If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Richard Holliday on Wealth

For some, financial wealth comes by chance — the lucky, sperm group with large financial inheritance, and even lottery winners. Others don’t seriously pursue a path to wealth. They commit to service roles, such as teaching, preaching, and nursing, and don’t do it for the money. They measure success in terms of the number of people they’ve helped or perhaps their ranking in their field. Still others choose careers in the military or civil service. 

So, while it’s certainly true that many people regard financial wealth as a yardstick of success, I do not. My own opinions about money have changed little over the past half-century. When at the Harvard Business School, one of our professors asked us to write what we wanted out of our careers. I recall vividly that my response was to be successful enough financially to enjoy a good life, to provide my prospective family with financial security, and to have the time to enjoy my family and personal time.

Certainly I’ve not ranked in the top of our class in terms of financial wealth, but I take great satisfaction from achieving my defined goals.

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