What is Wealth?
by Tony DiLeonardi
What does wealth mean to you? Quick, top-of-the-mind answer.
Some people think wealth is about money or being rich in
material possessions. For my purpose I desire to keep it simple.
You are rich with an abundance of friends, love, family,
experiences, and joy. How about being wealthy because you have an
education, great health and plenty of free time? That's wealth to
me. Wealth to me is human intimacy and connection.
When I ask men and women what wealth is to them, I always get
different answers. Men typically answer with a goal in mind (i.e.,
lake house, college funding) and women will tend to answer with
words like freedom and security. These are very different answers
to the same question. So what does this tell us? Well, for starters
it makes it clear that women look at wealth in terms of life
values, not just the value of the wealth, highlighting the
significance of the emerging values-based conversation.
Like success, there can be many definitions for wealth. I
personally love the word abundance. It's become quite a catchword
lately. Since the debut of the movieThe Secretin 2006, the idea of
scarcity versus abundance has exploded. Of course, these concepts
have been around for ages, but they continue to receive wide
interest and appeal even today. In basic terms, scarcity is living
in the mindset of lack, the fear of never having enough or losing
it all. On the flip side, there is abundance, living the life you
love, always having and creating more.
Do you live your life in abundance or scarcity? Do you believe
that there are enough resources for everyone or do you feel there
is a limited supply? How do your beliefs influence your practice?
How does your mindset affect your clients?
In her book,The Soul of Money, global activist, fundraiser, and
speaker Lynne Twist introduces an alternative to this scarcity and
abundance consciousness and demonstrates how we can replace
feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of
sufficiency, freedom, and purpose. She writes, "Once we let go of
scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By
sufficiency, I don't mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn't
two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance.
Sufficiency is…a knowing that there is enough, and that we are
enough." She goes on, "When we live in the context of sufficiency,
we find a natural freedom and integrity. We engage in life from a
sense of our own wholeness rather than a desperate longing to be
complete. We feel naturally called to share the resources that flow
through our lives-our time, our money, our wisdom, our energy, at
whatever level those resources flow-to serve our highest
commitments." Wow. What would happen if you engaged this approach
with yourself, your family, and your clients? I'll give you a hint:
I've become convinced that so many wealth professionals that I
have met have the desire to create intimacy, but because they are
knee-deep in running a dynamic practice, they don't know what to
do. Let's see, you manage hundreds of clients, you build
portfolios, stay in tune to the markets and the laws. You provide
advice on tax questions and estate questions. You meet with and
stay on top of too many product providers. You answer servicing
questions about updated zip codes and going paperless. You prospect
and you run a team. Oh, and you have a personal life, too.
Think about where you are in your life and your practice. How
would your employees or clients describe you? What is your
identity? Do they know you intimately? What do you do to foster
more meaningful interactions with them?
Even better, who are your clients? What are their dreams? Are
you tuned in to their needs, wants, and concerns?
Take the time to ask yourself these questions, you'll be glad