In 2015, Dan Price at 31, was a millionaire. He had started Gravity Payments in his teens and was now running a multi-million dollar company. One day while hiking with a friend, she told him that despite all her best efforts, when she was discharged from the military, she could not live on $40,000 a year. This, because Seattle was an expensive city to live in.
Also headquartered in Seattle, Dan returned to his company and started thinking deeply about what she had said. He was further convicted when he read a study by Nobel prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton. They publish a study on how much an American needs to be “happy”.
The report stated that on average, $70,000 was the number. More than that and the “happiness” factor wasn’t substantially more and making less, people focused more on the struggle. Taking this to heart, he decided to increase his entire staff’s salary to $70,000 and dramatically reduce his.
This resulted in him taking a pay cut of about a million dollars as well as mortgage his two homes and give up his stocks and savings. Today he continues to live by the same philosophy and the minimum salary, and claims he’s more fulfilled now than he was when making millions. What’s more, the company has doubled in head count and value of payments the company processes has gone from $3.8bn to $10.2bn.
Although all this sounds noble, there is a true struggle and great diversity of income across there world where many are just trying to “get by” and $70,000 is a distant dream. It’s difficult to reconcile this. I don’t have an answer for that other than knowing I have seen both the rich loose it all and the poor struggle to keep it. I can however say that at the lowest financial point in my life, when I couldn’t give money and struggled to keep it, I did give of what I had in abundance.
What I had in abundance was time and resources. It was in giving that where I found contentment. Realizing that God owned it all and promoting me to give it all resulted in me seeing others grateful for what they had recieved. In turn, I appreciated what I had.
Read and meditate on Matthew 6:25-26. What do these verses say to you?
How much is enough for you? Think beyond just money.
How will you start or show to be content with all you have?