Status without Symbols

Although some celebrated examples of entrepreneurs are known for their flashy displays of wealth, most successful Freedom Fighters are modest about their money, using it as an internal gauge of their success as opposed to an external beacon. Dr. Thomas J. Stanley describes this phenomenon in his book Selling to the Affluent.26 Stanley distinguishes between an affluent business owner and a wealthy professional such as a stockbroker or lawyer. Stanley suggests that the successful stockbroker or lawyer purchases prestige-oriented products as a badge of their superiority: a symbol of their respectability and a way of labeling themselves as successful operators within a profession that society often discounts as somewhat less respectable (heard any good lawyer jokes lately?).

This is in sharp contrast to the successful Freedom Fighter, who derives an enormous amount of self-confidence from the creation of a business. Combine what Maslow called "self-actualization" with the high levels of respect business owners are afforded in the community, and successful Freedom Fighters are much less likely to reach for status symbols to feel important. Dr. Stanley points to their desire to be recognized within their industry as a much stronger motivator than their desire to scream their success at the world at large.

The Productive Entrepreneur

The Productive Entrepreneur

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