April 7th, 2009
10:18 AM ET

Don’t confuse money with joy

Peter Bregman
Special to CNN

I started my consulting business 11 years ago with a laptop computer in a living room. It grew quickly.

The first year I made more money than I had in the previous three combined, the second year I doubled that and by the third year I began to fantasize about retiring within the decade.

Then everything crashed; the dotcom revolution, the financial services industry and my business.

I had a large number of subcontractors and a small number of employees who had become friends. I also had a bad feeling things wouldn't turn around quickly.

My wife and I were in a tough spot. We had one child and another on the way, bills that were accumulating and hopes for the future that were moving out of reach.

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Filed under: Economy • Finance
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Luis

    Don't confuse the dollar with money.

    Gold is money (intrinsic value)
    U.S. dollar is currency. (paper)

    April 7, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  2. Isabel

    Money does not bring happiness, he arranges to bring! This was a joke! I'm sorry!

    Jokes aside, I have experienced something similar 5 years ago. I dropped my job to open a business. I lost almost everything and when I was pregnant the game started to get serious. I was lucky, I restart, I got my job back.

    Today I weigh my decisions more.

    April 7, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  3. Vicky

    the whole thing with having money is to share it, to give back, help the poor, the homeless, chairties, then u will be happy. u cant just hold onto it and buy yourself nice things..because things dont make u happy, but helping someone in need, doing what Jesus would do... there is no greater joy than that.
    so in other words, if u have money, stop sitting on it, pass it around to people that actually need it, because u cant take it with you. 😉

    April 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  4. 1 Sherman

    This guy has discovered what most people miss. Money is not a cure-all. Its meets a basic need and that it. If money really made one truely happy, then "why are some many wealthy people miserable, drinking themselves to death, strung-out of perscription meds or dependent on their therapist for guidance. As Americans, we must re-evaluate what it means to bo happy. Happiness is not external, but rather internal. When you are content, irregardless of the circumstances, then you are truely happy.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  5. Sharon S

    I agree money does not buy you happiness but if you are already happy and content money can buy you a life of total freedom! Freedom from worry freedom from debt!

    But Money won't buy you love it won't buy you happiness those are the things that you have to accomplish on your own!

    Although I have to admitt spending money always makes me feel good!!! I just don't do it very often!

    April 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Some of the happiest people you will meet are the ones living paycheck to paycheck while most of the wealthiest are the most miserable people you will ever meet. So no..money does not equal happiness or self satisfaction. That's something you have to achieve on your own without outside interference.


    April 7, 2009 at 11:12 am |