The subject of money is definitely one of the most important, if not the most important subject in the daily lives of people all across the world. The connotation attached to it changes depending who you ask. To some it is the key to happiness, and to others it is the “root of all evil”. There are several economic viewpoints in regards to money — communism, capitalism, socialism, just to name a few. Regardless of where you stand, it is almost undeniable that money matters. In the current state of the world, it is pretty hard to get by without it. Money represents something that can be used to acquire scarce resources. Money is central to the well-being of families, the harmony or marriages, as well as many other factors that affect our lives on a daily basis.
So why do so many of us try to pretend that money doesn’t matter? People will say things like “money isn’t important,” yet will feel a great deal of unhappiness if they don’t have any. Sure it may not be the most important or only thing one needs to live a good life, but to pretend that it’s not important to some degree is foolish. Even mother Theresa, who swore an oath of poverty, had to raise money in order to get many of her altruistic goals accomplished and to help others. So what guidelines should we follow in order to reach financial success? I will share a few of the concepts I have been learning about with you.
Warren Buffet, Chairman of investment holdings company Berkshire Hathaway, and one of the richest people on the entire planet, said that he has two rules in regards to money. Rule number one – Never lose money. Rule number two – Never forget rule number one. This seems so rudimentary of a rule, even childish, but if you take a step back and think about it, it is actually profound. Whether you are in business or working for someone else the same rule applies. In all of the various industries one can choose from the main objective is to profit on your abilities and skills. Often time’s people like to complain about their lack of capital, but in reality, presumably the only way to make money (legally/ethically at least) is to provide value, or at least value that is perceived. Ill use the example of teachers and pro athletes to illustrate:
Some people argue that teachers deserve to make just as much money as professional athletes do, and that athletes are grossly overpaid. Taking away any type of moralistic argument, lets just look at the facts of the situation. There are only a handful of highly talented athletes. Athletes with professional ability are rare. In addition to being rare, there is a high demand to see athletes perform. On any given night during a professional sports contest, tens of thousands of people will be in attendance live, and millions may be watching on television. In contrast, you will hardly ever see ten thousand people watch a high school biology teacher conduct a lesson. That’s economics in a nutshell. In order to make more you have to provide more value, preferably something rare, and there has to be a demand for it. You can debate what’s truly valuable and what’s not, but in the world we live in today perception is the only thing that matters.
You may indeed hold a great deal of value. Perhaps you have knowledge and expertise in a certain area, or some type of talent or skill that can be of some value in our society, but unless you are able to monetize it (find a way to make money from it), then it is of no use. Making money is literally the process of creating a system that can capture value, or make a profit. Maybe the answer is reading more business books, attending seminars, or learning form a mentor as a way to give you the skills that can help translate your talents into dollars. Perhaps now is the time to take that business idea that has been lurking in the back of your mind for years and turn into something real and tangible. If you have knowledge worth sharing I suggest writing a book (as I am attempting to do) or creating a website to share your knowledge, or both.
I know many of us feel that we deserve to have more money, but so does everyone else, simply feeling like you need more money is not going to get your more money. Instead of need try seed. Plant seeds in your mind that can grow into ideas that can help you move ahead in life. Become so good at what you do that it is simply impossible to ignore. Instead of bouncing around from thing to thing pick one thing and become really good at it, and at the same time, work on the business aspect of it so that you can profit from it. People say they don’t want to learn sales skills or increase their business acumen but I believe it is in everyone’s interest to do so. You can pretty much turn anything into a business if you are creative, but it will take some business savvy to turn your talents into dough.
Maybe money doesn’t matter intrinsically and inherently, but in the world we live in today it definitely matters. It is not the key to happiness, but it can help build a level of comfort that will help you to live the life that you truly want. Instead of blaming the government or your employer for your lack of capital, take a look in the mirror and truly assess whether or not the value you are providing the world is worth the amount of money you seek. If the two don’t match, take the time to figure out what you need to do to provide more value, work on building the skills, and create a system to deliver those skills. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. The specifics on how to do to it may be a bit more complicated, but the general rules apply.
You can sit back, feel sorry about yourself, and complain, but it’s not going to do you any good. To date, there is no evidence of a magic genie that grants all of our wishes. You can play the lottery, but you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning twice, and being mauled by two different types of bears, than you do of hitting the jackpot, so maybe you should try the way that I’ve suggested. It’s easy to assume little or no responsibility for your life and for your bank account. The reason so few people aren’t wealthy isn’t unfairness. The reason the top 20 percent of people have eighty percent of the wealth isn’t simply because they are greedy and evil. They think in a way that is different from the masses and they also work in a way that is different. The reason Sam Walton became one of the richest men in the world isn’t because he was evil; it was because people spent their money at his establishments willingly. If you resent Wall Street, I suggest you get rid of your 401k plans, because you probably own shares in multiple corporations. The reason the owners of these businesses have so much money is because of you, the consumer; you buy their products, and you line their pockets. There is no escaping this reality. Join the winning team, the producers, instead of always being a consumer who is making everyone else rich but you.
People want to have Bill Gate’s financial statements, but they don’t want to sit in a cubicle for ten years straight without a single day off like he did. This all goes back to getting what you deserve. I’m sure you are a very nice person, but that’s not enough to justify millions raining form the sky and into your account, for no apparent reason other than you being you. In the world we live in today you have to give to get. What are you going to learn to give to the world so that it pays you back in the form of cold hard cash?