I am a big believer in if you want to be good at something you should find people who are doing well in that area and mimic what they are doing. For example, if you want to be a great in the sport of basketball then one may say “Be like Mike.” If you want to be great at gymnastics, find out how Gabby Douglas is doing it and imitate what made her successful. Would not the same logic be true if one wanted to be rich to think and act like rich people?
Unfortunately, too many people attempt to keep up with the Jones’s and the Jones’s are broke. The Jones’s are not wealthy. Sure, they drive fancy cars and live in upper class neighborhoods, but how they look does not match who they truly are.
Several years ago there was a television commercial for a company called Lending Tree. I am not here to endorse Lending Tree, but their dramatization on the average American home was priceless. (Below is the text version of the commercial)
“I’m Stanley Johnson. I’ve got a great family. I’ve got a four-bedroom house and a great community. Like my car…it’s new. I even belong to the local golf club. How do I do it? I’m in debt up to my eyeballs. I can barely pay my finance charges. Somebody help me.”
The book, “The Millionaire Mind” is a great book on what the wealthy truly look like. Dr. Thomas Stanley did a very in depth study of those households that have a net worth of at least $10 million dollars or more. It is interesting to note that the very first thing this book on multi-millionaires explains is that using credit is NOT the way to build wealth and enjoy life. Below is an excerpt.
“Most became millionaires in one generation. Neither their lifestyle nor their wealth was generated from being highly leveraged financially. They are not credit junkies.”
“Some were credit dependent earlier in their careers, but they eventually saw the light. They went cold turkey, breaking the cycle of borrowing to consume, earning to consume and borrowing more and more money. Others never became addicted to credit or the need to display success.”
The bottom line is that you greatest tool in building wealth is your income. However, if you are living paycheck to paycheck because of the debt you have accumulated, it becomes almost impossible to build wealth. Fellow friend and coach Chris Hogan has a great saying.
“Interest you pay is a penalty. Interest that you receive is a reward.”