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3 Strategies for Pursuing Significance with Your Finances

Winning at What Matters Most: 3 Strategies for Pursuing Significance with Your Finances

What does it look like to live a life of significance with the resources we’ve been given? Believe it or not, our money can be our biggest obstacle or our biggest resource in our pursuit of this worthy goal. Below are three strategies I’ve found to be helpful—both in my life and the lives of those I have counseled as a financial advisor—in seeking a life of purpose, consequence, and significance.

1. Recognize money’s double-edged impact

Money is the chief competitor to a life of significance. It lures us to relax into comfort and leisure. Money can numb us to the realities and pains those around us are experiencing and prevent us from seeing ourselves as others do.

My friend told a story about his neighbor’s transition into the role of CEO at a major Fortune 100 company. As the previous CEO was passing on the baton, he told the new CEO, “Your jokes about to get really funny.” His advice wasn’t just about his jokes. People who are successful, rich, and famous are perceived as smarter, funnier, and better-looking.

With almost superhero origin stories, there is a moment when we hear, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So here is my superhero lecture. To whom much is given, much is expected. Your influence as a high-capacity leader is greater in both ways—you can make a big negative or a big positive impact.

2. Focus on adding fruit to others' trees

“My fruit needs to be growing on other people’s trees.” The words struck me as I sat in the coffee shop in Atlanta. It came from a man who has been successful in every regard. He had started businesses and sold them. His life is now trying to help others be successful too. He is living out what John Maxwell says: “Success is when I add value to myself; significance is when I add value to others.”

Money tends to move our focus to ourselves. But what if our focus shifted to helping others? We could be truly significant with our whole life. Success is more than money—it’s all the key currencies of our life: our time, energy, compassion, money, and presence. What if we become the kind of people who invest not merely in our own net worth, but in the lives of people around us? What if we could be people who transform our spheres of influence? Why not you? Why not now?

3. Figure out where failure isn’t an option.

I want to be successful, but not at the expense of my family. I want to impact my world, but not at the expense of my faith. What are your no-option failure spots?

Francis Chan said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” What if we were more afraid of the right things? So many who lose their families on the altar of progress didn’t plan to do so. They simply were afraid of the wrong things. They feared getting behind, missing out, and not advancing quickly enough.

Our drive to win can actually be healthy in those areas. I’m not anti-progress. I like winning just like you do. But let’s make sure we are winning where it matters most. Who knows what could happen if we clearly knew what mattered most and lived in light of that list. Who knows what could happen if we lived with the purpose of being significant in the lives of others!

Todd DeKruyter is the founder of DK Financial Group and Reclamation Builders. He is a Chartered Financial Consultant(TM) (ChFC(R)) and a member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Indianapolis. He has served as a board member with Financial Planning Association of Greater Indianapolis and as the chair of their pro-bono committee. Combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a missional focus, Todd DeKruyter uses his financial and philanthropic expertise to help families and individuals stay true to what matters as they navigate professional and financial success. 

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Delmaine Donson

Publication date: April 7, 2017

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