What is the meaning of wealth and what does it have to do with trees? – Post #4
What if I told you that understanding how trees work is a key to a more feminine meaning of wealth– which, in turn, could unlock your ability and motivation to BUILD your own wealth?
It sounds silly, doesn’t it? I’ll explain more in a few days.
But, first, we need to look at how wealth is defined.
Let’s dive into this, shall we?!
How Do YOU Define the Meaning of Wealth?
Do you recall back in the book’s Introduction that I want you to continuously keep a “Money Journal” as you work through the content? It’s time to pull out that dedicated journal – which can be a cloth-bound journal, a spiral notebook, a nice stack of paper in a folder…whatever will help you keep your journaled insights, biographies, questions, feelings, doodles, diagrams, notes, goals, dreams, etc. together.
In your journal, I want you to answer the following questions. (Try to not rush through this step.)
- What does the word “wealth” mean to YOU?
- How do you FEEL about this meaning?
- What do believe is the role of “money” in the “wealth” equation?
- If you learned that you had to start “wealth building” today, how would you respond? (What would you feel, say, do, think?)
Nice work! I wanted you to make a record of your own meanings before you read further. You’ll be looking back at your own definitions later on in the book.
Common Definitions of Wealth
The modern day definition of “wealth” (which you will soon see heavily leans toward a masculine definition) often generates conflicting feelings for many women.
On one hand, women tend to view “wealth” as an “attractive” quality in a potential mate. Marrying into wealth has historically been HOW (and often the only way) many women have accessed it (think: archetypal story of Cinderella and Prince Charming, or the Julia Roberts movie, “Pretty Woman”).
But, on the other hand, the means and the ends of creating “wealth” on their own is historically not something most women could do – often due to property, banking, investing laws and cultural norms around work and home. Additionally, modern definitions of wealth are often not well-aligned with women’s focus and values.
Let me explain.
The current definition of wealth across the web:
- Abundance of valuable material possessions or resources (Merriam-Webster)
- A great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, or other riches (Dictionary.com)
- The number of days you can survive without physically working (or anyone in your household physically working) and still maintain your standard of living. (Rich Dad author, Robert Kiyosaki)
- Or, maybe you recall the old saying: “He who dies with the most toys wins.”
What Does Wealth LOOK Like?
In addition to the verbal definitions shown above, the concept of “wealth” is often visually portrayed with expensive or flashy objects, exclusive settings, solitude, physically gorgeous, young women and powerful men.
Unless this is your “thing” (that you intend to create on your own), and it isn’t for most women, you can already see how the concept of “building your own wealth” is a confusing one for women.
Let’s explore it a little further.
Men and Their Meaning of Wealth
Here’s how a large percentage of men (and the financial industry – think ‘Wall St.’) tend to view “wealth” and “wealth-building”:
a competitive game of winners and losers, a gamble of taking chances and winning big, a growing stockpile of money, the fruits of a lot of hard work, power and influence.
Women and Their Meaning of Money and Wealth
By contrast, when I asked women (whom I interviewed for this money book) “What does wealth mean to you?”, I quickly discovered that they tended to take a more emotional view of the subject and often commented more on the concept of “money” than “wealth” or “wealth-building”.
Here’s how many of the women I interviewed responded when I asked them for their views on “money” and “wealth building” (terms which they co-mingled):
instant tension in the chest, what lifestyle can it afford them, what can the money do for their families, how money can help the world around them, happiness, friendship, entitlement, obnoxious, complicated, freedom, security, slimy, abundance, ease, help parents retire.
Clearly, there is some much deeper thinking here that has ZERO to do with power, influence or accumulation of expensive stuff and beautiful people.
Women are long-accustomed to the focus on “money” as it’s the practical, day-to-day tool of survival that helps them afford their lives, care for those around them, and express their values. It’s the here and the now, and it’s what feels accessible to them.
It’s also the ‘financial identity’ that they see modeled in the culture all around them. (think: “budget mom”, “mega coupon-cutter”, “thrifty shopper”)
“Wealth”, by contrast, is often either viewed by them as “slimy”, “uninteresting”, “unimportant”, or as an undefined key to “freedom”. Most view it as an inaccessible pipe dream, so many don’t even bother with it.
Join me tomorrow – I’ll be outlining more about what stands between women and wealth building, PLUS how to change this.
BY THE WAY: This is an interactive and evolving manuscript! Your questions, comments, praise, criticism, and insights are all welcome!Share your “Comment” in the box below. Let let me hear from you.