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Saturday, 15 August 2009

How to be rich?

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How to be rich?
May 24th, 2007

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My Paper interviews the co-creator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” self-help books.

Mark Victor Hansen made his first million at age 35. He’s now an accomplished wealth guru coaching people and giving seminars around the world (obviously making more money).

Like other self-help gurus, Mark has advice for people who aspire to be wealthy. Let me gloss over the standard stuff and highlight what I think is important.

Standard stuff (mostly vague):

* Have a vision
* Be a team player, work with people
* Have a system of generating wealth quickly (but how?)
* Have “tools”
* Save 10% of what you earn, donate 10%, and invest 10%

Here’s what I think is useful: find a mentor. Yes, get someone who’s been there and done that to coach you. (But I don’t think this is the same as attending get-rich seminars, so please save your money.)

If you’re lucky to find such a mentor - maybe a close relative or a good friend - ask him these questions politely:

1. How did you make your first million?
2. How long did you take?
3. If you were to do it again in today’s context, how much time do you need? Would you do it differently and how?
4. If I want to be rich, what’s your advice for me?
5. What is the most important lesson you picked up in the process of getting rich?
6. What do you think is the most important habit that helped you?
7. Any missed opportunities? Can I make use of these opportunities?

I want to add one more question: Do you think luck plays a part?

The reason for asking this question is that luck is a very much underrated “quality” for getting rich. Too many people are saying it’s just hard work, having a “system”, perseverance, networking, etc. But you actually need to be lucky to have a good brain, to meet the right people, to be at the right place, to invest at the right time, and so on.

So, it helps if your mentor can give you an understanding of how luck plays a part in getting rich.

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