Money, Fame, & Happiness

What the “Careers” Game Can Teach Us About Fulfillment

October 1, 2020

Earlier this week was the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur. For those who don’t know, Yom Kippur is a day of repenting for mistakes made in the past year and making amends for those wrongdoings. It is also a day of fasting, with some similarities to Ramadan for Muslims and Lent for Catholics. While yes, I was very hungry (ok, hangry) and did reflect on the things I regretted from the past year, I also spent a lot of time thinking about what is really important to me as I go forward.

To pass the time waiting until sunset when we could “break the fast,” our family played a board game called “Careers.”  It’s a game from the 50s that has many parallels to Monopoly or the Game of Life, where the goal is to reach your success formula – some balance of money, fame and happiness that you determine for yourself before the game starts using a points system. As you move around the board, the person who acquires enough points in each of the three categories per their personal, pre-chosen formula, wins.

While obviously dated in many ways (all of the instructions included only male pronouns, “he,” “him,” “his,” etc.), much of the game rang true to today. As we well know, ideally some form of each of these categories is key to success. We all need money to sustain ourselves and our families and, some of us more than others, to buy certain luxuries that are important to us. We also to some degree need fame, or some kind of recognition, for our efforts and to make us feel seen and appreciated. And last but not least, we all seek happiness, or at least contentment, to make us want to get out of bed in the morning and go out into the world (or to our home office). Just like in real life, getting happiness points in “Careers” is harder than gaining money or fame.

This year has been a time of reflection for all of us. So many questions have been lingering:

How do I make money (especially in a global pandemic or recession)?

How do I get people to know my name (especially if I’m building a new business or trying to get a new job)?

How do I find happiness (even in a world of chaos)?

Not only have I been thinking about these big questions on a personal level, but also when it comes to Bossible and the clients we serve. Obviously, there is no business without money. We all gotta get paid to keep the momentum going. However, much of establishing and growing a business or personal brand has to do with whether people know who you are and what you’re doing – that’s where the fame element comes in.  Relationships are everything – whether you are switching careers, launching a business or building an empire – others need to know your name and the services, products or expertise you provide. By knowing that you exist, you can develop or strengthen your reputation in your industry so others buy your product or hire you for your services, which ultimately leads to more $.

In today’s world, a lot of that awareness and relationship building happens digitally – through your website, social media, email campaigns, advertising as well as virtual networking, public speaking and writing engagements. Don’t be afraid of pursuing fame, as we all need it to some degree to be successful.

When it comes to ever elusive happiness, it’s much less tangible. For me, happiness in my career meant quitting my agency job four years ago to start a business with my mother, Francine Griesing, and her partner, Jessica Mazzeo, so that I could serve individuals and small businesses who I was really invested in. As for personal happiness, sometimes you just play a board game with your family and then eat a bagel afterwards.

P.S. Needless to say, my mom won the “Careers” game, which if you know her is very on brand!

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