Wealth: Is It Worth It? by S. Truett Cathy

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Wealth: Is It Worth It? by S. Truett CathyWhen it comes to books about money, I really enjoy books that are more about philosophy and approach, than ones that prescribe a particular way of doing something using charts and forms. Financially, we’re on solid ground and so the instruction manual type of book isn’t something that will give us the most value for our time spent reading. That said, Truett Cathy’s new book on wealth (Wealth: Is It Worth It?) is exactly in that first camp – it’s a philosophical book that happens to be a little bit about money and a lot more about an approach to life.

For those who don’t know, S. Truett Cathy is the founder of Chick-fil-A. If you don’t know what Chick-fil-A is, I’m very sorry for you because it’s probably one of my favorite fast food places. The food is great, the service has always been phenomenal, and I appreciate that they treat their employees very well. Cathy is also a very religious person and the fact that Chick-fil-A’s are closed on Sundays (yes, a food service business that does $4 billion in sales is closed 1/7th of the time) is irrefutable proof that the man lives what he says.

The book discusses wealth in a very matter of fact way – it’s not the panacea to life’s troubles and it’s not the Holy Grail. Money is simply a claim check on other people’s products and services. It’s a concrete way of saying money enables you to buy stuff and pay for services, which is true. Once you have enough, is more necessary?

To that end, he uses lots of examples, and several interviews, to drive point the home that the point of life isn’t money. Once you acquire enough, you should looking towards the future and how you can help others. Sometimes helping others means sharing your time, sometimes it’s sharing your resources, and sometimes it’s sharing your love. There are some problems money cannot solve (this mirrors something my grandfather once said – “If all your problems can be solved with money, you should be very happy.”).

Finally, my favorite quote from the entire book:

If it takes seven days to make a living, you ought to be doing something else.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “Wealth: Is It Worth It? by S. Truett Cathy”

  1. STRONGside says:

    I have not read the book, but I have long admired Truett Cathy for his principles and dedication to what he believes is right. You honestly don’t see that much today in the cut throat world of business. I love that last quote as well!

  2. JamesV says:

    Love that last quote too!

    If you can’t do in 40 hours or less per week, you’re working too hard or taking too much time away from your family/mission in life.

    • Ryan says:

      To play devils advocate here…what about doctors? It’s very common for them to work more than the “standard” 40 hours a week.

      • Shirley says:

        I think doctors are among the many people who chose their profession with service to others in mind rather than huge incomes. They surely know ahead of time that this profession will take a more than normal amount of their lives, but it is also their mission in life and their passion.

  3. Wilma says:

    I will be putting this on my list. Thanks

  4. Surewhitey says:

    I totally agree on the 40 hr week or less theory. We’ve done it for 20 & 26 years and now we’re taking 2-5 years to travel & do volunteer work starting in Mexico. If it doesn’t work out, we’re only 40 & 46 now & we can come back and get back on the working wagon.

    I don’t see how we wouldn’t make it work…

    If you have enough to replace your expenses, what more do you need? All the crap “they” say you “need” is just the “man keeping you down”…

  5. govenar says:

    I like Chick-fil-A… there’s none in my area though 🙁

  6. adam carolla fan says:

    the little scottish lad and steel tycoon andrew carnegie once said:

    the first half of your life should be devoted to earning money, and the second half of your life should be devoted to giving it all away.

  7. Donald says:

    I only wish I had enough wealth to wax philosophical about it. From his lofty position, it’s too easy for Cathy to lecture us about working too hard, but with nearly 10% unemployment and the need for health insurance, some of us are stuck in jobs that we would obviously not freely choose to stay in if we had his wealth. I’m sure he is a very nice man, but this may not be the best time for this particular book.

  8. Shirley says:

    “If it takes seven days to make a living, you ought to be doing something else.”

    For about four years it did take me seven days and then I did find something else.
    Now we spend seven days enjoying living. Looking back (hindsight does diminish the hardships) was 50 years of working worth what we have now? Oh yes, most definitely!

  9. skylog says:

    thanks for the suggestion. i actually just ate at chick-fil-a for the first time friday. it was certainly tasty. i look forward to looking further into the work environment there, based on what you mentioned.

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