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Over the past few months I’ve discovered a big secret, and experienced a massive paradigm shift…AKA a holy sh*t moment.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been studying money, wealth, and business — yet it took me this long to figure out the secret. If you look at my bookshelf, the word “money” or “rich” appears on many of the books.
The main motivation (the big why) for wanting to be rich, is probably the same as yours: complete financial freedom.
The ability to do what you want, when you want, how you want…even with who you want — and never worry about paying for any of it.
Now I’ve always thought that to become financially free and wealthy you had to accumulate as much money as possible. This could be through your work, business, investments, or side-gigs. This is 100% wrong.
After years of studying this topic I’ve only recently discovered the secret: cash is not the path to wealth.
Cash, in and of itself, is an awful way to accumulate wealth. Having a massive piggy bank of cash doesn’t help (for many reasons that I won’t dig into on this post). Net worth has very little to do with cash.
Through the centuries and since the invention of money backed by nothing (fiat currency), we’ve been led to believe that it’s all about the cash.
Most will never know how wealth works. Most people don’t understand the fractional reserve system, fiat currency, or even debt.
Is this an intentional conspiracy by the 1% rich against the rest of us? Not if you ask me. I believe if you want to live in that reality you can. You’ll find the answers you’re looking for.
What I do believe is that understanding how money works is where you start. That understanding will instantly help you change the way you think and feel about money.
I also believe that most of the modern rich are good people who have worked hard for their success and wealth. Success leaves clues.

So What Is Wealth?

Wealth is the accumulation of assets, not cash. Most of us have heard this before, but what is a real asset?
Your assets should trickle off cash/interest, which you can then spend and live off. e.g., real estate investments that earn you a monthly check, or stocks that pay dividends.
Most people think assets are cars or new TV’s, so they end up in the same place they started. To become financially free and wealthy we need to redefine money and our habits around it.
In a capitalist, consumer society that relies on world-class marketing to influence your purchasing habits, you’re screwed if you don’t wake up.
Companies make money by making you feel like you’re not good enough (in many ways). They want you to make a purchase to solve your problems. Yes this is a bit gloomy, but it’s not a conspiracy — just a truth of marketing (which can be used for good and bad).

Testing the Theory

Wealthy people are not the ones you think. In The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley shows us that the millionaires in this world aren’t driving Ferrari’s and living in yachts. They’re driving dependable, used cars (or maybe a classic car that appreciates in value over time), and only investing in what they need.
We’re getting our ideas of what it means to be rich from Instagram and reality TV, which are just marketable one-off BS examples of wealth. The real rich don’t even want you to know they’re wealthy. They don’t care about appearances, or what we think about their spending habits.
They’ve figured out the secret to accumulating and keeping wealth (the latter being the harder part). They don’t play by the same rules the rest of society does. If you study these people you’ll learn this for yourself.
Here’s the biggest thing you’ll find: they all have a bulletproof growth mindset. Thought you could get away from the internal game/mindset stuff for a bit? You can’t. Wealth is only limited by your own mental limits.

The Wealth Formula

As always, it all comes down to freedom. The point of money is to provide the experiences we desire most in life. The only way to do that is to master it.

Create Value through Your Confluence —> Turn Value into Income —> Invest Money in Assets = Wealth 

The Next Step

To make the shift now, move your income into assets. Decide on one reliable method to accumulate the income: your job, your own solopreneur business, a side business, etc.
Then decide on one asset class that you want to learn and master. Your focus going forward will be to invest all your cash into assets within that category e.g. a business, real estate, stocks, or any investments that trickle off cash flow.
Have fun. Use it for good.

Links to Resources

  1. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
  2. Self Made Wealth – This online course by Eben Pagan is the most fantastic resource on wealth and money I’ve ever discovered. Unfortunately the class is now closed, but may re-open again in the future, so I’d recommend signing up for the waiting list.
  3. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi – I first read this book years ago, but it was instrumental in building the foundation of my personal finance habits. This book is all about automating your finances and making it as easy as possible.

What are your thoughts on money and wealth? What resources have been helpful for you personally? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
Photo credit: WealthCC license