The Two Approaches To Life


The Two Approaches To Life for Entrepreneurs, Executives, and Leaders

Meet George.

George runs a company with 50 people in one location.

The modern and innovative culture can be seen by walking through the office. Dark colors, plenty of snacks, and an open environment. 

George has always wanted to run his own company.

It was a childhood dream and now he's created this for himself. Personally, he lives in what most would consider a mansion. 8 rooms, a pool, a large layout with a lot of space and great light.

Another piece of George's childhood dream is owning a Ferrari. And his dream has evolved a bit more.

In addition to now owning the Ferrari, he has it all. The yacht, the outdoor sport vehicles, the surf boards, and more. Maybe he doesn't use everything all the time, but he does a lot and he likes to treat himself.

George values his toys, doing work in his company, and enjoying it all.

When most people meet George, they are inspired by his level of success. He definitely has earned it. 

Meet Jane.

Jane, who also runs a company of 50 people, doesn't have everyone under one roof.

She runs a remote company. Her team is spread around the world. 

While Jane's company is just as successful as George's company (financially speaking), she chooses to run it, and her life differently.

She owns little. The things she does own can fit in her backpack and they are each chosen carefully and are of quality. She doesn't own a home, and she doesn't rent traditionally, either. Instead, she chooses to live around the world in exotic Airbnb's where she's inspired to work and run her business. Some people on her team run their life in a similar way, too.

Jane is an explorer, who does her work and enjoys experiences around the world.

Let's dive a level deeper and look at the two life models at play here.

George lives in a "have-do-be" world.

Jane lives in a "be-do-have" world.

George lives to have his fun toys and his company, do his work, and be happy and successful. 

Jane chooses to first be happy and successful, do her work, and have her adventurous experiences. 

George is more likely to invest in a big beautiful home, a new car, or an expensive hotel. George is focused on what new toys he can get and what they allow him to do. 

Jane is more likely to invest in herself and who she is. This may be through unique experiences that personally enrich who she is. Jane values who she is being.

George might be better at taking action. His being relies or is dependent on what he has. When he has his company and his toys, then he can do the work he wants, and then he can become happy and successful. Again, his being is dependent on what he has.

Jane might use words like "meaningful" or be considered "thoughtful." It's a way of being, it's who she is. Her being affects the work that she does and how she experiences what she has. She may still like nice toys, but she doesn't rely on them to make her happy or successful. Instead, she begins with being happy and successful, and she knows this will support her in getting more of what she wants. 

Sure, George and Jane have different values, too. George values the physical world and physical things. Jane values experience over physical things. Also, someone with a lifestyle like George's can live in a be-do-have world. And someone with a lifestyle like Jane can live in a have-do-be world.

George may think like this...

"When I have more time, then I can do more things with my kids, then I can be happy at home."

"When I have more money, then I can do more of what I want, then I can be more at peace."

"When I have more support, then I can do more fun sports, then I can be more active. "

The cycle here is that in order to become something, George must first have something, then he can do something. Said differently, in order to do something he must first have something. Then he can become something.

Jane may think like this...

"When I commit to being happy, then I can do my best work, then I can have the life that I create." 

"When I commit to being peaceful, then I can do my best work, then I can have the experiences that come with this life."

"When I commit to being successful, then I can do my best work as a success, then I can have the rewards of being successful."

The essence here is that Jane begins with who she is, and she allows that to affect what she does, and ultimately what she has. She doesn't wait to have the "right things" in place. She doesn't wait for the "perfect moment."

Why do people live one way versus the other? 

Short answer, it depends.

Longer answer, what was observed growing up?

For example, if your parents lived more like George, then you might naturally unfold into that model because that's what was normal to you. That was in your realm of awareness. 

If your parents lived more like Jane, then you might focus more on who you are, and the work you do, and what you have as a result. 

George's model is also much more simpler to grasp. We grow up seeing the nice toys, big cars, and beautiful homes. That's tangible, we can wrap our minds around it. I'm not saying George is simpler, only that his model for living is simpler for him to understand. 

George's model is also usually what is experienced growing up. The thinking goes, "if you have the skills, or the smarts, or the confidence, or the charisma, then you can do what you truly want to do, then you can become successful or happy." 

Or here's one... if you have the good grades, then you can do what you want because you're a good student. Sound familiar?

George may believe that to be successful, it has to be hard, painful, and maybe even dramatic. 

George is the type of person most companies advertise to. "If you have our product, then you can do this your way, and you can become amazing/confident/powerful/successful/good looking/insert your flavor here."

Jane's model is a bit more abstract. "Being" – what does that even mean? She chooses who she is being. 

Getting stuck in one area is possible.

You can get stuck in this model, too.

George can get stuck in having (or not having). eg. he can get stuck in never "having" enough.

Or can he can stuck in "doing" – always busy.

Jane can also get so focused on "being" that she doesn't do. She never invests the effort in doing so she doesn't have.

Why is this important? 

When this is understood, it can be optimized, or perhaps even changed.

"Yes, that's me. I must have the right pieces in place before I can do what I really want to do."

Or, "Yes, that's me. If I evolve my being, who I am, it can affect everything else I do and the life I have." 

Also, when this is understood, you can begin to see how the way you see your world supports your underlying model of the world. 

For example, someone who lives in a "have-do-be" world can see that they "don't have enough" of a lot of things. 

Not enough time.

Not enough money.

Not enough support. 

They are held back by what they think they do not have. 

Someone who lives in a be-do-have world see's that they choose who they are. 

Is one better than the other? 

Well, that depends. 

It depends if you are a George or a Jane.

It depends if you feel you are getting what you really want.

Only you know that answer. 


Matthew Gallizzi believes humans create the world they live in. He equips entrepreneurs in mastering their mental game. The results are greater impact and more freedom.

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