That’s about how much it costs for a good bottle of wine at my local wine store, some nice cheese, a good loaf of bread, and some big fat olives. That’s what makes me happy.
I’m also happy when I’m sleeping on high-thread-count sheets, wearing comfy new underwear, and taking an occasional trip to Italy.
What makes you happy? How much does it cost?
At a workshop I facilitated last week for my book The Worst Business Model in the World: A New Kind of Guide for a New Kind of Entrepreneur, in the very cool and cozy 818 co-working space in Evanston, Illinois, we had a lively debate during the Q&A about what success really is. This question is at the heart of the book and most of my workshops, and was also featured in a recent story in Inc.
Ultimately, what’s really important to being successful is being happy, and the key to being able to call yourself happy is being to be able to define what happiness means for you.
Every person has a different answer, and each person’s answer might change depending on what’s going on in her or his world at the time. Nobody can answer it for you, but maybe I can help a little.
You probably figured this out already, but in terms of long-term happiness, the $47 thing doesn’t really ring true. As someone who’s been around for several decades, I can tell you that the value of imagining where you want to be in the future definitely holds true. If you make and save more money earlier in your life, you’ll likely get to work less later in your life. And vice versa–it depends on what you want. That’s where imagining your future helps. What does it look like for you?
Some people want to retire early to get away from jobs they don’t love or feel fulfilled by, or are working for a paycheck and are laser focused on when they’ll be done. Other people don’t know why they would retire or what they would retire to, since they love what they’re doing now. I’m in the latter camp. I couldn’t retire now anyway, but I like the fact that I’m going to be working for a while because I really like what I do.
I also like going to Italy every once in a while. So I know I need to work hard, make at least enough money to pay all my bills, and have a bunch left over to get on a plane and enjoy the wine and cheese.
How about you? Think about what you want to be doing and how hard you want to be working at it, this year, next year, a few years from now, many years from now. You may find out that olives and cheese sound pretty good and $47 is a perfect number. You may also want to add a couple of zeros, so you can sit in a café in Italy while you’re eating them.