We all know the Beatles song, “Can’t Buy Me Love.” And…we all know the t-shirts that say things like “Money can’t buy me happiness but it can buy me a boat/fancy clothes/expensive shoes (fill in the blank) and isn’t that the same thing?”
Well…those are funny, but the truth behind it is that money really can’t buy you the things that are important in business. The things you need are self-taught, learned, innate skills. These are things that you can cultivate with practice if they don’t come easily to you. These are things that if you don’t have them, you may possibly be successful in business if you’re also lucky. But if you do have them, you can most assuredly be successful in business.
Without even talking about love, let’s look at 10 things money can’t buy and see what I mean.
1. Manners – Civility and decency go beyond just knowing what fork to use at the place setting. Manners is high-level kindness and caring in the form of how you treat your employees and neighbors. It’s also as simple as turning off your phone ringer when you’re in a face-to-face meeting with someone so they feel appreciated and heard.
2. Respect – When you’re young, you’re taught to respect your elders or your siblings, sometimes no matter what they do. As you got older, you likely figured out that respect should be earned. Now you know that people respect other people who keep their word. Those who are tolerant and accepting of various views and try to understand them. Those who present their authentic selves to the world. Those who have a value system and live by it. None of those things have anything to do with how munch money is in your wallet.
3. Knowledge – Your money can buy books, podcasts and e-courses, but it can’t buy experience. It can’t buy wisdom.
4. Compassion and Empathy – Caring about how others feel and the impact of the world on them is something no amount of money can buy.
5. Integrity – Whether you all if morals, or character, integrity is all about doing what you say you will do, delivering what your company promises. That boils down to honesty. If you look at the origin of the word, it means being one. In other words, being true to yourself and true to how you treat others, even when no one is watching.
6. Trust – Trust is an important part of being human, It’s a means of survival for those who must depend on others for help. In business, you only gain trust by showing someone over and over that they can depend on you. Again, this has nothing to do with how you’re bank account looks.
7. Loyalty – You can spend a million dollars on advertising, but it won’t matter if the customers don’t stick with you. What makes them stick with you? Everything else on this list.
8. Satisfaction – You’ll only feel personally satisfied if you get some sense of fulfillment out of what you’re doing everyday. Money is often a great motivating tool, but only personal satisfaction feeds your spirit.
9. Confidence – People want to do business with people who feel sure of themselves. don’t mumble, fumble or stumble when you’re talking to people. You can increase your confidence through practice and “faking it till you make it,” but you can’t buy confidence. Whatever temporary courage you feel because you have a stack of bills in your wallet is just that, temporary. And it’s not really confidence until you have it no matter what.
10. Forgiveness – You can’t buy or bribe someone to forgive you when you make a mistake. And you will make mistakes. But if you have enough of these other qualities on this list, your customers will forgive you if you make a mistake and they will give you another chance. If you don’t have the other qualities on this list, you’ll rarely get a chance to make it right with anyone, whether they’re a customer or a personal relationship.