Greed is Good: Why You Need to Tap Into Your Inner Gordon Gekko

Greed is good. Embrace it. Love it. Live it. In fact, greed may be the one thing that can save us. Don’t believe me? Greed was the foundation for this country. The brave souls who risked their life to settle in a new country did so out of self interest. Our forefathers recognized the importance of self-interest in the Declaration of Independence where they emphasized our unalienable right to pursue happiness.

Greed is good not just for your own life but for others as well. By elevating your life, you can radically elevate your family’s life, your community, and yes, even the world. Mother Teresa was greedy — she had an unquenchable thirst for serving the poorest of the poor. Missionaries are greedy in their quest to spread their religious beliefs. You just need to get greedy. You need to focus so intently on what it is you want that your desire seeps out of your pores.

But not all greed is created equal. The greed that nearly brought the world economy to a screeching halt in 2008 is disgusting. The greed that led to millions of hardworking people around the world losing their jobs is not “good greed.” You can (and must!) be greedy without exploiting others.

The problem is not that we’re too greedy, it’s that we’re not greedy enough! Sure, there are the occasional Bernie Madoffs and John Edwardses that lose themselves in their excessive desire — that will do anything to achieve their goal — but that’s not the issue most of us face. Our problem is that we are plagued by not caring, wanting, or being voracious enough in the pursuit of our own goals.

The solution? Stop putting yourself last and stop sacrificing your goals and dreams. Any successful entrepreneur is greedy. They have an insatiable desire to see their product come to market. They want to see their invention in the hands of as many people as possible. They want their book to hit the New York Times bestseller list. They will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. They will stay up later and get up earlier. They‘ll say no more often.

Want to lose weight? Put yourself first. Schedule time on your calendar to exercise and don’t cancel for anything. Don’t let others get in the way of your goal. I get criticized for bringing my own food to parties and events. I don’t get this. Should I just go along with what everyone else is eating even though I know it’s not best for me? If I only wished for better health, I wouldn’t go through the hassle of preparing and bringing my own food and instead I‘d have a plateful of little weenies and Doritos. But I’m not simply wishful. I am greedy. Nothing is going to get in my way of better health — not even annoyed looks from the host.

The other 8 hours are the secret to improving your life. By focusing on yourself, and by elevating your own life, you are then best able to transform the lives of others. Self-focused is not selfish; self-focused is self-less. You learn this every time you get on a plane . . . “put on your own mask before helping others.”

When you invest in yourself during the other 8 hours, the life you change may be more than just your own. Now it’s your turn. Tap into your inner Gordon Gekko and relentlessly pursue your happiness.

For a limited time, you can download several free resources (assessment, poster, audio interview, video, and more) at and learn more about my new book, The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose.

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26 Responses to Greed is Good: Why You Need to Tap Into Your Inner Gordon Gekko

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  3. mark liwag says:

    It was the first time I read an article which says that greed is good…But, you clarified it in the end that there are 2 kinds, the good and the bad. I agree with you 100%. The moment you help and improve yourself, is the moment you elevate and progress the lives of those people around you, whether it be your family, friends, neighbors, girlfriend. They will be influenced by the sudden increase of your energy, the positive changes occuring within you, and they will be persuaded to change also, because they see the results in you. This in turn will propagate, like a virus, which can even change the whole world…Tha’s how powerful it is. Thanks for your nice article!!!!!!!!

  4. I get where you’re coming from here. You can’t serve others until you’re serving yourself enough. Still though, selflessness is a higher virtue after you have your needs met.

  5. I can understand what your are saying and I agree with it completly. But, I would prefer to become determined rather than greedy. Greed will make us jump form one thing to another, without finishing the first thing. With greed we can not focus on one thing and we eventually fail. But we determination, we know excatly what we want and nothing will distract our attention to get it.

  6. I understand and appreciate your argument but it is largely a semantic one.

    Mother Teresa and the founders of our country were not greedy, except by your definition. In my humble opinion, they were passionate and determined. In fact, I’ve read that Mother Teresa at times grew frustrated over her position but she continued to help the children because she was their only hope and that God had selected her for this work.

    Also, a great deal of the founding fathers of America came here to escape religious persecution. I don’t see this as greedy.

    While it is true that there are few, if any, selfless acts, it is a stretch to make every act some degree of greediness. Greed is an extreme and uncontrollable form of desire, just as lust is confused with love.

    With that said, once again, I appreciate your argument. It provokes thought and inspires the reader to act on behalf of their own best interests.

  7. I tell this to people all the time- put yourself first! So glad to hear someone else who agrees. It feels selfish and it feels wrong, but that is (in my experience) the only way to ensure your goals are achieved. You have to think about what you want and go after it with all you have. Happiness will ensue and if you are happy, then so is everyone who encounters you.

  8. I’m not sure if greed is good. But an obsession to do certain objectives which can create conscious and positive on board with. HOlla!

  9. Megan Zuniga says:

    This sure is an unusual way of looking at greed. I’m glad you distinguished good greed from bad greed. I agree though that you always have to think of yourself first before others (as airline companies would always advise). For me, I think it’s okay to be selfish, greedy, and you’re right. Businesses are built on greed-on making money. That’s their measure of success. But, I don’t think it should be at the expense of pain of others. Be selfish, be greedy, but make sure you don’t trample on anyone else on your way to the top. It could be lonely at the top when you’re all alone you know.
    PS…Sharing tips on becoming greedy! Enjoy!

  10. Alex says:

    Greed is the extreme form where self-interest is the only basis for action. The measure for any action is “what’s in it for me.” Greed is selfish, not selfless.

    Mother Teresa may have been many things…visionary, driven, determined…but selfish, thus “greedy,” is not one of them.

    There is reason that greed is one of the cardinal sins.

  11. AKS says:

    “Greed is Good.” An effective hook, I’ll give you that. And the ideas are sound enough, to a point. Sure, we must make time for ourselves; we must invest in our own happiness; we must sometimes put ourselves first. The problem is that none of this describes greed. Greed is and always has been the elevation of oneself at the expense of others. In context of a world economy and millions of lives devastated by this very thing, it may not be all that timely, or even moral, to try to redeem the concept by creating nonsensical divisions between so-called good and bad greed. Nor does it help to make up definitions that are simply illogical: “self-focused is self-less” ? Yes, and black is white, and up is down. It would be more honest to say, “Hey. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes.” And it is. But, no, it’s not okay to be greedy. It never has been, and it never will be.

    Let’s be honest here too. How many of us self-improvement types really need a reminder to put ourselves first? One always finds a chapter in a self-help book about making time for yourself, and I’ve always thought that pretty silly since, if we weren’t good at finding healthy moments of selfishness we wouldn’t be sitting down reading self-help books, or blogs all the time. If anything, maybe more of us need reminded that our goals, our lives, our egos aren’t an axis on which the world spins. I know I sometimes do.

  12. Greed can be good. Greed for others. Greed for something greater than yourself. Greed to love God and love Others. Greed for God. Greedy for God. We are Greedy to make deposits of Time and Money for those around us. Green can be good. Greed for God and His mission in our lives: Love God and Love Others. These are the Spiritual lessons from Wall Street I learned.

  13. forex robot says:

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  14. I totally agree with the basis of your post, Robert. Greed is indeed good!

    Greed is what makes people want to better their lives, the lives of those they care about, and the world in general.

    The term “greedy” tends to generate an automatic image as someone only thinking of themselves and doing whatever it takes to have more of something, usually money. This can be attributed to why some people simply don’t try to better themselves because they see it as being “greedy” which is simply wrong.

    If you want to better your life and those around you- you have to be very greedy. I know I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    Great post, Robert. Cheers!

    Wesley Craig Green

  15. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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  18. DildoBaggins says:


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  21. jesse says:

    If you dont like his post then dont read it and dont comment either nobody cares

  22. mariod34 says:

    I think the word greed here is being used in the same light as ambition. Any thoughts?

  23. mariod34 says:

    Disagree. I think ambition does this, greed destroys.



    excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.

    1600–10; back formation from greedy
    Related forms
    greed·some, adjective

    avarice, avidity, cupidity, covetousness; voracity, ravenousness, rapacity. Greed, greediness denote anexcessive, extreme desire for something, often more than one’s proper share. Greed means avid desire forgain or wealth (unless some other application is indicated) and is definitely uncomplimentary in implication:His greed drove him to exploit his workers. Greediness when unqualified, suggests a craving for food; it may,however, be applied to all avid desires, and need not be always uncomplimentary: greediness for knowledge,fame, praise.




    an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, andthe willingness to strive for its attainment: Too much ambition caused him to be disliked by hiscolleagues.


    the object, state, or result desired or sought after: The crown was his ambition.


    desire for work or activity; energy: I awoke feeling tired and utterly lacking in ambition.

    verb (used with object)


    to seek after earnestly; aspire to.

    1300–50; Middle English ambicio ( u ) n (< Middle French ) < Latin ambitiōn- (stem of ambitiō ),equivalent to amb- ambi- + -i- go + -t- past participle suffix + -iōn- -ion

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  25. RedPlumpTomato says:

    A certain level of greed is required to achieve an equal amount of ambition.

  26. RedPlumpTomato says:

    Mother Teresa was a fraud and one of the most greediest to ever walk the earth!

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