The older you get, the more you come to learn that money is not one of the most important things in life. Society teaches us that the people with the biggest wallets and most luxuries are the most successful. Yet, there are plenty of cases of the rich and wealthy feeling unfulfilled or that they are missing out on more important things in life. With that said, who’s to say money is the key to happiness?

Employee Engagement and Sustainability 

Noble laureate and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan had a wonderful quote: “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

Measuring success in purely monetary terms is a problematic exercise for people, but it might be an even more inappropriate metric for measuring the health of businesses. When the bottom line becomes all-important, the well-being of employees and the well-being of the community can sometimes be put on the back burner, if not entirely out of mind.

One could make the argument that the most successful businesses are the ones that balance profits against employee engagement and sustainability. Higher employee engagement ensures that employees are making a more impactful contribution to the company and bringing their full creativity to bear on every project. Sustainable growth might mean that businesses seek out Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications and make investments in the communities where they operate. 

Strive for a Work-life Balance 

Consider two different lives – one in which a small business owner is dedicated entirely to work versus a life in which a small business owner has a business, an amazing family, exciting hobbies, and an active social life. Which one would be better? You’d probably choose the ladder. 

The fact is that a proper work-life balance can lead to greater fulfillment in life and prevent burnout on the job. Less stress and more creativity could be the result of finding a more balanced equilibrium between the rigors of work and the joys of family, friends, and hobbies. 

A better work-life balance could start with reassessing the kind of relationship you want to have with work. After reconsidering the options, many business owners decide to do something entirely different in their twilight years or invest philanthropically.

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