In this blog, I'm going to share a story about the rock legend Dave Mustaine. I believe sharing his story with your kids can help them learn a very important lesson about money and success.
Who is Dave Mustaine?
I'm guessing most of you don't know who Dave Mustaine is. I didn't until very recently. He is the lead guitarist for a band named Megadeth and is considered one of the greatest rock guitarists to ever live.
Megadeth have been around since the mid-1980’s and sold over 40 million albums. They aren’t my cup of tea but certainly have a large and loyal following.
Based on the success of his band, you would have thought Dave would be pretty happy with himself. He has more money than he can spend, fame and notoriety. However, some have said Dave is quite bitter.
Why would Dave be bitter?
Before Dave started Megadeth, he was in another band. He played with them for just under a year but fell out with some the other members of the band. They ended up kicking him out of the band.
Dave wasn’t happy about this at all. He was determined to create a new and better band. This is when he started Megadeth.
Megadeth band went on to become a big success as mentioned above. However, at each stage of his band's journey, he would compare the success of his band to the band that kicked him out.
This is where Dave’s bitterness apparently stems from. Whilst Megadeth did really well, the other band did better. They sold more albums and played bigger concerts. What are the chances?!
Sadly for Dave, the other band was Metallica! Arguably one of the most successful bands of all-time who I'm sure you've heard of.
That’s right, pretty much one of only a handful of hard rock bands in the world at the time that were more successful than Megadeth.
Dave felt he should have been as successful as them, however, as he wasn’t, he was bitter.
Why did I share this story with my kids?
There are many people who peg their life and happiness on what other people are doing. Dave couldn't look at his life as a success as he was too busy comparing it to those in the band Metallica.
Dave's story is an extreme but it represents what so many people do in their lives. They constantly compare themselves to others.
The simplest way people compare themselves is by looking at the things other people own. If they have a big house and fancy car, then people assume they must be successful and they set out trying to get a bigger house and nicer car themselves.
I want my kids to grow up and be great at whatever they choose to do but I really want them to avoid constantly comparing themselves to others. As they say:
"Comparison is the thief of joy!"
Simply saying "don't compare yourself to others" is of course much easier said than done. We are programmed to compare ourselves to others. This is why I share stories like Dave's with my daughters to remind them of the downside of comparing themselves to others.
I want my daughters to focus on spending money on things that make them happy (not trying to impress others). This doesn’t mean being selfish. In fact, I believe it’s the opposite. I believe that when people consider what actually makes them happy, they start to focus on giving and helping others.
I hope you share this story with your kids. This topic is so important as our kids grow up. We live in a world where everyone believes that everyone else is happier than they really are (especially on social media).
I want kids to grow up focusing on what makes them happy and avoid trying to 'keep up with the Jones'' (like Dave apparently did).
By avoiding comparison, kids are much more likely to spend on what makes them happy which, funnily enough, will make them wealthier and happier.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discourage aiming for success or healthy competition, it's just making sure than their happiness isn't solely based on what other people are doing.
If you haven't already, I would recommend you read your kids 'The Invisible Slime Story' which is a fun way to teach them about Keeping Up with the Jones' and debt.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. if you would like to support Blue Tree, so we can help more families start talking about money, please check out the following:
For you: Online course
Activities for kids: Boris and Gail's Fortune Club
Book for kids: Grandpa's Fortune Fables