I believe that you can tell a lot about someone based on their views around money. One of my favorite questions to ask people is what money represents to them. Some see it as a means to an end, some look at as a way to keep score on how good their life is progressing and others see it as something else.

At one point in life I was like most people, looking to figure out how I can make the most money possible, and whatever job had a salary that would make it so I could afford a certain lifestyle ended up being careers of interest. This all changed for me when I founded my startup LykeMe my senior year of college. When I founded LykeMe with my co-founders I remember receiving some very key advice about “The Golden Handcuffs”. People usually use this phrase when it comes to the compensation you get from a job that will then make it hard for you to leave the job, but I also see having a certain quality of life becoming handcuffs as well. As a founder I did not want to limit the things I could try by bloating my lifestyle and having to make x amount to afford that lifestyle. That is when I started embracing minimalism.

For the last 5 years I made it a point to not pursue opportunities that could potentially put me in Golden Handcuffs. I made sure to keep my expenses as low as possible to have as much flexibility as possible when it came to the choices that I wanted to make. I could fit my whole life into two duffle bags and a backpack up until this year. I do believe living like that for the last 5 years has influenced my views on money a lot.

I look at money as a tool and not the goal. I am not a person who feels like unless they are making $400K+ a year then they are failing at life. I definitely do not believe that money is the root of all happiness. I do think that once you have enough money to be stable the money you make on top of that will not have a material impact on your happiness.

I think all of us should really think about our relationship with money and if it is a healthy one or not.

Learning: @USC & @LiveNation