Living Rich Or Being Rich

Key takeaways

  • There’s a difference between being rich and living rich.
  • People concerned with being rich allow the zeroes associated with their names to define who they are.
  • People who want to live rich, do not let their wealth define them. They continue to engage in activities that make their lives and the lives of those around them better.
  • Whether you like baking bread, going to garage sales, helping out at a homeless shelter, or refinishing furniture—if it’s who you really are, that’s living rich.

I know a wealthy lady who goes to garage sales, does couponing, and gives a lot of food away. She loves to bake and gives the things she makes away. Her attitude and style throws people off at times. Why? Because, many times, when we think about wealthy people, we think about living rich versus being rich.

I think we perceive being rich as a number. This is a “rich number,” whatever that happens to be. But the idea of being rich can go either way. Some people say, “I want to be rich,” and they embody all the bad characteristics that go with an attitude like that. They basically have a chip on their shoulder or they lord their wealth over people. In effect, they use it as a power play or in some other negative manner.

But there are many others who, being rich, want more than that. They want to live a rich life, and that’s what it’s really all about. I’ll share something about myself here: I actually like to bake bread. I do this over the holidays for family. I really love it and it’s something that my mother handed down to me. It’s one of those things, along with many others, that helps me live a rich life.

I find that many wealthy people like to do a variety of activities that truly speak to who they are. They’re no different than anyone else. They just happen to have more zeroes associated with their names because they’ve achieved success in a variety of ways: success at saving money; growing a business; growing wealth; successful at whatever it happens to be. They’re still the same person they were as a child or teenager—with the same wants and desires—still baking bread, or going to garage sales, or engaging in a wide variety of other activities.

People like this are not just “being rich,” they’re actually living rich—a rich life. Of course the money helps because of what it can do. More importantly, for most people, having money helps because they can use it to pay for the things they dislike doing and do more of what they like.

Of course, it’s a little easier and better that way, but, for the most part, if people keep true to who they really are, they won’t let the money define them. Instead, they’ll define themselves, letting the money support them and the things they do that make life rich no matter what. That’s what living the rich life really means, be it baking bread, hitting garage sales, helping people in shelters, or any number of other things that bring enjoyment and meaning to one’s life. Whatever it is you do that makes a big difference in your life and those around you, that’s living rich. Until next time, enjoy.


Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country.  He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Inertia, often caused by being overwhelmed, keeps smart people from planning. TransformingWealth™ , Coyle’s proprietary approach, is designed to get your arms around the big picture so you can make informed financial decisions. Take the first step to living the Good Life Managed Well™, and schedule a complimentary TransformingWealth Preview Meeting.
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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting, but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions.


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