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Money is not the only measure of success.

You’ve surely heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, in which Abraham Maslow laid out a human’s needs from the physiological first, to safety, then love and belonging, on to esteem and finally self-actualization. Assuming that you have now passed through a successful sale of your shares in a business, and the money is in the bank, enough to at least temporarily satisfy your needs, if not much more, you have climbed the ladder within Maslow’s Hierarchy. You have arrived at the point where you can think about love, belonging, esteem and self-actualization.

I have great respect for the young entrepreneur CEO of the game company I described a few weeks ago, because he disciplined himself enough to take extensive time for family after the closing of the sale, increasing his participation in all things family.

[Email readers, continue here…] During our business formation years, we pay much more attention to the enterprise than we know we should, at the expense of family and community. I propose that there are few times in life when the opportunity opens to look only outward, to participate in charity events, extended family vacations, community boards and even coaching other entrepreneurs.

If you ever have the opportunity to experience the simple power of having few personal worries, you will have known the freedom of choice that allows you to reinvent yourself, dividing your attention between people and organizations outside of your previous circles. How empowering. And how many organizations are in need of management skills and relationships such as those you could bring, along perhaps with a new focus upon philanthropy.

Maslov demonstrated it as well as can be done. Beyond some point, whatever that is for you, money is not the only measure of success.

  • Clarence

    Nope, hadn’t heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but now I have.

    Since my entrepreneurial experience of promoting a concert resulted in money going out of the bank, it’s hard in that context to think positively about belonging, esteem and self-actualization. I am, however, secure and realistic enough in my own judgement and values that the lack of interest from those who I thought were my friends will not diminish the great time we had with those who attended the concert. AND, I have plenty of “belonging” in my life, my “esteem” is in very good shape and my “self-actualization” is still growing. Life is so amazing, I sometimes just shake my head thinking about it! Take care. Clarence

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