It was, roughly, about seven-ish years ago that I decided to become rich. It hasn’t yet happened. But, as I have said before, if you are plotting a course that starts at $0 (in terms of income) and ends at, let’s say a $1 million, then that path must pass through the place I now find myself.
At present, I earn a full-time income working on the internet. It’s a place that many people would like to be. It’s a place I don’t intend to stay because I made the decision to become rich; it was not a decision to become comfortably off – and that means there’s still quite a lot of work for me to do to get to my goal.
The decision itself came as a result of listening to Wallace D Wattles classic text The Science of Getting Rich. I actually bought the audio and listened to it repeatedly in the car whilst travelling between customers in my old day job. This is an excellent book on the subject and it covers a number of important things:
- It is not wrong to want to be rich
- Riches come by doing things in a ‘certain way’
- You need to be able to work with universal law
In the opening section of the book, Wattles deals with the subject of why people get rich. He argues convincingly about the things that are not the causes of wealth:
- Geographical location
- Doing what others fail to do
The list is longer, but the message is clear; the causes of wealth are not the things that people often attribute to them. Anyway, as I said, it was as a result of listening to this book that I consciously made the decision to become wealthy.
The Causes of Wealth
Somewhere within, I realised that I had been conditioned to think that there was something fundamentally wrong with getting rich so I, consciously and deliberately, abandoned that belief. The Bible does not say that ‘money is the root of all evil’ as you will probably know, but somehow, a distorted version of that misinformation abounds within Christian communities.
In his Get The Edge program, Anthony Robbins listed the following 12 reasons people fail to accumulate wealth:
- They never really define, very specifically, what wealth means for them
- They make wealth a moving target instead of a fixed one
- They define it in a way that seems unreachable
- They never start
- They never make it a ‘must’
- They don’t have a realistic plan
- If they have a realistic plan, they never follow through on the plan
- They give responsibility to others – so-called ‘experts’ – instead of themselves
- They give up when they face challenges
- They fail to conduct their lives as a business; they never ensure that they make a profit year by year.
- They allow other people’s ideas to affect their decisions unreasonably
- They don’t get quality coaching
Looking at Tony’s list, I find that I agree with most of it. However, I don’t think it is a definitive list because I would definitely add:
- They don’t make the decision to become rich
- They fail to really grasp Napoleon Hill’s secret
The decision to become rich is not a difficult decision to make when you realise that it is not, in any way, wrong to want to become rich and that (provided you can operate within a reasonably well developed economy) it is actually possible for you to do so. That’s why The Science of Getting Rich was such an important book for me – because, I finally realised that there was absolutely no reason that I could not become wealthy.
With regard to Napoleon Hill’s secret, as any student of Napoleon Hill will know, his secret is in two parts. The first part is outlined in my book Napoleon Hill’s Awesome Secret; the second part has to hit you when you are ready to receive it.
To be told the secret (the second part) directly is perhaps to risk devaluing it because it comes as a kind of enlightenment in relation to how things are. I am tempted to tell you, directly. But this is something that really must come to you – I believe that’s why he actually wrote the book in the way he did. However, in true Napoleon Hill style, I can tell you that the second part of the secret is on this page!
The Principles of Acquiring Wealth
There has been no better book on the principles of becoming wealthy than The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clayson.
The principles are quite straightforward, but I have found that, for people who struggle with money, the message that ‘you first need to learn how to live within your means’ often falls on deaf ears. It is a shame because, unless you can do that, you will always have trouble with money – the only thing that will change is the amount in question.
- Control Your Expenditure
- Make Your Money Multiply
- Optimise Your Risks
- Make Your House a Profitable Investment
- Ensure a Future Income
- Increase Your Ability to Earn
It is a fact of life that if you never need money, you will find people falling over their feet constantly trying to lend it to you. You will get letters from the bank, your credit card company and other people you have never heard of who all want to give you a loan so that you can have all the things your heart supposedly desires – expensive cars, cruises, all kinds of gadgets and apparel.
If, on the other hand, you are always struggling to make ends meet, you will find that fewer and fewer people will want to lend you money and, if you never learn the first principle (of living within your means) eventually nobody will want to lend it to you. The reason should be obvious – you will have become a bad risk.
There are, of course, companies who specialise in lending to such unfortunate people – the very people who cannot afford a loan. They are prepared to take on the bad risk and the only thing it will cost you is the one thing you cannot afford – a higher interest rate. All of those promises to consolidate your loans into one easy payment should surely be telling you something.
Getting Out of Debt
Supposing, just for a moment, you were to inherit a large sum of money – let’s say $10 million. What would you do with it? It is a simple question I often give to people who attend my workshops. Actually, I usually give them a lot more imaginary money to think about, but let’s work with this amount. Have a go at thinking about what you would do with that sum before reading further.
If the things that occur to you revolve around spending and acquisition of material goods, then the chances are that money is, and will remain, a problem for you. If, on the other hand, you were thinking of how best to invest it to earn you a recurring income, then the chances are that money is not a problem for you.
If you could invest a large sum of money, in the right way, then you would never have any problems with money because you would be able to buy anything you wanted from the excess that the capital was earning for you. So the question is: when you do not have a large sum of money to invest, how do you acquire it? And, the unpopular answer is to be found in those principles above.
You have to learn to live within your means so that you can create a surplus you can use for investment. The problem for many people is that they cannot imagine that they could ever get themselves, not just out of debt, but actually into a position that allowed them to make such investments.
For such people, the first priority should be to become debt-free. Again, how to do this is usually received as unpopular advice: ditch all non-essential expenditure to create a small surplus and chuck all of it (every single penny) at your debt until you have eliminated it. Then never borrow again except for calculated investment purposes.
How to Become Rich
Wattles says that doing things in the ‘certain way’ that involves giving to every person with whom you deal ‘more in use-value than you take in cash-value’ is the key to making successful transactions – and so it is. Your wealth is built up by a succession of such transactions. So you first need to think about how you can do that … and don’t complain that it ain’t easy.
Think about how you can serve your fellow human beings. What is it that they want and need that you can be the provider of? Really think about that question and when you know what it is, you have come up with an answer to Wattles proposition. But you need to be able to do it in such a way that engaging in the transaction is a no-brainer for the other person – that’s what it means to ‘give more in use-value that you take in cash-value’.
You should be providing something that genuinely helps people to achieve their goals – to achieve the outcomes they want in their lives. In order to do that, you have to identify which segment of humanity you are best placed to serve and you have to invest time in properly understanding the problems they face.
When you can package your solutions into no-brainer offers to create the kind of transactions that Wattles was speaking about, then you have a key component of what it takes, but there may still be something missing.
The final ingredient is the capacity to delight your customer. When you can delight the people with whom you deal, they will tell other people and you will have no shortage of customers for whatever it is that you are offering. Your marketing message will multiply, without effort on your part if you can get this right.
So there you have it – the whole of it – in so few words. The question now remains: what are you going to do with this goldmine of information?