One problem with comparisons is that no matter how successful you feel as an entrepreneur, there is someone who seems more successful. Or smarter. Or more accomplished. Or more talented.
Including, at times, when the person you compare yourself to is yourself.
If recent events have impacted your business or bank account, it’s easy to feel like you’ve failed — that all the hard work you put into starting and building a business was for nothing.
That all your wealth, in whatever way you choose to define “wealth,” is gone.
But there’s a different comparison you can make: One that focuses not on what you may no longer have — at least for now — but on what you do have.
Answer yes to any of these five questions, and you’re wealthier than you might think:
1. You still have enough money to be able to make positive choices.
Many people live paycheck to paycheck. Worse, many have to decide between necessities. Like whether to fill a prescription or put gas in the car.
If you make enough money, and don’t spend so much money, that you can make positive choices about what to do with some of it — whether it’s investing, or taking a vacation, or taking classes, or doing anything by choice rather than necessity — then you’re not only better off than you could be.
You’re also in a position to leverage those dollars to become even wealthier.
2. You still give much more than you take.
We’ve all experienced this moment: We’re having a great conversation, we’re finding things in common…and then, boom: The other person plays the “I need something” card.
And everything about the interaction changes.
What once appeared friendly has turned needy, almost grasping… and, if you’re like me, you feel guilty if you decide you don’t want to help.
People who feel successful aren’t needy. They accept help if offered, but they don’t feel the need to ask. In fact, they focus on what they can do for other people.
3. You still work for yourself in some fashion, even if “only” a side hustle.
Check out a “richest people” list. Or the IRS list of largest gross adjusted incomes (which admittedly doesn’t get updated very often.)
Aside from a few people who won the genetic lottery and inherited fortunes, almost all are entrepreneurs.
Why? When you work for someone else you will never be paid more than the person or company wants to pay you. Your income is always capped.
But when you start your own business, the only limit on your income is you. Which means your future is still bright — as long as you still believe in yourself.
4. You’re still investing in yourself.
The only guaranteed return you will ever receive comes from investing in yourself: Sharpening your skills, expanding your network, and improving your expertise, talent, and experience.
Investing in becoming a better version of you will generate better long-term results than any other investment. It’s the one investment whose outcome you can almost totally control.
And is the only investment guaranteed to help you live a more fulfilling life.
5. You still enjoy a sense of purpose.
Spending every day doing what you need to do just to provide food and shelter for yourself and your family is certainly a purpose.
But working at something that inspires you, fuels you, and makes you excited to get up, get out, and achieve… that’s what turns work into something even more meaningful.
If that’s you, then you’re wealthier than you think — because you’re living a large portion of your life on your terms.
And if that’s not a great way to describe “wealth,” then nothing is.