Below is a chapter from my recently published book, “Money Proverbs: 9 Principles for Earning, Saving and Giving Your Way to Wealth”. If you like my work, feel free to pick up a copy at Amazon or on iBooks.
“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.”
On the road to financial freedom, there are only two ways to getting to your destination: decrease expenses or increase income.
When it comes to expenses, you can only cut so much.
If you cut expenses and still can’t pay your bills, you have to consider increasing your income.
However, in most developed countries there is no straightforward answer on how to increase income. There are endless career options and opportunities available to us.
Unfortunately, some people are drawn to the next big thing, in order to take shortcuts to wealth. This proverb challenges this idea of getting rich quickly.
Quick money is money that comes quickly with minimal effort or passion. The lottery is probably one of the most common quick money scenarios we witness today. All you need is a couple of dollars and you get to purchase the opportunity to win the jackpot. Minimal effort with the potential to win big. It’s a no brainer, right?
Many people play the lottery dreaming to win it big. According Ronald Wasserstein, executive director of the American Statistical Association, the probability of winning the Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175 million. That is a pretty small probability. Look at the below map. Imagine if $175 million was represented as single dollar bills. Wasserstein found that if we lined up all those dollar bills, it would essentially outline the entire country twice!
The conclusion is that winning the Powerball is highly improbable and enters into the fantasy category.
Here at Wealth Rehab, I am for increasing income just as I am for reducing expenses and debt. I am also all about setting realistic and attainable goals. For example, I am 6 feet and 155 lbs, It doesn’t make sense for me to dream about making it to the NBA and being the next Lebron James, who is 6’8″ 249 lbs. As I much as I try, it ain’t going to happen. I am immediately written off by my weight and my height, to no fault of my own.
Stay in your lane
If you hate numbers, you probably should not try to go into accounting. Or if you hate writing, maybe you shouldn’t consider being a journalist. Don’t get me wrong; I am not speaking of being one dimensional. Rather, I am pointing out that for each of us, some things come easy and others don’t.
What is your thing? Don’t try to be someone you are not because it will make your journey that much harder. The quicker you get real and honest with yourself, the quicker you will be able to get settled into fulfilling work. The comparison game is one of the biggest hindrances to wealth. God made you uniquely you. And you have God-given abilities and talents that are uniquely yours and valuable to the marketplace.
Focus on what you know
What does this mean for us in 2017? It can be summed up the statement: focus on what you know. Consider things that come easy to you and you enjoy doing.
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you think are your strengths?
- How about your weaknesses?
- What do others say about your skill set?
The Key to Wealth
A key to wealth building is consistency and long-term sustainability. Your career is enormously important to your income earning abilities.
We are all experts in something. By identifying what your expertise is (or desired skill), you will be better positioned for a career longevity and success. Tap into that expertise and look for ways you can serve others and add value.
Economist Walter Williams describes it best:
“Take out a dollar bill and look at it. Now pat yourself on the back because you are looking at a certificate of performance. If you did not rob or steal from anyone to obtain that dollar if you neither defrauded anyone nor persuaded your government to seize it from a fellow citizen and give it to you, then you could only have obtained that dollar in one other way – you must have pleased someone else.”[i]
[i] Williams, Walter E. Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved from https://fee.org/articles/walter-williams-at-fee/