Do You Have The Courage To Be Wealthy?
|January 18, 2012||Posted by Roshawn Watson under Uncategorized|
Many of the activities required to become a self-made multimillionaire involve forsaking conventional wisdom and overcoming adversity. The path to great wealth is often the road less travelled because the journey can be uncomfortable and lonely. It often requires bucking societal norms on spending, indebtedness, investing, and vocation. One must have resolve and courage to follow such a path. Let’s explore three ways courage can be instrumental in building wealth.
Courage Is Important Because of the Risks
One key area that shapes many of our financial and professional decisions is risk. Lacking courage when facing risks can be detrimental. Most millionaires are self-employed, business owners, and/or fastidious investors. Some have navigated the professional or corporate jungles to achieve high levels of responsibilities. Accordingly, millionaires deal with risks that would unnerve many.
I recently learned points from a Morgan Stanley managing director regarding professional risks. She was very bullish on gaining additional levels of responsibilities and taking on new challenges on the job. She advised young professionals to adopt a similar mindset. She questioned the wisdom and safety in ducking for cover during an adversarial situation. In her own words, if the bullets are flying, ducking will not necessarily spare you. By keeping your eyes open, you can at least see what’s coming your way. She recommended being comfortable with F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) and thriving. Her words ring true, perhaps more so in the current climate than ever before.
It’s hard to gain a competitive advantage by always playing it “safe.” Taking strategic risks is often necessary to dominate a market or even a small niche. Regardless of whether you are contemplating starting your own venture, increasing your positions in paper assets (such as stocks and bonds), or exploring an unconventional career path, remember a) there’s a reward for merely trying and b) there are also risks involved in “playing it safe.” Have a reality check regarding risks. The wealthy don’t avoid risk, and neither should you.
Sometimes the greatest risk is not taking one
Courage Is Important Because The Path Is Lonesome
Sometimes people are so fickle. When watching the Tudors, one thing I noticed was how quickly the public and royal sentiments changed towards “noble servants.” It didn’t matter whether you were Cardinal Wolsey, the Duke of Sulfolk, or Anne Boleyn, you could go from saint to trash in Henry’s court in a matter of days without changing your activities, faithfulness, or your beliefs. Even today, we’re just as capricious. The same people who are criticized and ridiculed for their differences become celebrated as innovators and visionaries after a little success.
With respect to wealth accumulation, dealing with the discomfort of being different and criticism is particularly important. First, a high-consumption lifestyle is at odds with accumulating and maintaining high levels of wealth. Most millionaires do not get huge paydays each year.
- Fewer than five thousand of the nearly 100 million US household will earn $5 million in a single year.
- The majority of millionaires earn a small fraction of $5 million in a year.
- Approximately, two-thirds of millionaires are worth less than $2.5 million.
The point is, it is the tortoise’s approach (consistent investing over time and frugality), not the the hare’s approach, that leads to prosperity and wealth accumulation for most millionaires. Second, paucity of vision or lack of care may cause the people around you to not appreciate the difficulty in decisions you must make. Standing alone in the truth is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of becoming successful, especially when those who disparage your efforts continue to play with little thought of tomorrow. Somehow, broke people afford everything!
When broke people make fun of your financial plan, you’re on the right path.- Dave Ramsey
When you feel lonesome, remember that 1) your dream does NOT require the approval of everyone you love, and 2) the same people who malign your priorities and assassinate your character may become your allies tomorrow. People are fickle that way.
Courage Is Required Due To Adversity
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor people perfected without trials. Chinese proverb
Some people seem to feed off of the havoc they create, and the more successful you become, the bigger the target is on your back. I’m convinced that poisonous people sometimes cause trouble to distract attention from their own lack of accomplishment. Most productive people I know don’t have time for drama.
Regardless of whether it’s dealing with a critical person, failing to meet ridiculously high expectations, facing outright lies, or competing with the nonfriendly, when you attempt to do something great, you will face adversity.
Let me give you an example. Sylvester Stallone was a struggling actor and writer when he became so inspired by the Muhammad Ali fight with Chuck Wepner, where Wepner refused to quit against perhaps the greatest fighter of the world, that Sylvester reportedly wrote for 20 hours straight. The product of this period was the script to Rocky. He pitched his script to movie producers, and they loved it, BUT they wanted to cast another actor as the lead. In fact, they raised Sylvester’s payout to $325,000 to sell the script and NOT star in his film. At the risk of losing the script, the producers finally settled on paying him $35,000 for the script AND casting him as the title character. This occurred during the 70s, so in inflation-adjusted dollars, the original payout that Sylvester walked away from would exceed $1.3 million.
What value do you attach to YOUR dream?
Today, Sylvester Stallone’s main movies have grossed upward of $2.6 billion. Imagine if he had given in to the negativity regarding his abilities, looks, and chances of making it amongst the rich, famous, and beautiful. Instead, he held on to his convictions and excelled admirably. It was passion and courage that allowed him to reject every deal involving relinquishing his dream.
Your conduct under pressure will reveal the true measure of your character.
Courage is defined as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Courage is important to wealth accumulation because it takes strength to defiantly proclaim that the culture of debt is ridiculous, to resist conspicuous consumption, to start businesses when pundits argue “9 out of 10 businesses fail,” and to invest in the markets during “the worst recession since the Great Depression.” It take strength to tell relatives NO when they try to set YOUR financial priorities. Indeed, wealth researcher Thomas Stanley listed courage as amongst the most common and important characteristics of millionaires. I may not know the value of your dream, but I admonish you not to sell yourself short. Take courage, live well, and PROSPER!
Editor’s Note: If you want to learn more about SOPA and PIPA, head over to Stop American Censorship.
Copyright 2012, Roshawn Watson, Pharm.D., Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.