Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

I have had the great blessing of being a part of my parents' rise from very poor circumstances into very great wealth, and have had the opportunity to learn from my earliest days those things of which millionaires are made.  Furthermore, though I have a Bachelor's in English my work for more than a decade has been that of a financial executive over a multimillion dollar enterprise and I can tell my gentle reader exactly how to become a millionaire, even if he is not yet able to pay his bills.  It is certainly possible; it is always possible.

Please understand firstly that I have very little natural interest in money.  I am extremely emotionally detached from it. I write this because I have seen so many people suffering financially and if I can make a difference then I feel duty bound to unleash the knowledge and understanding with which I've been blessed.  That being said, let's discuss what makes a millionaire.

A self made millionaire is usually not someone who follows trends, pursues schemes or expects easy, fast money.  The most certain way of rising in financial prowess is to simplify your life and cultivate positive gratitude.  It doesn't matter how much you earn; it matters how much you save.  Every person is capable of living beneath their means.  Note I did not say within their means.  I said beneath.  Spend less than you take in, and save something, as much as you can, with every paycheck.  I know some people are saying "you don't know my situation.  I can't make ends meet now."  Let me tell you about my grandfather.  He was an orphan and through some of his life he went into the mountains to earn money for his children and wife by chopping thorn ridden plants and binding them together to sell them.  He lived for that time in a cave, and he learned to be content living in a cave.  When we say we can't make ends meet, especially here in the United States, we often mean that we cannot continue in our present mode of life and pay the bills we have.  Perhaps we might rethink our mode of life.

Another aspect of becoming a millionaire is having vision.  My parents raised me on rice and beans and homemade clothes.  But they were saving constantly and when I turned 11 we moved into a mansion.  When I was 16 they paid for me to tour western Europe and Israel.  I do not consider it my right to judge anyone but when I see someone complaining about finances while puffing on a cigarette, I must conclude that the problem is not a lack of money but a lack of money management.  Allow me to tell you about my great uncle, Rafael.  In Mexico when he was young it was considered macho to drink and smoke.  Anyone who refrained was dubbed a sissy.  He did not do either and was respected above all the men of the town in which he lived.  He would not purchase alcohol and cigarettes, not because he didn't want them (he did and used them when others bought them for him), but because he sacrificed his own will and desires to provide for his poverty stricken mother and younger siblings.  The ultimate trick to becoming a millionaire is not about making more money necessarily.  It is about being grateful for what you have, refraining from buying what you don't need and being willing to invest in the future. 

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