Building wealth is one of my biggest priorities in life after God, family, and health. Attaining wealth means a lot of things to me including freedom, security, and the ability to contribute to the less fortunate. Wealth is formally defined by Merriam-Webster as an abundance of valuable material possessions or resources. Informally, the definition of wealth can expand beyond the limits of money and possessions to mean abundance in all areas of life (money, knowledge, skills, relationships, etc.). I am striving to build the informal version of wealth.
Through reading some books on personal finance, self-help, and entrepreneurship, I have found that the secret to accumulating wealth of any kind is giving. In actuality, the more you give the more you will get. This idea of giving something away to accumulate wealth seemed counterintuitive to me when I first came upon it since attaining wealth means getting or having a lot. However, what I’ve found is that contribution and service are the biggest secrets to becoming wealthy. In order to accumulate wealth in terms of money and possessions, one has to be able to contribute value and service to other people. The amount of people you can help and the size of the problem you solve directly relates to the amount of money you will be compensated. In order to accumulate a wealth of knowledge, skills, or relationships, one has to contribute time and effort. The more time and effort you give to those things, the more they will grow.
Through all of my reading there seemed to be a common set of principles that relate to the accumulation of wealth, here they are:
Find a way to do more for others than anyone else does – going back to contribution. Whether it’s offering a service, helping someone out, buying a gift, building efficient software, creating products, providing entertainment or building a business, doing for others will always be beneficial to your own wealth. The key is to look outside yourself and see what you can do for others. Helping other people will always pay you back in one way or another.
Become more valuable – once you realize that contributing value to others is the key ingredient to attaining wealth the next step is to enhance your skills and abilities. To deliver exceptional value, you will need to grow your knowledge and build skills to a level that separates you from the herd.
Build your network – there’s a saying that your net worth equals your network. The more people you connect with equals the more people you have the opportunity to contribute to. The more people that know your value, the more referrals and clout you build. Those who give without keeping score will accumulate the most in terms of relationship building.
Gratitude – An often overlooked aspect of wealth is appreciating and protecting what you already have. You might already have the opportunity to build wealth but spend your time comparing yourself to the wealthiest people on earth. One of the biggest differences between those striving to build wealth and everyone else is that wealthy people focus on maintaining and growing their wealth, not just spending it. I work in the financial services industry and see the lengths people go to protect and grow their estates. Their end goal isn’t just to buy the next new thing; their end goal is to provide for their lineage.
One last thing to note is that doing these things can also make you very rich. However, there is a big difference between being rich and building wealth. The reason I seek wealth is that rich people tend to spend a lot of what they earn, even to the point of going into massive debt, while trying to keep up with the “Joneses”. Those who focus on wealth still spend but put systems in place to protect themselves from financial ruin. The wealthy typically have bigger plans for their money, whether it be charity or providing for their kids’ kids. Not saying one is better than the other but… Let’s GO build wealth.
Calls to action:
- Let’s GO forth giving and serving others
- Let’s grow our skills and knowledge
- Let’s continue to build our networks
- Let’s appreciate, maintain, and enhance our wealth
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