When I was growing up and even in my early 20’s I thought that becoming wealthy was a complicated and mysterious process. I also believed that being a high net worth individual meant that you needed to “look” wealthy by spending large sums of money on material items. Nothing could be further from the truth…
Wealth is not about spending and it is not about showing off the riches you have acquired. The rules of wealth or I should say, the rules of building wealth, have not changed in thousands of years. Most importantly, these wealth building rules are simple; very simple.
In fact, these rules of wealth are so simple that they can be found in a small, paperback book that is only 144 pages and is available in any book store, or on the web for as little as $3 (used; I prefer used books have more character). The book is called, “The Richest Man in Babylon” and it is my all time favorite book.
Why is this simple little book my favorite book?
Because this book made me realize that wealth is attainable. It helped me understand that the power to succeed has little to do with your history, or where you came from or what kind of car you drive. Attaining wealth or any goal only has to do with a few important things: The ability to visualize what you want, believe in yourself and to be 100% committed to obtaining your goal. In short, “know what you want and get it”. Like I said; very, very simple.
The other reason that I adore this book is because it identifies very clear rules of wealth building known as the “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse”. As you can tell from the language used in the book (Babylon, cures, purse, etc…), it is based on old, very old, writings that date back to ancient days. Every time I read these seven cures I am reminded that becoming wealthy is totally within reach and that although technology has changed the world dramatically, the basic rules of wealth building (and life) have remained the same for thousands of years.
Seven Cures for a Lean Purse:
- “Start thy purse to fattening”: In ancient Babylon the richest men and money lenders advised those seeking wealth to save at least 10% of all they earn.
- “Control the expenditures”: “That what each of us calls our ‘necessary expenses’ will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary” (I love that quote, love it!)
- “Make thy gold multiple”: Put your savings to work, earn interest and dividends and build passive income.
- “Guard thy treasures from loss”: Value security of principal and do not fall prey to the desire to grow wealth rapidly.
- “Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment”: Buy a home you can afford and take pride in it.
- “Insure a future income”: Build a nest egg for days when you are old and grey. Also discusses ideas and themes similar to life insurance, which of course did not exist in the ancient world. Back then your savings and your land acted like life insurance for family left behind.
- “Increase thy ability to earn”: When you want to earn more, learn more. Invest in yourself and educate yourself in practical skills that will help you in business and investing.
In this modern world I tend to struggle with information overload; e-mails, TV, web sites, apps, news, etc… I often take great comfort in the seven cures described above. When I am frozen (due to overload), I think of the simplicity of the seven cures and the fact that the same exact sun shined upon ancient writers of this book as does shine upon me today. I know that if I am following these rules, living within my means and enjoying my time on this planet, then all is well.
And no one can tell me different…
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