Scott’s Thoughts: The Nature of Money

SHOE DOG by Phil Knight

“But that’s the nature of money. Whether you have it or not, whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, it will try to define your days. Our task as human beings is not to let it.”

-Phil Knight, American business magnate and philanthropist, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc.

Phil Knight’s memoir, “Shoe Dog” is a top-flight business memoir. Not only is it the engaging story of how Nike became one of the world’s top brands, but it also delivers a trove of wisdom any entrepreneur can use to enhance their life. If you’ve not checked it out yet, consider picking up a personal copy or checking out the audiobook version from your local library.

I thought the above quote about money was well worth considering this week as you serve your clients. This idea that money is a “force” trying to define your day is a useful mental model for taking stock of your values and how you spend your time.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How much have you let the pursuit of wealth dominate your day?
  • Has there ever been a time when you felt powerless to control your time because of money?
  • When was the last time you made a decision which cost you money, but preserved or even enhanced your humanity?
  • How often do you feel pressure to compromise your values because of money?

In a free market economy, money is often used to justify a wide range of behaviors, not all of them terribly noble. Knight doesn’t characterize money as inherently good or evil, but underscores how it can exert undue influence.

This week, try to remain mindful of money’s presence during your day. Pay particular attention to how it directs your actions.

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