What Is Rich?

what does it mean to be rich?How do you define rich?

I know lots of deliberate creators who are manifesting wealth, and maybe some of us already feel it – but what exactly is it to be “rich”?

Sarah Yost posted today about offering coaching to more than just the 1%. Which inspired me to pinpoint just who these 1% are everyone’s talking about.

Sure enough, it turns out I coach mostly 99 percenters.  (The Washington Post defined the 1% as American households earning over $516,633.)

Last week Money Coach Christy Lambert led a brilliant call for Good Vibe U about aligning with being rich.  It turns out “rich” isn’t what most of us think, at least according to how Thomas Stanley defines it in Stop Acting

Rich: And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire.  He defines rich as someone with a net worth over one million dollars.

And those millionaires don’t behave nearly the way you might have thought! They tend to live in homes valued under $300,000; they drive Toyotas and Fords; they shop at JCPenney and Kohls.

That’s not how I imagined people with a lot of money living.  Which led me to wonder about what I think of as “rich.” And to wonder what it looks like to those of you manifesting financial abundance.  How will you know when you’re there?

According to Global Rich List, I’m in the top 1% of rich people in the world.  (I bet you’re way up there, too.)  Robert Frank thought that Rich-O-Meter measure is more helpful when we look at just US income rather than global income.

But still, something doesn’t feel quite right to me about this definition.

While I’m reading all these numeric measures defining what it is to be rich, I can’t help but think of my Maui tour guide Butch from earlier this month.  (Yes, Laura Gev, I’m milking it!)

Butch is a 22 year retired Army veteran from Arkansas, who arrived in Maui four years ago to visit friends.  He never left.

And Butch doesn’t seem to make much money.  I’m guessing he’s not a one percenter, anyway.  A drunk tourist ran over his scooter, so he has no car.  He showed us where he lives in Maui’s “ghetto.”  (Could paradise really have a ghetto?)

Despite all that, I suspect Butch is one of the richest people I know!
what does manifesting wealth mean to you?

I mean, he lives in paradise; he has interesting friends; he sees whales regularly and hangs out on beaches and is healthy and relaxed and enjoying life.

If that’s not rich, I don’t know what is!

So maybe google can’t define rich for me. Nor can Thomas Stanley.  And maybe what I’m talking about is more “happiness” than “rich.”

Maybe for me happiness is worth focusing on more than financial measures.

In fact, Seth Godin suggests staying “blind to the metrics that don’t matter.”  I agree with that, and yet notice I still have specific income goals every year.  Studies say it’s easier to be happy if you have at least some money.

But Butch seems to be doing pretty well for himself.  !!

I’d love to hear from fellow creators how YOU define rich and are manifesting wealth.  Do you have income goals for 2012?  What does it mean to you to be rich, exactly?  And how do you measure that?

  • December 22, 2011
  • Baker says:

    Financially rich to me and (this is just from my vibrational stand point and belief) is defined as: Earning enough passive income to easily afford my desired lifestyle.

  • Make that three. 🙂

  • Stephen says:

    I’ll have what she’s having.

  • Ashley says:

    I love this topic!
    I bet you ask 1000 people what their definition of rich is and you would get 1000 different answers. How awesome is that!
    For me rich = an abundance of joy. I’m rich in every aspect of my life. I have a loving husband (one of my greatest manifestations), amazing animal children, a job that allows me much free time to pursue hobbies and ride my horses but also brings in $$$ easily so I can have a lot of hobbies and have horses, lol. I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, surrounded by ocean in the middle of a National Park, in my dream home (cottage style, cutie house) hand built by my husband. Joy! Joy! Joy! Hmmm, how did all that happen?
    Money is just a by-product of joy. Joy is first and foremost and the money follows to help provide the joy.

  • MissyB says:

    For me being rich means I would have time. I’d have money to pay someone else to decorate – this would give me time. I could pay someone to clean – this would give me time. I may not have to work – this would give me time. Then I wouldn’t feel like the hamster on the wheel. I could make cards all day ! I could walk the dog without feeling guilty that I should be cleaning !
    So rich means time. Time to have fun.

  • I LOVE this discussion and all the individual discussion about what rich is/means.
    For me, I’ve always felt the most joy when I’ve uncoupled my money from my purpose. Which sounds counterintuitive but works for me.
    I have a great job outside of the work I do coaching where I make six figures. I love the money it provides. And I don’t mind the work. I love who I get to be while I do the work (which is just me being me).
    I also LOVE the work I do around coaching on money and fitness and I LOVE that I don’t have any illusions around the need to make a certain dollar figure from this work.
    For me, money love is simply about loving the game of money. Learning about it. Embracing it. Having fun with different ways to make it, spend it and save it.
    Rich in money means having more than $1 million in assets.
    Rich in life means loving my work, my family, appreciating all the ways I’m attracting money, having fun, playing dance dance revolution, all kinds of joy and appreciation.
    My goal is to be rich in both. 🙂

  • ChipEFT says:

    Wow. This topic really makes me wonder.
    So we come to humaness from a state of light and love to experience the contrast of this space/time. When you think about it, it is kinda odd that we would choose a space/time in which the socio/cultural norm was/is spending the majority of our day in pursue of a mental construct whose primary purpose was/is to facilitate bringing to us that which we want.
    As if the Universe needs a construct to bring us anything.
    That said it is perfectly okay to want money.
    It is perfectly okay not to want money.
    It is perfectly okay to want money and not admit it.
    It is perfectly okay to have money.
    It is perfectly okay not to have money.
    It is perfectly okay not to have money and want it badly.
    It is perfectly okay not to have money and not care.
    All of these states are vibrational states based upon how you expect the world to be. Where you are is good. What comes next will be better.
    All you have to do is find the next thought that feels a little better than what you are thinking right now.

  • I agree that being rich means freedom. I would love to not have to work a 40 hour week job and have the financial security that I feel now. But I enjoy the security more and the lack of financial stress within my family. Even so, I’m working towards getting back that freedom but keeping the financial security.
    I feel rich right now, even though technically we’re not. I feel as though I’ve been conditioned, though, and that conditioning is slowly waning away. $300,000 house for sale next door? Yeah, that’s easy, that’s reasonable. $50,000 manufactured home? No, don’t think I want that. This is how our mindset is changing.
    We live in a beautiful neighborhood in a historic home, the bills are paid, and I have five days at home for Christmas holidays. Nothing could be better at this moment 🙂
    I am enjoying a wonderful, beautiful, abundant (affluent!) and creative life 🙂

  • Mara Enid says:

    Interesting post. When I first started dabbling with LOA, I would say ‘I want to make six figures,’ or ‘I want to make $1 million.’ I found it to be too difficult to get in the ‘feeling’ of that because it wasn’t true. So I started focusing on wanting wealth and abundance and the way I described it was saying I always want to have more than enough to pay my bills, do whatever I want, and give away. If I can feel like that, then in my mind, I’m attracting wealth. I’ve had much more success by forgetting about numbers and focusing on what wealth feels like to me, whether I’m making $90,000 or $900,000.

  • Lisa says:

    Love this topic Jeannette! I just lead a seminar that quoted the same study you reference which indicated that well being and happiness tended to plateau for people making anything over $75k in the US yet we are socially conditioned to reach for making more money, getting that raise, promotion, the fancier car, bigger house, etc. But the key to greater well being is doing what you love and what you do is tied back to what intrinsically motivates you — in other words, what you do has purpose. That’s what I’m shooting for in 2012, it’s not about an income goal but focusing on what lights me up and helps the most people.

  • being rich to me has always been having what I want most at the time. When my kids were young and they didn’t care about the price of anything, being rich meant having a lot of time with them. Now we are all needing more money to experience what we want, rich means having access to more cash. I feel rich when I have peace of mind and I can easily pay for my chosen life style at the time. Right now,I don’t want to travel so I feel rich even without the kind of money to pay for lots of travel.
    Peopledo talk about ‘a rich life’ meaning ‘rich in experiences’. Having the money or other resources to make those experiences happenis what makes us rich I think.

  • Ruby says:

    Love it, For me being Rich has always meant the ability to access RESOURCES when you NEED them.
    When I write my I am statements, I always talk about ‘resources’ v/s money or house etc…
    Resources could mean a variety of things to different folks…

  • Anna says:

    PS – FYI: GUS = God, Universe Sourse (and whatever other nomenclature you choose)

  • Anna says:

    I see a difference between *right* and *wealthy* – one has to do with money & acquisitions, whereas the other has to do with joy & experiences.Clearly I’ve had issues reconciling the two, hence my determined life of defined differentiation. (egad)
    My child compares himself to others at school, probably because he’s bullied & treated as unwanted by some others. (yes, I note these are the kids who have more gadgets than 1-on-1 parent time, are insecure & ultimately envious of the not-things he does have, and sad truth is, it doesn’t make his life at school any easier)
    I reinforce and remind that we have a wealth of things others long for – we can have a backyard fire in a beautiful pit any day of the year; we’re a 10-minute drive to his favorite beach, 15-minute walk to school, raccoons living in our backyard, deer sightings every day, more varieties than I’ve been able to count of birds feeding & hanging out in our front yard – flickers mating, woodpeckers pecking, squirrels playing – ancient trees speaking to us, neighbors looking out for us, friends’ dogs visiting us, baskets appearing “from Santa” and people doing things for us seemingly out of the blue… we’re incredibly wealthy! And rich! Albeit in ways that may not yet be reflected in my bank account.
    Clearly, however, I’m getting us there – and I’m just sittin’ back and smiling. Because I KNOW I’m already richer in life than many are in dollars. And I KNOW the dollars are coming because every now and then, I *forget* that they aren’t already there.
    It is what we decide it is.
    And just like GUS, it follows our decisive suit.
    May we all find the key to that account containing that financial abundance we dream of playing with.
    (spinning happy face I don’t know how to do)

  • Oh…it’s my email address. A little schizo..but think I figured it out.

  • Never mind…my gravatar is back.
    And yes Stephen, I agree. Money is a by-product of feeling rich.

  • Stephen says:

    Laura, when I feel that way consistently, the money comes.

  • Hey, what happened to my gravatar?

  • I love this topic, as this is something I’ve had to cultivate since being “rich” was always a focus of how much money one had. What I have realized more and more (and has already been stated above) is being conscious of and appreciating what I already have in my life. This can be things like, I feel rich because I feel like I have a body that I love both physically and mentally. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world with a private beach at the end of my block and every single day I am grateful to be able to experience this beauty in nature. I have had incredible experiences in my life both through travel, people I have met and taking advantage of opportunities that presented themselves to me.
    I have read books, have attended lectures and taken courses that have had a huge impact on my life. Expanding my mind makes me rich.
    I have things of beauty and quality in my home that I love to see and use that make me feel rich. Even silly things like using bathing products that smell and feel wonderful make me feel rich.
    Most of all, I feel rich in that I recognize all I need to do is look around at the abundance that is all around me just by noticing it. Being rich is being able to seize the present moment and acknowledging the preciousness of it.
    Money of course is great too…but that is not what makes me feel rich.

  • Julio Blanco says:

    Seems like one path to richness is being in the flow like Butch while at the same time BEING AWARE AND GRATEFUL of it.
    From that perspective, most of us have richness at our fingertips but focus our attention elsewhere… on what we don’t have. For the vast majority mastering richness becomes a matter of becoming aware of the richness already surrounding us.
    A blessing for me is that my awareness of richness in the form of health, love, family, friendship, natural beauty, and inner peace and joy, and many other paths that have nothing to do with money, has been compounding faster than my bank account in recent years. In that sense, I’m becoming a very wealthy man faster than I ever dreamed of.

  • Helen, that’s what I wanted to achieve with my experience of money! Being able to live how I wanted to live without consideration of whether I had “enough” money for it.
    I had forgotten that until I read your comment! 🙂
    In fact, I remember the day I realized I achieved that … years ago a friend opened my fridge to see I had organic strawberries (out of season). He asked, “Do you have any idea how much these cost?!” And I realized, indeed, I had no idea. I bought them because I wanted them and didn’t even look at the price. Apparently I could afford them, though.
    I had arrived! lol

  • helen says:

    To me rich means not having to even think “can I afford this” when i go to spend money on something. It means having the freedom to take off whenever I want and spend as long as I want somewhere without having to worry about how I am going to pay for it and will I run out of money to pay the things I left at home.
    so it would be nice to have that much money for starters!!

  • Stephen, I couldn’t have said it better about freedom and where it comes from.
    Thanks for that.

  • Stephen says:

    For me “rich” really means “freedom.” Free to do what I want the moment I want to. So money is a part of that, but not even close to all of it. Freedom isn’t something you get from money. Freedom is an inside job. It’s about what suggestions I accept and choose to believe in. As I have made changes with those things, I find money flowing in more abundantly. Money is really just a reflection of how free I feel inside.
    I also always raise a skeptical eyebrow whenever I hear about percentages and statistics. I’d rather consider myself an important member of the 100%.

  • This could be looked at as a distinction in the words, I guess, too, Jesann. Technically “rich” is defined at dictionary.com as:
    1. having wealth or great possessions; abundantly supplied with resources, means, or funds; wealthy: a rich man; a rich nation.
    2. abounding in natural resources: a rich territory.
    3. having wealth or valuable resources (usually followed by in ): a country rich in traditions.
    4. abounding (usually followed by in or with ): a countryside rich in beauty; a design rich with colors.
    5. of great value or worth; valuable: a rich harvest.
    Although, according to the dictionary, wealth doesn’t sound that much different. I guess it’s all a matter of what it means to each of us.
    I know some deliberate creators make a distinction between wealthy and rich, thinking rich means just the money, whereas wealth encompasses more.

  • Jesann says:

    It does vary from person to person, but for me at least, it does involve money. It may stem from the fact that many people I’ve met who have claimed abundance is really good friends, etc., and not money have had hangups about money. Their attempt to steer “rich” toward non-monetary things has actually been an attempt to avoid money because they don’t like it.
    Not everyone has hangups, and I’m not saying your tour guide story is an avoidance attempt. Yes, abundance and “rich” is what we make them, and for some that means if they have that beautiful sunset and a supportive family, they’re rich. That’s fine! I don’t argue with that, and I do think someone with a lot of money but few personal connections, etc., is still poor in areas of their life. But for me, “rich” means having that money.

  • Stacey says:

    How serendipitous, Jeannette! Recently, I too found myself wondering about the Law of Attraction and “The 99 Percent.”
    I was reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and found a great quote that relates to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
    Essentially, he said that people need to stop “bickering and bargaining by force” to receive dividends from corporations.
    What we focus on expands. So if one focuses on the ‘inequity of wealth distribution– it’s only going to get bigger.
    People really need to understand their power to create their own economic realities (especially in America).
    Here’s that blog post:
    What Napoleon Hill would say to Occupy Wall Street Protesters –

  • Stacey, I didn’t remember that from Napoleon Hill – but of course it makes perfect sense from an LOA standpoint. And explains why this gap between classes is only growing.
    Thanks for posting, and thanks for your link!

  • I can appreciate your definition, Nancy! (Being close to nature.) I think that’s much of the reason I saw Butch as rich.

  • Indeed, Jeannette, *defining rich* is different for all of us. For instance, being close to nature (within a few minute) ranks really high on my list but might be low on others.
    I don’t enjoy being paranoid about products and services or assuming the worst about corporations. Some people do, and therefore, they will spend enormous amounts of money to feel better about paranoia, and that makes them feel rich.
    Thank you for bringing up the point about how many of us really are part of the global 1%. When 1% is brought up, I’m guessing that many are stating that number assuming they are part of the 99%. That would mean that the wealthiest in the world are more like the top .001%. 😉
    Many blessings,

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