“Well we’re movin’ on up,
to the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky. Movin’ on up,
to the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.”
–Theme from the television show, The Jeffersons
We live in a country with unparalleled opportunities to achieve financial independence. There is unlimited wealth to be created. And yet most Americans believe there is a finite amount of money available. If “the rich” take more it leaves less for everyone else.
This “if you get more pie I get less pie” myth has done enormous damage to our economic success as a country and discouraged countless Americans from achieving their financial dreams.
I know the theme song of The Jeffersons talks about a limited income pie, but George Jefferson didn’t believe in that. He created wealth for himself and others. He provided a service (dry cleaning) people needed for a good price.
As his business expanded, he provided more jobs for his employees. He paid more rent to more landlords in the areas he placed his dry cleaning stores. He helped his vendors by purchasing more equipment and materials to run his business. He invested his money and that money was used to start new businesses and expand old ones.
He didn’t make other people poorer because his dry cleaning stores succeeded. He made people richer. He made pies.
There is more than enough for everyone. It’s like that old Doritos commercial: “Eat all you want, we’ll make more!”
Even better, get this through your head:
There is no pie. There are unlimited possibilities for all of us.
Think about this logically for a second. If there is some limited pie, how does our economy keep growing? How does the median income for Americans, adjusted for inflation, keep going up? Yes, we do have recessions in the business cycle, but overall our economy keeps growing.
Think back to the first job you had. What was your salary? What is your yearly income now? I bet it has more than doubled, right? You can double it again with the right plan—and help people at the same time.
Didn’t George Jefferson help a lot more people every time he opened a new store? (Um, Greg, hold up, George Jefferson is a fictional TV character…Yes, I know, just go with it.) The best way to help people is to become as successful as you can at serving others with your Passionate Purpose.
You can become a millionaire without taking anything away from anyone else. In fact, as you become a millionaire you will be adding to the wealth in America. You will be creating, investing, saving, producing, and spending. You will be creating new jobs. Everybody wins.
Think back to all the jobs you have had. Have you ever worked for someone poorer than you? I haven’t. I am thankful that richer people created those jobs for me and helped me provide for my family.
As long as we believe there is some finite amount of money out there, some pie, we are going to remain at each other’s throats scurrying around for crumbs while complaining that the rich are stealing the choicest pieces. That belief in scarcity and greed is going to make it much more difficult to achieve your goals.
When you believe there is a limited pie, everyone becomes your competition. Everyone becomes your enemy. What they gain, you lose. Their successes are your failures. You become paranoid and think that everyone is trying to take some of your pie.
You won’t want to work with someone or share an idea because you might have to give up some of your pie. It’s truly a miserable existence. It leads to a great deal of envy, jealousy, anger, and frustration.
None of this helps you succeed. In fact, it breeds and grows the idea that your current and future financial standing is not up to you. It is determined by outside factors far beyond your control—things like who your parents are, where you went to school, and who you know. You believe the myth that only the rich get richer. Of course, the more you believe this, the more it is true—for you.
Become a Benevolent Millionaire
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
–Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker
I’m talking about becoming wealthy the right way, by helping people like George Jefferson did. (It’s a TV show! He wasn’t real! Stop with the George Jefferson analogy already! … Sorry.)
You can become a benevolent millionaire. You can help lift others as your success grows. Your success will come from helping other people get what they want. That is a great service to your community. While you’re doing that, why not do it the best way you can?
If you are starting your own company, you can treat your employees well with how you relate with them, what you pay them, and the benefits you provide for them. No matter what you do to earn your income you can become generous with how you spend and invest your money. You can choose to give to charities that you believe in.
You can become a mentor for someone and pass on all that you have learned. Invest in the next generation and you will be amazed how good it feels and how much you get out of it.
Imagine what would happen if everyone striving to multiply their income became a benevolent millionaire.
(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)