Do you know the Dalai Lama’s net worth?

No reason why you would. To save you the Google search, his net worth is approximately £150million.

This fortune has been created from his lifetime commitment to leadership, spirituality, politics, and world peace, as well as being a leading author and actor... Yes he’s made appearances in over 10 films, according to IMDB.

Having spoken to a lot of millennial business owners over the last few years, I am getting a sense from more and more of us that saying, thinking or actually wanting to be as rich as you can be, is almost a bit taboo.

It’s like we’re ashamed of saying ‘Yeah I am building a business or developing an app so that I can sell it to Google and make a sh*t tonne of dough, so that I can change mine and everyone I care about's lives forever’.

We are using more and more buzzwords, like “legacy” and “culture”, when talking about our vision for the business. Both of which, the latter in particular, are hugely important, and I wouldn’t suggest for one minute that these aren’t key to your business goals, but I am just wondering why we are less and less inclined to talk about making serious money? Or, to even acknowledge that it is something we’ve always wanted to do?

Again, I know that setting out on a journey to make as much money as you can is a sure fire way to either fail completely, or worse (arguably!), make all the money in the world and still end up lonely and miserable but I do think we’ve gone too far the other way.

Money IS power. It gives you choices. It enables. It means you can leave a wide spread legacy. It means you can continue to not just create a culture, but embed that culture in places that were previously out of reach, to people you may not ever even meet. Whilst we live in a Capitalist society, it really does make the world go round.

Each time I meet a new client who is talking about their ambitious business aspirations, and they are visibly uncomfortable about talking about how much money they want to make from it, I ask them if they know the Dalai Lama’s - the world's most peaceful and spiritual man - net worth. When I tell them he’s banked £150M, it kinda makes everyone in the room feel a little bit better about their own ambitions.

Funny isn't it? It’s like they are a bit more accepting that wanting megabucks is okay and a bit more content that this is actually one (of many) of their aims in life. It also works for me. I don’t like thinking or admitting that I want to make serious coin. It feels vulgar and shallow, and it really isn't the be all and end all, but when I think that the Dalai Lama has made all that cash, it kinda paves the way for us lesser mortals to think that it’s okay to have similar aspirations. He manages to realign my moral compass so that I’m okay with my own warped feelings.

Does knowing this help you feel a bit better?

Mind you, this does all come with the caveat that, as a strict Buddhist Monk, he uses next to nothing of his net worth for personal gain and all his earnings go towards his various charity projects.

I never said you shouldn’t give it all away if that is what you wish to do, just that you shouldn’t feel bad in wanting to get it in the first place.


Alfie Mullan, March 2019

Want to hold a conversation that will quite literally change your life? Well drop me an email and we can get this new life on the road.