Who are the Wealthy?
The wealthy people of the world are some of the most studied and carefully analyzed people there are. The rich and famous represent a microscopic percentage of the overall population.
The wealthy represent our dreams, our goals and our aspirations. As very young adults, many dream of being rich. (Some of us just dreamed we wouldn’t have to go to the orphanage.)
When you were younger you probably felt that you would strike it rich early and would live an abundant life.
As time passes by, you start to believe less and less that you are deserving of being wealthy and “lucky.”
You look at those who are rich, and feel amazed that they were able to “make it”.
It had to be luck because they made it, you didn’t and you worked HARD.
One day you get “lucky” and get to sit down with a millionaire. You talk to them and wonder, “How the heck did they get so rich, because they are nothing special”.
Eventually you conclude that the wealthy are not necessarily genius, talented, skillful, or amazing after all. So, how did they become so rich?
The notion of “getting rich” has been the focus of countless books, tons of seminars, thousands of case studies, movies, stories and examinations.
The rich are so carefully watched and studied and interviewed, the rest of us are still left wondering… “How did they even get so rich in the first place”?
As a kid, I never thought of getting rich. I spent a few weeks or so each summer with my grandparents who were both teachers (or administrators). They had summers off and enough money to take us (grandkids) on a trip each summer.
There was no way I was ever going to live that life. My family was so broke you had to put an UH in the word, BUHROKE. (pronounced “baroque”
Then college hit. (There’s a metaphor…for ya’.)
I wanted to be an actor and a journalist.
I don’t recall wanting to be an actor to become wealthy. I remember that I couldn’t sing like Elvis, I wanted the girl, so I had to settle for being an actor.
Then after a few years I switched to the University of Minnesota. I was in Hamlet the year before at Wisconsin. This year…I found out how mediocre I really was. I had zero point zero chance of being an actor.
At the UW I studied Journalism.
I got to interview Ralph Nader and The Amazing Kreskin (is there anyone else who goes by the name of “Kreskin” other than the “amazing one?”)
That was cool to be able to interview them.
This was about three hundred years ago and I still treasure those moments of being the idolatrizing kid who got to talk to Kreskin (one of my childhood heroes…had thicker lenses in his glasses than me. That guy is as close to blind as it comes…)
Three years of college. Ran out of money. Was working 30 odd hours per week. Had to leave college, not to return for many years. They wouldn’t loan me any more money and I had to pay the bills. I got another job. 60 hours per week. Sometimes a few more if I got down to Cannon Falls and work the nursing home for a day on the weekend.
I was ever convinced that wealth wasn’t in the picture.
I was selling advertising and all kinds of stuff. I wanted to get by, get out of debt.
Then I started reading again.
You don’t really “read” in college.
You study. (At least that was me.)
I don’t recall going, “hot dog, I get to read the Calc’ book tonight.”
No, for me it was Torture 101 followed by Hell 303 and Transylvania 505.
And it was history…
I was selling everything and anything to survive again…just like when I was a kid.
Exposure to Smart People
And I started reading books about selling.
I hadn’t seen Think and Grow Rich since I was a little kid. I read it. I was so enthralled with the Readers Digest-sized stories of Edison, Ford, Bell, Roosevelt and so forth.
How I wanted to be in that category.
But the longing wasn’t there often, as I was cranking out 60-70 HPW (hours per week)
Ya’ get back to the apartment, you throw an Elvis record on, you let your body stop aching.
…do it all over again in the morning….and on and on and on and on…
And I finally got sick of it.
I get bored very quickly with monotony. I suppressed it for years. It finally blew.
I decided I would take all these lemons and make some Gatorade.
I took my pennies and turned them into dollars and went and saw Tommy Hopkins. Zig Ziglar. Brian Tracy. Dennis Waitley. I had to. I listened to them in the car between appointments over and over and over. I knew their stories better than they did. I felt like they were talking to me and in a sense they were.
Even more important was listening to W. Clement Stone, Earl Nightingale and Napoleon Hill.
I had no idea what being wealthy would “look like” or “feel like” but one thing was sure, I had a mastermind in my brain that was second to none.
I wanted to do…what they did.
What did they do?
They made me feel better.
They encouraged me when I was down. (The only time I wasn’t down was ….well…I’m sure there was a time…I just don’t remember it.)
I read all “the books,” went to “all the seminars,” Picked Brian and Zig as my “go to” mentors. (Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale had passed away just a few years before.)
I listened to all of those audios over HUNDREDS of times.
Then I got married.
I persuaded my new wife to move to California. She bought the idea and…to the land of opportunity we went.
We stayed for several months with my cousin, who was the closest thing to rich I ever knew. He had a beautiful home and family.
He was by no means wealthy in the way we think of wealth today, but he was sooooo much better off than anyone I knew that I was going to tap his brain.
He worked for the City…the government….an “always evil” in my life since I was old enough to remember. But it was for the Parks and Recreation Department in Fullerton, so it wasn’t like the taxing government…it was the nice place to go in the afternoon government.
And he owned apartments.
That was an idea I had never thought of. 22 years old and I never thought of owning a rental property.
I went with him to his apartments, watched him fix air conditioners (at that moment I knew I was screwed. I couldn’t fix my glasses when they broke). But I got the idea. Buy stuff, rent it out, collect the difference between expense and income.
The Church we went to…the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Orange, took a likin’ to the kids from Minnesota.
The Pastor liked us and we were at every Bible study there was.
We got invited to people’s homes and saw that people had swimming pools and beautiful places in the sun.
We’d go back to our apartment at the end of Sabbath. The black and white TV sat on a cardboard box. I kid you not. You already know about the aluminum foil on the antenna…
Make a Plan for Wealth…Start Small
….once back in Minnesota (did you know that it costs a LOT to live in Southern California?!) it was back to work and reading and dreaming of a future. I determined that before we were going to put a child on this planet, we’d be out of debt. That was like taking a shovel to Mt. Everest. Three years of no eating out, no going out, no nothing. Library with a capital “L”. We spent a lot of time at the library.
And I read Waitley and Ziglar and Tracy and company.
I continued to invest everything we earned into debt, food, the rent or seminars.
I told Katie, “We’re gonna launch enough rockets that one of ’em is gonna make it to the moon.” George Bailey was going to lasso the moon in, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I was going to land there.
I don’t know if she ever believed it was possible. But she let me play the game of life.
The dream became intense.
I wanted to write. I wanted to do events like Tracy and Robbins.
I wanted to be published and I was going to be published…
Part of this story has been told before, so I’ll just move to here:
Decide to Change Your Life
At this point, I can tell you that becoming wealthy was a matter of choice. It was a matter of focus and a matter of taking consistent action towards goals.
It had become obvious.
The people who are rich got that way by following the same types of steps as everyone else who is, or has ever been, rich.
I just didn’t know that the time horizon, learning curve and trial and error process would be so dang brutal along the way.
Follow The Trail Already Blazed…
If being wealthy is something you want, then what you need to do is find the footprints, and follow them.
…Because, success and wealth leaves footprints.
Robbins’ mantra was, “Success Leaves Clues.”
That went through my mind all day long. I became the Sherlock Holmes of Finding Success.
If you decide not to cut the learning curve by having a mentor and mastermind, then what you are going to do is this:
Your job is to find the footprints, analyze them, understand them and follow them in a bold manner. Once you have the formula, it is up to you to implement it. Nobody can do that for you. Only you can implement this formula.
There will not be anybody coming to your aid. The responsibility is on your shoulders and no one else. And, when I say nobody, I mean NOBODY!
You either choose to affiliate with successful people who can show you that a door is the part that leads to the next room…or…you can do what I did…which was beat my head on the wall until it hit a handle and then pushed open the door.
So the deal is this:
It will ultimately fall on your shoulders and it is ALL up to you. You will have to be your own leader. Your best friend, your sister or brother, your significant other – nobody will take responsibility. It’s up to you.
Because you see, the footprints are there waiting for you to follow them, and only you can walk for yourself. Nobody is going to carry you to the finish line. You have to walk for yourself.
Wealth is like Mother Nature
It does not care if you are tall or short, healthy or not, good looking or ugly, young or old, black or white, handicapped or not, a college grad or a drop out, etc.
If you are breathing and alive and can at least shovel snow, cut the lawn or telemarket, you can become wealthy. It does not matter how you were raised or who your parents were, either. It does not matter if you have been poor your entire life. None of that matters.
What does matter is if you can follow the formula consistently. If you can do that, you can become wealthy.
It will require that you make a solid and long-term commitment to become rich. It will require you follow this formula for a long time.
I am not saying it will take a long time to become rich – that is up to you. I am saying that if you want to really build wealth, it will require you continuing to follow this formula.
One of the best ways to become rich, is to do what rich people do. Find someone who is rich in your field and do what they do. Follow them and study them and ask them questions. You’ll ultimately plow your own path, with your own unique style and traits and specificities, but you will be following the basic formula for wealth.
Simple fact: If you are wealthy, you did what the wealthy did. If you aren’t, you didn’t.
It does not really matter what “industry” you are in or are going after (as long as there is a paying demand), building wealth is the same in most every industry there is. The rules are the same. The footprints are the same. You just need to know what they are, and follow them.
Become Someone You Are Not?
In order to get different results, you are going to have to take different actions. You are going to need to be different. You are going to need to make changes inside and out.
You don’t have to change everything about your SELF, but you do have some heavy tweaking to do.
Many people will say, “I am who I am and I’m not changing one bit for anything or anyone”…
Evolution, adaptation and change are requirements for success.
The Beatles didn’t just make a record, they sang the old tunes then the new tunes based on the old tunes…then with a little help from their friends (and occasional hallucinogens) created a new style of music that has been popular ever since.
They had to change.
Me, too. You, too. (Like “She Said, She Said”)
Evolving. Look at it as a spiritual evolving perhaps.
Change is the Generator of Wealth
You may currently feel that you do not want to “change.”
It’s not necessarily your heart or your character that is getting renovated (thought that is sometimes a grand idea as well!!), it’s your daily habits, actions, focus, projects, judgment, decisions.
BUT To get different results, you “gotsta” change some.
Let’s say you follow this formula and remain consistent with it. You decide to make a commitment to earn half a million dollars per year within 18 months. You set that figure as a solid goal.
Then, you plan out everything you can think of to get you to that goal. I mean, you write down everything you believe you need to do so that you achieve that goal.
In doing this, and setting this plan, you take action and start taking care of the things you wrote down that will get you to your goal.
One of the things you put down is that you will work extra hard. You will put in more hours. You will start work one hour earlier and end work one hour later. You decide your work week will consist of 60 hours or more per week.
By doing this, you will start getting results. And, you will become addicted to your work, which is bad if you don’t like what you do, and, good if you do.
The good thing is that you will become almost addicted to working hard. You will become almost addicted to achieving some kind of results somehow.
You will grow, becoming someone who makes things happen and others will say to you, “you work too much”…
Sort of like daVinci, Jesus, Edison, Ford, Carnegie, McCartney, Elvis, and all people of achievement.
If people did not say that to you in the past, and now they tell you that you work too hard, then guess what… you are evolving!
That is just one example of the spiritual evolution.
Commit to yourself right now that this is a very good thing indeed!
Many people who have become wealthy do not even realize what they have done to get that way. They just know that they have grown from where they used to be as a person – when they were not wealthy.
Remember, we aren’t talking about changing your morals, ethics, religion, sex, or anything like that. (Well, actually, for some people, ‘morals’ and ‘ethics’ may need a gut check, but that’s not what I am referring to at all in this section about changing your SELF.)
Next, gotta question for ya’…
Your Action Plan
What is your annual income?
Now that you got that figure in your head, double it. Now, write that down on a piece of paper. Write down your income doubled from what it currently is. Now, write down one year.
Now, if you were to take that figure and then write down everything you need to do to get there, you’d have a list of things to do. That list would start out as your action plan.
As you write that list out, think about how you would obviously need to make personal changes to accomplish this outcome.
If you utilize this strategy which is grounded in Napoleon Hill’s philosophy, you will find yourself apart from 90% of the rest of the population. (98%)
I mean, more than 90% of the population does not write down goals. By you doing so, you just put yourself in the elite percentage of success-oriented people. You are then doing what wealthy people do and that is set goals and plans.
Secret: Wealthy people don’t think of “goals” as “goals,” they think of them as “projects” on their “to do” list. There is no “wondering” if something can or will get done…they wrote it done. They go to work on it, they get it done.
Look, most people just react and go through the motions in life. Most do the minimum to get by and survive. To get more than that out of life, requires doing more than the minimum.
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