How to build a for­tune

Money is im­por­tant and cru­cial to your legacy – but there’s an art to han­dling it


Who­ever said that money isn’t im­por­tant sim­ply didn’t have any. Money is as im­por­tant as oxy­gen.

For many years, I was broke in mind, empty in pocket and frus­trated in my heart. Money flowed through my hands like wa­ter from a tap.

One day, that all changed. I picked up The Para­ble of Dol­lars: Proven Strate­gies of Fi­nan­cial Suc­cess (Suc­cess Power) by Sam Adeyemi, who’s a teacher based in La­gos, Nige­ria, and his book changed my life. I’m pass­ing on five crit­i­cal prin­ci­ples that will make money work for you in­stead of you work­ing for it.

1. What you don’t see, you don’t spend.

Money will come into your life, but if you don’t give it an as­sign­ment be­fore it hits your pocket, it will evap­o­rate into thin air. Set aside 20% of every­thing you earn au­to­mat­i­cally and save it. If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it.

2. The way you han­dle R100 is the way you’d han­dle R1 mil­lion.

I’ve of­ten heard peo­ple say: “If I won a mil­lion rand, I’d give to ev­ery­one I know in need and sup­port many char­i­ties.” Here’s the re­al­ity. If you can’t do it when you have R100, you won’t do it when you have R1 mil­lion. You need to shift your think­ing.

Many lottery win­ners lose every­thing and more within five to 10 years of their wind­fall. As soon as the ini­tial ex­cite­ment abates, they re­vert back to the per­son they al­ways were. They in­creased their money, but didn’t in­crease their ca­pac­ity to re­tain it.

3. Ex­pand your knowl­edge ca­pac­ity and solve big­ger prob­lems.

For many years, I wanted to get a pro­mo­tion and a salary in­crease, but I had nei­ther the ed­u­ca­tion or skills to achieve it. I had to make my­self more valu­able to my em­ployer by solving prob­lems in the com­pany that no­body else wanted to tackle. Once you make your­self in­dis­pens­able to the or­gan­i­sa­tion, you no longer have to chase money – it chases you.

4. Think abun­dance, elim­i­nate scarcity.

An open hand is al­ways full. The abil­ity to em­brace an abun­dance mind­set opens the door to big­ger op­por­tu­ni­ties than you re­alise.

When I left Disney to go into busi­ness on my own, I wanted not only to speak, write and sell books, but to help oth­ers like me. I made a point of spread­ing the word about other peo­ple’s books and rec­om­mend­ing other speak­ers for en­gage­ments. I sim­ply elim­i­nated the scarcity mind­set that I had to hold onto every­thing for fear of los­ing it all.

In Zen and the Art of Mo­tor­cy­cle Main­te­nance (HarperTorch), au­thor Robert Pir­sig re­lates this story: “A mon­key comes across a trap, which con­sists of a hol­lowed­out co­conut, chained to a stake. The co­conut has some rice in­side which can be grabbed through a small hole. The mon­key’s hand fits through the hole, but his clenched fist can’t fit back out. The mon­key’s sud­denly trapped… but not by any­thing phys­i­cal.

He’s trapped by an idea, un­able to see that a prin­ci­ple which served him well – ‘when you see rice, hold on tight!’ – has be­come lethal.”

5. Fancy clothes, cars and trap­pings don’t make the man.

Too many men think that once they’re mak­ing money, driv­ing a fancy car and liv­ing in a big house, they’re suc­cess­ful. I’m here to tell you that fast times don’t last.

There’ll come a point where you recog­nise the shal­low na­ture of those things. In­stead, buy a car and drive it for 10-20 years. Stay in the home you’re in now and pay it off. Live be­low your means in­stead of try­ing to im­press oth­ers. Fo­cus n fill­ing the empti­ness in­side.

Make a list of every­thing you owe and re­solve to pay it off. And once you’re debt­free, learn how to han­dle money so that you can build gen­er­a­tional wealth. Show your chil­dren how to cre­ate a job in­stead of just work­ing at one.

Si­mon T Bai­ley has a free ebook for you. Sim­ply visit: si­mont­bai­ to submit your email ad­dress and he’ll send it to you.

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