Do Not Envy the Rich

In this lecture by the venerable Alan Watts (video below), we hear the advice “Do not envy the rich. It’s a big mistake.”

I agree.

But I think a lot of people would misunderstand this, so I wanted to take a second to explain. Look at the phrase carefully. It does not say to not become rich. The advice is to not envy. In other words, don’t pursue wealth out of envy. Now that is a message I can get behind.

What does it mean? It means that your path as a business owner is only successful if you’re building wealth on your own terms. If you’re simply copying someone else’s vision, it means you’re operating out of envy. You’ve seen someone else doing something, and you think you want the same thing. This can seem like a win, but I argue it’s not, because you’re operating on someone else’s terms instead of your own.

Whatever time it takes, whatever introspection is necessary…get clear on what you want to do. Figure your business out for YOU. The most amazing thing about running your own small company is the ability to truly build a vehicle for your own prosperity. Don’t do all the damn work it takes to build your own business just to end up following someone else’s vision of success. What a waste that would be, no?

For the coming New Year…I propose taking a new angle. A new attitude for a new year. I humbly submit the eloquent prose of Jay-Z to lead the way:

If you all can’t already see I ain’t worried about y’all cuz I’m already me. Do you already, enough of the complaining boohoos already…

And for those of you not familiar with Alan Watts, please enjoy:

When’s the last time you read an article about marketing that gives you a path to your highest and best work while simultaneously providing quotes from Alan Watts and Jigga? I’m totally on a roll haha 🙂


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