Self-made millionaire: to be happy, young people must aspire to earn $ 70,000 a year, not millions.

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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