More Than Money


A few days ago I was suckered into one of those money-making seminars. I had been emailing with this lady who said she had a few positions open for some projects she was working on (I had replied to a computer/marketing job post). So she invited me to a meeting/interview, which sounded like a regular business meeting for a company. When I arrived, it was a room full of 30 people ready to hear a guy talk for an hour about making money. I sat through it out of politeness.

Now I have nothing against commission-type jobs, door-to-door sales, cold calling clients, etc. At least they have a product to sell. Not this. For the first 30 minutes, the guy talked about money. I had no idea what company it was, what they did, what they sold, nothing. It was all about how this company could help the audience to make lots of money, and I guess that appeals to people.

At the end of the presentation, I still didn’t know what was going on. It was something vague about a rich company that helps you start your own business, and you get more money by recruiting other people (yeah, total pyramid scheme, even though they tried to deny it). Oh, and you have to shell out $300 for a “business license.” But what got me was the shallowness of this company’s pull – nothing to do with a product, service, or purpose – just money. And people bought it.

I’m not condemning the desire to make more money. It’s a good and necessary thing. I’ve traveled the world a lot, and that requires a lot of money. Purchasing guitars, drums, keyboards, etc makes music a very expensive hobby. My enjoyment of Apple products, fancy restaurants, movies, etc all require money. Even purely benign uses like giving to charity require money. The point I’m trying to make is that money is a tool, a means to an end. If it becomes an end in itself, then what are we living for?

I used to work for a commission-based sales company where money was a huge motivator. But at least my boss communicated the benefits of having more money (job security, material luxuries, personal goals, more free time to spend with family). He also really believed in the product we were selling. But not this guy. Just money.

I wanted to stay after and tell him (and the lady who deceptively invited me) the shallowness of it all. What about the product or the service? What type of work is it? What about the company? What about our lives? I wanted to tell them that there were so many things in life more important than money, like coffee with friends, a walk in the park, experiencing another culture, being proud of a job well done, helping someone achieve their goals, creating something beautiful, being passionate about something worthwhile.

But I couldn’t because the stupid seminar made me late for another appointment.

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