I recently shared Justine Musk's response on Quora about becoming a billionaire with a friend of mine who is struggling with her business. For years, she's wondered if she's not making enough because of some money blocks she has, although she feels deserving and has worked on her money mindset over the years. I suggested she might not be getting the results she desires because she's possibly stuck in a get mode versus a give mode. This really resonated with her because, although she's in the health profession and wants to help others, she's been focused on getting and how that's going to benefit her.
The question on Quora was, "Will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one and put in the necessary work required?" which, Justine Musk, author and first wife of Elon Musk’s, first responds "no.” She then elaborates why she said no.
She starts by saying: "One of the many qualities that separate self-made billionaires from the rest of us is their ability to ask the right questions. This is not the right question."
This statement reminds me of an excerpt from the Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann where, Ernesto, a character, explains one of the laws of the book, the Law of Value:
"'Does it make money?' is not a bad question. It's a great question. It's just a bad first question. It starts you off pointed in the wrong direction...The first question should be, 'Does it serve? Does it add value to others?' If the answer to that question is yes, then you can go ahead and ask, 'Does it make money?'" (p. 27).
This aligns with what Musk says later in her Quora response:
"Shift your focus away from what you want (a billion dollars) and get deeply, intensely curious about what the world wants and needs...The world doesn't throw a billion dollars at a person because the person wants it or works so hard they feel they deserve it. (The world does not care what you want or deserve.) The world gives you money in exchange for something it perceives to be of equal or greater value."
Take Ms. Rachel for instance. She became a YouTube sensation because of her educational songs and videos for toddlers (Songs for Littles). She created these videos because she couldn't find any videos that could help her son who was experiencing speech delays. She not only created it for her son; however, she shared it on YouTube to help other toddlers with speech and learning and, voila, it's difficult to meet a North American parent who doesn't know of Ms. Rachel.
Her intention was to help and by helping many toddlers and parents out, the money came. Let me be clear, I'm not suggesting we give and give until we’re burnt-out, that's not helpful to anybody. Healthy boundaries are important. I once heard a saying related to this. If I can recall it correctly it went, "The most unsuccessful people in life are givers. The most successful people in life are givers with parameters."
Considering all this, this is perhaps why I'm not a fan of the word, 'hustle' (something I explored in an earlier blog post). Hustling to me seems very much in get mode, often at the cost of our physical and psychological health, although may be required at times. I like a distinction about magic and miracles related to all this that I once heard during an interview by Oprah: "The difference between magic and miracles is that magic is when you use your mind to tell the universe what you want. Miracles is when you ask the universe what it wants and how you can serve it."
So, with Halloween being today, do you want the trick (magic)? Or do you want the treat (miracles)? I care for the treat and will leave you with what Maya Angelou once said which I feel is true: "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."