There is nothing more demoralizing than a small but adequate income.
- Edmund Wilson
With the world still recovering from what some are calling an economic meltdown, personal finance has never been more important. Only 1 in 20 people will retire financially free. The other 95% will depend on their family or the government.
But with government debt fast approaching £1 trillion in the UK and $14 trillion in the US, is that a safe bet? It’s time we took control of our lives. Fortunately, Rich Dad is here to show us how.
1. Think like the rich
“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”
- Woody Allen
Money itself won’t make you rich. That’s because money has the power to make you rich or poor. Your ideas about money are what matters most. How you think becomes your reality. In other words, money is just an idea and being rich is just a state of mind.
For example, the poor and middle class think saving is smart and investing is risky. It’s about working hard, living below your means, and saving for the long-term. The rich think differently.
The rich know that saving is risky and that investing is smart. While old ideas may have worked in the past, they no longer work in the information age where a stock market crash can wipe out your retirement savings in a matter of days.
The secret to getting beyond scarcity is to start beyond it. Feel a sense of abundance right now by living your life as though you were already finically free. Saying, “I can’t afford it”, closes your mind while asking, “How can I afford it?” opens it up. Make the choice to be rich every day.
Stop looking at the world through eyes of scarcity. Instead, open your mind to the riches all around you.
2. Learn like the rich
“Gold avoids those unwise in its use.”
- George S. Clason
Your banker never asks for your report card once you leave school. That’s because your financial statement is your report card. It shows how financially literate you are. Unfortunately, our schools donít teach much financial literacy. They teach us how to go into the world as workers, not as investors.
This is old thinking. It may have worked at a time when you would stay in one job for life and have it take care of your retirement. Nowadays, with job security a thing of the past, we have to take care of ourselves. That means we need to be financially smart.
Money without intelligence is soon gone. But if you have education about how money works, you can gain power over it and can begin building real wealth.
Read as many articles about the economy and market as you can. Five minutes spent reading The Economistís Business This Week is a good start. From there, spend some time playing Cash Flow 101. Financial intelligence is no longer purely for the born gifted. We can all learn. And we all must.
You must also surround yourself with the right people. They will ultimately push you to new heights. Get in touch with business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and join a network through your chamber of commerce to meet more.
Cultivate friendships with successful people and seek out financial heroes to emulate. Start looking for successful people in your own backyard that you admire and would like to approach. Find a mentor who has done what you want to do and make contact.
If you’re afraid that theyíll be too busy to deal with your request, take heart. High achievers are excited to share their experiences and mentor others who express a genuine passion to learn. Donít hesitate to call or write. Offer to take them out to lunch and express your interest.
Be polite and state clearly what you want and why you thought of them. Come prepared with questions. In exchange for information and training, offer whatever you can in the way of help. Even if youíre running their errands, what you come away with will make it worthwhile.
3. Act like the rich
“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
- Pablo Picasso
There are many ways to be rich. But why choose to be greedy when you can be generous? And why choose to be cheap when you can live a life of abundance? Simply put, the best way to become rich is to buy or create assets you love.
These will help you convert earned income into passive and portfolio income as efficiently as possible. If you continue to invest in true assets, the money they generate will make you financially free. It’s about creating pipelines so you donít have to keep hauling buckets. Itís about having your money work for you so you donít have to work for it.
The only way to become truly rich is by adding more value than anyone else. This is because life is about being generous and helpful. Whether you’re becoming a billionaire helping people get out of debt or changing a life with a $25 Kiva loan, you have to be generous.
As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said: “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” So give for the sake of giving. Don’t do it just to receive something in return. Find a way to gain leverage by serving more and more people. Ask yourself, “What did I do today that added value to the world?”
Cast away your fears, cynicism, laziness, bad habits, arrogance, and disappointments. Take action. Do something. Do anything. Take risks and remain focused. There is always a chance things wonít work out. Some seeds will grow and some wonít. You must still keep planting them! At the end of the day, youíll never know unless you try.
Eugene Yiga has been an active writer for over a decade and published his first book in August 2007. For more information on how generosity can create wealth, download a free free report.