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Rich vs. Wealthy: How Do You Want Your Life to Be Defined?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / May 24, 2013

Rich vs. WealthyI was recently told about the difference between rich and wealthy by a brilliant man who wishes to remain anonymous.  “Rich is waking up at 4am in Long Island in the 1980’s in order to take the train into the city and make millions on Wall Street.  Wealthy is waking up without an alarm clock.”

This makes perfect sense.  Being rich is about having a lot of money, being wealthy is about living a great life, doing what you please, and simply “freedom.”

I see every day as an opportunity to work and fight for my wealth.  I do not care how much money I have, I need only as much to do the things I deem most important in life.  I want make sure that I am available every day for my friends and family.  I ensure I can be wherever I want and with whomever I please.  I yearn to have time to focus on myself, to be a better person.

In my mind wealth is procured in two ways.  One way is to be a slave to your desk, boss and rigid schedule for a great number of years and then retire.  The other way is to be an entrepreneur, a person who works without any orders, and does whatever they please.

I am an entrepreneur.

In writing this piece I came across a definition of what anentrepreneur lifestyle is:
“An individual that creates a business with the purpose of altering their personal lifestyle and not for the sole purpose of making profits. A lifestyle entrepreneur focuses more on the life rewards provided to people that enjoy and have a passion for what they are doing. There is a possibility that the business will do particularity well since the individual has a passion for what he/she is doing.”
To me, this simply means wealth.

I reflect on a recent day I had, which is fairly typical of my life and business.  I rose at 6am, as the sun entered my bedroom, and as CNBC switched from talking about the Asian markets to the US ones.  The TV was on all night.  My eyes opened with excitement, ready to conquer a new day-one that would surely be filled with excitement.  I took a shower, and put on a suit.  I always wear a suit in order to instill confidence as well as present myself in the best way possible to whoever I encounter.  You look as good as you feel, and you feel as good as you look.  I then got on my computer, and started speaking with my friends and associates overseas as well as the ones who are up early in the US, like me.  I had a conversation going with my friend in Belarus (who is one of my best mentors and advisers), a guy in Azerbaijan working in his family’s furniture-manufacturing company and shared some thoughts with a finical wiz in New York about what may happen in the markets that day.  I took a call from Jerusalem in order to speak with an Ultra Orthodox Jew who is mining diamonds in Africa and looking towards me to help him find investment.  I went to my office to work on my main focus-bringing mobile payments to municipality meters and lots, with a software company I am partnered with in Israel.  In the office, I generally field variety of phone calls, send emails and me with my partner.  I also take the time to read the Wall Street Journal.  At lunch time, I headed to the gym which is very important for me, as it gives me the chance to clear my head, think about that morning and what was needed to be done in the afternoon.  After the gym I got myself a manicure.  I love manicures and pedicures.  I came back to the office to grind some more until my meeting late in the afternoon with Senator Joe Robach to discuss the implementation of our mobile software into parking spaces owned by New York State.  I came home afterwards to have dinner and continued my work into the early evening until I headed off to Buffalo to attend a concert with my brother.  I was up the crack of dawn the next day, to start it all over again.

I believe that my routine that day is not far from what a lot of entrepreneurs experience each day.  I want to showcase to others the importance of working hard, but also enjoying one’s life and taking care of one’s self.  A business teacher of mine, Larry Shulz always used to say, “You gotta have fun in life!  But you can not have fun without a little money.”  It is necessary to work extremely hard to get the things in life that we deserve, however it is not necessary to be a slave to anyone but one’s self.  People should not focus on money, but rather focus on their lifestyle.  By taking a look at a day in my life-it is clear that each and every day I am simultaneously trying to work as hard as I can while enjoy my life to the highest degree.  I urge everyone to think about how they live their life, how they view their work, and think about what they can do to make each day truly special.  Think about becoming an entrepreneur.  Take a risk.  Get yourself out there.  Work harder than you ever have.  Have some fun.  Enjoy life.

My life is filled with a constant flow of work.  I never can kick my feet up and call it a day.  It is a 24/7 grind that certainly not for the faint of heart.  Yet, I can do whatever I want.  I can be wherever I want, and with whomever I want.  And I always take time for myself.  I wake up every day without an alarm.  I am wealthy.

Jeremy W. Crane is a serial entrepreneur from Rochester, New York and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergrad.  He is currently working on bringing mobile payments to municipality and private parking meters, lots and garages throughout the US and world, as well as starting an e-commerce/flash sale business.  He is most passionate about his good friends and family, especially his brothers Dan and Ari.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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