When 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.