Gary Vaynerchuk wants young people to stop aspiring to earn millions of dollars. The 44-year-old self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur and CEO of VaynerMedia says he has seen that chasing after millions makes people miserable in life.
“If you’re under 25, you think you have to make a million dollars a year to be in the game,” Vaynerchuk told CNBC.
But “I wish every 16 year old on earth would think of $ 70,000, not a million,” he says.
“You’d have a whole different world. You’d have people who wouldn’t do things they hate.
Science supports Vaynerchuk’s premise.
First, studies have shown that people feel happier the more money they earn, but only up to about $ 75,000 per person per year. This is because money makes people so much happier that it allows you to meet basic needs like food, a place to live, and health care. After that, the correlation with happiness stops.
Beyond that, research also shows that, from a happiness standpoint, it is more important that your job gives meaning or purpose than a high salary.
“I have so many friends who make $ 53,000 a year and really enjoy their lives,” says Vaynerchuk. “And then, the fluke of my life for the past 20 years, I have an uncomfortable number of friends who make $ 12 million a year and are unhappy.
“I think we really need to redefine success.”
Vaynerchuk also points out that “the entry level into the 1% in America, one of the richest countries in the world, is [over] $ 400,000 a year” — indeed, you have to earn $ 478,000 to be among the richest 1%. in the United States, as of 2019.
So he also prefers the $ 70,000 benchmark because it “frames a conversation for people who can’t even imagine [making millions].” In other words, for someone early in their career, that number may seem more attainable.
On a personal level, when Vaynerchuk was between 20 and 30, “my life didn’t really have me running in makeshift or luxury circles,” he says. “I grew up in fairly modest places and as a poor student.”
Vaynerchuk immigrated to the United States from Belarus in the 1970s. His first job was to bag ice for his parents’ liquor store for $ 2 an hour. As a student at Mount Ida College, he created a YouTube channel to review fine wines, which turned him into an internet sensation.
But even with all of his success, Vaynerchuk believes there is “no correlation” between his happiness and how much money he has. Instead, he believes what makes him happy is the work he does.
“I love the entrepreneurship game, the good, the bad and the ugly,” he says. “And so I consider myself very happy because I love my process.”
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