You’ve seen them advertised, you had friends participate in them and maybe even you’ve been sucked in yourself: Get Rich Quick Schemes. If you buy this book about how to invest in real estate, you’ll be rich! If you join this multi-level marketing program you can quit your day job and have more than enough money! Sound too good to be true? It’s because it is. No matter what new thing you hear about or new venture you try, it is impossible to “get rich quick.”
Some may argue with me that people can fall into a very large sum of money in a short amount of time and I’ll address that further down, but even in these cases, people don’t get rich quick. Here are a few of my thoughts on this subject.
“Rich” is relative: This isn’t the whole basis of my point, but it is a large part. What does “rich” really mean? The poorest person in America is probably considered rich to someone living in a 3rd world nation with no roof over their head and no clean water. For fun, I actually looked up the definition of the word “rich.” It is defined as “having wealth or great possessions; abundantly supplied with resources, means, or funds; wealthy.” Let’s just say for the sake of discussion that we are talking about being rich as having more than enough money to meet your needs and many of your desires. We can also call it financially secure or set. There is no such number we can put on this, but I think most would agree that being rich would mean not worrying about how much money you have or worrying about affording things.
If you could “get rich quick” there would be a lot more “rich” people: It takes work and discipline to build wealth and take care of your money and this is something most people aren’t willing to do. If it were easy, then a lot more people would do it. It’s the same thing with weight loss pills. If they really worked and helped you lose weight without diet and exercise, then why are so many people in America still overweight? It’s because it’s all empty promises and they don’t work. Why is it that people making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year can be the deepest in debt? I’ve seen and read about people like this who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, yet they make 10 times the amount I make for a salary. It just shows you that it’s not about having the money — it’s about what you do with it.
A wealth windfall: Ok, so what if you win the lottery, or inherit a bunch of money, or become a celebrity, or start a business that makes a ton of money off the bat? If that happens then you would get rich quick, right? Wrong. If you all of a sudden fall into a large sum of money you still have to take care of that money or else you will spend it all and it will be gone before you know it. In order to be the kind of person who is wise with their money and disciplined to not blow it all immediately, you have to have a certain amount of character that takes time to build. So if you come into a large sum of money and actually keep it and make it work for you, you’re still not rich quick because you’ve spent many years building the character to handle that large sum of money.
People who all of a sudden become celebrities seem to have it good. One day no one knows who they are and the next they are getting paid millions of dollars for their first CD or movie or whatever they are famous for. But they didn’t develop that talent overnight. Most stars work hard and train for years before their noticed and become celebrities. Their success may seem to come overnight, but it’s just the manifestation of all their hard work they’ve been doing for years. And what if you start a business that booms seemingly overnight and makes tons of money? Again, you have to have the character to take care of that money in case your business sees dry times in the future. Remember when all the house flippers and real estate tycoons were making mass money? Business isn’t so great at this point. They may have gotten rich quick, but they could very well be poor now.
So if you ever find yourself wishing you could make a lot of money in a little time, remember that it doesn’t happen fast and that it takes work. Even if money were to come easy, it takes work to handle that money. There’s no escaping that fact. If you haven’t fallen into a large sum of money recently, then keep building your character and your ability to handle the money you do have and if perhaps someday you do end up with a large sum of money, you will be able to keep it and handle it well.
Image courtesy of Scott Wallace