In the past week, I’ve twice been asked a lot about how I define wealth. I am an estate planning attorney, and I do a lot of podcast interviews. Inevitably, this question comes up because people associate estate planning with having a lot of money, assets, land, and financial stuff. Thanks to Scrooge McDuck swimming through gold coins in the beloved late-80s/early ’90s classic cartoon “Duck Tails” and Robin Leach broadcasting the lifestyles of the rich and famous, our concept of wealth is skewed. Many people think about assets only when they think about wealth — I also think that so many people fail to get their estate plans done because they really cannot relate to having wealth. (But the truth is that estate planning is for everyone — I’ll go into that song and dance another day.)
Yes, of course, wealth has to do with having material assets. It has to do with life insurance and real estate and money in the bank. It has to do with money market accounts and mineral rights and trust funds. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, as I’ve grown, especially in my work, I know that wealth is so much more than just money. Do you have rich relationships that can sustain you through tough times? That’s wealth. Are you able to have options for how and where you spend your time? That’s wealth too. Are you prioritizing getting out in nature? Sounds pretty wealthy to me!
As a law firm owner, I love the possibilities of working for myself. I can stop my day at 2:30 p.m. and go pick up my kids. I love that I can take them to gymnastics class at 3:00 p.m. and that I don’t have to answer to anyone to do so. That’s a great feeling. I also know that wealth as an entrepreneur means having the freedom to create businesses that work for our clients and us. Most law firm owners don’t want to be beholden to our calendars, tied to a billable hour, and shackled to our desks. If you are currently held hostage by your business as a law firm owner, what’s the point? Why not go work for someone else?
Working as an entrepreneur is supposed to give you options. It can give you the freedom to make choices without having to answer to anyone else. So why not take it? If you genuinely feel like your business is something you work for and that it doesn’t work for you, it’s time to make a change. Do something different!
Here are some tangible steps you can take to help …….