There is a TV programme in the UK called, “Your money or your life”; the presenter interviews clients who are usually in desperate need of financial planning.  Part of his approach is psychological; he discusses the client’s aspirations, their relationship with money, their parents’ attitude towards money.  This information allows him to create a mental picture of his client’s goals and factors, which might inhibit the achievement of these goals.

With this in mind I would like to step away from my usual rands and cents approach and think about the reason for “working”.  I remember reading some words of wisdom, which went something like this: “Dance as if nobody is watching; work as if you don’t need the money and love as if your heart has never been broken”.  The anonymous author is telling us to put our fears of the past and future aside and to live in the moment, for this is living life to the full.  Since my dancing abilities leave much to be desired I will discuss the concern I have with money being the primarily driver of employment decisions.

Why do you go to “work” every Monday morning, is it to pay the bills?  Are you a victim of a typical financial rut, got a spouse, got a house & car, got kids, got debts to pay; so it’s off to work I go?  South Africans are notorious for accumulating assets, usually compliments of their friendly bank managers, these assets include holiday homes, bigger houses, bigger cars ect.  I refer to this as the hamster wheel theory, the faster you run the faster the wheel turns and the faster you must run just to stay on.  The only difference is the size of your wheel.

“Work as if you don’t need the money”.  People often tell me that if they were to win the lotto they would quit working immediately.  This has always troubled me, what kind life are you living if the only reason for going to work is to get paid.  Keep in mind the average person will work 8 hrs a day for +-30 years.  What do you do for your pay-cheque that you would you do differently if you did not need the money?

Put your fears aside and take a chance to discover the opportunities that exist for the person who lives for now and is not prepared to take second best.  If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.  My most successful people do what they do for the love of it and not the money.  Try not let money be your only motivator.

I am not saying don’t be financially responsible, just try keep the balance; there is always a price to pay for excessive behaviour.


Mark Williams
Mcomm, CFP®, HdipTax
T. 021-851 3746



Work as if you don’t need the money