Life Lesson #23: You’ve got to Believe in order to Achieve
Today’s lesson is a continuation of King Solomon’s advice on acquiring wealth and good money management. This is Part 2 of our series. If you have not yet read Part 1, be sure to do so now. In today’s lesson we’ll talk about some of the king’s wisdom on ACQUIRING wealth.
Solomon’s books (especially Proverbs and Ecclesiastes) are filled with tips on how to build wealth so I’m again encouraging you to read them for yourself – do that and you’ll really add to your knowledge base! Meanwhile, I’ve picked out 7 tips from the king for our discussion today.
Solomon’s 7 Pillars for Making Money
- Don’t rush it, instead make a good plan. (Prov 21:5) “The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty.” I know, I know – we already talked about planning in Part 1, right? Yes, that’s true, that lesson is so important it bears reminding you of it. In addition, this little tip is actually filled with lots of advice. Besides the importance of the plan, there is an important warning – don’t be hasty with your money! That means don’t go investing in ‘get rich quick’ schemes you see on late night tv, don’t start trying to flip houses without knowing what you are doing first, and don’t let someone con you into a “sure thing” like a multi-level marketing company that sounds too good to be true. Slow and steady builds wealth, not hastiness. Furthermore, this tip tells us that not only do you need a good plan, but you need to work that plan too. After all, anybody can make a plan, but not everybody will follow-through with it. Be sure to TAKE ACTION on your plan – be diligent, be consistent, and you will build wealth.
- Pursue multiple income streams. (Eccl 11:6) “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Who said you can only have one job? Why limit yourself to just one stream of income? After all, if that fails, then what will you do? Now please understand I’m NOT telling you to go about and get multiple jobs (if you really want to do that, go for it), instead I’m telling you to build multiple income streams — ideally passive income streams. What’s a passive income stream? It’s a way for you to collect money without having to put in additional time and effort. Who doesn’t want that? So how do you do it? The options are endless. Passive income generation can come from things like getting paid for your videos on YouTube (my son Jax and I have made thousands of dollars this way), writing a book and collecting royalties, owning a bunch of cash-flow positive rental properties, earning interest on your investments, writing a computer program and selling it to collect royalties, making an album for your band and selling it, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless. There’s nothing wrong with having a primary job (I still do) and using that as the source of your income, but why not have some other ways to get money too? Think about it. Then take action to create some.
- Don’t be lazy. (Prov 20:13) “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.” This one is pretty simple so I won’t spend a lot of time on it. You want to be lazy? Don’t expect to be rich. Are you willing to work your plan and pursue your dreams? Then you’ll acquire wealth. It’s that simple.
- Take action! (Prov 14:23) “Hard work leads to profit, but mere talk only to poverty.” AFTER you’ve come up with a good plan, it’s time to take action. Don’t get me wrong, there is value in taking your time to build a good plan, but sooner or later you’ve got to DO something. If all you ever do is sit around and talk about what you’re going to do, but you never actually DO anything, then you’ll never build wealth. It takes meaningful action, consistent effort, and a stick-to-it mindset to achieve your dreams. Don’t let the ‘desire to be perfect’ stop you from taking action – if you’ve built a good plan then get started on it, you can always tweak it later if you need to.
- Be hungry. (Prov 16:26) “A laborer’s appetite works for him, his hunger drives him on.” When I grew up I was a big fan of the Rocky movies. If you remember Rocky III, you’ll know the famous “Eye of the Tiger” song. But do you remember the lesson of that song? During the movie, Rocky actually LOST a fight and didn’t know what to do next. His friend Apollo Creed explained the solution, “You lost that fight for all the wrong reasons. You lost your edge…the truth is you didn’t look hungry. Now when we fought, you had that eye of the tiger, man, the edge. And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is to go back to the beginning.” With the help of Apollo, Rocky re-discovered his hunger and went on to regain his title as the greatest fighter in the world. That same lesson can work for you too. You’ve got to WANT IT – you’ve got to have passion for what your goals are. In short, you’ve got to be hungry! When you are hungry, you take action because you know if you don’t take action, then you won’t eat. It’s just like in the wild – if an animal is hungry and wants to eat, they have to go out and hunt for their food. You need to do the same. Be hungry. Stay hungry. That’s a recipe for success.
- Pursue what you’re good at. (Prov 28:19) “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.” I realize this one might sound contradictory to #2, but if you think about it further it’s not. This quote is not telling us we only have to have one job (or one income stream), it’s simply telling us not to chase wild fantasies (those ‘get rich quick’ schemes, etc I warned you about). In addition, this quote is also NOT telling us we can’t pursue our dreams – even if they may sound like fantasies to others. Remember, God has given you certain unique talents. Perhaps you are good with computer games? Or maybe you can play the violin like a pro? Or maybe you want to be an astronaut? Many people might actually tell you to get your head out of the clouds and find a job in ‘the real world’ by becoming an accountant, or a lawyer, or a fireman. All of those are great occupations and if that’s you’re passion, then go for it. However if your passion lies elsewhere, then I believe you need to follow that road instead. We talked about this in lesson #3 — use the gifts God has given you and not only will you be happier, but you’ll be more successful too. Become an expert in your field and the money will find you. That’s not chasing fantasy; that’s working the land that God gave you to work.
- Make money work for you. (Eccl 11:1) “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days; give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what disaster may fall upon the earth.” For most people, the path to wealth comes from acquiring money, living prudently, and investing wisely so their money can grow over time. Money safely grows when you invest it in financially-stable companies that grow the value of their stock and pay a dividend (return) to you as the investor. Obviously there’s more to it than that but for the purposes of this lesson, that’s the key for now. Just as importantly is this nugget – don’t put all your eggs in one basket – diversify your money. Invest it in different companies in different industries. That way if something bad happens in one area, you’ll be safe in another. Remember the sad lesson of the Enron employees – so many of them had all their retirement savings invested 100% in the company stock – unfortunately they didn’t know that their bosses were cheating the system and ultimately the company crashed – taking with it all the money of those employees as well. Don’t make that mistake. Manage your money wisely by putting it in a variety of different things – perhaps you have some stock, some real estate, some gold, etc, etc. Keep track of it. Make sure the investments meet YOUR plan’s goals. Then be patient and watch it grow.
This concludes Part 2 of Solomon’s lesson’s on financial management. Be sure to check back for Part 3 where we talk about some important tips for SAVING the money you make – it will give you piece of mind.
Don’t Wait, Use This Wisdom Today
Look at the 7 pillars from today’s lesson – which one means the most to you? Do yourself a favor and think about how you can use this knowledge to make yourself some money. Write out a little plan and then take action — remember nothing is going to happen if you don’t DO something about it, so get started now…