The Rich and Successful Have 3 Critical Lessons for You – Here They are
It all started in ancient Babylon. Or at least that was the setting of the book titled, The Richest Man in Babylon. It was actually written in 1926, and it was supposed to be the ultimate guide to getting rich. And here’s the thing. When the rich and successful are interviewed today,
they have many of the same things to say as that book from the 1920’s. If all of the talk, and all of the advice, and all of the behavior can be consolidated into just 3 major lessons, here is what they would be:
1. How You Look at Money
If one thing stands out, it is the famous quote from Rich Dad, Poor Dad: “Rich people don’t work for money; they make money work for them.” Most people don’t understand this principle, but here it is in a nutshell.
- You have a certain amount of income, most often from a job.
- You use that money to meet your monthly expenses, to plan some entertainment, and, if there is any left over, to purchase a luxury or two.
- You may have a 401K at work, and the average amount being placed into these is about 5% of one’s salary.
- If you get a nice raise or promotion, you buy a better car, take a vacation, and maybe upgrade your housing.
- You retire with your 401K savings and your social security. You are comfortable, but you have to watch your spending a bit, so that the money will last.
And you consider yourself lucky, because there are many worse off than you.
Now, here is how the wealthy and successful think about money.
- They may have a certain amount of income from a job or a business they have begun
- They spend only 80% of that income. The remaining 20% is invested.
- If they get a raise or the business becomes wildly successful, the same 80:20 ratio applies
- They tend to live below their means
- Ultimately, their income from their investments is greater than the income from their jobs or their businesses.
- They don’t really worry about retirement, because they have so much income from their investments
Here is the breakdown between poor, middle class, and rich:
- The Poor: Income from job; spend all of their income; have no assets and no liabilities
- The Middle Class: Income from job; spend 95% of their income; have very small amount of assets and liabilities (mortgage, credit card debt, etc.)
- The Rich: Income from job or business; spend 80% of it; Large income from assets (investments); no liabilities.
To get rich, you have to increase your assets; to increase your assets, you have to save 20% of what you earn.
2. Passion – You have to Have it
Steve Jobs once said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.” Most all of the other super wealthy say the same thing in one form or another. Here’s what that passion looks like:
- It consumes a person. They talk about it all the time to anyone who will listen.
- They’re waking hours are spent pursuing that passion (some, like Bill Gates, call it a dream).
- They seek allies to support them in their work
- Their passion translates also to strong drive and motivation
- They are willing to take risks to pursue that dream and discard fear of failure. In fact, failure just increases their drive to succeed.
If you don’t have a passion for what you are doing, you will not be successful. This is the lesson of all of our wealthiest people – hands down. So, first find what you are passionate about. It may have nothing to do with your current job or business. And when it does not, you must make the change, though it may involve considerable risk.
3. Be a Lifelong Learner
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett – they all say this. Each of them has stated on more than one occasion that they continue to learn every day. They want to know how things work; they want to know how people think; they want to understand the issues and the problems of the world, and they want to be involved. Thus Bill Gates has his foundation; Warren Buffett has organized the group of multi-millionaires and billionaires who have pledged to give away half of their wealth in their lifetimes. Lifelong learning to these individuals include the following activities:
- They hang with other successful people and they learn from them
- They keep an open mind to all new ideas and engage in “what if?” thinking.
- The listen. In fact, Bill Gates states that his goal is to listen twice as much as he speaks.
This, then, are the 3 lessons for you: change the way you think about money; discover what you are passionate about and pursue it; be a learner for life – it has worked for the very successful in this country in these times; and it appears that it has worked for the very successful before them.
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Very Successful Versus Successful people