What does losing wealth REALLY look like?

What does losing “wealth” really look like?

Alain de Botton proposes that what we’re after when we seek wealth, status, and the accumulation of resources is not merely material. We are actually seeking love.

The predominant impulse behind our desire to rise in the social hierarchy may be rooted not so much in the material goods we can accrue or the power we can wield as in the amount of love we stand to receive as a consequence of high status.
– Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety

We’re seeking acceptance. Respect. Connection to a group through the outward signs of success that bind us together.

With the accumulation of material wealth, we show off that we’ve convinced others we’re worth investing in. Material wealth is social proof.

Adam asked you what you would lose if you lost it all. Many of you responded that you would lose your house, grocery money, your stuff. Some of you suggested that you’d lose your closest personal connections. Many of your answers oozed – if not explicitly stated – that you’d lose the respect & love of those around you.

That, my friends, is status anxiety.

Losing everything means losing everyone.

Not having it all means not having all the important people.

Or does it?

Of course not. Despite our worst case scenarios, we know that losing everything doesn’t mean our loved ones will suddenly abandon us.

We have a certain immanent value that is seen by those with whom we have the closest bonds.

It’s not what we have that creates our true relationships; it’s who we are.

But it’s perfectly normal — innately human, even — to judge ourselves against who we surround ourselves with – what we have versus what they have. It’s visual, plain-to-see proof of our status. Status anxiety is not a problem to get rid of so much as it is an opportunity to transform our thinking.

If what you’re really concerned about when you think of losing everything is losing the respect of those you cherish, what more could you be doing to bring your immanent value to the surface?

How can you realize your own irreplaceability?

Once you live life on the terms of your own irreplaceability, how can you really lose anything? Your confidence is unshakeable and that’s a tool you can use.

Now what if you translated that immanent value — all those things that make your irreplaceable — into your career or businesss?

As Dave rightly pointed out, part of the problem with charging 10x what you’re charging now is not that your products aren’t worth that. I can assure you they aren’t.

The real problem is that you feel insufficient to produce better. To rise to the occasion of creating something that delivers on the price asked.

Know where you need to dig deep? You guessed it. Dig deep into that sense of irreplaceability.

What value can you provide that no other can? How can you translate that into the service you deliver or the craftsmanship you execute or the design you devise?

Start your wealth accumulation at the foundation: your immanent value, your irreplaceability, your deep down understanding of what makes you special to the people who truly matter. Live it, love it, build better & better products and services from it. You’ll find financial wealth is not far behind.

Last time, you told us the MOST you could lose. This time, tell us what’s at the foundation of everything you have. Tell us what makes you truly unique, what’s inherently attractive about you, what makes others stand up & take notice.

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  1. I love people into song. There, I said it. That’s my irreplaceable skill, my special power. Is it valuable? Only to people who want more song or more love in their lives (or both).

  2. One more thing: it only works when I remember to love myself into song first. Otherwise it becomes an empty shell, an entertainment, a party trick.

  3. Gwyn Michael says:

    Well I must say I didn’t see that coming. Although in my case losing respect came with financial success. My problem is in wanting to think that that success will make me sell out and lose respect through lack of morals rather than money.
    I suppose it is true however that I equate at least some of my value in what I have. How well I can present myself.
    My special power? I have been surveying people on that recently, again. It is interesting to me that art is not what people want from me. I am a good artist and people do love my work, but what they get from that they value most is my ability to be optimistic and inspire. I am an inspirationalist? One friend said she comes to me to see herself more clearly, bad and good, and for validation. Now I am figuring out how to package that with my art skills into something I can put a price tag on. I am getting close!
    In addition my current situation puts me in a position to need help, to receive. I am not so good at that and have come to realize that I can’t give my best if I can’t receive. Simple, but difficult.

    • When you introduced yourself as an inspirationalist at Art of Earning LIVE, Gwyn, I thought, “Wow, I can’t wait to hear more about who that woman is and where her work in the world takes her!”

  4. Gwyn Michael says:

    Oh thank you Minna! Actually your work fascinates me. We should have a conversation.