You don’t need to be a genius to do amazing things with your money.
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to come from money (in fact, the most extremely successful people in history started with little or none). You don’t need to be young, or even have a college degree.
You need a plan. And… you need to be brave, humble, and willing to consider a different perspective. Only you know if you’re ready to do that.
We all have beliefs that we’ve created around every major aspect of our lives (e.g. relationships, business, family, parenting, love). At their core, 99% of our beliefs are reactions to pain we’ve experienced thus far. Who shaped you when you were growing up?
If you’re like other human beings, your daily behavior and actions are habitual responses to what you didn’t get when you were young. Most of us spend all of our days tending to a past wound.
The difference between people who make minimal impact in the world and the most successful people who do is that successful people learn to lead with their core beliefs, rather than making decisions in response to pain. They surely experience pain (every human being does), but what they do is defined by love for something beyond the pain. They work through the hardship. They go with hope. Strategically executed hope.
Here are some incredible things that famous people in history have said about money and the lessons you can take away to improve your financial life.
1. Money is for good.
“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor — your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?”— Ayn Rand
“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” — Nelson Mandela
“The lack of money is the root of all evil.” — Mark Twain
If you’re not using your money to create good every day with your financial actions, ask yourself, why not?
If you believe money is bad, ask, “Is this is true?”, or a reaction to pain.
2. You need to be okay with less, before you can have more.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” — Albert Einstein
“If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” — Warren Buffett
“Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.” — Warren Buffett
All growth happens after challenge. Accept the challenge of recognizing you need little more than what you already have (and probably a lot less) to become successful at whatever you want to do.
Let your financial life catch up with your dreams. This is especially crucial if you carry any kind of debt.
3. There is always a difference between value and price. Price lags.
“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” — Oscar Wilde
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” — Albert Einstein
“We learned about gratitude and humility — that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.” — Michelle Obama
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” — Warren Buffett
One of the easiest mistakes we make when becoming financially mature is to mistake price for value. They’re two different things.
Your goal in creating financial success is to recognize and harvest value when the price is cheap. Adopt this mindset, and over time nothing will stop you.
4. Your money needs a purpose. To live a rich life, drive your actions toward a mission that enriches others.
“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” ― J.D. Salinger
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” — Henry Ford
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sake and for our own.” — Cesar Chavez
We’re made to love each other. Make something of your financial life that amplifies your gratitude for life itself.
5. Money is a poor substitute for life. Embrace money for what it is, a powerful tool.
“Men have become the tools of their tools.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Who, being loved, is poor?” — Oscar Wilde
“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” — John Wooden
“If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.” — Warren Buffett
“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” — Aristotle
What do you want to do with your money?
If you already have an answer, it will completely change how productive you are with the money when you have it. If you’re not clear yet, you’re more prone to waste.
6. If you fail, get up and try again.
“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” — Malcolm X
“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.”― F. Scott Fitzgerald
“It ain’t over till it’s over.” — Yogi Berra
The question isn’t, “Will I fail?” but, “How often and how quickly can I fail so that my learning curve steepens?” Failures aren’t personal, not even financial ones. Everyone who ever made a difference in other people’s lives failed a million ways to Sunday too. They just kept going after what they loved. Every next effort got wiser.
You need your money to energize everything, to give more, to support more, and to light the way for others. You can do it.