What They Don’t Teach You in Business School About Wealth and Money

Wealth is more than just a balance sheet. It’s how you feel about your life and yourself. Wealth is about having the freedom to choose what you do with your time and energy. It’s about feeling confident that no matter what happens, you’ll be able to take care of yourself and the people you love—and even if it doesn’t look like anything else in the world, this definition is personal.

business school teaching

1. You Can’t Compete Against Luck

You cannot compete against luck. If you’re in a roulette game where the odds are not fixed, and there’s no way to know what those odds are and how likely you’ll win, you’re playing the game simply by competing against luck. You can’t win if you don’t know what the odds are.

But there’s no need to be discouraged just because you can’t compete against luck! Don’t give up on yourself just yet: even though we can’t know exactly how much our success depends on intelligence, talent, or hard work (and it probably depends on all of these things), we know those factors aren’t everything. If you have invested in developing your intelligence and talents but still are short on funds, perhaps it’s time for some new investments.

Remember: everyone who has ever been successful at anything has also been lucky at some point—that doesn’t mean they’re any less deserving than anyone else; it means their efforts brought them into contact with opportunities that other people missed out on because they weren’t looking for them as hard! We all have different ways of being lucky – so don’t worry about being unlucky if someone else seems more fortunate than you. And who knows – maybe one day soon, your luck will come around too!

2. You Have to Be Comfortable With Failure

We all fail sometimes. The question is, do you know how to learn from it?

I learned this the hard way. After I quit my job and decided to start a business on my own, I thought that everything would be smooth sailing from there on out. Boy, was I wrong! My first year as an entrepreneur has been full of ups and downs—and primarily downs—but one thing that’s stayed consistent throughout has been the feeling of being overwhelmed by failure after failure after failure…and so on ad nauseam until infinity (or at least until last week).

But here’s what no one tells you about building your business: If you’re not comfortable with failing constantly and learning from it every time, then don’t even try because chances are high that you’ll never succeed. If there were one piece of advice I could give someone who wants to start their own company or become an entrepreneur in any capacity, it would be this: Be prepared for constant failures and make sure they don’t keep you from pursuing what matters most.

3. You Will Be Judged

You will be judged. It is inevitable, and there’s no way around it. People will judge you based on your appearance, the company you keep, and even the material possessions that surround you.

You may think there is nothing wrong with being judged by others because you believe these judgments to be fair or justifiable. But this can hold back your progress towards wealth and success in business by limiting who has access to you—and who does not have access to opportunities for wealth creation due to their low social status.

It’s important not to let these opinions bother you because most people are unwilling or unable to help themselves rise above their self-imposed limitations of perception, which restricts them from seeing what they don’t want or need to see—like how valuable someone indeed can be if given a chance.

4. You Will Have Intentions, Not a Plan

The school of thought that says you can predict the future is essentially dead. Your vision and mission will change throughout your life, and so will your goals and objectives. Rather than trying to come up with a long-term plan for your finances (and inevitably being frustrated when it doesn’t happen), focus on what you want to do now, in the present.

You’ll find that if you keep moving forward toward those short-term goals instead of focusing on the big picture, everything else falls into place naturally along the way.

5. Your Definition of Wealth Is Personal

In class, you may have learned that wealth measures your net worth. But the definition of wealth is much more personal and holistic than just money. According to TruNorth Financial Advisors, wealth is relative and personal. For some, wealth is the ability to buy financial freedom; for others, it is the ability to travel worldwide.

The true definition of wealth is living in a way that allows you to pursue what matters most to you. It’s about being healthy, happy, and fulfilled; having love in your life; being able to give back; building solid relationships with family members and friends; focusing on making an impact on society through your work or volunteer activities; feeling confident about the future because of what you’ve built thus far; being able to take risks without fear of failure, and so much more.

There is more to being wealthy than just having money.

When people think of wealth, they often associate it with having lots of money. But that is not the only way to define wealth. Wealth is a state of mind that can be measured in many ways besides just dollars and cents.

There are many other components that make up wealth: happiness, generosity, health, and connection to others are all part of the equation.

So maybe you don’t have a lot of cash yet, but if you have those other things, congratulations! You already have some measure of all the riches in this world.


Being wealthy is about more than just money. It’s about being comfortable with failure, knowing that you have to be a little lucky, and having the courage to dream big and live those dreams. Wealth isn’t something you can cleanly break down into numbers and graphs; it’s a feeling of peace with yourself and the world around you.


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