A recent 2019 study at Binghamton University with over 7,500 adults surveyed found that viewing wealth and material possessions as a sign of success yields significantly better results to life satisfaction than viewing wealth and possessions as a sign of happiness.
Happiness materialism versus success materialism.
Happiness materialism is when wealth and material consumption is the sign of a happy life. Whereas, success materialism is when wealth and material possessions are a sign of success in life.
It may sound minor, but happiness materialism can bring about issues such as being dissatisfied with your current standard of living and not being able to find satisfaction in other areas of life.
On the contrary, success materialism is said to raise your life satisfaction score by boosting your economic motivation.
While you may be inclined to think the above mindsets only apply to you once you've attained some level of financial success, that isn't the case. In fact, you can leverage this mindset and find motivation from day one of your entrepreneurial journey by:
Knowing what this money is for.
Jenny Jiao, assistant professor of marketing at Binghamton University School of Management, explains in the study that "your happiness should never rely on money alone." However, she continues on, and states that "money can be a tool to motivate you to achieve major milestones in your life, which can make you feel happier in the long run."
At the end of the day, money is a tool that provides you with more control over your life, more freedom, and fewer constraints over your everyday choices. That said, getting money just to have money rarely conjures up sustained happiness and fulfillment.
But, when money has purpose, direction, and reasoning to it, then you have a different narrative. Money in this instance helps with happiness along with increasing life satisfaction because the money represents something of substance and importance.
From day one and onward as you go about making more money, what do you want your money to do for you? What's your reasoning for creating wealth? Will you help loved ones, retire parents, help the community, or other philanthropic endeavors?
Money with a purpose and reasoning behind it leads to a more high performing entrepreneur, as you have extra incentive to strive for your best each and everyday.