Money can’t buy you happiness – right?

We see the one-liners don’t we? ‘Whoever says that money can’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop’. And so on. And we smile. Because we know that all those super-rich people with the big house, the Ferrari and the yacht, are deeply unhappy, empty inside. They’re all stressed, depressed and in therapy with broken relationships and dysfunctional families. People are so much happier when they have nothing. Life is simpler. And for some people, that might be true.

But not for most of us. Most of us are happier with a certain comfortable level of income. There are a number of studies that show this. In particular, a study from Purdue University, published in Nature Human Behavior, draws from the Gallup World Poll of over 1.7 million people that asked individuals to rate their lives from “worst possible” to “best possible” on a scale of 0-10.

The research follows a much-discussed 2010 study from Princeton University that found emotional well-being only rises with income to a point of about $75,000 for Americans (or $86,000 in today’s dollars). This is for single people, but can be scaled up for families. The exact amount differs slightly from one study to another, and obviously differs a lot in different countries. But it is roughly the amount required for a nice home, all material needs plus some left over for fun and for a rainy day.

At income levels above around $125,000, satisfaction levels tend to fall. According to lead author of the Purdue study, Andrew T. Jebb, “there’s a certain point where money seems to bring no more benefits to well-being in terms of both feelings and your evaluation.” And this seems to be true around the world. The extra income tends to bring with it extra working hours, extra responsibility and extra pressure. Some people may deal with this well, or even relish the thrill and the stress, at least for a while. But many people don’t. Maybe it’s better not to be crying, either in your Lamborghini or on a bike, but smiling in your Ford.

So how much money would really make you happy? Have you ever really thought about it? Maybe now would be a good time. Then you can plan how to achieve that income.

4Living Group

Money money money!

How much are you making from your business?

This morning, I saw a comment on a thread which triggered this post. The person said that they found it funny when someone tried to introduce them to their network marketing business but wouldn’t say how much they were earning. I smiled and moved on. Then I thought a bit about it:

How rude!

I am in the UK (I don’t know about the person making the comment) and it’s still not generally acceptable to talk about how much you earn or how much your business makes. I have worked in a huge variety of organisations – large manufacturing and financial companies, small marketing/training/software companies, national and local government and a college. Nowhere was it acceptable to share salary information. We just don’t do it, do we? Do you talk about earnings with your colleagues?

Do I believe it?

In this past, I remember receiving emails for various opportunities accompanied with images of cheques showing the sender’s earnings last month. Actually, they tended to be checks (they mostly came from the US). It doesn’t happen any more, mainly I guess because we don’t get paid by cheque much these days. But probably because it didn’t work that well. It’s a bit cheesy, isn’t it? And we don’t quite believe it, do we? Even then, I had a feeling that it didn’t matter what they may have earned, they didn’t seem much like me, and it didn’t seem very real or very relevant. I never took these emails seriously.

Is it helpful or useful?

In all the years that I’ve run my business, I think I’ve only been asked how much I earn a couple of times. My response would always be to ask a question myself – ‘What will that tell you?’ Because all it will tell them is what I earn, not what they will earn, nor what can be earned. I may be new to the business, just getting started and hardly earning anything. Or I may be an established leader with a huge business and a 6- or 7-figure income. While it may not be quite as exciting to join the team of someone who’s just getting started, it can feel a bit intimidating to join with someone who’s massively successful. The truth is that it doesn’t matter what someone else is earning, and comparing yourself with others isn’t helpful. If you join the team of a friend who’s new and maybe not getting it yet, and you want more, or are a go-getter, someone else in that team will help and mentor you. One of the joys of network marketing is that someone may join your team and be more successful than you. It’s happened to me (and many others), and it’s wonderful to see someone that you’ve introduced achieve that level of success.

We don’t all want the same thing

Most people start a network marketing business for extra income. For many people, a few hundred pounds extra every month makes a big difference. Most people don’t expect or even want to achieve the big incomes, mainly I think, because they don’t think they can. Some have a vocation and love their work, but can’t earn enough and some don’t need a huge income for the lifestyle they want. Since we are all different, it’s not surprising that we have different outcomes.

So why ask the question?

I think the main reason people ask this question is that they’re not sure about your business. They’re attracted to the idea, but sceptical and they’re looking for some kind of proof. We have to let them know that this isn’t the proof they’re looking for.

4Living Group