How to Get Rich
I remember talking to my friend Ivan, who was rich.
"It's easy to make money," he told me. "All you have to do is understand how the system works."
Years later, I found out Ivan was right. It is easy to make a lot of money. What you have to understand, however, is how the system works for you. The path to success is different for everyone.
The work that Ivan did to earn a lot of money wouldn't be suitable for me. And what I do probably won't work for you.
Let me explain to you how to get rich your own way. I can't guarantee you will end up a millionaire — the world just doesn't work that way — but I can show you the very best way I know to have a happy, successful life.
This idea is the most important lesson a young person needs to learn. Your best chance of success is by finding what you love and doing it for years. Don't choose your profession to please your father, your mother or your girlfriend. After all, you are the one who has to do the work.
Take it from me: I spent a lot of time working at the wrong thing — that is, wrong for me. Once I had the courage to do what I love, my success followed, almost automatically.
There is no one exactly like you. If you are a round peg, it is a waste of time trying to fit yourself into a square hole. Spend your hours doing what is right for you, and you have taken a giant step towards success.
How do you know what you should be doing? Ask yourself, "If money were not a concern, what type of work do I love so much that I would be willing to do it for free?" Then do it.
There is no quick and easy way to get rich. It takes a long time to make a lot of money, and mostly it arrives in small amounts. If you concentrate on the money — and not your work — you lose the very thing that might lead you to wealth: a long period of effort doing what you love.
I have heard people say, "First let me earn my million dollars, then I'll do what I love."
Well, they have it backwards. The only real way to have a chance at your million is by doing what you love.
Whenever you see a young man who says, "I am going to be a millionaire by the time I am thirty," I can guarantee you one thing: he will not be a millionaire by the time he is thirty. Indeed, until that person learns to put his own talents and inclinations before his quest for money, he will never be rich at all.
Concentrate on spending your working life engaged in purposeful effort. Forget the money, and fall in love with what you do.
"But what about the people you read about in the newspapers who win the lottery? Isn't that free money?"
The reason you read those stories is that such occurrences are rare. When someone gets a million dollars by doing nothing, it's news.
What you don't see in the newspaper are stories about people who find the work that is right for them, work hard for years, and slowly accumulate real wealth. Such stories are more common than you might think, but they're not news.
I'll tell you something. The only money that will make you happy is the money you earn. If you ever do happen to receive a lot of money for free, I guarantee it will not make you happy. Indeed, the best way to ruin a young person's life is to give him a lot of money.
You need a reason to get up in the morning and, for most of your adult life, that reason should be work.
Somewhere in this country, there are a few people who will win the lottery. But it's not going to be me and it's not going to be you. You and I will get our money by working.
When should you start planning for retirement? The answer is, now.
Take 10 percent of each dollar that passes through your hands, and put it in a special savings account. When tax time comes, you can use part of this money to fund your retirement fund. The rest you can invest wisely.
The most important thing is to make sure you do not — under any circumstances — spend even a dime of this money until you retire. Not for your grandmother's operation, not for your daughter's graduation gift, not for a down payment on your dream home.
If you work for a salary, save 10% from every paycheck. No matter how rich or poor you are, no matter how much money you owe, take your share first.
This rule is especially important if you own your own business. Be sure to save 10% off the top for yourself. Do not put everything back into the business. Otherwise you will end up working for a lifetime with nothing to show for it.
Would you like to convince yourself that this is good advice?
Simply ask anyone over 40 years old, "How much money would you have right now if you had saved 10% of all the money that has ever passed through your hands?"
Take my word for it, living on 90% of your income will feel the same as spending it all. Day by day, you won't notice the difference. But through the years, that 10% really adds up.
You must be firm. Over the course of a lifetime, there will be lots of good reasons to spend your nest egg. Don't.
In the long run, it's what you do day to day, over many years, that makes the difference.
When you fall in love with what you do, and you work hard for a long time, you are offering the world your very best.
Think of the economy as a huge complex organism. If you learn to contribute in the right way, the economy will reward you. If not, you will be poor.
The recipe for success and wealth is simple. Find the work that is best for you. Spend years engrossed in your work. Do a bit of long-term planning.
If you follow these guidelines, I can't guarantee you will become a millionaire. What I do guarantee is you will live a useful, productive, happy life.
And, over the years, that will be your very best chance of becoming rich.
© All contents Copyright 2023, Harley Hahn