Making Money Is Easier Than Building Relationships

Anybody can sell their services but not everybody can build and sustain a fruitful relationship.  How many sets of friends have you had over your lifetime?  How many acquaintances have come and gone?  Too many in my mind.

The other day, I became dismayed by one blogger who just focused on taking advantage of the Yakezie Network to make money.  He was more active in our financial opportunities than building relationships with fellow Members.  We’re talking no retweets, no posts highlighting any Members, and very few comments anywhere on the network.  I was so disappointed, but also cognizant of the fact that it’s hard to resist the mesmerizing green.  We had a heart to heart and I think he’s really going to make an effort over the next several months to be perhaps one of the best Members hopefully.

What is it about money that drives people crazy?  Do I have a totally warped sense of money because I’ve never really had to worry about money before?  Maybe, but I certainly wasn’t wealthy growing up.  One time, I snuck my parents car out during monsoon season and a couple of hubcaps fell off and my parents didn’t even notice!  That’s how middle class I was.  I’m one who believes that anybody who wants to make a buck can make a buck.  This is my optimism speaking.

I’m afraid of what money can do to people.  I’m afraid of what money can make people do.  I see people’s personalities change as soon as income is introduced in the equation and more often than not I’m dismayed by the outcome.  I’m trying to figure out how we can make a healthy living without money getting in the way of friendships.  Is it possible?  I don’t know for sure, but I’ll keep trying because I care about people too much to stop.

Maybe you can share your thoughts.



PS If you think it’s you in the post, don’t worry, it’s not you.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. ctreit says

    Money is only a means to the end, which is having a fulfilled life in my case. But to some, money is the end. I find it kind of sad if you confine your life to making money (only?) but we all make our individual choices. Kudos to you for keeping on top of your network!

  2. says


    The irony is that this type of thinking is so short sighted. It may also be an age thing. When I was younger, I had no idea how important relationships would be in my professional life. You are a great role model in the blogging world.

    Just about all my job offers within the company (and some externally), have been because someone knew not only my work ethic, but also knew I was easy to work with. All things being equal, you’ll pick the candidate you like personally vs a stranger.

    No one likes feeling used. I’m glad you provided this person some mentoring. Rock on.

    • says

      That’s great to hear about your referrals! Referrals are indeed the MOST powerful type of ins.

      I like to take things slow. It’s important as there will undoubtedly be growing pains which need addressing.

  3. says

    I agree with your take Sam. Interestingly, I’ve always found building relationships not only to be more personally fulfilling and enriching, but more profitable. When you genuinely help people and get to know them, they usually are happy to return the favor.

    For example, I did some free work for someone because I believe in their product and goals. When the work was over; I moved on. Not too long after, an paid opportunity came up and they thought of me. Great pay and the same work that I enjoyed doing.

    It doesn’t always work out that way, but many of my best clients have started that way.

    • says

      That is great, and you definitely have the right spirit Elle! If everybody just realized the simple tenet of it’s better to give than receive, they’ll be overwhelmed with opportunities down the road.

  4. says

    It depends on what you mean by “relationship”. The guy from the Yakezie challenge might have thought that sending a few emails here and there, commenting on other blogs and tweet a few articles doesn’t make a relationship with someone else.

    I have tons of “online friends” but online friends are not as closed as any of my “real life friends” ;-).

    On the other side, if you really want to make money, you will need to treat people with more respect. As true friendship is hard to earn, high and sustainable level of income is the same. You can’t make a lot of money during several years by taking the easy route. Sooner or later it will catch up.

    So making connections (I don’t call them true friend) and making money are easy to do but building strong relationship and building a steady high income flow are tough to acheive.

    • says

      I would say that many online relationships are actually much stronger than the occasional real life relationship.

      Writing letters in the old days use to be the most powerful relationship builders. Now we write letters everyday, multiple times a day!

      • says

        interesting point of view (I agree about the letters), but how many people do you really know online?
        By knowing them, I mean, what they do, what they like, what that makes them upset, what they have been through, etc.

        For example, would you lend an online friend 10K with no interest? Would they wake you up at night because they need to talk. I’m not sure I would do it with most of my “online friends” but I would do it with a few of my “true” friends.

        • says

          Lending money to people in general is a different situation. But, I would probably lend money to around 5 online folks 10K no problem.

          I guess I’m just more open and trusting then you Mike. I am the optimist. To each their own.

  5. says

    Well if someone’s giving away money would you take it? Not everyone is going to fit in with every groups philosophy. With that, you’re going to have people that can take advantage of a group. That will end the end cause more restrictions and the group to change from its original intentions. But the point you made, which is a good one, is that if you care enough then other peoples intentions don’t matter.
    Everyone’s different. I don’t believe money would change my ways but other people might be changed. That’s just the variety that is human.

  6. says

    Some people are driven by money. Others, by a desire to be a good person and help people. Some by both, and others by neither.

    It raises an interesting philosophical question. What is better: An informative and entertaining blog that truly helps a lot of people with their financial situation written by someone who only wants to earn money, or a blog that isn’t as good at helping people written by someone with good intentions?

    I’d like motives to be pure, but if someone can do a lot of good during his pursuit of money, that’s still more good than someone who only wants to help people but isn’t as successful.

    • Investor Junkie says

      If a blog is truly to be run as a biz, profit should be the motivator. If it’s for fun, than no. That’s not to say you shouldn’t establish relationships. I look at it this way. No person has been successful just by themselves. It takes the works of others.

  7. Investor Junkie says

    It’s me right? :-)

    For me, I’ve been trying to make comments and posts on Yakezie. I’m getting pulled in different directions and it’s hard at times. At least for me I tend to make comments if it adds value and not for the sake of commenting. ie “yea I agree.” “Thanks for your post” types of comments really serve no purpose.

  8. Romeo says

    Sam or anyone for this matter,

    I’m trying to interpret this:

    “One time, I snuck my parents car out during monsoon season and a couple of hubcaps fell off and my parents didn’t even notice! That’s how middle class I was.”

    I keep getting my head wrapped around it. What’s the correlation. Can you expound? Otherwise, great thought-provoking article.

  9. says

    Sam, I think this may be troubling indeed. If someone primarily concerned about his pocketbook rather than helping others, then money and helping can be mutually exclusive. It probably boils down to priorities. Building relationships takes work, and some people are more natural at it than others. That said, you are right that it doesn’t take much to press the RT button on a post that you find interesting (if you are indeed reading them).

    It seems that with a venture like this, it is harder to excel if you aren’t concerned about others, so maybe the problem is self-limiting.

    • says

      Indeed. It’s always tempting to take the easy route. Relationship building is hard. But I can see as CLEAR AS DAY who are the ones who try, and ones who don’t. You do an excellent job with your wraps, which is much appreciated by all!

  10. says

    I believe it’s not necessarily about money but more about the fact that there is a reward. Money is simply one type of reward. As with any reward, people can be tempted to go the easy route if there is low-dangling fruit within reach.

    In any group and community network, reciprocity is important. In any relationship as well. If one side is giving and the other side is taking it can feel unbalanced. However, if both sides give, both sides end up better off, and both sides get rewarded. The important thing for people to keep in mind is that they are most likely better off if they reciprocate instead of trying to take advantage.

    • says

      I think he realizes that. Money is a reward, but money is a SCARY reward imo. It doesn’t crazy things to normal people… which is why I don’t like to focus too much about my money, or making money online or anything. It changes people.

      • says

        Well, the thing about seeing dollar signs is that it can invoke a bit of lust and greed. I agree with you there.

        It’s kind of ironic that Kontera is linking “Making money online” in your comment here, given the subject. :P

        • says

          Is it? Nice! I’ve got more spam with the title “Making Money” than I’ve ever got before. Guess it’s a big topic on the web! Maybe i’ll just have to write more about the subject now lol.

  11. says

    Well, I wonder if part of it is that people are searching for money now. I think some people think that blogging is a way to make ‘quick money’. Of course, we all know that is not true, but for someone new, they may be learning the ropes. They may also be desperate, perhaps they lost a job, who knows. Or, maybe I am being too nice and they just want cash for the sake of having cash!

    The best part for me about blogging has been the relationships. Thank God I am not focusing on the money or I would be sorely disappointed. Each day I wake up looking forward to see what all my pals are up to!

    Money has caused friction in relationships since the beginning of time, and I don’t think it will stop. It has ruined families and come between best friends. Therefore, I am not surprised at all that it would affect people online.

    • says

      No kidding. If I focused on making money, and writing insipid affiliate money posts all the time, I’d never have survived.

      I keep trying to tell folks in blogging that if you focus on writing what you want to read, build relationship, and have fun, the money WILL come.

  12. says

    It’s probably much harder for people who’ve had little to no money all their lives, who are now realizing the power of the Internet as a means to supplement their (small) income. It’s like a drug they can’t resist.

    But like most of the rest of life, if you try too hard to make money online, you won’t make any money. Funny how that works…

  13. says

    I do think people and building friendships is the most important, but also don’t overlook the fact that a certain amount of greed is good. A little greed motivates us to go to work everyday and things like that. Greed just shouldn’t be the ONLY reason.

  14. Aloysa says

    If you look in general most of relationships get affected by money. It happens in every area of your life – work, family, marriages, dating, friends. I think money is such a huge determining factor of quality of life that it overshadows everything else. I watched my friends’ marriages collapse because of money issues. My own relationship was affected my money. I guess we have to raise a question what is more important in life – people or money. We build our lives depending on our answers to this question.

    • says

      Exactly, which is why it’s always difficult to discuss money if there are many different people who answer “this question” differently. I’m very worried what will happen in November……… hence I have found a way to rise above it all! Wait and see.

  15. says

    I think we talked about this before off your blog before, but I don’t think you should be shocked. Most people aren’t good at creating mutually beneficial relationships, networking and business in general so why assume that someone understands how to run their business properly.

  16. says

    With respect to blogging, I guess it depends on one’s current employment and why he/she became a blogger in the first place.

    With me, I read personal finance blogs for years before I started doing it on my own. I love everything about the pf community. I’m constantly amazed by the intelligent thoughtful comments by our pf readers out there, and the nuggets of wisdom to be gain out there.

    But I’m going okay financially, I’m not rich, but nor am I poor. Like many other bloggers out there like me, I feel like I’m a champion of the middle classes. I’m one of them and I was raised in a middle class community. I’m trying to help them get ahead above all else…

    But, if I were poor and trying to get ahead, I would be focused on the “oh mighty” dollar! I would be doing anything I could to cover the Maslow’s needs heirarchy that I am deficient in.

    So for me the Yakezie group is about community, education and teamwork… The charity aspect while very noble and respectable, is just icing on the cake! :)

    • says

      Sounds good Don. I will tell you that the Yakezie Scholarship vertical in my opinion is going to be THE CAKE and not just the icing. I think we can make a difference in the offline world, and keep the spirit alive, forever.

      • says

        Oh yeah, I’m not doubting that! The Scholarship will be great too… I’m just saying I enjoy everybody’s company :)

        I honestly think it’s just a matter of time before a big media type comes in to do a story about Yakezie! I mean, it is such a great story!

  17. says

    LOL “if you think this is you, it’s not you” Is it because the aforementioned blogger doesn’t visit other blogs to comment? =(

    I try to be cognizant myself and not focus too much of things like that. Blogging is fun and rewarding because you meet other people who are like-minded and supportive, the extra cashola I think is just a bonus.

    The few clicks I get on Google Adsense a day is enough to keep me excited. =)

  18. says

    @ Flexo, I think I deleted your comment by mistake. At any rate, it doesn’t matter b/c nobody knows who he is, he doesn’t visit here, and we’re on fine terms. I believe he’s going to be the most kicka&& member there is!

  19. Charlie says

    Money is such a touchy thing. It definitely makes some people crazy, and it can often control us more than we want it to. The older I get the more I come to understand Buddhist teachings though, which I had very limited exposure to growing up. I really think the more we have the more we have to lose and the more worries we can accumulate. Simplicity is peaceful, relaxing, and in a lot of ways happiness too. Making money can be extremely rewarding too though, esp. when given the opportunity to help someone and watching a savings account build up for the future. Even though I lost a lot of money in the downturn it really made me realize how I didn’t need lots of material things to feel good though. Cutting off my non essential shopping became more fulfilling than the thrill of getting something new.

  20. says

    Money is crazy like that. Or rather, people are crazy like that for money.

    Blogging for these past 7 months has taught me a lot about building relationships online. At first I was trying to do everything that people are “supposed” to do to make a decent blog. Money was never a concern of mine, but success was.

    I was commenting just for the sake of commenting, and linking just for the sake of linking. I was trying to do things the “right” way. Luckily I built a few good relationships with other bloggers, but usually because they made the first move. The only thing I really liked about blogging was the writing part rather than the promoting and commenting part, because my heart was in the content but not in the marketing. Combined with that, I went through a move to a new place, and had some difficult issues, so my traffic grew at a fairly mediocre rate as a result of a lack of passion.

    But I’ve since re-visioned my promotion efforts. For these last two months I’ve really stepped up the time I spent writing content, and for this past month I’ve become a lot more intentional about building blog relationships. Instead of trying to do everything the “right” way, and wind up doing it with sheer mediocrity instead, I’m focusing on doing it MY way. Targeting blogs I really like and commenting and promoting them, rather than doing it mindlessly to everything I come across. Focusing on certain things rather than everything. Quality over quantity. So far it’s been working pretty well.

    • says

      Sounds good mate. Whatever you think is the right way that you are comfortable with is fine. It’s good to read your comments. You can’t do everything and be everywhere. It’s just not possible. You’ll have to pick your poison as they say!

  21. Tom Nguyen says

    Money does play a peculiar role in the social circles you keep. If your wealth and lifestyle is not consistent with your friends’, it begins to put a strain on the relationship. What may be an “inexpensive” restaurant for one party is an extravagance for another. The more I make, the more I feel I need to be conscious of these little things to maintain sensitivity with friends.

    • says

      Absolutely true! Your friends need to be able to relate with you in order to keep good friendship.

      Imagine you are absolutely rich and go for weekends on Hawaii, eat out in expensive restaurants have expensive hobbies – how can your friends with less money dedicated to such expenses can relate to you? They would need uncomfortable if they simply can’t afford it to go out in expensive restaurants – which will result in loosing the bond between you.

  22. says


    we can make healthy living without getting in the way of friendships if we live frugally, below our means – that way we will make our friends feel more comfortable with our company, we will be happier in general and the chance that we will have something in common to relate to is increased, which I find it essential for good friendships.

  23. Neal says

    I wonder about this one. I have a slightly different twist. (Maybe this IS about me…..)

    I believe it’s fine to focus on money AS LONG AS YOU HELP OTHERS along the way.

    As our blogs become more successful, it’s more difficult to LOOK for opportunities to serve…but that doesn’t relieve us from the obligation to help when asked.

    Maybe this is a cope out.

    I realize I’ve been less active in the group. I will make an effort to increase it. I do remain very open to being of service.


  24. says

    very interesting post – isn’t it amazing that we work so hard to make money for “happiness” and our loved ones, yet it is the very same reason that causes most relationships to sour and fail. what has helped me is inner peace and contentment, which has come from a combination of my upbringing, life experiences, spirituality and the people around me in my life. i continue to pray that the evil side of money doesn’t ever get near me, that is why i do not chase it. i have found that focusing on relationships and excellence instead makes money chase you automatically.

    • says

      Spirituality is important. Love to learn more about what your last line means “i have found that focusing on relationships and excellence instead makes money chase you automatically.”

      • says

        the masses chase money with little regard for all else…..i have experienced that focusing on excellent (at whatever i do) makes money chase me rather the other way around. the same goes for relationships. focusing in harnessing and serving loved ones make them come closer to you. people often get distracted with so much in the environment around them. i have found that putting your passion into your career (or whatever it is that you do), and spending time with the few friends and family is the perfect recipe to attract all things good to you

  25. says

    I think it’s hard for people to put their own self-interests aside. It’s like the old saying of not seeing the forest through the trees. I can see how some people would be tempted to go for the quick score and to hell with actually participating and helping others. But those of us who do build relationships will come out far ahead in the end as we ride the rising tide together. Those who are only interested in themselves will fall off.

  26. says

    Unfortunately from my experiences I’ve seen money get in the way of many relationships. Some of my friends simply think that what they need is more money. In reality they need more experiences. They need to experience friendship. They need to experience life. They don’t need to make more money.

  27. says

    Sam, it’s our nature. If we were completely honest with ourselves, we’d see our selfishness shining through like the morning sun.

    Even our greatest intentions are drenched with pride, selfishness and ego. What that means, however, is that we must fight those motivations and continually do an honest evaluation of our own hearts.

    Posts like this help us to take a step back and look at ourselves again, so Thank You!


    • says

      I agree with you Jason. We as humans have a tendency to be too self centered. Even the goal of acquiring wealth is often contrived out of selfishness nature. It’s not so much to help others as to feed our own ego and selfish desires. It is much more difficult to build a true friendship than to make a few bucks.

    • says

      Indeed Jason. Part of the reason why I don’t share my income, wealth or anything is b/c it would simply be a distraction to the topics and discussion at hand. Furthermore, part of the reason why I blog under a pen name is b/c I don’t want ego to get in the way when ego does ultimately come out sometimes. I’d like to see the content stand on its own. It takes longer this way probably, but that is my preference.

  28. Jonny says

    “I’m afraid of what money can make people do”… Have you seen The Money Masters (film 1995)? Its insane what people can do for money.

    • says

      Nope ,haven’t seen it. I’ll go see it if it is a great movie! Let me know. I already know what money does to people, which is why I feel like I’m in a pickle, b/c there is always the ability to make so much, and much more than one needs.

      But, I’m happy to say I’ve found a way to create a positive scenario this November!

  29. Neal says


    I’ll be good…..

    I promise……I’ll be good from now on!


  30. says

    We cannot blame some people who actually adore money. They may have some bad memories growing up without money and they don’t want that to happen again. But that is not an excuse for doing something bad just for the sake of having money. All we have to do is respect them as we want to be respected in return.

  31. says

    I appreciate that you cared enough to take the time and talk to the person in question. Mentoring someone is a great gift.

    There are people in the group that I feel more of an affinity to because of their support. I go out of my way to try to give them as much or more. Loyalty is earned!

  32. says

    We need money because we can’t buy food and shelter, to support our family, but we most need other people to help us through, and building a relationship with others is the best thing we can have in this earth. True that money has a great influence in every people’s life. However, how wealthy we are, we can’t enjoy most of it alone.

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