“When I was a child I dreamed as a child. When I became an adolescent I stopped dreaming and gave up my soul to desire. I became a man when I gave up desire and began to take action.”– Michael Masterson
So… You Want to Get Rich? Really?
A white limousine pulls up to the parking lot where the school children are playing. The kids pause to look at it. A chauffeur gets out, walks around the car, and opens the passenger door. Out steps a young boy in a top hat and tails. “Who’s that?” the children murmur. He comes closer and they can’t believe what they’re seeing. “It’s poor little Mark Ford!” one of them exclaims.
This was a recurrent dream of mine when I was in fourth grade. It was a mental movie I scripted, directed, and starred in. Every night, I’d go to sleep, eager to watch it again.
Dreaming about being rich is fun. I recommend it. Such dreaming requires nothing from the dreamer. The dream itself is the reward.
Wanting to be rich – that’s another thing entirely. The word “want” has two meanings. As a verb, it means a desire to possess or do something. As a noun, it means a lack or deficiency. So wanting to be rich – i.e., desiring something you lack – is a two-fold problem. The desire to have what you lack creates dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction leads to anger and blame and sometimes self-loathing.
Deciding to be rich – that’s yet a third thing. It is a commitment. It is a promise to yourself to abandon the behaviors of the past and adopt new behaviors that motivate you towards the objective.
I decided to become rich on a Wednesday evening in 1982, driving to a Dale Carnegie meeting. That decision changed my life. It launched me into a get-rich orbit. Getting rich came quickly, and growing richer became as effortless as floating in space.
There was a lot of baggage that came along with me on that trip. Baggage that informs my thinking about acquiring wealth today. And there’s a lot of data that supports what I learned through personal experience: that most people who become wealthy do so by committing themselves – 100 % – to achieving that goal.
So what does that tell you about where you are right now?
A short quiz to find out if you have what it takes to become rich
1.-How many hours a week are you willing to spend working? 50 hours? More than that?
Fact: 86% of millionaires that work full-time put in 50 hours or more each week. Two out of three entrepreneurs and professionals in the top 10% of income earners work more than 60 hours per week.
2.-How long are you willing to work those extra hours? 5 years? 6 years? 10 years?
Fact: The average time it takes to acquire a million-dollar net worth is 32 years. In a recent study, 74% of the millionaires reported that they achieved that status at 55 years or older. Only 7% achieved it before the age of 45.
3.-How do you feel about taxes? What percentage of your income do you currently pay? Are you willing to pay more than that? Are you willing to give the government 50% of your income? Are you willing to work all day Monday and Tuesday and half a day Wednesday for the government?
Fact: Anyone with an income above $250,000 a year is paying approximately 50% of it to taxes. Although constituting less than 5% of the population, millionaires pay 40% of the country’s income tax.
4.-Are you a saver or a spender?
Fact: Self-made millionaires give a high priority to saving. Most people save less than 5% of their income, but millionaires save an average of 23%. In a study of 10,000+ millionaires conducted in 2019 by Ramsey Solutions, 48% reported that they save at least 16% of their income.
5.-Do you like to read? More important… do you read?
Fact: Studies show a direct correlation between the number of books read and the number of dollars earned. The average millionaire reads 11 or more non-fiction books per year.
You see where I’m going with this, right? Point is, if your answers to the above questions don’t tell you what you want to hear, you might want to give up on “wanting” to be rich.