Want To Be Rich and Happy? Stop Focusing on Your Salary and Focus on This Instead

want to be rich and happy
want to be rich and happy
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A huge income doesn’t buy happiness. Spending with purpose and freedom does.

How do the rich get richer?

By now, I’m sure that you have heard and acknowledged the fact that money only goes so far when it comes to making you happy. Studies have shown that once you start to earn around $75,000 per year, additional money doesn’t really have that much of an impact on your overall happiness.

This isn’t to say that those who make far less than $75,000 can’t be happy in life, but as we have all experienced at some point or another, money (or lack of) can cause stress in our lives. 

What if our yearly income is only half the picture though? What if we are so focused on our level of income that we fail to realize what truly matters – making the most out of the life that we have in front of us? 

Over the past four months, I’ve gained a newfound understanding of what it means to be rich.

As a single man who is renting a room for $450 per month while having very few bills to pay, I wanted to see just how much money impacted my happiness. 

After making $60,000+ per year, I willingly switched jobs and took one that pays $52,000 per year. Why? Because I wasn’t happy at my previous job and that level of unhappiness was impacting my life outside of work.

I used to live to work. With every bi-weekly paycheck that would come in, I would do one of two things with it; pay bills or save it. That was it. There was little fun and enjoyment in my life, just work and saving every last penny that I could. 

While this process may help you to make good money, it’s not necessarily how you make great money or find happiness in your life either.

There is a better way to get rich, and there are many examples of those who have turned small amounts of money into both a substantially larger amount of money and more happiness as a result. 

American entrepreneurial icon Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, explains in his book how being one of the lowest-paid people at his company, and how he used that as the main motivating factor behind him starting BrainQUICKEN LLC on the side. 

When he first started BrainQUICKEN LLC, he didn’t know that it would bring his income from 40k per year into 40k per month. I mean, how could anybody expect that?

But there is a bigger lesson that we can all learn here. Had Ferris stayed complacent with his job and accepted the fact that he was going to have to spend the rest of his life climbing the corporate ladder, he never would have become the leader that we know him to be today.

If You Want To Be Rich and Happy, Stop Focusing On One Source

want to be rich and happy
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There are two major ways in which we can earn a substantial amount of money, but only one has the potential to allow us to live the life that we truly want for ourselves.

The First

The first way to get rich in life is from active income. Active income is going to be a full-time or part-time job. This is money that you know is going to be flowing in on a regular occurrence. For me, it is the direct deposit that I get every other Friday. 

It can also be side hustles or jobs in which you trade your time for money. One of my favorite side hustles was Shipt. I would deliver groceries on the weekend in exchange for money. Other examples of side hustles or full-time sources of income can be Uber, serving at restaurants, or just picking up a second job on nights or weekends.

The Second

The second way to get rich is passive income. This is the method that is going to allow you to get rich both in forms of currency and life experiences as well. While passive income may require a lot of work upfront, the return can be substantial while putting forth very little effort. 

Examples of passive income including things such as investing in the stock market or real estate, being a social media influencer, or like Ferris had, starting an automated business that would bring in money with little work on the backend. 

Passive income allows you to have some financial flexibility outside of your full-time job, and while the amount in which you will earn is rarely going to be steady, it provides an additional form of income without having to necessarily work daily for it.

How To Find Financial Success

The key to truly becoming rich is to understand how to build up multiple revenue streams. I don’t know if there is necessarily one right or a wrong way to do this or a specific balance that you strive for, but the key is to have both an active source of income as well as a passive source of income.

For me, one of the reasons why I traded more money upfront and took a job that paid far less was so that I could find more happiness in my life. Not only that but with more happiness came a greater spark in my creativity that has allowed me to start multiple income streams. None have “taken off” as of yet, but for me, the grind and the challenge of building them into reliable streams of passive income is half the fun. 

A lot of people choose one or the other instead of choosing both. They either settle on their career salary and use that to solely live off of, or they try to build multiple sources of income without having an active source of income to fall back on. 

If you are content with living your life like the vast majority of those around you, then having one source is completely fine. But if you desire to be rich in both wealth and experiences, then you need to start building an active income in which you can rely on, as well as a passive source of income that gives you more flexibility to do the things in life that you desire.

Different Examples of Income

Right now, there are 4 sources of income that I rely on. Well, I shouldn’t say rely on as I only rely on one, but I have 4 sources that I earn money from on a regular basis:

  • A full-Time job as an Enrollment Counselor for a local university
  • Medium Partner Program
  • Shipt
  • General Manage for weekend sports tournaments in my state.

With all of the additional work that I am currently doing on the side, I hope to at least double the number of my income sources. I want to have active income sources such as:

  • A full-Time job as an Enrollment Counselor for a local university
  • Medium Partner Program
  • Shipt
  • General Manage for weekend sports tournaments in my state.

I also want to have income sources (both active and passive) such as:

  • YouTube ad revenue
  • Blog ad revenue
  • Ghostwriting
  • Affiliate income from Amazon
  • Sponsorships on YouTube and Blog

Obviously we all rely on at least one source of income to survive. Why stop at one though? Why not build as many sources of income as we possibly can so that in the case where one source runs out, we have others in which we can rely on?

One of my favorite examples is YouTuber Ali Abdaal. There are many other YouTubers that I follow, but right now, Ali is one of my favorites. He has many sources of income in which he relies on, which is what makes him a perfect example.

Not only does he have a YouTube channel with nearly 600k subscribers, but he has companies sponsor his videos, he has courses on Skillshare, affiliate links from Amazon, has built a successful company that now provides him with strictly passive income, and is also one of the top junior doctors at the University of Cambridge in England.

It’s not to say that he has it easy, but if one source dies out, he has multiple others to rely on. It also allows him to live a little bit more of a lucrative lifestyle so that not only is he rich in currency, but also rich in experiences as well. 

“If we command our wealth, we shall be free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed”- Edmund Burke

Final Thoughts

If You Want To Be Rich and happy
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Nothing happens overnight. Maybe you are somebody who doesn’t want to spend additional time building multiple sources of income. If so, that’s fine. Everybody has different lifestyles and enjoys different things. 

For me, I simply don’t want to be climbing the corporate ladder for the rest of my life. I want to use the money that I am making from my full-time job, invest it and create as many sources of income as I possibly can so that I can create a life of nothing but experiences. 

Currency and happiness go hand-in-hand. While you can make it through life with only one or the other, imagine how much more enjoyable life would be with both. Why not try to create that life? 

Start small. Start with one source of income, and once you have mastered that, then continue to grow and expand. Create a rich life for yourself so that you can live the life that you desire.

Michael Bonnell

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