I can’t think of much that galls me more than conspicuous consumption. This is mostly because most conspicuous consumers can’t afford to conspicuously consume. They are the ones who need to be living BENEATH their means for a season or two and – if they did so – would find their futures changed positively forever. And ever.
But this is where I sometimes lose my peace a little bit. I’ve read that Black Americans are – on average – twenty-times poorer than White Americans according to the last Census. As I read the article, my mind starting racing. I knew things were bad, but this bad? How could this be? Why could this be? What can be done about it? This was crazy. The median white family has twenty times the net worth of the median black family. I’m being repetitive, but let that sink in for a second.
Hispanics in America are richer than blacks, too, though not quite by a factor of twenty-three. Hispanics are about twice as well off. Asians are between whites and Hispanics.
Something is clearly amiss.
When talking about wealth and income disparity, the less endowed often fall back on complaining – and complaining isn’t a plan. Also, you’ll notice it’s only poor people who talk about income. Rich people talk about worth. So, here’s where we are. If you are not where you want to be financially, it is time to do something differently and do it now. Please let me know your ideas. Here are my 6 Ways to Make Sure You NEVER Get Rich:
- You will never get rich if you (only) work a job. Instead, please stop talking about jobs. Talk about building careers, professional practices and, better still, businesses. Business and entrepreneurship are the solution. Working is better (maybe?) than not working, but vastly inferior to owning something. You need to be become an owner and a controller of your outcomes. How about having a company? A career? Instead of only learning how to write a resume, learn how to write a business plan.
- You will never get rich if you stay single. It is better to get married and stay married. Remaining single well into adulthood and divorce both destroy wealth, income, savings and stability. Not only will you destroy what you have worked for if you divorce, but you make it harder to come back up. Too many separate accounts, too much money going to employ child support office workers, two electric bills, too many people renting and not able to afford to own homes. In addition, it’s been proven on top of proven that marriage accelerates wealth. Whoever thinks it’s smarter to be single, has been duped for the most part.
- You will never get rich if you ball ’til you fall. Stop investing so much time and energy into trinkets. Expensive cars, expensive vacations, expensive clothes and watches and other such things hinder your ability to get ahead. Living within your means doesn’t get you anywhere – you’ve got to live below your means. Live beneath your means and invest the rest and do it for as long as you can. Your savings and investments should be the first destinations for cash you think of when you experience windfalls. Build a financial plan that includes play money but only as a fraction.
- You will never get rich if you think insurance is for suckers. Invest and maybe even over-invest in insurance. Along with home ownership, this is the biggest issue regarding generational wealth. Minorities often have to start over from scratch with each successive generation. If you’re not going to have businesses and real estate to pass to our children, you should at least try to make sure they don’t have to dip into savings to put you in the ground. It is gruesome to consider, however insurance proceeds have built many a kingdom.
- You will never get rich if you stay current on the latest shows. Turn off the television and pick up a book. You need ideas. Hard work alone isn’t going to get you where we need to be. I think it was Napoleon Hill who said great wealth – when it comes quickly – is never the result of hard work, but of hard thought. Know less about what’s happening in Prime time and more about what’s happening with prime real estate in your market.
- You will never get rich if you always go it alone. Merge. Work together. As business owners, stop trying to take over the world alone so often. Partner up and create enterprises with some scale. Scale gives you purchase power, market power, self-determination and security without having to invest night and day into your businesses potentially destroying your family and everything else you’re trying to build.
Too often the dialogue regarding wealth turns to talking about jobs. Jobs. Jobs? This ain’t about jobs, people! This ain’t about income. This is about wealth! Net wealth, to be more specific, what’s left after you’ve paid off all those people sending you bills. This is generational stuff we’re dealing with here. Take these six guidelines and examine how you can make some adjustments in the way you think, work and live. I promise you’ll see some changes in your Personal Balance Sheet and sooner than you think!
Mark Anthony McCray is a professional speaker, writer, personal performance coach and Founder of “Live BIG! Die Empty.” – a movement dedicated to helping you live on purpose with higher performance and experience true prosperity. Learn more at http://www/LiveBIGDieEmpty.com and on Facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty. He is also Regional Manager for a leading national credit restoration firm. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.