I reckon that the path to wealth is one filled with many strategies that are often contextual. However, there are general guidelines to building wealth that stand strong and sure having stood the test of time for years now. Many schemes have emerged to provide pathways to wealth. A lot of these schemes have produced short term results to their subscribers while a number left their investors with wounds and scars so visible for all to see.
In this post, I will share four things to focus on when seeking to build wealth. These considerations are timeless and simple truths but their effect and results are profound and cannot be faulted. I will suggest that you consult expert financial advisors to guide on suggestions contained in this post.
WHAT IS WEALTH?
Wealth speaks of the volume of possessions one has. These possessions must be in abundance to qualify for wealth and they can be in forms of money, assets, property or other expressions of riches. Wealth speaks of abundance of things that are considered valuable. Wealthy people have an abundance mindset. They don’t think of scarcity. They have a consciousness that there is a lot for everyone on the earth to draw from. This is one of the reasons they don’t entertain excuses for lack of growth and expansion in their endeavours. Control is vital for the affluent. They don’t think they are powerful when they can not use their resources to influence or determine the course of events. A wealthy man sees his possessions as assets that can be drawn on to ensure efficient and effective productivity in all his engagements. Wealth can be summed up as things owned: tangible or intangible that makes an individual better off.
CONSIDERATION 1: ALL WEALTH COMES BY EARNING INCOME. Wealth is primarily an accumulation of resources. This suggests a gradual acquisition of things over a period of time. This is where the idea of income becomes important. Your income is the source of your wealth. The money or equivalent that you receive from your engagements or investments becomes the primary source for your wealth. If you don’t earn anything, you cannot become wealthy. All wealth comes by income. The worth of your income is proportionate to the value of products and service you have made available.
Your income is the source of your wealth.
Your income is influenced by 3 success levers. The first lever is an understanding of the times in which we live in. You need contextual intelligence to note that what used to work may not be working anymore. You must be smart to study trends and determine the next spot where cash will be flowing to. Cash flow is the king when considering income. The second lever is a discovery of what you are prepared to render as a service. Many a time our desires are not commercially viable enough to earn the income we need. Pay attention to your passions, skills, natural endowments and gaps in the society, they will serve as vital indicators for the service you can render. The third lever for your income is a knowledge of what you are willing to sacrifice along the way of earning a good income. You don’t have to lose family and friends, you don’t have to work like a cold robot with no social intelligence. You should focus on gratifications you can delay. You should focus on indiscretions you can avoid.
Your income is influenced by your capacity to earn. Brian Tracy said, “until you learn more, you cannot earn more.” You must build proficiency in areas where you want to render service to others. Your ability to solve problems determines the value you get in exchange. You must seek to render a service for which there is a need. If there is no need for the things you do, then you have to unlearn your skills and pick up new ones. You can’t afford to be redundant because the world is moving at a very fast pace. Endeavour to render this service excellently such that it becomes difficult to replace you when seeking for providers of the service.
“until you learn more, you cannot earn more.” — Brian Tracy
You can multiply the sources of your income. Bob Proctor says there are two ways to make money: When you work and when the money you earn while working begins to work for you. In order to increase the flow of income to you as you begin to accumulate wealth, see that you work harder, longer and smarter. Take on many opportunities that maximises your capacity in your area of competence. You can multiply your income when your money earns more from savings accounts, investments and other streams of income as you may find fit for yourself and the environment you are. You should ensure to have both earned and passive income that is consistent before you can begin to save and invest towards the accumulation of wealth.
You must learn to delay gratification.
CONSIDERATION 2: SAVING MONEY IS THE SEED FOR BUILDING WEALTH. Your income is the funnel where all wealth flows from. However, if you don’t keep a portion of this income for future use, you will never reach the wealthy status. The habit of saving from your earnings enables you to preserve the power of your income. Your income has the ability to procure things for you but when all is spent, that power is relinquished. It is savings that enables you to acquire things that can enhance the rate of your productivity.
Deal with Bad Habits. Savings finds expression by dealing with bad habits. You must learn to delay gratification. There are unnecessary things you do that drains your income, you must seek to discontinue them. You must be able to separate what you need from what you want. Having a savings target may make you become thrifty on a few things. Napoleon Hill said, the man that cannot save has not got the seed of greatness in him. Learn to work by the counsel that says “if what you have in your hand is not sufficient to be called a harvest, turn it into a seed.”
There is no best time to save. People often say you should save during the rainy day so you can consume during the dry season. The truth is that when savings become a habit, you will do it during both seasons of abundance and scarcity. You should learn to save when you have are earning higher than your expectations, you should also save when you are not earning so much but make it at a reduced rate.
“if what you have in your hand is not sufficient to be called a harvest, turn it into a seed.”
There’s no magic formula for savings. Setting aside a portion of your income is the principle behind savings. The approach and the percentage is usually contextual. Many have counselled that we use piggy banks, savings account, and other automated means. A few other counsels have said it should be 10% or 20% of your total gross income. The truth is that we all have varied expenses and financial concerns. What works for one person may constitute a big burden for another. It is advisable to consider all your financial obligations as well as financial goals before choosing plan and a percentage of income to save.
CONSIDERATION 3: INVESTING MONEY IS THE PATH TO INCREASE. The chances of becoming wealthy is not guaranteed with savings. Savings makes you secure but does not provide the room for multiplied income. Money is likened to a soldier on the battlefield, the more they are on the field against your adversary, the better your chances of winning the battle.
To invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit in the future.
You must have a reason for Investing. What is the driving force behind your investment decisions? What do you want to accomplish? When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse of same is inevitable. Investment takes on a higher risk than savings and it promises a higher return as well. This makes it important to have an investment objective before committing your resources. Investors should be guided against get-rich-quick schemes. Wealth is built and the foundation for its accumulation must be on sound objectives. You need an investment objective and philosophy.
Investment widely and wisely. When investing your money, ensure there is a mix of schemes where you allocate your resources to. To invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit in the future. Ensure that you spread your risk and position your returns in line with your objectives. See to it that the maturity of your investment matches with your anticipated dates for return.
You are not too young or old to invest. Age is a factor in determining what you invest in. Young investors should take up investment opportunities that they can watch over a long period of time because they have age on their side while the older investors can do otherwise.
Invest in yourself. It is important to note that the best form of investment is the one you do to yourself. Invest in improving your ability to produce better results on your engagements. Invest in financial education so as to know how to direct the course of your financial resources. Ignorance is too costly on your journey to building wealth.
You can see my article on Portrait of the Wealthy to see more on Investment.
CONSIDERATION 4: CONTROLLING YOUR EXPENDITURE IS THE PROTECTIVE VALVE FOR YOUR ACCUMULATED RESOURCES. If you are not able to protect your income, then you will never be wealthy. Your expenses use up your earnings but you must ensure they don’t use them all up.
“you are not going to have all that you need and want at the time you want them while building wealth”
Don’t eat up all you earn. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.” You should be able to control your urges. Tell yourself this truth, “you are not going to have all that you need and want at the time you want them while building wealth”. The goal of wealth building is to increase your ability to earn more. If you have less, you can’t gain more but if you increase your resources in investment, you will expand your wealth base.
Those who borrow may multiply their sorrow. If you are in debt, you must begin to pay back from your earnings at a rate that still enables you to save a fraction of your income. Learn from your mistakes and ensure that going forward, you will make your money very hard to reach.
You need to be disciplined in the way you direct your resources.
Don’t spend on impulse. Have a budget. Have a planned approach to your expenses. You need to be disciplined in the way you direct your resources. In doing this, don’t shy away from your obligations. Make sure the resources available to you will always increase your chances of multiplying your income. Look out for areas of your life where you need to reduce your spending. A budget allows you to track your expenses and then take a decision on how to allocate your resources in future. When you have a budget, you can tell what is coming in and what is going out. You must always ensure there is enough cash flow and there is sufficient reserves for emergencies.
Those who borrow may multiply their sorrow.
FINAL WORD. Building wealth is more about how much you accumulate to overcome the incredible odds that may befall you. Building wealth helps to increase your options and opportunities in life. Your focus should be simple: Build Capacity to earn income, Save from Your Earnings, Invest Wisely, Budget your Resources. Never forget that it takes time to build. When you jump up, you will surely come down, but when you grow up, you will stay up. Grow your seed and you will never lack resources to meet your needs and be benevolent towards great causes of life.
Olumuyiwa Akinrole Oludayo