My own journey to wealth was long and arduous. When I was 29 years old, I set myself the goal of retiring early at the age of 45. It took me four years more than the set goal and when I quit working I was very afraid I had made an irreversible mistake. I had left a good career behind and moved from the big city to an economic backlog. There were no jobs in my area of expertise in the area I moved to, so changing my mind about the entire company would be like changing my destination at sea in a leaky boat.
I got rich by doing essentially two things: going back to school and starting a career in a high-demand area, then developing an incredibly cheap, monastic lifestyle, taking the luxury most people in developed economies take it for granted. At first, the difference between my low cost of living and my above-average salary from a new career was faithfully invested at every opportunity in low-risk and therefore low-return, everyday investments. In the end, I developed a modest investment skill. On average, I think I get about 10 to 12% pre-tax return every year.
That average is better than what you can expect from most professional money advisers or mutual funds. With each passing year and growing leverage, people are beginning to learn about safe investing, just as they learn to drive a car, take only acceptable risks, and don’t drive off a cliff in Monaco during a hairpin turn.
I see advertisements everywhere for people to buy products or books on how to make money almost overnight. They sell a get rich quick premise and boldly state that if you buy their product, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you can get rich outside of your wildest dreams. Buy our software, it will pick winning shares for you as magic. Buy my advice letter, I made 1.013% in a year, and you too. What is whipping these people is a dream – a money-for-nothing scheme that only requires you to step out of the paradigm long enough to see yourself in fantastic riches, all available if you just believe it could happen to you .. Really where, if you buy these dreams, what you want is for nothing, and that is probably because you believe that people have become rich with money through the use of a scheme. You believe in the plan’s underlying dishonesty and plan to do it right, leaving all those other suckers in the dust as you run away from the stock exchange with a suitcase full of cash.
In How I became a millionaire I tell about my journey in a biographical way, because what brought me to my goals were my values. I learned about the lives of misguided parents and friends with false values and had to adjust my thinking as a young adult a lot before I started to succeed. There’s no money for nothing, sorry, just hard work. Get up at six, make a stone, sell a stone, net ten cents profit, repeat. Collect and invest. I insist on the new idea that wealth comes when you decide to give more than you get when it comes to a transaction, which adds value to the satisfaction of counterparties and thus a satisfied employer or customer. I am selling the idea that there is no quick schedule, no magic stock selection formula, only honesty, self-denial, willpower and character.
Self-denial is a big part of the discussion, because even if you make a million dollars a year, there are countless ways to spend it. The majority of professional athletes who earn huge salaries at a young age retire in their mid-thirties because they never learned to handle their money. Self-denial must then happen, no matter how much you earn! Whether you earn a hundred thousand a year and really want that Porsche or you make 35,000 a year and you really want that new Honda – it doesn’t matter who you are; you must deny yourself what you want and limit your purchases to what you need. If you earn 35,000 a year and you really want a Porsche, then you are in trouble. Maybe you should Dr. Read Phil!
To achieve self-denial and still feel good about yourself as a person, you need to learn to get cynical, because every commercial on TV, every magazine ad, and every billboard you see will work to undermine your goals. You want to retire at the age of 50 or younger, but if they have their way in your psyche, you will work until you are 90 years old. Advertisers aim to get you to replace what you need for what you WANT. Once they have you wanting a product, you can be sure to become a customer. That undermining your needs for your needs is counterproductive to your goal of acquiring wealth enough to retire early, so you’ll have to learn how to identify their techniques. Some of them, the dirty villains, will even use your sexuality against you; they have hired expert psychologists to penetrate deep into your brain.
How do they do that? Part of it is very subtle and in my opinion reprehensible behavior. Product placement in movies and TV shows is everywhere these days, but what if you devoted an entire segment of a business program to hooking up a product, what would you say to that? Would you believe that a hi-tech smartphone manufacturer would buy a segment of a business reporting program to connect their product to what appears to be legitimate news reporting? They showed line-ups of people fighting to pay $ 500 for a smartphone, crowding each other to become the first to own one, creating a line-up mindset for the demented. I can guarantee that none of those people line up in front of a store at midnight and struggle to own a smartphone is in control of their finances. If this is you, my apologies, go back to my comment about Dr. Phil.
Honestly, most people who want to get rich need a psychoanalyst instead of good stock selection software, or how to book, because in fact becoming independent becomes more of a way to change your mindset than any other factor. I wrote the book as a guide for young people struggling in life because of a series of deluded principles handed to them by parents and peers. I know the story well, I was one. The goal of becoming prosperous should have as a basis the need to be updated above all else. The need to define the purpose for which your life was intended should come before financial goals are set. It gives you the rationale for all your future suffering, self-denial and blows to the ego when those closest to you question your behavior. Since you have given yourself the highest purpose for the meaning of your life, you will not feel the need to justify yourself to others.
Only weak people have such a need. Let them be the ones who buy the consumer goods mountains that keep them from retreating from the rat race and continuing with what they really want to do with their lives. The sad fact is that most people don’t have a self-development goal. And without a clear goal in life, how do you know if you have achieved it? If your goal is to impress people with what you can buy or how much money you have collected then you can succeed, but unfortunately only idiots will be impressed with you! You need a supreme goal that is above all, and divine in its purpose that gives your life and others some meaning and joy in it. Having such a self-realization goal gives you the strength you need to live a life of hardship and hard work that will bring you to your goals in happiness.
The money you collect will help you do what you really want to do with your time on Earth, and just working toward that goal will make you satisfied and fulfilled. Your Gross National Happiness will skyrocket no matter what stage you are on the project, whether you’re in school with your new career or retiring and volunteering for the needy. You will even be satisfied if you deny yourself something, knowing that you are more likely to achieve your goals. Other people may be impressed by you and your performance, but in the end their opinion is not very much. In the end, only you should be satisfied with what you have done with your time, which is really the only source you got to trade for the things you want to get out of life.