According to an African adage, there are many roads that lead to the market. But regardless of the road you choose to take to the market, you still have to follow certain fundamental principles so that you can arrive on time and achieve your purpose of going to the market.
In the same way, there are many paths that lead to wealth. There is no secret. Everything you need to know and every tool you need to start from scratch to build wealth is already out there; and accessible to even those that consider themselves ordinary. But you have to reach out and grab it.
It is important to note that true wealth is a lot more than just making money. We’ve all seen rich people that are miserable and financially average people that are happy. With that in mind, here are 10 principles of building financial and personal wealth from scratch based on research and personal experiences.
1. Get a Deeper Motivation
When you are starting from scratch, you may have to be selfish to survive and get yourself out of the mud, but you cannot be selfish to experience true wealth. Once survival is taken care of, selfishness becomes a choice, not a necessity. If you don’t have a goal that is greater than you, you will never be wealthy.
Money by itself is not a strong enough motivation to drive you to build sustainable wealth. This is because building wealth is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. So in other to succeed, you want to be driven by goals that are deeper than the enticement of material things. You want a cause that will bring transformation to your life and drive you deep enough to overcome all the obstacles that stand between you and financial freedom. Your deep motivation may be to attain freedom from necessary labor, freedom of choice and to live to your fullest potential, to live charitably, to pursue personal growth, to lead as proof to others that they too can do it, and so on. To stay the course long enough to succeed, you must be driven by a commitment that runs deeper than just the lifestyle that money can buy.
2. Build yourself
An ignorant person with a lot of money is not wealthy. A fool with a lot of money is not wealthy either. In the book, The Jewish Phenomenon, the author Steven Silbiger noted that despite several migrations throughout history, the Jews are able to preserve their wealth because of their belief that wealth is portable. In other words, you take wealth wherever you go. If a truly wealthy person is stripped of all his material possessions, he has the knowledge and network to build it all over again. So the second principle of building wealth is to focus on building yourself; this includes your integrity, relationships, knowledge, skills, and experience.
3. Be Courageous
To succeed in all human endeavors, courage is arguably the most important of all virtues. No one has ever created wealth from following the crowd. To have what most people will never have, you have to do what most people will never d0. And this takes courage. In fact, the reason the larger part of the population remains poor and average is because of a lack of courage. It takes courage to start a venture and be self-responsible. It takes courage to walk new paths and develop new skills. It takes courage to stand out from the crowd. It takes courage to put in the extra effort when others don’t. In short, it takes courage to build wealth. You cannot build wealth without courage. And anyone can learn to be more courageous.
4. Give More Value Than You Take
There is no doubt that there are people who amassed financial empires by exploiting and destroying other people. But don’t be fooled; a lot of money without a clear conscience, peace of mind, and good night’s sleep is not wealth. Adding value to the world by giving more than you receive is how you build true wealth. You improve your life by improving other people’s lives. Typically, wealth is a reward for the value you have created for other people. The more value you give, the more wealth you create.
5. Be Disciplined
Wealth is the compounded result of many little decisions and actions piled up over a lifetime. That means your daily habits will make or break your success. I don’t care how much money you win from a reality TV show, if you don’t have the discipline to build and manage your wealth, you will soon run out of money. Saving, investing, reinvesting, and growing your financial and business intelligence are all essential wealth-building habits that require persistent and consistent effort. Wealth does not happen by accident. Even Kim Kardashian wasn’t an accident. Like me, you may not be her fan, but we cannot deny the fact that there was a careful, disciplined action plan that created the Kardashian brand.
6. Avoid Conspicuous Consumption
Why spend money that should go into building your wealth on things you don’t need, just to impress people you don’t like or know? This is why making money your primary motivation is a failed strategy for wealth building. I’ve seen many business owners run to buy that car, rent a new apartment, change wardrobe and increase their spending once they have their first breakthrough. It almost always never ends well for people with this attitude.
Each income you make is potential seed for creating value and building wealth. You can either eat your seed or you plant it. This is why one of the most important qualities you must have to succeed with building wealth is the ability to delay gratification. Wealth builders live modestly by spending less than they can afford, so they can invest the difference for greater value in the future. Every day you have to make a choice between consumption today or wealth tomorrow.
7. Live With Integrity
Never do or say anything that wouldn’t make your kids and loved ones proud in pursuit of financial wealth. The rule is simple: if you don’t feel comfortable telling your spouse, children, and parents what you are doing, then you probably shouldn’t do it. Networks and relationships are forged on trust and integrity. No one wants to do business or partner with someone that lacks integrity. If you lose your integrity in the pursuit of wealth, you may have to spend a lifetime trying to rebuild your integrity than building wealth. Again, no amount of financial wealth can replace a good night’s sleep, a clear conscience, and a peaceful mind.
8. Employ Wealth Building Leverage
You won’t get wealthy by trading time for money, and you can’t do it all yourself. Building wealth requires you to work smarter rather than harder by using other people’s money, time, knowledge, network, marketing platforms, systems, and technology.
Leverage allows you to build more wealth than you could ever achieve alone by utilizing resources that extend beyond your own. It allows you to grow wealth without being restricted by your personal limitations. If you aren’t using leverage, then you’re working harder than you should earn less than you deserve — and that isn’t going to make you wealthy.
9. Build Supportive Environments
The difference between those who succeed at building wealth and those who don’t is consistent, persistent, and focused action. There is an endless stream of distractions to sabotage your wealth plan. The solution is to create a support system that keeps you focused, on track, and literally draws you toward wealth. Your family environment, relationships, work environment, financial habits, daily rituals, must be designed to support and enforce your wealth goals. You can either direct your daily life to achieve your goals, or you can passively allow your days to be filled with alternatives.
10. Steward Your Wealth
Wealth is your servant, and you are responsible for your wealth. Money is a tool that comes with a responsibility to use wisely. Through your legacy of wealth, you have the opportunity to bless yourself and your family’s life now and in the future. And you can go beyond that by expanding the circle to include your community. In other words, it is not the money you make that makes you wealthy, it is what you do with it, and the impact it makes.
No matter how much wealth you build, eventually, someone else will take stewardship of your wealth. So it is your responsibility and privilege to use your wealth is such a way that it touches lives while you are here and after you are gone. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!