Step 7: "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."
From the book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" (AA's 12&12), Step 7, pg. 71 -- (italics are direct quotes from the "12&12" and straight text is my sorting it out):
"Certainly no alcoholic, and surely no member of AA, wants to deprecate material achievement."
We're not saying that making money and buying stuff is bad.
"Nor do we enter into debate with the many who still so passionately cling to the belief that to satisfy our basic natural desires is the main object of life."
We're not here to argue with anyone over whether job/ambition/career/wealth is the most important thing to do with your life.
"But we are sure that no class of people in the world ever made a worse mess of trying to live by this formula than alcoholics. For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance. When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated, even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted."
One thing that we're clear about is that alcoholics, when they make material or personal achievement the main goal of their lives, are a disaster, and become either greedy messes or spoiled brats having tantrums at the slightest thing, using all of it as an excuse for their behavior and their drinking. Winning or losing, whatever we got, we wanted more.
"In all these strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility. We had lacked the perspective to see that character building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material satisfactions were not the purpose of living."
Often we were just trying to provide a good quality of life for ourselves and our families, but we couldn't see that for an alcoholic to be happy, for our lives to work successfully on every level, we had to make a spiritual practice and living by spiritual principles our first priority, before any material goals, even practical ones.
Poverty is not ennobling.
Wealth is not degrading.
AA doesn't suggest that money is bad, or ambition is wrong, or wanting to be successful in your chosen career -- even wanting to be the best in your chosen field -- is bad. Pursuing those things can even be a celebration of the gifts you've been given and a testament to recovery.
BUT, when we pursue those things ahead of sobriety, or ahead of/instead of practicing spiritual principles in all our affairs (including our business and financial affairs) alcoholics tend to get twisted up inside, and generally that leads us back to a personal hell, both metaphorically and literally.
Or, more simply, placing ourselves and our ambitions ahead of all else eventually leads an alcoholic to self destruct -- even with millions in the bank.
(Though if you have millions in the bank when you self destruct you do tend to get a better quality casket.)