There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day.
(Grandpa George in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
In My Philosophy of Lifelong Exercise, I stated, “The way I see it, you can’t be much good to anyone or anything without your health.” This applies to financial health as well.
I define financial fitness as having the means to provide for yourself and others. Personally, it is a deep-seated responsibility to provide for myself and my family. Good financial fitness creates the freedom to do the things we want to do.
My financial philosophy has four components: engine, purpose, beliefs, and mechanics.
Work is the engine. Work is defined as: any activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. I have been working since I was 10 years old. I have been a paperboy, janitor, grocery clerk, sprinkler installer, bartender, retail buyer, sales representative, financial auditor, business executive, and entrepreneur.
I believe humans were made to work. It is a foundational element of health. Work not only feeds my family, it feeds my soul, and makes me happy. I intend to work for the rest of my life.
The purpose of financial fitness can be different for each person, and can change over a lifetime. A person’s financial purpose tends to parallel Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – which means that the purpose of work must first be focused on providing basic needs like food and shelter. As resources grow, one’s purpose can expand to creating something of personal value and significance, such as creative, philanthropic, or charitable works.
When I was a boy, my purpose was extra spending money. When I became a family man, my purpose was to provide for my family. Now, my purpose is to create the financial freedom to do the things my wife and I want to do – live comfortably, enjoy our family and friends, travel the globe, and improve the health and wellbeing of the world, one person at a time.
Personal beliefs about “the M word,” MONEY, can be an asset or a liability when it comes to financial fitness. Here is what I believe:
- Be patient. Building wealth is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient, but be disciplined.
- Give what you can, when you can. Giving creates receiving.
- There is an abundance of wealth in the world. Certainly enough for you to have all that you want. As Grandpa George told Charlie, “There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day.”
- Specialize and hire. Spend your time on your career and things that bring you joy. Hire professionals to help with household work and other personal services whenever you can.
- Be a role model. Demonstrate that money is good by using your money for good.
- Be proud. Build financial success without arrogance and without apology.
I have worked for more than forty years now. Sometimes hard, sometimes smart. I’ve had great results and poor results. I have learned that certain processes and attributes generally lead to success for me. I recommend these mechanics for financial fitness.
- Find work you want to do for your entire life.
- Find work with results that can be broadcast to the world. Try to avoid work with limited geographical reach.
- Find work with highly recurring revenue. This means customers pay for the products or services, every month, or every year, forever.
- Find work with near-zero marginal cost revenue. This means creating a product or a service once, and selling it over and over again.
- Pay yourself first by investing 10% of your income for the future.
- Use the discipline of a budget to make certain you are spending below your means.
- Invest in home ownership.
- Invest in business ownership. The ultimate mechanism for generating wealth is to own a business that can be broadcast to the world, with highly recurring and near-zero marginal cost revenue.
- Use insurance wherever possible to reduce the financial impact of unforeseen accidents and disasters.
- Use annuities to create reliable, long-term future income.
I have not come to this knowledge purely through experience and internal wisdom. Many wise people have shared their financial advice, philosophies, victories and failures with me. Some of these people have been authors. The following books have made a powerful impact on the shaping of my financial philosophy:
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Die Broke by Stephen Pollan
If this post has inspired you to consider your financial fitness, click here to continue the conversation. I’m offering a free, 15-minute phone call with anyone interested in discussing my financial philosophy in more detail as well as any of your questions. I hope to connect with you soon!
Image via Death to the Stock Photo
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