Your self is your wealth: it’s not just the money!
When we think of wealth and capital, we often focus on one thing - cold hard cash. But capital is so much more than money! In addition to financial capital, human and intellectual capital are integral components of our lives—understanding and using them, in conjunction with natural talents, allows us to capitalize on our strengths, share our gifts with the world, and live life more fully.
What are the 3 types of capital?
Human capital is your inherent skill set. It’s the things you’re instinctually good at, personally and professionally, combined with your life experiences and knowledge. Human capital makes what you bring to the workplace and relationships unique and marketable. Your past experiences and perspective, and how they are applied to business and interpersonal challenges, are a big part of what makes you a valuable employee.
Intellectual capital refers your capacity to use the knowledge you’ve gained to make a positive impact on your environment. You might be street smart or book smart. You might have a high Emotional Quotient or be particularly well read. Your intellectual capital is a combination of knowledge you bring from your education, your studies, and what you've learned through your experiences. But it’s also expressed in your ability to solve problems, to read a room, or express empathy. Intellectual capital is like a muscle. You have to use it, flex it, break it and build it to continue to improve it and ultimately become more valuable to others.
Financial capital is the value of the assets earned through work. While financial capital is the most tangible result of applying your human and intellectual capital in business, you need those same traits to effectively manage and use the money you make. Whether you’re a spender or saver, understanding the “why” behind your financial habits and desires allows you to be effective, intentional, and purposeful with regard to your finances.
Defining your personal money message
To some degree, all three types of capital influence how you think and feel about money.
I held a workshop for a client where we focused on understanding the different types of capital. In one exercise, participants talked about the “money messages” they received as they were growing up. One woman, Susie, explained that, in her family, money was a very sensitive and uncomfortable topic. Her family’s “money message” was this: We don’t talk about money.
We also talked about the “money message” you give to the world—how you want people to regard your relationship with money. As an adult, Susie felt it was important to have financial conversations. She also felt strongly that she wanted to be intentional with her finances and philanthropy. She wanted her personal money message to be: I’m connected to the world through my financial capital.
Susie realized that she’d need to connect with people who could help her learn how to earn, save, and invest in order to be able to give money away, especially since she didn’t learn about those types of financial concepts growing up.
How Do Strengths Come Into Play?
Knowing our strengths allows us to tap into the things we naturally do well and to excel at them.
In this instance, when Susie took the CliftonStrengths assessment, we weren’t surprised to find that one of her top strengths was connectedness, which is a relationship-building strength.
Knowing this helped her realize that by using her strength she could connect with others to have people teach and guide her. Doing so would enable her to learn those financial concepts and pursue her goals.
Why Does It Matter?
When we know our CliftonStrengths, we can apply them to our human, intellectual, and financial capital. That matters because:
1. Your self is your wealth.
When you know your strengths, you can be intentional about how you shape your wealth. I helps you clarify your identity in all 3 areas of capital.
2. You’ll be able to articulate why certain things are important to you.
This verbal self-talk is powerful because it helps people understand you and allows them to more effectively respond to you. In essence, having this type of clarity can help you speak your reality into being.
3. It can help you choose purposeful work and live a more fulfilling life.
When you understand and capitalize on your strengths, you can do work that brings you energy and aligns with them. I strongly believe that when those things happen and you share your strengths, the world provides.
If I’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to find out more about your strengths and how they relate to human, intellectual and financial capital, set up an informational meeting with Millennial Guru today. We’d love to help you understand how you can capitalize on your strengths to make the most of each types of capital in your life.