What do you think it takes to get rich? Some would say luck – as in winning a lottery. Others might point out the importance of a good education. Many would mention the need for a high and steady income. Still others might hint that an inheritance would do the trick. Of course, some would say that you would have to invent an incredibly popular new thing (like the iPhone) to get rich.
While these things obviously could bring in a lot of money, they actually may not make you rich or help you stay that way if you do make it. Of course, some of them help immensely, but ultimately are not the ONE most important thing you need to get rich. So what is the one thing?
The One Thing
I firmly believe, that if you do want to accumulate worldly wealth, the one most important thing is your own single minded persistence in pursuit of that goal.
Persistence is the obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Now, it is possible to be persistent and never get rich. You have to be persistent in doing productive things that lead you to wealth. It is unproductive, in fact, to persist in all things. Some folks persist in activities and thoughts that keep them in poverty such as overspending or lack of desire to do what it takes (such as working for money or denying themselves current rewards).
Being persistent doesn’t necessarily mean plugging away at the same job year after year because it pays. It could mean that you look around for new and better ways to move towards your goal. If the first product you invent doesn’t take off (fails) then your single minded persistence may cause you to try another, or retrain for a new job or develop a side income.
People with single minded persistence overcome failure over and over again to keep going towards their wealth goal. They are nimble in switching from non-productive activities to productive ones to keep moving ahead.
The activities and mini steps you will persist in will change over time to get to your single minded purpose of wealth. However, you will persist in keeping your eye on the final vision. If you happen to stray, you will come back to it – again and again.
When you are just starting out, you may be persisting in activities to get the training to land a job to get some income. People with the single minded purpose of getting rich will find ways to get income (or more income). They will realize the importance of keeping expenses below income; joining forces with a spouse or partner; and working activities in priority order. They will realize that the goals they set over time will change, but accomplishing each goal will move them along their path towards wealth. Eventually, they will seek out information and perhaps even assistance in learning to manage the wealth they have worked so hard to achieve.
What does single minded persistence towards wealth look like?
- Depositing each and every birthday and Christmas gift check in the bank.
- Working overtime each night and weekend for multiple years and saving the extra income.
- Keeping your standard of living the same while income increases to generate extra saving potential (such as eating at home instead of in restaurants or fast food joints each week).
- Paying extra on your debt each period and then not incurring new debt.
- Depositing part of your check in the bank for savings before you spend it on anything else.
- Continuing to seek out new information in your field to stay current in your job or job hop to a better paying one.
- Buying personal finance books at garage sales and reading them one after another to make sure you have a basis of knowledge on money management
- Periodic scanning of internet finance information to keep current and learn new concepts – such as how to get the investment product with the lowest fees, highest return and least risk.
Persistence can be learned.
Parents teach us persistence in the things they repeat (verbally and in their actions) day after day. Most parents persist in insisting that their children learn to use the potty, tie their shoes and maybe play a musical instrument.
Parents teach persistence by expecting, or demanding, that their children do a certain thing – instead of doing it for them.
When my Granddaughter was little, she had to learn to buckle her own seat belt. My son declined to do it for her until after she had tried and tried again. When he had seen her succeed, he then just declined, no matter if she threw a fit or if the family was late to go.
When my Grandson was a toddler, he had to learn to drink out of a public drinking fountain. Although he had a lot of difficulty pressing the bar to start the water at the same time he reached for the stream with his mouth, he had to try over and over again.
Perhaps you feel you could be better at single minded persistence. Every one of us is pulled in 20 million directions each and every day with demands from family, friends, jobs, activities and yes even our own conscience. How can we develop the necessary ONE thing to get rich with so many demands on our time?
Here is what I think.
You have to believe in your ultimate vision. There must be ‘something in it for you’ – a match up between your vision and your values, a reward for you personally (not your family your friends, your boss or your company) not only at the end of the road, but at many stops along the way. The vision of wealth really isn’t about the money. It is about what can be done with the money – whether that be better relationships, a legacy to heirs, making a large difference in a charitable cause or something other.
You have to believe that you can indeed accomplish it. You have to just start towards it, trying small steps. Small successes lead to victories. You have to practice being persistent. A big goal can be daunting. Break it down. When I wanted to redo the paint in a large bedroom that had been ‘splatter’ painted by the prior owner, I had to work on it in half hour increments. Otherwise it was too boring, too labor intensive and too time consuming to do.
You have to be flexible. Some things you try will fail. Instead of throwing in the towel, you have to try another thing. You have to recognize and remember that there is more than one way to get to wealth. My first jobs were real busts but I kept going back and trying new things to get better compensated for my time.
Do you think there is ONE thing that is most important to building wealth? If so, what is it?