Learning to use social currencies
Money attracts money. You do know that, right? That is why people born into wealthy families seem to have some headstart in getting rich. It takes most of them very minimal effort. Most of all they have to do already seem natural to them.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday. He just started working about a year ago. He has begun to see the way life is and how the school system and the religious culture has totally deceived everybody.
He initially had the choice to either stay in the small town he grew up or to move to the nearby big city. I advised him to move. The interesting fact was that he was offered some convenience and a good amount to stay in the town. When he moved to the big city, he practically got the same offer (in a different job). But the offer became small because of the expenses of the big city.
Of course, he chose the big city. And it is not because of “city life”. Rather, he took the advice to widen his scope. When we met up to talk, he had so much to say. His perspective of “rich” has changed. Now, he is hungry for some real success.
As our discussion grew specific, he asked me:
What can someone like me do to get to the top because I don’t have the money to get started?
Before this point, he talked about how he had two kinds of friends growing up. There were those from a rich family and there are those who weren’t. And from a young age, he noticed that those from the rich family make friends with each other and they do not make friends with the other group.
He was able to make friends with the rich kids because he was academically sound. But his average friends kept pulling him. He noticed that for you to make friends with the rich kids, you must act as if you come from a rich family.
As it was then, so it is in the grownup world. It is more like; you act rich to get rich. Practice being rich to actually become rich. This led to his question: what about those who just don’t have?
There are many things that hold people back from their dreams. No one dreams of a life of suffering, to be a beggar, or to barely get by. Everyone dreams of success even though some may find it hard to admit. The reason is not just that they don’t know where to start, they have also allowed negative notions about money to take root in their minds.
Money is not the root of all evil
Is money the root of all evil? Many people erroneously believe it is. They may not admit it, but it is a truth they hold dear to their heart.
This notion was supposedly taken from the Bible. However, it is incorrectly quoted. People say:
Money is the root of all evil
But the Bible says:
The love of money is the root of all evil
It is not about money. Money is an inanimate object. Money cannot love itself. The love of money is a characteristic of a person. Another word for this is avarice.
How is the love of money the root of all evil? Good question. Money is a tool. We desire money because of the things money can do. It is not wrong or bad to desire money for the things money can do. However, when a person desires money just to have more of it, then it becomes dangerous.
Someone who has the “love of money” syndrome does not care to lose his soul in the quest for money. In fact, they willingly sell their souls for money. There are those who do this from desperation. And there are those who do this from the desire to be superior.
Many think only rich people can be said to have sold their souls for money. But the reality is that more poor and average people have done that. And when a person’s soul is sold to money, evil things don’t look evil. They can create fancy explanations to defend bad actions. This is the reason it is the root of all evil.
Your moral compass is eroded when you are already blinded and biased with money. People sometimes make mistakes and bad choices, but those blinded by the love of money will defend the wrong in the face of money.
Here is the summary: if someone can make you change your mind about a stance or subject just by offering you money, you do have the “love of money”.
It means that if you are offered enough money, you can push someone in front of a moving truck “accidentally”. (This example is figurative but it can also be literal).
Money is neither good nor evil. Instead, it is people who expose who they really are (on the inside) with money.
So, when you hear someone try to quote this beside you, make the right adjustments. It is not; money is the root of all evil. Even this is quite confusing; the love of money is the root of all evil. I think this is better:
Avarice is the root of all evil
They will likely ask you what avarice is. Then you can explain to them. Avarice is simply when a good amount of money can make you do something that you normally shouldn’t, especially something bad.
Avarice often springs out of lack of money. It also springs from the lack of how to make money and grow rich. Why don’t you become rich so that you won’t be tempted by avarice?
You don’t need money to make money
The rich use money to make money. And it is a very effective strategy of success. The moment you make some money, you position yourself to make more. And it works.
The problem is that people who don’t have money can’t do that. And these are people who are not from wealthy families who are raised to work for money. Unfortunately, most of them start spending before they start earning and by default are behind perpetually in their finances.
But the good news is that you don’t need money to make money. There are different types of currencies in the world. There are financial currencies like the US dollar and Pounds. And there are also social currencies.
You may not have a lot of financial currencies but you can use your social currency to get rich
If you don’t have money to start with, you really then need to get good at using social currencies. This is something that started to dawn on me recently.
What you need is a plug
The easiest way to be a millionaire is to do deals with other millionaires. But they won’t accept you into their circle just because you want to join. You need a legitimate excuse to get in among them. You need a plug.
The stories of successful people I have studied that became rich at a very young age, coming from a disadvantaged background, always have one very interesting element. They all had one older person who was rich, who introduced them into a group of rich people that changed their paradigm.
I call those older rich people, plugs. If you don’t have money, what you need is a plug. A plug is someone rich who can bring you into their circle of rich people. It makes up for your lack of money and it changes your paradigm.
Eat from the table of elders
Words matter. One of the most effective ways of changing your financial situation is to change the people you have conversations with. Not just money conversations but general conversations. It changes your entire paradigm when you see the way rich think about things.
For example, they can start talking about a new policy by the government. While you may be looking only at what the direct impact will be on the people, you will find rich people talking about how consumer choices will change because of the new policy. And they can even stretch the subject into how the flow of money will be affected by that singular policy.
The way you see things gradually becomes different. And you will begin to notice things around you that you didn’t before. It is like when you decide the brand of car you want to buy and all of a sudden, you begin to see it everywhere.
It is just like that when I started studying marketing. Instantly, I began to notice the marketing in everything. And I mean, everything. I would see a signpost and begin to think about the appeal and how more effectively the appeal could have been structured.
If you don’t have the money to get started, then you need a plug to sit at the table of rich people
There is an old proverb that says the one who eats from the table of elders has become one of them.
If you are the richest person in a room, find another room
Finding another room is not easy. Finding a good plug is hard. But giving up is worse.
Many would rather be a leader among paupers than to be a servant among kings. And that is the problem of a lot of people. They just don’t want to be uncomfortable.
The more uncomfortable you can make yourself, the richer you can actually be
It is just like my friend was comfortable with his average friends and allowed them to pull him away from the rich kids. Now, the rich kids are potential plugs that he cannot access.
The answer I gave to my friend’s big question is what I have tried to explain thus far. The way to get rich is to get in discussions where he is the poorest person in attendance. And to do that as often as possible. It is a propelling force.
You don’t have to abandon the room where you are the richest. If you have teaching tendencies like me, you might want to stay there. But you must find a higher room for yourself.
Is this the only way for someone from a not-so-rich background to get wealthy? Far from it. There are definitely other ways. But this one is damn effective.
Spend your time with people who talk about big deals
If you want to do a deal worth $10 million, start spending time with those who have. If you want to start earning $10K a month, start spending time with people who earn that.
It is always better when you can physically meet those people and be in those discussions. But in cases where you can’t find that yet, you can get audios and podcasts. Videos are also good. But audios are more powerful.
This is the reason. When you watch a video, your principal sense in action is your sight, even though hearing takes place too. But when you listen to audio, the principal sense is hearing. The brain often stores information in patterns and pictures. So your mind will create a picture based on those words they are speaking better than when you are watching them actually talk. This is why I think podcasts are more powerful impressions than YouTube videos.
Audio involves imagination. Imagination is often greater than sight. But there are some cases where the sight is necessary. This is because the mind cannot imagine what it cannot fathom. And it cannot fathom what it has not seen.
The moment you can imagine yourself there, it becomes easy to get there
But the greatest of all is if you are physically present in the discussion. Then, all your senses are connected. Your imagination is also involved. This is because your mind stores that event as a memory. So every time you go back to the memory, your mind can bring you details you noticed but you weren’t conscious of it then.
Spending time with people discussing big deals is a way to prepare your mind for success. Then you grow to the point where you start making meaningful contributions to those discussions. And you will soon find yourself doing the deals you were once wishing for.
Anybody can be rich. Even if you come from the family of the poorest of the poor.
The mistake some make is that they shoot too high and lose the sense of “I can”. It’s like someone who hasn’t seen a $100K, who wants to get into the world of people dealing with over $1 billion. It is possible but it is quite extreme.
Start with trying to add one more zero to the money you currently have. And you can climb step by step into the level of riches you desire.