So you want to own a small business and funding is in the way. We’ve looked at reducing auto expenses, higher education costs and learned all about paying less than retail. But isn’t there a discouraging underlying message in all of this? We don’t question anything and instead, we buy…and buy some more.

Funny to think of how early George Carlin caught on to this troubling trend. This video was from 1986 but the original skit came years earlier. There are over 32,000 storage unit companies (companies-NOT units!) in the US as of 2011 whose only focus is in providing us additional room for our stuff. The average unit is between $50-$100 per month and many individuals forget or abandon the stuff that was important enough to warehouse. This doesn’t include an entire industry built on “organization”. How much stuff is enough and how much is simply too much? Seems like it is too much if you have to pay to store it or buy lots of storage products.

So why do we care?

Because every time you make a spur-of-the-moment purchase, you make a choice- a choice between the unnecessary and YOUR DREAMS.

You know what is most disturbing? We aren’t any happier-despite bigger houses, multiple cars, better education, dining out and technology. None of that has equaled contentment. And isn’t that what all of this is about-entrepreneurship, freedom, autonomy, small business ownership? We dream of these things because we are pursuing happiness. And stuff has been proven, time and time again, to just not do it. And in fact, the inability to let go of our clutter can stress us out or turn into a full blown mental illness.

Before you spend another dollar on a “thing”, take some time to ask yourself: will this purchase move me any closer to my dreams?

Some additional reading for you:

Authentic Happiness

Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less

University of PA’s Happiness Project (assessments, research, scales)

by Steven Schlagel