping make you happy, and starts making you miserable, you should chill out and stop trying to make so much money. 

When you have enough money that you no longer have to work, what will you do all day? I get bored and uninterested with my life enough as it, I can’t imagine that just being rich and going to wine tastings and getting my nails done would be enough to fulfill me. That’s why having a vision, and working hard to do it, is much more fulfilling then sitting around doing nothing even if you have enough money to do nothing. That’s why I have to have a clothing line and a website and a rock band and ten other things in the works at all times, because I think the fun part is seeing a dream become reality, not sitting back and lounging on the beach thinking about all the cool stuff I used to do.

To be fair, maybe you’ve never felt that exhilarating feeling that comes with building your own little empire one drop of sweat at a time. Maybe you don’t know what it’s like to work for yourself, to create, to be in charge of your own growth.  Let me tell you, it is wonderful. I highly recommend quitting your job and starting your own business. Yes, you’ll have to downsize your apartment and eat like a college kid for a while, but that feeling of LIFE and DREAMS and history in the making, that stuff’s priceless. It’s such a good weapon against the BOREDOM of life, which I hope to God you’ve felt and I’m not the only one. That aimless, dull, bottomless boredom, just looking for a dream to happen, just waiting to be inspired.

This is how you fight it: quit your job and go sell your homemade friendship bracelets.

--->As a side note, you should also be smart and read books about this stuff first and have a plan and not make a dumb product that no one wants. (So friendship bracelets might not be a great idea.)<---

It's just....I love being my own boss so much more than working for someone else's dream. Doing your own thing is scary and risky and hard (like most amazing things), but it is worth it. You know, this little rock band we started didn't grow from thin air. From age 14 and up I ate/slept/breathed starting a band, and when I finally met Shawn and Adam when I was 18, I was prepared. It reminds me of that quote,

"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."

And after we all met, we prepared some more, so that when our label offered us anopportunity two years later, we got lucky again. See how this works? It's like magic:). That you have to work really really hard for.

When my peers were watching movies, I was teaching myself piano. When my friends were renting apartments, I was living at home so I could save up to buy recording software. When most people my age were partying, I was at band practice. And let me tell you again: it was worth it!

I am so hooked on working hard and the payoff of happiness that it brings,  I want to keep on living sacrificially so that I can reap the rewards later. For example, I am renting a place now (because living with my parents was obviously temporary) and saving up money to buy a home in the coming years. If I pay cash for my home, I will not be one of the millions of Americans who end up paying 2.5 times the amount of their home that it is worth, because they pay so much interest. If I do not have a house payment and am not paying rent, that frees up hundreds of dollars every month that I can use however I’d like. I can invest in my clothing line, or put it in fancy mutual fund investments that can make me more money later so I can eventually build the aforementioned wells in Africa.

And speaking of Africa, most countries don’t work like this. America is one of the special places where you can choose to work harder and get ahead, if you wish. You can literally choose your lot in life, it is not predetermined for you. That is a rare, precious thing indeed. Celebrate it. Go make a macaroni necklace and list that thing on Etsy.

 Much Love, 

Ariel