How the poor can become rich
For the poor man to become rich, he has to unlearn his wealth rejecting habits and focus on what is left. A European polling organization, Credit Suisse counts the rich to be 42.2 million in its 2018 Global Wealth Report. Divide that by the 7.7 billion people currently inhabiting this planet, and you will get about 0.5 per cent. And just like you get to that percentage, we think ‘getting rich’ is an activity. That it is about movement, action, struggle. It’s implied but not exactly about how we use the word ‘get’ in how we get coffee; get a job or get to the top of a mountain.
Though it is true that getting rich requires years of hard work; you will have to learn a lot, build skills; make the right decisions at the right time and have a whole bunch of luck in the process. But if that’s all we focus on, we will miss the most important factors involved in seeking riches. Understanding that you are most likely to build wealth on the back of something that grows exponentially is a huge perspective shift. But it is an important shift in perception. Otherwise, you might always be working on something, be so busy hustling that you forget to build the stakes in your ventures that can still work out after you have left them.
However, it is harder to point out a set of wealth-building patterns than it is to spot what keeps people from getting rich and rid yourself of them. Once you have unlearned your wealth rejecting habits, all that’s left is taking action and waiting for exponential growth to set in. Here are five wealth rejecting habits uncovered by research. One, stop telling yourself money is evil. When it was discovered in the United States that those who claim that money is dirty never have any; it led to the rise of prosperity preaching, the end-time religious movement. Money doesn’t come in different ethical flavors because it doesn’t have any flavors. It is a tool without any inherent intentions. Money can only be a consequence of ethical or unethical behaviour.
Two, stop playing status games. Think of the most popular person in your high school. Where are they now? Chances are they peaked early and got stuck playing status games. The problem with status games is that they are zero-sum games: the only way you win is if someone else loses. Politics, fame, prestige, these are the platforms of status games. For you to move up a notch another person must move a slot down. To win at a status game, you have to put another person down. Which is why you should avoid status games in your life, because they make you an angry combative person. You will always be fighting and putting others down, to put yourself up. Building wealth by making things people want, however, is a positive sum-game: the more you do it, the better.
Getting the life you want depends on your playing wealth games, not status games. If you are always busy trying to look good, you will have no time and energy left to actually do good. Though doing good is a thankless job, you still have to keep doing it to succeed. Three, stop rejecting responsibility. Great financial rewards are the result of taking an asymmetric or great risk. Asymmetric risk is when what you stand to lose is disproportionately different from what you stand to gain. Many employees in corporations only play games of shift-the-blame. They want to point to their boss when things go wrong. Sadly in the pursuit of riches, without responsibility, there cannot be any rewards. This means when responsibility comes, you must take it. Taking responsibility isn’t dangerous, it is only uncomfortable. In life, you must stand for something.
Don’t wait for the responsibility to show up, take some. Choose the right responsibilities and live up to them. Four, stop wasting your leverage. Working hard is a requirement of getting rich, though it isn’t the deciding factor.