In our culture, we are constantly bombarded by advertising messages designed to sell us the status symbols of wealth and accumulation. In the Western world, our advertising and our common practices are often not reinforcing the behaviors that help build wealth, and are reinforcing choices that do just the opposite. We are relentlessly subjected to messages that promote immediate gratification, as well as the display of our status purchases.
Now, I am not against having the best, or even living in our own personal brand of luxury. My point is that the mainstream mentality about building wealth is both short-sighted and short-term, and most importantly, does not teach you to harness your ability to create and build wealth that endures well beyond your lifetime.
So, how do you overcome our culture’s prevalent “programming”, and effectively reprogram yourself for even faster and more effective wealth accumulation? How much could you accomplish, and how quickly, if you were to skip those luxury and status purchases until you have reached your own personally defined goals?
The Jet Fuel for Skyrocketing Success
One thing that can help you reach your goals is to study others’ success stories and to mine those stories for gold -- that is, analyze how the success was reached, and make the process your own, by creating specific action steps that will boost your effectiveness. Here is one fascinating story of wealth building:
Lessons from Immigrants
The town where I grew up attracted many immigrants, including the news-making Vietnamese and Cambodian so-called “boat people.” These courageous souls survived crossing the ocean, arriving in the US with nothing. Also finding their home in my home town were Mexican and other South and Central American families, who came with little or no money, almost no possessions, and often no more than a bit of broken English. All these industrious people found friends, family and community in my town to launch their new beginnings.
I became aware of an interesting difference between the immigrants and the US-born Americans whose families had come here 150 years ago or more. The US “longtimers” maintained a lifestyle that included many possessions, from toys to food to houses to cars. These purchases were “automatic”-- these families rarely chose to forgo or to postpone buying these items, regardless of financial stress or accumulating debt. By contrast, what I observed with the immigrants was that, in the short-term, they chose, in very intentional ways, not to make excessive purchases. I saw that the choices the immigrants made literally propelled them forward financially, in the most “American” way I could imagine! To me, their strategy and their priorities reflected a more disciplined American way of earlier times in our history, and ensured that they were not burdened by the societal pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.
Below you will find what I am calling the 6 Point Plan, the strategies that I saw so many immigrants implement so effectively. They lived these strategies so skillfully, as if they had been taught the process in school. I wish we had all learned this in school! First, review each simple point. Then, below each point, read the detail of how I saw these families launch the 6 Point Plan like they knew it was their rocket booster to success!
The 6 Point Plan : Zero to Success Implementation
#1: Earn first. Spend only a portion of what you earn. Save the rest until the time is right to move forward.
A group, usually 3 or 4 families, teams up. All the working-age members of the households get outside jobs and contribute what they can toward rent and savings. The families live together in one inexpensive apartment to save the most money possible. They share a few old cars. Some adults, and all of the teens, help with preparing meals and taking care of the household. Meanwhile, everyone works on learning English and other key skills.
#2: Pool money and resources as a team. Spend the pooled money to purchase a business. Lease the space for the business and communal residence. Share in the labor of the business.
When enough money is saved, the team launches or purchases a business they can operate with simple household and financial skills, plus a few systems (like how projects or tasks are overseen, how proposals are pitched, how clients are handled, etc…) Examples of such businesses: restaurant, laundromat, dry cleaner, pest control or car wash. The space for the business is usually rented, and has the benefit of small living quarters above, or on the same property. The team moves in together, quits outside jobs, and operates the business, saving most of the profits for the next step.
#3 Purchase investments, starting with the things you can directly influence and improve. Next, the pooled money is used to purchase income-producing investments in which the team can influence the profit and growth. Most commonly, this begins with the purchase of the building that houses the business and residence. Additional income streams, such as real estate and other businesses, are often necessary to support home and auto purchases for four families.
#4 Purchase luxuries, e.g. house, car, fine foods, nice clothes only when you can do that plus all necessities and other spending, out of a portion of your income. For each family, a car and a home are purchased one at a time, all before increasing the distributions.
#5 Even after you have your rewards, continue to help those who helped you until everyone in the collective gets theirs. All team members continue to work in, support, and participate in the pooled business and capital of the community until everyone is rewarded equitably.
#6 Utilize the saved profits to purchase future businesses, real estate, and finally, labor. The saved profits, as well as the wisdom and experience gained from working and running the businesses, are utilized to select other investments that align with the understanding gained.
After the 6 Point Plan has been successfully implemented, teams can decide to stay together to purchase more businesses as partners, or to branch out and invest individually.
I witnessed many of these success stories in which the immigrants learned to function, interact and do business without the advantage of traditional schooling, and without a commanding use of English. Because of their team approach, they achieved more financial progress than most college graduates ever do, and in only a few years. At the same time, their children were able to receive contemporary schooling. As the parents encouraged their children to earn good grades, and to develop a strong work ethic, this granted them advantages comparable to the kids of the US longtimers. This is absolutely groundbreaking progress!
Most “longtimer” Americans would feel resistant to following such a plan. Although many of us would feel reluctant to make so many sacrifices early in the process, the principles of the 6 Point Plan can work for anyone--not only immigrants who are seeking to move from zero to middle class. This plan can also be effective for those who want to move from middle class to millionaire, from millionaire to multi-millionaire and even beyond multi-millionaire status. We can all benefit from studying this plan, as it has the potential to work “miracles” for us in getting to our own next level. In fact, highly successful people can propel themselves forward, with far less sacrifice than in the stories above. Here’s how:
The 6 Point Plan : Success to Wealth Implementation
#1: Earn first, spend only a portion of what you earn, save the rest until the time is right to move forward: Look at your current income and spending. Adjust your budget to purchase only necessities, so that your newly saved money can make a meaningful difference when implementing the steps that follow. Postpone all luxury purchases, and decide on the next move to invest in business or real estate. For individuals earning, say, $500K per year, perhaps the savings could be enough to buy a business that could be operated with a manager or president, while retaining the current income. For a person earning much less, it may make sense to select from businesses that the owner(s) could personally operate. There is no minimum or maximum. It is possible to create a team of peers at any level and use this plan.
#2: Pool money and resources as a team, spend the pooled money to purchase a business, lease the space for it and for the communal residence. Contribute the labor yourselves.
Attract and select your team. Share the plan with others until you find the ideal team --a group that wants to work together and has trust in each other. Analyze how much money or other resources that each team member will contribute to the pool. It is even more valuable if you bring together individuals who have the useful talents to build systems, structures, planning, and even products and services for the business. For example, it would be valuable to recruit members who have a backgrounds in fields such as sales, marketing, banking, management, or experience related to the business you are creating. When enough money is saved, the team launches or purchases a business they can either operate themselves, or pay a staff to operate. Depending on where your team is in life, you could “pool” living quarters as well. If the team chooses this strategy, it is ideal to find a space that has living quarters above the business, or that has apartments in the same building. Start the team business, and save most of the profits for the next step.
#3: Purchase investments starting with the things you can improve and influence yourselves. Next, use the pooled money to purchase income producing investments in which the team can influence the profit and growth. Examples of this include: something in the same or a related industry, property related to the location, businesses that dovetail well with the original business. You could consider starting a lease that has a purchase option on the building. Another possibility would be to move the business and the residences (if they are together) into a purchased space. To continue the process,, look at the potential of expanding your business as well as other investments.
#4: Purchase luxuries, e.g. house, car, fine foods, nice clothes, only when you can do that plus all necessities and other spending, out of a portion of your income: One at a time, purchase a home for each family, if residences were pooled. Or, purchase selected luxuries that your team has decided it has come together to provide. This occurs before increasing the distributions.
#5: Even after you have your rewards, continue to help those who helped you, until everyone in the collective gets theirs: Follow partnership contracts designed from the start to make sure everyone receives their payouts before the distributions increase, the model shifts, or team members exit the collective.
#6: Utilize the saved profits to purchase future businesses, real estate, and finally, labor: Use your ongoing profits collectively, or individually, as you decide together.
When I was much younger, the author, investor and speaker Robert Kiyosaki taught me that “life is a team sport.” The 6 Point Plan is one of the most powerful vehicles to engage teams to generate additional incomes, even if you already have a high paying career or business. This collaboration is also ideal because you have the option of acquiring assets in other industries, such as commercial real estate, medical, services, etc... based on the experience and expertise of other team members. They may offer you expertise that would have been missing, had you built your wealth solo.
And best of all, imagine how great you will feel knowing that as you grow your own wealth, you are making such an amazing contribution to the wealth of others on your team!
THE FOUR CUPS
Live Exceptionally. Be the Difference.