Anyway, John-P and I have been friends for years. Were it not for him, I’m not sure how we would’ve handled moving my daughter into her college experience in Ft. Worth several years ago. He was there for us.
John is the force behind GeekBeat.TV, and is pretty widely known for his blog: OneMansBlog, Specialization is for Insects. But that doesn’t tell half the story. Aside from being an original geek himself, John is a dynamo. He’s started more hi-tech companies than Miley Cyrus has birthdays.
YES, you could say John-P is a success, in almost every sense of traditional and creative definitions. In fact, building on my blog from the other day about measuring success; John has authority…not from a sense of power, but from experience. When he throws out nuggets, I listen. Thousands listen.
His latest missive had to do with success…or more to the point: getting rich — but his definition of rich is more like success. I’ve reprinted it below, as it was published publicly on G+, and I think it has plenty of great advice.
Take the time to read it?
Question: How do I get rich?
Answer: Find Happiness. Oh, I’ll get to the money part in a minute. But first you’re gonna sit through my thoughts on the matter.
The first question I have when people ask me how to get rich is, why the hell do you want to be rich? But really, we all know right?
— Drive a nicer car
— Get a better looking partner
— Live in a big, beautiful house
— Travel the world
But every single answer I’ve ever heard is based on the principle that these things will provide happiness. And here’s the deal – they won’t . And I would know. Because I’ve got and done all of those things, and they don’t make me happy.
You know what makes me happy. YOU! Friends. Family. Love. Being loved. I promise you that the misery of loneliness, despair and depression is just as great for someone with great wealth as it is for someone who is just getting by. And I know that we joke about the fact that “money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy the kind of misery you can live with”, but that’s all it is. A joke. You only need to look at all the celebrities who are rich, famous, and dead as evidence.
The cold hard reality is:
— Expensive cars rapidly become a depressing drain on resources
— A person’s outward appearance has ZERO bearing on how good they are in the sack. And lets face it, SEX appeal is based on an impression of what SEX with a person would be like. FACT: There is NO correlation between looks and love making. So don’t let society fool you into thinking you are missing out because you can’t have sex with a super model. It’s bullshit.
— Big houses are difficult to manage, clean and keep up. They also become a never ending quest to fill, and refill, robbing you of time doing something valuable. They also make people think you’re made of money. Which makes you a target. Oh, and people will think you’re a douchebag too. By default.
— Traveling the world is great. But if your idea of traveling is staying in a resort in a foreign place just to be pampered, that’s just boredom. PEOPLE are what is important. Not places.
So, the REAL answer about how to be rich? Here it is: Get yourself healthy and in shape. Get out and do things with people you care about. Fill your days with activities that matter to you. Make a difference in people’s lives. Learn what true LOVE really is. Live like this is your last year on Earth.
Ok. Now you want to know how to successfully get some money to go along with all of that? It’s going to be damn hard work, and require actual discipline. That’s right – 100% of the time you need self-discipline. And you’re going to have to make sacrifices.
Wealth Requires Savings
WHATEVER you earn, you need to save 30-50% of it. I mean, every month if you earn $1,000, you save $300 of it.
This is really hard for people because they start thinking, “Wow! I have the equivalent of several months or years worth of monthly income saved up! I guess I can use some of that!” 😀 WRONG!!! To this very day most of my income gets SAVED!
What you need to be thinking is, if I never earned another dollar in my life would I be able to live to be 100 with what I have right now? And take care of my family? And without sacrificing the lifestyle I’m currently accustomed to? Until the answer is YES, keep saving.
Wealth Requires Dedication and Hard Work
Its going to take you decades to get wealthy. I mean you are going to have to focus your attention on a goal, and then you’re going to have to pursue it for 20 years. Are you really willing to do that? Is it worth it to you? Because remember, you don’t need money to be happy!
You can either spend as much of your time with people trying to be happy as possible, or you can sacrifice a lot of it in order to try and get wealthy. Because if you aren’t working 60 hours a week (literally) you aren’t going to get rich. And even if you are, you might not.
Wealth Requires Calculated Risk Taking
BEWARE!!! Criminals and snake oil salesmen will try and remove the most important word and tell you “wealth requires risk taking”!
Not only is that not true, its patently evil. Risk taking is a terrible idea – unless you can afford it and you believe the likely outcome is success based on all the information you have available to you. And research and cynicism is YOUR responsibility. Failing to investigate the risks is something we pay for every single day .
For example: quitting a job you hate but that pays the bills to pursue a dream with no immediate income is sheer stupidity. Anyone who tells you they did it is either lying, or is one of the small percentage of lucky ones who pulled it off. It’s a terrible idea.
A good idea? Modify that plan by keeping your crappy job and starting something on the side! When you see an actual sustainable income stream from it that you believe would increase if you dedicated all of your time to it, and which isn’t a short term thing that can disappear immediately, then – and only then – consider taking the RISK of quitting a job and doing it full time.
The same concept applies to investing. Dumping all of your savings in the stock market is the stupidest thing anyone can do. The market is a gamble. You will win. You will lose. You hope to win more than you lose in the long run. So ONLY gamble the amount of money you can lose without affecting your long term plan.
Wealth Requires You to Back a Winning Horse – Even if YOU Aren’t the Horse
For some reason there is an impression that being an inventor / entrepreneur is the way to go. But its rare that this is the case. What you need is a whole string of things to come together. You need a good idea, a good team, and good luck.
If you can find a good job working for someone else who takes care of you, gives you opportunity to contribute, and surrounds you with good people you’re definitely winning! Remember – the people you surround yourself with are your greatest asset, and should be your greatest source of joy.
BOTTOM LINE: Anyone who tells you that you’re going to get wealthy without a lifelong commitment to bettering yourself on a daily basis and taking care of the people around you is full of shit.
Chances are, you’re already better off than you’d be if you were rich. You just don’t know it yet.