Today let’s talk about success. Success in the form of getting what you want, and I’m not talking about the children and stuff like this, but having the money, the investment, the resources that can take care of you and your family. That is: Do you really want to succeed?
I know that sounds like a funny question, but how many people are really willing to put in the effort to get that house on the hill or on the waterfront? Every day I see something on TV or in the news that talks about the rich and how lucky somebody is. Let’s get back to the truths, and where we really are. Want to see what can be done, and who can do it?
First, it’s been widely studied and reported that 80% of those who are wealthy actually started poor. Even Warren Buffett, 90% of his money was made after the age of 50. Additionally, I’ve often heard stories about how people came up from nothing, etc., and we’ve all heard those. Why did these people do it? What did they do? Do they work so hard for so many years to get what they finally have gotten?
Two different times when somebody saw that I was saving my money for college, I was asked the following question: “Why are you saving? You might die tomorrow.” The first time I heard this, my response was immediate, and I said: “What if I live?” During the last couple of weeks, I talked to some people and asked them some questions about saving for the future. It was interesting. Many times I got the reply: “But we just wanted such-and-such now.”, “We just wanted a new car.” You have to make those choices.
Back to my question: Do you really want to succeed? We’ve all heard the stories about people saving, and the effect of compound interest after 30 or 40 years. That will make you a millionaire, a multimillionaire, but very few people are actually willing to do it. It’s actually kind of interesting. If somebody else is willing to give up some of their current income for savings and investment, some of their time in their future, why shouldn’t they be amongst at least the very well off? Are you willing to give up a little for your future? There are a couple of key things: Time and money, for savings.
A little bit of reality: Many years ago, I read a book called The Millionaire Next Door it was by two professors in I believe it was Dartmouth University. There were a couple of key items that the book pointed out that really were surprising to me, and very, very interesting. First of all, many of the wealthy, that is “millionaires” were from non-high-profile jobs. By “high-profile,” I would mean ones where you get the visibility; people notice you, the way you dress, the car you drive, etc. I’ll explain why in a moment. The authors pointed out how one of the rich was actually the owner of a junkyard, and many others were plumbers or other independent business owners in trade’s professions. When I heard that, it was kind of funny to me because the guy at the top of the hill in my neighborhood, which is a new neighborhood, also owned a junkyard. Had a beautiful home with columns in the front, etc., and it made me think.
The second thing is: What happened to the executives, or the up and coming management personnel? What happens to them, and you I bet see this amongst your friends, like to breed jealousy, and: “Look what I’ve got,” sort of scenario. They always spend more than they’re currently making in order to appear they were already at the next level. The middle management wanted to make it look like and be accepted by the directors, the directors wanted to be accepted by the next level executive, so they always had more than they really had in order to look like they fit into that next category. But, they’ve got these homes that they couldn’t quite afford yet, so they were overspending their income in order to look like they were already at the next level.
The interesting thing, and I’ve mentioned this before, the remarkable thing is that everybody who moves into one of these houses that they can’t afford yet, but they will expect to afford it after the next couple of pay raises, within six months buys a new car that they can’t afford to go along with the house they can’t afford. They also have to dress the part of the next job. Of course, this meant that they were always spending as if they’re promoted with a new pay raise that they haven’t gotten yet, so they had credit and other issues.
There’s no reason to be jealous of those people that are in those positions, because quite frankly, they may have the appearance, but that’s only because you don’t see their credit statements or their credit card statements. What you really have to do is focus in back on yourself. Again: What are the key assets to wealth? It does take time, but put that money aside. Invest money and some of your time into making that extra money.
Now let’s get back to the discussion for a second about the actual wealthy. When we’re talking about the 20% of the wealthy, and that’s the people that everybody points fingers at as if they’re some evil thing, they’ve already had it or come from someplace where they already had the connections. Why worry about them? Who cares? They actually serve a useful purpose. In other words, we can use them. That’s right. Just like being alongside the 80%, the 4 out of 5 make it on their own through a true story of success. Where do they get their motivation? From the people who have become successful or have things, so that 20% actually acts somewhat as an incentive for those to push harder. It’s not just the other 80% that are pushing and striving for success, but the millions of other people who are trying to get ahead. What’s the effect of getting ahead and trying to get ahead? They create businesses. If they create businesses, that means they create jobs.
I’m not saying this for political reasons; I don’t really give a damn about the politics. I’m saying this so that you can be like me, and concentrate on yourself, not worrying about what’s on the news or anybody else. Actually, take the news. You want some more time? Turn it off. I can tell you already what the news is. So-and-so was bad, somebody had too much money, somebody hurt somebody else, and then tomorrow we’ll replay with new names and faces. You’ll have a much happier life just turn the news off.
Yes, it’s all about you. It is those 80% and the other people out there, creating businesses, saving and investing their time and money that we need to model ourselves after in order to get ahead for both ourselves and our families. Don’t believe the “get rich quick” schemes. If somebody turns around and says they’re going to get you six or seven figures in a year, or some other unreasonable time… First of all, if they’re going to promise that they’re going to get to all these people to seven figures a year, just walk, because quite frankly, that is so incredibly rare that they shouldn’t be telling it to an audience.
I’ve said many times that putting in the time and investment of money into your future is a personal choice, but if you want to, you can do it, but it does take a lot of independent discipline. Independent because of some of the other topics we’ve talked about on other episodes, you have a lot of negative influences around you; friends, family, people you see, and the stupid news you listen to. But it’s your choice, so no excuses.
I just mentioned how people with small business in the trades become millionaires. Recently I heard on a Dave Ramsey show a guy who was 50 years of age who had 2.25 million, and his business was mowing lawns which only lasts about seven months a year. He was doing it for over 30 years, and was putting aside money all the time. Yes, I bet he didn’t have a new car every three years or the latest toys. That was his choice. But at 2.25 million dollars, he’s pretty well set from 50 into that 90+ category of life.
In any case, there should be absolutely no room for whining or jealousy of others. Understanding it’s a long, slow journey; the keys are certainly persevere and sacrifice, (click here for Episode 11) investment of your time and your money. By the way, this idea of investment in the money as if it’s going to deprive you of something, there’s a lot of people, no matter what their state in life is—they could be retail clerks, two executives—they tithe to their church, take 10% of gross and put it to the church, and just give it every single week or month. Can’t you do that for yourself? But some will, most will not do it.
The next time someone jealously complains what their lot in life is, just smile and laugh to yourself, and make your own choice and your own path. Good luck.
Now what I’d like you to do is go to LifeUnsettled.com, leave a comment or sign up for ongoing information. I don’t send many emails, and it’s a way to stay in touch and exchange ideas. Thank you very much. Looking to talk to you again real soon.