Money, money, money!

"Just because you're winning a game doesn't

mean it's a good game."

Seth Godin

It's that NBR Rich List time of year again where we all applaud the results of a select group of mainly older men that have amassed above a certain amount of money.z

But what if we are measuring the wrong metric of success? What's the real competition here? Why are we are so focused on rewarding the biggest profiteers? Because that’s how most of those guys are doing it through property or financial or even supermarkets - yes that's right supplying the basic human requirement of nourishment for our survival).

It’s understandable that as humans we want to do the best for ourselves and for our families but this desire has been taken over by the systemic issues of the drive for the success of the self at all costs. And this monetary-based success paradigm we live in is killing us our families and the planet.

As a frame of reference for that, never forget that globally we have the resources to feed, clothe and house EVERY human. We can land a space rocket on a floating pontoon in the ocean but we can't fix poverty and inequality? Yeah right! We just choose to maintain a narrative of imposed artificial scarcity and competition so that we don't.

Image from Space X via Mashable

It beggars belief that on one hand we all sit here and navel gaze about how hard it is to solve poverty and inequality in NZ, the number one thing Kiwis are most concerned about, whilst we publicly celebrate the fact that the 30th richest human in NZ is profiteering through the duopolistic supply of food.


Robett Hollis had a great counter idea of a "Poor List", where we identify worthy causes and donate money to them as an alternative. Just shovelling some money to these causes is ok, but we need systemic change. Otherwise all we are doing is having a big sausage sizzle so we can all say we have done our a little bit.

What I think we actually need is an Impact List. We should be applauding the people actually making a real difference in the lives of others in Aotearoa.

The reason we have such high rates of suicide, poverty, inequality, environmental destruction in Aotearoa is BECAUSE of the activity of the businesses that are aiming to be the best performers financially.

And here's the kicker! Most of us are helping to support all of this paradigm and most of us are having an awful time doing it.

"Our insatiable appetite to destroy the planet would make some sense if it actually made us happy"

Tim Jones

Just last week Carl Davidson wrote this great article on the phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs, There are clearly vast swathes of jobs that are not only meaningless, but actually at odds with the survival of the people undertaking them and the wider global population and planet. And yet somehow millions of people are willingly going along with this.

It has been normalised to the degree where some people now expect to not enjoy going to work. How mad is that! This lack of meaning and connection is prayed upon by the modern consumerist system, keeping us trapped there as we seek happiness in consuming trinketry.

And all this does is keep us on the hedonic treadmill, fuelling more bullshit jobs as businesses compete to higher extremes of consumerist bullshit fuelling more rich listers growth!

I have no doubt that many of the Rich Listers do some good. But what if they all did more good on the journey? Why does any single human need to amass so much wealth, other than to compensate for the lack of some emotional fulfilment?

Does the 30th richest human in NZ pay all his staff a living wage? Could he reduce the cost of his food to enable the 1000’s of families that buy from him to have a life with less financial stress? Could all of these business owners become not for profits and redistribute profit more equitably? More than likely. That’s real Impact. That’s real legacy. That's success that we all need. That’s what we need to solve the “complex” issues we face as a society.

I'll end with this for you to ponder on. Most people will know the name Martin Luther King Jr and that he was active in the mid to late 60's and what he achieved. Can anyone remember the 30th richest man in America from that time?


I'm a specialist trainer and coach who helps people and organisations define their big-picture purpose and grow positive change in the world. If you are a Rich Lister or high performing business leader and have started to realise that your job is Bullshit and you want to pivot to being able to leave a real legacy then get in touch - 0212882363.

#Purpose #Meaning #Impact


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