What is the difference between greed and desire for riches?
"Greed" is wanting something that you do not deserve or did not work for, such as overcharging for a service or product or stealing someone else's money.
"Desire" for riches is wanting a fair price for a great service or product that you provide to millions of people who need or want it. Don't feel guilty about wanting anything, unless you intend to steal it.
MONEY: GOOD OR BAD FOR US?
Why are we so conflicted about money? We have all heard the following sayings: “Money is the root of all evil. " “Money is power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. " “Money can't buy happiness. " “Money can't buy love. " “Money can't buy friends. " “The best things in life are free. " “No one can earn a million dollars honestly. " Do you share these beliefs?
Or, do you agree with these: “Money makes the world go around. " “Lack of money is the root of all evil. " “Rich or poor, it's good to have money. " “If you want to know the value of money, try to borrow some. " “Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop. " “All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy. " “Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time. "
Ever watch the hit game show “Deal or No Deal" on NBC? If you still doubt whether people really want money, a lot of money, watch that show. Average, sensible, nice families, who are obviously neither rich nor poor, absolutely go to pieces, many of them breaking down in tears and no longer able to stand, while trying to decide between taking home a $200,000 guaranteed windfall or taking a 1 in 4 chance of winning $1 million. Each time, the live studio audience seems equally emotionally invested in the family's dilemma. If $1 million, or even $200,000, is such an evil thing, then why do nice families fall to pieces at the chance of having it? If you don't value money, you don't value freedom.
When you have money, you can always give some or even all of it away if having it offends your beliefs or sensibilities. But, at least you would have the choice. The choice to work if you want or not. The choice to take a day, a week, or month off, or not. The choice to meet people you always wanted to meet, go where you always wanted to go, and do everything you always wanted to do. In a sentence, money gives you the power to do whatever you want whenever you want, as long as it doesn't hurt others. In a word: Freedom.
VALUE HAS A FAIR PRICE
Do you think everyone should get what they want without working for it or paying for it? Of course not! We can't and don't expect entrepreneurs to offer their valuable services and products to us for free. They are entitled to a fair price for investing their time and money to develop their ideas into the services and products we want and for making them available to us for the price we are willing to pay. So what is wrong with wanting to get rich based on the time and money we invest in bringing our services or products to all those who want it?
Maybe you just think it's wrong to want a billion dollars for something that cost you, say, only a few thousand dollars in the beginning to develop, market, produce, and sell to the public. Don't worry, even if you are lucky enough to start your business with so little cash, you will need a whole lot more than that to grow it into a billion dollar business. Do you think Starbucks is greedy to charge $3 for a cup of coffee? You wouldn't if you knew the history of the company dating back to 1971 and the investments the owners made over the years to make it grow from one small store in a Seattle shopping center to more than 7,500 world-wide as of February 2007. In any event, they make good coffee and make us feel good when we treat ourselves to a cup now and then. That is the value we want and get for standing in long lines and paying top dollar.
LUCKY MONEY v. HARD-EARNED CASH
Would you think it was wrong if you won millions of dollars in a lottery with the purchase of a mere $1 ticket? No! You would jump for joy and thank your lucky stars! You bought the ticket to try to win, and the higher the jackpot the better! So, don't be hard on people who do so much more than just buy a lottery ticket-putting their blood, sweat, and tears into their businesses-to make the same millions. And, don't be afraid to want the same for yourself, if you are willing to work hard for it, too!
In fact, you are much more likely to keep your millions if you earned it as opposed to winning it because it is the work of earning it, saving it, and investing it that teaches you to keep your millions and grow it into a billion dollars. Hence, the many true stories about lottery winners who quickly blow their winnings, and of celebrities who rocket to fame and riches only to lose it all by foolish overspending or, worse, by blindly trusting someone else to handle all their money. Don't play the lottery. Study how to get rich, and then do it! It's not easy, but it is simple.
SIMPLE v. EASY
Simple means easy to understand, like the following formula for success: If you want X, find out how most people got X, then do exactly what they did. Simple, yes. But, easy? That depends on what X is. If it's getting rich, the answer is usually no because “easy" means “not difficult. " Here is how you would apply the formula for success to the goal of getting rich: If you want to be rich, find out how most people got rich, then do exactly what they did. Although this is a simple plan, it is still difficult to carry out. It's possible-and simple-but not easy. It requires a lot of discipline.
In my prior article “Millionaires v. Billionaires, " I gave some simple tips on how to start getting rich by sticking to a frugal lifestyle and investing the savings into conservative investments and further suggesting your own business if you are shooting for a really big fortune in your lifetime. Those tips are based on data collected from American millionaires who started with less than $100,000 annual income. The plan is very simple, yet difficult in that they require a lot of discipline.
Most people say they would like to be millionaires, but most people won't follow the simple, nearly risk-free plan to become one because they find it too difficult to switch to a truly frugal lifestyle. Wouldn't it be great if we could all follow the formula of make money, save money, and invest money to become millionaires? To defeat the odds by overcoming the temptations to follow the crowd and spend, spend, spend is truly heroic! But, why stop there? Why not be a billionaire? To learn how, read my next article “How to Be a Billionaire in 10 Steps. "
Copyright © Shanel Yang
Easy Steps to Success
Shanel Yang shares the Easy Steps to Success that she has distilled after trial and error since 1971, when she came to the U. S. from South Korea with her parents and three younger sisters. Her parents had no education, no marketable skills, knew no English, and only $50 when they landed at LAX with absolutely no idea how they would survive in this new country. The responsibilities were divided between the parents and Shanel like this: The parents earned as much money as they could with odd jobs, like janitorial work in a church, dishwashing in a restaurant, and sewing in a downtown sweatshop, while Shanel learned as much as she could about how to do everything else in this country and taught it to the entire family.
All of that responsibility from such an early age left Shanel with a lifelong desire to help others similarly in need of all the important lessons she had to learn to help her family survive-and eventually thrive-in this great country. She went to UCLA Law School and practiced law for 10 years in Los Angeles. Now, she has begun her second career as a writer to provide self help advice to help others succeed in their lives. Her formula is People, Work, and Money. And, for immigrants who are struggling now as her family once did, she adds English and Law. Shanel believes that success in life can be simple if you focus on people first, work second, and money third. To simplify it further, if you have great relationships-especially the most important one, which is with yourself-the rest will naturally follow. Dare to be awesome! Strive to be your own hero!