This book is pragmatical, not philosophical; a practical manual, not a treatise upon theories. It is intended for the men and women whose most pressing need is for money; who wish to get rich first, and philosophize afterward.
So begins the Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles. It is a remarkable book and you can get a free copy of it right here. I first came across the book about five years ago when I was just starting out on my online journey to success. Although it is a public domain work, I actually purchased a copy of the recorded version by Rebecca Fine and I have listened to it dozens of times during that period, often whilst driving to my workshops.
There is no question that there are some important insights in the book and I would certainly encourage you to read it if you have not already, but perhaps, for me, the opening chapter, about the causes of wealth, was something I particularly needed to understand. What is it that causes wealth? It is a very good question because it is true that if you can replicate those causes, then – by the law of cause and effect – you can also replicate the effects; that is, of course, the ‘science’ part of the title.
In the book, Wattles first shows what the cause of wealth is not. Wealth does not come from being in the right place, being in the right business or having enough talent. After a fairly lengthy deliberation, he finally comes to the conclusion that getting rich is the result of “doing things in a certain way”. In other words, “it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it and that’s what gets results”.
Many commentators have focussed on the similarities between the proposed use of creative imagination in this book and ideas advanced by other exponents of New Thought, such as Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), Charles F Haanel (Master Key System) and James Allen (As a Man Thinketh). The formation of a mental picture of a future state is said to enhance the possibility of it coming into existence. This is the basic idea behind the Law of Attraction, which has undergone something of a recent revival with the movies The Secret and What the Bleep.
What is not referred to in those popular movies is the part of the process that involves doing some work. Of course the thinking part is very important. Let’s face it, we certainly do all need to understand our vision but, as Wattles himself says in his book, most people “meet shipwreck” when they fail to connect their thoughts with action; and the clue to the action we must take is in the phrase “doing things in a certain way”.
It can take a while before the message sinks in, but Wattles is suggesting that you need to be in a position to do business. This is not entirely apparent from reading some parts of the book, but it is nevertheless an important point that he does make.
Specifically, when he says, “I do not mean that you do not have to drive any bargains at all” (Chapter 6), I believe he is indeed referring to being in business. This should not come as any surprise really. If you are not in business i.e. if you have a job, then your income can only rise to a maximum level that is entirely determined by the economy of the job market. That is not a recipe for getting rich which is, of course, the subject of the book. So being in business for yourself is an important part of the “certain way”.
Download your copy here: The Science of Getting Rich