I picked up an old book from my library today called The Millionaire Next Door. I remember first buying this book in 1998, thinking it would show me how to become rich. As I read the first few chapters, I quickly realized this was no "get rich quick manual". Somewhat disappointed, I finished and shelved the book with little consideration of it's content. Years would go by and I would occasionally glance through its pages, slowly starting to understand the message. As I have matured as person, a family man, and a business owner, only now can I fully appreciate the lessons put forth about acquiring wealth and the American dream.
The American Dream Is Hard Work
For those not familiar with the Millionaire Next Door, the authors Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D., summarize there work this way:
"Over two decades worth of surveys, personal interviews with millionaires, and data, reveal the secrets of building wealth in America.... Wealth in America is more often the result of hard work, diligent savings and living below your means."
Through their research, the authors were able to define 7 specific factors shared by most of these millionaires. These common denominators are:
1. They live well below their means.
2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
5. Their adult children are economically self sufficient.
6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
7. They chose the right occupation.
Far from the "get rich" formulas of many wealth building books, the information laid out on these pages remind us that fortunes are built on the sound principles passed down from generation to generation. The economic landscape will change and technology can not be restrained, but the traditions of hard work, self sufficiency and living below your means, still ring true. Real wealth takes time to build, but tends to be enduring. If we revisit these principles and apply them to our lives, that pursuit of happiness will likely produce the desired result.
Like what you read? Subscribe to our Advertising Blog by email.
posted by: Jeffery Fox