6 things that money can’t buy in Business…

The Beatles told us that money can’t buy you love. But in business, arguably, that doesn’t really apply. So apart from love, according to Business Insider, which 9 things in the business community are impossible to purchase?

I’ve reviewed their list and selected just 6 of my top choices:

  • Respect – as the saying goes, respect is earned not bought. And I don’t mean the fake respect often bestowed upon a person in authority (like your boss) simply because you want / need something from them, no matter how they treat you. I also don’t mean the type of pseudo respect given for something that a person has achieved, rather than respecting the person for who they actually are. No, what I am referring to is genuine respect which is derived from a persons actions, demeanour and the way in which they communicate with you and others.

  • Skill – I like to think that I am a fairly decent cyclist. But the truth is, no matter how much I try to delude myself, I’m not. I’ve got all the gear (and no idea), enter races but never win anything and fall off quite a lot. But why? I train hard, have read countless books about technique, follow the pro-peloton riders at the Tour de France and keep up with all the latest technology. The reality is, none of this makes up for a distinct lack of skill. Throwing money at the problem can make marginal gains but without that crucial innate ability, I’m just wasting my hard earned cash.

  • Time – something of a cliche I suppose but it’s true that money simply can’t buy you more time. You can add more resource to make matters move on more swiftly but a time deadline is finite (unless you can negotiate an extension of course). And the clock is always against us, whether we don’t have sufficient time to complete a task or even when we actually have too much time to finish a project (let’s face it, we don’t get truly productive until we are seriously up against it).

  • Reputation – in the same way as respect, your reputation is earned (albeit sometimes unfairly). You could splash the cash and employ a PR agent to work on your reputation but the truth (particularly in this age of social media) will almost always come out (particularly if you are trying to hide some aspect of your reputation). Just ask Hugh Bonneville. Don’t ever forget, you are most often judged on your deeds and actions.

  • Work-Life balance“You can earn millions or zillions of dollars, but that money cannot buy you work-life balance. You yourself have to manage it”. According to research there is a tipping point of roughly $50k per annum where you sacrifice your work-life balance in favour of your career. It may help you to pay the bills and afford a higher standard of living but that in turn also inevitably comes with added responsibilities as you gradually become a wage slave.

  • Enough – is enough ever enough? For some people, evidently not. What constitutes enough for you? The article recounts a story about Joseph Heller, the author of Catch-22. At a party, a man commented that some of the attendees probably earned more money in a year than Hellers books had made in his lifetime. Heller looked at the guy and said ‘But I have one thing that they will never have’. The guy scoffed and replied with ‘What could that possibly be?’ And Joseph Heller simply said? ‘Enough’. 

So there you have my top 6 things that money can’t buy in business. Have you got any that you’d like to add to the list?

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Steve Blakeman is Managing Director - Global Accounts for OMD based in London / Paris. He was named by LinkedIn as a Top 10 Writer for Marketing & Social for 2015 (Top Voices) and also 'Agency Publisher of the Year' for EMEA. Please follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter