Instant gratification is now engrained in our culture. Thanks to 5G, social media, and streaming, we can basically get what we want in just a few seconds.
This is great for binge-watching TV or listening to music. When we’re listening to the radio, my kids are always stunned when I tell them I can’t just play their favorite song. But when you take this idea of fast returns or immediate success and add it to an investment strategy, it’s a recipe for disaster.
While I can’t sit here and say none of these “get-rich-quick” ventures work, common sense and a little bit of research often prove what my mom always told me growing up: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Because of this instant-gratification mindset, it seems more people are searching for shortcuts rather than doing the necessary work needed to reach their financial goals. Building wealth takes time and isn’t always easy.
David Greene, co-host of the BiggerPockets Real Estate podcast, shares his views on accumulating and managing wealth in his new book Pillars of Wealth: How to Make, Save, and Invest Your Money to Achieve Financial Freedom. Below is an excerpt from the book’s introductory chapter, which challenges readers to rethink the idea of easy wealth growth and rather focus on sound strategies that are likely to be more successful in the long run.
Excerpt From “Pillars of Wealth”
My perspective on wealth-building isn’t rooted in nebulous positive thinking or feel-good energy. It’s rooted in patterns I’ve observed in my forty years of life. It’s rooted in the principles that govern how wealth is built, which is related more to the laws of physics than to emotional manipulation. This is why I equate the wealth journey to the fitness journey. The challenge isn’t in wishful thinking; it’s in acquiring knowledge and then applying it regularly.
This book will guide you on your journey of accumulating wealth, including the principles that govern how it flows and to whom it flows. And that journey includes learning about real estate and the immense yet passive wealth it offers: Real estate has created more millionaires than any other asset class, which is why this book teaches you the power of real estate to build real wealth.
In addition, I’ll share information to help you avoid the schemes of financial predators. Warren Buffett’s rule of investing is don’t lose money. To lose what you’ve built, especially to unscrupulous schemes, is not only financially but also emotionally debilitating. Imagine working hard to build your wealth only to lose it and have to startover from scratch. Would you do it all over again? Most wouldn’t.
Protecting the wealth you accumulate is equally as important as making the money, especially in the beginning of your journey when you’ve yet to develop the skills that make earning wealth easier.
There are so many people out there who want to take your money by pretending there are easy-peasy steps to build wealth. Every real estate guru, every real estate TV program, every real estate event that promises you’ll earn wealth fast, easy, and without commitment is looking only to separate you from your money.
Consider the workout equipment sold on TV in the 1990s and 2000s. Do you remember the ThighMaster, Ab Lounge, or Shake Weight? Their premises were all the same. “Work out from the convenience of your own home! It’s fast and easy! Simply use our product for ten minutes a day, and you’ll get results in no time!” Cue to the smiling woman doing half sit-ups with zero sweat on her face, then cut to the image of six-pack abs. The message was clear: We have the hidden formula to avoid hard work, sweat, and pain. Give us your money and we’ll provide the results.
I’ve yet to hear a success story from anyone who bought or used these machines. They mostly became dust collectors or makeshift clothes racks. Yet many units were sold. These companies found the formula to part a fool from their money: easy, fast, convenient!
Now, contrast this to CrossFit. The results are undeniable—I don’t know anyone committed to attending CrossFit classes who doesn’t eventually look significantly better than when they started. Why?
Because CrossFit is physical hell. In fact, it’s so difficult that CrossFit realized they had to create a culture of friendship and accountability to get people to stick with it. You have to be more concerned about the pain of missing class with others than the pain of attending it.
And guess what? It worked. An entire culture was born, and people became fitter. The lesson here is simple: If you want results, you must commit to something difficult and change your habits. In CrossFit, that includes workout habits and eating habits. In wealth-building, that includes earning habits and spending habits. If you want more wealth than you have now, change what you’re doing.
So, I ask you, what about your relationship with money may be hurting you?
Pillars of Wealth: How to Make, Save, and Invest Your Money to Achieve Financial Freedom is now available in the BiggerPockets Store and at booksellers nationwide.
In this book, David Greene provides a holistic approach to systematically make more money and watch it grow over time. You’ll learn how to unlock your earning potential, adopt new budgeting systems, start your own business, and invest for constant growth so you can become wealthy the realistic way.
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.