5 Reasons Poor People Have No Excuse… Including You
Poverty confuses me.
Poverty confuses me because it contradicts everything we know about human desire, the abundance of resources, and the prevalence of good credible information on how to create and keep wealth.
For example, we know that no one wants to be poor. We know that our economy has enough capitol to support many more wealthy people. And we know that there’s a virtually unlimited amount of books, blogs, articles and videos on the subject of how to create wealth. So, you’d think that, in our modern age, poverty would be as uncommon as polio. Yet, despite of all the rationale to the contrary, our country is full of people struggling to make ends meet.
It’s enough to make you wonder if there’s really something the wealthy know that the rest of us dreamers do not. Are there really secrets to building wealth? What is it that the wealthy know that the average wish they knew?
Well, I don’t pretend to be an expert in all the strategies one can employ to gain wealth, whether it be by real estate investing, the stock market, climbing the corporate ladder, or any of the other thousands of “secret” methods for fattening your wallet. But I can give you five time tested principles that will take you and your bank account to new heights, no matter what wealth building vehicle you decide to hitch your wagon to. Be forewarned, they may sound like common sense, but, as evidenced by all the poor people out there, common sense is rarely so common.
1:) WORK HARD
Lazy people are not often wealthy people. I think one of the greatest fallacies promoted by many of the financial gurus of our age is that building substantial wealth is easy. Frankly, the idea that you can build any appreciable amount of wealth without at least a season of focused diligence is absurd. Even the best wealth building strategy only works when it is actually applied, and applied consistently.
And it’s that not so little detail, application, where many looking to break out of their 9-to-5’s get hung up. Thousands of would-be millionaires have been sold a bill off goods espousing that using their “proven method” is akin to waving a magic wand over their bank account… money magically appears. But when the rubber meets the road, they have a harsh encounter with the obvious but overlooked… they still have that pesky time commitment from 9am to 5pm, their day job.
So when confronted with the ultimate reality that to double their income, they’re going to need to (for at least a season) double their workload, most end up throwing in the towel. But for those who embrace that reality as a temporary necessity to building wealth, to the victor go the spoils.
2:) STICK IT OUT
We live in a microwave culture. It’s an era of overnight shipping, fast food, on demand tv, and losing 30 pounds in 30 days. Our culture isn’t very good at waiting. But, many times, waiting is the fastest way to build significant capitol.
That’s because, save for a few lucky ducks, the road to wealth is paved with obstacles, adversity, and failure. But how we handle the hiccups life throws at us is what separates those who dream it and those who do it. So traits like patience, endurance, and diligence are like money in the bank.
Don’t be fooled. There is no sustainable way to get rich overnight, in real estate or anywhere else. Sure, there are flukes, people who seem to stumble their way into wealth. And there certainly are many legitimate ways to create wealth much faster than working the daily grind; we share many of them here on SystemsSaturday.com. But unless you’re relying on luck to make you rich, plan on sticking it out for the long haul. Building wealth is usually more like a 5k and less like a hundred meter dash.
3:) AVOID DEBT (Specifically Consumer Debt)
There’s an old proverb that says, “the borrower is slave to the lender”. Anyone who’s ever felt the pinch of overwhelming debt knows this truth first hand.
The convenience of debt has allured and, ultimately, destroyed many a well-intentioned investor. The problem with debt is that repaying debt is money you are obligated to spend, in good times and bad. Repaying debt restricts your capitol and limits your flexibility. And when you’re capitol is handcuffed servicing unnecessary debt, you miss the investment opportunities that liquid resources would enable.
Debt may seem convenient in the short term. But that convenience can easily turn into regret in the long term.
4:) SAVE FOR ADVERSITY
Anyone who’s spent a solid few decades on this green and blue orb can tell you that rainy days come. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when. The wise investor prepares for this inevitability.
Real Estate Investing is a viable way to get wealthier faster, indeed However, with almost any investment vehicle, a higher reward means higher risk, and real estate is no exception.
So, let’s talk about some of the realities of real estate investing. Deals sometimes go sour. Tenants sometimes destroy properties. Title issues sometime get missed. If you’re smart, you’ll make sure you have liquid capitol at the ready to overcome these challenges, otherwise they could overcome you.
5:) BE GENEROUS
Generosity is the most sure-fire way to preserve clear thinking about your finances. That’s because, when we’re generous, we ensure that we control our money, not the other way round.
It’s remarkably easy to get swept up in the pursuit of wealth. Many a level-headsd, considerate person has turned irrational and detached faster than they would have ever imagined when money is involved. But when we give our money away, it gives us balance to our perspective.
That’s because generosity forces an interruption in the consuming process of building wealth. Generosity forces us to take a step back from the task of building our bank accounts to ask us the question, “how can I give?”, rather than, “how can I get?”. And with that step back, comes a clarity that keeps us rational and grounded.
BONUS: DON’T EXPECT WEALTH TO MAKE YOU RICH
Money solves lots of problems. Money provides options. Money provides opportunity. And, to a degree, money can provide freedom. But money cannot make you rich.
That’s because the things that make us rich are the things that money can’t really buy. Things like healthy meaningful relationships, the satisfaction of conquering a difficult challenge, or a healthy spiritual life. Despite all the very real benefits of wealth, it simply cannot provide the things that truly make us rich.
The truth is, many a wealthy person has been found utterly destitute where it really counts. They get so wrapped up in the pursuit of more, even when they have so much, that they sacrifice the things that really matter. Not many people lament on their death bed that they didn’t make enough money. But many do lament the lost time with their families, their unfulfilled potential, and their lost opportunities to do good. Don’t sacrifice true riches on the alter of wealth.
Additionally, money has a way of masking underlying issues in the same way that pain relievers have that ability to neutralize the symptoms of a serious disease. Money rarely cures any character deficiencies we had before we acquired wealth. If you were a mess before you had money, you’ll likely be a mess once you have money. You’ll just be a mess with a bigger bank account, in which case we’ll call you “eccentric”.
Admittedly, most of what it takes to create wealth is simple advice you’ve heard most of your life. But the bottom line is, although most of us already know what it takes to be wealthy, few actually do it.
So maybe the real secret to building wealth simple… Stop dreaming and start doing.