what would you do if money were no object - alan watts
Follow your dreams, no matter what they are.

What Would You Do If Money Were No Object?

Total Reading Time: 6 minutes.

There’s a question someone asked me once that I would like to ask you:

What would you do if money were no object?

Watch the video below, and then read on.

A Question Most Can’t Answer

A powerful question, isn’t it? Most of us have heard this question before, or at least thought about it in one way or another. Yet we view it as unrealistic to live a life based purely on doing what we love. In fact, many people in our Western society completely devalue this.

If you want to be successful there are certain traditional ways of achieving that. One of them is getting a great job, at a great company, with great pay, and then retiring after 30 years. Unfortunately, as Alan Watts explains in the video above, it’s likely you’ll wake up one day and realize it was all just a scam. All those years of doing everything it took to be successful—for nothing.

Because it wasn’t about climbing a ladder or finishing first. It’s about enjoying the music and dancing while the song is playing, because it’s going to end one day. It’s about doing work that matters to you and those around you.

You might be working a job just because it pays your bills and keeps you comfortable. Solopreneurs and entrepreneurs aren’t excluded. You may have a business doing what you love, but you’re stuck working on aspects of it that drain you. Are you doing work that truly brings out your best skills?

The easiest way to find out is by asking yourself a question:

Do you get so lost in your work that time just seems to stop and you operate in an unstoppable flow?

Being in a state of flow is a strong sign that you’re happy, working creatively, and doing all the right things.

A Common Regret

The number one regret of people on their deathbeds is that they did not live their dreams. That they did not have the courage to live for themselves. Instead, they lived for other people and did what they expected of them. We have to realize that every day we have two choices. You might be thinking…

I do want to live a life doing what I love. I do want to be fulfilled and happy. But what am I supposed to do about money?

It’s a valid question. And while Alan Watts does address it clearly in the video, it’s not an easy answer to accept (or even believe). You see, during the first few months after leaving Google, I had one big worry: Making sure I made enough money to survive. Going from far over $100,000 (plus bonuses and perks), to much less was a huge change. I was scared and worried. I’m sure you’ve had the same thoughts.

Putting The Work First—Not The Money

It’s incredibly important to have a clear strategy in place before making such a change. It’s also important to make sure you’ve tasted the money, and you know the other side is real before stepping over. Even so, I made a mistake, and I don’t want you to make the same one.

It’s going to sound ridiculous, but I feel I have to share this with you anyway…

My business started to become successful only after I stopped focusing on the money. I told you it was going to sound ridiculous. But this is already proven by many others, and I am just the latest in a long line of people to experience the same thing.

To find greatness we have to let go of the money. And let me be clear I love money. Money gives you the ability to experience many of the things (not all) you love most in life. But money should never be your sole motivation.

What created this change was a simple shift in my mindset and priorities. My top focus now is looking for ways to deliver the greatest amount of value to you, rather than focusing on making another dollar. Additionally, I now build relationships only because I like the person, look up to them, or want to do creative work with them.

Sure I still check the metrics and all that. I have to, I’m running a business. It’s important to understand customer value optimization, cost per lead/acquisition, average and lifetime customer value, and so on. But the foundation that drives all this is my passion for delivering the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to create a Freedom Lifestyle.

One email from a reader means more to me than another sale ever will. You have to find that same love. You have to find what it is that brings out the best in you. At first, you may not be the best at it—and that’s okay. As Alan Watts mentions in the video, you may wonder who on earth would ever pay you to perform XYZ service or buy ABC product in your tiny niche. It’s your mastery of that niche that enables the success (and money) that follows. Plus, the more niche the better.

Deciding What’s Next

You may not know what you love most in this world. You may not have identified your purpose, your passion, or what brings out your true inner genius yet—and that’s okay too. What’s important is that you continue searching, because the day will come when you do discover what it is you love the most. When that day comes you must trust the feeling in your gut. You must push forward no matter how afraid you are. Use that fear and uncertainty to light the fire inside. Create something that challenges you and contributes to the world around you.

If you’re lucky enough to know what it is you want, you’re halfway there. If you haven’t taken any steps yet, don’t be so mentally separate from it. A lot of people know what it is they want, but they bury it deep within them. I did that. I felt that the dream lifestyle I envisioned required certain things to be in place before it ever happened. I thought to be an entrepreneur I had to know the right people, have the right skills, have enough money, etc. All that is bullsh*t. Things have changed. You don’t need any of that.

Has this changed the way you feel at all about your current situation? Good. Hopefully a lot, maybe a little. You don’t have to make a decision today. I believe that it’s the cumulation of videos, documentaries, lectures, inspiring people, and articles you absorb over time that may change your life one day. That’s how it worked out for me.

So ask yourself: What would you do if money were no object? Comment below with your answer :)

Did you find the video inspiring or eye-opening? Share this with a friend so they can watch start thinking of an answer to the question, and start taking action.

Photo Credit: Follow Your DreamsCC License

About Arman Assadi

Owner of Assadi Media LLC and co-founder and CEO of Superhuman Labs LLC. Arman helps people uncover their unique craft and create self-directed lives as solopreneurs. He is also one of the top branding and strategy consultants in the digital business space, working with many well-known tech companies, celebrity entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and New York Times bestselling authors.
  • nikol001

    Love that video. I believe finding what you’re passionate about is important, but making the leap to do that which makes you happy is the toughest part. This could be for various reasons…but the main reason, I think, is money.

    If we could be smarter about how we spend our money in this consumer driven society, if we lived within our means instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses…we would put ourselves in a much better position to make that leap into our dream job once the opportunity arose. If we’re up to our neck in credit card debt and have little to no savings (which is the majority of Americans) that leap would seem much further, don’t you think?

    I started to teach myself about finances to bring my self closer to making the leap, the book The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach (I know it sounds cheesy), was huge in helping me get my finances in order. Maybe a future post on finance would tie in nicely with this one. Anyway, thanks for the good content Arman, as always!

    • Great points! Yes, I do agree that if we realigned our priorities it would be much easier to make the leap. It’s not necessarily about cutting out latte’s, but having a bigger vision.

      Thanks for the book recc. You should check out ‘I Will Teach You To Be Rich’ by Ramit Sethi — fantastic book on personal finance.

      Funny you mention it — a guide on finances is coming soon! Thanks for reading, my friend :)

  • Hi Arman,

    Thanks a lot for that article: it really helps me going forward on my decision to focus on what I am passionate about (but where I don’t feel I know a lot yet) and not the money. I come from a software engineering background and selling my time as a programmer was the “easy” solution to start a business. But it was killing me. I just hadn’t the passion to work on coding anymore.

    Since a long time I am passionate about business operation, automation, continuous improvement, kaizen, lean, etc. I am even trying to read books in japanese about it (a lot of techniques comes originally from Japan) and trust me, my japanese is not that good. It could take me days to understand a page. I never allowed myself to embrace this passion, because I had the (false) belief that I was a “software guy”, a “tech guy” and I didn’t know a lot about all this.

    A few weeks ago, I finally decided that I prefer die poor than having to write another line of code and focus my energy on what I am passionate about. I figured that if I liked it that much, I will become good sooner or later. It’s a field where a lot of new stuffs are happening, with incredible new tools in the Cloud, and I just love it.

    I am just starting this path and your article come at the right time. Thanks again.

    • You’ve got an awesome set of skills, and some very cool interests. Congrats on finally making that decision, this is huge!

      If you love it that much it’s inevitable that you’ll become excellent at it. Exciting times ahead for you, my friend. Keep me posted on your journey.

      • Thanks for your reply. I will keep you posted.

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  • Joe Antenucci

    haha… Strap a Go-Pro to my head and climb trees. Travel. Climb more trees. Biggest trees in the US. I think I found you though Medium but can’t remember. Good stuff!

    • Haven’t climbed a tree since I was a kid. I think you’ve inspired me to try again haha!

      A friend of mine I’ll be traveling with to Brazil said he’s going to have a GoPro on the whole time. We’ll see ;)

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  • David Rojas

    Saw you in an interview with Navid Moazzez and came over to your site. Nice reflection piece & incorporation of the video. In response to your question, I believe I would cook. I would travel freely. I would learn. I would share. I would aspire to create cultural bridges.

    • Awesome, David! Navid is a great guy, glad we connected.

      Thanks for sharing your answer. We’re alike. All I aim to do is spend my time learning and sharing/teaching. And I do love travel. ;)

      There’s an awesome resource coming on this topic of working within our chosen craft. Keep in touch and keep an eye on the newsletter, chat soon!

      • David Rojas

        I got the sense that something was in the works, based on your conversation. It sounds like you’ve put a lot of time into it: getting input & feedback on metrics, reliability, the works. I’ll be on the lookout for what’s to come (as always!)

        Thanks for the reply & keep up the good work, Arman.

        • Yup! I actually released the beta recently to a small group of subscribers. If you’re interested email me and I’ll send it over. :)

  • Alexander Ugonna Ubaka

    i love singing, i can sing all day, i love helping people, I just want to help the person out, i recently fell in love with writing,