Ever since I was little, I've had beef with money. In my mind, if money was truly the root of all evil, it made no sense that it was the central focus of attention for everyone around me. I saw the adults in my life fight and end relationships over financial difficulty, but on the other hand, an influx in wealth would also be the only thing that would bring us all together.
As I grew older, my disdain for currency evolved into dependency, and I realized the true meaning of the African-American proverb: cash rules everything around me.
The grind will grind you to death if you don't check yourself, and every rich person I've ever met will tell you that when they started, money was never the motive. Rihanna is a testament to this fact, and in a recent interview with The New York Times' T Magazine, she reminded us all that when you do the work, the money will come.
Photo by Kristin-Lee Moolman. Styled by Suzanne Koller
Rihanna recently made history as the first Black woman to create an original brand with the world's largest luxury brand and in her latest feature, she dropped the details about the highly anticipated clothing and accessory line. Along with a pair of $670 calfskin shoes, Rihanna debuted a Swarovski crystal-studded brass ear cuff, and a few high-fashion suit jackets that will have you feeling like a bag of money; after all, the line was inspired by Queen Rih herself, who is exactly that.
This February, it was reported that the Fenty creator's net worth is estimated at $260 million, and thanks to her collaboration with this billion-dollar industry giant, it can only go up from here. But let Rihanna tell it, the numbers don't really matter because she was never doing it for the money. She told T Magazine:
"I never thought I'd make this much money, so a number is not going to stop me from working. I'm not being driven by money right now."
Don't get it twisted, Rih is still the "BBHMM" badass that we've grown to know and love, and please know that she still needs her check on time; but she explained that money has never been her sole source of motivation for going hard:
"Money is happening along the way, but I'm working out of what I love to do, what I'm passionate about. Work will change when my life changes in the future but an amount of money is not going to stop that."
For Rihanna, money is less of a luxury and more of a resource that she can use to help the people around her and maybe even a baby Bajan prince or princess in the future:
"The money means that I can take care of my family. The money means that I can facilitate the businesses that I want to. I can create jobs for other people. My money is not for me; it's always the thought that I can help someone else or, in the future, for if I have kids."
Money doesn't equal happiness, and Rihanna wants us all to do ourselves a favor and level up our way of thinking. According to Rih, that process of unlearning starts with redefining your priorities:
"The world can really make you believe that the wrong things are priority, and it makes you really miss the core of life, what it means to be alive."
"It could literally be walking outside in the sun. That makes me happy. Like going to the grocery store — you know, there's a cute little Jamaican market near where I live right now."
If you're as cynical as I am, I know what you're thinking. Only people with money say that money doesn't matter. But damn, don't you think that's a funny coincidence? It just so happens that most rich people were never in it for the money? Oprah literally gave away cars to people who supported her show. Beyonce reportedly walked out of a million-dollar deal with Reebok because there weren't enough black people in the room. Robert F. Smith just gave away millions to a bunch of college graduates from Morehouse.
From the studies shown above, it appears rich people aren't half as worried about the numbers as people like me, who are struggling to make ends meet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every person in the world who has ever worked hard and pursued their passion has automatically become a millionaire, but Rihanna did. Why can't you?
Being rich is much different than accumulating wealth and Rihanna just gave us the blueprint on exactly how to build a $260 million empire: just do the work. You may not run a billion-dollar fashion house in Paris, but do what you can with what's in your account right now. Stop worrying about the numbers, and live life like Rihanna. If you do what you love, the money will come.
Read the full interview here and click through the gallery below to get a first look at Rih's brand new luxury line!
Featured image by Kristin-Lee Moolman for T Magazine.