Wealth begins with a choice. A choice requires a commitment, and a commitment leads to actions.
The most powerful words in the English language are “I am.” What follows those words are critical. “I am thin.” “I am healthy.” “I am wealthy.” “I am powerful.” “I bring joy and energy to people around me.” “I am a great leader to my team facilitating growth and opportunity.” “I am worthy.” “I am powerful.” “I am a great dad.”
Once you decide “I am wealthy,” in that moment you are, in fact, not more wealthy, but the path will clear ahead of you. The how you will get there will become apparent, and the obstacles that stopped you will have less power.
Use the power of affirmations. Write down the ones that empower you. Put them next to your bed and read them before you fall asleep and when you wake up. Train your brain, and it will take care of you.
If you make the decision to be wealthy, then it doesn’t matter what career you have. There is a janitor mentioned in our book, Wealth Can’t Wait, who gave away 8 million dollars at his death.
So the question becomes: what are the actions required to build wealth in your particular career?
The answer could be live to live below your means, save every penny and invest in index funds, or something that grows over time. But there are three other important commitments you can make.
1. Be the best you can be at your career
Work hard to serve others. The habitat of being the best you can at your vocation will serve you for a lifetime. It will also lead to increased compensation, which is useful in building wealth.
Even if you don’t love it, take pride in it and do your best. If this position is not for you, work hard at it, and the next door will open. Take pride in everything you do, and your next job will find you.
2. Begin with the end in mind
Ask these questions: 1. What is wealth to me? 2. What wealth do I want in my life? Carefully answer those questions and be as specific as you possibly can.
For example, one important aspect of “wealth” is to achieve financial independence. But that is just the beginning of the inquiry. Go deeper: what, specifically, is financial independence to you? What does it look like? How would you know if you had it?
For us, the first step to financial independence is having enough income to offset all of your living expenses with passive income. This means that money coming in from your investments — dividends, rents, etc. pay for your current lifestyle.
To create more motivation and mindset to achieve your goal, ask yourself: why specifically is this important to me? What, specifically, do I get out of this? This is an emotional impact and intrinsic motivational question. You might be surprised to find that often different people have very different reasons or intrinsic motivations to achieve the same goal.
Realize that if you are successful in building wealth, eventually your entire job becomes managing your wealth. So begin now by laying out a plan toward your financial freedom. Say your goal is $10 million net worth in 20 years. Break that down to a present number and work toward your goal.
3. Find a career that doesn’t feel like work to you
Find the thing that you love to do: play disguised at work. The more you align your career with your natural calling, the more success you will have.
Ask yourself: is work hard if you love it? Who would truly want to succeed if it required sacrifice (giving up something that is vital to you)?
Yes, you might have to limit drinking beer with your buddies to only one or two nights a week if you want to be a great student and get into a great school. Being the best at a job might require you to put in the extra effort and dive into what others shy away from. But, if you love what you do and you are passionate about the project (even if you don’t love every aspect of work), then you can achieve greatness. And, if you are doing what you love to do, what are you sacrificing?
We know lots of people who work so hard that they don’t have time for family, friends, or being healthy. But, we know that this is not necessary to achieve great success. Having a thoughtful, purposeful plan and staying on it six hours a day, with zero interruptions or distractions would lead most of us to accomplish more every day that someone who works more than 10-hour days six or seven days a week.
If you are in a career that you don’t love, know that it takes effort just to get to work. It takes effort, lots of it, just to get started each day. It takes effort to focus.
If you do something you love and are passionate about, there is no effort in getting started; the effort goes to execution. That is why we are so much more productive and successful when we do what we love. Wealth will follow.
David Osborn is Operating Partner at Keller Williams and Managing Partner Align Capital. Follow him on Twitter. Paul Morris is CEO of a Real Trends top 50 brokerage and Regional Director of Keller Williams. Follow him on Twitter. They are the authors of Wealth Can’t Wait: Avoid the 7 Wealth Traps, Implement the 7 Business Pillars, and Complete a Life Audit Today!