Two Kinds of Rich People
There's a friend of mine - a really good friend actually. So good in fact, he's one of the few I am sure will read this. This friend of mine got married a few weeks ago, and called me yesterday on the road, making his way to Seattle with his new bride to begin their life as a married couple.
"So y'all finally found a place to live out there?" I ask.
"Nope," my friend said with a confident grin that translated right through the phone line.
I wasn't surprised by this answer. My friend doesn't have to worry about finding a place to live; He's rich. He's probably the richest guy I know. He's traveled the world, lived in multiple states, does what he wants when he wants, has friends around pretty much all the time, and pursues all of his passions. Here's the cool part: He doesn't have very much money. My friend is the richest guy I know, but he's also in his early 20's, moving to a new city, and hasn't solidified a home or a job. He's calm and collected about the whole situation, because he knows, like I know that he is rich.
Time is money, they say. In other words, time is potential money. Welcome to America, where we take something as valuable, as irreplaceable, as precious as time and make it all about money. Personally, I believe time is unfathomably more valuable than money. But for the sake of argument, let's assume they are of equal value. If they are, who is more wealthy: My friend or Elon Musk? My friend spent every dollar he had to travel to The Philippines to win over the love of his life (a very interesting story for another day). For Elon Musk, traveling to The Philippines would cost relatively nothing. My friend has the love of his life. Elon Musk is on his third divorce. Who is more wealthy?
My friend has a list of friends so deep and so wide that for his wedding, he couldn't manage to make all of them groomsmen. I can hardly think of three people I would have as groomsmen for my wedding. I wasn't named a groomsman for his. I can't imagine having so much love in my life that the people who aren't my groomsmen love me as much as I love this friend of mine. I have never been in a room so densely packed with love as the room he was married in just weeks ago. He's immeasurably wealthy in this way.
The reason he is so loved is because he has invested enormous amounts of time into people. Nobody is more willing to have a conversation that this friend of mine. Every time my life has fallen to pieces, he is the one I have called, and he's always been there. No exceptions. He never made a dollar off of the countless hours that he spent talking me through my or any of his other friends' problems. Was all that time he spent on myself and those other friends wasted potential money? Or was it currency well spent? I'd argue the latter. If time is money, I don't know what $1 equates to in minutes, seconds, or hours.
My friend lives his life making the most out of his potential buying power. He has, whether consciously or subconsciously come around to understanding that while 'X' amount of time invested in business may equal 'X' amount of dollars, 'X' amount of time invested in people is equal to 'X' amount of love. Because he prioritizes the latter, he doesn't have to worry. He doesn't need to know where he's going to live when he gets to Seattle. Worst case scenario, somebody he loves will come and help him out in a bind. He's invincible in this way. He has unlimited resources in a community of people that he loves and is loved by in return. He'll never go hungry or wind up alone. This friend of mine is a new, perhaps better kind of rich person than we typically think of when the topic of rich men come up. I'm inspired by him, and I hope you are too.