More money does NOT equal more happiness (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

In May of 2008, I left my dream job.

After 5 amazing seasons working for an NBA team, I was ready for a new challenge, for something even “bigger.”  I made the mistake of thinking that more money was the answer.

One of my clients was a very successful business owner making several million dollars a year, and he offered me a position in business development for his company.  Without asking myself if I was interested in and good at the work he wanted me to do, I looked at the income potential and accepted the job.

Over the next 12 months, I got to work for the best boss you could imagine, and I made even more money than I had made working in the NBA.  But, it was the unhappiest, least satisfying period of my career after college.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining.  I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have worked under great management while being compensated very generously.  However, during that year, I felt like my career and my life were purposeless.  Every morning, I would wake up and realize that I had another 8-10 hours doing work that felt meaningless to me

I gave that company everything I had.  However, my performance was nowhere close to the huge sales numbers I posted when working for the Washington Wizards because I was not interested in my work.  Given my lack of enthusiasm and my relatively poor performance, it became nearly impossible for me to enjoy the money I was making. 

After 9 months, I realized it was time for another change.  However, this time, I wanted to make my next move more carefully.

Over the next few months, I went through an intense period of self-reflection in order to identify my values, skills, and interests.  It was not a fast process, but it worked, and it was worth it. 

My turning point came on June 1, 2009.  I was sitting in my bedroom and happened to glance over at my bookshelf.  There were over 100 books that I had read (for fun) over the last 2 years on the topics of personal and professional development.  All of a sudden, it hit me.  Why can’t I motivate and teach others like these authors and speakers have done for me?  More importantly, why can’t I do it right now?

One month later, I resigned my sales job and launched a full-time career as a speaker, author, and service-minded entrepreneur.

Over the next 12 months, I did not make nearly as much money as I did the previous year.  However, I was 10 times happier because I was doing work that mattered to me and that utilized my strengths every day.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money.  I want to make money, too!  However, never let money become the #1 motivator for your career decisions.  More money does not equal more happiness.  More meaning equals more happiness…

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises



P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for the 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to 

Explore posts in the same categories: Get Your Dream Job NOW, Passion, Peak Performance, Self-Reflection

One Comment on “More money does NOT equal more happiness (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)”

  1. Steve Weber Says:

    Pete is right! Shifting one’s mindset from making money to making a difference is the key. Money will follow if you’re making a difference. Plus you’ll have a lot more fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: