Money is powerful. Many blindly allow it to rule over our lives. Although it is not the source of life, it has the potential to ruin our lives. The irony of money is that we believe: If we had more of the very thing that has power over us, then we will somehow take back that power. The tighter grip we hold on our finances, the tighter grip it holds on us.
I want to make the argument that there is truly only one way to relinquish the power that money can have on our lives and that is through this idea of stewardship. The idea that we do not actually own anything but have been entrusted to manage the resources given to us.
Taking it a step further, we use what has been given to us for its designed purpose. If someone loans me a rake, I use the rake according to its purpose. I don’t use it as a fork. In turn, who has given us our money and how does he expect us to use it? Understanding the idea of stewardship and answering that initial question is the first step in becoming a great steward, but there’s more:
Stewards are Great Multipliers
They understand that if a gift is multiplied then it can be a blessing to more people. The goal is not to simply store up gifts, or use them solely for the benefit of oneself, but to multiply them so that others experience the same gift one has been given.
The Challenge of Multiplying Wealth
There are so many ways to invest but it has also become easier to exhaust wealth. “Tap here”, “click this”, the digital world has made it so easy to spend money. Businesses have done their best to remove the emotion behind making purchases.
The stock market is complicated, real estate is confusing, and private equity can be scary. My best advice here is to be diligent in your research and to find trusted people who are being great stewards of their talents in the business world and partner with them. Life is a team sport and so is business.
The Power of Generosity
Ironically, another way to multiply gifts is by being generous. There is an undeniable joy that stems from generosity. When we give, we bless. When we bless, we inspire. When we inspire, we multiply. It might not look like turning a dollar into two, but the impact we have on this world multiplies as a result of our generosity.
Great stewards are cheerful givers. A wise person once told me that how we spend our money is ultimately the manifestation of what we value most. Is generosity a blessing or a burden? How generosity is viewed is a great indicator of how good of a steward we are being.
Most want to be generous but there is often a disconnect between the desire and the action of giving-- and that is a good sign that what is given is based on what is left over. I would encourage people to give off the top. Give thoughtfully, give deliberately, give cheerfully, and give strategically. Ask an advisor about Donor Advised Funds and how to give strategically and more efficiently. We thankfully live in a great country that rewards those who give.
Never Stop Learning
Great stewards pursue wisdom and they ask the tough questions. We all have something, but what is that something doing to us? How can we use our something to squelch the vices and cause the virtues to flourish? Money is powerful. Use it, don’t be used by it.
Archetype exists to help families thrive across generations by connecting their money with their purpose.
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