One of the most frequent questions I get is, “how can a person build real wealth?” “Especially in such a volatile economy where one is lucky to even have a job, much less a good paying job?”
To that I say…with adversity comes great opportunity. Some of the world’s wealthiest people created their wealth during recessionary periods not the good times! Let’s focus on some practical things you can do to build and create wealth no matter what the economy is doing. Here are ten financial lessons to help you prosper while the going gets good or gets tough.
1. Money comes when you do the right thing in the right way.
This sounds like common sense, but so many people cut corners. Whether it’s crossing an ethical line or earning money in a questionable manner or even fudging a number or two here or there. One of the fastest ways to lose money is to cut corners often because it will come back to bite you. Additionally they don’t provide much value to the marketplace yet expect to get “higher wages.” Know this: you get paid based on how much value you provide. If you want to make more, provide more value. Find a need and find a new and exciting way to solve it!
2. Find your purpose and passion and then find a way to make profits.
In 1960, a man named Srully Blotnick began a study of 1,500 people over 20 years. After 20 years 1,057 remained, 83 were millionaires. The top 5 characteristics were:
- Willing to handle both the “nobler and the pettier” jobs.
- Noncompetitive attitude towards co-workers.
- Investment activities aside from their main career—consumed a minimum of their time and attention.
Above all Mr. Blotnick found that those who became millionaires, loved what they did each day and found a way to get paid handsomely for doing what they loved!
3. Be your own boss!
My friend Kevin Miller over at Free Agent Academy preaches all over America that we should be seeking self-employment. His main argument – you can control your destiny and wealth potential.
One look at the fortune 400 list of wealthiest individuals and you know pretty quickly that most of these people made the list by starting their own companies. Not everyone is boss material, but start small! Start a blog, a home-based business, start something that can produce on-going income. Those with the most sources of income tend to better survive the up and down economic times.
4. Have great ideas but be better at implementation.
Just like an account that never gets funded, ideas without implementation are a waste. Far too many people have great intentions yet never follow through. If we, instead, focused on fewer things and did a better job at each, how much more effective could we be? How much more money would we make? Michael Jordan practiced shooting a basketball over and over again, Bill Gates focused on building software time after time, and Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) focused solely on connecting people. Have one goal and become really good at reaching it!
5. Be an early riser.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years.” We often find the best opportunities the earlier we start our day. The same said for our youth. The earlier we start on building our ideal life, the sooner we will reach the dreams God has put on our hearts.
6. Quit and fail.
Yes, you read that right! Quit the things that are detracting you from your goals and are not in line with your faith and values. Many take on far too many commitments and end up succeeding at none of them because they are spread too thin.
Likewise, people often have a fear of failure so they play it “safe.” A hitter in the midst of a slump is told to swing the bat more. The more swings you take the more likely you’ll get some hits. The same goes for opportunities. The more chances you take, the more likely you are to have success! So quit what’s not working and don’t be afraid to fail.
7. Let your faith and values be your guide.
Your faith in God and values are the strongest assets you possess. Biblical principles work! Yet when we stray from His principles, we often fail: trying to get rich quickly, taking on too much debt, and having no plan. Instead focus on His truth. There are over 2,000 passages in the Bible that deal with money and possessions.
8. Find stability.
Those who stay married, live in the same home, and run their vehicles into the ground tend to live prosperous lives. Stability breeds habit and instills contentment. As Ben Franklin once said, “Contentment makes a poor man rich and discontentment makes a rich man poor.” We should be content but never complacent.
9. Find a team of professionals.
In my career, I have had the tremendous opportunity to get insider secrets from hundreds of millionaires. I have yet to find a self-made millionaire who was truly self-made. Every single millionaire I have talked with either hired or associated with a strong “core” group of advisors. It takes a team to build wealth!
10. Never Retire.
Think about this: if you love what you do each day and are getting paid for it, why would you ever want to retire. Yes, I understand health and quality of life, but my point is – far too many people spend 30 years or more planning to stop working. If we spent as much time finding what God put us here on earth to do, we would find joy in what we do each day and want to do it much longer than what we define as a “career”.
Do you have any other tips to create wealth?