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I think becoming rich is the new American dream. We’ve gone from wanting a home with a white picket fence to wanting a mansion with a private jet. It’s easier than ever to see everyone else’s wealth via tv and social media, and we want to be a part of that.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with wanting money for yourself, but I do think that we need to examine the road to riches. How are we building businesses and earning profit? What methods are we using to grow our businesses? Where does our effort come from, and how does that translate to becoming rich?

Personal Changes

How many stories of business owners pushing themselves to the brink of collapse have you read about? How many times have you seen the word ‘hustle’ in an article about building a business?

You need to work hard to be a success. But do you need to compromise everything in your life to be a success?

I think a more holistic approach to becoming rich and successful is one that says it’s ok to take a day off each week. It’s ok to rest your mind and body. It’s ok to prioritize things like enjoying time with other people, eating well, and taking time away from work. Continuing to glorify endless hustle leads to burnout and in many cases, toxic workplaces.

Another personal change that we as business owners can make is to make an effort to educate ourselves about the legal and financial laws around running a business. Having a great idea is only one part of running a successful business. We need to make it more accessible and easier to understand the business side of starting a business.

Small businesses account for 89.4% of businesses in the US. We are the backbone of the US, so let’s make it easier to get into business.

Business Changes

How we practice business means a lot to the world around us and those we come into contact with. Bad business leaders are easy to find; look at Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick and the numerous scandals that erupted from his leadership style.

Think about the business practices that you employ.

Employee treatment– Are you including paid time off for employees? Do you pay them enough to be able to live off that salary without needing another job? Are employees able to get in touch with you if they have a problem?

Work hours- How much of your time do you spend on work? Do you take time off on the weekends?

Morale- Is your workplace positive? Are you happy to show up to work, and can you uplift others?

Communication- How can your clients and customers reach you? How do you respond- telephone, email? Do you have a mandatory timeframe to respond in?

Taking in a wide frame view of your business and how you handle each level of operations can show you where you might be able to make some more holistic changes. Ask yourself if your business practices represent the internal values you hold. If you are profiting off of another person’s struggle, is that how you want to become rich? If you haven’t taken a day off in a month, is that how you want to become rich? Ho can you create a business that feels fulfilling to you and the people involved?

Becoming rich is a fine goal. But I believe there are certain roads that take you there in a more holistic way.

Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel, and she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

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