A old-fashioned preacher might tell you that it’s a sin to be wealthy.
But before I tell you why I think that’s wrong, let’s indulge in the ways a good Christian upbringing might ruin our entrepreneurial success.
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.”
Luckily, there are other perspectives on this, both from religion and secular society.
As this Wired article on impact entrepreneurship points out, successful entrepreneurs are often the ones best positioned to do more good in the world.
Consider Elon Musk and Richard Branson as examples.
Or how about the author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling.
She apparently lost her billionaire status, in part, because she gave so much money away. In her words, “You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”
It’s also worth noting that she has written three books for charity and raised $30 million in the process. Another great lesson: Once we achieve “master status” through deep work and deliberate practice, we are able to use these skills to make money explicitly for giving back, in addition to growing our core business.
For me, I also want to make lots of money (I hear some of you cringing) so that I can do fun things like…
Catalyze the planting of 100,000 new trees each year
Lift 100,000 people out of poverty by investing in microentrepreneurship
Reach 1,000,000 people per year with tips, tools, and templates for solving environmental problems through entrepreneurship and finance
Can the pursuit of wealth be a distraction from what really matters? Heck ya.
But if impact and wealth are aligned, then Entrepreneurs for Impact can create positive environmental and social benefits through their core business, and then do it over and over with the profits they earn.