If you want to create wealth, the most important thing you can do is choose the path that is right for you. Your path to wealth should be based on your current financial circumstances, your values, and your goals. If what you have been doing to create wealth so far hasn’t been working, it’s possible that you are simply on the wrong path.
There’s no one size fits all approach to wealth
Contrary to popular belief, there is no one size fits all approach to building wealth. Our economy, and people for that matter, are simply too complex to get everyone in it on the same path. Society makes a false promise that getting a job and saving in retirement accounts is the way to build wealth. But in reality, this path is not applicable to many people in today’s economy.
Even if you did manage to get everything right in life and save the right amount each month from age 25 to 67 building wealth this traditional way, your path would be unique to you because of your individual circumstances, needs, family, health, experiences, perspective, and more.
That’s why, if you want to build wealth, wherever you are right now financially, and where you want to go, are all that matter. From here all you have to do is choose the path that’s right for you and take one step toward creating a future that you can look forward to.
Visualize Being Wealthy
What does wealth look like for you? For me, it means having unlimited freedom and choices in life. This vision is really important. If you plan nothing, you go nowhere. Whether your version of wealth is a simple life, one of luxury, or one spent with family and friends, take the time to dream it up.
Picture your version of wealth in your head. Design it, smell it, feel it, and visualize it. Because of the Law of Attraction, by having your end-goal in the forefront of your mind and feeling the emotions associated with it you will attract the people and circumstances that will bring that vision to life. Spending time emotionally and mentally connected to your vision of wealth creates a vibrational frequency in your physical body that invites in more of that vibrational frequency. This is woo-talk to say that what you think about you bring about!
So take responsibility for your mental and emotional health. This will make a big impact on your financial abundance. Creating wealth is all about knowing what wealth will look like when you get there. Once you know that you can take any path to wealth you like. Regardless of the path you choose, the fundamentals will always be the same.
The Pillars of Wealth
The fundamentals of wealth, also known as the Pillars of Wealth, are:
- Maximize cash flow
- Eliminate high interest and non-performing debt
- Save, and
- Create residual income, in that order.
Every thirty days, take the time to determine your Impact Factor, or the amount of money you have leftover after you pay your bills, and apply it to your Pillars of Wealth. Focus the majority of your Impact Factor, say eighty percent of it, on the pillar of the highest priority. The rest can go to your other pillars.
If you are living paycheck to paycheck, then your highest priority is to maximize your cash flow. Once you have some money left over each month, use it to eliminate your debt, then save, and then create residual income so that one day you can stop working. If you already have substantial savings and plenty of cash flow, you are ready for the last pillar, which is to create residual income. Regardless of where you are financially, you’ll want to make each pillar as strong as possible.
What is wealth?
Accepting that you can begin to build wealth from exactly the situation you are in right now is the first step to achieving wealth.
But first, what is wealth anyway?
Wealth can be defined as having positive cash flow and positive net worth. That means that you have money coming in each month in excess of your expenses and you own things of value such as property and investments that exceed what you owe. The end goal of building wealth is financial independence. This is the point when your income from sources other than a job can pay for your expenses. Notice that nowhere in this definition of wealth does it say that you have to work until you are 67 at a job with a 401(k) in order to retire.
Let go of the belief that the only way to build wealth is to get a job, buy a house, and contribute to a retirement plan every month from age 25! I give you permission right now! This path works some of the time for some people. Unfortunately, for many people, this path is unrealistic, not applicable, or doesn’t work. And that is ok!
You can take a different path to wealth, one that works for you and takes you to your version of wealth. Starting late? Need more income? Have a lot of debt? Single parent? Big tax bill? Growing or starting a business? Where ever you are on the path to wealth is ok! You start where you are.
What I love about wealth creation is that no matter what your financial circumstances are, you can always expand. From being in a hole of debt to adding a zero to the bottom line of a six-figure business, wealth is an infinite game because money is infinite. More money can always be created.
Three Paths to Personal Wealth
While there are infinite paths to wealth that you can take, I want to share the three paths to personal wealth that are foundational to all of them.
The three paths to personal wealth are financial capability, asset acquisition, and mindset. Learn these three paths to wealth and you’ll know the basics of wealth creation. While each comes with its own set of unique experiences and challenges, all three paths will take you there.
1. Financial Capability
If you’ve read my work before, you know that I had $67,000 in credit card debt in my twenties. I eliminated this debt in just three years using the same system that I use today to keep growing my personal wealth, businesses, and real estate investments even more. I continued using the system and became financially independent in my thirties. Unbeknownst to me, I was taking the financial capability path to wealth. You can see the complete system below.
The Financial Impact System
1. Identify your Impact Factor™ (income minus expenses)
2. Apply it to the Pillars of Wealth
- Maximize cash flow
- Eliminate debt
3. Create residual income
4. Follow the Golden Rules of Money
- Earn more than you spend
- Pay yourself first
- Give every dollar a label.
The financial capability path means that you know what to do with your money and you are willing to do it. Financial capability means that you are living within your means and consistently contributing to your savings and retirement accounts. It means that you know how to manage your money and you are planning for a future when you can stop working and still pay for your expenses. Having high financial capability means you know how much you need to save today in order to have the tomorrow you desire.
While this is the most traditional path to wealth, for many it remains elusive, confusing, and even unattainable. Lack of financial education is a major culprit of this. Another culprit is simply being human. Creating wealth is eighty percent psychological and only twenty percent strategy. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, right? So how can you ensure that you are actually thinking the thoughts that will make you behave in a way that results in reaching your goals? You practice! Taking time every day for personal practices such as meditation, mindfulness, nature, stillness, community, affirmations, self-acknowledgment, gratitude, and giving align your values and an abundant mindset with your behavior, resulting in abundance.
2. Asset Accumulation
The next three paths to personal wealth is asset accumulation. Assets are things of value that are increasing in value. Assets include real estate, investments, retirement and savings accounts, insurance policies, businesses, and more. When you own assets you can sell them or spend their earnings. Acquiring assets is a great path to wealth because it can result in passive earnings, or earnings that you do not have to actively work for. These earnings could be dividends and returns on your investments, rental income, royalties, and more. What I love about acquiring assets is they can accelerate how quickly you can reach financial independence. I teach this in both my private and small group coaching programs.
Because I had high financial capability, I was able to eliminate my debt. When I made reaching financial independence as soon as possible my goal, I shifted my focus to accumulating assets. My financial capability enabled me to create the steps in the Financial Impact System, and I followed them to acquire assets in order to leverage my time and focus on increasing my income even more.
3. Abundance Mindset
The final ingredient, and the one that exploded my wealth in ways I had never imagined, was shifting my mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. I realized I had been looking at money all wrong! There is more than enough of it to go around! It is vital to learn how to be a good steward of your dollars, as this is practice for what comes next. However, when you begin to see that you can always create more money, more peace, and more happiness, simply from your thoughts, come on! This is a game changer!
These personal practices create an abundant mindset. When I personally added an abundant mindset to high financial capability and assets, suddenly there were no limits. Actually, there never were any limits, only those that I had perceived. By doing the personal practices I began to notice where I was limiting myself or saying I wasn’t worthy or good enough. Nothing could be more wrong.
We are all worthy and good enough! It’s just a matter of acknowledging the power, love, wholeness, worthiness, and perfection of each one of us just as we are right now without changing or doing anything. Abundance begins with recognizing that it is already all around you.
Personal Practices That Create Wealth
Wealth is a consciousness, not a set of circumstances. It begins in your mind. You can create a relationship with money that invites abundance into your life. Do this with the personal practices of stillness, self-acknowledgment, cultivating community, and embodying your values. Other examples of practices you can begin doing to create wealth are gratitude, giving, and affirmations. Here are ways you can use them to start creating abundance in your life.
Gratitude is a fantastic personal practice for building wealth. If you want more financial abundance in your life this is where to start. Being thankful for what you already have raises your vibrational frequency, bringing more of what you are thankful for into your life.
You have total control of your state of gratitude. You can wake up and be thankful. You can be thankful throughout the day, or even all day, every day. Personally, I try to exist in a perpetual state of thankfulness because I have seen how powerful gratitude can be.
Another super simple personal practice is giving. Giving is the opposite of receiving, so if you want to receive more, all you have to do is give more! And wait, there’s more! There are infinite ways to give. You can give your time, energy, attention, intention, money, resources, and effort. Even a few seconds of intending happiness for all people or peace amongst those you work with, is an act of giving. Energy flows where our focus goes. Putting your energy toward a positive outcome for those you care about is a simple way to give and open the flow to giving and receiving.
Everything is working out for the best of you. Right now you are exactly where you are supposed to be. These are affirmations I use daily that you can adopt into your own life. The life that you are living is actually the life that you have created. What words do you use when you talk to yourself? Treating yourself with compassion, respect, and dignity are essential to abundance. Use present-tense phrases that reinforce the reality you wish to create.
More examples of affirmations are: I am worthy. I am attracting powerful people who reflect to me how loved I am. I am getting better every day. I feel good about myself. My work in the world matters. I am compensated abundantly for my gifts.
Which path to wealth is right for you?
So which of the three paths to personal wealth is right for you? Financial capability, asset acquisition, or creating an abundant mindset?
Whichever path you choose, make sure it’s the one that you are ready to commit to that will take you to wealth in a way that works for your personal financial situation right now. It will ebb and flow as time goes on, but know that you can always improve your financial capability, acquire more assets, and expand your mindset.
Remember, wealth is for everyone. Find your path and take a step.