If you’re like me, you’ve often wondered about people with two heads. You know, those ones who seem to have started on the same level as you did, and yet have ostensibly “overtaken” you financially.
You can understand those with rich or well-connected parents/relatives, those who slept their way to wealth, or those who engaged in illegal activities to make money. What befuddles you is how people who you perceive to be “just like you” are well off financially, while you’re still struggling.
Well, there’s the matter of time and chance. Equally importantly, there’s a level of financial knowledge and self-awareness that unlocks doors to wealth. For instance, can you answer up to half of these little questions satisfactorily?
- What can I do, right now, to increase my income?
- How can I reduce my expenses? In what ways can I cut spending?
- Apart from my main income stream, what do I have that is of value to others, and how can I polish and package it to earn income for me?
- What am I naturally good at? What are my talents and gifts? How many of them have I honed into skills?
- Do I know people who have walked my chosen path to wealth? How can I learn from them?
- What opportunities for earning more and building wealth have I missed in the past and why? Can I salvage any?
- What does being wealthy mean to me? How much am I looking at? What are my financial goals?
- What do I want wealth for? What are my reasons for desiring to be rich?
- Are my efforts realistically commensurate to where I want to go, or do I need to do more?
- How much am I spending monthly?
- Do I understand the difference between saving and investing? If yes, what is my investment plan and what are the best investment options for me?
- Do I understand the concept of compound interest?
- Have I assimilated the importance of relationships and networks when it comes to building and sustaining wealth?
- Do I have an emergency fund or am I back to square one if something critical comes up that requires a huge sum of money?
- Have I mastered the art of saying, “I cannot afford it”?
- Am I working hard enough? Am I ready to put the work in, or am I too lazy to ever really be wealthy?
- Am I working smart or am I labouring in the wrong ways?
- Is there any area of my financial life where I’m deceiving myself or in denial about my true situation?
- Am I charging what I’m worth?
- Where exactly does my money go each month? What do I spend on?
- Do I have any unhelpful habits or vices that drain me financially? What steps can I take to overcome them?
- Am I living above my means? (Jim Rohn says if you’re spending more than 70% of your income each month, you are.)
- Do I really want to be rich, or is that something of an impure or unspiritual goal for me? Am I okay with wanting money?
- Do I have any beliefs about money that are holding me back, based on my religious background, past experiences, or any other influences? How can I purge myself of them? Do I want to?
- Do I really understand what people pay for? Have I studied why people part with their hard-earned money in exchange for something?
You can answer these questions and still remain poor, but you cannot rise above poverty without answering them. It would be naïve to think that all one has to do is answer these questions and bam, financial security! Yet, nobody ever built and sustained wealth who did not ask themselves these questions at one time or the other, in one form or the other.
As you settle down and think through each question carefully, one at a time, be honest with yourself. If you find that you don’t know enough about the subject(s) each question addresses, start researching. Go online, buy books, attend seminars, and talk to experts. Invest in your financial education!
There is no way you will effectively address even a third of these questions without experiencing a remarkable difference in your finances.
Prosper and flourish!