“To make a lot of money, you will have to decide to become somewhat abnormal. Normal people are rarely successful, and what success they do enjoy is often tainted by their discomfort in life.” — Stuart Wilde, The Trick To Money Is Having Some
“There are two ways to make a sale. You can go out into the world and push to convince people or you can stand back and have them come to you. It’s your choice.” My first mentor taught me that like most things in life, money comes quickly to those who have it and it shies away from those who don’t.
I often wondered what makes two seemingly similar people — who grew up with equal backgrounds, equal opportunity and relatively equal education — so different in their earning capacity. Even in families where siblings are raised equally this is often the case. Is there something inherent to one person that the other does not have? Is one missing an integral skill or capability? Is one privy to some information that the other has missed. Is it pure luck of the draw, or is there an unspoken secret that one has learned that the other may be missing?
After years of watching wealthy and not-so-wealthy people, I learned that there is a “secret.” However, the “secret” may not really be so secret after all. It may in fact be hidden in plain sight.
I will break it down in 7 steps.
1. Like attracts like. Wealthy people, money and the deals they make like to be around the same. Clue: It costs nothing to hang around wealthy people and be around deals.
2. Options equal opportunity. The more options you have, the greater your chances of success. Often the trick is just seeing all the options in front of you.
3. “Pull” is better than “Push”. You can go out into the world and push things on people. That works some of the time, but it is laborious and won’t make you rich. Creating something excellent and pulling people towards you is far more effective.
4. Patience is often your greatest ally. Impatience leads to poor decisions. The ability to delay gratification is essential.
5. Low hanging fruit is the most delicious. Find what you are great at. Everyone is great at something or can be great at something, so you need to capitalize on that. Amplify your successes and multiply the things that make you the most money.
6. Work smart not hard. Often times, people think that they have to work hard to get ahead. While hard work is not something to shy away from, it’s always better to work smart.
7. There is a seventh step that is fairly controversial but very effective. I will offer it here for your consideration. Every successful person I know has done and does this. No matter how much money you have, this may be an essential step.
The step is this: Frivolously burn some money.
You read it correctly. Take a small amount of money that you can afford to part with and burn it. Go out randomly and buy 10 strangers sushi and then walk out. Watch their reactions from the window. Walk onto a bus, toll booth or train and pay for the next five people. Buy something ridiculous and then simply give it away. Make a bonfire and use some bills as kindling. Invite some friends over and watch their reactions (well worth the price of admission).
Do whatever works for you. The concept is that you want to remind yourself that money is not some holy and sacred thing. It is not even something that needs to be respected. It’s just paper (or pixels). It is the easiest way to get someone to do something or give you something; however, it’s not the only way. It doesn’t control you. The less you actually care about it (and it will show), the more you will naturally attract it. Remember, the trick to everything is having some.
Author’s Note: My friend, the late Stuart Wilde, wrote his best work entitled “The Trick To Money Is Having Some” in the early 1990s. Although fraught with problematic and flighty new-age talk, the book was a seminal work for its time and inspirational to many including myself. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already. If you can get past the lofty new-age dribble, there are some valuable gems in there to be found.
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